Recently in The Web Category

Goal #1: Blog More

I figure I should start out with the obvious one (and at the same time try to start to fulfill it).

I totally sucked on blogging in 2007. Most of all, it was a time issue, but I think I need to make more time in my life for things other than work, drinking and watching TV (more on those things later). Also, I feel I have lots of document about my life, which is the whole point of having this blog.

I also write for 2 other sites, which I have totally been slacking on.

First is my Dream Theater site I get lots of information in my RSS reader about Dream Theater, but never seem to actually put it up on the site. This has to start now and I even tried to be good about that by posting something today.

Second, I recently was made captain of Metroblogging Boston, a site about local things happening in Boston. I've finally recruited a little bit of help, so now I need to step up and start posting things myself. I am out and about in Boston often enough, I should really have lots to add here and its one of the big things I plan on doing this year.

So, three sites, three different areas of my life, all need to be documented more this year.

Almost right!

I noticed yesterday that Slashdot's RSS feed was no longer truncating entires. I thought this was great. But, they still didn't get it right. So, even though the full entry is there, none of the links in the body are. So, if I wanted to see what they were linking to, I still need to go to their site. Fix this please :)

Mozilla Argh

Argh. I just spent 2 hours downloading something for it to lock up with just over a minute left saying it didn't have enough space left in /tmp. Don't you think some programmer somewhere would make the program smart enough to check the temporary file location BEFORE starting a huge download, rather than killing the download with a couple of megs left? And of course, it can't restart the download, so now I have to wait another 2 hours for this damn thing to download.

Technorati Updates / Statistics

Dave Sifry puts out an update about Technorati Growing Pains.

I actually haven't noticed much of a slow down at all. Probably the ADD kicking in, that I start a search and then go do something else while it loads.

The other thing included in this post is some stats. The one which surprised me most was the fact that there are only 100,000 updates a day. If Dave is tracking over a million web pages, that means 1 in 10 gets updates every day. Well, change that to people who update daily usually have multiple posts and now you are down to 1 in 20 a day. That surprises me. I wonder if this is just people who are pinging technorati and really a lot more people are actually updating that he is not seeing. Everyone should be pinging both Technorati and Blogrolling in addition to any other sites they are already pinging.

Bruce gets an RSS Feed

Beyond the Beyond by Bruce Sterling turned on it's RSS Feed. Yay! It's here.


Yay me! I'm Feedster's Feed of the Day. Thanks Scott!

CSS Help

Adam is looking for some CSS help. with the new incarnation of Boston Common. Help him out if you can.

A site that needs RSS

I definitely think someone over at Craigslist needs to program RSS feeds for their information. Would make it much easier than having to think to go to the site.

Friendster ...

Interesting note, Jack Osbourne actually mentioned Friendster on Kimmel last night. Guess it really is catching on. My biggest problem with Friendster right now is its extreme growing pains. The other day, I was trying to approve a new friend and had to log in about seven times before I could even get to the page, got temporarily unavailable notices two or three time, got Document Contains No Data about three other times. Not a very friendly web experience. Hopefully they can get past these growing pains and actually start having a service that is worth something.

Eventually I can see them adding new features too, like IM groups and whatnot, but I really think they need to stabilize the current product before they do anything else.

Phishy Compliance

Jeffrey Zeldman mentions in Chopped Phish that has gotten an overhaul which is "made of valid XHTML 1.0, CSS2, and JavaScript. The underlying XHTML structure enables the site to work in web phones, text browsers, and other non-traditional devices.". That is awesome. Good to see the people who run a cool band's web site doing it right.

I checked out the site quickly, but so far it looks real nice. Hopefully will find some time this evening to dig in to it some.

Annoying Web Ads

I just got a freakin ad on Yahoo! that actually contained JAVA. I mean, its bad enough that some ads have flash in them, but JAVA? I mean, what about cross-browser compatability? People should just have ads that will work in the lowest common denominator, which means a browser and JUST a browser, no plugins.

I have too many times seen my browser eating tons of memory in the morning because I left it open on with a flash ad open. Obviously, flash has some meory leaks and anyone who has run anything Java, knows that Java seems to have them all over the place. (Yes, and most browsers are full of them as well). This is just a plain bad idea.

I mean, I guess the normal user doesn't leave the computer on all the time, with a browser open all the time, but I think with broadband becoming more and more prominent (MANY of my less technical friends now have things like DSL or a cablemodem, hell, even my Mom has one!), people are going to be more likely to just leave their machine on and in the same state as when they last were working on the machine. Wow, that was one run-on sentence. But, I think you see my point. Leaving the browser open with some flash or java application open could easily kill off a machine or make it completely unusable. Then, the user reboots, and "clears" the problem. But, rebooting a running machine is NEVER a good idea (though seemingly the best cure for Windows most of the time), so therefore, this could even cause users to mess up their machines more than they are already doing today.

OK, maybe I am going a bit too far, but considering web advertising is rather un-effective, (affective?), making them flashier is more likely to turn someone off (longer download time, more annoyance distracting them away from the real content of the page, etc) than make some more likely to click on them.

I guess, that's why I like services like MarketBanker or Google AdSense. They are text based ads, easily downloadable, don't interfere with the user's experience (much), etc.

OK, enough ranting about web ads for this evening.

Live Phish Issues

The quick update is I finally got the last track to download, it looks like my cookie expired or something, and with that, my list of issues using Live Phish:

a) You log in, then need to wait for an email with a code, and then need to give that to the browser before you are fully logged in. That's not good at all. Especially, since you have to do it EACH AND EVERY time you log in. Once I have confirmed once that I am the right before and it is not a bogus address I gave, I should be able to do this over and over. I guess its to discourage multiple people from using the same account to download, but still, its rather annoying.
b) When I downloaded the sample show a few months ago, I was able to download the whole thing in 3 zip files, one for each disc. That was very nice. That may still be the case, but with SHN files, you need to download each file individually, rather frustrating.
c) The download method is horrible. I need to right click on each file to download it. I should just be able to click on the file and it should download. If the MIME types on the server were set up correctly, that is what would happen.
d) No persistent cookies. As soon as I closed my browser I had to log in again. Due to the un-fun log in process I talked about in the first point, this was tedious. Give me a 24 hour cookie or something, so that if my browser crashes or something, I don't have to log in again, especially with the slow log in process.
e) Something timed out, I think, which caused me not to be able to download the last file in the set. Once I logged out and logged back in, it worked fine. Instead of giving me an error that the file was not available or to log in again, it just hung the download process (this could also be helped by not making me right click to download).

I think those are the big issues. I do think its AWESOME that I can download a show I went to 2 days after the show. I'll burn copies for myself later and have something to listen to while wandering around in Oralndo now. Grooving down the street may scare some of the old people down there though ;)

Bang head against wall, repeat as neccesary

I had email last night that Live Phish had released the show I went to the other night. I immediately proceeded to attempt to download it. Well, downloading over a gig of data simultaneously over a 384k DSL line didn't work all that well. I think one file came through fully. So, as the day has gone along today, I have downloaded each song, one at a time while at work. Well, I got through both sets and now the encore song won't download. Argh!!!! It just sits there. I would REALLY like to make CDs of this show before I head to Florida, so getting this downloaded today would be key. Aieeee!

New Home Page

Now that I have a news agrregator up and running, I no longer need to use my fake web aggregator as my home page. Before I used this, I used Slashdot, but thats in the aggregator too now. I wonder what I should use now. What do other people use? I am thinking I may use something like a My Yahoo or something else, but am not really sure. Maybe I should just use CNN. I don't know. Any thoughts?

Creative Commons ..

Creative Commons Unveils Machine-Readable Copyright Licenses

So, I think I understand this whole concept. Still a bit fuzzy though. It seems to me they want people to be able to allow copyrighted material on the Internet with some limitations and as long as people follow those limitations it will be good. They now have a "machine readable" version of their licenses available, which I guess means I could now link in to them or something if I had any copyrighted material on my web pages and tell people via one of these licenses what they can and can't do with it. Will be very intereting to see what comes of this. Anyone want to tell me how close I am to having this right?

A new way to shop ...

Google has a beta of its new shopping site, Froogle, up now. Since Google has seemingly become the standard search enging these days, what does this mean for online merchants? I think this has both positive and negative impacts. This could cause some GREAT price wars in cyberspace. If I can check every store all at once, why the hell would I buy something for a dollar more than some other place? My fear is that this could drive some smaller companies that can't buy things in large quantities and therefore can not have as low of prices right out of business. People would REALLY have to have some level of a niche market to be able to survive. Could play out in a very interesting way. At this point this just looks to be to be a search engine for products, but some day, I would not be suprised to see google offering things like Froogle Storefronts (much like Yahoo Stores). I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Supernova ...

It seems like everyone and their brother is blogging the SuperNova conference out in Palo Alto today and tomorrow. You can find out some of the names here at the group blog. From there you can probably find a list of others who are blogging it as well. Sounds like some interesting talk going on at this point. Its nice to be able to "watch" a conference and "hear" what is going on. The even better part is hearing pieces from many people's perspectives. I saw some of this when Jeremy Zawodny blogged the pieces of PHPCon he went to (which can be found here), but have never seen it on this level. I wonder how promoters will react to this. At a conference like this one where decentralization is the main topic, I would think they will be excited about it. On the other hand, a show where people are attending classes and such, would there be a worry that less and less people would show up because this was being done? If I could attend all sorts of conferences virtually would I ever want to pay to go to one? On the other hand, if I am doing this, isn't it my duty (that may be too strong a word) to return the favor and go to conferences myself and blog them for the masses as well? All very interesting stuff to think about.

Page Not Found ...

This is probably the funniest Error 404 I have ever seen.

Blog Whoring ...

I am turning in to a total blog whore. I find ones that I find interesting and start reading them. Any that have RSS feeds, I throw on to the news page and keep up with them. The ones that don't I stop by at least a few times a day to see what they are saying. I definitely am finding this an interesting way to find out about people and see what is happening in their lives.

I even keep too many blogs. I keep this one, my Dream Theater site, and I even keep one for work. That one is locked away at this point, but I do have grand plans of bringing a proposal to some of the higher ups to set them up for everyone at the company. I think it would be both a good source of knowledge management as well as a good way for people to express ideas about parts of the company they are not necessarily involved in. I know that my last 2 companies were very open. The last one we were told very often that we should express our feelings and not fear anything bad coming out of it. We set up lots of mailing lists to let people vent. I think this is somewhat a step above that. The company before, well, I took over. I'm like that sometimes.

I've even gotten very good at keeping this place up to date. I hope to keep writing as often as possible. I like being able to talk about the random things I either think about in my head or talk to myself about. Yes, I talk to myself. Live alone for a while, you end up doing it. Hopefully my forum here will help me slow up on some of that.


Just read about Googlism. It basically parses Google hits and looks for things like: "Thing you searched for is" and then spits out what Google "thinks" about this thing. Very interesting. I learned that I am a benevolent dictator. I would assume this was either about The Ytsejam Mailing List or The Dream Theater IRC Network.

DOS Block

Just saw a couple of announcements abou ta new version of the Apache DoS Evasive Maneuvers Module coming out. This is definitely something I want to check out. Basically rejects requests when it senses a DOS. This could be a very nice thing to have both on a large scale server as well as a home server (much easier to take out a little DSL link). This and adding in some things to block all the stupid script kiddie IIS attacks are on my list of things to do.

Amazon Question ...

Has anyone joined Amazon Associates Program? Is it worth it? I started to sign up and then saw that they wanted to SSN. Not sure how safe I feel about giving that up to them. Looks like they want it for tax purposes. Maybe I should start my own business and then just give them a tax id.

New Page

I set up in the news tonight. It's basically a news aggreagator of some of the pages I read on a normal basis. Going to extend it as I find more pages to read (and as I figure out RSS feeds for some friends sites). It was built using Rippy the Aggregator as its backend.

Interesting Commentary, but ...


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