Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Google adds “nofollow” attribute for links

Filed under: — adam @ 11:27 pm

Google is now honoring the rel=”nofollow” attribute in link tags. Basically what this means is that links in comments, and links to your competitors, or links to things you hate can be eliminated from consideration in computing the page rank of the destination page.

MSN search and Yahoo are also adding this:

On the one hand, I think this is a great idea and a long time coming – I’ve often complained that links aren’t all alike and should be treated differently.

But, on the other… I run a small blog, and I get a lot of my page karma from comments I put in other blogs. I don’t see that as necessarily wrong – my comments are always on topic, and if the owner of the blog doesn’t agree, they can always delete the comment or the link. Google isn’t tracking clickthroughs (yet), so they have no way to know if a given link in this context is actually popular or not. Automatically including this tag in the comments section may decrease the level of comment spam, but it’s also going to hurt a lot of small bloggers as well, I think. And if you’re reading the links individually to make the distinction, well… why not just delete the spam ones? This is obviously meant to be an automated measure, and it’s going to catch a lot of legit links too.

It’s just pushing the unknown down one layer, and substituting one set of unknowns (owner links vs. comment links) for another (legit comment links vs. spam links).

Scalable Enterprise Techspeak for Marketers

Filed under: — adam @ 5:05 pm

David Weinberger on AP Article on the failure of marketing terms to match up with reality, but the problem isn’t that these terms don’t mean anything, it’s that the products they’re being applied to don’t actually qualify.

Here’s a quick run-down.

Enterprise-class: You can use the same system for your whole company, and it will let different departments communicate/schedule/publish/whatever instead of just one small group.

Scalable: Yes, “scalable” means something! It means your architecture has no serious bottlenecks that would serve as obstacles to growth, and that it can scale gracefully, not just grow. If you have one database, and it can only handle 1000 concurrent connections, your solution is not scalable that way. Scalability is important when you’re – yep, you guessed it – designing and implementing enterprise-class applications.

Solution: Sometimes what you need is not actually a product. A solution can be a product, but more often, it’s a product plus some custom development plus a process plus some documentation about the process plus a way to tell if the process is actually working.

So, yes, tell us if what you’re selling is these things (but if it isn’t, don’t!), but also don’t forget to tell us what it does.

Capital of the World, Baby!

Filed under: — adam @ 3:55 pm

NYC City Council feels royally fucked by NYS, US… again ponders secession.

Mini keychain plants

Filed under: — adam @ 1:42 pm

Apparently, the latest Japanese fad is little keychain plants. Marvels of miniaturization!

All cheat codes for all PS2 games found

Some guy tore apart his PS2 controller, connected it to the parallel port on his computer, and wrote a script to press a large number of button combinations. He used it to figure out all of the cheat codes for GTA San Andreas (including some not released by Rockstar, apparently).

This is a great example of a “class break” in systems security – the creation of a tool means that this same technique can be easily used on all games, and game developers can no longer rely (if they did before) on the codes being secret because it’s hard to try them all.

Here’s a picture of the hack:

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