Saturday, March 15, 2014

Google Timer

Just discovered this:
Enter timer in the Google search or awesome bar of your favorite browser, and Google will present you a nice little timer app/widget.

Just then enter whatever time you want/need and start.

You can also go fullscreen, e.g. if you need to project this during presentations or so.

Cool thing is, wherever you have google, you have this timer.

There are some nice short cuts, try them:
timer 10 minutes
timer 16:30
timer 5:30 pm

Friday, March 14, 2014

Where are the Mesh Networks?

With all the (justified) uproar about the NSA and GHCQ, which should actually be an uproar against the Telcos and ISPs (and backbone providers playing along) one wonders, why there is no rush to mesh networks, giving us a bit more independence of centralized networking providers.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

REALLY!?! - On the Problem of Incomplete Data

A couple of months ago, the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) opened their data for Google (maps). Whether this can be already considered "open data" or not, is not todays subject.  Wiener Linien (let's call them the Vienna Transport Authority) did not.

My concern is, that Google now has the time table data of the railways, but not of the (local) public transport in Vienna (underground, tram, bus).

Which leads to incomplete data for commuters in and around Vienna (within Google Maps), or a segment, which I in reverence of SNL like to call


So, because there is no underground/metro/tube data. Incidentally ÖBB also operate the airport transfer bus, which happens to have a station right next to my office. And thus... Google Maps fills the gap in Vienna with a nice little transfer to the airport and back to my office... Because that's the only routing data (apart from walking) the find.

My regular commute time is around 50 mins.
So please, all, get your act together.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Lightning Drap'n'Drop Problem

In my earlier post (and comment discussion) about Opening ICS Files with Thunderbird/Lightning we mentioned that you can also drag the .ics link directly from the browser to the calendar pane in Thunderbird/Lightning.
I also found, that this is not always working.

So - as promised - I looked into this a bit.
First, narrow down the "not always" to something reproducible:

I took a link that I knew was working with drag&drop (actually from the timetable of the Austrian Federal Railways), and verified this. Yep, working nicely

Then I just downloaded the resulting .ics file to my local hard disk into a folder that was mapped into my webserver (Tomcat 7). I wrote a tiny .html file that mainly included a link to the .ics file.

Then open the html file in Chrome/Firefox and drag the download text/link into (or is it onto?) the Lightning calendar pane in Thunderbird. Ignore the second line for a second (no pun intended).


Well, that was surprising... So I want on to waste a lot of time with checking the mime-type etc etc.

But it was fine by responding with "text/calendar" - see:

So I took some Java drag&drop code I had, and took a closer look at the data included in the DnD object. Also everything fine there (I spare you the details here).

By chance I looked into the access log of the webserver and found the following:

GET /test/download.icsdownload HTTP/1.1" 404 1001

Which essentially says, that Thunderbird requests a broken URL. It should GET /test/download.ics and not /test/download.icsdownload

No wonder it gets a 404 and cannot import anything.

Quick test to include a "?" in the a href (see above, the second line I asked you to ignore earlier).
If you drag this one, you'll get a
GET /test/download.ics?download? HTTP/1.1" 200 949

As we are handling static files here, the "?download?" appended to the filename will gracefully get ignored and the file will get served (as can be seen by the 200 response code)
And with this link, Thunderbird really imports the file and opens the event dialog.

Fine there.

What Lightning does, is - wrongly - append the text of the html anchor ("download" or "download?") to the URL. You can test with naming the anchor asdfgh and will see that /test/download.icsasdfgh will be requested.

Why does it do it ?

It seems to be that Lightning picks up the HTML fragment data type that gets passed by DnD. The browser passes the full anchor, from begin tag to end tag (see above), and Lightning stupidly parses until the first newline (\n), and throws away the HTML tags.
This is wrong.
Should not happen.
I'll file a bug in bugzilla.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Google Maps Navigation now finally for Croatia

Since mid December Google Maps Navigation is finally available for Croatia.
I drive from Vienna to Zagreb every month or so (for business reasons) , and, yes indeed, I do know the way by heart now, but within Zagreb itself, it really annoyed me that I only had the maps, but no turn-by-turn navigation.

Well, this week when I went there again this week, it was just nice to have it available

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

UPDATE: Five Reading Tools - part IV: Read Quick

How embarrassing.

In my tiny review of Read Quick I lamented about the fact, that one could not mark an article read (in Pocket) directly in Read Quick.
Also, and option to mark the article as read, once you are done with it, would be nice.
Oh, was I wrong.

This apparent lack of a feature was so annoying to me, that I decided to click on the "finished" icon next to the article - and voilà... a new menu appears, with the usual range of sharing options, but also an Archive icon.

Archive - of course - is the pocket way to mark an article as read.

So I stand corrected, Read Quick does fully sync with Pocket.  Hooray!

Speaking of Pocket, here's a nice little info I got from them... it appears I'm amongst the top 5% of pocket users. Another hooray!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Five Reading Tools - part V: Reader in Safari

And finally... on my iPad in Safari I use the Reader.

It has about the same features as Evernote Clearly, except that it is not an extension and only exists on iOS.
Luckily it is built into the browser since several iOS version (not sure how long) and therefore is just there (for free).

It also comes with a reading list feature, but I never use that, simply because I want my reading list centralized (i.e. pocket).

I only use it to clean the article of all the clutter around it, and it works like charm.

All you need to do is press the little reader icon (seems to represent some text lines as in "text only") left of the URL bar.

Our Wikipedia entry looks like this (click to enlarge).

Nice thing is, that links work.