The Sins of the Few Cause the Punishment of the Many

Finally, I’ve decided to blog about this issue. It starts in elementary school, and continues on a larger and larger scale as we go through life. I’ll start off with an anecdote. The setting is a third-grade classroom (no, this is not a reference to Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes). The class is small, only about ten students. One of them is acting up. The teacher, in an effort to get him to behave, threatens to revoke the entire class’s recess period if he doesn’t settle down. What’s wrong with this? The actions of one student could result in the punishment…

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Profile Duplication Equals Time Wasted

With the explosion of social sites, Internet users can be asked to fill out, and keep updated, dozens of profiles all over the Web. For light surfers, who use maybe three sites (say, Digg, Twitter, and Facebook), keeping things up-to-date is simple. There are only three forms sites (Facebook has a bunch of different pages for its profiles) to visit when something changes. People like me, however, end up amassing a whole bunch of pages to update. Right now I think I’m somewhere between 25 and 50 profiles, plus countless sites and profiles-that-aren’t-for-sites that I am no doubt forgetting. That’s…

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Alert Thingy v1.1: Better, Somewhat

Yesterday, when Alert Thingy for FriendFeed came out at v1.0, there was a lot of buzz in the FriendFeed community (two examples) about all the things that were annoying about the program. The developers listened to the feedback and drew up a list, getting up early this morning to implement the highest-priority requests. It was released not too long ago — not more than an hour. First and foremost, the new version can be made opaque. The translucency was very annoying to read sometimes; I personally have twhirl set to be opaque when active, and I would love to have…

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First Look: Alert Thingy for FriendFeed

It’s been a couple weeks since I last blogged about FriendFeed. Today is the perfect day to write about it again. This morning, an Adobe AIR client for FriendFeed was launched. I already use twhirl for my Twitter account, and have for weeks now. I don’t want to go back to the website; twhirl is that much better. The new FriendFeed client is refreshing, and a wonderful sidekick to twhirl. I do have a couple things to say about it in the aim of making it better. Alert Thingy, developed by howard/baines, is locked in a semi-transparent display mode. There…

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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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Don’t Ignore Me, Reddit!

It doesn’t show up in my FriendFeed. If you try to access it, you’ll get an error. It’s invisible to everyone, including myself. What am I talking about? I’m talking about my reddit account. Yes, reddit, that other social news site. Note that the link goes to a 404 Not Found error page. I registered a while ago; it’s got to have been about a month now. I’ve sent three emails via the feedback section, each time being told I’d hear back shortly. Nothing has ever come back. As a result of the missing profile page, I have been unable…

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Email Not Reliable on One Server

Classmates, you can go direct to the webmail reload script if you’re interested. 🙂 Oh noes, I’z opening the of ! I got the idea for this post from the frequent outages I experienced from my school’s mail server in the past month or so. There hasn’t been one in the last few days, which is good, but doesn’t guarantee against more downing. So anyway, coming back to the computer after a meal break to find the email page’s tab headed with “Problem Loading Page…” started to become routine. “School email server’s down again? Oh well, check again in the…

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Technobabbles Strips for a Day

You might notice something different about this site for the next 24 hours or so if you’re a regular reader. The page looks different, doesn’t it? I’ll explain why right now. See, I have a feed subscription to someone named Dustin Diaz, who runs his own blog. He started CSS Naked Day in 2006, and had another one last year with over 1,600 participants. This year, April 9th is the date, and I’m participating as well. CSS Naked Day shows off how much CSS has changed Web design. Sites that use standards-compliant and semantic markup will be perfectly functional without…

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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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Possible Rationale for Google Talk Labs Edition

Google Blogoscoped’s post about just came out early this morning, and it had an interesting idea in it. Philipp thinks Google might actually be using the new client as a desktop wrapper for the existing Google Talk Gadget, removing one version of the client that needs to be maintained while still providing a desktop feel for those users who want it. Philipp, your idea is very intriguing to me. In and of itself, it is quite insightful; the ramifications of it if true, though, wouldn’t make me happy. :-/ I have that Google would release an updated client including group…

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