Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jon Crais' Recovery Fund

Monday, March 11, 2013

Text Messaging - PC, Tablet, & Phone

Text messaging.... It's cool. It's fun. But the older I get, the more of a pain in the ass it is to hit those little touch keys on my smart phone.So imagine the euphoria I felt when I found out that I could text from my tablet or my PC. Wait? What?!? I can reply to text messages from my computer while I'm work? No need to pick up my phone and put on my readers? A dashboard with all my conversations that make me look like I can text with the precision of a 14 year old girl? Yes... it's true... but only if you have an Android phone.

Mighty Text is an Android app that you install on your phone, and then you tablet or PC. It synchronizes your phone with your other devices through the Google App Engine. That's a whole 'nother topic, but let's just say it works. And it works well!

There are many great tools and apps that make your life a little bit easier. But most of them fall in the "that's cool" category. This app? It's a game changer! You can stay connected... stay focused... and stay connected. Download it now... and oh! Did I tell you it's FREE! You'll be glad you did...

Monday, December 10, 2012

HuB Sarasota Grand Opening!

Back in the mid '90's, I worked for a company in Sarasota, Florida called Backsoft Corporation. We primarily did SAP integration with the web. This was back when the internet was just an infant and such things were new ideas. But our team leader, and one of the owners of the company, was Rich Swier, Jr. He was smart, funny, out going, humble, and about as likable as they come. And I was a know-it-all kid that learned Cold Fusion from a book. So I didn't really have too much invested. But this guy Swier made an impact on me.

Fast forward almost 20 years (really!?). Rich is a pillar in his community. It doesn't really matter where (Sarasota, FL), because no matter where he lives, he enjoys his life, raises his beautiful kids, and loves his wife Assunta. He would be an asset to any community. But he chose to stay in the city he loves. Sarasota, Florida.

As the founder of the HuB, Rich continues to, as they say, "bring it!" As nice of a guy as you will ever meet, he will fight for what is right. And this is someone you want to know! Last Saturday night, the HuB had it's grand opening at it's new 40,000 square foot facility. I know it was an amazing event! And while I'd like to continue to sing it's praises, I will let you research that by starting here:

Here's a little taste of what you missed and what YOU could be a part of...

A Little History of the HuB (from their website)

The HuB started in the Summer of 2009. The idea was simple - "Create a place where creative energy could thrive." Over the past few years that idea has evolved into a thriving economic and social engine that has supported over one-hundred entrepreneurs, launched twelve businesses and launched twelve major campaigns to support creative change in Sarasota, Florida.

HuB Founder, Rich Swier, Jr.
The Hub was founded by Rich Swier Jr. with a simple vision to create a more "dynamic city". Since starting his first business in 1994 in Sarasota, Rich has worked towards making Sarasota a city where entrepreneurs can have the best of both worlds - a beautiful place to live and start their new venture.

In a short time, the HuB has been successful in rebranding Sarasota as a "creative paradise" where entrepreneurs and members of the creative class can see a clear path to building their business.

In 2012, the HuB expanded its vision and partnered with Biter Enterprises and occupied a new building located in downtown Sarasota. With over 40,000 square feet, the HuB with the support of entrepreneur Jesse Biter has expanded it's vision to offering world-class co-working space, educational facilities and world-class incubator.

The HuB
The HuB on Facebook

Friday, October 26, 2012

Facebook Apps (Have you been hacked?)

We all love Facebook. Whether it's a guilty pleasure, or we downright shout it from the mountain tops, it has brought us together. Are we friends? That may be or may not be a stretch, but we are certainly connected. And that is what Mark Zuckerburg has always stated. That people want to be connected. Not that they want friends. So from that standpoint, he wins. Personally, it's the drug that I hate that I love. I can't seem to start my day without checking on what all you people are doing. I like most of you.... I love some of you... but the rest, I'm not sure why you're here.

So as they take over the world and intertwine their Facebook Apps with every website known to man, that opens up opportunity for the unscrupulous. Every time you click a "Login with Facebook" or "Connect with Facebook" button, you are giving certain permissions. Usually  it's just your email address so they can connect you with your account. But sometimes, they want access to your photos, friends list, post to your wall, access to other pages you may manage, etc. This is fine if there is a legitimate purpose for it and you know what that is. But if you blindly give permission, one may slip through that can spam your friends and post on your wall as you. You wonder how this happened and change your password... but that is no good. You're password isn't the issue. See, you have already given someone (an unscrupulous app) permission to access your account. They don't need your password... just the authorization you already gave. Here's an interesting article that shows where your data can end up.

So how do you fix this? First and foremost, when you connect with Facebook, you will always be presented with a pop up box that tells you what permissions are being requested. Pay attention to that. If they are NBC... it's probably OK. But if they are Jimbob's Special Version of Farmville, then you might want to reconsider. And if you have already given permission to apps or sites that are wreaking havoc? Here's how to fix that:

  1. First, go to your Facebook profile page. You you can do this by clicking on your picture in the top right blue bar where your name is.
  2. Then click on the arrow that's just right of 'Home' and go down to 'Account Settings'
Go to Account Settings in your Facebook Profile.
  1. Then you will get this page, where you will want to select 'Apps' in the right hand menu.
Go to the Apps Page
  1. Now get ready to be shocked! If you've been on Facebook for any length of time, you probably remember Flair, and Naughty Gifts, and a slew of other apps that we used to flirt, break the ice, and connect. These apps still have access to your page! Even if you haven't used them in a couple of years.
Here is a list of all the Apps and Websites that you have given access to your Facebook Page.
  1. From here, you just need to go through the list. It could be very long, or it could be quite short. But you just need to click the 'Edit' link if you want to see what permissions the specified app or website has, or just click the 'X' if you no longer wish it to have access. Checking this regularly, will ensure that you haven't given any rogue apps authorization to manage your page. And keep a safe, strong password too. However, app access is probably the bigger threat.
  2. I hope this sheds some light on a different aspect of Facebook security. Please share this and leave your comments below! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LOVE The Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp!

Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp
Iron Lantern filled with Himalayan Rock Salt
So last weekend, as we have done the past several fall seasons, we went to the North Georgia mountains to pick apples. We were a little late this fall, and the U-Pick area of the orchard was closed. Apparently there was a late freeze in February that caused a smaller crop this year. But no problem! The store was open and we loaded up on a ton of apples, some cider, donuts, and pie! (The latter were Haley's) Her friend Chelsey went with us and asked me what the difference was between these apples and the ones you get in the store. She stumped me there, and I'm not sure what it is, but eating apples bought right from the orchards are always better!

Any, to get to my point, we ended up walking through the quaint little town of Ellijay, Georgia. Filled with a Mayberry feel of yester-year, we walked through antique stores and mom and pop shops selling their wares. Clearly season for them, as there were quite a few people. We really  enjoyed our stroll on this beautiful fall day!

Then we found the Rusted Buffalo. They had the worst location in town, and had I not peaked around the corner as we got off on a little side street, we would have missed it. But they had some really cool stuff! Most of all, they had Himalayan Rock Salt lamps.I'd never heard of them, but like a seasoned tour guide, one of the members of the store family was eager to explain....
"In simple terms, when warmed by the low wattage bulb, the salt crystal lamp produces negative ions which bind with the excess positive ions (dust, allergens, etc.). It builds up the ion field by reacting with the humidity in the air. Best if left on 24/7 as it takes time for the lamp to warm and create the ions. Claims of the efficacy of Salt Lamps have a solid foundation in science. The positive effects of soothing light and color, air cleaning and negative ions have been studied for decades."

"The combination of negative ions and their effects leads to relief in Asthma, Allergies, Migraines, Sinus congestion and more. Snoring is normally relieved by the clearing of sinuses within a few days. The Therapeutic Tests made with kids having ADHD symptoms have shown that after only one week of exposure to crystal salt lamps, their symptoms subsided. After removing the lamps, the symptoms returned. Using salt lamps around the home or office can help prevent airborne bacteria from entering the body through inhalation. Office workers that have a salt lamp at their desk, often do not catch the bugs spread by co-workers when cold or flu season hits. A salt lamp placed in a hotel or motel room clears the air of that musty odor."
Ok.. I know what you're thinking. I don't really buy it either, I just think they are one of the most interesting pieces I have seen. We loved it! So... we bought it! It's a great addition to our home and will probably be getting some for gifts for family member. But shop around online. The prices vary widely.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Coldfusion Bad Word Filter... Say what!?!

I'm working on a Coldfusion application for the iPhone right now that allows a user to upload their own comments about a parking violation. This, of course, could cause some heated feelings. So to be safe, I put in place a filter that will not allow explicit or "bad" words. So before I get into how I did this, why don't you just play with it.... and have some fun! Get dirty... really dirty. Nothing you type ever leaves the browser, so don't worry, only you will know what you typed...

I did this by creating a MySQL database table of offensive words. I found the list that Google uses and started with that. Who knew that there was over 450 combination of words!? You can download the SQL file here to create your own database.

Then I created a Coldfusion component CFC that I initialize and store as an application variable. This let's the list of bad words remain in memory so I don't have to hit the database every time I want to use it. This is important for performance reasons. You don't want to have to loop through a database query of 450+ records each time you want to filter user text input.

And here's the Coldfusion code for the CFC...

Then I created the the form that you see above...

And finally, when you hit the "Clean it up!' button, this makes a jQuery ajax call to a page that does the processing. Since this is asynchronous, it appears to be magic to the user. How did they know??? The receiving ajax page is simple... here's the Coldfusion code for it:

So there you have it. I added a flag to my function to either display random characters or asterisks, but this is really just for show. The database table has a column with random characters, the same string length as the word it is replacing. I generated this using the java utils collection:

Ahhh yes! One last VERY important note. The query needs to be sorted by the character length of the words in your database. Why? Because if you have the word "homerun" for example, and "home" comes before the complete word "homerun", then you will get "****run", and the entered word "homerun" will no longer exist. So you want to check for "homerun" (asshole), before you check for "home" (ass). Be sure to order your query by column length.

That's about it. If you have any questions or would like some help with the code, leave a comment!

Friday, October 5, 2012


I've invited a lot of people to come and take a look at my blog. You may wonder what it's all about? And my answer is that is that it's about code, food, and love. My three passions! I work as a programmer and plan to post code that might help others, but I'm a real foodie at heart! I like great restaurants, cooking good food at home, and generally interested in about anything on the subject.

Love? Well that's an easy one. I have many... but most importantly, my daughter and fiance (and my dog Anna). They are the reason I get up in the morning. They have seen me high and low and still love me. So with that, I can't lose! But I love many other things too... and if you stay tuned, you will find out what they are.

Oh yes.. in the left menu, above the picture of yours truly, are links for you to connect to me on my various social networks. Please do. And also, I encourage you to comment on the articles I post. Let's engage...

PS. I'm always looking for guest bloggers to write an article to post here. Obviously it needs to be on topic, but if you're interested, please let me know.