Topic: Website Programming

Exploration: UC Statfinder

The UC Office of the President has this statfinder app running at and it lets you generate tables with statistics about student admissions at their schools. Big whoop. The thing is, when the numbers get real small, their program merges categories to ensure that student privacy is protected. Also, they won’t give access to the raw database nor will they let you select more than 3 categories to compare at once. So data mining this is a bit difficult. Obviously, they don’t want anybody to create something remotely automated from this data. There is no API, the numbers are probably fuzzed, the raw data is totally unavailable, and the… go on →

Exploring HTTPS

Nobody will bother to hand you an introduction to HTTPS/SSL. Casual netizens recognize the green lock by the address bar well enough, but deeper technical knowledge can be inaccessible to programmers who are accustomed to a simple HTTP/1.1 transaction. Here’s what I’ve learned exploring HTTPS: Welcome. There, I said it. HTTP and it’s cousin HTTPS are just two of many communication protocols that are the application layer protocols. A protocol is nothing scary, just a set of rules. Other communication protocols include FTP, SMTP, OSCAR (for AIM), IRC, and Morse Code. They determine how two computer should exchange information with each other. A large part of this communication is actually… go on →

How to create a secret picture blog with text messages

I maintain a hidden blog that receives pictures and texts (MMS, SMS) from my cell phone and posts them chronologically with WordPress. It is like a picture journal, but for times when writing is not particularly convenient, since all I need is my phone. This tutorial requires a cell phone with a messaging plan, a spare gmail account, and web hosting. No data plan is required. Create a gmail account that is dedicated to this project specifically. Add the address as a contact in your cell phone. Most carriers allow you to send text messages and multimedia messages to email addresses. Verify that yours does. Set up a WordPress blog… go on →

5 Quirks of JavaScript that You Should Know

The quirks of JavaScript listed here are ones that I techniques that I employ with frequency, possibly with the exception of the last one. Some people criticize JavaScript because of its misunderstood semantics, but once you put these quirks to use, you will see what a powerful language JavaScript can be. Infinity and its counterpart -Infinity are numbers in JavaScript. Try it out: >> 1/0 Infinity >> typeof(1/0) “Number” The easiest way to convert a string into a base-10 integer isn’t with parseInt(). It’s actually: >> +”234″ 234 The three-part tenary operator is very useful for quick one-liners when more if-blocks is the last thing you need: if (store.isOpen){     return… go on →