Archive for the 'web 2.0' Category

Read Tolstoy, Find Russian Women

I’m reading the excellent on Amazon’s Kindle by Steven Levy in Newsweek. The article talks about Google and I decide to check it out again (an excellent resource by the way). The first thing I search for, as always, is War and Peace. The entire book is available but the first thing I notice is the advertising at the bottom of the page, as shown below.

Ads in War and Peace

The article mentions ad sponsored books. Well I’m not sure whether this kind of “targeted” advertising is what I had in mind when I searched for Tolstoy!

Jaiku hotness

I signed up for a few weeks ago after all the hype from et al, and didn’t really get in to it. It seemed like a pain to SMS a number, or to constantly have the Twitter web page open to make posts. I gave up after the IM bot was a bit unreliable for me. Then I noticed post from Hugh. I checked out the and found that there is a Nokia Series 60 client. Having an N73 at the time promptly tweaked my interest. Now I’m hooked.

This has to be one of the smoothest S60 application experiences I’ve had. So much so, that it was one of the factors in choosing to go with the E61i over a Blackberry equivalent (that, along with 802.11 and 3G, which the 8800 doesn’t have).

Screenshots of the installer and the app are below.

Jaiku 1

Jaiku 4

Jaiku 7

Jaiku 8

Jaiku 10

Another thing I like is the ability to add other feeds (RSS and Atom) to your stream. What floored me today was a response from Jaiku on a question about the S60 client I asked in a .

Jaiku support

Great work guys.

Google Reader for the Wii

I just noticed a link to on digg, fired up my Wii and checked it out.

Google Wiider

I have to say it’s bloody fantastic! I’ve attempted to use the standard Google Reader in my Wii before and it worked perfectly fine, although a little to unwieldy to use daily. The “native” news reader for the Wii is still excellent but I cannot add any news sources apart from the built-in AP feed.

I always retreat to my laptop in the morning to read my news. It looks like I may not have to do that anymore.

Read War and Peace by RSS

My wife me to a fantastic service called . It has to be one of the best uses of RSS I’ve ever seen. I subscribed to a daily War and Peace feed, which gives me a personalised feed url so I can track my where I’m up to. The only problem is that, being War and Peace, and being split into 675 parts, it would take almost 2 years to read! Fortunately you can ask for the next part to be added into the feed straight away.

DailyLit War and Peace

Unsurprisingly is currently the third most popular author on the site. Great service.

Recycling news

One of the sometimes annoying things about subscribing to lots of technology RSS feeds is that you see the same story come up over and over again. I see it a lot with and . I find it hard to believe that the readership of these gadget sites are entirely different, yet I see a lot of recycled news (Engadget seems to get the scoop more often than not).

I found the ugly mug of that photo supposedly taken with an iPhone come up far too often for my liking recently, so I did a quick browse of my feeds to see where I’d seen it. Screenshot below.

iPhone photo

That’s a lot of recycled news for a not so interesting story.

Techmeme RSS feed faster than its source?

When browsing my feeds my RSS reader (Google Reader) I often see a story listed before a source story. It seems to happen most often with , as I saw today:

Techmeme faster RSS than Techcrunch

I can think of a two reasons for this in the case of TechCrunch:

  1. Techmeme’s crawler is faster than Feedburner, which TechCrunch uses to publish its RSS
  2. Some sort of timing issue in Google Reader

I was too late to grab the Techmeme RSS document (do they archive?) but the TechCrunch RSS lists the publish date for the in the picture above as “Fri, 06 Apr 2007 16:21:08 +0000″, which, accounting for timezone differences, is about 28 mins out. So what is it?

about Google’s Feedfetcher suggests the following:

Feedfetcher shouldn’t retrieve feeds from most sites more than once every hour on average. Some frequently updated sites may be refreshed more often. Note, however, that due to network delays, it’s possible that Feedfetcher may briefly appear to retrieve your feeds more frequently.

Now I’d imagine that Techmeme’s RSS feed gets updated far more often than TechCrunch’s, so is this simply the case of Google checking their feed more often?

Third-party widgets affecting page loading times

I visited today and got the following message:

Flickr down

Seeing as that I have a number of third-party widgets located in my sidebar, the Flickr badge being one of them, I wondered how this would affect my page loading times. It was incredibly slow.

If any one of these widgets return results slowly it affects viewing experience. Granted this blog has very little traffic and only a few third-party widgets, and they still significantly affects my page loading performance, large blogs that rely on advertising, statistical and other such widgets could suffer badly if these affect browsing performance. You could read posts before the page is loading but I only like reading pages once the page has fully loaded.

It’s generally why I prefer reading most my my blogs in my RSS reader. Ads are being put in feeds these days, however.

Let’s have a look at the activity monitor for :


That’s a lot of third-party activity just to view the front page!