March 6-11, 2015

Friday night we watched North Face, the based-on-a-true-story German movie about the race to be the first to climb the north face of the Eiger. The short blurbs I had read did not prepare me for just how dire things got. It was suspenseful and great and sad, and M spent the rest of the evening reading Wikipedia articles about mountaineering in the Swiss Alps.

Saturday we attended a friend’s baby shower, which was baby showery, but with excellent brunch foods because our friends J & V are over-the-top amazing when it comes to hosting massive food-related events at their house.

Saturday evening we went to see What We Do In The Shadows, the New Zealand vampire mockumentary from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. It was OK. I don’t remember all that much about their previous film Eagle Vs Shark, which I suspect means that it was also OK. I loved Flight of the Conchords, but it becomes clearer & clearer that Jemaine without Bret is a less humorous entity. 

Monday night I stopped by the new restaurant & bar at the new 21c Hotel downtown. The hotel itself, and its accompanying contemporary art museum, aren’t open yet, but the restaurant & bar are. The space is absolutely gorgeous, with interesting art all over the place.

It was only their second night, so I won’t go into detail, particularly since I only had a couple of cocktails and a couple of dishes. The french fries with the burger were phenomenal – easily the best in town. Like scaled-up McDonald’s fries. The burger is one of those silly tall double-patty jobs, and it just tasted like underseasoned ground beef. There are plenty of other things on the menu, though, so I’m sure I’ll be back.

This week has been pretty rough, work-wise. We’re in the thicket of making offers and waiting for students to accept, and there have been a number of declines this week, which is always a bummer. By the time someone gets to the offer stage with us, we’ve interviewed them three times, and we’re pretty darn convinced that they would do well with us (and that they would enjoy the work they’d be doing). So while I don’t take declines personally, it’s still a drag.

OK I kind of take them personally when the person waits until the very instant of their deadline (or even later) to decline. I’m sure that their mental image of how we work involves us simultaneously offering to dozens of people, and building our teams from those who accept.

That’s not how it works, though. Every offer is a potential binding contract, and we have a finite number of slots, so we have to wait until one offer is declined before we can proceed with another. And because we’re an internship, we basically have to get all of this done in a fairly narrow window during the first quarter of the year.

So every day that someone stalls unnecessarily before declining is actually pretty painful. As I said, I’m sure they don’t realize this, but still.

Today I emailed a student to see if they were still available to interview, and they said that they weren’t, but some of their classmates were still looking, and they offered to forward my note to their classmates. This is what we need more of.

Today involved a huge discussion on my Facebook page about copyright. It didn’t need to go on for as long as it did (which is true of any Facebook discussion longer than 25 comments), and it mostly just cemented my opinion that the term of copyright should be recalibrated to that of patents, i.e. 20 years. If you want more details, go look at my Facebook page, I guess.

As I write this I’m also battling a DDoS attack on one of the WXDU servers. It’s not even one of the boxes that would be in the public eye – it’s a host that has a DJ-only music database on it. It doesn’t make any sense for someone to DDoS it and not, say, our actual public website. 

I don’t have a ton of experience in dealing with such attacks. This one takes the form of a flood of http requests to the IP address of the host, but requesting other random site URLs. So far I have blocked close to 2000 IP addresses. I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I’m ready to try to script & automate the process – I mean, I have the blocking automated, but I’m sanity-checking the list of IPs that I block manually, because there’s some legitimate traffic in there as well.

If it goes on for significantly longer, I’ll write something that can differentiate between legitimate traffic and this bogus stuff, and just auto-block all of it.

So yeah, that’s my week in a nutshell: pointless battles against undeserved frustrating crap. 

March 6-11, 2015

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