Archive for the 'Business' Category


Determining Spam on Twitter

First written on Twitter:

@docsmooth: Signs of twitspam: bio is tinyurl; <100 updates, >200 following/ers;all updates “from twitfeed”, inc. link; no conversation. Check yourself!

I just went through my followers list on and thought I’d write a bit deeper on this subject.

Ways to determine a twitter spammer – higher scores are more likely spammers:

  • Bio link is tinyurl or or other URL shortener. There is *never* a reason to put this in your URL link on Twitter, unless you’re hiding the destination. +10 pts
  • you have more than 200 “friends” and less than 100 updates. +2 pts
  • you have a follower/following ratio below. .5 +2pts
  • Every single tweet has a link. +5 pts
  • Every single tweet is from TwitFeed. +5 pts
  • More than 2 tweets are from an unregistered API app. +8 pts
  • You have never @replied anyone. +1 pts

I generally block anyone above a “9″ score on this scale.

(cross-posted from my personal blog as well)


Upgraded WordPress

Upgrading software – always required to keep things secure. Windows, WordPress, Mac OSx, Linux, Office, Firefox, etc. So I just finished upgrading again. Hopefully I’ll be able to be better about this, now that WordPress does the automatic upgrades now.

I’ve been doing the automatic upgrades on one of my other sites since they came out. They’re easy, fast, and even more painless than the 3-step upgrade that works so well. So now, I should be able to keep TNS much further away from the “cobbler’s kids” syndrome so many small company’s systems suffer with.


IT by Voodoo

aka: Technology by Voodoo, Information Technology by Voodoo, Troubleshooting by Voodoo, Administration by Voodoo, Troubleshooting by Faith, etc.

The act of “trusting” that a computer will do something every time the same way, only because it did the last 2 times you tried it.

The alternative is to actually learn what the computer is doing, so that you can know it will do the same thing each time, because you’ve controlled all of the appropriate parameters.

Usage: “This sysadmin is performing IT by Voodoo – he just asked if I have faith that my file copy will work.”

Now that it’s defined, can we all stop doing it?  There’s enough resources on the internet to figure out how anything works down to the API call at least, and in some cases down to the processor registers, if you care to go that far.


DEC 2008 – Day 3 recap

Dean Wells started out Day 3 of DEC 2008 with a recap of the Dean and Joe show. He finished up the demo of “how exactly the FSMO role works” which was amazingly detailed and deep. He also explained more about AdminSDHolder and showed off several of Joe Richard’s tools. They also showed some info about how to read deep into the DIT itself that I found really interesting. Yes, I’ve now dumped my test network’s AD database and read it with their tools.

Don Jones had the next session, but I had to skip out on it to prepare for my session. I did hear some great feedback, but was disappointed, since his was one of the sessions I was most looking forward to prior to the conference start.

I spoke at 11am about how to integrate Linux/Unix systems with Active Directory. Download the deck here. It was a great experience, and the bit of feedback I’ve heard so far has been really positive.  It sounds like several attendees have moved their integration projects forward with information I presented, so I think it was successful.

After lunch, the Microsoft Windows and Active Directory product teams had a chalk talk about what’s next with AD where they solicited a LOT of suggestions from the attendees.  I was surprised by the number of people who are using “Prune and Graft” techniques for domain migrations.  Microsoft was very clear, however: do not EVER prune and graft domains.

And I’ll leave it at that.  In all, in was a great experience, and I learned so much.  I’m going to go back again!


DEC 2008 – Day 1 recap

I spent a large portion of this week at DEC 2008. I mentioned previously that I’d be presenting as well. Now that I’ve had a couple of days back to catch up with work and home, I wanted to recap the amazing experience, and share a few bits of info that I learned as well.

Sunday March 2nd was only registration and the reception for me. I just used the brief time downtown to meet with the Centrify and Likewise teams who worked so hard over the previous month to help me prepare my presentation for Wednesday. I met a bunch of great new contacts as well – not a conversation passed that I didn’t learn something new.

Monday the 3rd included Gil Kirkpatrick’s discussion on AD administrators vs. software developers, Jerry Camel and Brad Turner’s overview of proper architecture for ILM “2″, how Microsoft is using Windows Server 2008 (Brian Puhl), an amazingly indepth look into AD with Dean Wells and Joe Richards, and a discussion about how Centrify DirectControl works (in Centrify’s vendor track).

Gil Kirkpatrick covered things like mistakes that developers often make because they’re taught how to write well-constructed SQL queries, but not well-constructed LDAP queries. He discussed at great length 11 tips to help ensure that directory-integrated software performs as it should, without killing domain controller performance. The most interesting part, however, was his suggestions on how to talk with software developers so that both halves of the IT team can create a well-rounded product.

After lunch, Brian Puhl with Microsoft IT spoke at length about the rollout of Windows Server 2008 within Microsoft. He talked about the problems they encountered running a release candidate OS, and how their rollout process works, from the test domain to the “pre-production” forest of 5000 real users, to the “real” production forest. That they’re able to run in 2008 Forest mode already is impressive to me. The discussion of using RODCs (Read Only Domain Controllers) in DMZs and remote offices was also very cool.

Dean Wells and Joe Richards – if you ever get a chance to see them speak, take it. Not only do they know things about AD that nobody in the audience knew (and the attendees at DEC are *smart*), but they present really well – personality, humor, and great new info. They covered things like exactly what AdminSDHolder does, and how precisely the Infrastructure Master role works (down to the changes inside the DIT itself). They also had a few things to say about the Second City itself.

I spoke in Centrify’s vendor track about their DirectControl product. We had a decent turnout, considering it was a vendor-specific talk. Likewise Software, NetPro software, and OptimalIDM threw some pretty great parties after hours. It was interesting meeting people like Mark Foust, Mike Dube, and Stuart Kwan from Microsoft, Manny Vellon from Likewise Software, David McNeely from Centrify, and John Serban from WaMu, and talking to them about work and other things.

I’ll follow up on Days 2 and 3, including my presentation, in the next few posts.

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