MySpace lacking RSS

November 15, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

I have a ton of stuff I try to keep up with on the web and one of the main ways that I do it is by using an RSS Feed Reader called RSS Bandit. It goes out and pings sites and blogs with RSS or Atom feeds that I've pointed it to on a regular interval and moves it all into one nice place that's quick and easy to browse. Right now I have 27 feeds that I'm pulling. These are from sites that I want to keep up with every day. With the reader, instead of having to go look at each of them individually to see if there is anything new, I just browse down the feed list and can see which ones have new stuff. Huge time saver. MySpace has RSS feeds for people blogs, but doesn't offer one for the comments that are posted on home pages. Unfortunately, this means that I'm way less likely to keep up with friends who post back and forth on their home pages and ignore their blogs. Anyone reading my blog who has a connection to MySpace, please consider this a feature request to add RSS feeds for the comments. ;) The good news is that this is the internet out there. If you are looking for something like a way to get an RSS feed from MySpace home page comments, someone has probably already built it. If you are from Fox and don't already know about something like this and would try to shut it down, please stop reading. ;) For everyone else, here's an online tool that someone has posted to read a MySpace home page, parse out the comments and generate an RSS feed. It's still a little rough. Things like images can cause problems and sometimes the code it generates isn't what is know as "well-formed", but it's a good start.


Akismet Spam Killer

November 15, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

I've been having some problems with spam getting in thru the comments on my wordpress blog. I tried a couple CAPTCAH tools but they didn't work. (I didn't have a chance to dig in and figure out why.) The recent versions of Wordpress come with a plug-in that's pre-installed called Akismet. Basically, when you turn it on, it compares incoming comments on your blog with those that other users have flagged as Spam. If it matches, the comment gets put in a holding cell. You need to regeister a username/password on wordpress.org to use it, but that's not big deal. So far, it works great. I just installed it the other day and it's already caught 11. Because it gets input from users of the tool, it should update pretty quickly to any new spam. So far, so good.


Perl - The Duct Tape of the Internet

November 08, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

In terms of my job, one of the single most important (and luckiest) things that I did early in my computing days was to start learning the programming language Perl. I had done a little HTML and gotten some JavaScript to work before, but Perl was the first language I really started with. I've often heard Perl referred to as The Duct Tape of the Internet. That was probably more the case in the early days of the web than it is now. Lots of other specialized languages  and tools have cropped up to specifically address web site programming, but Perl still gets very steady use from me in publishing my other site. One case in point is the transition I'm currently working on to move from one production partner to a new one. Ideally, I would have had about eight months to complete the transition, but I wouldn't expect more than six. What I got was a little over three. Suffice it to say that without Perl that time line would have gone from incredibly tight to impossible. There are just so many moving parts that without Perl's ability to quickly create a very powerful program that can do just about anything we would have had to abandon several features on our site. What's even more amazing about Perl is the fact that it's free. It comes install on virtually every Linux OS and can be had on Windows with a quick download. Once again going to show that sometimes the best things in life really are free.


Explore linux drive on windows

November 08, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

If you ever have a linux drive that you need to look at on a windows machine (say, one that is attached via a USB external enclosure, a tool named explore2fs will get you there. It appears to be open source. There is no install, it's just an .exe that you launch and you can view linux volumes.


Digital Work

October 22, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

Here is the best example I've seen of the produciton work that gos into making a fashion photo that hits the public. Yes, I'm linking to a viral marketing peice from Dove.


Commercial Volume

October 19, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

I find it super annoying when the volume on a TV commercial is about 5 times as loud as the show you are watching. I'm fairly certain this is done on purpose. You have to turn up the volume to hear the dialog on a show then the commercial screams at you. The networks have started putting full episodes of some of their shows online with limited commercials in them that I've been checking out. Turns out they use this same volume blast tactic online as well. I applaud the effort to push content online, but am dissapointed by the fact that they use the same thing.


Promo site that's note quite there

October 17, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

One of the current shows on NBC is "Studio 60" which is about a fictional show on a fictional network (NBS). The web page for the real world show is located at: http://www.nbc.com/Studio_60_on_the_Sunset_Strip/ One of the links on that page is to a website for the fictional show: http://www.studio60theshow.com/. The only problem is that they didn't quite finish building out this promotion site. Seems that none of the links work. If you click on "Cast" for example, you get a "404" page not found error. It would have been an interesting marketing piece to look at, but it seems to have run out of steam before completion. Oops.


Monopoly

October 16, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

Fun internet thing. A list of the "rare" monopoly peices in the McD's game. Now you don't have to wonder if you have the one from each group that is worth keeping.


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