Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bugzilla RSS vs Google Reader

I've been monitoring the Mozilla Lightning bugs in bugzilla for a while now using an RSS feed of bugzilla into my Google Reader.
I frequently noticed that the information on some bugs was not complete, but did not really care.
Today's view however, was the best so far and comes with quite some aesthetic touch:

You can really watch as Google Reader tries to retrieve the feed and fails, tries again 3 hours later, gets some more date, and fails ... etc etc ... ad inf.

But it looks great.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Le Web 3 Videos online

The videos of the Le Web 3 conference from Paris are online here:

New Flickr Uploadr

Flickr released their new version (3.0) of the upload tool, aptly called uploadr.
2 technical details worth mentioning:
  1. It is open source.
  2. It is based on XULRunner, the mozilla runtime.
    (and therefore Windows and Mac OS-X)
Actually it is the first XUL application (except for Mozilla and all the direct spin offs like Flock) I came across "in the wild".

As for the features:
  • you can now manage a lot more attributes offline, i.e. still on the PC
  • the user interface and layout are a lot more clear than in previous version
  • since it is XUL it has - like Firefox and friends - an easy online update feature.
Sadly, though, the most important "Upload Photos" button vanishes unpredictably from time to time (for me). Hope this gets fixed...

Or no, it's open source, so I'll just check out the source myself, wont I.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home PC power consumption

I'm doing some math around the power consumption advantages of thin clients, namely the Sun Ray, versus regular PCs (spell: green IT).
So I borrowed a power meter from a colleague and just checked my own PC, a fairly regular, non-game, non-graphics PC:
2 GHz Athlon, 1GB RAM, 2 HDs, Radeon 9000 on-board graphics, and the usual peripherals like Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers... nothing fancy.

Without the monitor the PC uses the following power (measured right at the power plug):
  • 0W when totally switched off at the back-side
  • 2,7W (!!!) when switched off only with the front side switch (or shut-down menu),
    as well as in hibernate mode
  • 7W (!!!) in stand-by mode
  • 115-130W when in use
I could not find a clear correlation between the power consumption and CPU or disk usage. It would just oscillate between 115 and 130W...

So - again without the Monitor - over a whole year, with my regular PC usage at home this amounts for 328kWh or about 6% of my electricity bill.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Import, Export, Up, Down ?

On a web page (in this case a calendar service on the web) would you really use the DOWN-arrow for import (i.e.UPload to the web page) and the UP-arrow for export (i.e. DOWNload from the web page).

Rather confusing, I thought.
Why not use an arrow that goes INTO a box for import and an arrow that goes OUT OF a box for export...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Facebook - Should I? Do I have to?

For a couple of weeks now I am quite successful in NOT opening a facebook account/page/whatever they call it.

I first thought that Steve Gillmor (of the former Gillmor Gang, now just The Gang) might force me to, but I found the podcast outside facebook.

So it is still open again: Should I join facebook ?
(I'm not really interested in one more social network, but I'd be interested in the applicatoins/service platform it constitutes).

Flickr now has statistics

Flickr now comes with quite improved statistics. When I say improved, I mean improved over the pure "this photo has been viewed x times" statistics - if you can call it "statistics".

Anyway, now there are proper statistics, like this:

You get web access statistics like the view count for photos, your photo stream, the sets and the collections (yesterday, this week, last week, and all-time).
Your most viewed photos (yesterday and all-time only)
The top referrers (yesterday and all-time only) (not surprisingly flickr itself is on top)

You also have "content" statistics like how many pictures are public/private/..., tagget/non-tagged, fav'd, ...

Here's the help for it.

Share Google Reader Items with Google Talk Friends

Google is going more and more social network; you can now share items in your Google reader with your "friends"... as defined in your google talk profile...

More details in the Official Google Reader Blog: Reader and Talk are Friends!

StarOffice 8 Update 9

... is finally here.

Get it from SunSolve as 120187-12 (for Winodws).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who is writing those press releases?

Found on the Sun website:
"Sun Accelerates Growth of UltraSPARC CMT Eco System; Releases OpenSPARC T2 Processor RTL to Open Source Community and Joins Five Major Universities in Launch of OpenSPARC Technology Centers of Excellence"
Boy... are they trying to mock us? Or do those writers really mean that?

Yes, I do work for them, but not in PR

NetBeans 6.0 is out

and I installed it a couple of days ago.
Migration from 5.5 is pretty smooth (I only had to add the JAX-RPC WS plugin), and all projects compiled again.
I even noticed tons of nonsense in my code... Just in a couple of hours.

More on NB6 in the upcoming days, weeks, months.
Download NetBeans

Glassfish book

I just noticed that Glassfish (the Sun lead open-source JavaEE Application Server) has its first book.

Java EE Development Using Glassfish Application Server

There is a review by Arun Gupta (one of my favorite Java bloggers).

More on Glassfish here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dopplr and Lightning

I just noticed that Dopplr (the social travel site) lets me subscribe to my trips in iCal.
I did so from Lightning, the Thunderbird calendar plugin, and it works fine.

So I know have my office calendar, my Google Calendar and my Dopplr trips all in Lightning.
Cool (if somewhat redundant, though).

Nice FF extension - I think

A couple of months ago Gernot recommended a Firefox extension to me: Speed Dial

Basically it allows you to go one step beyond bookmarking and assign a speed dial (as on the phone) to your favorite pages - or the ones you most frequently have to visit (in case they are not your favorites ;-) )

It's really cool and neat... and I have it installed and running for about 4 months now, but I still don't "need" it...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Thunderbird - Display mailer icon

Cool Thunderbird extension to display an icon according to the senders mailer agent: DispMUA.

So those Outlook users can now be easily spotted.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bad webpages

While trying to get some answers from the electronic timetable for the mass transit in and around Vienna, I had to cope with a site that makes about every web-mistake in the book (at least in my book).
  1. They give you those ancient redirect warnings / helps ("If your browser does not support ...") in 2007 !! A web page that is full of frames assumes that frames do work, but redirects don't.
    Very likely ... and annoying.

  2. They are totally up-to-date with their list of supported browsers:
    • MS Internet Explorer 6
    • Netscape 7
    • Opera 7
    Ever heard of Firefox ? Safari, anyone ?

  3. In their search form they use bureaucratic terms like "Anfordern" (sorry for the German) etc. I just want to search and not "apply" for an answer...

  4. They don't know when to use drop-downs or radio buttons. Take a look at this search form

    The radio buttons are supposed to change the meaning of the second entry field. In the first field you enter your city, in the second one either the name of a station/stop (if you know it), or a street address or any point of interest.
    Would you have guessed that from the layout ?
    Why not do it with a drop-down like this:

  5. And please get rid of the "Start" label... this is not a multi-page wizard that guides me through a complex query, it's just one simple page...

Anyway, you can guess that I don't like this page.

Sun Presentation Minimizer for StarOffice and OpenOffice

The Sun Presentation Minimizer is a great extension to reduce the file size of an Impress presentation. It does so by

  • cropping images according to their visibility

  • reducing image quality (e.g. 50% JPEG at 150 dpi)

  • removing hidden slides

  • removing notes


And – quite important – it gives you a summary of what it is about to remove or modify and also an estimate on the gain (new vs. old filesize). The default setting is for a copy of the file to be created, which is good, since this is the safe path...

I have tried it on one of my recent presentations, and could reduce it from 7MB to 2.3MB... quite impressive for the default options. And (on screen) the presentation looked exactly the same... which should not be too surprising, since you really do not need 300dpi for some supporting images and graphics.

Great tool. Get it here at the extensions repository.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Dopplr speaks Flickr

Dopplr - the travel social network - now integrates with flickr.
As usual with flickr meshups, you provide the "link" to flickr within Dopplr, and then ...

Dopplr will show photos that were taken during the trips registered in Dopplr ... clever, eh ?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gmail inbox is just a label ??

Just noticed that tiny little "icon" next to a mail in my inbox in Gmail... and the hover help for it.

So "Inbox" is just a "label" ? Wow...
Then again, it makes sense.

Monday, December 03, 2007

XING becomes more dynamic

Xing - the "European Linkedin" or former OpenBC - just got more dynamic.

The "What's new in my network" feature automatically "pushes" information about changes of your contacts to your start page (and you can subscribe via RSS to it). From the help text:
In the "What's new in my network" infobox, you can see the latest updates and changes to the profiles of your direct contacts. You can choose which information you wish to allow your direct contacts to see in your privacy settings.
Helpful. And more linkedin / plaxo-pulse like.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Google Reader: recommendations and drag-and-drop

Two cool new features, reported by the Google Reader Blog and tested by your's truly:
  1. Recommendations
    you'll see quite a few feeds that we think you may find interesting. "Interesting" here is determined by what other feeds you subscribe to, as well as your Web History data, all taken into account in an automated, anonymized fashion. (To learn more about how our recommendations work, see our help article about them).

  2. drag & drop interface in the "folder pane"...
    (not sure Google calls it folder pane, but in all other programs with the same kind of UI it is called that)