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Hey all - I have been able to reacquire one of my domains that were so viciously stolen from me by domain squatters some time ago. So, you can now visit the site using . Keep in mind that all links to will continue to work.

Google Maps Javascript API Tutorial is Rubbish

I am working on creating a Google-maps based project. As such, I was using the Google Maps Javascript API Tutorial  to activate an API key and create a 'Hello World' style test script. I continuously received one of the following errors: Google has disabled use of the Maps API for this application. The provided key is not a valid Google API Key, or it is not authorized for the Google Maps Javascript API v3 on this site. If you are the owner of this application, you can learn about obtaining a valid key here: Google has disabled use of the Maps API for this application. See the Terms of Service for more information: Having not used the API to make a single call, the notion that I had somehow violated the Google TOS was particularly infuriating, as was the notion that I had not enabled the Google Maps API, which I had done, as outlined in

BootChess: The Tiniest Chess Program in Town

Coding hyper-efficient chess programs has been something like a running contest among big time Smarty Pantses with too much time on their hands. For the last 33 years, the record for the smallest version of chess was held by the fabled 1K ZX Chess for the Sinclair ZX81. First published in 1982, 1K ZX had all of the basic chess rules and a opponent loaded into a now-hard-to-imagine 672 bytes of memory. Its publisher, David Horne , would go on to publish the code for the program in a three art Computer Magazine series (the first part of which you can see embedded below: This is the super-rad David Horne: 1K ZX's 33 year reign has just been challenged. The challenger is a program called BootChess, which includes all of the features of 1K ZX with a stunning memory allocation of only 512 bytes. The program was written by  Olivier Poudade and Peter Ferrie . It was never a very graphic-intensive game, anyway This is a photo of Peter Ferrie: A photo of Olivier Po

The Latest Not-So-Subtle Threat to Tech Companies Using Encryption

This time the kneecap-breaker is Stewart Baker, former counsel general of the NSA and assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (currently counsel with Steptoe & Johnson LLP). Baker claims that Blackberry (AKA RIM) should blame its use of strong encryption for its poor market performance . Specifically: He claimed that by encrypting user data Blackberry had limited its business in countries that demand oversight of communication data, such as India and the UAE and got a bad reception in China and Russia. “They restricted their own ability to sell. We have a tendency to think that once the cyberwar is won in the US that that is the end of it - but that is the easiest war to swim.” Of course, Baker makes no mention of the iPhone snatching up corporate mobile market-share, or tiny changes in the phone market like, I dunno, the implementation of the Android OS. But who cares about little fish like that when the United Arab Emirates is at stake? Baker's s

Uploading HTML forms to Amazon S3 using PHP

Dynamically uploading information to S3 can be a bit challenging to do initially, particularly in PHP where a lot of the documentation is either really new or really old. Amazon has a PHP SDK , which is available as either a .phar file or can be installed using Composer . That's cool for building a new project, but what if you have a pre-existing project or form and just want to be able to dump the text output to S3? I've put together some code at Github that will take care of that issue. The only requirement is PHP and an Amazon S3 account. Download or clone the files here: Your Amazon access keys and other configuration are stored in a single configuration file. Just fill out your login info into the configuration file and include the php form where you need it as outlined in the file and you should be all set!

Grace Hopper Documentary Released Today

A long time ago in a data center far, far away, the word "computer" was a job title. For a person. One of those people was Grace Hopper. Grace, h@xing on a sweet laptop in the 40's Grace worked her way up to Rear Admiral in the US Navy; no small feat for a woman of any time, but even more amazing as she started her career in the 30's with a PhD in math from Yale. In the Navy, she would go on to work on the Harvard Mark 1 (the first modern computer), and she headed the team that wrote the first compiler . Her contributions to computer science are immense. They are also largely glossed over by a science and an industry that is, let's face it, a bit of a sausage fest. It wasn't always that way. When computers were people, the industry was dominated by women, who tended to have better typing skills than men, and were cheaper to hire. Their contributions to the industry have been forgotten for decades, but thankfully there is a bit of a renaissance in unc

Charlie Hebdo - Martyrs & Heroes of Free Speech

This morning the headquarters of Parisian comedy rag Charlie Hebdo was attacked. Masked gunmen entered the magazine's office and killed 10 employees and 2 French policemen who tried to intervene. The gunmen escaped, and are apparently at large. While there has yet to be a formal claim of responsibility, just about everyone with a news press or a TV camera believes that the perpetrators are Islamic militants. Hebdo HQ has already been attacked for publishing funny papers mocking the holy Muhammed; about 3 short years ago, the office was firebombed. This blog o' mine is focused on fixing computers. Occasionally, we talk about how computers are used (and mis-used) to violate people's privacy. Rarely, if ever, do we get political; excepting once or twice when we have mocked US government attempts to abolish encryption . This post will be an exception. I take free speech seriously. I have always enjoyed shooting off at the mouth. Moreover, the newspaper racket is somewha