Inside Indiana University’s $40 million Data Center

If Bloomington gets hit by a nuclear strike, Oncourse will still be running after the fallout clears. At least, that was the impression I got when I toured the IU Data Center earlier this week. Located on the UITS campus at 10th St and the 45/46 bypass, IU’s IT infrastructure hub is located in a beige, single-story facility with only a single set of windows on the whole building. The subdued appearance of the building hides the fact that it has 18-inch thick reinforced concrete walls and can withstand a hit from an F5 tornado. And once you go past the card-access front door, there’s some very impressive IT and network engineering to be seen inside.

Continue reading

Breaking – Mt. Gox is dead, long live Mt. Gox

I’ve been a proponent of Bitcoin for a while now – I think that the currency is still in its infancy and certainly has its risks, but long term will be hailed as a very important innovation. Unfortunately, it looks like that road is going to be long and filled with plenty of big potholes, as the breaking story of Mt. Gox’s downfall, as well as CEO Mark Karpeles’ own demise, shows. But tonight, we may have received the final chapter of Mt. Gox’s last saga, courtesy of a Bitcoin blogger known as “The Two-Bit Idiot”. He posted a chillingly titled entry earlier today titled “Bitcoin’s Apocalyptic Moment: Mt. Gox may have lost 750,000 bitcoins”, referencing a leaked document obtained from “an otherwise reliable source.” 750,000 BTC equals about $375 million at today’s exchange rate.

Continue reading

beautiful fiber optics

Venturing further down the Comcast Netflix rabbit hole

After a few days of contemplation, I’ve come up with a few topics to cover that will hopefully make a worthy follow up to my last article. The response that I’ve gotten has been completely unprecedented. The article got over 30,000 hits, over 4,000 shares on Facebook, and I’ve received countless e-mails and messages over social media offering suggestions, support, and critique. I say unprecedented because this blog usually gets a trickle of a few hits a day. I was invited to speak on a radio station in San Francisco as well as a TV station in Seattle. It seems that people nationwide are quite serious about their Netflix.

Continue reading

Comcast is definitely throttling Netflix, and it’s infuriating

First, let’s talk about the worst company in America

Comcast is one of the most hated companies in America, yet inexplicably, also one of the most successful. Two nationwide surveys done by the American Customer Satisfaction Index in 2004 and 2007 showed that “Comcast had the worst customer satisfaction rating of any company or government agency in the country, including the Internal Revenue Service.” Wow, just let that sink in for a second. People would rather get audited by the IRS than call up Comcast to deal with a faulty cable modem. Also, they are consistently given terrible ratings by every consumer advocate organization across the board.

Continue reading

Eclipse System.out.println Java function

Eclipse System.out.println shortcut for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Ever since I wrote a post detailing a few important keyboard shortcuts in Eclipse last summer, I’ve been getting a surprising amount of search engine traffic all looking for one shortcut in particular: System.out.println(). Since this is such an important shortcut to know for debugging or writing Java in general, I decided to break it out into its own post.

Continue reading


FileZilla – Easily edit files on a remote server with your favorite local editor

FileZilla is a great free and open source FTP client. As far as standalone FTP clients go, I’d be willing to bet that it’s the most widely used client of it’s type. Without the data to back that up, I’d only assume it based on how many times I’ve seen it used by universities, companies, and freelance developers.

While being relatively straightforward, FileZilla is pretty feature rich, even including the ability to edit files remotely using your favorite local, GUI text editor. That’s what I’ll show in this article.

Continue reading

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 11.39.45 PM

Learn the one weird CSS trick that THEY don’t want you to know about!

Web Developers HATE him! Code maintainers CAN’T STAND him!

In all seriousness though, I’ve just stumbled across a great CSS hack that I couldn’t help but share. I was working on a WordPress site for a client, and I had almost gotten everything lined up perfectly, when suddenly I ran into a snag. For whatever reason, a div was getting a strange padding value hardcoded onto it somewhere along the line, using inline CSS. Now in my mind, inline CSS is the end all be all of CSS, so there was no way to get around this strange issue without delving into some custom Javascript or finding the core issue in the theme or WordPress itself. There’s nothing that can override inline CSS code, right?

Continue reading

Eclipse keyboard shortcuts – a few that every developer should know

Eclipse is one of the most popular and widely-used IDEs in the world. I think I could safely assume that any software shop that does any Java development has at least one developer working in Eclipse. The amount of functionality that has been baked into this massive software suite over the years is astounding, and with the edition of plugins, the sky is the limit for what you can do with it. While it has its critics, and can churn slowly on even the fastest PCs, this bloated development environment is here to stay in the software industry.

Continue reading

Don Mattrick

Xbox one, take two – How consumers forced Microsoft’s next-gen hand

I’ve been playing video games for almost 17 years now, ever since my uncle bought me the newest high-tech gadget of 1996, the Nintendo 64, and introduced me to the Japanese-dominated video game world of the 1990′s. Things have obviously changed a lot since then, but one constant has been the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, which is held on an annual basis in Los Angeles. E3 is the biggest video game trade show in the world, where developers show off their upcoming games, and console makers, such as Microsoft, preview their upcoming hardware. Following E3 is one of the nerdiest rituals I adhere to, and in a year where all of the “Big Three” (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony) are fully unveiling their next-gen console lineup, it’s almost like Christmas has come early. But while E3 can be a huge boon to the companies which make up the multi-billion dollar gaming industry, things can also go terribly wrong, as demonstrated by Microsoft.

Continue reading