Turn math into pixels

24. Oktober 2013
von pschmidt
Keine Kommentare

Chrome extension Hola overwrites omnibox search behaviour

I was a big fan of the Hola unblocker browser extension for Google Chrome. Hola uses some VPN unblocking technology, so you can access websites/webservices which are restricted by your provider, company or even media provider (so called region blocked content).

But some weeks ago they started to „hijack“ my website requests to by displaying an advertising page before they redirecting me to Google. This was okay. I thought, that I was using Hola much and wait some seconds every time it was displayed to me (which occurs 2-3 times a day).

Today Hola „started“ something new. OK, considerably it may be an side-effect of their redirecting rules. I use Google Chromes omnibox feature heavily. Everytime I entered a search term into the omnibox and hit enter, I was redirected to Google. Nothing happens. Only Google was displayed and my previously typed search term was lost. This is bullshit and harms my workflow.

My final words to Hola: Great service, works everytime, but go and fuck yourself for your damn advertising campagne!

20. August 2013
von pschmidt
Keine Kommentare

HBase won’t start:

During my setup of my development machine I encountered some tough moments getting Hadoop and HBase up and running.

Hadoop 0.20.204
HBase 0.90.4

After the installation of Hadoop and firing it up I wanted to start HBase and feed it with some data.

In this article I refer to the following versions:

The problem

I called

$ ./

and get the following error message in the logs:

FATAL org.apache.hadoop.hbase.master.HMaster: Unhandled exception. Starting shutdown. Call to localhost/ failed on local exception:

Weiterlesen →

11. August 2013
von pschmidt
Keine Kommentare

Why pr0n is good for scalability

Currently I’m doing research on scalability and distributed architectures, I asked myself where this trend might has begun. Long story short: The porn industry is the root of all „evil“. To be more precise: pr0n websites are always high-traffic destinations, which adapt new concepts and paradigms early.

In the early years

Back in the mid-90s the porn industry targeted the online market, but the majority of their cash came from selling magazines and video tapes. The average bandwith was pretty slow and really expensive. So, porn websites were limited to display small images of some nude only. But highspeed internet connections did change this era completely. Weiterlesen →

17. Juli 2013
von pschmidt
Keine Kommentare

Building a social network from scratch

How the journey began

Last year I’ve met Rene Pickhardt, a PhD student at West Institute at University of Koblenz.

He mentioned early that he was one of the founders of the social network for metal heads called metalcon.

Some weeks ago Rene gave me the opportunity to join his team (consisting of a significant number of long-haired hackers) which is currently planning the redesign of metalcon and it’s overall infrastructure.

Status quo (or what went „terribly“ wrong)

During our requirements analysis we found some key features, that where bad resolved earlier or are now outdated due to new web standards or new design paradigms.

Rene gave a very good summary on the previous work he and Jonas did, back in the days when facebook was nearly unknown in germany.

Some of our requirements and definitions are currently available on github:

Long story short: The current site scales very badly.

Let us hear your voice

As Rene may mentioned on his blog, we are defining use cases and requirements for different stake holders. If you want to participate and have some cool features to propose, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Further information on github or via email. Or drop me a line via @dysterfyr on Twitter and I will come back to you.

My view on this project

Back in 2008 I worked as an web application developer for .NET systems and this had a negative impact on my motivation to do further web development in the future.

Anyway, it is a great pleasure for me to get involved in such a „huge“ project. Furthermore, I like it to develop software which is open-source, working with a team that work focussed and know how to create good software.

Due to the early phase I can not say which part I will be responsible for, but during the past weeks I read a lot about distributed architecures and high scale systems like MongoDB, Cassandra, Lucene/Solr and many more. So I think I will obtain responsibility for our new storage backend, building websevices/interfaces and security audits (which are a hobby of mine).

No matter what part will be mine later on, my mantra will be: scale bigger, break harder and look better!