Yahoo! Pipes

August 6th, 2009

Yahoo Pipes

I’ve been playing with Yahoo! Pipes with some success. The concept of Pipes is a great, and it is an ideal tool for the current online aggregation/mashup revolution.

My Yahoo pipe is an aggregation of several forums on two different sites, all regarding the building of spearguns (for spearing fish).

It can be subscribed to via RSS and JSON and I’m looking for project ideas that’ll let me go a little further with this. The final step was to add the RSS feed to my iGoogle homepage where it happily updates throughout the day:

iGoogle and Pipes

Web Code, Work

I ({‘JSON’:'Heart’});

August 5th, 2009

JSON

For those of us who are too lazy to parse XML, JSON is a great Web data format. And the fact that it can get around all sorts of cross-domain restrictions*.

I just posted a simple JSON-enabled HTML web page that accepts a zip code, and retrieves longitude and latitude from a Geonames JSON feed, and then uses that to look up the weather from the nearest weather station. I love the fact that this is possible without a single line of server-side code. The code rewrites the page’s DOM, dynamically appending a <script> tag to the page, and doesn’t use any of the standard AJAX functions.

Cross-Domain AJAX JSON Example

Fancy Cross-Domain AJAX JSON Example

Next up: a clickable map that will figure out your country and timezone. This functionality will solve about a dozen headaches I’ve been having with adding a selectable timezone feature to my FlipClock Firefox extension.

*Yes, there are many, many caveats that go along with to this statement

Web Code, Work

Twitter is for Old People

August 5th, 2009

Just posted this on my company blog, but thought I’d repost it here:

Answering Machine

Our head of QA, Bethany Garcia, circulated a link today to a (London) Times Online article about the Internet and other new technology as seen through the eyes of a 15 1/2 year old boy. Matthew Robson’s report for Morgan Stanley, How Teenagers Consume Media, is a very interesting insight into a generation that doesn’t listen to the radio, read the newspaper, or pay for music. I remember coming up with metaphors to explain the Internet to older folks, and this article makes me feel as though I’m on the receiving end. The report is a very quick read, and just as a tease:

“Teenagers never use real directories (hard copy catalogues such as yellow pages). This is because real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which as services that teenagers do not require.”

Web Code, Work

Webmaster Answers! in Chinese?

July 27th, 2009

Surfing around online, I just discovered that a book I wrote has been translated into Chinese and is being sold in China. This would be more exciting if I had heard about it from the publisher and/or received any money for it. Looks like an inquiry into Osborne/McGraw Hill is in order.

Webmaster Answers in Chinese

This reminds me of a story… About five years ago a friend was in Brazil bragging to a girl he had just met that he was credited in a book’s acknowledgments section. To prove it, he took her into a bookstore and showed her. Several minutes into relating the story to me (apparently the woman was quite stunning), I learned that my book had been translated into Portuguese.

When Google books is fully online, will it be able to inform me what languages this book has been translated into?

Web Code, Work

New Firefox Extension

July 27th, 2009

FlipClock Icon
FlipClock, my new Firefox extension is now available for download. The extension is still awaiting approval by the folks over at Firefox and has been in-queue for about 10 days, but who’s counting. When it is approved it will be available for download from the official Firefox add-on site.

FlipClock Display Options

FlipClock sits in your browser’s status bar and simply tells the time in a variety of styles.

Flipclock displays the time in your Firefox status bar

Web Code

Non-Rectangular HTML Text Blocks

July 10th, 2009

I was playing with non-rectangular HTML text blocks today and thought I’d share my results. The goal was to come up with a way to present HTML text in a parallelogram shape.

I tested the code in IE6, IE7, Firefox 3.5, Safari, Opera, and Chrome (all on XP) and the page rendered correctly in all of them.

The dotted lines are visible to show where div tags were used.

htmlscreen

The HTML for the page is available here.

Web Code, Work

WordPress Installation Woes

July 2nd, 2009

Installed WordPress today on my laptop (Windows XP). Ugh. Apache and PHP were already installed, and MySQL installation was a breeze (MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser make life much easier). Configuring PHP to run on a new port was annoying but ultimately successful (Port 9000 wouldn’t work but 8001 would %$*&#!). The problem came when running WordPress for the first time. The error was:

Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.

Read more…

Web Code, Work

Spearfishing in Mendocino

June 23rd, 2009

spearfishingBelow are photos from a camping trip in Mendocino last weekend. The visibility wasn’t great but four of us managed to get meet our abalone quota. Despite four spearguns on hand, no fish of any size were spotted.

Diving, Photographs, Travel

2009 Webby Gala

June 17th, 2009

2009 WebbysBelow are photos from the Webby Gala in New York City on June 8, 2009. Publicis Modem won a Webby for the HP Creation Portal website. I went with two coworkers, and we had a great time. I now have a greater appreciation for viral videos.

Photographs, Travel, Work

Webby Awards

June 5th, 2009
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The Webby Awards

A project that I worked on from last summer through October won a Webby Award this year. The ceremony is in NYC on Monday and should be tons of fun.

Work