March 2008

Rick Astley on Rickrolling

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2008

It was bound to happen: someone managed to interview Rick Astley and ask him what he thinks of Rickrolling.

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b5media is Looking for a New Director of Technology

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2008

Wild-haired guy surrounded by old computers

Farewell, Aaron

Aaron BrazellIt’s official: Aaron Brazell, the Director of Technology for b5media (where I hold the title of Nerd Wrangler), is leaving to pursue other projects. When he joined the company, it was a startup literally operating out of a garage and running on shared hosting. We’re now a blog network of over 300 blogs with a total of 10 million unique pageviews per month. I’ve worked with him for a mere three weeks — and one of those was spent at the South by Southwest Interactive conference — but he’s a solid guy, and his skills are evident in his work and the high regard in which he is held.

Here’s an excerpt from his “farewell” post in his blog, Technosailor:

It’s been a great ride, but now it’s time to look forward and explore new territory. Recently, through my interactions with so many wonderful people in the DC technology community, the PodCamp community, the larger social media, business and technology communities, my appetite for something new and challenging has been overwhelming. I’ve had several conversations with Jeremy Wright, our CEO, over the past months exploring this stuff and he has been amazingly supportive, as has the rest of the b5media team.

An exact date has not been set, as I want to make sure a replacement is found and brought up to speed, however it will probably be within the next couple of months.

Hello…You?

Uncle Sam: I want you for b5media

With Aaron’s departure comes a job opening for a new Director of Technology. Could it be you?

Here are some points on the position:

  • You must either live in or be willing to relocate to Toronto. If you have to relocate, b5 will cover the relocation costs.
  • We’re looking for an intermediate- to senior-level developer who’s worked on customer-facing web applications and properties.
  • Our systems run on the LAMP stack and WordPress.
  • b5media is a startup, so you’d have to be comfortable working in a startup environment. We work hard, but we play hard too!
  • We’re a blog network, so we need someone who’s passionate about blogging.
  • You’ll be leading a team of techies working both locally (in Toronto) as well as remotely.
  • Super-duper bonus: you’ll also be working closely with me, as I’m the tech project manager!


Here’s what Jeremy Wright, b5′s CEO, has to say:

End of the day, we hire smart people who like to have fun and really want to build great stuff that tens of millions of people are going to see. The challenges for this year are significant, but so is the opportunity. In fact, by this time next year, this individual will be leading a team of 15-20 folk building some of the most widely used tools in the blogging world.

If you’ve got questions about the job or b5, feel free to email me, but I also strongly recommend that you also email Jeremy (after all, he’s the CEO). We’re looking to fill this position as quickly as possible — if you think you’re our Director of Technology, let us know!

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MySQL’s –i-am-a-dummy Option

by Joey deVilla on March 25, 2008

I never knew that MySQL’s --safe-updates option (which prevents a number of data-destroying mistakes) has a synonym called --i-am-a-dummy.

[Found via Reddit.]

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The b5media Office

by Joey deVilla on March 25, 2008

In case you were curious, here are some pictures of where I work: the b5media office.

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Toronto’s “Portal” Storefronts

by Joey deVilla on March 25, 2008

“Weighted Companion Cube” storefronts in Toronto
Click here to see the Flickr page for the top storefront, and click here to see the Flickr page for the bottom storefront.

First, a confession: I have not played Portal yet. Yes, I’m a negligent geek. I’ve got The Orange Box for the XBox 360 sitting in my living room, but haven’t gotten around to firing it up yet (in fact, I’m still working on Mass Effect and Assassin’s Creed, and that’s on top of keeping up with my spare-time programming, plus Toronto tech community stuff, plus other non-geeky pursuits).

While I haven’t gotten around to playing Portal, I’m quite aware of its gameplay and the role that Weighted Companion Cubes play in the game. That’s why I smiled when I saw these storefronts created by Posterchild, Toronto’s answer to Bansky. If you’re in Toronto, you can check out these storefronts up close and in person — the top storefront is at 644 Bloor Street West (near Euclid) and the bottom storefront is at 725 Yonge Street (near Bloor).

[Found via Torontoist.]

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Rickrolling Gets Written Up in the New York Times

by Joey deVilla on March 24, 2008

It’s mainstream now: Rickrolling has been written up in the New York Times.

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“I Find Your Lack of Tests Disturbing”

by Joey deVilla on March 20, 2008

Here’s an inspirational poster for testing advocates who dig on Star Wars

Darth Vader inspirational poster with caption “Testing: I find your lack of tests disturbing”.
Click the photo to see it on its Flickr page.

This photo is one of two testing advocacy posters that Sebastian Bergmann has put into a Flickr photoset.

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