Tag Archives: Tools

How to find someones Google Reader Shared items

One of the things most social media junkies do substantial amount of time is read their peers rant about world and give useful hints and ideas. Since there are too many of us out there, there’s a neat trick you can do: piggy back on best stories from someone else.

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Image by movimente via Flickr

The way to do this is to figure out if your personal hero is using Google Reader and sharing his or hers picks with the world. There are a number of strategies to get to their RSS feed of shared stories:

  • by asking them directly, either in person or via Twitter. Shows that you really care and that you’re willing to proper stalk them and their interests.
  • find them on FriendFeed and see if they’ve imported their stories. You can then get their feed url from there and just add it to your Google Reader.
  • read/search their blog and they’re going to eventually post the address. It’s also often hidden in blogroll or on a side of blog.

If anyone is interested, my shared feed is also available. Beware that their might be cute kittens hidden in there.

Are you sharing? Post you share feed address in comments so we can benefit from collective crowd-sharing.

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Micropresentations – [#reboot10 notes]

1991 - The World Wide Web

Image by Edublogger via Flickr

Micropresentations – [#reboot10 notes]

20 slides/20 second each slide. Organized by Guy Dickinson


Jan Krutisch – Hacking for fun and profit – mindmatters.de


There is only one problem with a web profession, when you only have one framework, all the problems look the same. His solution to this is to return back to basics – Commodore 64, Amiga. He’s showing also a prepaid solar charger for which he built a firmware for.

A fun project besides work, Rasterizer, it takes an image and splits it up to multiple pages in a PDF and you can then hang it on a wall in really big sizes.

Next thing is Rails and a language behind it was Ruby. Next thing he built a patch editor with ruby. He’s also using Gozzu, 2d graphics library, so it’s easy to program games. Reactivision software in Ruby, tangible interfaces that you have hardware around and you can be active and reactive around it.

He’s using all this things to keep him intelactually busy and challening that are kind of different that what you do in your life. And this helps in thinking outside the box and makes you a better programmer.





Flemming Funch – Complexity and Freedom – Lessons from nature about human networks and life on the edge


Complicated – 80380 lots of stuff. Complex is something more than it’s part.

There are several parts of the system, equilibrium, complexity and chaos.

Nature in is not really in equilibrium, it’s self-organizes towards criticality.

One way of understanding is with “sand piles”. How do avalanches work? There are lots of examples in nature where we can see this.

There are power laws that help in explaining this.

We can do cellular automata sand-pile simulation. 


“The critical state is the most efficient state that can actually be reacher dynamically”




Being able to do anything at all with something, is this freedom? Not really. Freedom is when you toys are all wound up and ready to go.

You have more freedoms within complex networks;

Your freedom is potentially more useful if the network is in a critical state.

Freedom is on the edge – the edge between equilibrium and chaos.

The value of a networks I proportional to its complexity.



Ian Scar – Tools for Inspiration


Showing a tool that helps designer collect visual inspirations. It’s a thing to make visual information more psychical. What’s exciting is that if you have a visual thing you can scan it.

Collections, designers have physical materials next to computers and they use it very socially.

Tools – they are very complex and hard. They have a meaning and purpose. What people make with tools, is not imagine by the makers of tools.

Open tools, which is fun and nice, but they tend to add features and they grow more and they are not simple anymore.

Cocreation, you take the consumer/user and you help them think what kind of tools/products they want, so then you make it with them.

Hacks, inspiration for creative uses of your designs and tools.

Products from the tool perspective: users are becoming makes, with creative uses.

Whatever you do, it’s fine with me.


It’s a solution without a problem is a best compliment you can get, if you think about it as an open tool.



Anne Van Kesteren – HTML5


The Web’s language is HTML.

HTML on the Web is broken because of the way it was designed.

HTML5 attempts to make HTML more interpretable for everyone. It defines processing for HTML. 

It’s about Applications and Documents. It shifted from the original idea of sharing scientific documents.

People who are doing this are: WHATWG and W3C.

HTML5 is already implemented today. There are browsers that already implement this and are trying to convert all the things involved with it.

It’s a community process, wikis, tools, tests, reviews etc.

They added some new features: <video> and <audio>

<canvas> allows people to draw graphics through javascript API’s – immediate mode graphics.

Storage (key/value, SQL), you can search all your data.

Application caching also helps with performance. Gmail can suggest to browser which files are more important for performance.


Important URL’s





Twingly summer of code 2008 – Http://summer.twingly.com


4 students from Linkoping University in Sweden. They are working on making a real project.

Finding their own roles, “what I am supposed to do in this group”.

They are working against really good group dynamics.

How to get a good media coverage. They got in contact with a regional newspaper that got lots of interest in the group and local project. They want to engage lot of other people to make it know what they are doing.

They are doing video blog, they are making online reality show, they are documenting their days and documenting what they are doing.

This is really challenging because there are lots of new people and have to learn new tools.

Educational, they had to learn how to work really fast and make things together.

But it’s really rewarding.



Paul Farnell – Unconventional ways to promote your site



What’s conventional: SEO, Blogging, AdWords.


Unconventional: Satellites, Content, Communities and Human.


Build a satellite: free, small, valuable and complementary. They drive implicitly traffic to your site.

CSS Vista, piece of software for web designers. Really valuable for designers and lots of people check the site.

Ta da lists, similar free service.


Put a value on your content. There’s a dichotomy that’s free it has a free value. 


Join communities, developer relationships. It makes this links between your company, your name, and you being a helpful person.


Start your own community. Easy to develop, great perception of your company and learn from your members.


Seed.org as a place to discuss web stuff.


Be human. Enthusiasm, how? Trust, passionate users, Ambassadors.



Jen-Christian Fischer – Rituals and Freedom


Rituals: birth, school, work, death.


Ritals are the core, backbone of our lives, that create a shared system of values so we know how to proceed in these events.


There are rituals that are good for you, and there are rituals that are bad for you.


Rituals that bind the mind


Many rituals that we are exposed to are there to tie you down. Rituals of religion for example. Other bad things are rituals are the ones that are designed for you to break your mind. 

Business has a lot of rituals around it that aren’t designed to work that well. There are structures of power that rely on them.

The end result of these rituals are war, and it’s highly ritualized.


Rituals that free the mind


Martial arts has lots of rituals involved. It allows for balance, calm and power.

Sex has also ritualized versions.

They are here to free your mind and help you achieve experiences that are out of your mind.


Kthxbai ☺


Be wise which rituals you practice as it will affect your life.

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Marko Samastur – Easy deployment of site-extensions with a browser plugin [firefox3 launch party notes]

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Image by ccmerino via Flickr

Marko Samastur – Easy deployment of site-extensions with a browser plugin.

Starting with Zemanta presentation, since it’s relevant for the presentation. Zemanta is a tool for contextual matching for blogging platforms and has to support a wide variety of platforms.

The limitations of XHR was a problem because of limitations of security-model that doesn’t allow cross-domain POST requests. In case of Zemanta, we can use custom-build JavaScript function.

When to use extension?

When web-site as such, doesn’t provide integration points (e.g., Blogger.com platform), the other reason is if you want to use functionality that is not available within the normal browser window.


First thing that you need to do, is that you need to find a place for widget. In case of Zemanta, we used right side widget. In this case, we used CSS and made it a bit narrow.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: chucks

But wherever you go, CSS selectors that you use, will most probably match styles of the platform. So if you use a widget on different platforms.

You can conquer this within CSS by writing selectors that are more binding than the default way. The one that we did (and is not the best way), we use a platfora of id’s and classes and then we use these names and classes that get injected into web-page and are more binding than the platform ones. This one works great if you use two files: general one and platform specific one.

Second way is to use nesting and “id envelops” – encapsulation and while it’s ugly, it’s the best way:

#zem1 #zem2 #zem3 h3 {


the second thing that you should try to use is microformats. After you put your widget into the page, you usually want that widget to do something, and for that we normally use Javascript.

Javascript problems

The variety of problems is large, but a short selection:

Extending Object and Array – it sounds a good idea in a start, but it’s a major problem down the road. It’s usually a bad idea that many JavaScript libraries (like JQuery), use Objects as configuration buckets and if you extend it, it means that all objects will have this and bad things will happen.

The second thing is, that if you have a web-site and you want to have it “extendable”, it’s a good idea not to step all over their feet and potential code.

Private name-spaces – either through anonymous functions or through object hierarchy. The problem is that sometimes you want to change behaviour of methods that are hidden behind namespaces (e.g., changing how dragging boxes works in 2.3 WordPress).

One thread implication: what comes later can rely on what came before. It’s not always true, because JavaScript API’s like DOM functions doesn’t always run in the same thread.

While you can do is to test your JavaScript on slow browser and computers, and on different connections. But this is often not enough, so you should actively protect from this and check to make sure the code and functions are there before you call them.

Useful tools for extension creation

Firefox extension Wizard – http://ted.mielczarek.org/code/mozilla/extensionwiz/

FUEL – http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/FUEL

Besttoolbars – http://www.besttoolbars.net/

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Black / Dark Google for Earth Hour

Having a nice white Google homepage in your browser is somehow reassuring as you know that you just have to start typing in order to lookup the data in the the metaverse.

This all changed when your favorite search engine turned their lights off in order to promote Earth Hour, their initiative to remind us to conserve energy and enable power-sawing modes on our computers and other electronic gadget.

If you are wondering why your Google didn’t turn dark for that one Earth Hour, it is because it’s probably because it is not between 8pm and 9pm maybe your local Google just doesn’t want to play. Here is a quick screen shot how I noticed it on Google UK.

Black Google Earth day