Archives for January 2004

.NET and Land Thieves

Posted on 1/25/2004 to Developer Stuff

Just thought I'd give my previous post a little .NET twist.

If you've followed this weblog for any length of time, then you know that I track all referrers via an HTTPModule that I wrote a year ago.  What you don't know is that I recently implemented a way to “misdirect” certain referring sites, such as those responsible for referrer log spam.  At first I thought about just adding the sooner fan site that was responsible for the land thief traffic to this list, but then I thought of something else -- something a little more fun.  Now my Referrer HTTPModule intercepts sites with “sooner” in the hostname and displays an intermediate page before allowing them to access the post they so eagerly want to read.

Copy and  paste this Url into your browser ( - sorry not going to link to their site), then follow the link on that page back to my site to see what I mean.  Now for most of you, the humor will be lost, but Longhorn fans, as well as anyone who despises ou, you'll get a kick out of it.

Welcome Land Thieves ;-)

Posted on 1/25/2004 to Sports

Just wanted to point out that I've updated a post from 2001.

It seems that a land thief (sooner) came across it and decided to post it on one of their fan sites, resulting in a large amount of referral traffic.  Anyway, thanks -- I guess.

ASP.NET Webcast Week

Posted on 1/19/2004 to Developer Stuff

Just a reminder that this is ASP.NET Webcast Week...

"Learn about ASP.NET from the experts! These free events are live and interactive. Live code demos and attendees asking in depth engaging questions are all part of this live event. This is a great way to get educated, engaged, and enlightened on Microsoft developer tools."

Music Rebellion Update

Posted on 1/10/2004 to Entertainment

I was just over at, looking to spend my last couple of dollars on 10 cent songs, when I noticed that they were no longer 10 cents.

It looks like they've started pricing based on demand, which in a lot of cases appears to still be cheaper that the other download sites.

Cheap Music Downloads

Posted on 1/9/2004 to Entertainment

In case you haven't heard, has $0.10 song downloads for a limited time.  It looks like once the promotion ends they will change their pricing structure so that the download price is dependent on song demand.

One of the nice features is the ability to fund your account using PayPal.

The BCS, Computer Polls, and College Football

Posted on 1/5/2004 to Sports

I came across a post by Jason Salas concerning the BCS and it's use of computer polls to aid in determining a champion.

First a quick correction to his post, he's got the polls and their champs reversed...USC was voted #1 in the AP, or writer's poll, while LSU claimed the BCS championship, resulting in them being named #1 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, which is contractually obligated to name the BCS champion as their champion.  The interesting thing is that three coaches didn't do this, rather they kept their #1 team from the final regular season poll (USC) intact.

The problem that I see with the computerized rankings is the same as with the human polls -- that is they are opinion based.  Sure, from week to week, someone just plugs in a bunch of numbers and the computer spits out the rankings, but in the beginning of each and every one of the computer polls, the developer had to decide on the things that are important in ranking teams and how important each of those things are in relation to the other things.  Like any other computer program, the computer polls are only as good as the people who designed and wrote them. 

As far as the BCS goes, my gripe isn't with the computer polls, though I do scratch my head from time to time, after seeing some of their rankings, wondering what they were smoking when they put their system together.  My problem is with the BCS itself, and with the AD's who insist on using it to determine a national champion, rather having a playoff as is done in every other college sport at every other level.  Personally, if we have to have the BCS, I would make these changes...1) Remove strength of schedule as a BCS component.  Strength of schedule is already factored in to each and every poll, including the human polls.  (Don't tell me that the voters don't take into consideration who a team has played, and possibly who those teams have played, when voting.)  2) Put margin of victory back in.  I just don't see how you can have one without the other.  The kids playing the games have no control over who is on their schedule, but they do control the outcome.  Shouldn't a team be able to offset a weak strength of schedule by a wide margin of victory?  I think so.  3) Finally, remove the bonus points for quality wins.  They should already be reflected by record and strength of schedule.

Congrats to USC, and to those 3 coaches who had the balls to vote against their contract.  Now let's have a playoff.

Think Through Form Validation

Posted on 1/1/2004 to Developer Stuff

I was in the middle of registering for an account at when I came upon some poorly coded form validation.  One of the fields is the answer to a secret question.  The user gets to choose the secret question from a list 7 options -- I chose one that asks “What is your father's middle name?”  The problem I have is that the validation requires that the answer must be at least 6 characters -- my father's middle name does not meet this requirement.  Come to think of it, besides my own middle name, no one else in my immediate family has a middle name 6 characters or longer. 

Fortunately, I can get around this by choosing a different question (assuming I don't run into similar issues), or I can elect to not have a secret question, and thus no need for a secret answer...I wonder if selecting this option will still require a word of 6 or more characters...let's see...

Ok, it didn't balk at not having a secret answer, but upon submitting the form it did tell me that I don't have permission to access the server.  Great.  So much for trying them out for their free DNS services.  I guess I get what I pay for.

Welcome to 2004!

Posted on 1/1/2004 to In General

Happy New Year!

Wow, has it really been 4 years since we rang in Y2K?  So much has happened to me and my family in that time -- from moving to Denver just two weeks before Y2K and having child #1 in mid 2000, to moving back to Texas in late 2001 and more recently having child #2 just under 2 months ago -- yet it seems just like yesterday.

As I get older, the hands of the clock seem to move ever faster.  I'm barely in my 30's, what's it like in your 40's? 50's? Or even older?

After a night of staying at home, watching movies and eating the best filet mignon I've ever cooked (along with some very tasty roasted poblano and garlic mashed potatoes -- my creation as well ;-), with the wife and the little ones, it is time to get some rest.

Hope you have a happy and prosperous 2004!