Apache-style Wildcard Hostname Rewrite Rules in IIS (finally)

posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in web development
Something I've wanted to do for a long time is to use wildcard site binding in IIS, which has only limited support for it. True, you can use a blank hostname in a site's IIS config, and it will respond to all requests at that IP address. But if you have more than one site you want to set up this way, you're out of luck unless you buy extra IP addresses and use a blank host header for each IP. Or so I thought. I finally found a way to do it!


Single-Page App That Behaves Like a Multi-page App

posted Monday, October 7, 2013 in web development, javascript
Most dynamic websites use server-side includes so that the layout and common elements don't have to be repeated on every page.
Something like:


Logical Fallacies Cheat Sheet

posted Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in philosophy

Critical reasoning is the most important skill an individual can master. Logic is the foundation of critical thinking. Logical fallacies are the most commonly found errors in debate. It behooves us, therefore, to be intimately familiar with the forms of logical fallacy so that our faculties are better equipped to properly evaluate logical assertions, both in our own critical thinking and in debate with others.

Here is a quick reference guide (cheat sheet) of logical fallacies


5 Minute Guide to HTML, CSS and Jquery

posted Friday, May 10, 2013 in web development, web design, javascript

So you want to be a front-end developer, eh? HTML5, CSS3, javascript, ajax, canvas, websockets, UX, TDD, MVC frameworks like Angular/Ember/Backbone/etc, APIs of every stripe and color imaginable... Being a "webmaster" isn't as easy as it used to be in "the before time, the long long ago" of the internet (15 years ago). Yet even though there's a ton of stuff to learn, a lot of the basics haven't changed.

If you're a tech person, this is probably all kid's stuff. Maybe you're very young and recently started programming, or maybe you're self-employed or a non-tech cofounder of a startup or small business who just wants to dip your toe into the tech side (a very smart thing). Either way the stuff isn't too hard to learn, and there's a lot of it, so mastering what you need to get an MVP (minimum viable product) going as quickly as possible is very important.

You've come to the right place. Let's dive right in.


Additional 3GB free space at Dropbox

posted Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in web tools, technology
This isn't exactly news; I just noticed it. Dropbox is again offering additional free space as a promotion...


Parsing Markdown in Under 100 Lines of Javascript

posted Monday, May 6, 2013 in web development, javascript

HTML is verbose. Plaintext is unwieldy. WYSIWYG is inconsistent. Markdown to the rescue!

Oh wait, my blog runs on a custom script I wrote myself. Great, that means I can implement any feature I want with it. Crap, that means I have to implement any feature I want with it.


Free File Upload Component for Classic ASP

posted Thursday, April 25, 2013 in web development, classic asp
If anyone has any Classic ASP / vbscript websites still hanging around, I ran across this file upload script that replaces the need for a COM
component. It's totally free, requires no installation/configuration on the server, other than just including the right code in your ASP files.


I Really Want to Like Mozilla Persona

posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013 in web development, predict the future
I desperately want to like Persona, the decentralized login system created by Mozilla, but it needs to evolve. It's such an awesome and long-overdue concept: who wouldn't want a relatively secure way to use one login/password for all their web services?
If it became popular enough, it could even put password managers out of business.


Hidden HTTPS: Get Browsers to Trust Self-Signed Certificates

posted Friday, April 19, 2013 in web development, technology

When you go to a website and the little padlock icon appears next to the URL, that shows two things: That you are interacting with the website over an encrypted connection, and that the website really is who it says it is. This dual-purpose nature of the HTTPS protocol (SSL or TLS) is why it has become a standard: it protects you in both ways. But it presents a huge gap in the way the internet can be used, and it's the browsers' fault (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, etc). Practically all browsers treat this issue the same way, and it's the wrong way.

Sometimes, always, it's desirable to allow encryption without any identity guarantee. Of course, if a website wants to provide both, it can, and it should even be afforded special notice for being extra-secure. You want your bank and certain other websites to be as secure as possible, after all. However, little-guy web servers shouldn't be punished for wanting to protect the user by using encryption even if they can't or won't guarantee their identity (for various reasons), which is exactly what happens in all major browsers:


What Is It With Banks

posted Friday, June 15, 2012 in rants and raves

You would think that the financial service industry, of all industries, would not be the last one to keep up with technology, but it is. They certainly are adept at making new financial instruments, like credit-default swaps (CDS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO), even if it causes the laxest lending standards in American history - and the highest foreclosure rate as a result.

Yet every time I deal with a bank, I am flabbergasted as to its total lack of technological aptitude. I'm reminded of my grandmother trying to use a web browser. It's like the ones that work for Wall Street and the ones that work for Main Street are of completely different generations.


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