Becoming Ununique

Growing up my names were strongly identifying. If someone learned of my first or last name, there was a fair chance they knew of me. Almost no one else around was named Ezra. In college, there was a guy whose last name was “Esra” that caused a bit of confusion. But, all I had to… Continue reading Becoming Ununique

Special Characters Are Meaningful Too

Dear Google, When you treat special characters such as underscores, colons, and hyphens as a space, you corrupt my search for a single term into multiple terms, aka not what I sought, so I get too many useless results. Function names, class names, or file  names ought to be treated as a single word not… Continue reading Special Characters Are Meaningful Too

Useful User Agents

Rather than depend on end users to accurately report the browser used, I look for the user-agent in the web server logs. (Yes, I know it can be spoofed. Power users would be trying different things to resolve their own issues not coming to us.) Followers of this blog may recall I changed the Weblogic… Continue reading Useful User Agents

Name Collisions

Blackboard has a conference they call BbWorld. I noticed there are some odd tweets with the same #bbworld hashtag lately. These appear to be about a Blackberry conference to be held next month. Collisions on names are common enough. For example, here are a couple names our clients use to brand their sites which other… Continue reading Name Collisions

Voting Rights Act

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 protects people from malicious actions by state and local governments to prevent people from voting. Yes, we have a president of African-American descent. Yes, the United States Supreme Court took no action. However, the majority opinion statement that, “We are a very different nation,” suggests it could be repealed.… Continue reading Voting Rights Act

Email Harvesters

I missed the story about brothers convicted of harvesting emails the first time. Well, I noticed a followup. Back around 2001, the CIO received complaints about performance for the web server. So, I went log trolling to see what the web server was doing. A single IP dominated the HTTP requests. This one IP passed… Continue reading Email Harvesters

Facebook Usernames

If you cannot find me, then you are not looking. If you search on Facebook for Ezra Freelove, then I am the only result at the moment. Maybe all you knew was Ezra and the city where I lived? Facebook search is not so great you could find me through my first name plus something… Continue reading Facebook Usernames

Ezra Haters

I knew Ezra is relatively rare as a name. That just means people cannot pronounce it correctly, think it is a girl’s name, or think it is a pseudonym.  Still…. There are more boys in the State of Georgia named P or Z (yes, just the letter) than named Ezra. Nice.

Confidentiality

A student wants Blackboard Vista to not reveal his or her last name. The student has already gone to the Registrar and gotten a confidentiality flag placed on the record. As I understand it, this flag in Banner is a FERPA protection to prevent the record from being provided to parties external to the university.… Continue reading Confidentiality