There's been a lot of discussion lately (Ben, Bill, Justin) about building secure, cross-site identity systems, much of that discussion now centering on how FOAF could be used as the core of such a system. And Eric Sigler wrote a first step towards such a system by fetching a FOAF file and extracting out name, email address, and homepage, then sticking those into Movable Type comment fields.
I got to playing around with FOAF and RDF::Core. Frankly, it took me a little while to wrap my head around how to use the API, but after I did, writing a FOAF implementation in Perl was fairly straightforward.
Here it is: XML::FOAF (heading to the CPAN currently).
From MacInTouch: More reports on low battery life in iBooks.
In December, Jason Kottke wrote about the problems he was having. Near the end of December, I started to experience the same issues. After the the battery shortages began to become increasingly worse, I called Apple to send me a replacement battery. It's been replace and the problem is fixed... for now.
Any others experiencing this problem? How old is your iBook?
Popdex can now act as a TrackBack ping endpoint. This is cool, and it's a natural extension of what TrackBack was intended to do: rather than forcing robots to follow links, or programs to scan referrer logs, the software creating the link can instead tell the site to which it is linking about the link. In this case, you can now tell Popdex when you are linking to something, rather than forcing it to find out on its own (by crawling your pages).
It strikes me that a central service like Blogdex/Popdex/etc, which is already doing a lot of work with determining online social structure via link patterns, could take TrackBack usage one step further.
Apple released an updated version of the Safari beta release on 1/10/03.
While no changes have made yet to the WebCore framework, there is a rather large bug fix that should motivate most to make the upgrade:
Danger! Danger! Danger!: Apple Discussions about Safari deleting Home directories
A couple of weeks ago we learned that our DSL provider, DirecTV DSL, would no longer be providing service, and we asked for suggestions. We received a number of recommendations for Speakeasy, and we signed up, anticipating the usual DSL struggle. But Speakeasy handled everything in our switch: their online system provided a log of the entire installation process, including a number of apparent hassles with PacBell (who owns our line), hassles which probably would have caused us to give up entirely. The setup kit arrived last week, and we're very happy with our service thus far.
Starting next Wednesday, Ben and I will be visiting Tokyo, Japan.
On Friday, January 17th, our host, Joi Ito and Neoteny will be hosting a Movable Type users meet-up in Tokyo. The venue will be determined once they have a good idea of how many people will be attending. Tentatively, the gathering is set to start between 6:00-6:30 and will be located near their Akasaka office. More details to come.
So, if you're in Tokyo, we'd love to meet you.
Update: Those who responded should expect an email with more information about venue and times. Thanks!
There is some discussion going on about moblogging phones supporting open standards like the metaWeblog API. Joi writes about the future of moblogging and open standards, and the benefits to the hardware manufacturers of using a standard API, rather than a proprietary lock-in.
The benefits extend to the tool developers, as well.
Three and a half years ago, shortly after graduating college, Ben and I signed a two-year contract with Verizon and made our first shared cell phone purchase. We're practical folk, not interested in too many bells and whistles, and this was reflected in our choice of cell phone: The behemoth that is the Qualcomm QCP-860. Even in terms of other 1999 mobile phones, the QCP-860 was huge and devoid of any features other than "talk." This phone was a step-up, however, from the cell phone that I had received gratis from the AAA.
We helped build his site because he's a good guy and he's written a great book. I pre-ordered a copy in September despite the fact that Cory gave us a proof copy last March (for free no less!). Now don't tell me people don't buy things they can get for free on the web. Read it and then buy it.
Maciej Ceglowski has built a prototype for a semantic search engine. To adapt it to function as a Movable Type plugin, he needs sample content that he can test against.
If successful, the search feature would let you do a keyword search, and get back relevant results even when there was no exact keyword match.
If you'd like to help out, send him some content.
Jason Kottke asks a question that is sure to elicit a fair amount of response (especially from those who believe that the omission of tabs in Safari was a positive step)1:
Why the distinction between regular web browsing and web browsing using specialized interfaces for structured data? Using Watson to find movie times is great, but it means having a separate application running...and for ticket purchases, it dumps me back into a web browser anyway. Apple's Sherlock app offers functionality similar to Watson. Why not merge Sherlock and Safari into one application? Wither Sherfari?
Somewhat lost among the keynote announcements was TiVo's (long-rumored) announcement that they will support Rendezvous for sharing music and photos:
TiVo's upcoming premium service package will use Rendezvous technology to automatically discover Macs within the home network and determine which services they provide, allowing customers to listen to their shared music or view their shared photos on their TV.
"The transaction costs of the LazyWeb are extremely low. Someone describes; someone else codes. The describer can write sketchily or in great detail. No developers are required to read the description; and those who do read it can ignore or modify the proposed design. The interface between the parties is lightweight, one-way, and optional."
Today Apple released Safari, the new OS X browser based on the KHTML library (though with many speed improvements, apparently). Currently we use Chimera, which we're very happy with. Safari looks neat, but is it neat enough for us to switch (at least while it is still in beta)?
After some initial testing, our thoughts on how Safari stacks up against Chimera.
A couple of links that I meant to log while on the other coast:
The Guardian's Survival Guide 2003
TrackBack and Movable Type mentioned under the "Social Software" trend. Also, Cory Doctorow's "Whuffie" as makes an appearance on this list. Believe me, once you read his soon-to-be-published book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, you'll have a difficult time looking at the Web and daily interactions in non-Whuffie terms.
The LazyWeb at lazyweb.org
Using TrackBack to invoke the LazyWeb -- so many reasons why I love this page.
New Year's Moblog
Some timezone glitches this year; we'll all be doing in right on New Year's 2004.
Appeal for the Jhai Remote IT project
Donation-funded wireless for refugees in Laos.
Around Christmas, Meg wrote about wireless usage during the holidays:
"Once non-wirelessly connected folks see how easy and great it is, I suspect they'll want to go wireless as well."
We spent last week visiting my family in North Carolina. AirPort in tow (and oddly, the only item not asked about during airport security screenings), we demonstrated to my parents that yes, you can check your email at the dinner table! A few days and a wireless router later, my mother's laptop was outfitted with a wireless card and she was no longer tethered to her dial-up modem.