Watch “Velocity Conference 2014: UA Strings Are Terrible” on YouTube

Alec Heller (Akamai); Velocity Conference 2014: UA Strings Are Terrible; Akamai Technologies; At Velocity Conference; 2014-07-29

Alec Heller, Senior Software Engineer at Akamai.


Assert-Media: (width, 400) and (height: 1234)
Accept: image/webp, image/jpg


  • In the domain of
    • responsive design.
    • using the User Agent string to detect screen size.
  • Presentation
    • The proposal appears at 16:48, and should have been the first and only slide.
    • Lots of ums, very low bandwidth presentation, lots of ums.
    • tl;dr => they minded large logs with Big Data and found factoids
    • Lots of ums, and very painful for the listener.
    • Did I mention that there were lots of ums?
  • RFC 2616
    • Section 14.43 User-Agent
  • RFC 7231
    • Section 5.5.3 User-Agent
  • Combinatorics
    • Apps, each app has a unique string
    • Version Numbers
    • .NET
    • Serial Numbers & UUIDs
    • Typos
  • http-client-hints of Ilya Grigorik
    Headers like…

    • CH-DPR
    • CH-PW


  • 2014-06-08 (full day) from some service
  • 18,506,131 User Agent Strings “top of list”
  • 15,153,962 User Agent Strings were unique

Reality Mining: Using Big Data to Engineer a Better World | Eagle, Greene

Nathan Eagle, Kate Greene; Reality Mining: Using Big Data to Engineer a Better World; The MIT Press; 1st edition; 2014-08-01; 208 pages; kindle: $20, paper: $19+SHT.

From the abstract on A….

  • Eagle, a recognized expert in the field,
  • Greene, an experienced technology journalist.

The Online Life Coach | The New Yorker

The Online Life Coach; ; In The New Yorker; 2014-09-25

tl;dr => it’s an ad for Cloverpop


  • Cloverpop, a web site
  • Product
    • crowdsourced life coaching
    • $30/session instead of $200/hr for face-to-face.
    • in the form of a questionaire,
  • Erik Larson
    • founder
    • ex Adobe
    • ex Air Force (somehow this helps him “decide”)
    • Is “in coaching” right now.
  • Name dropped, not endorsements, cited for color, background & verisimilitude
    • International Coaching Federation

      • 15% of Americans buy coaching services,
      • Spend $2B/year
    • Tony Robbins
      • who is pretty,
      • but says nothing new,
      • but people assess such as trenchant.
  • Overhanging the market (pre-announcements for “next month”)
    • 46 coaches ready for referrals.
    • Partnership with an industry trade group.
    • <quote>[The majority are women] They tend to be in their forties. They tend to have a master’s degree, frequently in some sort of social science. But not always. It might be a business degree or art or something.</quote> attributed to Erik Larson.
  • Use Model
    • ‘Let’s go back and forth two to three times in an online written conversation.’ ” There would be some questions, contemplative exercises, a bit of e-nodding. “It helps people move their thinking along.” attributed to Erik Larson
    • At $30/session that’s ~$100 for answering email tweet-shots.
    • Not marriage therapy (something vague about how Larson & wife did this and he didn’t like the experience).
  • Basis & method
    • No over-arching theme or theory
      <quote>“Experts don’t know all that much more than regular people. And they have biases themselves about what they believe.”</quote> attributed to Erik Larson.
    • Something about a lady in San Francisco who practices Vedic Astrology.
    • Something about the Air Force.
    • And crowdsourcing.
    • Replicating the experience experience cheaply & online (in email & tweet response streams).


  • Cloverpop helps you solve your big life decisions; Liat Clark; In Wired UK; 2014-09-11.

    • similar
    • Erik Larson, founder, ex-Adobe product manager
    • questionaire: “how will you feel in a year”
    • Coach referrals, leadgen
    • Revshare model with marks placed with coaches.
  • Cloverpop Upgrades How We Make Life’s Big Decisions; press release; distributed by Market Wired; 2014-09-09
    Teaser: Startup Launches Public Beta of Website and Marketplace for Making Better Decisions

    • Karl Sniady, Cloverpop advisor, ex-President  Coaches Training Institute.
    • Dr. Laura Riordan, perhaps an actual boardcert-doctor?
    • TechCrunch DisruptSF Startup Alley on 2014-09-09.


  • The Happiness App; ; In The New Yorker; 2014-04-14.

    • Ofer Leidner, founder
    • Tomer Ben-Kiki,, founder
    • Happify, an app
  • Better, Faster, Stronger; Rebecca Mead; 2011-09-05.
    Teaser: Silicon Valley’s self-help guru.

    • very long, a hagiography.
    • Timothy Ferriss
      • recreational pharmacology; overdoses, infections, etc.
      • lots of written output
    • Output
      • The 4-Hour Body
      • The 4-Hour Workweek
      • The 4-Hour Chef
      • … lots of self-help books…
    • Amy Hogg, his secretary & publicist.
      <quote>A tall woman with long dark hair, who was wearing a black cocktail dress with a plunging neckline and high-heeled red shoes,</quote>
    • <quote>His books seem to have a particular resonance for Wired-reading, Clif Bar-eating men—those whose desire to improve their abdominal definition may not be so great that they will subscribe to Mens Health but who find in Ferriss the promise of heightened braininess complemented by an enviable degree of brawniness. </quote>
    • <quote>Every generation gets the self-help guru that it deserves</quote>
    • Others in the Genre
      • Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich,” 1937.
      • Norman Vincent Peale,  “The Power of Positive Thinking,” 1952.
      • Stephen Covey, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” “1980s.”
      • Spencer Johnson, “Who Moved My Cheese?,” “1990s.”

Security Collapse in the HTTPS Market | ACM Queue

Axel Arnbak, Hadi Asghari, Michel van Eeten, Nico van Eijk; Security Collapse in the HTTPS Market; In ACM Queue; 2014-09-23.

  • Axel Arnbak, University of Amsterdam
  • Hadi Asghari, Delft University of Technology
  • Michel van Eeten, Delft University of Technology
  • Nico van Eijk, University of Amsterdam



Security Collapse in the HTTPS Market: Price and Market Share of DV Certificates

Security Collapse in the HTTPS Market: Price and market share of EV certificates

People All Over the World Are Afraid of Happiness | Pacific Standard

Hating Happiness; ; In Pacific Standard; 2014-09-25.
Teaser: People all over the world are afraid of happiness, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s yet another challenge to the notion that positive thinking can heal all wounds.

tl;dr => a survey of the field threaded through Mohsen Joshaloo’s recent publications.


  • Mohsen Joshanloo, a post-doc fellow at Chungbuk University in South Korea*
  • Joshanloo et al. (a lot of authors); Cross-Cultural Validation of Fear of Happiness Scale Across 14 National Groups; In Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology; 2013; paywalled; Mohsen Joshanloo, Zarina Kh. Lepshokova, Tatiana Panyusheva, Amerkhanova Natalia, Wai-Ching Poon, Victoria Wai-lan Yeung, Suresh Sundaram, Mustapha Achoui, Ryosuke Asano, Tasuku Igarashi, Saori Tsukamoto, Muhammad Rizwan, Imran Ahmed Khilji, Maria Cristina Ferreira, Joyce S. Pang, Lok Sang Ho, Gyuseog Han1, Jaechang Bae1, Ding-Yu Jiang.
  • Joshanloo; et al. (a lot of authors); Fragility of Happiness Beliefs Across 15 National Groups; In Journal of Happiness Studies; 2014-07-20; paywalled; Mohsen Joshanloo, Dan Weijers, Ding-Yu Jiang, Gyuseog Han, Jaechang Bae, Joyce S. Pang, Lok Sang Ho, Maria Cristina Ferreira, Melikşah Demir, Muhammad Rizwan, Imran Ahmed Khilji, Mustapha Achoui, Ryosuke Asano, Tasuku Igarashi, Saori Tsukamoto, Sanne M. A. Lamers, Yücel Turan, Suresh Sundaram, Victoria Wai Lan Yeung, Wai-Ching Poon, Zarina Kh. Lepshokova, Tatiana Panyusheva, Amerkhanova Natalia.
  • Richard Nisbett, Yanjie Su; Culture, Change, and Prediction; In Psychological Science; Volume 12, Number 6; 2001-11; pages 450-456. paywalled
  • Luo Lu, Robin Gilmour; Culture and conceptions of happiness: individual oriented and social oriented swb; In Journal of Happiness Studies; Volume 5, Issue 3; 2004 pp 269-291; paywalled
  • Mohsen Joshanloo, Dan Weijers; Aversion to Happiness Across Cultures: A Review of Where and Why People are Averse to Happiness; In
    Journal of Happiness Studies; Volume 15, Issue 3; 2014-06; pages 717-735; paywalled
  • Ashley Fulmer, Michele Joy Gelfand, Arie W. Kruglanski, Ed Diener, Antonio Pierro, E. Tory Higgins, Chu Kim-Prieto; On ‘Feeling Right’ in Cultural Contexts: How Person-Culture Match Affects Self-Esteem and Subjective Well-Being; In Psychological Science; Volume 21, Number 11; 2010-04-23; pages 1563-1569; Also a Columbia Business School Research Paper
  • Eunkook Suh et al; some study; In American Psychologist; 1998.
  • Paul. Gilbert, K. McEwan, Gibbons, S. Chotai, J. Duarte, M. Matos; Fears of compassion and happiness in relation to alexithymia, mindfulness, and self-criticism; In Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice; Volume 85, Issue 4; 2012-12; pages 374–390; paywalled
  • Barbara Ehrenreich; Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America; Picador, 1st edition; 2010-08-03; 256 pages.
  • Negaters
  • Defensive Pessimism Quiz, attributed to Julie Norem.
  • Your Gloomy Friends Don’t Want Cheering UpPaul Bisceglio; In Pacific Standard; 2014-06-25.
    citation introduces negative validation of feelings.
  • World Happiness Report; (funded by) the United Nations.
  • Army expanding mental health program despite research; Gregg Zoroya; In USA Today; 2013-10-07.
    Mentions the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness training, of the U.S. Army; a program aimed at reducing post-traumatic stress disorder for U.S. soldiers through positive thinking and optimism.

Medium Data Is Big | Advertising Week Social Club

Medium Data Is Big; Tessa Wegert(Contently); In Advertising Week Social Club; 2014-09-18.

tl;dr => It’s an ad for Contently, apparently which does content management and social media advertising.


The medium data is qualitative data, whatever that is.  It generates massive awareness, whatever that is.

Recall, big data is … very big (and necessarily quantitative)..