Money in Politics

This article on CNN today expresses a lot of the reasoning behind why I created MyElectedRep.

With 3 of the 4 Republican candidates for President being heavily sponsored by single donors with $100+M in assets are you feeling more or less confident that after the next election cycle our elected officials will represent us and not the super wealthy that paid for their campaigns?

The only way we can keep our Representatives accountable is if we vote and show them how we want to be represented.

We need a place to point to, where we can show elected officials that they’re not doing their job. A place where we can show that on a certain item a district wants to vote one way. Then we can score our Representatives on whether or not they listened.

By measuring the votes that each Representative makes, it becomes less important to control the money that they receive.

Android isn’t open source

There’s been a lot of discussion over documents coming out about Google’s strategy with Android. Google wants to use a Carrot and Stick strategy with Android to try and maintain control of the platform. This involves giving hardware manufacturers that behave early access to new code. It also meant that the code is developed in private and only released after the fact.

I don’t care what Google or others say, this isn’t open source. This is published source. There is no way to see bugs, contribute a patch, or take part in discussions on development. The only saving grace is that Google is publishing their code with a fairly unrestrictive license.

What this situation is screaming for is to have someone with a desire to actually behave in an open source manner to come along and fork the code. Then allow developers to contribute to that branch and let Google go it on their own. My hope is that Amazon will do exactly that with their fork of the Android code base.

Getting EHCache to shutdown cleanly in a webapp

I was seeing an annoying issue with a webapp having trouble shutting down cleanly. I would issue the tomcat stop command and most everything would shutdown, but I’d get this error:

Exception in thread "Multicast Heartbeat Receiver Thread" java.lang.NullPointerException
 at org.slf4j.impl.Log4jLoggerAdapter.error(
 at net.sf.ehcache.distribution.MulticastKeepaliveHeartbeatReceiver$

After the error, the Multicast Heartbeat Receiver would not shutdown and would just hang. Eventually you would have to kill off the java process manually.

Doing a quick search found this page. With a small snippet added to the web.xml to add a shutdown listener everything shutdowns cleanly now.