Saturday, March 24, 2007

Various Matching Algorithims

Implement Phonetic ("Sounds-like") Name Searches with Double Metaphone Part VI: Other Methods & Additional Resources - The Code Project - String

I have only experimented with Levenshtein Distance and Soundex algorithms. This page gives a free download of the Double Metaphone algorithm implementations as well as several other samples that are very useful.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Oracle Thin Client JDBC

I've had problems setting connections to an Oracle DB using the thin client JDBC. This post is to track how this was solved.

First you must have the oracle.jar file in your build path.

Next I used the following for the actual connection:

public static Connection getConnection() {

Connection con = null;
} catch (Exception e) {
System.out.println("Failed to load driver.");
return con;
try {
con = DriverManger.getConnection(
} catch (SQLException ee) {
return con;

I also had imported java.sql.*;

The thing that was causing a problem with this before was that I did not have the host name, port or SID listed out. This was easily located in the tnsnames.ora file in the oracle installation folder.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley and Priscilla Presley at CCHR Awards Banquet

Citizens Commission on Human Rights acknowledged leaders in the field of human rights last month and awards were presented by Kelly Preston (John Travolta's wife), Priscilla Presley (Elvis Presley's wife) along with Kirstie Alley and Marisol Nichols.

Celebrities present human rights awards to individuals who risked their careers to warn the public about psychiatric drug risks, and urge parents to get informed.

LOS ANGELES: On Saturday, February 17th, at the annual awards banquet of the psychiatric watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), actors Kirstie Alley, Kelly Preston, Priscilla Presley, Marisol Nichols (24) and Anne Archer (Patriot Games, Fatal Attraction) awarded mental health industry whistleblowers who have risked their professional careers to warn the public about the dangers and fraudulent marketing of psychiatric drugs. Exemplifying the effort to inform parents and consumers, former pharmaceutical sales representative Gwen Olsen, and former Pennsylvania government investigator Allen Jones, were presented with CCHR’s annual Human Rights Awards for their courageous contributions to mental health reform.

Like Russell Crowe’s character in the film The Insider, Allen Jones reluctantly stepped forward as a whistleblower. Kirstie Alley presented Jones with his Human Rights Award for exposing several pharmaceutical companies who bribed Texas government officials to implement mental health treatment laws requiring the use of their brand name drugs.

Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley and Priscilla Presley Colin and Marisol Friedberg with Anne Archer

Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley and Priscilla Presley Colin and Marisol Friedberg with Anne Archer
(Click to enlarge)

Recently, a four-year-old Massachusetts girl died from a deadly cocktail of psychiatric drugs, calling into question the psychiatric practice of drugging small children with powerful anti-psychotic drugs. Last week, the story ran on the front page of The New York Times and was featured on Fox National News, drawing national attention to the culpability of the prescribing psychiatrist, and the growing controversy over psychiatrists drugging children and toddlers with powerful drugs.

Magnetic Card Reader Parsing of Track Data

I've been working on developing an application that will read a driver's license and parse the information and populate a data entry screen. This is useful for rapidly collecting name and address information when you have drivers licenses available.

To work out the exact format of drivers license magnetic strips, the following links were very helpful:

Drivers license format
Magnetic Strip Encoding Standards
Mag Stripe Cards

Java Magnetic Card Parser
Exeeba AAMVA Drivers License Format
CA DL Format

Many states do not conform to the above standards but generally these will work.