Testing from the iPhone

Posted in Blogging, Software, Technology

Just testing the new WordPress iphone app.
The first time I ran it the Save button was missing but restarting it fixed that.

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Update: the photo upload didn’t work…

Update 2: the uploads did work, but it looks like the app assumes a specific upload directory is being used. A symlink fixed that.

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SeatGuru – my new best friend

Posted in Software

SeatGuru.com – if you travel often, or are uncomfortable in your rare travels, you need to use this site.

SeatGuru will tell you where the best seats are – and the worst ones, too. I just checked in to my flight tomorrow and was able to select a seat in the best row – I just specified my airline and the plane type (all provided with the ticket) and it put up a diagram with info on all the seats. Click here to see my plane tomorrow. I selected 12C.

The diagram told me that Row 12 had extra leg room. The seat may be less padded, but that’s ok by me. I hate the way they pad airplane seats. I mean, what’s with the headrest? I hate how they push your head forward instead of cradling it.

Anyway, I am hoping for a good flight.

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Local storage and AJAX

Posted in Software, Technology

Niall has written a nice summary of the existing options that web applications have for storing data locally: Boost Ajax performance using local storage

Client-side storage addressable from any web page has the potential to change the way we build web pages and the division of labor between client and server. Just as CSS and JavaScript created new ways to style and interact with a page, the client-side storage capabilities of modern browsers will create a new concept of a web application runtime.

Blogaholics Visualized

Posted in Software

This is Blogaholics, visualized as a graph using an HTML DOM Visualizer Applet (whatever that geekery means):

The website literally blooms like a flower as it forms into this graph. Our blog is purdy ;)

Color chart: blue (links), red (tables), green (div tag), violet (images), yellow (forms), orange (lines, blockquotes), grey (the rest)

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From YouTube to blip.tv

Posted in Software, Technology

After the whole YouTube fiasco we have now switched to blip.tv for our own personal videos.

We’ve been using blip for our last couple of videos. I find the service fairly easy to use. In comparison, the files seem to load as fast as with YouTube and the quality seems a bit higher. However, the conversion into flash is slower and the ease of embedding is not as user friendly – I love that on YouTube the embed code is right there. With blip, you have to click a couple of times to get there.

As far as the embed video player is concerned, they seem equally good. The YouTube one "feels" more web 2.0 – it’s all curvy and whatnot. But the blip one is much more seamless and unobtrusive. Just a preference choice there.

I will continue to use YouTube from a consumer perspective – I search and embed them all the time. But from a copyright perspective, we are moving our own personal content to an area that allows us to assign the license per video. I am sure there will be many more video services to come, but I am pleased so far with blip.

What other video services have you used?

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Sweet new mac app: todos

Posted in Software

Just downloaded a sweet new mac app called todos. It is a keystroke activated program (control-command-option-t) that launches a panel of your app icons – faster and slicker way to open up any app you want.

It’s a semi-transarent black background with all your icons. So much easier to see and click what you want.

So, what does your todos list look like?

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BlogHer: Primp your Blog

Posted in Blogging, Events, Social networking, Software, Technology

Workshop: Primp your blog
Speakers: Maura Chace, Megan Garnhum, Skye Kilaen, Jan Kabili

Widgets & Plugins

Accessibility

Accessibility is a broad term, defined best here on Wikipedia:

Web accessibility refers to the practice of making Web pages accessible to people using a wide range of user agent devices, not just standard web browsers. This is especially important for people with disabilities which require such devices to access the Web.

The disabilities that Web accessibility is concerned with encompass users who are:

  • blind or visually impaired, e.g. various common types of poor eyesight, various types of colour blindness
  • motor impaired, e.g. Parkinson’s Disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, stroke
  • cognitively impaired, i.e. poor short-term memory (as commonly caused by senile dementia), dyslexia
  • hearing impaired or deaf
  • non-native speakers of the website’s language(s) (including users of sign languages)

Things to make your blog more accessible:

  • Text, Links

    • Break up text into smaller chunks
    • Name your links rather than linking ‘this’ say ‘this post on browsing’
    • Make links longer, easier to click on
    • Warn if linking to videos, pdf’s etc
    • Have a different color for ‘clicked links’
    • Underline for links for color blind
    • Make sure contrast of text to background is clear
  • Images

    • Label/describe your image for people who cannot see them
    • Add an alt attribute (label) and title attribute (brief text describing image or text it may contain) to the image – alt and title can be the same
  • CAPTCHA

    • have non-visual options for comment authorization
  • Templates

    • place your sidebar(s) the right so the posts go through the audio readers first
    • don’t set your font size in pixels or points (leave it open so users can set it in their browsers). Percentages are good.
  • Widgets

    • Check for structured markup and alt attributes
    • If Javascript, a title or caption would be useful
    • Flash getting better – if you can tab past the page past the flash element, it’s accessible

Screencasting

Defined: a video you can make without a camera. A recording of everything going on on your computer screen: movement of cursor, action on your screen, sound, etc.

  • Good info: screencastsonline.com
  • SnapzPro a cool animation program
  • Can edit screencast in iMovie
  • Steps to make screencast: prepare (your outline and workspace), record, edit, export, upload, blog, rss
  • Note for mac: use an external mic
  • Mac recording equipment: Snapz Pro, USB Mic
  • Windows recording equipment: Camtasia Studio, BBFlashback Express, Fraps, Mic
  • Mac editing: iMovie, Final Cut Express, Final Cut Studio, Quicktime Pro
  • PC editing: Movie Maker, Adobe Elements Premiere, Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Hosting: Libsyn, Ourmedia, Blip.tv, .Mac, YouTube

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