Facebook & Twitter?

Posted in Social networking, Technology

An open invitation to any developer out there with some free time:

Please make Twitter play with Facebook!

Twitter, in and of itself, it not much use to me. It’s too single-purpose. However, if it could be plugged into Facebook then I’d use it.

Facebook has it’s own "status" area in which you update what you’re doing. Since that is Twitter’s purpose, I would like to see someone create a Twitterific-ish program that enables me to remotely update both my Twitter and Facebook at the same time.

Any takers?

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Kiss YouTube: the easiest way to download YouTube files

Posted in Social networking, Technology

I get asked, quite a lot on the celebrity blogs, how to download YouTube files. Die hard fans like to keep mega folders of videos, mp3s and pictures. It was never all that easy to explain.

Now I can recommend Kiss YouTube

  1. Go to the page on YouTube of the video you want to download
    e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvUeMRL_i-g
  2. Alter the URL to have ‘kiss’ in front of YouTube
    e.g. http://www.kissyoutube.com/watch?v=ZvUeMRL_i-g
  3. Follow the instructions to save on that page

I have to admit I’ll use this myself. I was using VideoDownloader, a Firefox extension, but this is even easier.

I can understand the reasons behind not wanting to enable file saving, but if I can easily explain why pictures increase the fan experience, I can thus do the same for video ;)

Thanks to red ferret for the tip ; Tags: , , , , , ,

Vista brute-force activation

Posted in News, Technology

The Inquirer is reporting that the supposedly unhackable Vista activation has been cracked. You can use a simple utility that does a brute-force attack, trying different keys until one works and then you activate it manually. The procedure may take many hours but it supposedly works eventually.

Like the article says, it will be a big problem when people who have bought Vista cannot activate their copy because someone else already used that code. And maybe this is already happening. I know someone who bough a brand new HP laptop from BestBuy, and when he tried to activate it he was told his code wasn’t valid. Couldn’t even get it activated on the phone with MS, they basically told him he is out of luck. It doesn’t matter that he actually paid for the “privilege” of using Vista.

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Microsoft steals video, makes money from it

Posted in News, Opinion, Technology

My friend and co-worker had shot a video of a really cool mechanical spider that his brother built and added it to a story about it. That was about a year ago.

Today, he found his video on the MSN Video website, with no attribution and ads displayed alongside it. See for yourself. And the video is now tagged “StupidVideos.com” and is available here, uploaded by “Anonymous”.

I think MSN’s editors need to do a better job of checking where a video is coming from before they decide it is in the public domain. Is it hard to figure out if a video is not in the public domain? Yes. Is that an excuse to not do it? Of course not.

Do you force links into new windows?

Posted in Social networking, Technology

This is a usability beef of mine. I think there is a general disagreement about which linking method is better: in-window or new window.

On the one hand, if you open a link in the same window, you have the whole ‘need to go back’ phenomenon, and that’s not something a web owner wants to deal with. Too much fall off.

On the other hand, if you open a link into a new window, you can frustrate people, like me. It’s not obvious upon hover that a link will or will not open into a new window, and I personally hate it. I use tabs, not windows. Sometimes I don’t want to go back. And if I have to wait for another window to open in order to then close it to minimize screen clutter, I won’t be happy.

Here is another reason why I don’t think you should force links into new windows: they are called tabs. If I want to stay on a site, I simply open a link into a new tab. Simple as that.

I think people who continue to use ‘open in new window’ links are selfish ‘traffic whores’, excuse the term. These people are incredibly afraid of losing their traffic, hoping people will instead dig around more if their window stays open. I just get pissed off.

What do you think? Are there other pros & cons to this discussion?

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Northern Voice: Mashups for Non-Geeks

Posted in Events, Social networking, Technology

First session of Northern Voice, some of the interesting things from the Mashup for Non-Geeks:

  • Yahoo Pipes for mashups: Twitter RSS feed with Flickr pictures, for example.
  • You can clone and edit existing Yahoo Pipes
  • Yahoo Pipes has filtering capabilities
  • Dapper Virtual Browser allows you strip data from a page an output as RSS, CSV, etc.
  • Mixing feeds by tags – aggrssive among many others
  • Venus combines feeds & filters by tag
  • Grazr will render feeds and display them as an embedded widget on your site
  • NingDeveloper to create a from-scratch 2.0 site

My note: I have tried many feed filtering programs. I always get super excited about combining and filtering. But never have I found one that effectively works in Bloglines. None ever appear as updated. That has to be a requirement for me.

However, I’ve yet to try Pipes. I think it might be a potential for me.

One problem surrounds RSS standards and the ability to filter them. So, I might just have to wait ;)

More notes and links from the NV Wiki. These are resources that are going to be very valuable as we move into a redesign/branding of Blogaholics, which I am hoping to be a very exciting process.

My other beef: people creating wicked mashups with mashed up code. I don’t want to place things on my site that don’t look good, load like crap, have security leaks or are just really badly coded. As a non-geek, I feel very helpless here. Luckily I married a geek ;)

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Keyboard ergonomics

Posted in Technology

After my second car accident a month or so ago, I’ve become incredibly sensitive to the ergonomics of my desk. Previously, sitting and working was actually more comfortable than watching tv or lying in bed. Crazy, but true. I have a really nice chair :)

Of late, however, the keyboard has become an issue. Because the injury occurred to my right side – my mouse arm – using the mouse became problematic. If I centred the keyboard, the mouse was too far right. If I moved the mouse in, the keyboard was too far left. The numerical pad simply made the keyboard too wide.

So, having a mac, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to get an ergonomic keyboard. It needs to be USB and have the "Apple" function key. They are incredibly expensive and must be shipped. This is the one we ordered 4 weeks ago and was delivered today:

The Fentek Mini USB Keyboard for Mac. Looks old school, and really is. My review: not so good. It sounds like I am jackhammering as I type this. For a gal with migraine issues, not a good thing. So, kinda totally pissed. Plus, in order to use the extra USB slot on the keyboard, I need to plug two usb cables to my laptop. So, no USB slots left. Stupid. The keyboard may "work", but it will simply drive me crazy.

Anyway, after getting completely frustrated, we ordered another one. The KeyOvation Goldtouch for Mac Adjustable Keyboard.

Crazy amount of money, but it’s recommended by Apple and has the "soft touch" key action to make the damn thing quiet. I am not so anal as to need it to be quite as ergonomic as it is, but it’s really the only other Mac friendly option. I will probably angle it somewhat to take advantage of the ergonomics, but it can also lay flat. There was an option to get the numerical keypad as a separate entity, but I am not reliant on it so am happy to do without. I will let you know how it is when it arrives next week :)

I will miss my Apple Keyboard. It was so pretty and Mac-ish. Apple should really make an ergonomic keyboard.

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