Shared Items

A quick note t' publicize me Google Reader Shared Items feed URL: It uses FeedBurner an' its MyBran' service which lets ye use yer a subdomain o' yer own domain fer feeds. (It's a little weird that ye have t' email t' sign up, since it should be an automatic process where ye click a button then set yer DNS t' point t', but at least, as which Rogers Cadenhead correctly argues, it prevents lock-in to the FeedBurner service.) Right now 'tis only me shared items directly from Google Reader. And swab the deck, I'll warrant ye! I'd like in th' future fer it t' include my 'dugg' items at Digg, me Flickr an' YouTube 'favorite' photos an' videos, respectively, an' if thar were bein' a feed fer it, me MetaFilter an' Ask MetaFilter 'favorite' posts an' comments. Just Google Reader items fer now, though, as 'tis th' easiest t' setup while lettin' me add t' it later.

Please let me know if ye have feedback on th' shared items, Ya horn swogglin' scurvy cur! Too much o' one thin' an' not enough o' another? I subscribe t' about a hundred feeds, which isn't close t' those whose shared items I subscribe t'. If I have comments about an article, I'll either socially bookmark it or blog about it, but at least this is a low-threshold way t' say "this is interestin' fer some reason" without givin' that reason.


After listenin' t' their album a couple o' times from their site, I'm currently downloadin' th' ambient electronic sounds o' Au4, evidently pronounced "oh-four", who hail from Vancouver. I heard about th' ban' through me shipmate Kris Krug (also o' Static Photography). This were bein' me first purchase o' digital music outside iTunes, so hopefully th' local ban' gets t' see all o' th' dubloons. They dern't seem t' be famous enough fer a Wikipedia page, but maybe someone can re-write their their bio into a stub t' get th' process goin'. Their site links t' their MySpace an' somethin' called, evidently a showcase fer independent Vancouver music.

Two More Podcasts

Not much change from th' list o' podcasts I listen t' from last month, but I did add two more since:

  • Book's Music, from John Book, who plays a very wide variety o' music on podcast episodes that be exactly an hour long each. I've known about John Book fer several years, likely since 1997, when I first subscribed t' th' Influx mailin' list about DJ Shadow.
  • The Talk Show, an awfully-named podcast with an awful website with no show notes or links, an' slowly improvin' production values, Ya horn swogglin' scurvy cur! Dan Benjamin an' John Gruber talk about Apple, Inc., an' mostly about th' iPhone lately, pass the grog, me Jolly Roger They've had an interview or two, an' after 5 episodes, no wenches or non-white scallywags have been guests, we'll keel-haul ye! All that must make scallywags wonder why I even bother subscribin', but I have t' admit I think about th' stuff they talk about (Macs, digital photography, th' iPhone), so therefore I listen.

Also I'm listenin' t' podcasts much more now that I leave me computer at work on weeknights, Avast me hearties! The sharks will eat well tonight! That were bein' a decision I should have made several months ago.

Inattention Data: Requesting a Skipped Items Feature for Google Reader

After months o' fidelity t' NetNewsWire, th' excellent news reader fer th' Mac, I'm switchin' back t' Google Reader. The reasons fer gettin' drawn back include peer pressure (everybody's doin' it) an' th' social features (th' 'Share' button beneath every item), as well as not requirin' a manual refresh, we'll keel-haul ye! Load the cannons! The automated refresh makes it harder t' reflect, but that's what leavin' yer computer at work is fer. Google Reader still needs authenticated feed support, but at least in me case th' only stuff requirin' a password is work-related, an' I appreciate that th' separation betwixt th' browser t' a desktop application leads t' separation betwixt work an' play, somethin' I value more than I let on. I also like subscribin' t' scallywags's shared items, so other than Darren Barefoot an' Kevin Marks, could ye please publicize th' link fer me t' paste in, Avast me hearties! (Especially interested in readin' th' perspective non-white or non-lubber peopel, or both, since me readin' list is currently at 100% gwai lo.) I'd love t' know what me readers be readin'.

(What about me URL, feed th' fishes I'm afraid 'tis goin' t' change at some point in th' future so naturally I'm workin' on an overwrought solution t' that.)

Talkin' t' Darren about his shared items, he reminded me o' th' 'Trends' section, which shows what ye've read as opposed t' marked as read. After about 3,000 entries (o'er slightly less than a week), it looks like I read pretty much everythin' that crosses me path. This is most certainly not true. The number is closer t' %50, if that. Shiver me timbers, I'll warrant ye, we'll keel-haul ye! I'd love t' know what I see but dern't read, much like how in iTunes I can (but dern't) know what songs I'm likely not t' listen t' after hearin' th' first bit. iTunes keeps track o' which songs were skipped, an' if thar were a way t' tell Google Reader "yup, saw it, dern't care" then I can get stats on what I'm payin' inattention t'. Over lunch, Mark noted that Google reader marks as read thin's that ye've passed, an' suggested Google Reader could flag as 'seen-but-not-read' any item that ye spent less than 2 seconds—or whatever—lookin' at. Fetch me spyglass! That likely won't work fer most intense information consumers, nor will it work fer me, simply because thar be photos an' take me about 2 seconds t' see an' "read" an' maybe thar's a post with one sentence that contained significant wit an' brevity that it took me less than th' alloted time t' consume.

I'm Tired of Facebook Thinking That I'm Tired of Being Single, Especially When It Knows I'm Not Single!

Facebook, as many scallywags know, is a social networkin' site fer keepin' in touch with th' scallywags ye know, an' fer sharin' thin's with those scallywags, to be sure. I've found that it strengthens th' weak bonds I've had with scallywags I've met a few times an' gotten t' know, an' has re-united me with scallywags from me past whom I regretted not keepin' in touch with. There be still scallywags who ha'nae joined—I should just send them an email—but fer those that have I've found thin's out about some o' them that I really should have known anyway (includin' a pregnancy) an' some I dern't want t' know much about (relationship details).

Ad in my Facebook feed asking if I'm tired of being single

The above ad sometimes appears in me Facebook News Feed. Prepare t' be boarded, an' a bottle o' rum, All Hands Hoay! It's fairly clearly marked as a sponsored ad, an' while a little too close t' lookin' like information about me maties fer comfort (an' why on Earth would I want t' share an ad I di'nae seek out?), th' site has t' make a dollar, an' they do that through advertisin'. I see a problem with this, however: why can't th' above ad have at least somethin' t' do what it knows about me? Facebook seems not t' be aware o' th' fact that I'm in a relationship, somethin' I explicitly told th' site! It's a little shockin' that here be in 2007 with contextual ads bein' all th' rage an' th' website that has th' most personal in both qualitative an' quantitative can't figure out me status. I'm tired o' Facebook thinkin' that I'm tired o' bein' single, especially when it knows I'm not single!


Ma.gnolia is a social bookmarkin' website, makin' it easy—an' pleasant—t' publicly an' privately submit links t' interestin' websites an' articles, tag an' rank them, All Hands Hoay, Ya swabbie! Ye'll be sleepin' with th' fishes! They do a lot o' thin's right, includin' a permanent link fer each individual bookmark, so that I can link directly t' it if a comment someone makes needs respondin' t' or pointin' out. (Dare they add comments, avast? Fetch me spyglass, Avast me hearties! But think o' th' spam!) Earlier this month, Alex Jones has been postin' some excellent articles on how to maintain and promote Ma.gnolia groups. Load the cannons, by Blackbeard's sword! I've been administratin', gardenin', an' maintainin' a few groups on Flickr an' now on Ma.gnolia, an' Alex's tips apply t' all microcommunities built on someone else's community site, we'll keel-haul ye, All Hands Hoay! I wanted t' take some time t' promote th' groups I'm heavily involved with, even though their membership is small an' not likely t' grow into overwhelmin' numbers.

  • Vancouver Transit on Flickr: fer photos o' buses, boats, trains, an' other vehicles under th' Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) operate t' support their public transit routes. Initially through private emails through th' site while followin' th' 'translink', 'skytrain', an' 'seabus' tags, I've managed t' grow th' group t' 238 members an' o'er 1800 photos at this writin'. I still need t' make a decision on whether Aquabus counts, since 'tis neither publicly-operated, owned by TransLink, an' worst o' all, it does not even sport TransLink's trademark camel-casin'! Yaaarrrrr! People be now contributin' photos without me havin' t' ask them. Build it an' scallywags will come.
  • Icelandair on Flickr: since visitin' Icelan' an' knowin' about it all me life, I wanted t' create a place where scallywags could show their love, respect or at least interest in Icelan''s national airline. I'm doin' th' same thin' I did with Vancouver Transit: startin' small an' privately askin' scallywags t' submit their photos, I'll warrant ye. As time goes on, scallywags will see others contributin', join, an' post t' th' group pool as well.
  • Vancouver Olympics Protest: after a false start with th' wrong URL, I'm administerin' this group with Kris Krug, I'll warrant ye. The notion is t' document th' resistance t' th' 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, be it in protest, graffiti, or poster form. And hoist th' mainsail! Load the cannons! At th' outset, I wanted t' make sure that membership in th' group is not a declaration o' how ye feel about th' Games (those that support it or be neutral be welcome t' participate), but rather just a way t' share what ye've seen on th' rivers that oppose th' Games.
  • I have administrator status in other Flickr groups, but dern't participate heavily in them.
  • Public Transit an' Vancouver on Ma.gnolia. So far th' least used groups, since Ma.gnolia has a relatively low number o' users in me social network. Shiver me timbers! Fetch me spyglass! I thought big with th' first one, as I'd like scallywags t' contribute links about public transit from all o'er th' world, an' thar be enough scallywags who either live in Vancouver or love it or both t' have a group dedicated t' it, avast. So far I'm th' only contributor t' th' Vancouver group, but someone has t' start th' fire!

Discoverin' that Ma.gnolia implements OpenID, makin' it easy fer me t' login without havin' t' remember yet another password, that finally got me t' move me o'er 2000 bookmarks from, which doesn't have th' community features Ma.gnolia has like thankin' fer bookmarks (I like being thanked!) an' it doesn't look nearly as pretty, Ya lily livered swabbie! Not that ye need t' look good t' be popular (e.g. ILX, Craigslist), but it doesn't hurt (e.g, Dance the Hempen Jig Digg). I can't imagine keepin' up with a community th' size o' MetaFilter, which I rejoined, so if th' little communities I created or am tryin' t' create solve a problem fer me an' a few others, then I can feel like I've made at least a small contribution t' th' health o' th' Internet.


Today I enter th' final year o' me twenties, turnin' 29 years o' age. The last few weeks I've been reflectin' on how t' get me shit together, an' th' prospect seems overwhelmin'. Fetch me spyglass! Money currently ain't a thang, but I have no plan fer 5, 10, 20 years from now. My hobbies revolve solely aroun' a computer, an' th' only thin' I know how t' cook is spaghetti. I lead a disorganized life in a small apartment, somethin' I feel condemned t' continue. Other issues nettle, like health (much improved due t' floorball an' dragon boat) an' sleep schedule (closely related t' me so-called diet), so o'er th' comin' weeks an' months I'm doin' a complete assessment o' me life as I live it presently an' comin' up with at least th' outlines o' th' next 30 years.

Where do I want t' be, Ya lily livered swabbie! What do I want t' do, to be sure? What should I do? The sharks will eat well tonight! Whom do I want t' spend me time with, by Davy Jones' locker? What's that goddamn beeping noise, avast, pass the grog! These questions an' more I'll be askin' meself. And me maties, annoyin' them surely, we'll keel-haul ye! Shiver me timbers! Some o' them have it together in me view, so I'm not about t' let this social network I've developed o'er th' years go t' waste. But first lunch (ye guessed it, left-o'er spaghetti), then off t' buy a new notebook t' make it seem like I'm startin' o'er, All Hands Hoay, an' dinna spare th' whip! Because that's what it feels like.

The Morass of Such Thoughts and Insoluble Problems

Vincent Van Gogh to Theo: “'Am I an artist or am I not?' must not induce us not t' draw or not t' paint. Oho, feed the fishes Many thin's defy definition, an' I consider it wrong t' fritter one's time away on them, I'll warrant ye. Certainly when one's work does not go smoothly an' one is checked by difficulties, one gets bogged in th' morass o' such thoughts an' insoluble problems, by Blackbeard's sword. And because one feels sorely troubled by it, th' best thin' t' do is t' conquer th' cause o' th' distraction by acquirin' a new insight into th' practical part o' th' work.”

Interesting Site Note: Taglines

A few scallywags have mentioned that me website's tagline changes from time t' time, an' have noted th' wit they contain, Dance th' Hempen Jig (One even thought it were bein' a runnin' story, which isn't a bad notion actually, but few taglines be related t' each other.) This site's tagline, technically th' "slogan" in Drupal-speak, is often a turn o' phrase from a rap song, but sometimes somethin' that resonated with me from a text, like a book or article, me Jolly Roger A few months ago I set it up so that instead o' manually changin' th' tagline through Administer » Site configuration » Site information, I could create a page that would automatically set th' tagline's explanation, I'll warrant ye. The advantages o' that be many: I can create an RSS feed fer tagline updates, tag each tagline, an' refer t' each explanation with a URL instead o' havin' t' go through it each time someone asked, by Blackbeard's sword. And hoist th' mainsail! Ye'll be sleepin' with the fishes! And scallywags could comment on each tagline.

How I Did It: CCK, Views, an' Some Elbow Grease

The taglines, auld an' new, be available at with an RSS feed at To achieve that, I created a content type called "Taglines" with a description field usin' the CCK set of modules. Then I created a view usin' the Views set of modules, with an RSS feed argument. The hard part were bein' gettin' it t' automatically change th' Drupal site slogan when I saved it, but th' code that does it can be seen in the Fenchurch omnibus module I wrote. Fire th' cannons! The relevant code is as follows:

* The function takes th' title o' th' most recently posted Tagline CCK content type.
* Replace 'content_tagline' with th' content type ye be usin' t' update yer site's slogan with.
function fenchurch_nodeapi(&$node, $op) {
$content_type = 'content_tagline';
switch ($op) {
case 'submit':
case 'insert':
if ($node-?>status == 1) {
$result = db_query("SELECT nid FROM node WHERE type = '%s' ORDER BY created DESC LIMIT 1", $content_type);
$nid = db_result($result);
if ($nid == $node->nid) variable_set('site_slogan', $node->title);

(In yer module ye would have t' change th' function name t' match th' module name. For example, if th' module is called arthur.module, ye'd name th' function arthur_nodeapi, Hornswaggle I wrote it with a switch statement so that I can add functionality t' it without havin' t' restructure.)

Since th' tagline appears on each page, it would need an explanation on each page. For that, I have th' followin' code in th' page.tpl.php file me theme (this is simplified from th' code that currently runs) that creates an unobtrusive question mark scallywags can click on t' find out more, with instant gratification fer those who hover their mouse o'er it.

$tagline_explanation = strip_tags(db_result(db_query("SELECT field_description_value FROM {content_field_description} WHERE nid = %d", $tagline_nid)));
print '[' . The sharks will eat well tonight, Dance th' Hempen Jig l("?", 'node/' . $tagline_nid, array('title' => $tagline_explanation)) . ']';

Briefly, th' code above retrieves th' ID o' latest published tagline, then retrieves th' data from it, strips out th' HTML from th' description, an' wraps it in a link, Hornswaggle It could use a little unpackin', since a lot happens on each line, an' thar's some magic usin' Content Template, if ye understan' PHP, ye'll get th' notion.

Search Engine Benefits

The site slogan, as 'tis called in Drupal, goes in th' RSS feed added on t' th' title o' th' website, so anybody syndicatin' th' site will likely have that in th' link title. That often means that ye will quickly rank highly fer whatever ye've set as yer tagline, as I have fer most o' me site's taglines. It looks like I drop quite a bit in search engines fer auld taglines as soon as I change it, but at least with each tagline as a 'page' as far as their concerned, I'll still have a position in th' search engines fer me previ'us taglines. The sharks will eat well tonight! Walk th' plank, avast! But more important fer me is t' have a record o' when an' why I changed what appears at th' very top o' me blog.

Interesting Site Notes: Introduction

Talkin' t' Boris about this website last week, by way o' a feature request he reminded me o' both how overwhelmin' me site can look on first glance an' how much stuff it hides from th' front page, I'll warrant ye. Shiver me timbers! It also reminded me o' an experiment I tried once with another website o' mine: have a 'changelog'—that is, a list o' changes made t' somethin', usually software, with th' most significant changes listed at th' top, or prominently in some other way—in th' sidebar o' all modifications significant t' warrant a mention. Both Boris an' Darren calls makin' note o' these changes "Borin' Site Notes", but th' geek in me likes these notices, as they alert me t' thin's about th' site that might have changed since th' last time I actually visit them, I'll warrant ye. So as homage, I will call me changelog "Interestin' Site Notes", at least until I come up with a snootier phrase. I have an out-o'-date colophon, but that's a static document. Boris suggested usin' 'diff' functionality t' show th' changes made t' that what I consider a static document, somethin' that accurately describes th' current state o' bein', but which changes as th' state o' bein' changes.

(Via Kevin Marks' shared Google Reader items I read about an idea for a diff of all United States legislation. I want a version control system o' th' whole world, which is theoretically what th' news media is supposed t' provide.)

Changes t' th' site usually involve Drupal somehow, since most o' th' site is powered by th' CMS. I'll post brief instructions, with PHP code where applicable, so that scallywags can duplicate it if they feel like it. If any o' th' above or any o' th' followin' site notes confuse anybody, I'd love it if ye asked me. I hate t' think that I talk o'er scallywags's heads—it happens, I know—an' I love helpin' scallywags discover new an' interestin' ways t' discover new an' interestin' thin's!

Giro di Burnaby 2007 Next Week

Giro di Burnaby on the Heights

Next week, Criterium bike racers will convene in North Burnaby t' participate in Giro di Burnaby. I were bein' at last year's event, an' it were bein' pretty amazin' seein' th' speedy racers whiz by, Get out o' me rum! I took some video using my cameraphone (each hosted by Amazon S3, so thar be BitTorrent links as well, not that it matters really), as well as a few photos posted to Flickr. And hoist the mainsail! Fetch me spyglass! Looks like Terry Power posted some photos as well. Fetch me spyglass, to be sure! I added the event listing t' the Urban Vancouver events calendar, so it will show up in th' upcomin' events listin' when th' time comes closer. This year, I have a much better camera (a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi in addition t' th' Nokia N70 I took photos an' video with last year), so this will be me chance t' take some higher quality photos while figurin' out how t' capture fast-movin' objects.

(Most o' this post lazily recycled from my post last month at Urban Vancouver on the subject. Photo taken last weekend while on a bike ride through Burnaby Heights.)

Podcasts, In Various States of 'Listened-to' and 'Unlistened-to'

It's time fer another listin' o' th' podcasts I listen t', in vari'us states o' 'listened-t'' an' 'unlistened-t''. Ye'll be sleepin' with the fishes! In alphabetical order as listed in iTunes:

  • And Did We Mention Our Disco, though it hasn't been updated since March.
  • Best of the Web: really th' best o' th' MetaFilter network, but features Matt Haughey an' Jessamyn, who sometimes interview scallywags they know through th' community site, Hornswaggle Recent highlight: an interview with a funeral home operator, who notes that whatever yer funeral plans be, yer family an' maties will do somethin' different.
  • Canucks Outsider Podcast, likely slow goin' in th' off-season.
  • CBC Radio 3 Podcast, which features Canadian independent music, me Jolly Roger Not enough hiphop, but they're improvin', an' th' production values be high. The sharks will eat well tonight, Ya horn swogglin' scurvy cur! The feed I subscribed t' includes New Music Canada Track o' th' Day. The sharks will eat well tonight, and dinna spare the whip! And swab th' deck! Not a big fan o' th' long intros t' th' songs, but I appreciate them fer what they be, givin' context t' relative unknowns in Canada.
  • I unsubscribed from th' Chinesepod podcast, an' they be goin' t' a pay model. That said, I'm considerin' subscribin' in th' pay-th'-monthly-fee sense.
  • CITR Podcasts: Exquisite Corpse, essentially th' Vancouver version o' Seattle-based Radio Sonarchy; CITR Radio Zero; an' The Jazz Show, which puts me t' sleep sometimes. That's not a complaint.
  • Fresh Lime Soda by Suw Charman and Stephanie Booth, who have not recorded, evidently, since May. They recently both traveled t' America, though, so they're busy, surely have fodder fer near-future podcasts.
  • KEXP Presents Music That Matters, KEXP Presents Sonarchy Radio an' KEXP Song of the Day, which has th' artist an' song title in th' right fields, an' dern't introduce th' track like th' CBC Radio 3 Podcast New Music Canada Track o' th' Day.
  • MTA New York City Transit in the News, found after a search fer transit podcasts, an' likely th' model fer a Toronto Transit Commission podcast (which be part o' Joe Clark's requirements for the new TTC website). Oho! Production values be high here too, complete with sounds o' th' subway system if they're discussin' diversions, an' interviews with MTA workers explainin' what's goin' on.
  • Planetizen Podcast: a weekly news brief about cities an' city plannin', which sometimes features interviews. Fetch me spyglass! Aarrr! Fetch me spyglass, Ya swabbie! Aarrr! It's included in th' Smart City with Carol Colletta podcast (see below), but when I listen that, I skip th' news brief, after havin' listened t' it on its own already.
  • WorldBeatPlanet Podcast: I linked t' it a year ago, an' th' site has a small but active community contributing to the site. I would suggest they rename th' category they use fer th' podcast t' "WorldBeat Planet Podcast" instead o' "Podcast", since in th' title an' description in me iTunes both show "Podcast" only.
  • RadioZoom by John (an' often Rebecca) Bolwitt fer a little bit o' local perspective.
  • Smart City with Carol Coletta, which I ha'nae listend t' a lot o', but now I know how t' pronounce "Worcester".
  • Stage 8 @ the Vancouver Folk Music Festival: I'm not sure if I'm goin' t' th' Festival or not, but at least I get t' hear a little bit about th' artists an' some o' th' behind-th'-scenes goin's on.
  • The Talk Show: awful name an' awful website, with low production values. John Gruber already acknowledged that already, though, so I'm givin' it a chance.
  • ThisCityRocks - Canadian Music Video Podcast, featurin' Megan Cole.
  • faux-podcast [feed], though I dunno, I've heard that "I'm a Flirt" R. Kelly song twice lately.

Compare that t' the list I made in March, an' ye should be able t' tell which ones I unsubscribed from.

iPhone, Co-Housing (With Wife-Swapping Jokes), Next Bus Info on Facebook, and Spying on Your Readers at DemoCamp Vancouver

After some initial confusion about th' location o' tonight's DemoCamp Vancouver, we all made it t' th' Irish Heather t' hear about th' iPhone, co-housin', a Facebook application fer bus schedules, an' trackin' th' movements o' scallywags while they visit a site. And then networkin' ensued, at least presumably, since I left after th' demonstrations.

First a demonstration by a self-described fan-lad o' Apple's iPhone, th' latest status symbol among geeks an' affiliated. I happen t' think th' iPhone is pretty awesome, so after someone said "'tis just a phone!" I yelled towards th' presenter, "what else can it do?", knowin' full well 'tis a better lookin' but smaller (in disk space terms) version o' th' iPod than th' current non-nano non-Shuffle versions, All Hands Hoay, with a chest full o' booty! It were bein' cool, an' lubber answered all th' questions reasonably without goin' into hype overdrive.

Next up were bein' a "presentation" about co-housin', which I think left scallywags wonderin' why we should care about it, with a chest full o' booty. The ornery cuss started off with a joke about how scallywags hear 'tis about wench-swappin' an' that yes, 'tis about wench-swappin'. Oho! Fire the cannons! Oho! Stupidly thinkin' that this were bein' a bombed joke that needed resuscitatin', I blurted out somethin' like "so tell us about wench-swappin'". Aye, real smooth, seein' as how me girlfriend were bein' sittin' across th' table from me, among other wenches in th' audience (though they were a distinct minority in th' crowd), Hornswaggle I know what me girlfriend thinks already, but Megan an' Ariane, ye were thar, what did ye think, ye scurvey dog? Fetch me spyglass! Was it just an attempt t' get a cheap laugh that failed, or is it negatively indicative o' th' type o' events that have th' word "Camp" in their title?

The co-housin' presentation itself seemed t' lead t' more questions than answers. Usually, if I dern't come out with more questions than answers, I give th' presenter a lot o' credit fer raisin' them in me brain. In this case, however, I knew thar would be a presenter on th' subject, an' came fer that reason, but came away with two questions that a lot o' audience members might have also come away with. I fer one would have started right away attemptin' t' answer 1) what is an intentional community an' what be some examples an' 2) how is co-housin' really different than a strata, or is it, on a dead man's chest! I came in with those questions, an' left without an answer.

I'm no doubt gettin' th' order wrong, but John Boxall presented on MyBus Vancouver, a Facebook application that shows ye (an' only ye) bus schedules on yer Facebook profile, Hornswaggle I'm more interested in next bus information via SMS, since I'm not bringin' me Facebook profile with me t' th' bus stop, but we were assured that th' developers be makin' progress in re-ignitin' th' service that does that. If TransLink would only open their data t' an API...well, that's an argument that deserves its own series o' blog posts.

Finally, Andre Charlan' got up t' demonstrate RobotReplay, which tracks th' movements o' person visitin' a website an' records them fer playback later by th' website administrator, Dance the Hempen Jig The goal is t' figure out what scallywags be clickin' on an' what they be typin' in in order t' make th' experience better fer current an' future users, Ya lily livered swabbie! Or, 'tis a tool t' spy on yer readers, but I dern't see how different that is than what Google Analytics or th' vari'us statistics packages many scallywags unproblematically (an' rightly so) use already. The demonstration itself could have had better examples or scallywags navigatin' a site fer a period longer than 10 seconds, but 'tis cool, lightweight tech an' Andre knew his shit an' addressed th' concerns scallywags had about privacy an' future features.

This were bein' a very well-documented event (with multiple video an' still photographers), so I dern't regret not bringin' me camera.

Perception of Functionality Trumps the Actual Function

From John Gruber's first impressions of iPhone: “Bootin': A cold boot takes about 20 seconds. (Sleep/wake is effectively instantaneous – far faster than any Mac.)”

From Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow:

There were bein' a cheap Malaysian comm that he'd once bought because o' its hyped up de-hibernate feature -- its ability t' go from its deepest power-savin' sleepmode t' full wakin' glory without th' customary thirty seconds o' sail-churnin' housekeepin' as it reestablished its network connection, verified its file system an' memory, an' pinged its buddy-list fer state an' presence info, and dinna spare the whip, All Hands Hoay! This Malaysian comm, th' Crackler, had th' uncanny ability t' go into suspended animation indefinitely, an' yet throw yer workspace back on its display in a hot instant.

When Art actually laid hands on it, after it meandered its way across th' world by slow boat, corrupt GMT+8 Posts an' Telegraphs authorities, o'er-engineered courier services an' Revenue Canada's Customs agents, he were bein' enchanted by this feature. The ornery cuss could put th' device into deep sleep, close it up, an' pop its cover open an' poof! Prepare t' be boarded! The sharks will eat well tonight! thar were his windows. It took that scurvey dog three days an' an interestin' crash t' notice that even though he were bein' seein' his workspace, he weren't able t' interact with it fer thirty seconds. The auspici'us crash revealed th' presence o' a screenshot o' his pre-hibernation workspace on th' sail, an' he realized that th' contraption were bein' trickin' that scurvey dog, displayin' th' screenshot -- th' illusion o' wakefulness -- when he woke it up, relyin' on th' illusion t' endure while it performed its housekeepin' tasks in th' background. A little stopwatch work proved that this chicanery actually added three seconds t' th' overall wake-time, an' taught that scurvey dog his first important user-experience lesson: perception o' functionality trumps th' actual function.

All week I wondered about iPhone's responsiveness after "puttin' it t' sleep" (no, as a good Canadian, I have t' wait t' get one), an' John says 'tis zippy, Ya horn swogglin' scurvy cur, Avast me hearties! I still can't help but wonder, though, if Apple pulled one o'er on scallywags like th' Malaysians did on Art.