Credit Reporting

Just spent an hour trying to get [a fraudulent site (,,, and thousands of others)]( “BBB rating of”) to stop charging my credit card. They have been billing me since September of last year and despite disputing the charges before, they keep doing a recurring charge. They wanted the following in order for me to “cancel” my account:

– my name
– the credit card number charged
– my birth date
– the last four digits of my social security number
– e-mail address
– my full name
– my mother’s maiden name

Notice how all of this information is just what they need to do a complete identity theft?Continue reading about dealing with credit reports after the jump.

Carrying a camera

It’s been a while, but now that I’m almost moved in to the new place, I think it’s high time I start photographing again. Mostly this means carrying around the camera, even if I haven’t gotten used to pressing the shutter button again.

Recently, “the camera” means my trusty Leica and [the original lens I purchased with it]( “The crack cocaine of the Leica World. I have five M-mount lenses, but this is still my favorite. Maybe because I’m used to the focal length; maybe it’s because it is silver.”).

Marie at the Food Court
Marie at the Mall
Stonestown Mall, San Francisco, California

Leica M8, Cosina-Voigtländer NOKTON 35mm F1.2 Aspherical
1/60sec, iso 160, 35mm (47mm)

Continue reading about shooting a digital Leica after the jump.

Love letter to my Representative


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Pelosi,

I [read this in a political blog today]( “Who’s the Man?—Balloon Juice”):

> Congressional Democrats took aim Thursday at conservative Republicans who oppose raising the federal debt ceiling, with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) charging that a top GOP negotiator, Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), “shouldn’t even be at the table” in crucial White House talks on the issue.

The blogger opined:

> Can you imagine Steny Hoyer even thinking about pulling this shit on Nancy Smash? If he did it in a dream, he’d wake up and apologize.

I had to let out a chuckle. (Nancy Smash is **you.** It’s a nickname based on [a photo of you holding a gavel when you bright the ACA bill to the Capitol](×7972612 “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi carries the gavel when Medicare passed-pics—Democratic Underground”).)

I’m young, healthy, and with a great paying job, but I have friends who have already been impacted (positively) by “Obamacare” so I’m so proud of what you and the others in Congress have achieved with [ACA]( “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—Wikipedia”). It is a landmark legislation and accomplishment when you were Speaker. In a generation, your opponents on the other side of the aisle will campaign on **preserving** it.

Politically, I’m pretty conservative—which means I’m probably to the left of most of your colleagues in the Democratic Party. But I can’t tell you how happy I was when I realized I’d be voting for you in 2008 — that you were my representative. And again in 2010, though under less enjoyable circumstances.

I [work in technology]( “About Us—Automattic”) building [free software]( “WordPress”) that [powers 12% of sites on the internet]( “Usage of CMS for websites—Web Technology Surveys”) and therefore I do everything electronically, but I’ve been told that if I write a letter to you (moreso if it is handwritten), that you might actually read it. I don’t want to request anything except to say, keep fighting the good fight…

and **SMASH!** :-)

Terry Chay
A citizen of your District since 2008


I wrote this article to celebrate [National Bike to Work Day]( “May is National Bike Month—League of American Bicyclists”). Please note below that [PUBLIC has a sale on that expires today]( “Free Bike Shipping or $125 Off Merchandise with Bike Purchase to Celebrate May 16-20 Bike to Work Week—PUBLIC Blog”).

For the last two years, I’ve lived about a block away from South Park. Earlier this year, I snapped a photo at a new bicycle store that had popped up late last year:
South Park, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Apple iPhone 4
1/15 sec @ ƒ2.8, iso 100, 3.85mm (37mm)

The exterior is both striking and very àpropos of this hotbed of Web 2.0:

Outside public bikes
Outside PUBLIC bikes
South Park, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
17 exposures (auto mode), iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

These display bikes are cleverly locked to the stand. They are also all test-rideable.

Model showroom
Model showroom
PUBLIC Bikes, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
1/400sec @ ƒ4, iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

There is also a basket of flyers for passerby too shy to come in to the store. From the catalog flyer, I learned that the dog, Simone, is not for sale. :-( The day we came inside, Simone wasn’t in but Dawn’s dog, Riley, was subbing for her. He’s not for sale either. :-(

PUBLIC Bikes, South of Market, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-P2, Lumix G 20mm 1.7 ASPH
1/250sec @ ƒ3.5, iso 200, 20mm (40mm)

That would have been the end of things had we not recently decided to move to the Richmond district on the other side of the city. The move necessitates commuting and running errands by bicycle, and Marie had no bicycle she could confidently ride and safely lock. We spent days looking at and test-riding bicycles around the city. And, for some reason, we kept coming back to [PUBLIC bikes](

The first time we stopped by, a person on his way out tried to convince her to try one of the bicycles—she didn’t have the time that time. (We would later find out that he was [the founder of the company]( “Rob Forbes. He also founded Design Within Reach”).)

Continue reading about buying a PUBLIC bike after the jump.

The Habit Course

Notes from the Webinar. 2011-05-16. Leo Babauta with Louis Haus(?). Marie was listening to it, so I decided to take some notes to practice using [QuickCursor](, [MacVim](, and [MultiMarkdown](

The Habit Course: Create New Habits For Life

Reasons trouble having habits:
– Losing Motivation: 40%
– Life Gets In the Way: 29%
– Too Difficult to stay on track 22%

Brief Story

Started Zen Habits 1 year after he started to do habits. Tried to quit smoking (7 times fail). Finished running.

Other things
– wake earlier
– lost weight
– get rid of clutter

Then after that started writing ebooks and other blogs. Which came from creating habits.

Creating Good Habits Changed My Life Forever. Replicate habit success.

Continue reading my notes after the jump.

PHP Community Conference Closing Keynote

I submitted a couple talks for [PHP Community Conference]( last month, of which one was accepted.

Unfortunately, it was the one I hadn’t prepared at all. The title was “living without your linemen” and was supposed to be about cloud services. A bit later, they asked if I could make it the closing keynote for the conference. This allowed me to write it from scratch and actually finish the talk (which I did about 30 minutes before I had to present it).

I’m told that they’ll eventually have a video archive of the talk at [](, but in the meantime, I audio-recorded it and synced it to the slides on slideshare. (Apologies for the sound quality being poor, I recorded it from my Mac Book Air).

Continue reading about PHP Community Conference after the jump.

Why Conde Nast hates me

Yesterday, Conde Nast finally caved in and is selling iPad subscriptions to the New Yorker at a reasonable price. Not only that, but [if you get the print one, you can supposedly get the digital and iPad version for free]( “New Yorker subscription to Print + Digital Access”).

The New Yorker

I say supposedly because it doesn’t work for me. Conde Nast hates me because I’ve been a loyal subscriber for six years now.

Continue reading about Conde Nast’s first iPad subscription offering after the jump.

In-n-Out layover (and mouseovers)

My classmate, Frank Ling, of Groks Science fame, had a couple hours layover in San Francisco on his return home to the radioactive wasteland.

Marie and I stopped by SFO to pick him up for some linner—why not In-N-Out Burger? “A burger sounds good.” And off we went.

Quality you can taste
Quality you can taste
In-N-Out Burger, Millbrae, California

Olympus E-P2, Voigtlander 25mm F0.95

Continue reading about linner with Frank (and my new lens) after the jump.

My beef with Quora

Last year back when Quora was beta, someone pointed this Quora entry out. I explained why this guy was mistaken and let it lie. But, since a friend sent it to me recently, I guess people are actually using Quora (or something) and this deserves a response

The page being discussed is part of a larger article I wrote (and never finished) here. In the page linked, there are almost none of my opinions, but rather a summary of what was provided by Haiping during a briefing at Facebook. The outline of the page is as follows:

  • PHP has some inherent advantages as a programming language for web development.
  • PHP has some disadvantages (for Facebook). The biggest are:
    1. High CPU
    2. High Memory usage
    3. PHP components are not easy to integrate from outside
    4. Extensions writing is not the same as PHP coding
  • There were multiple attempts at Facebook to migrate from PHP but they failed: Mainly because an re-architecture team cannot keep up with the new code that is being written by the rest of Facebook—mostly writing new PHP code. The year before the presentation alone had 4 attempts at internal migrations
  • Improving the PHP core was done at Facebook and, in fact, received a lot of mileage, but this was not felt to be sustainable vs. HipHop solution.

Continue reading about my beef with Quora after the jump


I remember reading about this sort of site a while back, but I never realized how convenient and cool it is until I downloaded it from the AppStore.

Swackett basically gives you an idea of if you should be wearing a sweater, jacket, or coat (and sunglasses or a hat). In the drastic inconsistency of San Francisco weather, that means yesterday it was suggesting a jacket, and today, it says I should be dressed as a trekkie:

swackett® :: San Francisco :: might I need a sweater, jacket or coat?

Nothing fancy, just usable. You don’t have to even register unless you want to manage multiple locations.

This would make a great iPhone/iPad app also. Download swackett from the Mac AppStore