Counting children’s books

I have not been one to look favorably on counting children’s books in my Goodreads list. However, I am really behind on my reading.

And my kid just had me read Oscar’s Book for the 9th time today alone. I am getting in a lot of reading that isn’t going counted. So, I may just start including those books on my Goodreads when they meet certain criteria.

  1. I’ve read it about 20 times.
  2. I feel like I know the story inside and out.

To-do: Goodreads friends rating score browser add-on

2008 reading list

The primary reason I like Goodreads is for the easy tracking the books I read. The second reason is the friend reviews.

Basically, bookstore website reviews are inundated with fake reviews. Maybe the author or publisher buys them or has people who have never read it review it. Maybe people are reviewing it based on their love of other works by the author. An easy example is The Winds of Winter having 4,482 five star reviews and the sequel A Dream of Spring. Neither book has yet to be finished. In both cases, my friends have the books marked as to-read.

The scores from these reviews go into a ratings score. Basically the formula is for each star multiply by the number given it and total it, then divide by the total of reviews.

((5*n5)+(4*n4)+(3*n3)+(2*n2)+(1*n1)) / (n5+n4+n3+n2+n1)

What I prefer is the rating score for a book based on my friends not general users. I place a higher weight on my friends. So this friends rating score is more valuable to me whereas I treat the existing one with such skepticism it isn’t useful.

At present, I basically have to go to the book, scroll down to the friend ratings score.

What would be nice is a browser add-on to move the friends ratings score to higher in the page to just under the title. That ought to be fairly viable.

What would be harder is for pages like the currently reading list, having the add-on visit each page, pull the friend rating and replace each “avg rating” with the friends avg rating.

Phishy Facebook ad explanations

Jeopardy test ad

This past weekend, a friend invited us over to play board games. Two of the people there have been on Jeopardy. So, I found this advertisement interesting. And when I went to the feature explaining why I got the ad, I found that explanation lacking.

Supposedly, it was because I live in the US and am the right age and are similar to their existing customers. I don’t watch the show. I don’t follow their pages. My friends probably do. But, these two friends have very different interests.

My guess? Physical proximity to these friends triggered the ad.

Dear Russians,

A few years ago, I read Hacking: The Next Generation which mentioned using LinkedIn to research an organization to attack it. Pick out the CEO and send an urgent email from this person to a peon to phish them.

Last week, I heard about a Russian campaign attempting to leverage LinkedIn. I just got a connection request from someone supposedly in a small town near where I used to work. This woman was supposed to be a recruiter, but used the most awkward language in the profile. Stuff like a recruiter for US citizens.

I laughed so hard at this. It seemed obviously like someone who doesn’t understand Americans. Which is odd because your trolling the US election was far superior. Maybe I attracted the D team?

Windows md5 checksum

I was sent a script to run by an analyst who advised to verify the MD5 hash. This is good advice to ensure that I receive the correct content. And happens to be the advise I gave the DBA manager before restoring backup files that was going to take hours to download.

The idea is creating an MD5 hash from the file contents is a fingerprint that tells me whether the file is the same or different quickly and easily. The analyst tells me the hash of the file on the source. I generate a hash on the destination and compare. If they differ, then we have a problem.

I do this all the time on Linux. However, the application I was working with is on Windows. And uploading the file to a Linux server from my workstation wouldn’t really tell me if the file on the Windows server has the correct hash as corruption (ever so unlikely) could have happened over one upload but not the other.

So, I was curious if there was a way to do this on Windows. Turns out there is.

certutil -hashfile C:\scripts\filename.sql MD5

The certutil.exe command is a program installed as part of Certificate Services used typically to view SSL information. (I used it via Powershell, but I bet it works via CMD too.) The various flags available makes it look like something extremely useful to know exists. And, I am surprised at never having seen it prior to today.

Collected Quotes 2019

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
—  Van Gogh

…clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…
—  Carl Sagan

 

It takes seconds to share

News entities are putting this ultimate clickbait in the missing persons articles. And people fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

I see a Facebook post a day where someone is missing. And found before my friend posted it. Usually the person has been fine for months.

It would be nice if Facebook would indicate prominently above the post the person is no longer missing.

Google Trends Metro Areas

I texted a friend about his employer showing up in a movie. He replied a few days later that the owners were excited about this free marketing. I was curious whether this has prompted people to search for them. So, I looked in Google Trends. I liked the feature showing the states and clicked on Georgia and really liked the metro area map.

It made me curious about the definition of the metro areas. It wasn’t clear whether Athens was in the Atlanta or the Augusta metro area. Clicking on the metro area does pull up an “Interest by city” but there were too few results for the employer for it to give me a report. Expanding the window of time gave me the cities list. Also, searching for UGA also gave me the cities.

Athens is at the western edge of the Atlanta one. So, now I know where I sit.

Now, I am trying to get a better sense of the western boundary of the Atlanta metro by trying to come up with searches that are both common enough to list the cities between Athens and the border with the Greenville and Augusta metro areas. Pretty sure the counties that border Athens are included in the Atlanta metro one.

It would be nice to have a list of cities, but I gave up searching for one.

Android app updates

An Android app I needed to use refused to allow me into it unless I updated it.

BONUS: Every time I hit the update button, it took me to the iTunes Store.

So, I went to the Google Play Store. It said I had the current version. So, I visited the store from a laptop computer which said I was two minor versions behind. (2.0.9 was current and I had 2.0.7.)

I tried re-installing the app. It installed 2.0.7 again.

I tried the nuclear option deleting the cache & data and then restarting the phone. When it came back, it recognized that it needed an update.

In retrospect, maybe the Google Play app needed to be the one I deleted the cache for? It seems the problem was it not getting the new information about apps.

B’Elanna

Years ago, I wrote about half-blood characters being role models. I missed one. B-Elanna Torres was half Klingon and half human. I was reminded about the omission by watching Voyager again. In the episode, an alien divided her into two individuals. As stereotypes of her races, she epitomized the war I sometimes feel about myself being pulled in different directions.

I used to think it was from being biracial. I now think everyone has this war.