Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Twitter was born

If you're curious about the history of Twitter,you may wanna check this post by one of its creators. BTW, this post has exactly 140 chars :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Twitter Charts

Ever wondered when do you Twitter the most? Twitter Charts allows you to have a nice graphically view of your most frequent tweets distributed by hours and days of the week. For example, have a look at my Twitter Chart:

You can easily see that I'm most inclined to Twitter during the weekdays in the morning and specially between 10 and 11 AM. By the way, those little dots between 1 and 6 AM are sponsored by my baby son's crying :-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

How using Microsoft Outlook can ruin your birthday cake

There are some bakeries that allow you to send personalized messages, to be placed in your birthday cake, by e-mail. A lady in NY found this idea very appealing and ordered a birthday cake over email. But as it turned out, the result was not the expected:

The problem seems to be have been caused by the fact that she used Microsoft Outlook to send her email but Wegman’s email system failed to recognize the proprietary HTML tags of Outlook and caused this oddly-looking cake.

But the funniest part is the explanation of the bakery's employee: "we just cut and paste from the email to the program we use for printing the edible images, we are usually in such a hurry that we really don’t have time to check. and if we do the customers yell at us for bothering them."

Source: Digital Inspiration

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Original Air Fresheners

What if leaving a nice fragrance in your room only required you to blow on a balloon and then let it loose? Intrigued? Check the details here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The perfect gaming environment

Like these gaming setups? Check more here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What if software still shipped on 3.5'' disks?

Remember the days when installing a program on your computer required you to use several different floppy disks (usually between 3 and 5) in sequence? Now imagine that CD/DVDs hadn't been invented yet and Internet is still a mirage and you had to install all your programs using these floppy disks that could only store around 1,5 MB. Let's see what that means for current popular programs:

  • The "lightweight" browser Firefox - 36 disks
  • iTunes - 46 disks
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 - 358 disks
  • Sims 3 - 1760 disks
Now imagine that you would pile up all these floppy disks. Just for the sake of curiosity, the Sims 3 packaging of 1760 disks would be as tall as 19 feet (more or less 5 and half meters).

Have some more interesting items to add to this list? Comments are welcome!

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Following/Followers dilemma on Twitter

I usually follow everyone that follows me on Twitter (except when it's clearly spam users), but there are a lot of people that use that nasty little trick to gain some followers: follow a lot of people and once those people follow them back, they stop following the people. This way, they can boost their ego (and maybe their dicks, I'm not sure) by showing off a huge difference between Following/Followers.

I don't really care about the number of followers that I have, but I do have to watch out for the amount of people that I follow, because an overcrowded timeline is useless since I don't have the time to read everything. And a good way to purge the Following list is to start by removing those "non-followers".

Since the Twitter web site doesn't allow having a cross-referenced view of the list of Following/Followers that would allow you to easily discover these "non-followers", I decided to make use of one of the available Java APIs for Twitter, Twitter4J, and create a small program that would give me that information.

So, if you're interested, download the JAR file here. You'll also need the Twitter4J JAR file: you can either download from the official website or you can download it from here.

To run the program, just type on a prompt terminal:

java -cp crossfollow.jar:twitter4j-1.1.4.jar dev.follow.twitter.CrossFollow username password

Just substitute username password with your data and you're ready to go. Also, you can run the program without providing the username and password, in which case, the program will prompt you for it.

Then, you'll get the list of the users that you follow that are not following you and for each user, the corresponding Twitter URL will be provided for you to then use as you pleased. The program does not change anything on your following or followers list. It simply provides the list as described above. It's up to you to perform the necessary changes directly on the Twitter website.

If this program gets successful, I might consider creating a real app for this, with a graphical user interface and all :-)

Any problems/questions/suggestions, please comment...

This software is distributed here freely and as open-source. It is done so as a means to ensure dissemination of technical work on a non-commercial basis. All rights therein are maintained by the author. It is understood that all persons downloading this software know that the software is provided AS IS and in no way the author is responsible for anything that may happen to your hardware and/or software on your computer or network. This software may not be re-distributed without the explicit permission of the author.

Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? - part II

In the category of "Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?", this week I give you: the transparent duct tape.

Why should you give your stuff that broken-like aspect with a coloured duct tape, when you can use this transparent duct tape that seamlessly re-attaches broken stuff? It's a mystery to me how these "oh, so simple" innovations keep showing up today when someone could already have thought of them years ago.