WordCamp Day Is Here

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for — South Carolina’s first WordCamp, right here in Charleston. Here’s the schedule.

My BoomTown colleague Jason “Frock” Finneyfrock is on at 9am talking about how we use Vagrant and Puppet to maintain development environments; I’m on at 2:30 with an overhauled version of my August 2013 WordCamp Charleston talk, WordPress at Peak Performance.

If you weren’t able to get a ticket (we sold out on Thursday!), never fear — the sessions are being recorded. I’ll update when they are posted to the Web.

If you were able to get a ticket, I sure hope to see you out there! It will be a fun time and I hope you learn a lot.

Dual-polarization radar is worth its weight in gold

Tornado debris signature on April 28, 2014 in SE Tennesee.
Tornado debris signature as seen by the Hytop, AL radar (KHTX) on the night of April 28, 2014. Clockwise from left: Base reflectivity, storm relative velocity, correlation coefficient, differential reflectivity (ZDR). Tornado debris signature is where the “debris ball” of high reflectivity (reds and pinks) colocate with the strong velocity couplet (reds and yellows next to greens in the velocity image), the drop in correlation coefficient (blue circle) and ZDR (gray areas).

Dan Satterfield: NWS Weather Radar Upgrade Proving Wildly Successful

Dual-polarization is a new thing, but I sure don’t know how I or anyone else confidently interpreted radar without it. There is little doubt that the confidence dual-pol products lend to warning forecasters and broadcast meteorologists conveying those critical messages saved a lot of lives on April 28. (Unfortunately, 36 people have died as a result of the outbreak, so there is still plenty of work to be done.)

Updated: IEM Chat Alerts using Adium and Growl

Updated: IEM Chat Alerts using Adium and Growl

The public Iowa Environmental Mesonet chat rooms, which relay real-time NWS products over XMPP, have moved to a new conference server (conference.weather.im), so I updated my reasonably popular (popular has a strange meaning on this blog) post about how to set up popup alerts using Growl to reflect this new info. I also have confirmed that the message phrasing in NWSChat (the National Weather Service’s private chat system for emergency managers and media members) is the same as what is relayed over the public weather.im chat server, so those of you who use Adium with NWSChat will be able to take advantage of Growl’s priority system. I know Growl is less popular now that Notification Center is integrated into OS X, but Growl is still immensely powerful for the right use case (and this is still a great one).

Twitter reverts to the old blocking scheme

Twitter is restoring the old blocking scheme.

Good news.

As a side note, this would be a good opportunity for Twitter to look at a mute feature, which roughly would be the new blocking behavior, just implemented alongside the block feature that forces an unfollow. Third-party apps have been doing this for a long time; it seems to make sense to give people the ability to curate their feeds more carefully if someone is being loud (like live-tweeting sports, for instance).

Two good reads on Twitter’s new blocking scheme

Update: Twitter is reverting to the old block functionality.

I’m not a huge fan of Twitter’s new blocking scheme. These two posts do a great job of explaining why:

hypatia dot ca:

Blocking, even on a public account, is surprisingly effective at dealing with low-grade harassment. Most harassers just aren’t that invested in the person they are bothering, and putting up the tiniest roadblock will make them move on to their next target. I had this conversation with a Googler shortly after G+ shipped, as its blocking behavior was at the time the same as the new Twitter behavior. I have no idea what it is now because I hate G+ and don’t use it, and I realized that this may be unintuitive to someone who hasn’t experienced harassment before – but trust me, as someone who has, it works a lot of the time. Which is great!

The Daily Dot:

Unfortunately, by enacting this policy change, more people will simply lock their accounts to bring back the capabilities of the “old” block. Not exactly the transparency Twitter is hoping for.