Oh, and happy Earth Day as well. Got carried away with my aquarium photos and completely forgot to mention that I’ve started posting more articles to my Vertography Blog – a blog for all things green. Check it out, and add it to your RSS reader, if you’re still doing that, or follow @vertography on Twitter. I’ll see about a Facebook page soon as well.
Archive for the 'Web Technologies' Category
Do you use any of the current location based services? Things like Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places or even Yelp’s check in option? Or, perhaps you don’t use them because you don’t like something about them? If you have a spare couple of minutes, we’d really appreciate it if you could take our 7 question survey asking about these applications / services.
Once we have enough answers in the survey to make it meaningful, we’ll publish the results here and/or on the ourLivez site.
Yesterday saw the removal of all of my iNewz apps from the Apple app store. Not something I really wanted to do, but something that was forced on me by the very people who stood to benefit the most from the apps: the news organizations who publish the news.
Yesterday was also the day that another RSS based news app, Pulse, was removed from the store despite being praised & shown on stage at WWDC by Steve Jobs. Why? Because the New York Times complained that the app contained the URL for their RSS feed. Quoting from the letter Apple received from the Times:
I note that the app is delivered with the NYTimes.com RSS feed preloaded, which is prominently featured in the screen shots used to sell the app on iTunes.
The same argument was made by Apple to me for the recent rejection of an update to iNewz (and a few more news feeds were cited as problematic too).
The recent decision by Twitter to turn off support for Basic Auth soon means a lot of Twitter apps are now racing to implement either full OAuth support, or the cut down xAuth designed for non-web apps. The iNewz apps fall into this last category, and an initial look at the work involved made it seem as though switching from basic auth to xAuth would be pretty straightforward. Sadly, and mostly because of poor documentation and what I consider bugs in the Twitter API implementation of OAuth, this took far longer than it should have done. Hopefully this blog post will help others looking to make this switch by providing a more complete, step-by-step description of the xAuth process. It may also help those trying to make full OAuth work, but I haven’t tried that yet.
Here in Alameda, I was unable to get to Yahoo, Flickr, E*Trade or Apple because they all point at the local Akamai leaf node (a248.e.akamai.net) which was not responding at all. I’m sure many other sites that depend on the Akamai service to improve their performance and reliability were also affected. Looks like Akamai is not very fault tolerant.
Even Akamai’s own home page was inaccessible (as shown in the screen shot).
I’ve just launched a new blog, with the goal of providing information to help you live a greener life, without compromising on its quality. This is not information for the hard-core tree hugger, but information for everyday people. Yesterday looked at eco-friendly lighting options; today a search engine that plants trees for every 1000 searches performed (and produces great results too thanks to Yahoo!).
In addition to simple tips for greening up your life, it is also going to cover some cool green technology that is being developed or tested. Today included a post about plugin hybrid cars. And there’s lots more cool, green technology out there for us to cover!
As a little learning exercise, I created a plugin for WordPress that adds a small Twitter icon to the bottom of each post. When a reader clicks on that icon they are prompted to enter their Twitter username and password, and a short message (the title of the post and a link to it) will be added to their Twitter feed, allowing them to share the post with their followers.
If you’d like to play with it (and I emphasise at this point that this is still a work in progress), you can download it. Instructions for installation and customisation are after the jump.
It has been a bad couple of weeks for the folks over at Twitter (and perhaps not a great time for me to start playing with it – I don’t think there’s a connection). Looks like they’ve become a victim of their own success.
The main reason I starting playing with Twitter though was the XMPP/Jabber capability, making it possible to keep an eye on the musings of the folks I follow, as well as being able to post my own messages without needing a web page. Using the OctroTalk app on my N95 allows me to take all that with me too. Sadly, that’s the one thing that is still not working.
Schmap have now launched a version of their online city/region guides formatted for the iPhone. This is a very handy tool since you can access it over the iPhone’s cellular connection while you’re actually traveling (I don’t normally carry my laptop around when on vacation, but I do take my mobile phone with me).
No special URL needed (though I’d like it if one was available); the site will automatically give you the iPhone version when you visit from Mobile Safari.