Getting Our Garden Started

Over the past week or so I’ve been busy prepping our vegetable garden. I’m using the area on the south side of my house which meant I needed to transplant some shrubs first. After I got the shrubs transplanted, I tilled the previous side garden bed and some of the yard. I ended up with a plot about 30 feet by 12 feet.

I was able to get out Tuesday this week and get some of the weeds raked out that were left over after tilling. I spread 20 bags of topsoil and tilled that under before it rained Thursday night. We got a good soaking rain last night and some more tonight hopefully. I do want to test the soil in another few days once the ground begins to dry up a bit.

Since its still too early for most plants, I have some peat pots inside to get things started in. In a few weeks I should be able to get things moved outside to my cold frames for another few weeks before its warm enough to transplant. I’m still in the planning stages of what’s going to go where and I need to finish soon since there are a few cold weather crops that I can get planted soon.

I also built a compost bin out of some old scrap wood. I’ll post more on that later as well as some photos of the garden.

Response to WebHostingTalk’s Security Breach

I heard about WebHostingTalk’s security breach recently and after reading the comments on Slashdot, I became a bit concerned people were missing the issue. People discussed offsite backups and offline backups, but while that might have mitigated the issue, its not what’s at fault.

What’s at fault is the fact that their database servers could be connected to from their backup servers. Backup servers should only be able to be connected to from the boxes they’re backing up data from. You should send your data there, not download your your data to the backup server.

My sss/rsync scripts run from the box I’m backing up and that box has no way to connect back to the box I’m backing up from. If that’s the way WebHostingTalk’s servers were set up, there would be no hack. Yes, they might have been able to delete the backups, but not be able to connect to the database servers and wipe the tables on them.

Gmail Undo Send Is Only For Ninjas

Seriously? 5 seconds?

Gmail introduced a new feature last week called Undo Send. Once enabled, it holds your message for 5 seconds once you hit send and gives you the option to undo. While this may be good for the occasional time you hit send before your message was complete, its not good enough for those nastygrams you might accidentally send out.

Email is meant to be fast, but a 15 sec delay is hardly noticeable. It gives you enough time to process what you just send, say “Oh Sh*t” and hit undo. Otherwise, you have to be a ninja to do all that in 5 seconds.

Gmail team: Why not make the delay 15 seconds? Not all of us are as skillful as you.

Twittering Blog Posts

Twittering blog posts is something I do not understand. If I want to monitor somebody’s website I’ll grab their RSS feed. I don’t follow you on Twitter to see when you update your blog. Stop doing it! Can somebody please explain this to me! I follow you on Twitter to see what you’re doing, not to see what you’re blogging about.

Beat Up

So my 6 month old Lab puppy and I have been going at it recently. So much, that I feel like I’ve been in a street fight.

Saturday he nailed me in the jaw. It was all swollen and bruised. Sunday he nailed me square in the nose and gave me a nosebleed. Today he hit me in the mouth and gave me a bloody lip… One that’s been bleeding for the past hour. Seriously, when is it goign to stop?

Retail Sales are Dead

Retail sales are dying. Lets face it. Personally, I haven’t shopped in a brick and mortar store that has sales associates in the past 5+ years. You want to know why? Because I can buy the same product online for cheaper and not be harassed (or even lied to) to buy other crap I don’t need.

Just this week, we found out that Office Depot employees have been lying to customers who don’t want to purchase extra products. If they don’t want an extended warranty or other accessories, which is where most stores make their money, the sales associates lie to the customer and tell them the product they want is then out of stock. If you do want to buy all that extra crap, you’re in luck, the lapotp you want is it stock.

BestBuy has been caught using similar tactics to upsell products to customers. Circuit City has gone out of business because they couldn’t upsell enough products. The cost of operating a retail store is expensive. The cost of paying employees to stand around around and sell products is expensive. The margins, on some products are narrow, because the accessories have a very high margin and that’s where the real money is.

Online stores don’t need to print ads. They don’t need to pay associates to stand around. They pay to keep the website functioning and for people to fulfill orders. On top of that, some even have mostly automated warehouses. They might send out emails with specials, but that costs next to nothing.

Brick and mortar stores with retail sales associates are a dying breed. Just like the RIAA and MPAA, they haven’t found a way to compete and stay profitable with the new players in the market. Its the same thing that’s happening with print media vs online media.

ATA: Slow to Respond Errors? Check your cables

I recently had to reboot a machine following a kernel upgrade and was getting the “ATA: Slow to respond” error. Googling the error message left me with nothing but the fact it was a kernel issue. I made some changes and rebooted the machine to the previous kernel version. Before I even got that far, I noticed BIOS was hanging when detecting the drives.

Great, I have a bad hard drive. Luckilly they were mirrored, which was why the system still booted. I decided to power it down and just double check the all the cables. When I booted it up again, it detected the drive fine and the system booted without an issue. The system is running fine now and I haven’t determined it the drive is going bad, the cable is bad, or the SATA port on the motherboard is going bad.

Either way, if you start getting random “ATA: Slow to respond” errors, check the cables and check BIOS to make sure the drive is even recognized.