...and also preparing for a fundraiser at which I'm performing tomorrow:
And did I mention Apollo After Hours?
I'm still trying to debug the performance of our principal application, which shouldn't be struggling the way it is.
I did, however, take two minutes out of my life to watch this:
I was here until 7:30 last night and would probably stay that late tonight if I didn't have a prior commitment. At least last night I got to see this:
At least I've isolated the code causing the problem. Unfortunately it's one of the most-called methods in the application. Sigh.
Chip-and-PIN cards have ruled Europe for almost 10 years, because (a) they reduce fraud that (b) customers are liable for over there. In the U.S., where banks are liable, consumers haven't pushed as hard for the security measure, so it's rare. I've had a chipped card for two years now but even my bank hasn't gone the whole way to requiring PINs for purchases with it.
Chase, however, has had enough, and has decided to issue them to everyone:
Chip cards have significantly cut into fraud globally. For example, in the United Kingdom, card fraud in stores dropped by 75 percent from 2004 — when a large-scale rollout began — to 2012, said Zilvinas Bareisis, a senior analyst for Celent, a consulting firm to the financial services industry.
A December 2014 report by the Payments Security Task Force, whose members include Visa, Bank of America and Riverwoods-based Discover, estimates that 47 percent of U.S. terminals will accept chip cards by the end of 2015.
Chase, which holds almost 25 percent of deposits in the Chicago area, said its rollout here will be followed nationally.
Other banks are slowly introducing chip cards. BMO Harris Bank, which holds 12 percent of deposits in the Chicago area, said it recently began issuing chip debit cards. Any new or replacement debit cards include chips, spokesman Patrick O'Herlihy said.
It's sometimes amusing and sometimes sad that the U.S. lags the rest of the OECD in technology. This one is sad. I'm glad Chase is making this push. We could finally have chip-and-PIN cards in time for Europe to roll out whatever comes next.
I was going to write a couple of entries today on various topics, but then this happened in production:
That's a production database getting overloaded. I am now going to continue debugging it.
The Trib expects noise complaints to take off:
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected within the next four months to release a preliminary report based on thousands of computer-generated flight simulations involving what will become O'Hare's fifth east-west runway and a subsequent runway that the city plans to open in 2020.
All this work, however, might not bring relief after a record year for O'Hare jet noise complaints. The simulations are aimed in part at finding the best way to squeeze in hundreds more daily flights at the airport.
Suburbs expected to hear more jet noise as the result of the 7,500-foot runway opening this fall include Bensenville, Franklin Park, Wood Dale, Bloomingdale and Addison, FAA and city aviation officials say.
So, people in Bensenville—which lies along the southern edge of O'Hare and is notable for its immense rail classification yard—are unhappy with their noisy neighbor. Keep in mind, the runway plans have been around for over 10 years. And jet noise today is far lower than before.
The New York Times has the story:
Mrs. Clinton is expected to begin her campaign with a video message on social media, followed by a visit to important early-primary states next week, said two people briefed on her plans.
But for all the attention paid to how Mrs. Clinton would reveal her 2016 candidacy, little has been said about her reasons for mounting another presidential bid. Her campaign rollout is expected to provide voters, particularly users of Twitter, Facebook and other social media, a succinct rationale that she is best positioned to address an American electorate that has seen virtually stagnant wages for middle-income earners over the last 15 years.
Meanwhile, the remnants of New Republic caution that she has become a single point of failure for the party:
In Hillary Clinton’s case, though, there’s still a good argument that the Democratic Party could use a contested primary this cycle: not to toughen Clinton’s calluses, but to build some redundancy into the presidential campaign. It may even be the case that some of these Democrats with rattled nerves are less anxious about Clinton’s prowess against Republicans than about the fact that all of the party’s hopes now rest on her shoulders. Her campaign has become a single point of failure for Democratic politics. If she wins in 2016, she won’t ride into office with big congressional supermajorities poised to pass progressive legislation. But if she loses, it will be absolutely devastating for liberalism.
If you’re faithful to the odds, then most of this anxiety is misplaced. Clinton may have slipped in the polls by virtue of an email scandal and her return to the partisan trenches more generally. But she's still more popular and better known than all of the Republicans she might face in the general, her name evokes economic prosperity, rather than global financial calamity, the economy is growing right now, and Democrats enjoy structural advantages in presidential elections, generally.
If nobody serious challenges Hillary Clinton, nobody can be her understudy. In the near term that isn’t a problem, but if doubts about her inevitability develop late in the year or early next, the placid silence in the Democratic field will grow eerie.
We're still a long way from the 2016 election. Clinton may be the best we have, or she may just be the best one running. But looking at the other guys, I can't help but think we're still going to win.
The Inner Drive Extensible Architecture (IDEA) is now on NuGet.org. This means anyone, anywhere can download it and install it into their own .NET project.
I'll publish the Inner Drive Azure Tools at some point after I figure out a cool acronym.
This was actually forced on me by a new requirement to share the code with overseas partners. They would be unable to use the software I wrote for work if I hadn't done this.
Sometime Tuesday or Wednesday I hit 2 million steps since October 23rd.
Unfortunately, a combination of weather and talkative sales people on Wednesday prevented me from getting my 10,000 steps that day. Otherwise I've hit that goal 64 times this year, averaging 11,750 steps per day since January 1st—going up to 13,400 steps per day in the last 30.
I've also lost 3.7 kg this year, stabilizing right around my target weight three weeks ago.
I realize this is old news, but I'm really jazzed how some simple changes in my life have made such a crucial difference. A fitness tracker costs around $100; most come with some kind of social gaming software (Fitbit lets you challenge your friends), which can give you even more incentive to get off the El a stop early or get up from your desk every half-hour.