Helga Mohammed

Helga Screwed The Site

By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
April 7th 2015, 14:03


One of the many drawbacks of being a cheap-ass is that in a cloud-enabled, shared-resource, pay-to-play world, one can exceed his/her quota pretty quickly if it's set with unrealistic limits.

What happened this past weekend was exhibit A.

The database that records views ran out of room and required upgrading to another tier of service. Oops. It would also help if you bastards would tell me that the site is down. I can't play helpdesk 24/7 you know.

One of the interesting things I found was that various Bots were responsible for 38% of traffic. This means most of the costs of traffic with none of the ad revenue. If this persists, or if you free-loaders don't start clicking on more ads, LG will be retired once more.



Helga Mohammed

Responsive Design

By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
March 12th 2015, 14:31

UPDATE: Responsive Design

Helga's testing has clocked Azure at about 3k requests per second on the blob storage with absolutely no delay longer than 10ms. He/She like this a lot. AWS is a slow learner in comparison.

Below is the report card for the last 24hrs. Page load is my fault completely.



Helga Mohammed

Search with Twitter's Typeahead.

By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
March 8th 2015, 08:44

UPDATE: Twitter's Typeahead

Helga has been fascinated by Twitter's Typeahead. And decided to build it in. Go d/l it.

Of the many things of which I've been accused, being good at visuals has never been one of them. I can spot a missing semicolon or a double equals instantly on 3 pages of code but I can't tell the difference between gray and grey.

Anyway, here is a POC of Typeahead with 9.5k media pieces. The engine behind this is Azure Search which is still in "preview" because beta is such a bad word. Check out the response time. And this is the free version. Pretty amazing huh?

You see the searchbox in the upper right-hand corner? Go type something into it.



Helga Mohammed

Email Sabotage Fixed.

By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
March 3rd 2015, 08:25

UPDATE: Email Sabotage has been fixed. (Most.)

Long before the days of everyone going collectively apeshit over SOA (Service-oriented architecture), LG built a lot of Flash movies with tons of crap hard-coded. Remember that some of this even pre-dates Flash's XML capabilities so data was fed in and out using form posts or querystrings. Even the domain names were hard-coded. What a travesty. For those who doubt the usefulness of SOA and loose-coupling, you probably don't know just how horrible the alternative is.

Of course, I didn't keep all of the source FLAs and each one would require bothering Slippy (who was smarter and did) but I was more in for the techie challenge of re-routing deprecated data feeds using MVC's considerable routing capabilities and feeding them to a generalist service that would transform the data and make it work with the most recent interface. If you ever programmed to the Windows API, you will have seen thousands of functions that were named: FunctionName() and FunctionNameEX(). This is because MS keeps deprecated functions around forever to keep developers from having to re-write software and breaking things.

This was no fun. More a case study in obsessive compulsion than anything useful. However, the benefit is that you can, once again, prank your unsuspecting friends. If they haven't seen it, it's new to them:




STD Sabotage

Tell a friend that their S/O has an STD. Especially if they've been spending too much time together and you miss them.

You've Been Drafted!

Make your buddy think that they have been drafted by the military. Try sending it to parents too. Always a great laugh.

Your friend is a Cheater

Make a friend believe that their BAE, S/O, Whatever is cheating on them. Then head over to: Helga's Mailroom and read the hatemail that we've received from people thinking it was real.

College Rejection Letter

Friends applying to college? It's always hilarious to get a rejection letter via email.

Your friend is a Sex Offender

Wanna make your friend believe that somebody they know is a sick and nasty pervert who was once thrown in jail for being a sex offender?

Fake News Story: your friend the Sex Pervert

Make your friends believe that somebody they know is a sex pervert. Nothing like a real-looking news story to do the trick.

Fake News Story - Holiday Edition

Prank your friends by sending them a fake news story that features somebody they know. Did one of your friends molest an elf?

Prank your illegal Movie downloaders.

This is still relevant because now copyright holders have been using the DMCA to serve people and their providers with all kinds of accusations.

Prank your illegal Music downloaders.

Ditto for Music. Helga's Mailroom has over 300 emails from those who fell for this.

Is your friend a Facebook Slut?

This is a prank designed to make your friends and enemies believe that someone they know is a Facebook Slut. Not so hard to believe these days.

Scare them with a fake ID-theft sabotage.

This one will make them think their identity is stolen. Identity theft is hilarious!

Helga Mohammed

Sabotage is Back! sorta.

By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
February 14th 2015, 05:25

UPDATE: Email Sabotage has been fixed. (Some.)

Most email sent from 3rd parties gets junked anyway but, interestingly, if one uses the same provider as the recipient, the chances of delivery increase. Thus, instead of using web server SMTP, LG now has accounts at all the major spam factories. Including AOL. More like LOL. I crack myself up.

Given this new info, send to a friend is coming back too after being taken offline in 2009. At the time, our top 10 sender domain list looked like the below. This accounted for ~60% of domains with the rest being one-offs. Who wants to place bets on how this breakdown looks in 2 months and which domain will be the dominant? Actually, I predict it's not too different because people have collectively wised-up to giving sites their closely-guarded emails. Social sharing is the way to go.



P.S.: as a little bonus, I have attached the query that can extract domains from email addresses at runtime. You should not do this at runtime, however. If I caught this at code-review I'd fire your stupid ass. See anything else that's dying to get fixed? helgasmailroom at gmail semi colon com. Just kidding. Dot. (.) you idiot.

Helga Mohammed

Rather Fixed

By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
February 7th 2015, 19:50

UPDATE: Who'd You Rather has been fixed.
I hope. 176,765,740 votes have been cast since 11/22/2002 when
Who'd You Rather? Week 1 launched.

Imagine what you could have accomplished if you had all that time back.



Helga Mohammed


By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
February 6th 2015, 20:05

Over 2 years ago, LG had gone offline. But with the advent of cloud storage and
cheap bandwidth, the annual cost of keeping it alive went down from that of a Rolls
Phantom every year to pretty much a Camry. Just putting it in terms you idiots
can understand.

Now, I hate Microsoft just like all of you. I don't know why but it's cool to say.
Anyway, they really know their shi'ite. Their cloud platform has recently introduced
a freebie version of document database search. So...being a consumer of new things
you and I are testing URL searching via our domain.

Just type a slash "/" after the url and type whatever thing has caught your fancy.
Spaces are OK. Try to break it. I, and 80,000 of my closest friends have. And
succeeded. How? Fuck off. Find it yourself.

I promise you that you will never see a 404. If your search fails all you will ever see is
my beautiful face again (this page). Which is better UX IMHO. Not that I'm that humble.

Anyway: there are a number of things that still don't work. Among them is the
entire series: Rather. Why? Because BLOB storage has difficulty dealing with
QueryStrings which is how data was fed back in the late 90s. Glad you axed huh?
There are other bugs as well. I know some. Obviously not all. Wanna help?
Look me up and send a note. Don't be surprised if I publish it,
especially if you're stupid.


Helga Mohammed el-Salami

Helga Mohammed


By: Helga Mohammed el-Salami
September 6 2002, 12:56 PM

I have been working on a little early Kwanzaa present for all ye who, for years, have harassed me without mercy, written truly loathsome emails and engaged in horrific acts of cyber bullying - all because this stupid game didn't work right.

That's right. I could have gone into a shell, pretended to have a learning disability, anorexia or cerebral palsy or whatever else these posers try to say they have in place of their accountability. But no. Lesson here is that bullying actually works.


As I enjoy the fact that, if not for this, you all might have actually graduated from college.