Craigslist Independent Contractor Jobs and Employee Status

Recently, I saw an ad on Craigslist that described a job, and stated that they would not accept telecommuters, all work was on-site, and "independent contractor." This ad might have been illegal, because there are laws about what defines an independent contractor and what defines an employee. Small businesses that misclassify workers can get an unfriendly visit from the tax man.

Telephone Number Normalizers: fix phone numbers into a common format

It's common to get a list of names and phone numbers in a spreadsheet or from the web, and the formatting varies. In the US, people don't use a standard formatting consistently. Lately, they have taken to making phone numbers look like domain names or ip addresses, example: 415.555.1212. This function normalizes phone numbers to look like this: 213-555-1212 x1234. The code's structured so multiple regexes are used to perform the matching, allowing for easier modification of the code. (This code was written in Excel, but should work in any VBA application.)

OMFG - the future of software, in Javascript, Xopus

Xopus is an XML editor, written in Javascript and HTML5. It's not just JS, but it's licensed software for your desktop. I'm blown away. This is Google Docs, Angry Birds, Yahoo Pipes level blown away. Check it out.

PHP Runs an Old Version of PCRE Causing Problems with Drupal and MediaWiki

This seems to happen a lot - and it took several searches and many pages of reading to find the solution. This page will try to even the odds a little more.

Windows Remote Desktop on Windows 7, Speeding Up Slow Performance

If Windows 7 seems much slower, try changing the theme. Click the Start Menu, then type "theme". The option to change the theme should appear. Click on it.

Undermining the Cache (Sharepoint?)

I was on the Ralphs website, and found some image URLs that looked like this:

SSL Setup Tips

A short list of things to make purchasing an SSL cert easier.

Perl Watchdog Script for Apache

This is a rough watchdog script to restart apache on the local machine when the website gets slow. If a GET to the url fails, or takes longer than 60 seconds, the local web server is restarted.


Soapmaking's been popular with the gourmet soap folks, but I was totally unaware.

10 Passe Graphic Design Gimmicks

10. Drop shadows.

9. Crescent swoosh.

8. Gradient background.

7. Rounded corners.

6. 8-bit video game pixel nostalgia.

5. Glassy reflection on buttons.

Blu-Ray Market Share

Does BluRay matter yet? Beats me. I'm always paying attention to this because I need to know when to buy BluRay equipment for work.

Lithium Coin Battery Sizes Explained

The common computer battery is a CR2032. The C means lithium. The 20 means 20mm diameter, and 32 means 3.2mm thick.

Jennifer Lynn Aaker on Social Media (good talk)

This is a good 10 minute presentation about how to use social media. I got it from a podcast I listen to.

Takeaway points:


Having failed at using Unity, I decided to try the Gnome Shell.

Ugh. It's just as bad. And I just found out it's the future of Gnome.

Conclusion is that I've installed KDE, then ended up loading xubuntu on top of that. So it starts up with kdm, and logs me into xfce4. The themes are simple, and the design (or lack of) is restrained. They're not trying to copy Apple, or Microsoft. It looks like a cross between Mac OS 9 and Windows XP, without the obnoxious colors and toned-down gradients.

May 1st

Tomorrow is May Day! In Los Angeles, this means an annual Los Angeles May Day march for immigrant worker rights.

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