Twitter’s Problems: Getting Worse

I once told myself I’d never write about Twitter‘s downtime, because everyone in the tech blogosphere writes about it. Today I’m going against that. The problems have simply become ridiculous. Back when I first started using Twitter, it was very responsive. (I tried to find my first tweet as an example, but there’s currently a paging limit of 10 which blocks everything but the 200 most recent tweets.) Posting was nearly instantaneous, the API allowed 70 requests every hour, one could get replies to one’s own tweets using a convenient tab on the site or simple call to the API,…

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SPAMfighter Tagline is Just Spam to Me

This is what I was doing while I was supposed to be finishing my coursework for the year. Don’t worry, I’m working on homework now; this was supposed to publish four hours ago and didn’t, so I tried again. Manually, because scheduled posting is temporarily borked. Image by Josh Walker via FlickrSpam is something everyone’s heard of, and probably gotten at least a few times. Messages like the one on the right have been going around with different month names for a long time. These are the kinds of things most of us know to ignore (but somebody must be…

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Google Health First Impression

It resonated throughout the blogosphere a couple days ago that Google Health (<– the actual service page) finally launched. This has been for a ; it’s since I found out about it, and it was in the works for a while before then. Glad it finally came out (marked “BETA”, as is Google’s routine). So, I signed up for it. What else would I do? (And I think my mom was trying it out, too; she read the TOS at the very least.) Though it’s going to be a fight between Google Health and Google Web History for the gh…

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Gmail Tips

There are tips and then there are tips. I was just emailed by someone from another site, which yesterday published a lengthy list of tips for using Gmail effectively. Some highlights include a few I’ve already heard of (Zoli Erdos’ guide to importing old mail comes to mind), and a few ingenious hacks (like embedding MP3s in email; no specific link, just go near the bottom of the above-linked list). While the list mentions using Gmail’s labels, it didn’t seem to explain anything about them; so might complement those other tips. It’s not something I usually do here, blogging just…

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Users to Twitter: Get Stable

I myself am included in those users. While I probably won’t be participating* in the event, I thought I’d still call attention to it, within my small sphere of influence, in case some of you want to take part. Anyway, this Twit-Out, as it’s being called, was started by a couple people on FriendFeed: Shey Smith and Bwana McCall. Shey came up with an initial what-if question that sparked Bwana’s idea to actually do something. Then Andrew Dobrow came along and made the logo you see at the beginning of this post. So this Wednesday, May 21, is the first…

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Blogger Accidentally Reveals Rating Feature

Blogger In Draft definitely doesn’t have all the new features. Just yesterday, some Blogger users saw “star ratings” — common enough widgets, but not integrated into Blogger yet — appear on their sites. This from multiple sources, including Blogger Status and Garett Rogers. Since , I thought this slip-up was extremely funny. For the record, I’m looking forward to seeing this come out on Blogger In Draft and then to mainstream Blogger. I’d like to try it out on this site.

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Google Friend Connect: Interesting Service, Can’t Sign Up

Yesterday, Google launched a preview release of Google Friend Connect at Campfire One. The premise is neat: Google provides you with a directory of pre-programmed social widgets (slash gadgets, slash modules, slash whatever you want to call them) that you can install on your website simply by pasting HTML code. All kinds of authentication formats are accepted, from Google Accounts to OpenID and beyond. For more nitty-gritty details, head for the official blog post or the Google Webmaster Central version (the latter is simpler). Incidentally, there was a huge blogstorm about this yesterday, before it was officially announced and before…

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Blogger Scheduled Posting Polished and Officially Launched

No more having to go to draft.blogger.com to schedule blog posts in Blogger; late this afternoon (Central time, of course) the Blogger team announced the release of scheduled posting to the mainstream interface. Not that I’m switching — I still like getting the new stuff — but it’s still nice to know that the feature I started using two months ago (give or take) is now live for everyone. In other news, I’ve kind of forgotten to write about the fixes made a week and a half ago, including scheduling for FTP blogs a week or two back and a…

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Webapp Keyboard Focus Issues

I’ve found a pretty frequent problem with keyboard-enabled webapps. Gmail, Google Reader, Remember The Milk, and a whole bunch of other services (Google Calendar, for instance) all fit into this category. It seems that nearly all keyboard shortcut-enabled webapps have one big annoyance in common (no, not AJAX): The shortcuts lose focus in certain scenarios. The three apps I’m most concerned with are, of course, Gmail, Google Reader, and RTM. I do use them the most, after all. I’ve found tab-switching to be the number one cause of focus switching. Keyboard entry is sent to the browser chrome or something,…

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Google App Engine Launches

Apparently, TechCrunch’s speculation that Google would be launching BigTable as a Web service was well-founded. Last night, BigTable — along with a bunch of other amenities — went live as part of Google App Engine, a service that could potentially compete with Amazon Web Services‘ EC2, S3, and SimpleDB offerings. What happened last night was a preview launch, open to the first 10,000 developers who signed up for the service. By 09:30 (UTC), all the open slots had been taken, relegating me to the waiting list. It’s perfectly fine, because I couldn’t even start to play around with the service…

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