Book Review: Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews


Red SparrowRed Sparrow by Jason Matthews is a self-proclaimed “realistic spy novel”. It tells the story of two modern day intelligence officers, Nathaniel the American, and Dominika the Russian. They are both trying to recruit each other to their side. The premise is good and so is the execution. The characters – especially the secondary ones – are interesting and are developed throughout the story with good pacing. The plot is decent, if a little bit too obvious. I could guess almost all of the second half before finishing the first. There were a few small surprises – and a single big one, at the very end – but nothing to get too excited about. As with any thriller nowadays there is a lot of sexual tension between the protagonists, but it is tastefully executed without titillation.

Overall, Red Sparrow is one of the better spy novels out there. The author seems to be working on a sequel, so it might be a good idea to keep an eye on it.

How to install CommaFeed (with MySQL and Apache Reverse Proxy) under Arch Linux



CommaFeed is a lightweight, self-hosted alternative to Google Reader. I was looking for a self-hosted solution since The Old Reader became way too slow to be usable and CommaFeed fits the bill nicely.

Note: This post assumes you want to access CommaFeed from a subdomain (i.e, if you don’t want that, follow the guide and do the extra steps at the end of this post.

Here are the – surprisingly few – steps you need to follow to install it on an Arch Linux server:

$ pacman -S maven
$ packer -S jdk #(You can use other AUR helpers, or simply download the tarball from AUR).
$ git clone
$ cd commafeed
$ mvn clean package tomee:build -Pprod -Pmysql

If this is the first time you are building CommaFeed, this will take a little while as maven will fetch a lot of build dependencies. After the compilation is finished, do the following – as root – in the build directory:

# mkdir /opt/commafeed
# mv target/ /opt/commafeed
# cd /opt/commafeed && unzip
# mv webapps/commafeed.war webapps/ROOT.war

Now, open conf/tomee.xml and set your MySQL connection credentials.

Finally, mark the binaries as executable with:

# chmod +x bin/*.sh

At this point, you can access CommaFeed on the default port (8082) but let’s configure a reverse proxy so we can access it on port 80 without affecting other applications on that port.

In your VirtualHosts configuration, add the following (replacing with your domain):

NameVirtualHost *:80

<VirtualHost *>
    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    ProxyPreserveHost On

    # setup the proxy
    <Proxy *>
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
    ProxyPass / http://localhost:8082/
    ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8082/

You are almost ready!

Open up the MySQL database you have created for CommaFeed and run the following query:


Now, we can finally start the application:

# sh /opt/commafeed/bin/

That’s it! You should now be able to access CommaFeed by visiting!

If you ever need to stop the server, you can simply run:

# sh /opt/commafeed/bin/

Enjoy :) Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

P.S: If you don’t want to install to a subdomain, here’s what to do. Let’s assume you want CommaFeed to be accessed via

# mv /opt/commafeed/webapps/ROOT.war /opt/commafeed/webapps/commafeed.war

In your Apache VirtualHost config, find the following lines:

    ProxyPass / http://localhost:8082/
    ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8082/

and replace them with:

    ProxyPass /commafeed/ http://localhost:8082/commafeed/
    ProxyPassReverse /commafeed/ http://localhost:8082/commafeed/

Now, run the following SQL query in your CommaFeed database:


Finally, restart the application:

# sh /opt/commafeed/bin/
# sh /opt/commafeed/bin/

… and voila! You are all set :)

Ayın Xfce Masaüstü!


Uzunca bir aradan sonra, ayın Xfce masaüstü görüntülerine devam etmek istedim. Hatta o kadar çok zaman geçmiş ki, bu ay iki tane göstererek telafi etmeye çalışayım :)

Xfwm: Ambiance
Gtk+: Modifiye Ambiance (s/turuncu/mor)
Simgeler: Faenza Dark
Conky: Özel, gerçek transparanlık destekli! (conky >= 1.8 gerekiyor).


Xfwm: Elementary
Gtk+: Elementary
Simgeler: Elementary Icons
Conky: Özel, gerçek transparanlık destekli! (conky >= 1.8 gerekiyor).