Who cares about metadata anyway?

May 10th, 2014

Recently in the news the NSA has been found collecting way more information about people, their doings, and their relationships than they should. I don’t really want to talk about the ethics of this at this point. What I do want to talk about is what they are collecting, and hopefully push everyone to a fuller understanding of what can be done with it.

The NSA says, that what they are collecting is just meta data and that it is no big deal. I assert that this is simply not true. Why?

Metadata is defined as a set or collection of data that describes other data. Why is data about data useful? While listening to a podcast, the analogy was given of a can.


What is in this can? I bet you can’t guess. There are all kinds of choices and options, you simply can’t tell what is in the can without more information. This is where metadata comes into the picture.


Now you can guess what is in the can. Beans. Okay, we know beans are in the can, so we can classify the can as beans. After we make this classification, we can further classify this as black beans, pinto beans, green beans.

As you can see metadata turns something that is unknown, into something that is known. Metadata can be a great help.

As you may be aware, I am starting to work on some new family history and genealogy tools that will allow me to find those members of my family that are difficult. Most family history and genealogy sites focus on their record collections. That’s great, but there is a whole new world of data to be opened up and discovered that will allow a more complete picture of our past.

We are using the metadata from these documents to make assertions, assumptions, and ultimately to make inferences about individuals, families, communities, and nations so that we can find with greater accuracy our loved ones, and not simply a bunch of images of records that are hard to prove as related to our loved ones.

Are we flash yet?

October 25th, 2013

A very intriguing html5 application has started to be included in the development branch from the Mozilla foundation project Firefox. Codenamed Shumway, the Mozilla Foundation developers are attempting to implement an html5 virtual machine environment for flash. This is a giant step in the right direction. Adobe was given the chance to do it right, yet we still seem to have major security flaws, and slowness issues. So in an attempt to step closer to html5 compliant everything, they created Shumway. This would make a native html version of both flash and acrobat reader.

Why the name Shumway, not 100% sure, but I am guessing that it has something to do with the file extension for flash sites (*.fla). I figure fla backwards is Alf, known as an alien from the TV show with the same name from somewhere back in my childhood. Alfs name in the show is Gordon Shumway… Maybe I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t put it past the developers coming up with some crazy naming convention like that.

Return of Dallin

August 29th, 2012

So once again, I have been slacking in my blogging duties. So here we go again. I’m going to try a different approach and see how things go.

I’ll still include a few programming things here and there, but I am planning to share my adventures in fish, fish tanks, aquaponics and green house growing. I hope that I can share some information about how to be a little more self sufficient, even though sometimes I wonder if this all make me more self sufficient or just plain crazy…. I suppose time will tell.

Let’s create some jobs

April 9th, 2010

We all know that the economy has taken a pretty hard hot over the last few years. Everything seems to be in trouble, but something has been troubling me more than anything else. I am refering to the high unemployment rate that seems to be creeping higher everyday.

I could easily speculate at the reason for this increase. But that isn’t what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is the creation of jobs. I find it quite interesting that the way they judge if the job market is doing well or not is by looking at the basic number of jobs created. President Obama is being praised for creating so many jobs, but as I look at it we need to do more than just that. We need to look at the quality of jobs being created.

Sure we might have created several hundred thousand jobs. But they are all blur collar hard labor low paying jobs. We need to be competing with the rest of the world at a much stronger level. But no! All our hard earned tax dollars need to build better roads rather than putting the money to better tasks. Why aren’t we competing at a level on par with the rest of the world? Let’s put aside political agendas and power struggles and solve these problems. Let’s create some jobs that can really elevate those around us. We don’t need to take advantage of each other in order to have the things we want and need. (unless we want to take advantage of other people.)

SSL Encryption and Flash

April 9th, 2010

I have written this bad boy several times, and something keeps happening to it. Perhaps I will add some more details in the future. The main point of this is to save other people time. I spend three days trying to figure this out and figure that others would be appreciative of the information.

The symptom: A clients flash game site for children would act like the user was not logged in, even when we just barely logged into the site. (Specifically in Internet Explorer.)

The issue: Turns out that in Internet Explorer (6 and 7 did it, this was before 8 was released) flash (Which I might add is horrible!!!) has a problem with caching XML in combination with an SSL certificate. As a result, it would blow up in our faces.

The solution: Add headers to the code, that tell Internet Explorer to NOT cache the xml. Seems so simple, but once again, the geniuses in Redmond Washington and at Adobe show their mind numbing brilliance.

My Super Duper Panda Express Orange Chicken

March 18th, 2010

For Christmas I was given a deep fryer. I have spent quite a bit of time perfecting the usage of this tool. As a result, I have received several requests for my Orange Chicken Recipe. So here it is:


2 lbs. boneless chicken pieces, skinned

1 egg

1 1/2 teas. salt

white pepper

oil (for frying)

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbl. cornstarch

1/4 cup flour

1 Tbl. minced ginger root

1 teas. minced garlic

dash crushed hot red chiles

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 Tbl. rice wine

1/4 cup water

1/2 to 1 teas. sesame oil


2 teas. Minced zest and

1/4 c Juice from

1 lg Orange

1/2 teas. Sugar

2 Tbl. Chicken stock

1 Tbl. Light soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

Cut chicken pieces in 2″ squares and place in large bowl. Stir in egg,

salt, pepper, and 1 T oil and mix well. Stir cornstarch and flour

together. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.

Heat oil for deep−frying in wok or deep−fryer to 375. Add chicken pieces,

a small batch at time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and crisp.

(Do not overcook or chicken will be tough.) Remove chicken from oil with

slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat. Add 1 T oil. Add ginger

and garlic and stir−fry until fragrant. Add and stir−fry crushed chiles

and green onions. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds. Add Orange Sauce

and bring to boil. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed.

Stir water into remaining 1 T cornstarch until smooth.

Add to chicken and heat until sauce is thick. Stir in 1 teas. sesame oil.

My Orange Chicken

Tron Legacy Movie Trailer

March 9th, 2010

Oh yeah! I am excited for this one!

Credit Card Processing for the iPhone

March 8th, 2010

A brilliant idea! Now you can quickly and easily accept credit cards from your iPhone. All you need is the card reader, and you are ready to go. Squareup.com provides these reader free of charge (at least for now) and simply charge $.50 and 3% per swipe. Not the cheapest in the world, but about the same price as PayPal. I hope I get into the beta test soon. I can’t wait to try it out.

Stargate Universe: Life

November 21st, 2009

I got to watch Stargate Universe’s latest episode called “Life”. I was quite excited for it since last weeks episode “Time” seemed to return to the roots of what Stargate is in my mind. Sadly, this one went right back to the slow moving way that Stargate Universe has seemed to be going. This episode also introduced even more of the unneeded sexual innuendo (Some of which is implied A LOT). I am starting to think that it is time to give up on this series.

New Blogging Software

November 20th, 2009

So I have found that WordPress has a special app that allows me to update my posts directly from my phone. As a result, I hope that the updates come a little more frequently than they have in the past.

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