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Friday, February 17, 2017

New Political Officials Interface

In April 2011, I developed a political interface allowing visitors to the WiredPages Government & Education page, the ability to query for political officials based on a United States address.

Illustrated in this post, how the interface used to look on the page.

Almost from the very beginning there were issues with the initial version of the interface, mainly because it required three entirely different input resources- to generate the data.

The initial resources included:

  • Sunlight Labs
  • VoteSmart
  • Yahoo

In 2013 or so, I stopped trying to maintain the political officials interface and then of course, the hosting-q.com domain moved to a new IP which caused a security risk for all of the tools I maintain on that domain.

Rather than update my security triggers, I decided to allow most of the tools hosted on hosting-q.com to use the "unauthorized use" message. That said, many of the tools still work-- [I can run them from my local environment]- however I will not update the online versions until I can secure my domains. I am not sure when this will happen.

In any case, yesterday morning I found a service that offers the political data as part of their API offerings-- and decided to implement a new interface. This is how the new interface looks- running in the local environment [via NetBeans] on my Macbook.

Also shown, part of the data returned from the API service. As I have indicated on a number of occasions, I am not sure when I will install the new interfaces I have been updating or rewriting entirely, however I am ready to go if I resolve my domain security issues.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Jobs, Events, Real Estate--- Hanover, MD- Happening...

Those who read my personal blog [It's Personal], know that I maintain a Facebook Page for Hanover, MD Businesses which attempts to highlight the many businesses & happenings in my hometown.

Hanover, Maryland these days seems more like an ever growing metropolis, rather than the mid-size town I moved to in 1996.

There are several reasons for this...

  • Arundel Mills [huge outlet mall that hosts big outlets for major retailers like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave] opened in 2000. See a complete list here.
  • Maryland Live! Casino opened in 2012
  • Proximity to Fort Meade and the National Security Agency.
  • It also does not hurt that an international airport, BWI is less than 5 miles away.

When I started the FB Hanover, MD Business Page in 2010, I thought I would connect with other business owners in the area, even though my business, QiSoftware is listed with a Columbia address.

In 2013 or so, I started listing websites and Facebook pages for the businesses or events in the area.

New features that I want to add to the pages include:

  • Hanover, MD Jobs, currently the "Use App" button on the Facebook page
  • Area Events, The Casino and RamsHead Stage often offer headliners.
  • Real Estate, another area that has grown quite a bit.

To that end, today, I built two new interfaces that I will eventually integrate as page tabs for the FB Hanover MD Business page. One offering, area jobs as provided by Indeed, and the other, area events offered by Eventful.

Shown below, the new servlets running in stand-alone mode on my Macbook. Just behind the two windows showing the output from each, is the Netbeans IDE which is providing the local server I use for implementation, testing and debug for most of the software I develop.

There are several restrictions when integrating widgets and interfaces on Facebook pages, including size restrictions and using resources from secure sites. Neither of my sites, qisoftware.com nor hosting-q.com uses SSL certifications, however I hope to incorporate this feature to one or both of the sites- sometime in the future.

In the meantime, I do have other options for installing the new interfaces to the Hanover MD Business Page-- as a tab on the Facebook page, however want to hold off to investigate as many options as possible. Hopefully, I will have these new interfaces in place in the near future.


Friday, September 30, 2016

New Celebrity Birthday Interface & Issues...

Last week I finished populating the Celebrity Birthday Database I maintain locally on my Macbook. It was a manual process, in that I no longer maintain the database online for security reasons.

In the past, the WiredPages Style and Events page used the data within a Java Applet to provide visitors with the current Celebrity Birthdays.

Initially, I developed a JDBC servlet which on a daily basis- extracted the data from a source and then inserted the data to my online database. About 3 months before retrieving all of the data for a complete year of celebrity birthdays- I made a mistake and deleted most of the records. The most recent backup was missing about a month of the records.

Also when I checked the online database, I found the data was corrupt. Birthdays that I had intentionally deleted, [that first year I checked every day to insure the data being inserted would be useful to WiredPages visitors and therefore manually deleted some of the records my software inserted]-- were somehow reinserted. I know this was malicious because of the birthdays selected for reinsertion.

I maintain several databases I custom built for WiredPages, and the Celebrity Birthday Database perhaps the most valuable in that the data was mined from a credible source-- initially with software.

Because of the security issues with both the idea of theft of the database and the insertion of data I did not want, I chose not to leave a credible database online at the current location.

My plan was/is to move the entire site to a more secure host and create and build the new version online from the Celebrity Birthday Database I maintain on my Macbook.

I have been planning this move for awhile. Right now, mainly hoping that DOJ and others help with the resolution of the many legal issues involved with my business and personal affairs.

So though I try to do very little in the way of coding, and even less in the way of updating anything online-- I did do a little work today.

I am moving away from the Java Applet and starting to work on new interfaces that provide the same data to WiredPages' visitors without the Applet. In the future, I will continue to use Java-- however mostly only Java Servlet technology. This will be more friendly for mobile devices and the newer browsers being used with the latest releases of operating systems, i.e., Windows 10, Chrome, etc..

Shown below-- my work environment today, including my IDE, local Database Management Software and a Firefox browser window showing how the new Celebrity Birthday Interface will look. The interface is shown in stand alone mode-- however will be easy to integrate on the WiredPages Style & Events Page when I decide to move everything online.


I was so pleased to complete the insertion of the remaining records to the local Celebrity Birthday Database earlier in the week, I could not wait to rewrite the JDBC Servlet interface to access the data. I really miss coding and researching new ideas for WiredPages. I hope to get moving on other updates in the near future, however wanted to provide some of the details involved.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Minor Update, Nothing to Steal My New Bag Over....

Recently, an API source touched base about changes that will go into effect mid August 2015, as related to usage of their offerings.

As many of you may be aware, because of security issues I have done little to update the underlying code for widgets and applications I maintain on WiredPages and other areas of the QiSoftware site [qisoftware.com].

I am still hoping that my issues, as related to Washington will resolve themselves so that I can move on -- and move my sites. There is really no point in updating software and site functionality before such time.

That said, yesterday I did update the code for the API data source in question, based on the recommendation of the source-- and then tested the code.

It felt great to fire up my IDE [Netbeans] and work on a programming issue, though the issue very minor in nature.

No, I did not install the new Java Class file for the updated code. As I explained in an earlier post, when I write mini applications and widgets for WiredPages and other areas of qisoftware.com-- I secure them to my server's IP address-- so that no one else can run the widget/application from other domains. Some may have noticed the "No Authorization" message.

Awhile back, my web hosting platform-- changed the IP address for the hosting-q.com domain where I maintain most of the servlets for my applications. This looked suspicious because of the timing and why they may have wanted me to change the IP address within the security section of my code. I chose not to update the code with the new IP address thinking this would be over any day... That is still the premise- "this will be over any day". I will update all of the applications and widgets when I move my domains to new servers. Hopefully, when this ends.

DOJ/FBI, some I feel are having a hard time with-- no.. Please help them to get off my sites. Check tapes from July 12th, 2015. Thank you.

This post mainly to remind visitors and US Government employees-- my position on these matters. I said no. New Bag Reference


Thursday, March 13, 2014

QiSoftware Widget/Tool Status

As you are aware, over the years I have developed a myriad of Web 2.0 tools and widgets for use on WiredPages. Over the last two years several tools have become inoperable because the resources I used to power the tools no longer work the way they did when I wrote the individual interfaces.

The reasons I do not update code in this time period-- are well documented. Legal issues with Washington are unresolved and the security of my working code would be at risk. Many of the repairs were easy because I have all of my old source code and I have already researched ways to correct the problems.

That said, over the weekend I received notification from my qisoftware.com web hosting provider that the IP address for my domain would be changing. I thought there would be a problem, in that I include a security feature in most of programs that disables the program if it is not being served up from one of my sites [hosting-q.com and qisoftware.com] via the respective IP addresses that were assigned when I originally wrote the code.

Yesterday, most of the widgets went dead. They are not really dead, they simply will provide a "not authorized" message insofar as usage because the IP address changed for qisoftware.com.

The IP change has also affected the Amazon Widget I developed for the It's Personal Blog. All versions of the Blogger Calendar remain operational.

At this time, I have no plans to make the necessary minor updates to the underlying source code for the programs to make the tools operational again. It is more related to security issues.

This note, simply to explain the issues involved. There is also a blog post [dated March 9th, 2014-- I try not to link to Q's Wire in that someday I hope to remove that personal blog from qisoftware.com] on Q's Wire that discusses the IP change and what would most likely happen.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

what's not working...

It's been a long year and its time to move on. I hoped that I would be moving qisoftware.com-- but things have not gone as planned. I am told DOJ is still working the issues.

In the meantime, I have been researching the issues with WiredPages. My recent request to have the iTunes affiliate reinstated for WiredPages was granted so -- the iTunes search widget on the Entertainment page, is again working.

I am also going to again start reporting Amazon Affiliate stats-- on this blog as well as It's Personal. I am told-- a recent ad-- placed on It's Personal- was a success [300+ units sold]- however not reflected in my stats. I am not sure why. Even more incredible-- I am given the real stats as if to taunt.

Things in disrepair on WiredPages:

  • The GeoPlace widget on the Reference page.
  • Congressional Rep. interface
  • World Weather Tool
  • Currency Converter [Dining & Travel]
  • Horoscopes [Entertainment]
  • Market Bug [Home & Business pages]
  • CIA World Fact Book Interface [Reference]
  • Dictionary Widget Slow [Reference]

I have fixes for most of the issues-- however have been hesitant about implementation because of on going problems-- documented in-- Q's Wire and It's Personal.


Monday, April 15, 2013

AP News Feeds...

I noticed on Saturday, April 13th, 2013 the AP news feeds on WiredPages were working again. There was a blockage problem. I did not update code- and have explained many times-- I am not updating code until I move to a new server.

I also noticed on Saturday, the World Weather tool is no longer working though intermittently before Saturday. Again, this problem will not be corrected until I move to a new server.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Ran Local Weather App Tests-- Success

This morning I ran tests on my local version of the World Weather Tool. I know I said I was not doing this- but wanted to check into it anyway. Works fine. Here are some screen grabs.



>

The malfunction of this application online appears to be because someone has installed a version other than mine. Yes, when I first noticed this problem I did reinstall the associated applet and servlet files-- however at the time it did not work. I was sure I cleared my applet buffers just in case. Tampering with my files is unauthorized and I have asked the proper authorities to look into it- over and over.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

AP News & Weather Tool Dead

Overnight the AP News interfaces installed on several WiredPages along with the World Weather Tool on the homepage-- went into disrepair. In that I want to move qisoftware.com to a dedicated server sometime in the future-- I have decided to allow things like this to go for now.

Why keep the site online if I am planning to do this? As I have indicated before-- I do plan on revamping the entire news service however I am not interested in writing or updating code for an IP that I will discontinue using sometime in the future. My code is tied to IPs and domains to prevent others from using it. Updating code at this time would be a stupid security mistake on my part and I have decided to let it go for now.

FYI-- Limited updates will be tested offline and be readied for online production when I get the sites moved. I repeat limited.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Horoscopes Problem...

The feed for my horoscopes widget is not updating in a timely manner therefore-- the widget is not providing the current day's horoscopes.

The feed updates around 5:00 pm each day [for the current day]. This post just to provide I am aware of the problem-- however it is at the feed source and nothing I can do on my side, i.e., fix broken software. Not a problem with the software.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

YouTube Music Video Search Fix

Awhile back, I noticed some of the video selections returned from the YouTube Music Search Widget [offered here], were unplayable because the frame window was too small.

I have corrected this problem within the software and it should work for most of the videos returned from the search. Let me know if you have problems-- contact.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Copyright Reminders

The first version of Q's Wire was online between November 2004 through July 2007. I took it offline-- because it dealt with a lot of body language issues that I previously had not understood. I will learn of Deep Throat in December 2006 and have two blog posts-- one in October 2006 and one in December 2006 explaining I knew nothing in October 2006 and then learned something in December 2006. The post reads so young. I had no idea.

I provide this information to explain why a post about my first version of the Blogger Calendar for WordPress was taken offline. Brief summary-- I developed my first version of the Blogger Calendar for the Blogger platform-- however for a blog sitting on a private domain-- blog.qisoftware.com. You may remember this post-- "Dating Your Blog". In November 2004 I started a personal blog-- "Garden Pleasures" which I later renamed Q's Wire.

In January 2005 I developed the WordPress version of Blogger calendar and wrote a post. Here is the Unix grep command I did on the directory where I keep all of the original posts for the first version of Q's Wire [larger image can be viewed in a separate browser window]:

Here is a screen grab of the actual posts that were returned based on the grep search:

I developed several versions of the Blogger Calendar-- the latest for the Thingamablog platform.

  • Blogger FTP Private Domain
  • Blogger Blogspot servers
  • Movable Type
  • Thingamablog
  • WordPress

The link from this blog about the different versions of the calendar:

I recently discovered a optimization process that I might add to the WordPress and MovableType servlets that power the applets-- however it will be at a later date. Basically it will force the clearing of a large array I am using in the servlet-- however it really should not matter in that I developed this tool when I still had dial up and the first version had over 2000 posts and I never noticed a problem with the server [qisoftware.com]. It is a minor adjustment-- and should have no affect other than it makes things a little tidier. Java is supposed to do this type of cleanup automatically-- however I am going to run some tests to see if it makes a difference.

That said-- this is simply a reminder about when I developed the WordPress version of the Blogger Calendar-- January 2005. I also have a lot of tar backups for the site-- between 2004-2007. I was a lot better then about backing up the site on a regular basis than I am now and it takes a lot less time to down load now. Do not go after this.. I can prove too easily I developed the code and when.

Update: 4.11.12. QiSoftware and Regina D. Thomas [Sole Proprietor QiSoftware a legal Business entity in the state of Maryland]-- has had a great deal of interest in the Blogger Calendar [based on the form emails received from the interface on Q's Wire]-- however has never sold a Blogger Calendar nor received a phone call concerning the calendar. If you believe this is in error-- contact the FBI. They should have an open file on Regina Denise Thomas and her business-- QiSoftware.


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Congressional Data-- *@<#!...

The government representative interface that I developed for the WiredPages Government & Entertainment page used three different calls to provide the Federal and local for a specific address. The calls:

  • Geo Location Data returning, zip code and Latitude & Longitude coordinates given the address.
  • Sunlight Labs returned Federal representatives based on the Geo data.
  • VoteSmart provided the local representatives based on the Geo data.

A month or so ago- Sunlight stopped returning the Federal data however did start again. Today I discovered VoteSmart no longer returns the local representatives. I knew they were going to a subscription based model however misunderstood that it was mandatory. I have opted to pass on the subscription in that I feel it is too costly for my needs.

I could have changed the program to use the Sunlight local data- however, at this time I am going to pass. It would be relatively easy to use the Sunlight local representative data- however the problem a month ago-- has left me a bit wary and I am going to hold off for now. I can offer a private demonstration for potential clients wanting the more robust interface using either Sunlight or VoteSmart.

Sometimes, I notice a bit of pressure to do things a certain way-- and I believe it may have been misunderstood I would use the Sunlight data for all requests. I do not want others to waste their time on this [pressure that I will ignore]. I am not kidding. I can provide private demonstration of a more robust interface showing all representatives for a given address however, at this time for WiredPages-- it will only return the Federal Representatives.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Congressional Interface Issues 3/11/12

Late Friday, I noticed issues with the Congressional Representative Interface I maintain on the WiredPages Government & Education page.

You will note-- local representatives are being returned but not those for Federal. The odd thing, when I reloaded the interface yesterday it worked fine briefly. This may be a problem for my IP area only-- in that I can pull browser requests using my API-KEY.

Why this issue began now is unclear-- but if it is not corrected by next week I will look into another solution. This note simply to provide I am aware of the problem-- however feel I am dealing with a hard headed individual who did not understand what it was I was I trying to say.

Making a mistake.. Leave my sites and interfaces alone. Yes, I understand this problem is probably an IP dependent problem and my local area may be the only area with the problem. That said- leave it alone.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

YouTube Music Search-- Installed on WiredPages

Installed the YouTube Music Search Interface on the Arts & Entertainment page of WiredPages.

Here is a screen shot.

Two issues came up that helped with my decision to install the interface at this time:

One, a potential client wanted something similar and requested a demonstration of other work I had done. I gave him this link. He claimed it did not work. Worked perfectly when I tried it. In any case, I now have two separate versions running online. Either he wanted me to load a non-secured version or he did not want to give me the opportunity. In the latter case-- I am not sure why he simply did not ignore my bid. This leading me to believe-- he wanted to see if I would load the non-secured version.

Two, when I developed the original version-- I did not use my API Key to pull the music video search requests. Last night, I noticed it appears someone tried to link my YouTube account to another service. It was done incorrectly and almost hidden in my Youtube account settings. I added the YouTube service to my main Google account in August of this year. Last night, I linked my Google Adsense account to my "new" YouTube account-- {both Google services} and I am using my key with this version of the interface-- to see if I get credit for the music video requests via the Google Adsense account [under the same account name]. So it was also installed to test the Adsense/Youtube linkage.

I should probably also note-- the reason I did not append my API Key to the first YouTube Search Interface, insofar as the requests-- was because it was my understanding the only way to generate revenue was through videos uploaded by the user [in this case, me]. I have no videos on YouTube nor does my interface update their database or attempt to retrieve private data.. so I really did not need to sign up with YouTube for the searches and requests my interfaces are performing. I continue to believe this [Adsense ads on your own videos] is true- but I decided to test anyway.

This interface is a Java Servlet that uses Google's GData and the YouTube API.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Amazon Web Services: Supported

After signing with Amazon's Associates program in August 2010 I did little or no research into integrating their web services on my sites, however did feel-- if a client wanted this type of service, I could come up to speed with a little research. Work I had done with Commission Junction's SOAP offering and Facebook's API determining factors in my confidence levels.

At the time-- I had done extensive work with Commission Junction, Linkshare and a myriad of other online retailers insofar as integrating money making ads on sites via their respective API offerings-- and at first glance, the Amazon web services looked more complicated than I wanted tackle at the time.

Saturday, December 3rd 2011 while perusing Freelancer gigs-- I noticed an Amazon web services project that looked interesting-- so I decided to do more research. I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon, Sunday and Monday coming up to speed and now feel-- I can support Amazon offerings with ease.

Here is a screen grab of an application I developed using Amazon's Product Advertising API.

The interface is currently installed on qisoftware.com, however will be removed today. The installation was about 24 hours and only for testing and to see the type of statistics being reported via my Amazon Associates account. I will not have the stats until sometime after 9:00 am this morning.

The interface is a Java servlet and uses an authorization signing process.

I also integrated the "add to cart" feature which is a big deal to affiliates insofar as getting credit for their visitors' clicks. In this case-- the "add to cart" button generates a popup window for potential buyers to confirm their purchase-- as illustrated below.

In that there will be no online demonstration of this interface-- private demonstrations will be available for potential clients wanting something similar.

QiSoftware offers custom tools for almost any platform using most forms of provider data. See my contact page for more info.

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Friday, December 02, 2011

GoodGuide Interface-- Beta

Beta testing a new interface which provides consumer reviews for products and is powered by GoodGuide.

Temporally removed from server-- illustration provided instead.

Please keep in mind-- I am still beta testing. The tool will eventually be installed on the WiredPages Shopping page. At this time, I am simply trying to check several things on different platforms using the platform dependent browsers.

This interface is a Java Servlet that uses the GoodGuide API.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

API Usage Architecture: Why This and Not That.

The following illustration shows the current weather forecast for Wadenswil, Switzerland as provided by the WeatherBug Rest API offering.

Recently, while rewriting the World Weather Tool I maintain on WiredPages- I considered using this Rest API offering.

The reason I did not use the WeatherBug API offering? The explanation is a little detailed. The short response-- I had to rewrite the interface quickly and chose to keep the software architecture I used for the original. The more detailed explanation is provided so potential clients understand their options.

I developed the original World Weather Tool in 2003 when the WeatherChannel first began offering the API XML feed. At the time they also offered a Software Developer Kit (SDK) which included weather image icons. This enabled me to efficiently use Java Applet technology to render the images quickly.

Since then I have developed any number of interfaces powered by API offerings using Java Servlet technology [sans the front end Applet GUI].

Today, most API services-- provide pointers and links to image files [or other resource files], as illustrated above or demonstrated on the WiredPages Technology page where the CNET interface is installed.

I am using local [hosted on my server] weather image icons for the World Weather Tool illustrated below. Originally and still today.

More often today-- I request the image resources directly from the API provider's site. Rendering remote images with a Java Applet would be a little more time consuming [the amount of time the server side Java Servlet would need to process each request and transfer the raw image data to the applet] and in my opinion, inefficient. The Java Applet does not allow direct import of remote resources as a security precaution.

So recently, why did I use Java Applet and Servlet technology for the Eventful Events Interface? I wanted to use the list feature the Java Applet technology offered.

QiSoftware offers custom tools for almost any platform using most forms of provider data. See my contact page for more info.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Custom API Interfaces- Weather Demo.

QiSoftware offers custom interfaces that use popular APIs from various major networks. I plan to add the following demonstration to the QiSoftware Solutions Catalog.

This demonstration uses the WeatherChannel API however, I also have experience with The WeatherBug API.

I have used a myriad of APIs offered by organizations who want developers and site owners to take advantage of their data offerings.

I have not yet provided more detailed descriptions within the QiSoftware Solutions Catalog-- however wish to assure those wanting a custom interface [which adds dynamic depth to a site using API resources]-- QiSoftware probably has the experience you want.

See my contact page for more info.

Note: This version of my JMF Video Applet Player will not work with older Mac operating systems and Java JVM versions.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

NY Times Movie Reviews-- Beta

Beta testing a new interface which provides movie reviews from the New York Times.


Please keep in mind-- I am still beta testing. The new interface will probably be installed on the WiredPages Arts & Entertainment page, however not sure when, at this time.

This interface is a Java Servlet that utilizes the API service offered by the New York Times. Another note: I am using literal searches-- so the text must be exact and although the New York Times has reviewed a lot of movies and has a massive database to offer-- they have not reviewed every movie.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

YouTube Music Search-- Beta

Beta testing a new interface which provides YouTube music video search and play.


Please keep in mind-- I am still beta testing. I am thinking of installing the tool on the WiredPages Media page-- however will decide later. Will probably also have additional modifications to the look of the tool-- however at this time simply trying to check several things on different platforms using the platform dependent browsers.

This interface is a Java Servlet that utilizes Google's YouTube GData.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Events Interface- Beta Testing...

I am currently beta testing the new Events Search interface. When complete-- I will install the interface on the WiredPages Style & Events page [lower right corner]. This testing should be complete within a couple of days.

During this phase of testing-- you may notice minor changes or corrections to the interface. To ensure you have the latest version -- clear your browser's cache periodically-- in that the interface uses a Java Applet.

This blog does not allow for topic discussion, however if you would like to leave a comment [bugs, etc.]-- you can do so here or here.

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