Friday, April 23, 2010

Twitter Annotation Proposal - Image

This is a proposal for a twitter annotation that I hope to be blessed by both
the development community and twitter itself.

Image Namespace

are something commonly shared throughout twitter.  Something that would be fantastically idealistic
would be embedding image data into twitter annotations.

Due to constraints, images should
be resized to a lower-quality “preview”.  Possibly VGA or so?  A link to a privately
hosted image should also be available.

Using the current preview information supplied by
the twitter development team, I imagine that it would go something like this:

"data here.. base64 etc.",
"preview_encode": "base64",
// Or whatever else floats your boat. "bin" or "binary" for raw data.

"full_src": ""

additional thoughts on other information that should be included?  Maybe a title and description,
or is that not needed?  Please, leave all of your thoughts and ideas in the

Monday, April 19, 2010

Using Google Voice with Outlook’s Dialer

Microsoft Outlook has this very nifty feature where you can connect your
computer to the phone line and use your Outlook Contact List to instantly dial someone’s number. 
Of course, when they created this they needed to add support for using a calling card, as long distance in
the same country hadn’t even begun to be free.

Now if you use Google Voice, you can use
this to your advantage with the simple addition of just a few seconds to the call.

Reading for Instructions on how to Outlook up to dial through Google Voice

Features Wanted in Skype

I realized there are some neat little features I would love to see in Skype
(while playing around with Microsoft Outlook and getting it to call out using Google Voice, I’ll blog about
that next).

Calls Out Using Modem

Doesn’t Skype do some fantastic
Skype-Out thing where you can even use a specific number as a calling card and call out using it? 
A whole crapload of notebooks and desktops still ship with modems, why not utilize it!  If you
don’t have a connection to the net (or you’re just crazy), you could call out using a Skype-Out Call-In
Number!  Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?

Calls Out with Calling Card through Modem

Yeah, yeah, companies don’t like competition or whatnot, but if the previous is supported, why not
spice it up a little and allow us to use a different calling card through the settings?  That would
allow Google Voice users to make outbound calls using Google Voice through Skype, and that would just be

Answering Calls Through Modem

Is your phone ringing? 
Yeah, don’t you wish you could pick it up using Skype?  All it has to do is learn to speak through
the modem and BABOOSH, you can now answer your landline ON SKYPE (GOOGLE VOICE MAKES THIS MORE AWESOME).

Contact Synchronization with Google

needs this.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why SuperTweets won’t kill URL Shorteners

Now, the title of this blog post makes it sound like I’m going to write an
essay about why SuperTweets (and the probability of them having a URL metadata for tweets) will not be
killing URL Shorteners like and anytime soon.

1) URL Shorteners Keep You

One of the things URL shorteners do now is they keep you safe from malicious
websites.  You can preview the site you are visiting, and if its determined to be delicious the
short URL will either be deleted or blocked or a warning will be shown, letting you know it is no longer
safe to visit that URL.

2) URL Shorteners are Branded

All I really
have to say here is “ Pro”  URL Shorteners now have custom branding, so it makes it even
easier to send people to your website or promote your brand on twitter by including the link in the text.

3) URL Shorteners are Easy to Remember

When they are used correctly. 
Services like allow you to give a custom name to your short link.  This is especially useful
in media such as Television or Print:
is much easier to remember and type than href="">

With even just these three simple reasons in mind, it is very clear to me that URL shorteners will
not be dying anytime soon, no matter how much metadata you can attach to tweets.  I’m not even sure
they’re bad for the internet, anymore.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oh Apple, You Amuse Me

Apple iPhone Game Center Icon vs. Microsoft Store Logo:

image src="" width="118" height="133" /> style="display: inline" title="image" alt="image"
src="" width="133" height="133" /> 

Oh Apple, has anyone told you lately that you’re

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Making Google Analytics Work in XHTML

I was moving my website, Google Voice for Outlook, over from HTML5 to XHTML5 today, and
as soon as I did the basic content negotiation filters in PHP so that it would send the appropriate headers
if the client supported XHTML as well as only outputting the <?xml if the client supported XHTML, I
checked my developer tools to find a JavaScript error.  It was Google Analytics, of course.  document.write
doesn’t exist in XHTML, after all.

The fix was simple, replace the current four line
inclusion code with:
[codesyntax lang="javascript"]<script
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ?
"https://ssl." : "http://www.");
var script = document.createElement("script");

script.src = gaJsHost + "";
script.type = "text/javascript";


will work fine, unless of course you have no head tag.  In which case you should replace
getElementsByTagName(“head”) with getElementsByTagName(“html”).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

HTML5 Being a Pain in My Ass Again

This time in regards to the highly acclaimed and very well received <video>

On my website, Google Voice for Outlook
I use the <video> tag to show a demonstration of the system working.  I don’t
currently have a way to encode in ogg, and/or am too lazy too, so I decided that if the web browser didn’t
support h264 video, it’d fall back to the YouTube video.  The expected result (from me, of course)
was that if it can’t display the video, it’d display the YouTube.  Apparently though, in FireFox it
does not fall back to the YouTube video and instead just displays a gray box, and the fault this time
doesn’t lie with FireFox, but with the standard:

Content may be provided inside
the video element. User agents should not show this content to the user; it is intended for older Web
browsers which do not support video, so that legacy video plugins can be tried, or to show text to the users
of these older browsers informing them of how to access the video contents.

This means that if you want to use <video> on any website, ever, properly, you’re going to
have to encode it in both h264 and Theora until the industry decides on a set standard.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Beautiful New YouTube Video Player

I was going through my YouTube subscriptions when a video from href="">BGSU popped up, and it struck me as odd because it had a
different and much, much more beautiful video player.  At the moment, it seems all videos from BGSU
are showing up using this player (on their individual video page).  From what I can tell, this
seems to be the normal for all YouTube EDU
videos.  I hope that soon we’ll get to see these for all videos.

href=""> title="New YouTube Video Player - Faded (Normal Play)" alt="New YouTube Video Player - Faded (Normal Play)"
src="" width="240" height="147" /> href=""> title="New YouTube Video Player - Hovered (Ready for Action)" alt="New YouTube Video Player - Hovered (Ready
for Action)" src="" width="240"
height="147" /> style="display: inline" title="New YouTube Video Player - Volume" alt="New YouTube Video Player - Volume"
src="" width="240" height="147" />
href=""> title="New YouTube Video Player - HD Selector" alt="New YouTube Video Player - HD Selector"
src="" width="240" height="147" />