Monday, December 03, 2018
In September (2018), I noticed savings rates offered by several of the major banks were starting to rise. In October, one of the online banks was offering a 2.65% APY CD, so I scraped together just over the minimum required deposit amount to open the account.
Since starting my research, I have noticed banks tend to offer higher rates on savings accounts going into the Fall/Winter holiday seasons and then taper off after the new year.
Would you like to do the research?
I know, it is hard saving this time of the year. Last night, I added more holiday gift purchases to my credit card and though not dreading the bill (which will be paid off entirely when it comes due), know that I do not have extra funds right now for another high interest savings account, though I will continue to track the rates.
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Holiday photos from last Saturday through today (Saturday, November 24, 2018).
- The Post
- Red Sparrow
- American Made
Monday, November 19, 2018
Busy week. My Mother's birthday was Saturday, so preparations for Thanksgiving and her birthday kept me busy. In addition, I continued working the many software projects I have on my to-do list.
A recent software addition, or I should explain- replacement interface is illustrated below.
The tool replaces the Amazon Gift Ideas interface that was in place on the WiredPages Shopping page. I chose to replace the interface because (1) it mirrored the items found here, and (2) the Amazon Product Advertising API had to be called individually for each item listed. Server and timing issues were not as efficient as I would have liked.
The new interface only calls the API once per search, however offers several different products as part of the results. Of course, users may want to search again and again, so that might generate multiple calls to the API.
The new Amazon interface, like the Best Buy Tool, is quick. This was an important reason in the decision to replace the original interface used on the Shopping page.
Though the new interface is already installed on WiredPages, I am still taking it through its paces [debug checkout], however I think there are very few issues, if any. If you want to drop me a line-- you may use the email address provided by the WiredPages news service.
Friday, November 09, 2018
This morning, I added two new photos as part of a story to my Instagram feed. When I checked the QiSoftware Instagram API Demonstration Tool, I noticed the error illustrated below, in the image on the left.
I am happy to report, the correction involved a simplification that is going to make my server happier. I was parsing the data, based on the type of post, i.e., single image, story carousal or video, and not the top level container for the post. Less "if" branching. Pleased with how this worked out.
- Minor adjustment to the Movies tab on the fb HanoverMDBusinesses page.
- New updates to these WiredPages:
- Mid Autumn Photos, I love this time of year...
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Little under the weather lately [ear infection], so getting a lot of rest.
Things in the works...
Several tools (9 or so) ready for installation on WiredPages however holding off for various reasons. New tools under development or consideration should be exciting additions for the service.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
This is a brand new interface that uses the Best Buy Developer API to search for products from their catalog. My predefined search criteria [UHD 65" TV] was selected based on Fall television viewing habits, however you may try anything.
The interface is in checkout mode, so feel free to let me know about any problems you find.
Monday, October 08, 2018
In recent years, I have started my holiday shopping in early Autumn and usually finish by the end of November. I think this trend began because I start researching for "the stores" around that time.
This year, I found a great deal on an item [Yunmai Digital Scale], I listed last year as a gift idea. I wanted to give it as a November birthday gift, however decided to give it early. My mother loves it, and so do I.
Other items in the same order...
I have been rather busy lately, with web site moves and software development projects (see WiredPages), so I have not done as much research for the stores as I normally do, however stay posted if you are looking for holiday gift ideas.
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Started work on the new WiredPages Weather Tool.
The old interface, illustrated in the QiSoftware Product Catalog is a Java Applet/Servlet combination.
The new weather interface, is a server side Java web application [Servlet]. The new tool will allow access via web browsers installed on most platforms including iPads, Androids, wireless devices, desktops, smartphones, etc.
Not sure when the new interface will be installed. Still working design issues and checking security risks. The new tool will be accessible through the WiredPages home page.
Monday, September 03, 2018
Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer. It has been a busy summer for me.
Some of the things I have been up to:
Friday (08/31/18), I started work on a new interface to replace a Java Applet that provided a snapshot of the market indices. The old applet was located on the home page and the Market & Business page.
This 30 second video, shows where I am in the development process for the new Java Servlet.
Also on tap this summer, like every summer- my age climbs higher. Recent photos...
Why not dye my hair? Believe it or not, some are not sure if it is my hair. Four years ago when I dyed it a darker brown than my actual color-- it looked more like a messy wig.
Today, I really do not get out a lot, however when I do-- you might be surprised by what tends to be a curiosity. Why is that hair so big and messy? I have a lot of hair that is very porous [like a sponge it absorbs steam and humidity]. People have done odd things. I do not want to be tested.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Big event over the weekend, however about all I want to say at this time. Everything on track. Waiting on repair people.
In other news, working on a new tool for the WiredPages Employment page.
Short video to demonstrate how the interface will work.
You may have noticed one of the tools on the Employment page was removed, so this interface will be integrated sooner rather than later. I am still tweaking the appearance and testing different results [debugging] from the API. Should be installed within the week.
Friday, August 17, 2018
On November 29, 2011, I wrote about an incident involving my Celebrity Birthdays Database. The article is rather lengthy, however discusses in some detail how and why I created the database and related Java Applet & Servlet that were used to both update and display the database information.
The article, provides an illustration of the number of records I had in my local [offline] database at the time of the article [Nov. 29, 2011]. The following diagram shows the same illustration side by side with today's record count in my local database.
The data is credible because it was extracted from the Biography.com site. Initially, the data was gathered using a custom program [Java JDBC/servlet] I developed which parsed the biography.com html file relating to current birthday information and added the entries to the online database.
When I first developed the servlet which extracted data and updated the database, I was unaware my server and database were so accessible by anyone who wanted the data. I also discovered the data was being tampered with. That is why on April 29th, 2011 I accidentally, deleted all of the records. I used the "<>" the wrong way. So it really was an accident. I was trying to make the data less attractive.
Biography.com provides an HTML page showing all of the birthdays for the current day. The page also lists separate article links about each celebrity with a birthday on that day.
The custom program extracted each day; the individual celebrity article link, celebrity name, and the month and date mm/dd".
I could have left the program in place, however did not want others to use it so I deleted it. That program only needed to run for a full year. When I manually updated my local database, I did not do it with the program. I would have had to run the tool every day in local mode-- so I manually extracted the data from biography.com using cut and paste. Keep in mind, only the offline database is complete. I purposely left the online version corrupted.
The following illustration shows data in the online version of the database that I recently deleted. The records were deleted because someone inserted records with links to the biography.com html page of birthdays for the day and not the individual biography.com articles about the celebrity. I did not do this nor did my program.
In my current effort to remove all of the applets used on WiredPages, thereby using only servlets, I recently replaced the Celebrity Birthday interface used on the WiredPages Style & Events page to the new program which only uses the Java servlet.
If you do not see the interface that means the online version of the database does not have birthday records for the current day. My offline version does, and periodically I will export the records from the offline version and import them to the online database, as was the case for today, August 17, 2018.
I will install the entire Celebrity Birthday Database to hosting-q.com, when I am able to control who has access to the server. In the meantime, this provides explanation of why the interface is sometimes unavailable.
QiSoftware is a legal business entity and registered in the State of Maryland. When you tamper with my online assets you are interfering with my business ventures. Please cease and desist at once.
As of the entry time of this post-- hosting-q.com is having a problem with the with JSP, i.e., Java Servlet support. This means there are many "Service Temporarily Unavailable" messages throughout the pages of WiredPages, even though the main site, hosting-q.com is available. I host a lot of my programs on the hosting-q.com site.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
In May 2012, after I negotiated a settlement with several parties including the US Government, I was told this horrific situation would end any day. That is still being suggested.
What happened? The explanation given to me-- a far reaching investigation. I am told a lot of government people have lost their jobs. Many lawyers who were not really lawyers-- lost jobs. I am told this investigation has been wide spread.
Still any day, my part in all of this would be over and I could leave. Are there other things going on? Yes. That said, I have stopped posting about the horrific nature of all of this because I do not believe it helps to end my part in all of this. So I continue to wait for the FBI and DOJ.
What may be a mistake on my part? In late December 2017 I started doing a lot of software development work for WiredPages.
I have a lot of new tools I have not installed, however have discussed the development of the tools in blog posts and demonstrations. Seems to be a lot of the wrong interest in my work.
I said no...
Yesterday, we awoke to find one of the cars vandalized. A police report was filed. It looks like two BB gun pellets were shot into the rear window of the Honda.
Abstract noise identified the culprit as the "meth head" daughter of one of my sister's x-coworkers. My sister worked as first a secretary for DOJ, then as an immigration officer and now she is with Homeland Security. I believe she met the girl's mother when she worked at BWI. I provide this data to show why this individual may have access to equipment in this house.
The Federal government updated a lot of their security surveillance equipment with flat screen terminals [similar to those seen in today's crime shows or cia movies] and ordered a lot of older consoles destroyed. Many were stolen. For those of us who have earpieces this can be dangerous. Even considered torture. I did not know I had an earpiece until February 2012.
Have you compared my recent photos with those from 3 years ago?
Bottom line--- too many in Washington are not understanding no. I said no. DOJ and FBI owe. I explain this a lot to those who can hear. Now, I feel I must write it down, again. I said no.
Why would this daughter be allowed anywhere near our home? A lot of folks with Federal law enforcement have consoles with access to our home. Their claim-- because of our ties to a US President and European royalty, this gives them the right to put anyone on a console with access to our home and the surveillance equipment. Can I prove this? No. Am I sure it was her? No. Me nor my mother are a national security issue. The bigger problem-- the number of civil rights issues the government allowed me to be subjected to. Most agree they owe. For some reason they think I want a job. I do not. I want the FBI and DOJ to get these people off me.
This sounds far fetched? Why would I start writing about this again if I am hoping to leave? Because someone does not understand no-- and I said no. The car is going to be repaired-- but things like this should not be happening and they are. I said no.
I would like for the FBI to review the tapes for the access of this family and have them removed-- immediately. I am told that people simply want to steal my software. I am told I am owed a lot.
This is becoming too dangerous and I feel too many with surveillance equipment are the wrong element for these posts. FBI, how do I know she is a "meth-head"? Please get the tapes and get these people off me.
Extortion? Do the big boys understand the laws here? I said I am not interested in a job and to please leave me alone. I am sorry you forced this.
By the way-- a good way to understand someone who has had a lobotomy? They do not drive, or if they do- have too many accidents. You may be surprised by the number who have undergone this procedure.
Why is this important? Underage kids and those who have had this procedure are used a lot to man some of the consoles in this area. They are unlikely to be charged with a crime. Have you ever thought someone sounds a little whack? Do they drive? I said no-- FBI. Not kidding.
Again, I am sorry you forced this. Please get the illegal equipment out of the area and these people away from our property. They do not live here and this is becoming too crime ridden. School is starting again soon--and most of the prostitutes and meth heads were ordered out a year ago.. Why were they allowed back in?
The next post will show how US government employees are interfering with my online sites and business. I said no. You should have understood that. The tapes will also provide details about threats and why my software is desired. I said no.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
I have started work on the new World Factbook Tool for WiredPages. The interface will be located on the Reference page, same as in the past, however now- powered by a SQL/MySQL database.
I spent most of the afternoon [yesterday], loading the data to a local MySQL database on my Macbook, in preparation for the software development phase.
Some of the datasets [tables] were so large, I initially divided the data into separate files for the import. Initially, I did not use gzip files to import data, however if this had been the case I could have saved an hour or so during this phase of the project. The largest table (factbook_values.sql 5.5MB), was imported using a gzip file. I consider this an important lesson. That said, I did have to override some of the php.ini settings for phpmyadmin.
This new effort will incorporate parts of the software from the old interface [Java Servlet], including:
- Data requests [user interface] are the same as shown in the illustration above.
- Text output formats the same.
- Rendering of graphics [World Flags]-- very similar.
The CIA World Factbook SQL gzip file I found in 2014, uses 2013 Factbook data. This data is relatively new [in terms of what the CIA releases to the public in this format (SQL)] and should be fine for this project.
I plan to submit a FOIA request for the latest available data, however since security issues prevent loading data to an online database, I am only concerned with development and testing of the new Java JDBC/Servlet in my local environment. If and when my security concerns are allayed- the installation of the new software and latest available database should be a breeze.
This post- provides notes on the development progress for this project.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Continuing to update WiredPages tools. The latest, the Youtube player found on the Arts & Entertainment page. Installation of the new player is pending however the images grabbed today [shown below], illustrate how the player will work.
The tool had very few cosmetic updates from the original, however changes to the API required updates to the underlying software.
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Working several projects, including:
- Updated the LocationFinder Tool [found on the WiredPages Reference page-- current version showing tool unavailable because of security flag] incorporating new API data sources. New tool will be released at a later date. Tool illustrated below, running in local mode on my Macbook.
- Updated widgets using the NewYork Times API to reflect changes made to the underlying data structure and security elements. WiredPages Libraries page.
- Developing an Instagram demonstration widget for the QiSoftware Catalog.
Other things I have been up to?
- Movie: Justice League
- Movie: The Snowman
- Movie: Big Game
- Another birthday, Friday, July 20th.
- Store Updates.. see upper sidebar.
- Social media posts-- WiredPages Events & HanoverMaryland events.
- Integrating new features to the Facebook WiredPages page-- and adding icons and links to Facebook from WiredPages.
I am excited about some of the new elements I am creating for WiredPages, however still unsure when I will install all of the new tools.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
My car [shown in one of the blog header photos], is registered with Historical tags. In Maryland, this allows for limited use of the car. Since I work from home, it is no great hardship however I am thinking about a new car. This, one of reasons I am saving money.
I started this process a year ago in September and have managed to save one or two dollars. Okay. it is a little more than that. I am happy with my progress.
This post discusses how I have been able to achieve some of my success with this project.
The following is an updated image providing current rates banks are offering on savings accounts.
I like my banking choices, however listed below are more resources if you want to do your own research.
Monday, June 25, 2018
Many are aware, I was a defense contractor in the Washington metropolitan area for a number of years. I enjoyed living and working in the area and especially the many activities the region offers its residents and visitors alike.
One of the newsstand issues I looked forward to getting, the Washington Post's Weekender. In the same vein as the Post's resource, the WiredPages Style & Events page offers a list of entertainment guides for some of the major cities in the U.S. I am always looking for new resources to add to this page.
My own hometown [HanoverMaryland], also offers quite a few distractions.
Social media has become an important factor in our daily lives. Hope you find something exciting to do in your off time.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
In the past, WiredPages provided many tools powered by popular APIs, enabling visitors quick access to data and information.
Some of the tools/interfaces included [there were many more]:
- World Weather -- Tool is being rewritten eliminating the Java Applet interface.
- YouTube Search & Video Playback- interface is being rewritten to handle updates to the underlying API.
- Indeed Job Search-- rewritten [changes to underlying API] and installed on the Employment page.
- Political Representatives-- installed on the Government page.
- CIA World Factbook Quick Reference-- researching new ways to provide the data on the Reference page.
- Zillow Real Estate Values-- referenced on the Real Estate page-- installed.
- Food Nutrition Data-- working and ready to install on the Health page. Security issue a concern.
Four tools that are working and ready for installation are shown in the illustration below. The illustration was screen-grabbed today after I retested each interface. Three of the tools are new;  Amazon links to the NY Times Best Sellers,  Gift Ideas, and  Today in History.
The Fat Secret interface [shown lower right corner] is the same tool that was installed on the Health page in prior years, however due to security concerns I am holding off on updating access to the tool.
Tools like the Mortgage Calculator [almost] and Base Converter are ready, however I am holding off on installation.
I am working to get all of the tools working [many had to be rewritten to remove the Java Applet interface which today's newer browsers are not supporting], however probably will not install many more of the tools until I resolve the security issues.
This post, in case you were wondering...
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Over the last few months I have been trying to create a new banner for my business blog. Each iteration, leaving me acutely aware of the time I might save using a "real" graphic artist.
Then finally, yesterday I came up with something I might be able to live with for more than a week.
Hope you are having a nice Father's Day.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Briefly, construction milestones for the hotel:
- Groundbreaking Celebration, September 13th, 2016
- Official Opening, June 6th, 2018
- Grand Opening Celebration, Wednesday, July 11, 2018
In that I live within 2 miles of the new hotel, over the last year I tried to stop by at least once a week (starting in June 2017 and ending in June 2018) to capture construction progress photos.
Hanover Maryland has grown into an attractive place to live and play. The thriving local business community that was in place before the mall, casino, and hotel openings- has only benefited from the extensive growth in the area since 2001.
Thursday, June 07, 2018
For various reasons, yesterday was the first time I have been to Costco in a number of years. Not because I do not love shopping at Costco and not because I do not have a household membership card in good standing. I do.
That said, somethings have changed since my last visit to Costco.
- My bank cards now use chip technology.
- Visa can be used as a credit card at checkout (in the past you had to use a bank debit card with the pin-- still the case with MasterCard).
The card reader shown in the illustration on the right is similar to the card readers the cashiers use at Costco, in that they have both a card swiper on the right side and a card reader at the bottom for cards using the newer chip technology. Both my business and personal check cards use the chip technology.
By the way, did I mention that because I do almost all of my shopping online with a rewards credit card not associated with a bank account, I had never used the bank issued card associated with my personal checking account before yesterday? I opened my business checking account in 2004, however the new business card issued about 4 years ago with the new chip technology has also never been used.
Anyway, yesterday as I am checking out-- the cashier asked me to swipe my 3 year old never used [personal bank checking] card. I try several times to use the right-side card swiper and fail. Then she suggests I use the chip reader at the bottom. No, I did not have my readers on. Again it fails. The reason (this time)? I did not leave the card in long enough.
I like thinking I am well versed in computers and new technologies. That said, for some reason yesterday, all of this simply mystified me. The cashier finally asked for my card, and made easy work of it all.
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Ran several errands this morning, including:
It was a gorgeous morning. Saw one or two of the local news stations shooting footage for Live! Hotel's opening. Saw a flock of geese in the mall's [Arundel Mills] parking lot. Came home and had some of the rotisserie chicken and a croissant.
Though I visit my business bank regularly, I rarely get to the shops, so when I do happen out, as was the case with my visit to Costco today, I tend to note the occasion. I would really like to get out more, however one family member or another stops by weekly, so a lot of our shopping is done in this manner. Today was a nice treat for me.
For more information about my residential hometown and the thriving business community, see here.
Friday, June 01, 2018
Some are aware, I use my news service, WiredPages to showcase my custom software tools and interfaces.
Its primary function has always been to provide "real" demonstration of my software widgets and tools, allowing visitors an idea of the type of customization I [QiSoftware] offer.
I have provided this information in the past, however feel new visitors may not understand the primary intent of the news service [WiredPages].
As indicated in an earlier post, over the last two or three months, I have been working to repair most of the tools.
Security issues caused by a server move [about 4 years ago] that I did not understand, prevented most of the tools from running. Appears to be mirrors and masking issues. You may have noticed, over the last 3 or 4 years though I mention the service, I rarely provide links. All of that is changing.
Visitors over the last 2 months may have noticed- things are beginning to work, however I am still holding off on the installation of some of the updates or new tools.
Today, I created a new interface [Java Servlet] for the Shopping page which showcases another use of the Amazon Product Advertising API.
I have several tools that use the Amazon Product Advertising API, so this new tool only offers another idea on ways to integrate Amazon affiliate resources. I am not sure if I am going to install this new interface, another security issue, however I am almost finished with debug. I may also change one or two things with the appearance.
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
For reasons I am not going to go into here, though I have continued the tedious process of converting my old Java applets to servlets, I am no longer installing the updates to the server.
Work on the Quick Number Base Converter servlet was completed about 2.5 weeks ago.
Be back soon to provide details about some of my other projects and activities.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Among many recent updates to WiredPages (WP), the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)1 calculator maintained on the WP Health page was updated from a Java applet to a servlet.
The illustration above taken before work was complete, however I wanted to show the difference in the applet version versus the servlet. Updates like this conversion now allow visitors using mobile devices to interact with many of the WiredPages interfaces that were originally developed using Java applet technology. Typically, mobile devices, i.e., iPads, Androids, tablets [stand alone] and phones do not support Java applets.
Briefly, some of the other recent changes:
- Added a new Dictionary interface to the Reference page.
- Added Famous Birthdays to the Style & Events page. (Did not update the online birthday database with the master version I use off-line for software development and testing. Security issues, however the current online version is pretty robust.)
- Updates to the interfaces on the Government page.
- Slowly, updating links on most of the pages.
Yesterday I decided to take a break from software development. I went out to take photographs for business community projects. See my social media link icons, top right sidebar.
Today, again I did not pull out my Macbook [used for software development and illustrative documentation screen-grabs].
It has been a busy 3 or 4 weeks insofar as updates and rewrites to WiredPages interfaces and I still have lots of work to do.
1BMR is the amount of energy expended each day when the body is at rest.