Geof F. Morris

15-Apr-2014

I hate school I hate school I hate school I hate school I hate school. May 2nd cannot get here fast enough. I will spend the summer as an auto-didact and will return refreshed for the fall.

No Future Support for Junk Mail Scripting

My Lion-ready scripts for routing junk mail to the FTC’s site still work, but I have a high crash rate when using Mail Act-On 3.x to initiate that script.  The crash logs say that MAO is to blame for the crash, and perhaps that is so.  But it also feels like I’m screaming into the void here with the spam reporting, and so I will no longer be updating these scripts.  They are provided as-is from the July 2011 release.

You are free to use them as you see fit, and if you want to update, upgrade, and publish them, that’s great!  All I ask is that you link to at least one of the posts here.  People do land here on Google, and so I’d like to keep that chain unbroken.  When I see incoming link traffic, I’ll make a link to your site so people know that there is indeed a future for them; you may also let me know via email.  It’s been a good run.  I originally released this script in 2007.

If you’re curious, all I’m doing is culling ham out of the spam folder using Fastmail’s Web interface, and I’m filing all known-bad messages in that ConfirmedJunk folder that I mentioned in the previous posts.  Those are simple commands for a batch of messages.  I really wish that I had a way to easily pull ham out of the Fastmail junk folder without using the Web interface, but they’re seemingly not set up for that.  It doesn’t take that long to fire up Fastmail in a browser, so I’m just dealing with it.

Geof F. Morris

13-Apr-2014

Who knew that my white screens weren’t hardware-induced but rather an artifact of never wiping and reinstalling a machine that I’d been carrying over for six or seven years, from my first mini until now?! I’ve been down six months because I was convinced that it was hardware.

Finale of the Tip Jar Experiment

Well, I’m done with the tip jar experiment, and the changes that I made in Round 2 really didn’t matter very much.  I got a very mixed result.  In the first round, tip jar size and the time of day dominated the effects.  In making each day an experimental run, I controlled for that some, but the response I got was that size was statistically significant — but only after dropping out insignificant terms from the model, and the result was 180 degrees off of the previous result: smaller was now better.

There was no statistical significance to seeding or opacity, meaning that my main hypothesis is thoroughly shattered.  Oh well, that’s why you run experiments!  That there was no significance for either in 16 experimental runs tells me that it doesn’t matter.

One of the baristas told me on the first or second day that she didn’t think that I’d get good results given that “some baristas just get more tips than others”.  Even that didn’t necessarily hold true, as one barista got 3x the response today as she did a day earlier this week, and she always works opening shifts at that store.

What this tells me is that there are nuisance factors at play — things that you can’t control for.  The key nuisance factor is the amount of traffic the store does.  I could control for this by indexing the tips to that day’s sales.  Does that give me a perfect answer?  No.  Does that give me a better answer?  Yes.  However, I decided that situation was out of my control and that information was beyond what I could expect to be given.

Another nuisance factors is indeed what my friend suggested: some baristas just get more tips than others, for whatever reasons.  Now you could do some observations and see why that is, but you can also block for operators and say, “We’ll have Geof do all of these variations on his shifts, run the analysis, and see what turns up.”  Frankly, what may work for one barista may not for another one, but it could also be that isolating by blocking would help to reduce that noise factor.  Also, baristas tend to work the same shifts over time, so you’d be going back toward the time-of-day factor that I controlled for with this second run.

I really did think that I’d get conclusive results on this, but I estimated the main effects yesterday and realized that the small-jar days had three of the four highest responses; when I got a low response for the larger jar yesterday, I knew how this would come out.  It’s a little disappointing, because I’d like to be able to go back to the women and say, “Here’s your answer!”  I can’t.

Link

“I look at this as an investment. When you ask me why I do this … let me ask you something. Who’s your favorite sports team? Most favorite. Who do you live and die with? What if I told you that if you gave me $10,000 right now I could guarantee you they’d be better? That if they were usually bad that they’d have a winning season? Or if they were just a game shy of going to a championship that they’d get there next season?”

SBNation’s Steven Godfrey met with some SEC bag men to talk about the bag man game.  My response, like many Southerners, is, “Yeah, and?”

Heartbleed Hell

Like a lot of people, I’ve been affected by the Heartbleed bug.  Most frustrating to me is that I got to spend a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon futzing about with SSL certificates to make sure that I wasn’t vulnerable to the attack.

I’m taking a little free time on Friday afternoon to do an audit of my password data using 1Password, which I am on the record as using and really liking.  After de-duplicating a bunch of items where I had a stored password and a stored login for an account, I still have 600+ login items.  I’ve been doing a very good job of using good, hard passwords that are unique to sites.  A good password manager is worth having, even if you’re like my dad and just keep it in an encrypted Excel spreadsheet.

But my main frustration right now are the sites that won’t let you change your password unless you use the lost-password function.  How dumb do you have to be as a developer to miss that step?  This is not fucking rocket surgery.

Geof F. Morris

10-Apr-2014

I want on Twitter right now like I haven’t wanted to be on there before.  It’s a function of needing some distraction and being disconnected from my friends.  If it were late March, I’d break down, but I’m just nine more days away.  I can do it.  I haven’t even taken leave of feast Sundays.

No one told me that there’d linear algebra.

I mean, when I took MA 244, Clinton was President and few people outside of wonky Republicans, baseball fans, and Texans knew who the hell George W. Bush was. We all thought that Dick Cheney was done in Washington. Chads didn’t hang. This blog was still 15 months in the future.

Yet here I am in April 2014 trying to remember matrix notation for a Design of Experiments class. FUCKBEANS. I hate linear algebra.