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Articles Archive for February 2004

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[24 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on E-mail Caller ID to stop spam | ]

Microsoft and Sendmail must have read my February 11th blog entry.
They are coming up with a solution to stop spam which essentially uses authentication. This sounds promising.

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[20 Feb 2004 | 2 Comments | ]

Here is a simple (homegrown) Timer class that I use to capture execution time in Java:

import java.io.PrintStream;

final class Timer
{
private long startTime;
private long endTime;

public Timer()
{
reset();
}

public void start()
{
System.gc();
startTime =
System.currentTimeMillis();
}

public void end()
{
System.gc();
endTime =
System.currentTimeMillis();
}

public long duration()
{
return (endTime – startTime);
}

public void printDuration( PrintStream out )
{
long elapsedTimeInSecond =
duration() / 1000;
long remainderInMillis =
duration() % 1000;

out.println(“\nTotal execution time:”
+ elapsedTimeInSecond
+ “.”
+ remainderInMillis
+ ” seconds”);
}

public void reset()
{
startTime = 0;
endTime = 0;
}

public static void main( String[] args )
{
Timer timer = new Timer();
timer.start();

for (int i = 0; i < 500; i++)
{
System.out.print(“#”);
}

timer.end();
timer.printDuration(System.out);
}
}

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[19 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on Is XDoclet Necessary? Let’s take a step back.. | ]

I’ve recently been experimenting with XDoclet and I have to say that it really seems to simplify things. But when you think about it, it seems like somewhat of a round trip.
Developers have gone to great lengths to externalize properties and deployment-related information out of source code and into XML files. They have gone so far as to require you to define all of this information externally. For example, Struts uses the struts-config.xml file to define the interaction between pages in a Web application. So far as I know, …

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[19 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on Spam filtering with social networks | ]

This article outlines a new strategy for combating spam. P. Oscar Boykin and Vwani Roychowdhury of the University of California, Los Angeles came up with the idea of turning to social networks (life Friendster) to determine if the source of the e-mail that you are receiving is “friendly” (pun intended).
Yahoo is probably in a very good position to implement something like this. If you receive an e-mail from an address that is in your addressbook, then it will end up in your inbox. Let’s say that your have 100 people …

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[12 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on Instances of Responsibility | ]

My wife and I use our cell phones as alarm clocks. We have two phones on which we set alarms that are 5 minutes apart, to act as a sort of snooze. (I don’t know why we haven’t just invested in a real alarm clock, but that’s besides the point).
These phones usually reside on a window sill away from the bed so that we have to actually get up out of bed to turn them off (otherwise we’d just stay asleep). The window sill used to be nearer to my …

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[12 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on Checked Exceptions | ]

The use of checked exceptions is a frequently debated topic. Java uses checked exceptions and many Java developers promote them. But Java is the oddball when it comes to this topic. Practically no other OO language uses checked exceptions, and many developers think that checked exceptions are trouble.
I personally think that checked exceptions are annoying. I don’t think that its worth introducing an exception as an explicit part of an API. Many developers will simply do the following:

try
{
someOperation(…);
}
catch(Exception e)
{
}

or

try
{
someOperation(…);
}
catch(Exception …

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[12 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on Geographically divided projects | ]

I am currently feeling the pain of a geographically divided project. I am working on a relatively small integration project for a client, but most of the people who are providing me with the software, data, network access, etc. that I need are located clear across the country. Literally 90% of my time has been spent waiting, and unfortunately, my client (which is a rather large corporation) is wasting thounds and thousands of dollars because of it.
I have no doubt in my mind that if most of the …

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[12 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on How I would end SPAM | ]

Wild ID is pretty cool. It allows you to obtain a Digital ID for free, with Wild ID acting as the certificate authority.
Now, here is my theory on how to put an end to spam. Everybody signs up for a free digital ID with one of several trusted certificate authorities. These certificates would cost exactly 1 cent each, thus forcing you to provide accurate credit card information with a name and address. Mail servers are set up to only accept e-mails that are digitally …

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[8 Feb 2004 | One Comment | ]

I’ve been pretty annoyed that recent versions of Internet Explorer don’t show the status bar at the bottom by default. When I turn it on, and exit IE, it ends up losing my settings. This page shows you how to get the status bar to stay up permanently.

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[7 Feb 2004 | Comments Off on Mask your e-mail | ]

To avoid having your e-mail address become a victim of Web-based e-mail-harvesting software, you can use Javascript code that dynamically generates your e-mail address when a page is displayed. Here is the one that I used to provide my e-mail address for this page. There are others out there too.