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WordPress Permalinks June 2, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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If like me you’ve run into the wonders of WordPress permalinks previously and hit brick walls such as 404 and 403 HTTP errors when you change from the default ?p=ID to the pretty /blog/2007/07/12/entry, then this post is for you and the many other people who have asked me this question previously. 🙂 Not sure why considering the fact that I use MovableType as my blogging software but anyway!

Changing your permalink structure from the WordPress default to the pretty, year/month/day/entry-id or similar custom structure can cause problems for some people depending on the setup of their hosting infrastructure. [..]

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e-mail Library? May 4, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Technology, TSSG.
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Here’s an interesting idea: A library to contain an archive of e-mails submitted by the public. A means of capturing a snapshot of our lives in this technological era. This could lead to some interesting content accrued over the years being made available as a source of entertainment to the public. I often thought that it was a shame that some of my older relatives never had their stories recorded for the ages but it looks like our generation will have a means of ensuring that our life experience is not lost. Must keep an eye on this project and see if it spreads to Ireland and Europe. source: Email Britain

Review of LouderVoice keeps me quiet May 3, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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My first experience of LouderVoice for any reason whatsoever. I’ve heard about it before now but never found it interesting enough to investigate. However, with a change of weather and a change of heart I’ve decided to give it the full once-over.

Review of LouderVoice keeps me quiet

Rated as 3/5 on May 03 2007 by Jonathan Brazil

Firstly credit goes to Paul Watson for pushing me over the edge and into the LouderVoice pit. Upon reading his blog entry on this matter I couldn’t resist any longer. LouderVoice is not what I first thought, a multi-author blog, it is actually a central point of review management integrated with your own personal blog. Simple enough and lightweight in design.

However, discussing the technology in the service will not give an accurate picture of what its true value is. LouderVoice has built an extensive community of active reviewers, who publish everything from hotel references to how good the latest MP3 player is. The range is vast. So as the sole purpose of providing lost webbies with a place to find out other people’s opinions it may very well win out. Only time will truly tell if the community gets fed up writing reviews or if the magnitude of poor reviews outweighs the value of the good ones.

Setup is easy and it posts your reviews to your blog. The interface is very simple for both configuration, authoring and searching. Other than that it’s simple and straightforward, nothing much to report and time will be its judge. I hope that the good outweighs the crud but open forums tend to gather lots of crud…

Rate this review at LouderVoice

Dell choose Ubuntu May 1, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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Dell have finally made their decision on Linux and will soon be offering Ubuntu Linux as an option for their machines. Finally after all these years people will have a choice of what they actually want on their PC or Notebook. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on Vista uptake from now on when people are given the ability to choose. source: The Register

Wireless in Carlow April 26, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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Yesterday, Carlow became Ireland’s first hotspot town. Congratulations to Carlow and whoever attracted this project. I believe that the difference between this project and other wireless offerings is that it’s all account-based and you can use your broadband account anywhere within reach of a hotspot rather than just in your home. I have yet to see a statement to this effect though. However, there has to be a reason that this is better than the Digiweb offering in Carlow Town. The internet access will also be made available to passers by with WiFi enabled devices for approximately EUR 3.50 per hour. It’s a little expensive for using your own equipment but I admit that I’ve paid more in the UK in the past. If this pilot project is successful then it might spark the setup of WiFi hopspot towns and cities all over Ireland. Coincidently this follows on the back of the London mesh network that was announced in the last week and more unfortunately it also falls on the back of the recent arguments in the media of the supposed dangers of wireless radiation on the general public. source: Irish Times

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Orbitfiles Review April 25, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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About two weeks or so ago I posted a quick intro to Orbitfiles.com, an online backup solution that provides 6GB of free space to put your stuff. Naturally when I first saw it I signed up without thinking as why would you refuse free space? Well I’ve only just gotten around to really using the service in the last few days and as promised I’m posting a quick review of the offering.

Overall I’d have to give it a thumbs up in terms of simplicity and doing exactly what it says on the tin. The interface is very simple to follow with the one notable exception of how to change your password. Creating folders, selecting content for upload and managing uploaded content are all pretty straightforward and not so taxing that your average web user without any technical grounding couldn’t figure out. The option to allow public access to your files is also interesting but why you would want to do this I’m not so sure. When you consider that youtube covers sharing video content, flickr has the photo audience, Google pretty much have the documents and spreadsheets market covered and e-mail does pretty much everything else. I don’t really see the advantage of making it all publicly available. Perhaps if there were accounts you could set up yourself for restricted access but not generally accessible. As a quick and dirty backup option for non-sensitive data though I would be happy to continue using the service for small amounts of files. Backing up anything larger than 15MB from my home BB connection is just painfully slow and not worth ignoring my NAS or DVD writer for.

Downsides of the service include the HTTP upload problem of selecting file at a time uploads but at least the web interface tries somewhat to appease users by offering the option of multiple file boxes per upload action. The JavaScript/Ajax thingy that is supposed to act as a live feedback of your current upload seems to break in Firefox on my Mac and therefore leaves you wondering when it might finish uploading large quantities of data. There is definitely a reason to have an uploader client here to drag and drop directories rather than having to tar everything up first. Enter Hercules but sadly this is only available for the Windows platform at the moment. Hercules also offers the ability to schedule backups and so, might be attractive for the paranoid amongst us using always-on connections. The team also offer a mobile version of the site for backing up while on the move. Finally, the last feature that caught my eye was the ability to zip up multiple files and folders in your account by simply selecting them and clicking the zip button. Convenient if you only want to download a single bundle or increase your available backup space. For non-techie users it’s far simpler to understand than using gmail as a hard drive and that’s probably were it will get a lot of custom from. Good free service overall, not sure how much I will use it but I can definitely see it being a blip on my radar now and then.

Amazon go Universal with MP3 April 24, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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Amazon and Universal follow Apple and EMIs lead on the retail of DRM free MP3s. And so the ball starts to roll down the hill… Soon we’ll be back on the level and happy again without life controlling DRM technology. This move is only applying to the classical music division but surely will be a floodgate partially open. source: Boing Boing

Mactive Desktop April 19, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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Okay, we’ve all heard the term active desktop for many years. Ever since IE4 came onto the scene as far as I recall. You know, it’s the background wallpaper that’s interactive in some way whether it’s a webpage or some other object. Well rumour has it that Apple are currently developing something similar for OSX. Big swing you might say until that is, you read on: This version of an active desktop environment will actually help to reduce the video RAM and system RAM requirements by the usage of clever recipes for constructing the desktop images. So not only will this new feature add yet more sparkle and allure to your Mac, it’s also good for it. Trust Apple to make the fancy stuff, resource friendly. 🙂 source: AppleInsider

Intel – Advertising Progress? April 18, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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Just picked up this video via Damien Mulley. It’s an Intel ad aimed at the ultra-mobile folk and what the future of computing will mean to the everyday life. The short video shows three brief accounts of “a moment in the life of person x” and how technology helps them. This immediately struck a raw nerve with me. As a kid I loved technology and computing for what I saw as benefits to people, things that would improve their lives and give them more time. The first clip of this video is no further from that ideology. The poor guy is out jogging when he gets a message to say that a business meeting has been brought forward to 0800. How does that show progress or benefit? Who wants meetings at 0800 in the morning?

The sad reality of all these mobile technology developments in recent years is appealing purely to the workaholics in this world. Showing them how they can stay working for longer. That’s not what technology is about in my mind. Technology is there to benefit people and give them more time to enjoy leisure and family not the other way around. Granted, the last clip in the video depicts a social scene albeit characteristic of an elaborate flash mob event where broadcast royalties for music do not seem to apply. If only somebody else shared my opinion I might still have hope that the human race is not doomed to a nightmare existence whereby work is all we do and ironically the technology and machines that we developed to do work for us simply become the reason that others find excuses for us to work longer.

Another Google Application April 18, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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Just picked this up from the Google Blog: It looks like the online office applications suite that Google has started to build with Documents and Spreadsheets is set to be enhanced this Summer with the addition of Presentations. No doubt compliance with Microsoft PowerPoint will be an absolute necessity. I’m looking forward to checking out the compatibility of it all given the negative experiences that I have had with PowerPoint between versions and even with the same version on different platforms. source: Official Google Blog