Tag Archive for 'tech'

Introducing Typekit

Jeff Veen announced Type­kit today, a hosted solu­tion for embed­ding fonts on the web:

We’ve been work­ing with foundries to develop a con­sis­tent web-only font link­ing license. We’ve built a tech­nol­ogy plat­form that lets us to host both free and com­mer­cial fonts in a way that is incred­i­bly fast, smoothes out dif­fer­ences in how browsers han­dle type, and offers the level of pro­tec­tion that type design­ers need with­out resort­ing to annoy­ing and inef­fec­tive DRM.

Soon enough, @font-face CSS at-rule sup­port will come to all major browsers, so use of non-traditional web fonts will increase. If this catches on, the web in 2010 might look a lot dif­fer­ent than it does now—I won­der who will be the first major online con­tent provider to use it?

NY Magazine on Innovation at the Times

Renegades

Aron Pil­hofer, Andrew DeVi­gal, Steve Duenes, Matthew Eric­son, and Gabriel Dance.
Photo cour­tesy NY Mag / Mike McGregor
Elec­tion Day Word Train »
Faces of the Dead »
Pogue-o-matic »

Sure there’s been a lot of recent bad news about the New York Times Com­pany, and news­pa­pers coast-to-coast are pulling back cov­er­age, fil­ing for bank­ruptcy and clos­ing. But there is also another story to tell.

New York Mag­a­zine has a piece in this week’s issue on the Times Mul­ti­me­dia, Graph­ics, Inter­ac­tive Tech and R&D groups, titled The New Jour­nal­ism: Goos­ing the Gray Lady. It details some of the orga­ni­za­tional steps taken by the Times, in order to posi­tion itself for the day when the online prod­uct eclipses the print edi­tion in reach, rev­enue and relevance.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘NY Mag­a­zine on Inno­va­tion at the Times’

How Hackers Show it’s Not All Bad News at the New York Times

Apolo­gies that this blog looks a lit­tle New York Times-y lately, but I had to share this – O’Reilly’s Andrew Savikas wrote a very inter­est­ing post on some of the inter­est­ing stuff we’re doing:

…there‘s some­thing going on at the Times that prob­a­bly won‘t make it to Sil­i­con Alley Insider, much less the main­stream busi­ness press, and it‘s some­thing that‘s start­ing to make me think the Times just might suc­ceed in adapt­ing to the chang­ing rules of the media and pub­lish­ing game…

So what’s the Times doing that’s so impor­tant? They’re hack­ing.

Savikas goes on to list a lot of exam­ples, but the best one that I can pro­vide is the com­ing release of our APIs, which will enable peo­ple on the out­side to play, tin­ker, and mashup NY Times con­tent. There are only a few APIs cur­rently pub­lic, but there will be a flood of releases in the com­ing months.

[via Jeremy]

UPDATE: Oh man, a bit after I pub­lished this today, we launched our Visu­al­iza­tion Lab – a part­ner­ship that uses IBM’s Many Eyes tech­nol­ogy. More Info Here »

wordpress.app

I’m writ­ing this from the new Word­Press iPhone app. It’s a pretty light, straight-forward inter­face. It allows sav­ing posts locally on the iPhone before pub­lish­ing or sav­ing drafts to the server, enabling offline drafting.

There is even rudi­men­tary photo sup­port – but you can’t really con­trol the place­ment or siz­ing of the image – it is merely appended to the end of the mes­sage. You don’t even see the image markup until it is pub­lished or saved as a draft on the server.

But even then, the lim­i­ta­tions of the iPhone become clear – there is no copy/paste, and the classes that deter­mine how Word­Press dis­plays uploaded images is unnec­ces­sar­ily com­pli­cated. (They should sim­plify that.)

So, though this is a pretty nice app, I’m not sure how use­ful it will be with­out more for­mat­ting options and copy/paste. For instance, I can’t even pro­vide a link to it’s app store page. Also, why doesn’t the iPhone have char­ac­ters luke curly quotes and em/en dashes?

UPDATE (from my Mac): Here is the link to the app.

Thsrs — The Shorter Thesaurus

Thsrs seems like a good idea: when you’re hav­ing trou­ble express­ing your­self on Twit­ter in less that 140 char­ac­ters, query the only the­saurus that only gives you syn­onyms shorter than the word you’re look­ing up.

omfg, lolz.

Twitter

Do you <3 Presley?

Twit­ter built a cute lit­tle thing for Valentine’s Day – type @nedward <3, and you can send a lit­tle valen­tine tweet to a Twit­ter friend. I don’t see any offi­cial blog post about it, but Twit­ter co-founder Biz Stone tweeted about it.

Enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Playing Around with the Google Chart API

I’ve been play­ing around with the new Google Chart API, released ear­lier today. The API enables easy cre­ation of charts, dynamically:

The Google Chart API returns a PNG-format image in response to a URL. Sev­eral types of image can be gen­er­ated: line, bar, and pie charts for exam­ple. For each image type you can spec­ify attrib­utes such as size, col­ors, and labels.

My exam­ple is shown below. I can think of a lot more con­ve­nient meth­ods of cre­at­ing graphs, espe­cially when chartable data is usu­ally already in Excel or Num­bers spread­sheets. Still, pretty fun to play around with – check out what Brian Suda makes of it, on 24ways.

Chart

Free Wi-Fi in Midtown

Holy iPhone grail! Who needs to wait for muni-Wi-Fi?

TiVo HD and Copy Protection

Why do I pay money for this?I am an avid hockey fan, since I was a kid grow­ing up in Buf­falo. I love watch­ing the game, and I espe­cially love watch­ing my home­town team, the Sabres. For the past 2 years, I’ve forked over $150 to sub­scribe to the NHL Cen­ter Ice cable pack­age, so that I can watch every game of the sea­son. With our TiVo, I can record each game, and watch it when­ever I have time.

That is, I did, until this sea­son started. We recently upgraded our TiVo unit from an old Direc­TiVo, to the new Series 3 TiVo HD, which appar­ently imple­ments unnat­u­rally strict copy pro­tec­tion on pre­mium con­tent. Because the new unit uti­lizes Cable­Cards, TiVo has dif­fer­ent rules for these TiVos as com­pared to Series 2 units, accord­ing to their sup­port page:

Since the Series3 and TiVo HD are DCR devices, in addi­tion to the Macro­vi­sion rules for ana­log con­tent, they must also com­ply with the con­tent pro­tec­tion poli­cies for Dig­i­tal Cable content.

What this means is that NHL Cen­ter Ice con­tent is copy pro­tected, and will be deleted within hours of the game’s com­ple­tion. Gone. Irretrievable.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘TiVo HD and Copy Protection’

Gmail Adds IMAP Support

Via the Offi­cial Google Blog:

Gmail adds IMAP sup­port
“Are you guys ever going to do IMAP?” Well now I can say: Yes. Yes, we are doing IMAP. In fact, we are doing it for you for free on all devices and platforms.

This is great news, espe­cially for iPhone users, (instruc­tions here). Now, you can keep your mail account synched between mul­ti­ple com­put­ers and devices.

UPDATE: Derek makes a good point about some advanced mail set­tings on the iPhone – make sure to align your Drafts, Sent, and Trash folders.

2007 Web Design Survey

A List Apart releases the results of their 2007 Web Design Sur­vey, and I’m feel­ing nicely aver­age for my profession.

Close to 33,000 web pro­fes­sion­als answered the survey’s 37 ques­tions, pro­vid­ing the first data ever col­lected on the busi­ness of web design and devel­op­ment as prac­ticed in the U.S. and worldwide.

ALA pro­vides a PDF with the survey’s find­ings, but they also pro­vide the raw date in Excel for­mat, which you’re free to play around with, pivot, and chart.

Apple’s Web Apps Portal

Still no word on when or if Apple will offi­cially allow 3rd-party apps – but some of these are really cool, so long as you’ve got wi-fi or AT&T EDGE. Here are my new favorites:

  • Weather.com // Way bet­ter than their old mobile site, with fore­casts, and maps.
  • Fan­dango // Set your loca­tion, and movie times are not far behind. This is also way bet­ter than their old Mobile site, (as well as MovieFone’s).
  • Tipr // It takes your check total and a spec­i­fied tip per­cent­age and gen­er­ates a total that is a palin­drome – so you can ensure that you’re not get­ting ripped off.

And, some oldies that haven’t yet made it into the directory:

Google Acquires Jaiku

I don’t know many Amer­i­cans that use Jaiku, a Twit­ter–like ser­vice that allows you to micro-post your day from the web, or mobile phone. But, with the announced acqui­si­tion of the Finnish com­pany by Google, I bet more will take a look.

A Q&A on the deal is avail­able on the Jaiku site, but they are freez­ing new sign-ups for now.

Free Wi-fi

The secret is outI’m not sure how I feel about the con­cept of free wi-fi in cof­fee shops and bars – sure, we all like “free”, and I’m always care­ful to order refills and tip the baris­tas copi­ously. But, it can be impos­si­ble to get a table, because of wi-fi squatters.

This after­noon, I’m sit­ting at Fall Cafe in our new neigh­bor­hood, and look­ing around at the other tables – each with a lap­top – and I see a lot of empty cups – these peo­ple have been sit­ting here for hours. As you can see from the new sig­nage in the win­dow (left), this cafe believes that free wi-fi brings in cus­tomers. But I won­der if some peo­ple won’t become frus­trated with the squat­ters, and go else­where for their coffee?

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Free Wi-fi’

Pownce

Any­body got a Pownce invite? Pretty please?

UPDATE: All set, thanks Rich!

Movable Type 4 Beta

Well that was fun – I tried to upgrade to the new Mov­able Type 4 Beta, and it com­pletely hosed my MT data­base tables. Luck­ily for once, I backed up every­thing, prior to tak­ing the leap – so we’re back up run­ning now.

It might be a good time to finally switch over to WordPress?

SXSW: Day 1

4 rest­less hours of sleep, and 1 Jet­blue direct flight from BOS to AUS, and I found myself in Austin. Checked into the hotel and met up with the EchoDitto folks, and other friends. There are like 4 Jasons, 2 Justins, a John (me) — so it gets confusing.

70 degrees here, 55 or so at night. This fes­ti­val totally takes over the city. Met some cool peo­ple last night, and the first panel this morn­ing was cool — i started in “why XSLT is sexy”, but bailed for “emerg­ing social and tech­nol­ogy trends”. Next up, “How to Bluff Your Way in Web 2.0″, with Andy Budd & Jeremy Keith… which I expect to be hilarious.

Only com­plaints are that the hotel is a bit of a walk, across the river. And, i’m sick… so i’m com­pletely groggy and don’t feel like talk­ing to any­body. but, i’ll get over it.

Another prob­lem is try­ing to explain my job, and what the Local­iza­tion indus­try is. It comes off sound­ing really lame, con­sid­er­ing every­body I talk to works small design shops…

So if you have any ideas how to punch it up a bit, let me know.

Security”

Win­dows is dri­ving me insane at work — all of these lit­tle secu­rity fixes that get in the way of productivity.

Last Fri­day, I installed the lat­est Win­dows updates and rebooted at the end of the day. When I get to work and log in on Mon­day morn­ing, I get this secu­rity warn­ing every time I click on a zip file:

Annoying IE/ZIP popup security warning

Inter­net Explorer
This page has an unspec­i­fied poten­tial secu­rity risk. Would you like to continue?

Um, yes, permanently.

It only repros (so far) for ZIPs on net­work shares and mapped dri­ves. I’ve got Win XP SP2 & IE7… any ideas?

Windows Live Writer (Beta)

I’m post­ing this from inside Win­dows Live Writer, a newly released “weblog­ging” appli­ca­tion by Microsoft. It’s a slick lit­tle win­dows app, with sup­port for pub­lish­ing to Mov­able Type, Word­Press, as well as Live Spaces, by default.

Paul Sta­ma­tiou has an extended review, but here are some of the features:

  • WYSIWYG Author­ing
  • Spell Check
  • Photo Pub­lish­ing
  • Map Pub­lish­ing, (via Live Local)
  • Com­pat­i­bil­ity with Blog­ger, Live­Jour­nal, Type­Pad, Word­Press (and many others)

Also, like most good WYSIWYG edi­tors, it allows you to tog­gle over to HTML code view – (tak­ing a quick look at this post, I see that it writes pretty clean code).

Note: There is no sup­port yet for Tags, a new fea­ture in MT 3.3. (Cat­e­gories & Key­words are supported.)

More Infor­ma­tion & Download

UPDATE: Om has a nice review:

It is not often, I say good things about Microsoft prod­ucts, but with this free-blogging tool, I have to say: write on! …the soft­ware actu­ally lets you use your blog styles for edit­ing, has abil­ity to add plu­g­ins, and has an SDK to extend the func­tion­al­ity of the pro­gram. You can also swap out  Microsoft Maps for say Google Maps.

Adobe Flash Player 9

Prod­uct Man­ager Emmy Huang writes in the Adobe Devel­op­ment Cen­ter:

As we looked at our goals for Flash Player 9, how­ever, we real­ized that it would be too lim­it­ing to con­tinue to evolve the exist­ing engine. We wanted to cre­ate a water­shed moment in the his­tory of Flash Player, and to deliver it we needed to be able to inno­vate with­out constraint.

As a result, Action­Script 3.0 is essen­tially a full rewrite of the Action­Script engine. Action­Script 3.0 exe­cutes in a new, highly-optimized vir­tual machine known as AVM2, which we built for effi­ciency and per­for­mance. Although AVM2 will be the pri­mary vir­tual machine for Action­Script exe­cu­tion going for­ward, Flash Player will con­tinue to sup­port the older AVM1 for back­wards com­pat­i­bil­ity with exist­ing and legacy content.

How­ever, in order to take advan­tage of the new fea­tures, we’ll have to wait for the release of Flash Pro­fes­sional 9, (or play around with an alpha patch for Flash 8), accord­ing to the FAQ:

Design­ers and devel­op­ers inter­ested in using new Flash Player 9 fea­tures are wel­come to explore the pub­lic alpha of Adobe Flash Pro­fes­sional 9 Action­Script 3.0 avail­able on Adobe Labs.

It’s curi­ously timed… isn’t it unprece­dented for Macromedia/Adobe releas­ing Player 9 almost a year in advance of Flash Pro­fes­sional 9? And, I don’t think that we’ll see wide-spread adop­tion until there is actu­ally some Flash 9 con­tent out there on the web. I’ll start pay­ing atten­tion in 2007.

Outlook 2007 & Gcal

I’m one of those stiffs who loves his Power­book, but is forced by neces­sity (and Cor­po­rate IT) to work in Win­dows XP and Out­look all day. Meet­ing requests come in and tasks are assigned, all using Out­look. How­ever, because I rely so much on Gmail in my per­sonal life, I store per­sonal events online with Google Cal­en­dar.

Every­thing works seam­lessly on my mac, as Apple’s iCal soft­ware allows sub­scrip­tions. But there is no way to get Out­look 2003 to sync or share data in the iCal­en­dar for­mat… in fact, I think that Out­look stores its infor­ma­tion in some Microsoft pro­pri­etary for­mat, by default. I think you can import/export ICS files, but there is no sub­scrip­tion or pub­lish method.

Gcal Subscribe

Gcal allows sub­scrip­tions to iCal­en­dar feeds

I shouldn’t for­get to men­tion the excel­lent open source project Remote­Cal­en­dars, which allows you to sub­scribe to iCal­en­dar feeds, with a bit of tweak­ing. But, this wasn’t quite what I craved – I wanted to not only sub­scribe to my Gcal cal­en­dar, but also allow Gcal to pick up my work appoint­ments. That way, I can get reminders of early meet­ings, etc., when I’m away from my work desk.

Out­look 2007 beta 2

Enter the new Office beta. Not only is this ver­sion the Bravest Soft­ware Upgrade Ever, it also added a lot of great func­tion­al­ity to Outlook.

Out of the box, you can sub­scribe to iCal­en­dar feeds, such as those pro­vided by Gcal, 30Boxes, or other online apps. More impres­sively, you can pub­lish your cal­en­dar to either your own Web­DAV server, or to Office Online directly. Then, you can sub­scribe to the pub­lished iCal­en­dar feed in any online cal­en­dars that sup­port the stan­dard. Out­look will peri­od­i­cally update the pub­lished file as you make adjust­ments or addi­tions to your calendar.

Publish to Internet

Out­look 2007’s Pub­lish to Inter­net feature

So, now I have access to both my per­sonal and work cal­en­dars at all times, no mat­ter where I am. (Hell, if I wanted to pay Cin­gu­lar for band­width, I could use Gcal­Sync to push every­thing to my RAZR.)

The only real caveat is that you have to pub­lish your Out­look cal­en­dar with “Unre­stricted Access”—because Microsoft uses their LiveID tech­nol­ogy to grant access on a per-user basis, and Gcal (or any other ser­vice) won’t be able to authen­ti­cate unless it’s pub­lic. I’m not sure how secure this is yet, but for the moment I’m too in love with this setup to let that bother me.

Another minor caveat – you’ll have to unin­stall Acro­bat 6, as it causes Out­look to crash a lot.

Other than that, it’s a pretty sta­ble beta.

Digg This

Diesel Sweeties

dump.gifI love Diesel Sweet­ies

I pre­fer to name my com­put­ers and devices after imag­i­nary girls who would never go out with me.


Google Romance

Google RomanceHey, sin­gle peo­ple! Find your soul mate, with Google Romance:

Google Romance is a place where you can post all types of roman­tic infor­ma­tion and, using our Soul­mate Search®, see search results that could, in the­ory, include the love of your life. Then we’ll send you both on a Con­tex­tual Date, which we’ll pay for while deliv­er­ing to you rel­e­vant ads that we and our adver­tis­ing part­ners think will help pro­duce the dat­ing results you’re look­ing for.

Be sure to take the tour, and read the FAQ.

Hosted Gmail

Hosted GmailThis is fan­tas­tic – I’ve setup Hosted Gmail for our old domain, suckahs.org, and it’s work­ing fan­tas­tic. I wish that I could use this at work, rather than Exchange/Outlook.

There are some nice account man­ange­ment func­tions, and you can cre­ate 25 accounts for free. They even allow you to upload a cus­tom logo in place of the stan­dard Gmail logo. Go sign up.

Lockdown

lockdownThanks Zooomer & OpenID… I signed up for you this morn­ing, and Google sus­pended my Gmail access:

Lock­down in sec­tor 4!

Our sys­tem indi­cates unusual usage of your account. In order to pro­tect Gmail users from poten­tially harm­ful use of Gmail, this account has been dis­abled for up to 24 hours.

If you are using any third party soft­ware that inter­acts with your Gmail account, please dis­able it or adjust it so that its use com­plies with the Gmail Terms of Use. If you feel that you have been using your Gmail account accord­ing to the Terms of Use or oth­er­wise nor­mally, please con­tact us using this form to report this problem.

Fan­tas­tic… I fail to see how Flickr has some catch­ing up to do, if Zooomer can’t man­age to authen­ti­cate me with­out frack­ing up my email!

Now, it’s a wait­ing game. Any­body else have this problem?

UPDATE: 2 hours later, and I’m back in business…

UPDATE 2: Well, I’m pretty sure that Zooomer is the cul­prit. I tried to login to the ser­vice, using my Google (Gmail) account, and I was imme­di­ately locked out again. Frack you, Zooomer!

Lockdown2