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Philip Jacob / Whirlycott

Philip Jacob, now available worldwide

Last Build Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2016 04:11:54 +0000


Recover credentials from a Magento installation

Mon, 27 Aug 2012 00:48:40 +0000

In case you ever find yourself trying to recover an API login and transaction key from a Magento installation, you’re in the right place.  What makes this slightly more difficult than reading a value from a config file is that Magento Enterprise encrypts the values.  So this is how to decrypt them. First off, … Continue reading "Recover credentials from a Magento installation"

Pinterest and copyright

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 03:21:38 +0000

There’s a little flare-up going on over at Hacker News over a blog post about Pinterest’s TOS (dated March 29, 2011, which I note only in case it materially changes in the future).  Most of the comments on HN are infuriating because the staggering level of naivete of the top voted comments is greater than normal. … Continue reading "Pinterest and copyright"

How to organize your CDN hostnames

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 21:38:31 +0000

I’ve used the following scheme to manage my hostnames on CDNs for the past few years and I find that it is particularly clean and easy to work with.  While the general scheme I propose here has no ties to any software platform, framework or CDN, I think it would be quite cool if Web … Continue reading "How to organize your CDN hostnames"

Contractor agreements

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 20:31:00 +0000

As part of the diligence process when we sold StyleFeeder to Time Inc. last year, I had to come up with a detailed list of all (yes, all) contracts that the company had executed.  To my surprise, this amounted to several hundred agreements that I had executed with employees, affiliates, hosting partners and – something … Continue reading "Contractor agreements"

StyleFeeder: a retrospective

Sat, 06 Aug 2011 03:42:21 +0000

I haven’t said much publicly about the acquisition of StyleFeeder by Time Inc. for various reasons, but perhaps it’s worth spending a few moments on this topic.  First, vital statistics: $4M invested from Schooner Capital and Highland Capital Partners along with a small army of supportive angels Acquisition price: undisclosed Team size: 5 tech, 1 … Continue reading "StyleFeeder: a retrospective"

Moving on from Time Inc.

Fri, 29 Jul 2011 03:49:37 +0000

In January of 2010, we sold StyleFeeder, the startup I founded, to Time Inc. (additional coverage at WSJ, Xconomy, TechCrunch) and, since then, I’ve spent a truly enjoyable time at the company.  However, I recently decided that I wanted to take some time off to relax and consider the future, so I resigned a few weeks … Continue reading "Moving on from Time Inc."

Some thoughts about Scrum

Tue, 05 Jul 2011 19:32:04 +0000

I was involved in a wee little exchange on ye olde Twitter social medium over the weekend with @dcancel and @pt in which I said I didn’t like certain aspects of Scrum (which, by the way, is a software development methodology).  I was asked to elaborate. I think Scrum has a lot of good aspects.  … Continue reading "Some thoughts about Scrum"

Marketing: The Blimp Test

Fri, 03 Dec 2010 21:35:26 +0000

“I need you to find out something for me,” I asked my office manager in a way that caused her to look at me with suspicious eyes. “Sure, what is it?” she replied, knowing full well that this was going to be another non-standard request. “I need you to find out how much it costs … Continue reading "Marketing: The Blimp Test"


Sat, 02 Oct 2010 01:21:23 +0000

One of the things that appears to happen when you sell a venture funded startup is that you receive a license to give advice to people. As I have not yet received such a certificate in the mail, you would be well with your rights to suggest that I shove off, but I do have … Continue reading "Focus"

Open source election software

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 00:29:45 +0000

Read this article about the announcement earlier this week of an open source election system that was made publicly available. Now read this wee little blog post about why this isn’t providing us much in the way of guarantees. The open source nature of the code is helpful in the long run, but it provides … Continue reading "Open source election software"