Aaron's Day Off
Random ramblings about not necessarily anything in particular, and not much more....
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
I've got a Hunch
Monday, December 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Favorite Online Shopping Interface?
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
You know what I really want from your new service, that's meant to keep the mobile and not so mobile life in order? I want a way to keep all my music files in synch across my home and work machines. Trying to remember and then copy up to .Mac the individual music files that I bought (from iTunes I might add) on one computer or the other, then download and import, is slowly driving me crazy. And that's before I even get into the "is it on my computers hard drive, or on the connected external hard drive" conversation - you need to work out a suitable Apple easy and it works solution for that too so I don't get duplicate tracks, and can easily "checkout" files from my main library so they're on my hard disk when I hit the road.
Baby steps first - how about just keeping track of the music I bought on iTunes and allowing me to download it again at some point in the future if it's not already on my machine? Amazon let me do this with books I bought for my Kindle. And the copyright protection still exists - the files still need to be ran on the machines I've authorized, so it's not like I can do something naughty with it. Please Steve. You normally answer my (gadget inspired) prayers. Don't let me down now.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Do RSS Readers Spoil the Web?
When I first changed my web reading habits to use Google Reader, it was a bit of epiphany - I could keep track of all my car and gadget websites without spending time going from site to site, I didn't miss a post, and I could star anything I fancied posting to this site for when I actually had time. I had previously looked at a desktop newsreader ages before that, but I freaked out after an hour as the thing dinged everytime I got a new post, so I got nothing done for that first hour, and uninstalled the app a few minutes later (and yes, I realize that I could have switched off notifications, or the app for that matter, but I was just too scared). Google Reader was kinda like the perfect combination - I needed to make an effort in the first place to open it, it didn't ding, and I could control my reading habits at least somewhat.
Then of course, I started to add feeds - I've got more car sites than I car to mention on there, work feeds (broken into GIS, hiring, VC's, general technology news, partner news feeds etc etc), actual news feeds, a whole section of randomness (think Dooce, Lifehacker and the like), friends.... and the list goes on - you've got the idea.
I think I could probably have a full time job just reading feeds without even adding any more to the list. They're all interesting to me at some level, but some get more care and attention than others (I only ever check the gossip section at the weekends, whereas the work ones normally get a look most days). So I don't read a lot of the information that's there. I did read somewhere (probably in one of the feeds) that one guy was simplifying his life, and cutting down on the number of feeds he keeps track of, and I've considered this, but the "mark all items as read" button keeps me sane most of the time. And what happened if I just missed something! That might be like, bad. I could miss a Steve Jobs announcement, or the latest Porsche spy shot and I'd feel like my life may not be complete anymore, and that would be bad (I like my complete life).
But this isn't really the issue. What bothers me most is that I read the feeds, and most feeds are of the full fat variety, and I don't read websites so much. One of the car sites I read went through a whole redesign, and I don't think I even noticed it for at least a month. I miss out on seeing the latest pretty colors, the widgets, the blogrolls, the (occasional) pictures of whoever is writing what I'm reading. I don't really read the comments on posts either. You kinda get used to reading feeds only, and suddenly the thought that the web might be boring crosses your mind. I know it's not, you just think it if you read feeds all the time.
So, I've started to make a bit of an effort to actually visit the websites that I "read" regularly. It's making me smile a little more, and it almost feels like visiting old friends that you haven't seen for a couple of months. It's given me a fresh perspective on the web, along with a strange desire to make another crack at redesigning this site (although that isn't on the immediate horizon).
And the other thing - find some cool sites on Tumblr, and get your dashboard set up to follow them - I don't know if it's the posts themselves, or the layout, or what, but it never looks boring over there.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Mix Tape Test
Sunday, March 23, 2008
An e-card site that actually has fun cards
Finally, an e-card site with cards you might send when it's not someones birthday.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Adaptive Blue - SmartLinks
So I actually did a couple of updates to the site template the other day, and then of course ran out of time when it came to letting people know. Nothing major, but I did add SmartLinks from Adapative Blue.
These clever things take your normal links, and add a little box after them to provide you with some extra information (if you want it). As this is the first time I've tried it out, we'll see how it works with a few things below.
Music - I'm currently thinking of going up to Boulder (on a Monday night of all times) to see Kate Nash, coz I love her album.
Movies - We watched Michael Clayton the other weekend, and it kinda rocked. One of the best films we've seen this year.
Books - I started reading The Breakthrough Company last night (and I think set a new personal record for the number of books I've currently got on the go, but that's a whole other post).
Money - I'm hoping the Apple stock goes back up soon.
And finally (and not sure if this one does anything), here's my LinkedIn profile - it looks like they released a new user interface over the weekend, which is all Ajaxie. Which reminds me - I really need to make a bit more effort to put some details on there.
Anyway, see how that works for you - if you hate it, let me know. If you love it, you can tell me that too, but as always, I assume silence is complete apathy.....
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Tumblr Promo Feed
I still haven't worked out how to use it all yet (can't get my bloody Twitter feed to work for one), although Nick solved my comments issue (but I've held off). One thing I kinda thought was that they were a bit plain - sort of the point I guess - keep everything simple and stuff, and then, through Fred mentioning he was in a song circle thing with Lindsay and a few others, the few others included Rach's site. This actually made me say wow out loud. I'm going to play now - I've been inspired to make my tumblr look prettier.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Lijit Do Maps
I read somewhere over the weekend that some of the best companies kind of take on a personality of their own - they don't hide behind some corporate veil of secrecy and talk in official only language in case of upsetting someone. Chipolte (and a few others) make little jokes instead of the usual "don't throw this bag in the street" declarations (something about not using it for a parachute if my memory serves me correctly).
Anyway, Lijit is the kind of company that just gives you really useful stuff and lots of nice surprises - wouldn't everyone like a friend like that. Apart from all the info they dish out on who has been searching your blog, this weekend (or maybe before and I'm just too slow to realize), they added in some mapping functionality to their search, so now you can see where people were searching from. The map is even nice and pretty, and given a large part of my working life has been spent working with maps in one shape or another, I'm obviously happy. So, my stats page is open, so you too can see the extra info if you care too.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Not sure if I'll stick with it for now, but Tumblr makes it nice and easy to quickly post stuff up on a site (kinda like a super quick blog). Anyway, giving it a try here (and I managed to get the feed from this site integrated), but unless I whip out the (lack of) code skills again to make it look prettier, I'm not sure I'll use it on an ongoing basis. Rumour is that you can add in your Twitter posts, and maybe even your last.fm playlists or something, so there's still some hope if any of that is possible.
Monday, November 12, 2007
2007 Weblog Awards
Nope, I didn't win, but at least there's a couple of sites in the list that I read, so that counts a little.
I was going to link to all the blogs from here, and then suddenly realized I'm too lazy to do that, so you can go to the list yourself. PostSecret won the big prize, and if you've never checked it out, you should give it a try - it's frighteningly addictive.
Monday, October 15, 2007
It's nice to know that at least the UK is pushing the boundaries for distribution over the web. Following on from it's earlier release of downloadable tv shows, today it announced that you can connect for free at any of The Cloud hotspots (7500 places, think T-Mobile if you're in the states) to watch your favorite tv. They also announced they'll stream tv, rather than just allow downloads, which gets them around the controversy of not supplying a Mac or Linux compatible version of their download software.
Of course, this is all still UK only - worldwide has probably still got 6 million legal agreements to get in place before it can happen....
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I mentioned Lijit a while ago, when I first added the widget over on the left. It seems like people actually use it as well, which is a bit of a bonus ;-)
I've actually used it quite a bit, either to search for stuff I know I posted about but can't remember where it was, and also for this stats page (which I've made public so you can all take a look if you're so inclined). The great thing about this is that I get an idea of how many people are actually looking for specific things, and how people end up at my site.
Recent winners seem to be the Kohler Rain Tile (highly recommended, I promise I'll try and take the pick today...), and our good friend Jonny Decker, from this previous post. And also, for whoever was looking to see when Heidi's birthday is - July 25th, and yes, we're going to attempt the usual big bash (the weekend before, as a certain Mr Tonkin has something going in Vegas the weekend after...).
So, if you haven't tried it out, you might be pleasantly surprised...
Friday, June 01, 2007
Breaking - Google Buys FeedBurner
Looks like this was just announced, although there had been a few rumours floating around, but Google went out and purchased Feedburner. The official announcement is here, and their VC view of the deal is here.
I use both Google (who doesn't these days) and Feedburner, not that it makes much difference, but I guess all my blog underlying technology is now on the same platform (written in Blogger, feed by FeedBurner - the little orange badge thing over on the left, and compulsive blog reading courtesy of Reader). Google, you complete me (actually, that's not true, until you decide to give me free computers, super fast fios like speeds of wifi everywhere I walk, and a chocolate digestive)
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
So, a pretty big couple of days for Lindsay - 2 appearances on Sopranos (brief, but weird seeing someone you know on a TV program you like - and I must say much better than the dodgy pepper cracking incident of Michael in CSI, which I can't find the link to right now). Anyway, the other news is that Wallstrip got bought by CBS. It seems like a popular thing, as lots of people are writing about it (but I'm too lazy to find all the links, so you'll have to make do with this one).
Monday, May 21, 2007
If A Socialites Life, WWTDD (and by the way, Fight Club is the reference, if you're struggling...) and Perez Hilton don't keep you as informed as you think you need to be, check out Jezebel. Actually it's not just Gossipy stuff the other ones concentrated on, so I went over to check it out, briefly scanned this post, and decided to move on and leave it to the women to find out themselves. I did get the title bit before I moved on, so apparently Celebrity, Sex, Fashion, Without Airbrushing is what it's all about.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
So I know Pete was impressed with his maps in Stats Counter or whatever he uses, but Google just released a new version of their analytics tool, which is the one I ended up using after trying out a few in the middle of last year.
The new version has lots of nice web 2.0 type things going on, with pretty pictures, graphs and all that, but my favorite bit so far has been the new location interface - I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for something to track your web visitors.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Spot the Difference
Monday, May 07, 2007
So Microsoft has a new way to give charity - by adding in a header in your display name (one of a number of special codes that correspond to different charities), they'll donate some money every time you chat on IM. I've no idea how, how much, or even if lots of individual messages all count as seperate donations, but I can't see any downsides to this at all, especially at the rate I IM people these days. Anyway, everyone should join, so the link is here.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Such was the controvesy among the users, that people power did actually work, and Digg have gone back to not interfering with their site.
But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.
If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
So it looks like someone earlier today (or maybe it was last night) posted the "secret number" that is the key to unlocking HD DVD content. Digg then (allegedly) went and took down the post, and deleted the user, causing outrage among their user base. It's pretty hard to argue that a number is copyright protected, so not sure if they have some sort of legal reason, but obviously this sent the world (well, lots of geeks used to the freedom of speech type concepts) into a frenzy. At one point today, every single post on the front page held the number. I'm not sure if Digg has continued to delete the user accounts and posts of everyone (if they have, they're slowing down, as there's still plenty of posts on the front page now), but everyone's a little shook up.
How this all plays out in the next few days will be pretty interesting. I've always been under the impression that Digg content is driven by their users, with no interaction from the people running the site, and judging by the outrage, a lot of other people were under the same impression. We'll have to wait to see whether or not this has a negative (or positive with all the publicity) effect on the number of hits the site gets.
UPDATE - Digg has officially responded
Monday, April 09, 2007
Wallstrip Hits the Big Time
So I've been meaning to post this forever (and maybe even add a Wallstrip widget on here) for the last few months, but it's another one of those things that sorta fell by the wayside. Anyway, given today Lindsay is talking about Lindsay Corp, I thought it would be worth a mention.
So, if you haven't head about it, they do a video blog (vlog even...) of stocks that have recently hit a high on the stock market. Not very interesting you might think, but they add in a decent amount of humo(u)r to make it watchable, and it stars Lindsay Campbell, survivor of a self inflicted spell in the Penn household (and pictured here with another survivor, Mr Al Brown, dancing man).
Anyway, here's the vid.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Not sure if I like it yet or not, so before you read this it could be something completely different. But, felt like it was time for a change, and needed to do some semi-coding today just to make sure I could still work out what a variable was, given work time is spent in Word, Excel and Exchange these days.
Obviously, if you hate it, let me know.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
So I just wrote a huge post, and managed to lose it coz I'm a bit of an arse sometimes, and I was trying to get this out in the middle of doing 300 other things. So, this is going to be a lot quicker, less blabbering, and direct to the point.
If you like music, check out The Hype Machine and Last.fm. There, that was easy, and saves you listening to my bollox.
Friday, March 09, 2007
So I'm always interested in cool techie stuff, especially the stuff that actually happens on your own doorstep, and through a wild journey through the interweb place (via Brad, MyBlogLog, WanderingStan and Tara) I finally ended up taking the plunge and signed up for my latest widget over there on the right.
So, here goes, I'll try and explain how it works. It's basically recommended or personal searching. I sign up and say which blogs and websources I typically read (including my own, although looking at some of the typos that get in here I obviously don't read it very well). Then, when you search, it searches those sources for the links and answers to what you're looking for. So, if you think I am probably an expert in for example cars, or gadgets, or button nosed puppies or whatever, you're much more likely to get something that you actually think is relevant. Now I'm obviously not suggesting that I am an expert in anything really (although the cars and over-priced techie toys I do spend an inordinate amount of my limited free time researching and playing with) - that's for you to decide, and then either use the search or not.
So anyway, I still need to add in a couple of (hundred) more links on stuff I read regularly for the answers to start coming back in a somewhat representative fashion (and if you Lijit guys are reading this, being able to suck in my Google Reader feeds would have made me smile even more when I signed up....) but given all 4 people who read this site are probably already down the pub wondering where I am (see previous post), it should be up to date by the time you try.
Anyway, give it a shot and let me know what you think. I can hear the guinness calling.....