Mutaku on Google+ Pages

We are now on Google+ Pages as you can see by way of the link on the right side of the page or by clicking here.

If you are a G+ user feel free to swing by the page. Will post software updates and anything Mutaku related to that page as well as to the other regular locations.

Happy G+ing!

Netflix Stock Dives

I have recently vetted some frustration with Netflix of late; you can catch up on here.

Today, according to the NYTimes, Netflix stock has taken quite the dive on news of a huge loss in customer subscriptions. You can read that article here.

The company on Thursday morning revised downward, incrementally, its subscriber estimates for the quarter of the year that ends in two weeks. It did not change its financial guidance for the quarter. Still, its stock dropped almost 15 percent in heavy trading when the market opened Thursday.

Seems to me that these issues need to be more publicly addressed or this could be the legitimate start of Netflix’ fall from the top.


Another Netflix Change … for the worse

It seems you can’t go a day without reading tech news and finding another cringe worthy change to Netflix service. Of late it started with the change in pay scales and the separation of streaming and mail DVDs. Then came the news that they lost their deal with Starz and would no longer be offering many new titles over the streaming service (e.g. Disney or Sony). Now there is news that users with streaming or streaming and one DVD subscriptions would no longer be able to stream content on more than one device at a time.

If we look at these changes individually, they may be justified considering the Netflix model and business versus customer benefits. Heck, it’s capitalism. Individually a customer could easily turn their cheek and continue being entertained for a reasonable fee. However, these issues and announcements have come one after another in a very short time frame. Customers are now faced with three very large changes to their service that simply boil down to less content for more money and greater limitations on access.

Netflix's new payment scale - This is what I used to pay for 3 DVDs at a time

The first negative change, in my mind, during my Netflix customer tenure was the addition of a separate charge for access to Bluray content. The fee was small in and of itself, but when it’s a change of greater than 10% of your total monthly bill it’s not a simple shoulder shrug. However, I bit the bullet and am still accessing Bluray content for an additional fee. Meanwhile, we still do not have Linux support for streaming content. This has always been a big deal for many of us (read: nerds/geeks) but we got around this by installing virtual machines or using a video game console. These were issues that I ultimately brushed off and continued supporting and consuming the Netflix model.

Now we add to the ever growing list of negative changes the announcements of the past several weeks and things begin to come to a different light. Do we continue to support a service which continually raises fees while delivering less content and more limitations? When do we say enough is enough? Where would we go to get the content we want? These are questions which now seem more pertinent than ever and are becoming more pressing as our dollar takes us less far than it used to.

I’ll leave with one last thought that I know would, sadly, win me back over; Netflix natively on Linux.

Stumpy Updated – v1.4.3

The Mutaku URL shortener, Stumpy, has now been updated to version 1.4.3.

You can find out more about Stumpy by clicking the first link in this post to read the initial write up on Mutaku, or you can go to the project page on Github.

Stumpy main page

This release includes a few small bug fixes as well as incorporating a new feature that, for logged in users, shows all of their submitted URLS at the bottom of the main page. Previously, this was only viewable by going through the admin interface. If you are not logged in, you will see the traditional view with the 5 most recent and 5 most visited URLs.

You get get the newest release at the Github page here: v1.4.3

Epic Space vs. Earth Chess Battle

In case you were not aware, there is an ongoing chess battle between astronauts aboard the International Space Station and earthbound individuals. Greg Chamitoff and Greg H. Johnson are battling against moves voted upon by earthlings following the tournament online.

Chess - SPACE VS. EARTH 2011

You can follow the match or jump in on the action at the following sites:

Stumpy v1.4.1 – Critical bug fix

Stumpy has been updated to version 1.4.1 to fix a critical bug that was in all previous versions [Thanks, Erik!]. There was an issue with case-sensitivity in short url lookups that is now all patched up.

For general information on the newer v1.4+ Stumpy, see post here.

Get the newest, fixed version here.

Stumpy v1.4 – Grab it now!

Stumpy has been updated to v1.4.

UPDATE: v1.4 and prior has a bug in short url lookups. v1.4.1 fixes this bug and should used over previous versions. See post here.

There are several fixes here which I will simple highlight as being numerous production setting bug fixes as well as a few visual updates and tweaks. Rolling Stumpy from Django debug mode to a production version run by way of fastcgi revealed a few bugs relating to redirects and submissions running into some problems with WSGI. These have been addressed in the latest set of commits and checking out version 1.4 from the GitHub page should give you something ready to roll non-development setting.

You can get this release here:

In this image you can see the main interface of Stumpy that is presented when you visit the root of your install. A bookmarklet button can be found at the top followed by some basic statistics as well as the most recent stumps and those that have been most utilized.

Stumpy main page

The following image shows part of the admin section for registered users that have been granted permission to access the stump section. This allows for viewing of all the details from the stump model, submission of a URL right through the interface, as well as sorting and viewing URLs through advanced filters or search. Remember, to submit a URL you must be logged into Stumpy as a registered user. You can add users through the root admin interface (not pictured).

Stumpy admin interface - stumps view

I have included a sample Lighttpd stanza in the readme file that can help you setup your webserver to point to Stumpy. Simply edit this file to match your paths and make sure your webserver can run the fcgi script as well as access the socket paths setup in the stanza. You can then change your local_settings debug value to False. Just remember that any changes to files after the server has started won’t take effect until you have either restarted your webserver or the fcgi script. You will also need to have Flup installed  for Django to use fastcgi. Lastly, make sure you have setup your FQDN in the sites section of the admin interface to ensure that links are displayed appropriately as several things use the domain read in from this value.

Stumpy is Now Available!

Stumpy has gone v1.0 and is now available on Github. The project is a URL shortener that I originally wrote in Python and have recently rebuilt from scratch to use the Django Python web framework. Now that I’ve reached what I felt was 1.0 functional code, I’ve moved the repository to the Github public section and is available under a BSD license.

Stumpy goes open source on Github

In brief, I have sucked in the first parts of the README.textile file you can find in the repository which should do most of the explaining as to the what and why. The full file contains instructions on setting everything up and how to get testing it out. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me. However, I’ve tried to keep the README as clear as possible to be able to drop into a Django environment and the code should be pretty self explanatory.


Mutaku URL Shortener


STUMPy is a URL shortener written by xiao_haozi (Mutaku) using the django python web framework.


There are many url shorteners out there, and STUMPy does not do anything groundbreaking.
However, there are several benefits that encouraged it’s development:

  • you keep all the data and can access it at your will
  • you keep all the code and can access/change it at your will
  • simple to use, simple to run, and simple code
  • because of it’s simplicity, it is easy to understand how url shorteners work and some of the possible optimizations
  • uses the django framework which allows for easy expansion, management, and tweaking
  • django also allows for a nice web UI for administration of all of the data


Everything is still in active development, so feel free to watch the repository to keep up with it’s evolution on Github. I will soon have the active Mutaku version of Stumpy up and running which I will post as soon as it’s up so that you can see the code in action.

Head over to the home at Github and clone or fork the source and have at it. Please be sure to add any comments or problems to the issues page on Github and feel free to send in pull requests if you’ve added any fun, interesting, or helpful code.