Current events

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Over the last few weeks I have been really slacking in writing blog posts. Let me make it up by giving a small “current events” lecture.

Well, Lightroom 3.0 is out and that means we can start working on updating the Pixelpost to Lightroom plugin. However, the problem with that is that I don’t have Lightroom 3.0 yet, but I plan on buying it. That goes for Adobe CS5 as well. It all depends when it comes available in our special store since I’m eligible for a special discount on Adobe products.

As mentioned earlier I have taken a trip to Paris a few weeks back. Some of those shot will make it onto my photoblog, so check back often. It will also feature some shots from the Giro ‘d Italia and some other random stuff I made the last few weeks. I’m really trying to get back into the groove of taking pictures, but because some other stuff I also have to work on, it is hard to find time.

Some of you guys wonder what is happening with Pixelpost these days. Well, to be honest we’re having some kind of break. With the dreadful winter behind us it is time to leave our computers and explore the great outdoors more often. Rest assured, Pixelpost is not forgotten and we’ll continue to work on it. If you’re willing to help, just drop us a line with some examples of your work.

Well, that is it for now, take care and until next time!

Defensio graphs

While cleaning my harddrive I found an image I initially wanted to show on this blog. Earlier this year I had some problems with Defensio and this graph does illustrate that.

The horizontal line signifies the period Defensio stopped working and I had to weed out SPAM comments by hand. Interesting enough the number of SPAM comment had increased during this period, as can be seen in the period before and after the outage of the plugin due to a serverconfiguration change. I think the reason for this might be because lots of SPAM comments actually where posted on the blog. With all that exposure spammers might have targeted my blog more frequently than usual (e.g. prior to the outage of Defensio plugin). Defensio has been working great after the last fix, so it makes my life much easier. Thanks for small favours!

Good times ahead

With the basketball season almost over it seems I’ll finally have some time to pursue photography again. I know I have been really lacking in this department, not only due to being a coach, but also due some stuff in my personal life. Selling the house and moving into a new place takes up more time than planned. But all is well now and I do have some fun photo projects planned.

It seems the Giro d’Italia is starting in Amsterdam this year and will come through most of the province of Utrecht on May 9th. I’ll probably will try to get a good spot near the route and will take some pictures.

After the Giro we have a couple of weddings ahead, but before that we have the bachelor parties. These should not only be loads of fun but hopefully will provide some decent shots as well. To top things off I have a small trip planned to Paris, France so as you can see there are more than enough photo moments throughout the upcoming weeks.

Defensio and server configuration

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It has been a while since my last post and like always I managed to find a good excuse for not posting anything. The last month (!) I have been busy trying to solve a riddle which involved the Defensio addon. As you have probably read on this blog or somewhere else on the web, Defensio is used to protect a blog against comment spam. A few months back I was very excited about the version 2 release of the api and I modified the plugin for the photoblogging software Pixelpost for this new version.

About a month ago I noticed that huge amounts of spam were actually published in my websites. Pretty strange, considering Defensio was active to prevent this behavior. It took some long nights to discover that my hostingcompany had disabled the fsockopen functionality, something that is extensively used by Defensio. So we had to switch to Curl, although that wasn’t completely operational just yet. The guys at Defensio put in some extra hours and provided me with a working test version. After some modifications Defensio was yet again stopping spam in my photoblog.

However, I also have a WordPress blog (you’re reading it) and that also attracts tons of spam. So much in fact I updated some core files of the WP addon with the newly programmed files and a fresh copy from GitHub to enable Defensio again. To bad it didn’t work. Over 100 spam comments a day where published on my blog and had to be removed manually. It took me and Camilo from Defensio about three nights debugging to catch the offending line of code and finally the plugin (which stopped working at March 21, 2010( is fully operational again since last night.

Finally all spam is getting caught again which frees me up to do some more bug hunting in some code I wrote instead.

No matter what I do it is still wrong..

In the light of today’s game, which we won by the way, I just came to a realization:

Being a coach is pretty much like being a referee. No matter what you do, at least someone will disagree with you and feel left out.

I’m pretty sure this is valid for all kind of sports at every level. Does this realization make it easier to handle? No, actually it does not. Does it make it even easier to do? Not even close. Does it make me feel good? No, it never feels good to disappoint one of more individuals.

So, what is my take on it for basketball? Well, first and foremost basketball is a teamsport and not an individual sport. The catchphrase here is “There is no ‘I’ in team”, meaning there is basically not much room for the individual. What does that mean? You have to occasionally set aside your personal aspirations for the benefit of the team.

On the other hand, and this creates a nice paradox, you need individuals to form a team. This fact is a really good basis for a conflict of interest and most certainly a starting point for disappointments.

As a coach the thing you have to focus on should be first and foremost the team. All decisions are made with the team in mind. Some of those decisions might be good and others might not be so good (in retrospect) but seemed to be ok at the time. It is inevitable to disappoint individuals while performing sacrifices for the team. But making individual sacrifices is also part of the concept of a team.

As a member of a team you have to set your personal goals aside so the team in whole can flourish. For example, as an individual you might want to play as many minutes as possible. As a teammember you might just get limited minutes. But the minutes aren’t really the issue here, the real question is: what can you do in that limited timeframe to help the team? Can your actions in those minutes be the turning point of the game or be an inspiration to one or multiple teammembers?

I know what I always wanted as a player. I would rather play limited numbers, score zero points and win the game than play the whole game, outscore everyone and loose. Because in the end it is after all about the team. And nothing hurts more than loosing.