URI in a Database

This vendor’s application has been a headache for me for over a year now. We are getting close to upgrading, but there are some issues. One is why data in the new version is missing. I finally got the vendor to give me a query in the new version which was enough for me to figure out how to find the same data in the old version.

16686579989_02eba2c292
Shrug by Tom Hilton

Everything I check between the two databases is consistently the same across the systems. So, why are the user interfaces different? See image right.

I have done a lot of querying now trying to gain some insight into the black box since the front line support workers are not getting me helpful information out of their “additional resources.” I’ve asked to talk to a DBA, but they do not respond to that part.

Something hurts my brain is that every table’s primary key is name “uri.” Yes, everything is a Uniform Resource Indicator. (If everything is an uri, then effectively nothing is an uri.) But then when TableA needs to reference something from TableB, then it actually has a column that describes what it is. Except in this one case I am struggling to understand where the recordUri does not match the record table’s uri column.

So what does it match? See image.

An annotated schema would help out so much right now.

My guess is a table moved and broke a customization.

I suspect the choice of URI as an acronym is because of the HTTP protocol. For a web site address, one has the protocol in http:// and the full qualified domain name like ezrasf.com and everything starting with the next slash after is the URI. And that is what set me off to write this post.

On This Day & Friendship

The image that a specific friend failed to like

When I look through Facebook’s On This Day feature, sometimes I am startled to see that someone I expected to like a specific post did not.

This reminded me that what I post often is targeted. There are a handful of people who I know follow my posts and will appreciate them.

Friends are people who have shared experiences and/or interests. Those I target with a post are not usually tagged or named even when I intend for them to see it. The game is for them to see it as an inside joke. So for them to fail to like the post, I feel like I failed the friendship. It is like saying something that is an inside joke and get no smile.

Are we even still friends? (Sorry, just being melodramatic.) Probably. It is just a single data point. There would need to be a consistent pattern of misses.

Common sense is cultural 

Common sense is not so common. At least not in the sense that what we think are common sense behaviors are universal agreed upon across all of humanity. 

An example: In a western culture, we tend to value the individual, so we think it common sense that we do things that benefit us. In an eastern culture, they tend to value the group, so they think it common sense that they do things that benefit the group.

We also are mired in groupthink that our tribes have the only correct values in humanity. So, the values of others occasionally cause conflict when members come into contact. A friend was upset about something neighbors did. One of the comments from someone sharing the friend’s values was that it is just common sense not to behave the way the people from another culture did. I wanted to reply that from the perspective of the other people, it is common sense to behave in this offensive way.

I did not because it was only going to make them defensive and cause unnecessary anger. People strongly defend their values. My questioning their values would be counterproductive. And having brown skin would lead to saying if I am not willing to share these values, then I should go home.

The funny thing? Best I can tell, all my ancestors going back 100 years were born in America. I just am introspective enough to try and understand how people work. And that leads me to consider other perspectives and give people some leeway. Given my Baha’I Faith upbringing, this consideration is just common sense.

Unsticky Likes

Like Stamp 1
Credit: Joy Powers

Of late, I have been featured in some posts that generate many comments on Facebook. Naturally, I like these comments.

So when a new one comes in and old ones I thought I previously liked no longer show them being liked, it was noticeable. Over the past few months, I have seen the behavior over and over.

My primary hunch is that I am just a bad person and did not actually like them as I thought. Human memory is fallible. It is easily feasible that I in seeing them not liked assumed that I would have taken action to like them. The memory of having done so could actually be the recollection of doing so with others conflated to this incident.

Hypothetically, it is possible that I like a post and the action never gets updated in the database without telling me it failed. If the UI is designed to show the like whether or not the database took it, then I could see it liked and when I return later to see it not liked. Maybe because these posts have such a large dataset collected into a single place I more easily notice when this happens. It would be disturbing if we go to all the trouble of responding and others are never getting that feedback.

IPv6 Woes

Noticed one particular social media site was demonstrating slow performance. For the past week or so, it has been frustrating to use. And because it was only this one site, where I saw the issue, I figured it was them.

Slowness across all websites would indicate a problem on my end. Slowness on just one? It seems like their issue.

Only… There were no other people really complaining about their slowness. And it lasted far too long. So, I started picking at it.

I started with the Chrome DevTools and its Network tab to watch where there is slowness. It only presented in the images. The HTML, Cascade Style Sheets, and JavaScript all downloaded fast. The images were slow. And they came from a different server.

I started exploring under which circumstances they presented a problem by looking at the same content in different contexts. The breakthrough came from looking at the networking.

A traceroute to compare the main URL with the media URL were odd. The IP address for the main website came back with an IPv4 address while the media one was IPv6. The traceroute data showed the www site was relatively snappy while the media site timed out on most tests.

So, to verify the IPv6 was the problem, I went into adapter settings and turned it off. Then, I restarted the adapter. Now, the traceroute test looks fast for both addresses. And the page quickly loads.

This suggests either my ISP, router, modem, or computer have an issue with the IPv6. That is annoying, but I will just leave it off for now.

False Memories

Apparently, I never posted about my complaint that one cannot replace a compromised Social Security Number the same as you can a bank card. I was sure I had written about it.

One possibility is that I did write something, but I deleted the draft without posting. About two-thirds of what I write suffers that fate. Either I discover the idea was without merit (aka evidence contrary to what I initially thought) or the logic behind the idea too tenuous to support publishing it.

Another possibility is that I thought about writing something, but I never actually wrote it.

Who knows? Certainly not me.

Maybe I can fix the first one by leaving things in the draft state for longer? Or privately publish them with a note why I no longer claim it?

Phishing

Over a month ago, I received a creative phishing attempt. We use a relatively popular service which is mimicked fairly well. I typically receive notification emails from it by an administrative assistant. This came from another name. That was my only real clue that made me look closer. Since, I have received almost a dozen, each pretending to be a different product.

I noticed they all used different domain names for the payload link. But, they all use file.php?d=<value> or f.php?d=<value> to deliver the payload.

Computers are smarter than I am when it comes to patterns like this, so I created an email filter to look for the file names and set it loose. If I see another phishing attempt using another script name, then I will add it to the list. But, so far, I am pleased with how well it protects me from myself.

NCC-1701-D


NCC-1701-D, originally uploaded by Ezra F.

No flash lets one see the lights better than with flash.

Taken at the Star Trek: The Experience at the Hilton in Las Vegas. If you want to catch it, then you need to go by there before September 1 when it closes. 🙁

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