WWII Propaganda About Carrots and Night Vision

The Smithsonian magazine has an interesting article on WWII propaganda about carrots and night vision.

Besides discussing the cover of how carrots were responsible for aerial combat instead of RADAR, I had no idea there was a World Carrot Museum. :)

A WWII Propaganda Campaign Popularized the Myth That Carrots Help You See in the Dark

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Advanced Swagger UI Techniques

The benefits of using Swagger/OpenAPI are to maintain consistent API specifications, validation and documentation.

And the Swagger UI documentation tool initially looks very attractive cosmetically. However there’s no publishing or privacy restriction features. The reason is that the Swagger API spec itself doesn’t support publishing controls.

That’s fine for Open source authors and most internal-only corporate users, but commercial sites will be unhappy without more control.

So it’s important to decide well before ship date if the Swagger UI will work for you, or if you need to find another solution (ie. you might find it to be “more hole than donut.”)



Swagger UI showing API endpoints (the colored bars) and Auth Dialog. Note the double Authorize buttons. Everything you see is live (auto-generated from the Swagger API spec file.)

Here’s a summary of the Swagger UI issues that I’ve observed when writing a non-trivial API:

# Swagger UI Issue Solution
1. Swagger UI makes your Swagger API spec file downloadable by end-users A half-step is to use Basic Auth for viewing it, but authenticated end-users can still save it to disk. A plan would be to run it server-side.
2. Swagger UI by default sends your Swagger API spec file to an external validation service Fixable. validatorUrl: null
3. the “Try it out” buttons” are active, letting anybody too easily send GET, DELETE, PUT, POST, PATCH commands to your server, whether the request makes sense or not Fixable. See supportedSubmitMethods parameter.
4. the default branding is for the Swagger project Fixable. Read docs or just use Firefox Inspector on Swagger UI header and change the CSS/JS.
5. the UI tool is nice, but even nicer is professionally written text with detailed examples Not fixable. Outside the scope of Swagger UI.
6. the UI tool does not publish to a static file. Most commercial publishers want to provide a PDF file. Not easily fixable, though you can load your Swagger spec file into the Swagger Editor, drag the left frame further left, “print as PDF” and edit the text with Libre Office.
7. No ability to restrict on displaying paths or request methods Not easily fixable. You could export a minimal Swagger API spec file just for use with Swagger UI.
8. Add username and password auth Easy. Just add a securitydefinitions block in your Swagger spec file and define the key name in Swagger UI’s index.html. Note that multiple auth methods require showing and clicking multiple “Authorize” buttons (see screenshot above) since the Swagger specification considers multiple auth methods to logically OR and your app has to sort them out.
9. Add API key auth Easy. Supported by current versions.
10. URL bar shows address of Swagger spec file Fixable, but end-users can still download your spec file: document.
getElementById('input_baseUrl').
style.visibility= "hidden";
11. Themes Some are available at swagger-ui-themes
12. There can be one “body” parameter at most. The Swagger spec only allows one body element (formData or JSON) while you may want to allow both. Some parsers enforce that, and some don’t.

* by “not fixable” and “not easily fixable” I mean “total Swagger UI re-design and rewrite required.” :)

Getting Started with Swagger UI

  1. unzip or clone master to a public directory
  2. update dist/index.html with the location of your api.json file
  3. if you’re using a load balancer and see an error like “cannot call https from http”, change scheme from https to http in your Swagger API spec file.

Customizing the Swagger UI

Test Parameter
Security Tokens
How to break swagger 2.0 JSON file into multiple modules
Tom Johnson’s Tutorial
Tuan’s Tip to Add Username and Password (Check spelling carefully)
A Visual Guide to What’s New in Swagger 3.0

Note: if you google or stackoverflow for help, ignore any bug reports about Swagger UI before 2016.

Swagger Editor Custom UI
Spectacle
blog.novatec-gmbh.de: The problems with Swagger, HN discussion
Top 7 Myths about HTTPS and Browser Caching

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Free Mac OS X PDF Editors

When you need to edit a PDF, you really need to edit a PDF.

The free Preview app that comes with Mac OS X can annotate and do some simple operations on PDF files, but does not have a feature to edit the actual text.

I tried the following free or trial PDF editors on Mac OS X 8.5 for editing text on a 30-page Firefox “print to PDF.”

Product Recommendation Notes
Libre Office for Mac (Open Source) Recommended Does a great job of editing text
iSkysoft PDF Editor Trial Not Recommended Can edit text, but inserts large yellow watermark on save
Inkscape (Open Source) Not Recommended Can only edit first page “due to SVG spec” unless you install plugin


iSkySoft Watermark
iSkySoft Watermark

Multiple page support for Inkscape

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Super Bowl LI 2017

Best Super Bowl that I can remember, with first Super Bowl Overtime.

The New England Patriots (QB Tom Brady) came from behind to win 34-28 over the Atlanta Falcons (QB Matt Ryan).

Atlanta scored 3 TD’s in Q2:

  1. Freeman does 3 drives resulting in a flying landing in the endzone
  2. xxx runs into endzone
  3. did a 82-yard interception.

Patriots got a 41-yard field kick for the 3 points.

Lady Gaga’s half-time performance was good, with surprising acrobatics.

Then the Patriots scored 31 unanswered points to win.

Commercials ($5 million for 30 seconds) weren’t too good, although John Malkovich trying to get his vanity domain from a domain squatter was pretty good (squarespace.com.)

Seemed like mostly cell phone, car and VR-related ads.

W: Super Bowl LI

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Odd but Handy URLs

Organization Link Purpose
Apple http://captive.apple.com/ non-SSL ProbeURL for WiFi hand-shaking. Replaces success.html.
Google http://www.google.com/ncr force plain English site (“no country redirect”)
IANA http://www.example.com official domain for examples in documents
IANA http://www.example.org official domain for examples in documents

How to fix “SuccessSuccess” Wi-Fi issue on MacOS X Mavericks temporally

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