Firefox Murdoch Add-On

Arizona, poisonous snake warning sign.Image via Wikipedia
Interesting what you can find on Richard M. Stallman's political notes sometimes.
I couldn't surpress a smile :). Can we have this for "Axel Springer", too? 

Firefox Murdoch Add-On: "
A firefox add-on warns you if you visit a site that is part of Murdoch's empire.

What Else You Can Do On Blogger.com?

Sure you know Blogger.com (soon it will be Google Blogs) to be a reliable blogging platform. I tried any platform out there and always came back to it. Reliable, hassle-free, customizable and free.

But David, from Confluent Forms LLC even uses Blogger sites for totally other purposes. It's just a logical thing, but if you never thought about that before. It can be a powerful site production tool. He gives some example. Check the whole article on blogger buzz for more.

You can do some amazing things with Blogger: " As a web development firm, Blogger provides us with a different value proposition. When we pitch a Blogger-based solution to a client we can provide services at a lower price point while still maintaining full creative freedom. I don’t need to set up a paid hosting account for my client, worry about security patches or upgrades, or be concerned about system uptime and availability. Finally, I can easily transfer ownership and management of the site to my client, or, continue to keep us both as co-administrators.

It can be hard to envision a platform’s potential from a list of features so here are a few examples of what we’ve achieved with Blogger.

I hope the examples above have opened your eyes to some of the possibilities of what you can do with your Blogger site, or maybe encourage you to give Blogger a try for your website solution. A longer, more in-depth version of this post is available on our blog. My company is lucky to have an exceptionally talented designer that isn’t afraid to push us, but even if you don’t have the ability to create an entirely new site template, perhaps this will encourage you to explore the underlying code of your site and to customize some of the small details to match your vision for your site.

Happy designing and coding!



Topify Shuts Down Service

Say goodbye to the easy solution to see who you follow and subscribe with a click. Topify shut its doors on August 8th, 2011. Looks like another victim of the restrictive position of Twitter.

Don't forget to change your mail-address in Twitter to one you own, or delete the filters in GMail.

Here is the mail I received today, with an exact explanation, why Topify will leave us:
A week ago, without any prior notice, Twitter changed their backend resulting in removing headers from their emails which we used to provide you the Topify service. Once I discovered about this change, I asked on their official developers support forum about it and twice sent a mention to @TwitterAPI account. All of these were unanswered until today. Today they finally posted a clarification:

Many of the emails we send have X-Twitter* headers in them, with pieces of information about the event which triggered them. You might have noticed we've started decommissioning these headers.
If for some reason you were using these headers programmatically in order to detect / process events, you should stop doing it and switch to one of the means supported by the API. For example, the Streaming API. Please let us know if you needed help or if you had questions!
(from: https://dev.twitter.com/discussions/708)
I considered switching to using the Streaming API in the past, but the only option for Topify is to use the Site Streams version of it. But Site Streams are still in beta, and according to the documentation there is no estimated date for it to exit beta. Considering this last episode and other actions by Twitter in the past year, I have no desire to expriment with their beta offerings. Not only this can result in unstable service for you, they might just shut it down one day.
Topify was conceived as a response to long frustration with useless emails. Emails that you couldn’t process from your inbox, emails that had very frustrating mobile experience. Topify was sort of experiment, to see if it can be done better. Judging by your response and adoption, the experiment was successful.

But despite that, on August 5th (next Friday), I will shut down our servers.
What do you need to do? Go to your Twitter settings page: https://twitter.com/settings/account and change the email address there to your own email address.
I would like to use the opportunity and thank Nicolas Toper from CritSend. Nicolas helped me since the beginning both by providing Topify a reliable deliverability solution for emails and by the helpful advices he gave along the way. I also would like to thank you, our users. You made all of these into a very fun and rewarding experience.
If you have any comments feel free to leave them here, email me personally: arik@arikfr.com or tweet (@arikfr).
Thank you all,
Arik Fraimovich
Bye bye, Topify. Twitter just lost an important function.


Hashtags To Change The Internet?

Jeff Jarvis in almost poetry about the hashtag.
And he is quite right. Why not using the hashtag beyond Twitter? Even for blogging, It's a great way to get information about a specific topic, and to contribute to a specific topic.

The power of the hashtag was impressively shown by his #fuckyouwashington post. While not making it on the trending topics, which many thinks was filtered by Twitter, it made it to the news media, and gained enormous popularity.

What do you think? Hashtags for a better flow of information?

No one owns a hashtag « BuzzMachine: "The beauty of a hashtag is that no one can control it.

A hashtag is not like a marketing, media, or political message, whose creator thinks it can be created and controlled. It is not like the namespace in domains, on Facebook and Google+, or in trademarks, for anyone can use a hashtag without permission or payment. It’s not like a dictionary with one definition. It’s not like a word on an FCC list that prohibits or chills its use.

A hashtag is open and profoundly democratic. People gather around a hashtag. They salute it and spread it or ignore it and let it wither. They imbue it with their own meaning. The creator quickly and inevitably loses control of it.

That is what the #fuckyouwashington escapade has taught me: the power and importance of the hashtag as a platform. Hashtags allow us to gather around topics, events, and actions across platforms. Hashtags are in our control."

Visit the article on BuzzMachine to read more
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Google Never Said "Real Names" For Google+

I wrote this on many postings I found on Google+. People saying that accounts are deleted, because they use fake names. Google never said that directly. It's the "unnatural names" and obviously fake names they are hunting for.

Even worse is the news coverage on this issue. Even sites like Cnet.com interpreted this wrong. In addition, there is no way for Google to verify your name, if you never bought something over such an account. And there is no verification process in general, like sending official documents to Google.

Robert Scoble talked to Google's VP Vic Gundotra an he made clear, why accounts get locked:
"He says it isn't about real names. He says he isn't using his legal name here. He says, instead, it is about having common names and removing people who spell their names in weird ways, like using upside-down characters, or who are using obviously fake names, like "god" or worse."
There you have it.
The real problem is that it looks like the automatically initiated shut down of an account, if too many people report your profile. You have enemies on the net? Well kiss you profile good-bye. Sure, you can let your account get reactivated, but that's not as easy as it sounds. There must be done something. And apparently Google will handle this issue more carefully. And even better, they will integrate a way to use Pseudonyms, too. And that is very important for privacy and security for users. You should not care about a company like Google having your real name. But you should care about every weirdo on the Internet knowing it.
Head over to the original posting on Google+ to read more.

[via Google+ Robert Scoble]
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How To Get Money And The Cosequences

Apple:  Keep Your Lawyers Off My ComputerImage by mary hodder via Flickr
1. Hard work / Takes long to get a reasonable amount of money. You can be proud of it and feel good.

2. Robbery / Instantly rich. Live in FUD and get caught sooner or later. Karma -100!

3. Developing iOS apps / Chances of getting instantly rich. Robbery that makes iSheeps feel good without getting caught. You can't be proud of it. You will burn sooner or later if you're dismissed by the "Gods". Karma -100000!

India Brings Free Internet At The Edge Of Doom

The Symbol of Indian Rupee approved by the Uni...Image via WikipediaA sad day for free Internet in India. The ISPs, in order of the government, blocked all big files storage sites. As an act against illegal file sharing, this looks like a move against democracy and free speech.

This brings a lot of developers and strong growing web-related companies in a difficult position. Many of them need access to such services. Now they need to do circumvent their traffic with VPN tunneling and proxy usage to keep their productivity up.
India is known as a fast developing area in terms of Internet and software with preferences from all over the world. This move could have an unknown impact to the work of those companies.

It looks like file sharing is the worst thing on the planet, right? Who cares about physical violence, and dead people on the streets, as long as everyone is being stopped from copying a software, or even worse, a song?

India starts blocking file storage websites in a move against piracy | ZDNet
[via Albert Albs @ Google+]


Facebook Chatbox Goes Berserk

It's the most annoying thing I've seen so far on Facebook.
The new chatbar is possessing the right side on the browser window now in full height! I don't know who had this idea, but it's way too intrusive and looks horrible.

You can close the box, but everyone thought the old box was bad, now look at that.
I hope this is only some kind of test and get reverted asap.


Zemanta Now Works With The New Blogger Design

After the update of blogger.com, the famous Zemanta extension did no longer work. Now it's back again.

Bloggers can breath again, Zemanta works. The team of programmers act very quickly and now you can have the comfort again. Zemanta is an extension to quickly add photos, links from the internet, and label your postings.

One thing however, can't be fixed by the team. Blogger is discontinuing as that service, and transforms into Google Blogs. And apparently there will be no support for Blogger-Gadgets. So you need the browser extension in the future. The old Blogger-Gadget directly in Blogger, won't help you.


New Blogger Design Is Here

That was fast. The new Blogger-Design has arrived at draft.blogger.com. It looks like the earlier released video showed.

The orange-white design makes it look much more modern, and clean. At them moment it's almost only a design change, but new features will be coming soon, as promoted.

The new appearance is for writing, the dashboard and the UI the writer sees. No design changes were made on the actual blogs. It feels the right way to the rebranding to Google Blogs. 3rd Party plugins like Zemanta, do have some problems and breaks the new UI. So we'll have to wait for them to update their stuff.


Google+ Needs Massive Advertisement Very Soon

Just had a conversation with a very close friend on Facebook. I promised to sent an invite for Google+ as soon as possible.

The answer: "No, why? I don't want even more [networks]. And don't try to convince me" ...

So much for the "better Network". I guess I'll hear this quite a few times. it will be very hard. to convince normal people to come here to Google+. Without a massive ad-campaign on every major media, I don't see the breakthrough.


Google Changes More. Blogger And Picasa Will Be Rebranded

Blogger (service)-Image via Wikipedia-According to Mashable, Picasa and Blogger is not only getting a complete overhaul, but a rebranding, too.

The new names apparently will be Google Blogs and Google Photos. It doesn't wonder at all, if you see what big changes Google had in the recent days. Even the "holy" search design, is completely new. A persistent bar at the top, Google+ that changes everything.
We can expect to see great changes on Blogger, but the services will be continued in that new form. It's amazing to see how quickly Google can still act, after being so big. Larry Page seems to be more than a face-change.
Check the awesome official video after the jump to see a couple of the announced changes...

[via Mashable]


Another Social Network... But How Does It Help Your Blog?

Apparently it's great to have another network to share your blog-postings a.k.a. your stuff to the public.But there is one problem. The same that Buzz had. People are not visiting your site or blog, because they read everything in the stream.

GoogleImage via Wikipedia

And there is simply no way for me, to give up my personal blog and post everything on any social network. It just feels wrong. My blog is my castle. My home.
In addition, and that's even worse, people do all the conversation, not at the source, but also on Google+. And it's understandable. It's easy. Clicking through an stream, leaving the site, making a comment... that's not very tempting. If you can just write it.
There is no such problem on Twitter. You have you 140 chars including the link. If you're interested you need to click to read the article, and then you're on that site.

So Google+ needs to have the discussion integrated in your comments at your blog. I think this would be no problem with Blogger.com. So all the comments in your blog and on Google+ would be synced, and  that would make it much better.

But what can you do now to make sure you're blog isn't getting desperate?
Don't post the full article, but only as a link. You need to copy and paste anyway due to lack of an aggregation to Google+. Write a good and catchy opening on the very top of the article. So people get curious and might click through. Keep your commenting system as open as possible. Only a few people are willing to register in any way, just to write a comment on your blog. Try give people the ability to just write a comment.

For more, we need to wait and hope for Google, that they see the problems. One thing is for sure, and that's even valid for the all mighty Facebook. People with worthy content will not abondon their site or blog and post mainly on Google+. That won't work. And that's good in my eyes. You won't leave your home forever and always count on getting a meal outside, don't you?