Archive for the ‘web 2.0’ Category

Frustrationbook

A Facebook, again and again we complain about your services. Is it because we hate you? No, not really. But often times you seem to have your head in the sand when it comes to human emotions. I don’t know it this is because of Zuckerberg or what; but you know, hire a shrink or something, it’s really not that hard!

My beef this time is the suggested friend thing that pops up on the right. That you can’t really know if I actually know that person or not, fair enough. That would be an eerie creepiness we so far only ascribe Google. But, and this is my point, why, oh why, do you have to suggest people I obviously do NOT want to be friends with?

For example I have in the past couple of weeks been asked if I wanted to be friends with my EX-mother-in-law and my ex-wife’s new guy. Granted, I realize that not everyone have a divorce as infected as I did, but you know, having them NOT show up will not harm anyone. If they show up, they can cause all sorts of emotional distress that benefits no one.

The thing is, even though I’m not an actual programmer, I know enough to say that this would not be a hard thing to add to your code. You have our collective histories! Just do if-statements on our relationship-statuses and relationship-histories if nothing else. It’s all there! You have the info! Use it for good for once!

Please Facebook, just because you may have Asberger’s and don’t care about human emotions and social intrigue, doesn’t mean your users are the same.

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Tweet Tweet

If you look in the side bar of this site you will find a widget called “What am I doing?”. In this my twitter updates show up. But what is Twitter you might think. Well, it’s something called micro blogging, but that is really a term that makes about as much sense as the later Nietzsche… No, better to take another approach. Start by watching this video by Common Craft:

 

 

All done? Enlightened? Good. But what’s the catch then? Ahh, funny you should ask. Twitter has a tendency to go down every once in a while, meaning you can’t post or read anything. But to me, that is secondary. The real fly in the ointment is that it is a closed environment. If you have friends across multiple services such as Jaiku, Plurk or even Tumblr, you need to use all of those. There are things on the horizon to get us over this obstacle, but so far none seems to have emerged victorious and they generally require you to get yet another account…

Another problem for me personally is that it has been very hard to get my friends to sign up. Sure a few has come along for the ride, but many prefer the horrors of Facebook or use normal blogs for the stuff that really fits better on Twitter. But at least you can join up with some of your heroes. Everyone from John Gruber and Merlin Mann to Damh the Bard and  John C. Dvorak. I know those are mostly tech folks, but there are others to. Barack Obama for instance have his very own twitter feed, although it is uncertain if he updates it him self. John McCain is also on here, but I think we can rest assured he’s not doing it him self, though.

I think what stops many from getting on one of these micro blogs is the perceived learning curve. They remember what it was like trying to get Facebook to work or ‘code’ a MySpace page. But this is quite different. A few clicks and you’re done. You can even update via SMS. Calling Twitter a social network is really a misnomer I think. It is more like distributed SMS without the cost!

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Why do you use Twitter“, posted with vodpod

 

 

Merlin Mann of MacBreak Weekley, 43folders and ThatPhoneGuy fame has turned tweets into an art form and is an absolute joy to read by the way.

 

~ Blogging is the new poetry ~
So now I hope you’ll rush over and join up! Friend me, I’m @toobydoo.
Thobias

Books for Twits

In listening to the latest episode of This Week in Tech, I was at first horrified that I would not get my normal weekly dose of half-arsed, funny but still very informative insights into the world of tech and Web 2.0. The tone was serious! Well, I still clung on, and in many ways this must have been one of the more interesting Twits in a long while.

Joining the regulars, this time Leo (of course) and Dvorak (.org/blog…) was the able hands of Denise Howell of This Week in Law fame; and a special guest: Brewster Kahle. Who is he? He’s none other than the guy behind archive.org and as such one of the first persons with foresight enough to realise that not all things are printed anymore, and what that will mean for the possibilities of future research.

Anyway, this time around the round table concerned among other things the FBI screwing up in their dealings with archive.org; dealings it’s very doubtful if they should have commenced with to begin with. But the really tasty bit was the scanning and distribution of printed works over the Internet. Archive.org have in conjunction with such big shots as Microsoft and Yahoo! scanned thousands of books and published them for free on the Internet. Now, recently MS and the big Y decided to pull out, but the project will go on as a public service instead. (Nothing but kudos to MS and Y in spite, they poured millions into a project that they from a business perspective shouldn’t have undertaken in the first place.)

And this is where it starts to get interesting for the rest of us. Where are the European initiatives to something of this kind? We, collectively, own some of the finest historical collections in the world in everything from books and manuscripts to records and art. Why is this not on archive.org or similar services? Why, since a lot of our stuff is owned and produced by the public, can’t the public get at it in a user friendly and informative way? Mind you, the few euro efforts you sometimes find often have a very tangy googlesk feel to them, meaning ugly and not very useful. (As we all know, Google Books is nothing short of a cruel joke on humanity.) But just think of the possibilities, the combined history of Europe (this is from a Euro perspective, but obviously other parts of the world would benefit from the same thing) all tagged and searchable on the Internet. It’s a wet dream for me as a historian.

Of course you already can get a lot of stuff via, for instance, archive.org and the fairly new project Open Library, but there is one snag: what’s on there is predominantly in English. As a Scandinavian I might find that of little or no use depending on what I am looking for. So, to concentrate on my neck of the woods, I urge the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland to digitise books in the same general fashion as archive.org. Preferably add it to archive.org for free while you’re at it! It is a shame that we, as some of the most technological nations in the world, seem to have completely abandon our history just because it’s not in MS Word format. This needs to stop now! Our children, nay the world, deserves it. Otherwise, we will get a truly horrible generation; and we will thoroughly deserve…

For books are more than books, they are the life
The very heart and core of ages past,
The reason why men lived and worked and died,
The essence and quintessence of their lives. – Amy Lowell

Thobias

P.s. To show what can be done with these scans, I want to ask you to have a look at this Cinderella, or this edition of Alice in Wonderland. Both are with archive.org, but the latter found via Open Library. They are beautiful and nothing short of fantastic!

The Twilit Theatre presents: Horror Express (1973)

In a continuing theme of testing different things with wordpress, I decided to take VodPod for a spin. This is because, while I do like the blogging system that is wordpress, I find it extremely annoying that you can’t post Flash nor JavaScript. To a certain extent this is alleviated by VodPod. It’s a service that allows you to post just about any embedded flash video to your blog.

For this test I have chosen to do a screening of a Hammer-style horror film called Horror Express. It’s from 1973 and stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and it is directed by Eugenio Martín. (Also see the Wikipedia entry.)

Plot (from IMDb): 

An English anthropologist (Christopher Lee) has discovered a frozen monster in the frozen wastes of Manchuria which he believes may be the Missing Link. He brings the creature back to Europe aboard a trans-Siberian express, but during the trip the monster thaws out and starts to butcher the passengers one by one.

It gets a 6.3 rating at IMDb, and I am looking forward to my own first screening, along with you, dear reader. Shall we?

 

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.archive.org posted with vodpod

 

Inspector Mirov: The two of you together. That’s fine. But what if one of you is the monster?

Dr. Wells: Monster?? We’re British, you know!

Thobias

Movie courtesy of the Internet Archive.
Addendum: For some reason it isn’t working as it should. It works over on VodPod, 
it works on Archive.org, but why, oh why, does it refuse to work here? Any ideas?
Update: after having been in contact with the excellent people at VodPod, I now know that they do have problems concerning Archive.org. Hopefully this will be resolved in the future. In the mean time, enjoy movies directly at the archive, or via the Twilit Theatre Pod!

Musical tests

This is just a test to see how I can incorporate music and other media links to blog posts here on the Twilight. I hope you enjoy this Open Source Audio from the Internet Archive: Cry of the Celts.

May the road rise up to meet you!

Thobias

Linotype FontExplorer X

People who are into design and layout tend to be FF; Font Fetishists. As such it after a while tends to get difficult to keep track of all the fonts. And even thought Mac OS X handles fonts in a better way than the good old classic Mac System, there is still room for improvement.

So what is a discerning font fanatic to do? In the old days we had Adobe TypeManager. But now? Enter Linotype FontExplorer X from Linotype, and old company in the world of typography. It is a comprehensive organising tool for fonts, and as an added bonus it connects directly to the Linotype font store. They have an amazing amount of pro fonts that you can easily purchase and download to your Mac. The app and the account (optional) is free, and you can just use it to organise your fonts in a very iApp sort of way. But it can also offer an easy access point to a very comprehensive font library for professionals.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

Thobias

TwilightChicken – India Style

One thing I truly love is indian food. And, wile you can get very good Indian food in Lund at New Delhi or Govindas, both those restaurants have at least two problems. 1. I don’t live close by (arguably not their fault, but there you are) and 2. it costs money to eat there. On point number two; is it worth it – yes – but as a student and Web 2.0 guy, money comes in very thin streams.

So what is a dude to do? Well, make up your own recipe, and make it as cheap as possible. The most expensive part of this dish is the chicken, otherwise most of the ingredients are fairly basic.

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • Chicken legs, 2-4 should do it.
  • Ghee or butter for frying.
  • 3-4 cans of tomatoes. (The crushed kind.)
  • At least 3-4 big onions, but you can have lots more if you want to.
  • 1 whole garlic. (Yes, garlic, not clove!)
  • 1-2 cubes of bullion.
  • Coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, garam masala. (All these are powdered by the way.)
  • 3-5 dl of yogurt and/or cream.

Start by chopping the onion, small but don’t be to neat. It will all mix when boiled anyway. Next, peel the garlic. Melt the butter or ghee (tastes better with gee, but not necessary) and start frying the onion and garlic. Throw in the spices and plenty of it. Say a tablespoon of turmeric and ginger, and between 2 and 3 tablespoons of coriander and cumin. The garam masala is used as you feel, I tend to go rather heavy on it to… (If you like these spices, add, if you don’t, take a little less.)

When you’ve stirred all this together you will find that you have a brownish ‘goo’, now it’s time for the chicken. The legs can be done whole, or split in two (drum and thigh), depending on what you need/want. Let them fry with the onion mush for a little while, then pour in the cans of tomato; all of them. Let it boil away at mid temperature and add the bullion and the yogurt.

When the chicken is done and the sauce has started to get a bit creamy, add more spices if necessary. It is ready to be served. A few suggestions would be to serve it with papadums or naan, salad, pickled onion, raita and orange. To drink I really do suggest you get some Cobra beer. It’s delish’ with Indian dishes over all. If you have the time I would also recommend that you leave it over night, and serve it the day after. It will be even better.

Enjoy – You can’t live on philosophy alone!

Thobias