Uber Pissed

Uber switched to surge pricing during the hostage crisis in Sydney. The Atlantic is pissed.

[Uber] had the opportunity to see, and therefore bring out, the best in people; instead, it focused on the worst, and precluded opportunities for kindness. It prioritized the “economy” over the “sharing.” And, most worryingly of all, it did all that in the name of “concern” for its passengers.

I used to believe it a bit naive to expect corporations, profit-maximizers that they are, to truly behave in a “sharing” way. It’s unseemly and ugly, but they are just doing what they do right? Nothing is more frustrating then expecting anyone or anything to be something they/it is not. Kenny Banyon will just never be Jerry Seinfeld. Corporations are just not inherently altruistic.

That said, I’ve come to believe that, given this tendency the only two options are to have governments regulate the corporations or regulate them through public pressure.

That old (crotchety) libertarian in me is more afraid of government regulation than Uber price-gouging. Sorry, I can choose to walk, but the government can put me in jail. And given this fear, I have no choice but to admit that the only alternative currently is to encourage public outcry against companies that “behave badly”.

So I actually applaud The Atlantic for speaking out about it. This will surprise many old friends of mine.

Open Thread: Reading your spam email

I decided to read some of my spam email this morning and discovered to my delight that:

  • I received two direct deposits for loans totaling $45k with generous payback terms;
  • I could “put fewer calls on hold” by buying something called Business Phone System … not sure how that works … ;
  • The swimming pool supplies I ordered while being an apartment owner/renter for over a decade are nevertheless ready, curiously from the same company selling “business phone system”
  • I apparently joined a senior dating group which is … AWESOME!; and
  • The million dollar mansion I purchased in Florida is ready a rehab job.

Spammy me sounds like an eclectic guy.

WordPress 4.1 Out Tuesday, Hello TwentyFifteen

According to the official news, WordPress 4.1 will potentially drop on Tuesday. The most interesting changes are TwentyFifteen and the WP_Meta_Query optimizations which will help plugins that rely heavily on postmeta. A full list here.

To play critic for a moment. I’m not sure I like the new default theme. Not that I dislike it either. But I don’t have the oooohhhhh feeling I’ve had in previous years. Maybe thats because from the screenshots it doesn’t look much different than several themes already available. But maybe once I demo it’ll feel different.

Bash Tips: find your server’s IP address

So in an effort to completely exploit everything I do in my life I’ve decided to start posting simple bash tricks. This has the added benefit of helping me catalog these so I can forget them and always make it back.

Ever need to very quickly find the IP address of the server you are working on???

ifconfig eth1 | grep 'inet addr:' | cut -d: -f2 | awk '{print $1}'

Keep in mind that the ‘eth1′ argument may vary depending on your server platform. In most cases eth0 is your private IP and eth1 is your public. But this may not always hold true.

MySQL inspect table sizes

Discovered a database was stupid big? Need a quick break down of where all the junk is? Here’s a quick mysql example to help:

select TABLE_NAME,TABLE_ROWS,DATA_LENGTH,AVG_ROW_LENGTH FROM information_schema.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = 'wp_cdobs';
+-----------------------+------------+-------------+----------------+
| TABLE_NAME            | TABLE_ROWS | DATA_LENGTH | AVG_ROW_LENGTH |
+-----------------------+------------+-------------+----------------+
| pt_called_function    |      22428 |     2637824 |            117 |
| pt_file               |          1 |       16384 |          16384 |
| pt_function           |      25295 |     3686400 |            145 |
| wp_commentmeta        |     127659 |   137674752 |           1078 |
| wp_comments           |      35662 |   106528768 |           2987 |
| wp_links              |         24 |     2179072 |          90794 |
| wp_options            |        721 |     7880704 |          10930 |
| wp_postmeta           |     965198 |   112885760 |            116 |
| wp_posts              |     159491 |   444596224 |           2787 |
| wp_term_relationships |     232723 |    13156352 |             56 |
| wp_term_taxonomy      |        753 |       81920 |            108 |
| wp_terms              |        791 |       81920 |            103 |
| wp_usermeta           |      21783 |     1589248 |             72 |
| wp_users              |       2237 |      475136 |            212 |
| wp_w3tc_cdn_queue     |          0 |           0 |              0 |
+-----------------------+------------+-------------+----------------+

WordPress freemiums getting a little out of control

I’ve spent the last two 2 – 1/2 years working for WP Engine and Pantheon, both managed hosting solutions for WordPress. And it’s been nearly that long since I’ve actually built a site using it.

Weird I know. But I generally just do straight PHP these days and lately I’ve been playing around with Drupal some. 

This weekend I taught a short workshop in Petaluma about building sites with WordPress. Needless to say, I spent time last week building a couple of different test sites and experimenting with some newer plugins I had not used before.

Biggest takeaway? The whole “freemium” plugin marketing explosian might be getting a little out of hand. I totally get why people do it ( heck I did it for a while ),  but it’s an awful user experience to have every single plugin you install try to sell you an upgrade. 

If WordPress is going to continue to allow freemium marketing in their repository I think there should be some agreed about conventions about where those ads should be. For instance, a ‘nag’ on the settings page is ok, but on every admin page not much.

Is it me ?

Stuck in time

It happened imperceptibly. I just started listening to old 80’s and 90’s tracks. Some Pixies here, a smattering of Depeche Mode and The Cure there. Then it was deep dives into all the old albums. Doolittle, Psychocandy, Disintegration, Bleach. On Spotify I built a playlist of hundreds of songs from the before 1996. Then I found it was all I was listening to. I started wearing baggy jeans again. No Doc Martins, but the clunkiest shoes I own. I spotted a flannel at the local consignment, bought it. Combed my hair down in my eyes. Complained about corporate rock. Bought a 3-foot metal chain for my wallet. Pierced only my ear … left ear … or right, can’t remember.

Tech companies paying you to have kids … later

This kinda creeps me out a litttle: Apple and Facebook Pay for Female Employees to Freeze Eggs I’m not really sure why exactly. I suppose any “benefit” a company provides is a good thing, so I’m all for it. But it just kinda stinks of “Hey, why have kids now when you can put it off indefinitely?”. And since shareholder corporations generally act in their financial best interest, I’m curious what the angle is. Have they done the math and decided this will lead to fewer pregnancies on company time and so it’s worth the expense? Not that anyone should be having children mind you. They’re disgusting little germ traps!