This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Kindle Ratio as of 2011 Aug 22

OK, I’m way behind, but as of soon after I posted my review of NurtueShock (August 22nd to be specific), here is where things stood.

Percent of the last 20 books I’ve posted reviews for available on Kindle stays at 75%.

And the percentage of the last 20 books I’ve actually read (at least as of Aug 22) on Kindle goes up to 70%.

Bye Steve

Picture of Steve Jobs by Matt Yohe via Wikipedia

It seemed clear not long was left when he resigned. Sigh.

Thanks for all the insanely great stuff Steve.

(Picture of Steve Jobs by Matt Yohe via Wikipedia)

My Inbox is now Whitelist Only

I admitted defeat earlier today. The Spam load on my mailbox was just too big, even with several layers of anti-spam stuff on top of it. (And of course, I still had the occasional real message make it to my Spam folder, so I was hesitant to ramp that up even further.) It made my actual inbox pretty useless, and just annoyed me and made me think of looking at my email as a chore.

So anyway, as of this morning, I added a rule to automatically move any incoming message that was not from someone in my address book into a separate folder. A separate folder that I’ll check occasionally, and probably more often than my spam folder, but probably not every day. We shall see.

I considered adding an auto-reply sort of thing to emails that got filtered this way, with a “Sorry, you got filtered, but reply with BLAH BLAH BLAH to bypass the filter if you are a real human being.” but for the time being I haven’t done that. Those can be kind of annoying from the other end. I know that. If I discover (which is very likely) that I can’t empty the “Not In Address Book” folder at least once a week looking for real people who get stuck in there, then I may add something like that anyway.

I’m also aggressively unsubscribing from stuff. If you are a company I do business with, I’m going to whitelist you for getting order confirms and stuff like that, but I don’t want your marketing email. Sorry.

I’m also going to start aggressively “fixing” my address book, since it is a mess from years of bad synchronization between devices and other stuff. Well, as aggressively as I can without actually spending much time on it. :-)

Anyway, maybe this means that when people send me personal emails, I’ll actually notice and respond in a timely fashion rather than months or years later.

WTF Familymap?

First time I’ve seen an iPhone app dump like this. Nice. (For the record, not jailbroken, app straight from the app store, has worked fine for ages.)

Dashboard Up Again Too

Unlike the wiki, I didn’t succeed this weekend in getting ChartDirector working again by myself. But I figured out roughly where the sticking point was (dynamic loading of PHP extensions) and cut a ticket to my host for this stuff (pair.com). A couple of back and forths with them and some additional configuration changes to let me override some new default settings, and my Dashboard (and other graphs I keep but aren’t linked to the main dashboard) are up and running again. Woo!

AbulWiki Up

Upgrade for MediaWiki is done. Only had to figure out a few minor things related to where information about the database password was stored. Anyway, Abulwiki is now up again. How exciting. I probably won’t get to trying to do the same for my graphs by updating ChartDirector until tomorrow. We’ll see. Anyway, one down, one to go. Woo!

Upgrades Grrrr

So, the host I use for my wiki and my graphs (but not this blog) updated their version of PHP within the last 24 hours. This broke both my wiki and my graphs. They had sent a warning that I would need to reset a MySQL password, which I did. But that seemly wasn’t the problem here. The problem here SEEMS to be that I have old versions of both MediaWiki and ChartDirector that I haven’t updated since I first set them up several years ago, and they are incompatible with the updated version of PHP. So I need to update both of those to the current versions. This is probably going to be a pain. Hopefully not, but I always dread updates like this because while sometimes they go smoothly, sometimes they turn into hours of trying to figure out why nothing works any more before you realize it is because of some tiny but buried thing that needs to be changed.

Sigh. Guess I’ll try to look at this sometime over the weekend. In the mean time, my wiki and my graphs will just stay down. Bleh.

AbulPhone Travels

The above is apparently everywhere I have gone with my phone since July 15th of last year. Click on it for a larger version.

I know some people are pissed at the fact something like iPhone Tracker exists and that Apple set things up on the phone in such a way that this was possible and did it without warning anybody that their phone was keeping this log by default.

But I think it is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a few months! Great stuff!

Although, yeah, I guess there should be an option to turn it off. But I hope they don’t remove it. I like this feature! It would be even better if it was full GPS tracking and not just cell towers, but you know, one step at a time!

Simple Email Service #SES

Hmmm… Interesting… Looks like this launched a little bit ago.

Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) (beta)

Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a highly scalable and cost-effective bulk and transactional email-sending service for businesses and developers. Amazon SES eliminates the complexity and expense of building an in-house email solution or licensing, installing, and operating a third-party email service. The service integrates with other AWS services, making it easy to send emails from applications being hosted on services such as Amazon EC2. With Amazon SES there is no long-term commitment, minimum spend or negotiation required – businesses can utilize a free usage tier and after that enjoy low fees for the number of emails sent plus data transfer fees.

Building large-scale email solutions to send marketing and transactional messages is often a complex and costly challenge for businesses. To optimize the percentage of emails that are successfully delivered, businesses must deal with hassles such as email server management, network configuration, and meeting rigorous Internet Service Provider (ISP) standards for email content. Additionally, many third-party email solutions require contract and price negotiations, as well as significant up-front costs.

Amazon SES eliminates these challenges and enables businesses to benefit from the years of experience and sophisticated email infrastructure Amazon.com has built to serve its own large-scale customer base. Through a simple API call, businesses can now access a high-quality, scalable email infrastructure to efficiently and inexpensively communicate to their customers. For high email deliverability, Amazon SES uses content filtering technologies to scan a business’s outgoing email messages to help ensure that the content meets ISP standards. The email message is then either queued for sending or routed back to the sender for corrective action. To help businesses further improve the quality of email communications with their customers, Amazon SES provides a built-in feedback loop, which includes notifications of bounce backs, failed and successful delivery attempts, and spam complaints.

Maybe now I can sleep for a few hours. :-)

Kindle Ratio for 15 Jan 2011: 65%

So, the latest update. The newest book of the last 20 I read (well, that I’ve posted about so far, I’m a bit behind) was available on Kindle, but the one that fell off also was, so the ratio stays at 65%, with 13 of the last 20 available on Kindle. For reference:

1- YES – Shadow Puppets
2 – NO – 9 Ways to Bring Out the Best in You and Your Child
3 – YES – Shadow of the Hegemon
4 – NO – The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
5 – YES – Ender’s Shadow
6 – YES – The Elegant Universe
7 – YES – Children of the Mind
8 – NO – Introduction to Algorithms
9 – YES – Xenocide
10 – YES – The Geography of Bliss
11 – YES – Speaker for the Dead
12 – NO – First Break all the Rules
13 – YES – Ender’s Game
14 – YES – Until the Sea Shall Free Them
15 – YES – Foucault’s Pendulum
16 – YES – Java The Complete Reference
17 – NO – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
18 – YES – The Audacity of Hope
19 – NO – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
20 – NO – Data Mining

And there we are for the moment.