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Catfood Weather 2.30

Catfood Weather 2.30

Catfood Weather is a free taskbar based weather forecast app for Windows that includes a seven day forecast and severe weather alerts. It uses National Weather Service data and works for any US location (by ZIP code or latitude and longitude).

This update fixes a problem calling the National Weather Service API, so please install 2.30 if you're using a previous version of Catfood Weather. To get alerts for new releases follow the RSS Feed or sign up to the ITHCWY Newsletter.

Download Catfood Weather 2.30.

(Previously, Previously)

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Winter Solstice 2016

Winter Solstice 2016

This is the first time I've been late with a solstice or equinox post. On the 21st of December at 10:44 UTC it was the start of Winter for the Northern hemisphere, Summer down south. Rendered in Catfood Earth (back dated to the right date and time... Windows, Android).

(Previously, Previously, Previously)

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Autumnal Equinox 2016

Autumnal Equinox 2016

It's Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring down south. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously, Previously, Previously)

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Slow Camera for Android

Slow Camera for Android

I do a fair amount of time-lapse photography as a hobby and one format I really love is the single frame time-lapse. This is where hundreds (or thousands) of images are stitched together into a single picture instead of a video. There are several examples on this blog including trippy clouds, cranes, a living room and a video which is a time-lapse of single frame time-lapses (made from 1,581,120 photos!)

Until recently I shot the frames like I would a regular time-lapse and then combined them into a single photo using some custom software. This is fairly tedious and so I've packaged up the entire process into an Android app. It can shoot from a minute to 24 hours using the front or rear camera and then saves the finished photo.

Download Slow Camera from Google Play

I have 20 free license codes for ITHCWY readers. If you'd like one just send me an email.

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Summer Solstice 2016 in Catfood Earth

Summer Solstice 2016 in Catfood Earth

It's the start of Summer (or Winter in the Southern Hemisphere). Unusually for June it even feels like Summer in San Francisco today. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously, Previously, Previously)

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Catfood Earth 3.42

Catfood Earth 3.42

Catfood Earth 3.42 is a small update to the latest (2016d) timezone database and the latest timezone world and countries maps from Eric Muller. If you use the political borders, places or time zones layers in Catfood Earth then you'll want to install this version.

Download the latest Catfood Earth.

(Previously)

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Vernal Equinox 2016

Vernal Equinox 2016

It's the start of Spring, unless you're equatorially challenged in which case welcome to Autumn.

Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously, Previously)

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Catfood Software Support

Catfood Software Support

Need help with a Catfood Software product? Please leave a comment below.

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Winter Solstice 2015

Winter Solstice 2015

Winter Solstice 2015 rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously, Previously)

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Catfood Earth 3.41

Catfood Earth 3.41

Catfood Earth 3.41 fixes a problem that was preventing the weather radar layer from loading.

I've also updated to the latest (2015g) time zone database and the latest time zone map from Eric Muller.

Download the latest Catfood Earth.

(Previously)

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Autumnal Equinox 2015

Autumnal Equinox 2015

Autumn begins right now in the northern hemisphere, Spring for the hemispherically challenged. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(previously, previously)

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Catfood Weather 2.20

Catfood Weather 2.20

Catfood Weather 2.20 fixes a problem with the forecast failing to update (the National Weather Service changed the URL of the web service that Catfood Weather uses and while they were kind enough to put a redirect in place it was a form of redirect that didn't play nicely with WebClient so a patch is needed).

In addition this release should fix the ignore alerts feature. It's one of those cases that after not having looked at the code for a couple of years I suddenly realized that the implementation was fatally flawed (bordering on idiotic) and could never have worked. Should be better now.

Download Catfood Weather 2.20.

(previously)

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Summer Solstice 2015 in Catfood Earth

Summer Solstice 2015 in Catfood Earth

Summer starts right now in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter in the southern. Rendered in Catfood Earth with the timezone layer (Windows, Android).

(previously, previously)

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Catfood Earth 3.40

Catfood Earth 3.40

I've just released Catfood Earth 3.40 for Windows and 1.50 for Android.

Both updates fix a problem with the clouds layer not updating. The Android update also adds compatibility for Android 5 / Lollipop.

Also, Catfood Earth for Android is now free. I had been charging $0.99 for the Android version but I've reached the conclusion that I'm never going to retire based on this (or even buy more than a couple of beers) so it's not worth the hassle. Catfood Earth for Windows has been free since 3.20.

Enjoy!

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Vernal Equinox 2015

Vernal equinox 2015 in Catfood Earth

Spring starts right now, unless you're south of the equator in which case welcome to Autumn. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously)

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Volcanoes Back (Catfood Earth 3.30)

Volcanoes Back (Catfood Earth 3.30)

Catfood Earth fans will want to download Catfood Earth 3.30. This update fixes a problem where volcanoes were all plotted in the middle of the screen.

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Winter Solstice 2014

Winter Solstice 2014

Winter starts now in the northern hemisphere, Summer south of the equator. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).​ Now read why mornings will continue to get darker for the next couple of weeks.

(Previously)

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Autumnal Equinox 2014

Autumnal Equinox 2014

Autumn starts now in the northern hemisphere, Spring in the southern. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously)

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Summer Solstice 2014

Summer Solstice 2014

It's the start of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter if you live south of the equator or in San Francisco. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

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Vernal Equinox 2014

Vernal Equinox 2014

It's spring time in the northern hemisphere, autumn if your water flows the wrong way down the plughole. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

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Winter Solstice 2013

Winter Solstice 2013

It's the start of Winter in the northern hemisphere, Summer south of the equator. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

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Catfood Software downloads are now on I Thought He Came With You

Catfood Software downloads are now on I Thought He Came With You

Catfood Software products are now available from the I Thought He Came With you downloads page.

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GetvCard shutting down at the end of 2013

GetvCard shutting down at the end of 2013

GetvCard.com is a contact exchange service I put together with a friend back before the Internet was popular. You could edit a business card online and then share it via a small link that would download a vCard file that would import your details magically. We even figured out how to hack the format to kind-of-sort-of work with Outlook of that era. I haven't had time to work on the site for ages and while it still has a few dedicated fans there aren't enough regular users to justify the maintenance. As of today it's no longer possible to create a new account. The plug will be pulled entirely at the end of the year.

If you're looking for a similar service you could try about.me, although they seem to be turning into a social network rather than just a way to share your contact information. You could also try Carddrop. I'm sure there are other options as well.

When the site goes all existing contact information will be deleted, so if you need to save any details or redirect contact links please do so by the end of the year. If you need help leave a comment below.

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Catfood Earth for Android 1.40

Catfood Earth for Android 1.40

Catfood Earth for Android now includes the option to display earthquakes (magnitude 5.0 or higher) from the USGS feed.

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Fortune Cookies for Android

Fortune Cookies for Android

Fortune is now available on Google Play. It's an Android version of the UNIX fortune program and will send a random fortune cookie to your notification area at 8ish every morning.

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ZoneInfo Update (tzdata for .NET)

ZoneInfo Update (tzdata for .NET)

I've used the ZoneInfo (PublicDomain.ZoneInfo) project from CodePlex for quite a few years, especially in Catfood Earth. The project had rusted a little so I emailed the author (Mark Rodrigues) and he was kind enough to add me as a developer. I've just updated ZoneInfo with some of the local changes I'd made and a variety of patches from the CodePlex community. It now works with the latest IANA tzdata file, at least for the test cases I can run. Let me know if I missed something (and thanks Mark for letting me contribute back to this very helpful project).

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Catfood Earth 3.20

Catfood Earth 3.20

Catfood Earth 3.20 for Windows is now available for download. This update fixes a change in the feed address for the earthquakes layer. I've also switched to using the new NASA Black Marble night-time image and 3.20 includes the latest time zone and political border data.

Earth for Android has been updated to 1.30. This includes the new Black Marble image.

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Autumnal Equinox 2013

Autumnal Equinox 2013

It's the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere, spring if you live south of the equator. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

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Catfood Earth for Android 1.20

Catfood Earth for Android 1.20

I recently upgraded to the HTC One which has a transparent notification bar. This makes it hard to see notification icons when using Catfood Earth as your wallpaper, at least in the summer when it's always light at high latitudes and your white icons are displayed on top of polar ice and clouds.

Catfood Earth for Android 1.20 fixes this with an option to paint black under the notification bar. That's the only update other than the latest Xamarin runtime.

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Summer Solstice 2013

Summer Solstice 2013

Summer Solstice 2013 in Catfood Earth.

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bye, bye, Miss Deprecated API

bye, bye, Miss Deprecated API

After my horrible experience with Cleat last year I'm finally pulling the plug on my remaining Twitter API projects. Twitter is switching off their v1 API soon and I'm still so sick of it that I'm not even going to upgrade existing products. If you used Follower then I'm sorry. If you liked my Twitter public timeline screensaver then you're odd, but I'm still sorry. I'll still tweet, I'm just staying clear of the API.

(Image is Fail Whale Pale Ale by Brian Cook.)

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Catfood: Earth for Android 1.10

Catfood Earth for Android 1.10

I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android 1.10. You can control the center of the screen manually (the most requested new feature) and also tweak the transparency of each layer and the width of the terminator between day and night. It also starts a lot faster and has fewer update glitches. Grab it from Google Play if this looks like your sort of live wallpaper.

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.NET 2.0 and Windows 8

Inexplicably .NET 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 are not installed by default in Windows 8 and can’t be installed using the redistributables that worked with previous versions of Windows. You have to go digging in Windows Features to get anything older than 4.0.

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Reviews and Links for September 2012

1Q84  by Haruki Murakami

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

5/5

Epic Murakami, set in a maybe-alternate-universe version of 1984. There is a definite change in tone in the third book, hard to tell if this is the story of the change in translator but the story sags slightly before picking up the pace again at the end. Even without this it's a long and sprawling book which you'll love if you like Murakami's tone and unique characterization. I'm in the love camp.

 

Links

Check out Field Trip on Google Play! https://t.co/EVGELuBe -- looks cool, automatically tells you when something interesting is near

Missing kids plan for 404 pages http://t.co/Z3B3v1QZ -- kind of creepy

Field Papers - http://t.co/QHIyzvPn - looks very cool. Via @RavenEllison #todo @myEN

Kids App Maker Duck Duck Moose Raises $7M Series A From Sequoia, Lightspeed & Others http://t.co/SaeXuzop -- well deserved

Crow Gyre http://t.co/jjLn3PtQ -- testing card approval

This Mind Blowing Video Does NOT Use Green Screen http://t.co/RkiyqmR3

San Francisco playground report card: http://t.co/shGKggA5 Precita Park gets an F :( #fb

Announcing Source Code Pro http://t.co/QpUUSO18 -- nice code font @myEN

ITHCWY: Crow Gyre http://t.co/kAM89GHF

Updated with more Endeavor pics: http://t.co/UIXy2xj5 #OV105 #spottheshuttle

Vernal Equinox 2012 in Catfood Earth http://t.co/UOHqwK3V via @CatfoodSoftware #equinox

ITHCWY: #OV105 http://t.co/m7Th3xMp

BBC News - Tom Daley 'abuse' tweet: Legal rethink on online rules http://t.co/ItA6wYFM -- only correct boundary is no boundary

Ridiculous / awesome: http://t.co/9Muup4tA

ITHCWY: Worst special TiVo offer ever http://t.co/rfTaeXn7

via @TheOnion - No One Murdered Because Of This Image http://t.co/Vilv9166

Check out Viva Fund Summer Campaign: http://t.co/XXwB9P1d via @razoo

5 of 5 stars to 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami http://t.co/T5u5ZiOB

ITHCWY: Earthquake Supply Co.: The last time we refreshed our earthquake supply kit was because of a smell. It… http://t.co/SlvpmlFO

ITHCWY: Like Debate?: I’ve just started work on a new project called Like Debate. It’s going to be a new type of… http://t.co/6Bj0YPxa

RT @LikeDebate: Getting Started - Like Debate is my attempt to build a new type of debate web site. The teaser page launched … http://t. ...

Ticked off: How stock market decimalization killed IPOs and ruined our economy http://t.co/P0CzpSQ2

Star Sighting: Invisible Obamas Seen Relaxing in Bernal Heights http://t.co/yLJkubYL #fb

Earth and WebCams announcement from http://t.co/YG0xtwCc: http://t.co/KlJfVs9j

ITHCWY: Catfood: Earth for Android: I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android. It’s my second app created with… http://t.co/YGjxSkcb

ITHCWY: Guess? http://t.co/0hz03251

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Catfood: Earth for Android

EarthForAndroid

I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android. It’s my second app created with Xamarin’s excellent toolkit. Being able to develop in C# allowed me to reuse a lot of code from the Windows version of Catfood Earth. The Android version doesn’t include all the same layers (yet) but it’s got the main ones – daytime (twelve different satellite images included, based on NASA’s Blue Marble Next Generation but with some special processing to make them look better), nighttime (city lights, shaded to show nighttime and the terminator between day and night) and a clouds layer that is downloaded every three hours.

My main worry had been that this would suck the phone battery dry, but after a fair amount of optimization it doesn’t even register on the battery consumption list. Grab it now from Google Play ($3.99, Android 2.2 or better).

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Reviews and Links for August 2012

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

5/5

Stonking police procedural set in the months leading up to a global catastrophe.

 

Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

5/5

Excellent techno-thriller. A little more serious and focused than Daemon and Freedom (TM). It's about a worst case drone scenario, ants, extra-special forces and some smart birds. Very good.

 

Links

Windows 8, Users 0? http://t.co/966Cuwjz

Bill Nye declares Todd Akin "fucking idiot"; issues debate challenge http://t.co/AZ3k55Y4 #fb

ITHCWY: Fight Facebook with Email: I was a little saddened to read today that Diaspora is transitioning over to… http://t.co/2G0pDdu0

Diaspora Founders To Move On, Handing Over Decentralized Social Network ‘To The Community’ http://t.co/KQGb2kpv -- sad, but not the future

RT @MargaretAtwood: Just used http://t.co/Nhna2CGO for gruesome printer problem: excellent, done in 10 mins! Tks to S H E F I N. Website ...

Check out Catfood Earth Live Wallpaper on Google Play! https://t.co/NTJQ1sYL

ITHCWY: Twenty-Four Hours with Twilio: I've wanted to play with Twilio's voice and SMS service for a while and… http://t.co/KOK0PG2M

Tuesdays http://t.co/BLNiCP3H

Twitter Cuts Off Tumblr's Ability to Find Friends http://t.co/1g3ZcClf

5 of 5 stars to The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters http://t.co/9NF2nviH

XML: http://t.co/VadVt321 #rofl

Windows 8 Is Now Available For Developers (And For Everybody Else, There’s A 90-Day Free Trial, Too) http://t.co/iu1li6BV

Gotye's YouTube orchestra remix of "Somebody That I Used to Know" http://t.co/OUEXXltQ

ITHCWY: City by the Bay: View from Bernal Hill this afternoon. http://t.co/11cI3ctk

Nice panorama! Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 2 #360pano http://t.co/w1H2ocUm via @360cities

ITHCWY: Share a picture in MonoDroid: Here’s how to share a picture to Facebook, Twitter and so forth from… http://t.co/pByzvjmx

5 of 5 stars to Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez http://t.co/TKgUMNW0

BBC News - Mars rover makes first colour panorama http://t.co/fZ7u8smZ

How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking http://t.co/BDmRAbm3

Via KQED Guides: Guide to Bay Area Tidepools: Where to Explore Amazing Marine Life | http://t.co/TDBRDnTD #todo @myEN

ITHCWY: Catfood: WebCams for Android: I’ve just released a WebCam app for Android. It’s based on WebCamSaver but… http://t.co/azZUwkkz

Pay for a new social network with no ads? https://t.co/2tox3c2y Anyone I know going to be on there? #fb

Curiosity http://t.co/D2cyWE66

BBC News - Photo shows Mars rover descent http://t.co/KfOv1qOF

Catfood WebCams for Android - Catfood Software http://t.co/VzeySq90 via @CatfoodSoftware

Check out Catfood WebCams on Google Play! https://t.co/VTU8YiBd

ITHCWY: Not a Private Key: When jarsigner says "Key Associated with [alias] not a private key" it almost certainly… http://t.co/3sk89ENV

ITHCWY: Sending email via GMail in C#/.NET using SmtpClient: I’ve stubbed my toe on this a couple of times, so here… http://t.co/QJ7YjcjI

Help end patent litigation insanity and tell your congress person to back SHIELD. http://t.co/27anadBt

ITHCWY: Support SHIELD–a small measure of patent sanity: A friend pointed me at the SHIELD (PDF) act today. This… http://t.co/ArXHgZ0e

ITHCWY: Thank you for choosing HSA Bank!: No, thank you HSA Bank for not giving me a choice and then cheekily… http://t.co/9torSXCq

Bill would force patent trolls to pay defendants’ legal bills | Ars Technica http://t.co/poB3zzlX +1, via @sr00t

What a happy coincidence. As well as #IPAday it's also goof off at work day: http://t.co/7AItItWq

Apparently it's #IPADay - luckily there's some @21stAmendment in the fridge. http://t.co/jyYPSePC

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Catfood: WebCams for Android

Catfood WebCams for Android

I’ve just released a WebCam app for Android. It’s based on WebCamSaver but allows you to control the webcam – you tap the edges of the screen to pan, pinch to zoom in and out. A fun little time waster.

This is the first app I’ve released using Xamarin’s MonoDroid framework. This integrates nicely into Visual Studio and allows you to program an Android app in C#. This is fantastic for productivity and code reuse and I enjoyed the process a lot more than previous work I’ve done in Java / Eclipse. The main drawback is that the framework adds around 5MB (significant for mobile) and the documentation isn’t always the best, especially when you search for something and find out you’ve been dumped into iOS reference material. Digging around the sample code and cross-referencing the official Android documentation helps a lot. I’m going to take a stab at something a little more ambitious next…

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Reviews and Links for July 2012

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

4/5

A personal anti-adventure, gripping and poignant and pedestrian.

 

The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought, #3) by Vernor Vinge

The Children of the Sky (Zones of Thought, #3) by Vernor Vinge

0/5

Solid, unexpected third installment. Don't read if you haven't read the first two.

 

Links

'robot revolution would end quickly, because the robots would all break down or get stuck against walls' - http://t.co/X4AFepMI

RT @GeoCollective: Daniel @RavenEllison speaking at National Geographic on the importance of #geography and #guerrillageography http://t ...

Aspam, Aomori, Japan - looks like Blade Runner. http://t.co/UePboKyJ

Cloud Atlas trailer http://t.co/etJealdX (on the plus side, lots of reasons for this to be great, on the minus side... Tom Hanks :( ) #fb

[text: “what the fuck, it worked the first time”,... http://t.co/chCeMv8M

Chow Down (at Chick-fil-A): http://t.co/cOuZViuC via @youtube

4 of 5 stars to The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes http://t.co/lV8ZrNHL

I side 90% with Jill Stein... http://t.co/zCNzugqD

Naples, Florida, USA snapshot from Catfood WebCams on Android. http://t.co/HACOmEhr

Testing a webcam share from Android... http://t.co/Ha94fZoW

Photo http://t.co/GnDGvPPZ

Rolling up social APIs: https://t.co/qrXnqX7T #todo @myEN

Thanks for the Cash Mr. Bubble Man: http://t.co/ZonD58yD

With More Original Programming On The Way, Netflix TV Viewing Is On The Rise http://t.co/Q8oCNZUv -- missing the point, lack of content

Hubble discovers new Pluto moon http://t.co/kRB95fLu -- Promote Pluto back to a planet immediately!

Amanda Palmer's awesome stop-motion music video [NSFW]: http://t.co/XfGBC9NY

ITHCWY: Hummingbird http://t.co/CHtA5fV3

Clegg: House of Lords is 'flawed' http://t.co/qp6MuKPO -- yes, do this: http://t.co/QNPyzu8X

ITHCWY: Twitter's API has got too painful for me: I've developed a bunch of stupid, niche and vaguely promising… http://t.co/J6Y0EZ62

IT class warfare — It’s not just IBM http://t.co/bK0Nr2lG

Naming Pets http://t.co/syC0kgWa

BBC News - Brian Cox: bank bailout costlier than UK science 'since Jesus' http://t.co/1RSN5g5Z -- amaaaaazzzziiiinnnnngg

"A conversation with my 12 year old self" (video) http://t.co/zYOEKDnN -- freaky

ITHCWY: Shrubbery: A missed opportunity to demand that violators shall provide... another shrubbery! (At the Old… http://t.co/lBSQaDmI

Probably the Higgs: http://t.co/yspWoQlv

Spring cleaning in summer http://t.co/269vRG1O - Google kills iGoogle. It was naff, but it drove a lot of @CatfoodSoftware business. Sad.

Cisco's cloud vision: Mandatory, monetized, and killed at their discretion http://t.co/OkBkKAsA via @extremetech @CiscoSystems

A better idea for House of Lords reform: http://t.co/WXhNgHF4 Agree? vote for http://t.co/svIg4nuG #lordsreform

ITHCWY: House of Lords - time for Legislative Service?: I've mulled the idea of having an upper chamber randomly… http://t.co/6C5cQjz2

You Might Be A Smanker If… http://t.co/L91rDvqV

Cisco locks customers out of their own routers, only lets them back in if they agree to being spied upon and monetized http://t.co/2QIdw42P

Bouncy, bouncy druids, not available outside the UK: http://t.co/mw7XcKth

Division http://t.co/2tIh8IXM via @RavenEllison

Patent troll http://t.co/AY3FIg8W

Operated by the knights who say NI! http://t.co/TkMndo7c

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Twitter's API has got too painful for me

Twitter's API has got too painful for me

I've developed a bunch of stupid, niche and vaguely promising apps on top of the Twitter API. During that time I've slogged through various painful and rapid shifts like changing IDs, authentication schemes and diktats handed down on which parts of the ecosystem Twitter would like to control. I've had to roll my own OAuth and even re-word a blog post to Twitter Support's satisfaction to get a blocked application unblocked again. It's been a pretty frustrating experience but worth rolling with the punches until the past week.

Twitter suspended Cleat, a tool for posting from the command line. So I emailed to ask why, too much effort for them to explain the rationale at the time they're putting the suspension in place I guess. I got an auto-response asking for information they must have already had and I replied to this. A few days later I still hadn't heard back so I emailed again and the ticket had been automatically closed. 

So far just the standard fuck-off-and-die support that you'd expect from a growing company that no longer wants to talk to it's users. But the auto-reply directed me to https://support.twitter.com/forms/ to file a new ticket. None of the options there relate to developers or a suspended application. I tried filing a ticket under 'deactivated account' which seemed the closest.

That form has a hard-coded 'With love,' valediction. Whoever thought that was cute should go through the process of trying to get help a few times. 

This attempt auto-responded to say that my account was not suspended, and would I like to fuck-off-and-die or got back to the forms center?

So I tried another form that actually seemed to submit but haven't heard anything back.

I'd be happy to update my software if I know which vague shifting facet of the Twitter terms of use I'd fallen foul of. Or at least I would have been. I'm just so sick of it that I've pulled Cleat and I'm done with any more personal projects that use the Twitter API. 

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Reviews and Links for May 2012

No book reviews this month.

Links

#boarding SFO http://t.co/YLDFpmwF

Penn Jillette's rant against Obama's drug policy http://t.co/Ri5HAqxH

Congratulations @SpaceX -- Dragon arrives at space station in historic 1st http://t.co/91suk4ZV via @sfgate

Why your camera's GPS won't work in China (maybe) http://t.co/FQIFN8wI

Sigh, obvious, invalid, bullshit -- BBC News - Microsoft wins patent fight with Google's Motorola unit http://t.co/0PENWTCV

BBC News the secret links between Star Wars and Wales http://t.co/T8yEulCu (is there any tenuous link with Wales you won't publish?)

:) Hot weather to continue next week http://t.co/izAc2yA1

Not Skip's Tavern any more... http://t.co/dPx1NIj8

Reality rocks in San Francisco earthquake exhibit http://t.co/yo82B38b (Looking forward to this!)

BBC News - In pictures: Annular eclipse http://t.co/YA5F6or2 (Check out the Lemurs checking out the eclipse)

ITHCWY: Annular Eclipse at SFO: The only solar observatory outside the international terminal at SFO (some… http://t.co/ZqMXm8Ec

Beer was near, sadly earlier. http://t.co/2BeMAJZj

America's great divergence - American History - http://t.co/zQcVJIcQ http://t.co/fSdtXSvl

"Why won't you answer me?" - Parenting - http://t.co/zQcVJIcQ http://t.co/Ljzg6vpG (I should stop telling Kate about her 'milk head')

1906 earthquake refugee cottage at The Presidio. http://t.co/pof5LotA

+1 Judge suspends US law that provided for indefinite detention without trial - Boing Boing http://t.co/xsBuLyYb via @BoingBoing

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Guerrilla Geographer Information, Facts, News, Photos -- National Geographic http://t.co/DjgJdvMJ via @NatGeo

ITHCWY: Gopher Snake: Bernal Heights Park http://t.co/OoHYDU0y

Turned out nice... http://t.co/G2pHtgbd

RT @CatfoodSoftware: Blog: Catfood Software on Google+ and a Hangout Pledge: Catfood is now on Google+. Once 50… http://t.co/ZC84h8AN

ITHCWY: Open Immigration: I'm increasingly in favor of opening up immigration. Partly it's a general sense that a… http://t.co/cBLQT2rI

ITHCWY: Snake rests on Toad: At the California Academy of Sciences. http://t.co/YTQh682A

New Golden Gate Visitor center - lots of tat, no food :( http://t.co/vXmZn099

Obama sighting on morning dog walk. #fb http://t.co/wZdwN2Mj

President Obama: 'I Think Same-Sex Couples Should Be Able to Get Married'; http://t.co/CtC6k2A8 (shameful that it has taken this long)

Gaia revisited: http://t.co/sHSeFph7 - I'm still in the extreme camp: http://t.co/6dzIjBy7

Post Doyle Drive detour quite pleasant on the way home tonight. http://t.co/fSK8e4v9

THINKWALKS: http://t.co/ToOZo3KQ #todo in San Francisco @myEN

ITHCWY: Bottled Water: A company called Evive launched this week to battle the evil of bottled water with reusable… http://t.co/5X9e3emO

ITHCWY: Pelicans http://t.co/0xoup7z5

It's @KQED pledge yet again. Throw them a bone public radio freeloaders: http://t.co/00UvTamT

Illegal dumping can now be voted to fix at http://t.co/SsliF12n #bernal-heights!

Yet Another Awful Dumping Incident on Bernal Hill http://t.co/35kLDRdn via @bernalwood

+1 AllClear ID Rolls Out First-Ever Social Security Number Blocking Service For Children's IDs http://t.co/wnRILNzQ via @techcrunch

Rejected and controversial New Yorker cover art (the mentos one is very good) http://t.co/afo9AxZd via @BoingBoing #fb

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Reviews and Links for April 2012

APIs: A Strategy Guide by Dan Woods

APIs: A Strategy Guide by Dan Woods

3/5

Works as a good checklist of the various business, legal, technical, marketing and strategic considerations you should think of when launching an API. Not a huge amount of depth in any one area though.

 

Pharmacology by Christopher Herz

Pharmacology by Christopher Herz

4/5

A tale of legal and illegal drugs in San Francisco from the perspective of Sarah, a transplant from the mid-west in town to make money to send back to her sick father and expose the evils of the pharmaceutical industry. Reads like Sarah sat down next to you in a cafe and poured out her entire life story before you even knew what hit you.

 

Links

Interesting, but the first book I tried was wrong: http://t.co/gUPyhpjM (The Interpreter in Look to Windward)

ITHCWY: Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service: LEGO: I wrote in January about LEGO's[1] misogynistic latest LEGO… http://t.co/s2PlMzGn

ITHCWY: Kindle: Figure out sorting!: I love my Kindle. Loved it since seeing the screen for the first time after… http://t.co/zimbDLpz

ITHCWY: Catfood: Cleat 1.10: I've just released an updated version of Cleat that supports geolocation and… http://t.co/SESV9VH7

4 of 5 stars to Pharmacology by Christopher Herz http://t.co/SgGZR4Lz

I still don't like the Oxford Comma, but... http://t.co/oJB50wGw

ITHCWY: Prophylactic: Absolutely no chance of scurvy tonight. http://t.co/RpX1z78M

Artist Captures Dog vs. Gopher Confrontation on Bernal Hill http://t.co/OlUgGHOG - It could be Rudy...

Graffiti - Public - Other_enter_additional_details_below/101 Elsie St San Francisco, CA 94110, USA http://t.co/c9P7xkjx #bernal-heights!

Lego tries to get less sexist http://t.co/WD9lmRuK - and previously: http://t.co/Psc5ZNua

"It’s the product development version of the Hunger Games" - http://t.co/wNA0DHWy via @uservoice

SciFi in HiFi! - Sean Young's video of the making of Dune - Boing Boing http://t.co/BXTACFpj via @BoingBoing

Shocking, but need to distinguish between standardized tests and shit standardized tests: Florida standardized... http://t.co/c8488XDw

+1: Introducing the Innovator's Patent Agreement http://t.co/naK9hYxw via @twitter

Extraordinary: The real criminals in the Tarek Mehanna case http://t.co/GOqxgIJ2

They are deadly serious about not taking photos at @#spamalotsf http://t.co/5di7viuy

JSON Formatter & Validator: http://t.co/L220TCHf

ITHCWY: California Slender Salamander http://t.co/EvNlFOnS

Patent Law 101: What’s Wrong And Ways To Make It Right http://t.co/6QnLLHL7 via @techcrunch

ITHCWY: Even Shitier - Citibank Remortgage Scam: Citibank contacted us in December offering to remortgage our house… http://t.co/mxGi3j6K

ITHCWY: Baby Yellow Spiders: A chair in our garden has produced a bumper crop of baby Cross Orbweaver spiders. Very… http://t.co/0VBjSvPq

Wow: http://t.co/N4tbm77Y Rear Window loop via @jwz

Final Plan for Bernal Hill Trail Restoration Unveiled: http://t.co/bp3uFOZu - from @bernalwood

RT @Pearldotcom: Our new site is coming soon! Get on the list to be notified about launch details: http://t.co/75ddUi63

ITHCWY: Sod Searle And Sod His Sodding Room: Marcus du Sautoy, writing on BBC News, brings up Searle's Chinese Room… http://t.co/FmcVPbzC

ITHCWY: California, I can save you billions with a small and reasonably priced computer program...: California just… http://t.co/Ro96lk3J

California, I can save you billions with a small and reasonably priced computer program... http://t.co/iDZEbAQ9 -> @JerryBrownGov

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Catfood: Cleat 1.10

I've just released an updated version of Cleat that supports geolocation and timestamps. Cleat is my Windows command line client for Twitter.

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Reviews and Links for March 2012

No books this month.

Links

RT @drclue: "drclue: #pearlhunt making progress... http://t.co/FAgLQ2UH" --http://www.twitter.com/drclue/status/185829093244280832

We won #pearlhunt and all we won was this... http://t.co/vUBgLWeK

Bald eagle, fox, and cat are porch friends - Boing Boing http://t.co/5WGciNLD via @BoingBoing

ITHCWY: Agua: Little known fact, geologists would tell you that Bernal Hill is made of chert, actually it's mostly… http://t.co/xMRm2J9n

ITHCWY: Mangler: I don't know what the machine attached to our office does but it's giving me nightmares. http://t.co/BSbvoshq

ITHCWY: It was where he left it: Not to bang on about the BBC and their horrible headlines but 'lost' is a bit… http://t.co/bDKjUbl4

ITHCWY: Executive Clubbing: I used to really love British Airways. I even got over their silly new livery and… http://t.co/NC2Bt9bM

ITHCWY: Sand Ladder at Fort Funston http://t.co/5aeQjoti

ITHCWY: SFO http://t.co/sB1QdXCt

BBC News - The Spanish link in cracking the Enigma code http://t.co/Qv6qYqqQ #fb

ITHCWY: Robot Ahead http://t.co/tn7mHTI8

ITHCWY: Goldilocks: Israel just banned models with a BMI under 18.5. That's not severely underweight, it's the… http://t.co/G5HCE5Ey

External impact report for @IDEX at http://t.co/BsMp8ADa

RT @CatfoodSoftware: Blog: Vernal (Spring) #Equinox 2012 in Catfood #Earth: Spring starts right now in the… http://t.co/xxnASTMp

Good weekend to skip Fort Funston: http://t.co/UE8blE4c

ITHCWY: Catfood: PdfScan 1.40: Catfood PdfScan 1.40 is a small bug fix release. PdfScan converts documents to PDFs… http://t.co/YXdMn6ux

RT @CatfoodSoftware: Blog: Catfood #PdfScan 1.40: I’ve just released Catfood PdfScan 1.40. This is a minor update… http://t.co/6bzjCdfi

Shamed... http://t.co/AlSwTzzY

ITHCWY: Three reasons the dream of a robot companion isn't over: David Lee reports from the Innorobo 2012… http://t.co/JndJZahn

ITHCWY: Fixing dropped wireless connection for Linksys E4200: I've been going quietly mad trying to fix a constant… http://t.co/VVZ2dl2m

Why is this firefighting robot familiar: http://t.co/rqXLfCdC vs. http://t.co/wCL3Hu2d US Navy, call Cybernetics #fb

RT @CatfoodSoftware: Blog: To Follow or Not To Follow: The Third Way: Mashable published an article by Christine… http://t.co/MEzWlryS

ITHCWY: Sweeney Ridge: Sweeney Ridge, starting from Skyline College and walking up to the Portola Expedition… http://t.co/g1HIms1F

ITHCWY: Upgrading to http://t.co/0gDd7HHJ 2.5: Today I upgraded this blog to the latest and greatest version of… http://t.co/HHDj7VdM

"not a threat to the penguins, we don't suspect" - http://t.co/oIrzQOEj - it wasn't a dream!

http://t.co/qRCS8Qhb (new #SF data portal) #todo @myEN

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Catfood: PdfScan 1.40

Catfood: PdfScan 1.40

Catfood PdfScan 1.40 is a small bug fix release. PdfScan converts documents to PDFs with the help of a flatbed or automatic document feeder (ADF) scanner.

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Reviews and Links for February 2012

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Very good, enjoying the entire Harry Hole series. Wishing for translations of the first two now!

 

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø

3/5

Slightly weaker than the others in the series I've read so far but still knocked it back quickly.

 

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Best so far on my quest to read through Nesbo...

 

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

4/5

On a Jo Nesbo binge...

 

The Leopard by Jo Nesbø

The Leopard by Jo Nesbø

4/5

Compelling crime thriller, rather worryingly one of series featuring Harry Hole so I'm going to have to go back to the beginning and read all of them.

 

Links

Catfood.Shapefile 1.51: http://t.co/BKtkx9Zq (ESRI Shapefile Parser, fixed release binary issue).

4 of 5 stars to The Snowman by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/IrvdrDBf

Breaking Good: how to synthesize Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) From N-Methylamphetamine (crystal meth): http://t.co/fviYaj5P

ITHCWY: Catfood.Shapefile 1.50: I've just released a small update to my C# Shapefile library on Codeplex. Catfood… http://t.co/lXoGoBsY

4 of 5 stars to The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/PqrOQnQL

Epic #Bernal Panorama: http://t.co/zVqZYosG - via @bernalwood

Neal Stephenson on getting big stuff done http://t.co/6PHS1VD1 #todo @myEN

Stop Colbert: http://t.co/kBtSC7NV via @NancyPelosi

Wolfram|Alpha Pro: http://t.co/G88eWq6Y #tools @myEN

A History of the Sky for One Year: http://t.co/UKMjosCK (very cool)

+1: A U.S. appeals court rules Prop. 8 unconstitutional: http://t.co/TZgdKU9k #fb

ITHCWY: Badge Driven Development: Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings… http://t.co/5BOyNF03

ITHCWY: GGNRA Dog Management Plan Update: I love it when making some noise works. The NPS is pushing its dog… http://t.co/fzqaJWM2

Unicode Character 'PILE OF POO' (U+1F4A9): http://t.co/LkGffsvW

http://t.co/NA6TOdQk #todo @myEN

BBC News - Can the US Army embrace atheists? http://t.co/5ubkKT7r

Running an API at HUGE Scale - Webinar: http://t.co/tEnxdRBM #API

4 of 5 stars to The Leopard by Jo Nesbø http://t.co/tIIPs1M5

ITHCWY: Reviews and Links for January 2012: Damned by Chuck Palahniuk 3/5 Very much a vehicle for Palahniuk to rant… http://t.co/6kvApyf1

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Reviews and Links for January 2012

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

3/5

Very much a vehicle for Palahniuk to rant about this and that through the voice of a 13 year old girl condemned to hell, supposedly for overdosing on pot. Entertaining, but felt that the plot served the ranting rather than the other way round.

 

Links

Shit Programmers Say: http://t.co/0rYyXWM5

Best explanation of software estimation failure ever: http://t.co/jC5hmQ3g

I've just funded Mission:Explore Food on Pleasefund.Us: http://t.co/ysLyDOZ6

Another comedy amendment: http://t.co/sWAqflbO

Shit Bernalites Say: http://t.co/O8AY0sgs from @bernalwood

San Francisco's rubbish - why everyone wants a share: http://t.co/kHzC6mgf

Own a color: http://t.co/5jKpfvJO (for Unicef)

Just say terrorist enough times Panetta: http://t.co/07tmXDEO

Applause: VA state senator attaches rectal exam amendment tacked on to anti-abortion bill http://t.co/Neezj7n6

ITHCWY: Has France Cracked Fixing Education?: The French are close to making it illegal to deny a second genocide… http://t.co/koOkE02M

Arrrrgggghhhh, it's pledge. Go throw @KQED a bone radio-chavving-freeloaders: http://t.co/ur7fBVGx

ITHCWY: But does it get you in the HOV lane?: Interesting but highly disturbing alternative fuel source... http://t.co/IOUVbIPD

Shit San Franciscans Say: http://t.co/vVfiI5yJ via @youtube

IANAL, but it certainly seems a bit crazy: http://t.co/iVW4I4ZR

Discover London With Mission:Explore! http://t.co/T0ZVGGr4

Load Testing with @CloudAssault http://t.co/PkwYNOh1 #API @myEN

Shit Silicon Valley Says: http://t.co/YK1Hlbws via @youtube

On the subject of deadly pork, MRSA found on 7% of samples in a University of Iowa test: http://t.co/1wIK1uqE

Thanks SCOTUS for making us eat sick pigs: http://t.co/scTowXXI

+1: http://t.co/V7QW1hi0 "I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter! What the hell more did you want from me?"

Yay! Precita Park Upgrade: http://t.co/f4JOcNS7

Mission:Explore Food - PleaseFund.Us http://t.co/ysLyDOZ6 via @pleasefundus

ITHCWY: Mission:Explore Food - Crowd Fund It!: My brother is part of the Geography Collective, the team that make… http://t.co/jg6s9FKK

The word 'sustainable' is unsustainable: http://t.co/Iw8e9P2Q (XKCD)

Next step, jail for incorrect maths answers: http://t.co/US35YW2v (more illegal history in France...)

Chilling Effects: http://t.co/dXUSwGOQ (post Megaupload, file sharing sites disabling sharing)

http://t.co/jU4AeOdh

Visual Studio Gamification: http://t.co/kgHvGtsi

Shut down the Interstate highway system because a few people are speeding? Then don't do this: http://t.co/gvSaucwu

My new favorite word: semithermonuclear: http://t.co/zV8u067w (what Google will be doing tomorrow).

3 of 5 stars to Damned by Chuck Palahniuk http://t.co/CcmlNPqL

ITHCWY: Carr is Wrong: Costolo is Wrong: Wikipedia’s SOPA Blackout is a Great Idea: I was very happy to see… http://t.co/6rlFNgut

ITHCWY: Yet more on breaking the Internet: January 18th is Internet blackout day to protest against SOPA and PIPA… http://t.co/RH5bhObW

Web Goes On Strike: Jan 18th! All-out blackout 2 stop #SOPA #PIPA. Petition @twitter and other sites to join us. http://t.co/UNird4iF

ITHCWY: Better Paperless: I've just spent several hours scanning and then shredding tedious statements, medical… http://t.co/J7GBWJsb

ITHCWY: Misplaced Outrage: The video of US Marines urinating on corpses is shocking and counterproductive. But it's… http://t.co/E4jWRVcI

Worked on this idea in 2004, didn't get funded: http://t.co/CFuCTblk (Cloud-Based Video Editor WeVideo Launches To Public)

ITHCWY: Farallon Islands: A rare clear day where you can see the Farallon Islands from Fort Funston. http://t.co/hkvR1zYp

http://t.co/lPfzZesz

ITHCWY: More on breaking the Internet: I finally got round to actually reading SOPA and PIPA. I make my living from… http://t.co/WW8wIKou

Stop Internet #Censorship! Sign the global petition @Avaaz urging the US Congress to reject the #Blacklist Bill #SOPA http://t.co/MfsrnrBy

Illegal dumping on Bernal Hill: http://t.co/lR4GemC0 - Vote to get this cleaned up!

Office dog... #fb http://t.co/aOlinLwD

A Bird’s Eye View of Bernal Heights in 1938: http://t.co/XluPCJjW from @Bernalwood

AT&T LTE lights up in San Francisco: http://t.co/CzlJuUYo

ITHCWY: Installation: Early and Often: Jiri Novotny at Dextronet wrote a great post this week on improving… http://t.co/Q1rvrAWm

ITHCWY: Moon on a Wire: Testing posting by email with a picture of the moon from last night... I've extended… http://t.co/MQvLSeBj

William Gibson Essays: http://t.co/9AD9jQmo (How much do I need a parallel universe reading day?)

ITHCWY: LEGO, now for Girls: LEGO Friends is “The new LEGO theme – for girls!” So I guess the current sets not for… http://t.co/yVtN7awL

The Commodore 64 is 30 http://t.co/bBslFoVF via @reghardware

ITHCWY: Catfood.Shapefile 1.40: I’ve just released a small update to Catfood.Shapefile. Stephan Stapel, who… http://t.co/qindsQBw

Looking forward to seeing the restored Battery Townsley: http://t.co/jDPvI3jU #todo @myEN

Is Obama doomed in 2012? http://t.co/aGKoq2Nw

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Yet more on breaking the Internet

January 18th is Internet blackout day to protest against SOPA and PIPA. As I'm writing this post 6,988,056,464 people still don't read ITHCWY, so I'm taking part by blacking out my software site, catfood.net, which gets substantially more traffic.  

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Catfood: Cleat

Need to tweet from the Windows command line? Well, now you can…

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Reviews and Links for December 2011

REST API Design Rulebook by Mark Masse

REST API Design Rulebook by Mark Masse

2/5

Two huge problems with this book. It's short and very repetitive so the information content is about a couple of blog posts. The 'rules' are highly subjective, and much of the book is pushing the author's WRML 'standard' which I've never seen in the wild. The only real positive is that it's a comprehensive survey of the issues you need to think about when designing a REST API: just don't take the rules as gospel and research best practice from major APIs so you understand the context.

 

Links

What are the 1865 stickers on Bernal Hill about? http://t.co/0CGOmRYe

ITHCWY: Congress: instead of breaking the Internet how about fixing child identity theft?: According the the… http://t.co/4eBrdCPI

Penn Jillette: An Atheist's Guide to the 2012 Election - Boing Boing http://t.co/oA8XEYzP via @BoingBoing

Shouldn't hackers be _taking over_ a network of satellites? http://t.co/QmOcn8oy

ITHCWY: Shiti: Citigroup sent me a nice notice saying they are going to share my information in about four thousand… http://t.co/DQLR5DlV

The coming war on general computation http://t.co/yl9vNJHc (Cory Doctorow)

Zeno's Advent Calendar: http://t.co/EyGf4vBY #fb

“we couldn’t as a company be in a position of acknowledging ... hidden people.” - http://t.co/K7aSceFm

Check this video out -- IDEX: Connecting You to Grassroots Solutions to Poverty http://t.co/kiq32ThR via @IDEX

Catfood Software Blog | Winter Solstice 2011 in Catfood Earth http://t.co/O0x5TngH via @CatfoodSoftware

For Christmas, Your Government Will Explain Why It's Legal to Kill You: http://t.co/rrMIrELV

Arch druid ... said it was a "good omen for the year ahead" that the sun had come up after the ceremony. http://t.co/UxK0BQlf

Looking forward to: Build better web applications with "Get Some REST" http://t.co/DGxCp9uN via @getsomerestbook

Why is @VisualStudio so busy? http://t.co/y9TLULLk

Sphero http://t.co/VCM5rvhK #todo @myEN

HTTP status cats by GirlieMac: classic server error codes, now with cats: http://t.co/1bJc3tgt

Land of the free taken nearly taken care of: http://t.co/uNlYAzoJ just need to do something about home of the brave. #fb

Trillion-frame-per-second video: http://t.co/JLsK5GDm

ITHCWY: Reviews and Links for November 2011: Reamde by Neal Stephenson 5/5 Intelligent and humorous if highly… http://t.co/ysKotKbY

Yet more on http://t.co/Dk1bJ0Ve: http://t.co/OTViMYQW (BoingBoing)

Check this video out -- Cello Wars (Star Wars Parody) Lightsaber Duel - Steven Sharp Nelson http://t.co/8xzzZh6E via @youtube

Stop marketers from being able to call your cellphone! http://t.co/wJd12VzP @CREDOMobile #p2

More on http://t.co/p0AhRSIl hijacking shareware to install crap: http://t.co/lDsXNB2g #fail

RT @justanswer: Want to know how old Santa is or what he gets Mrs. Claus for Xmas? Ask Santa your questions for free! http://t.co/i9WIce ...

You're doing it wrong: on toast, with butter: http://t.co/sTHvdHY6 (Sandwich Monday: The Marmite Sandwich)

Too hot? Switch Google off: http://t.co/ZRLIpH12

2 of 5 stars to REST API Design Rulebook by Mark Masse http://t.co/U6A4yQNk

Aliens on Ice: http://t.co/FmLdlfZ3

There, we fixed it: http://t.co/gEhPi3Z8 (The woman... must marry her rapist as a condition of the release.)

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Reviews and Links for November 2011

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

5/5

Intelligent and humorous if highly contrived thriller set loosely around an MMORPG. Loved it.

 

Embassytown by China Miéville

Embassytown by China Miéville

4/5

Highly original tale of colonists cohabiting with some very unusual aliens with a very unusual language. It reads like J.G. Ballard and Nicholson Baker decided to collaborate on some SciFi.

 

The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16) by Lee Child

The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16) by Lee Child

3/5

Not bad, returns to when Reacher was in uniform and tells the story of how he left the Army (the answer may surprise you). As with the last few in the series it all comes a little too easily and you wish there was at least one worthy opponent. I'm hooked though so as long as Child keeps writing them I'll keep reading.

 

Professional Android 2 Application Development by Reto Meier

Professional Android 2 Application Development by Reto Meier

3/5

Solid foundation and covers the platform you need to target to reach the majority of Android devices.

 

Links

RE: Feel free to use the code, no attribution required.  http://t.co/IJTcOz3p

BBC News - 7 questions on computer programmes http://t.co/XKylU7WT (more of a history / pop culture quiz)

Scooby-Doo and Secular Humanism: http://t.co/4h8M8kkK

4 of 5 stars to Embassytown by China Miéville http://t.co/kPwIrmDF

ITHCWY: Occupy Intellectual Ventures: Send them a troll. Now. http://t.co/VorWmZpz

Wow, My Flout score is -7 on @floutdotme! Get yours at http://t.co/1Sl8ei72

troll the troll! send a troll doll to intellectual ventures. http://t.co/S09ML14T via @nathtone

Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows: http://t.co/JBbJXAaD

+1: Why Software Projects are Terrible and How Not To Fix Them: http://t.co/kE7WWix5

Hilarious, I had to Google how to power off Windows 8. Didn't figure it our until the third link: http://t.co/X1wrkh7R #fail

Building a Useful Task Board: http://t.co/icc8y4cU - only this should be a large monitor and an #API

#API Design Webinar http://t.co/rbDwus37 from @theamiableapi - some very valuable nuggets

Wow. Going to have to get this as a poster just to fully grok it: http://t.co/Z6iie3K5

ITHCWY: PolyLineM support in Catfood.Shapefile: I’ve just updated Catfood.Shapefile, my ESRI Shapefile parser for… http://t.co/ll50wcEi

Cal band at justanswer http://t.co/QOLcbe7e (missed this while at lunch)

Citogenesis: http://t.co/EH5K2xLg

Extensive document dump on Microsoft's shallow anti-Android bullying: http://t.co/tdEhMNLh #patents from @groklaw

Toast sandwich is UK's 'cheapest meal' http://t.co/0LG9zNOl (can't possibly be true - not factoring in cost of electricity!)

Analysis: The Darwin Economy: http://t.co/pSDkxupL

So True: What Your Favorite Map Projection Says About You: http://t.co/dW8pl2uK

Bootstrapped Company Behind iDrive, iBackup Is Fed Up With Patent Trolls: http://t.co/DP6KFLxH

The Real Cost of Patent Trolls: http://t.co/1Cu4C6cV via @bfeld

Flying rhinoceros: http://t.co/MIhWtT3L

Cool: 1% Of Nothing Launches To Get Startups Donating Equity: http://t.co/ZNy7HcZl

3 of 5 stars to Professional Android 2 Application De... by Reto Meier http://t.co/UqCtaJ3Z

'Have the people who designed this protocol really never made the twenty mile drive to San Francisco?' - http://t.co/wWk77ZpQ

Explaining 'Jobs' to Rudy Giuliani: http://t.co/ek78XEe9

ITHCWY: Catfood: Klout and Follower: Klout is building PageRank for people. You get a score between 0-100 based on… http://t.co/rGyYkY9q

Catfood Follower 1.40: http://t.co/79xDac4F via @CatfoodSoftware

Old friends... No CDTV though! At #CHM http://t.co/WGw6VOOL

How much did I used to want one of these! http://t.co/lHhnY0AG

At #CHM for Norvig v Horvitz. Will punch anyone who mentions Searle's Room. http://t.co/wPRO8tYa

Don't do it, like defining π as 4: BBC News - Changes to the world's time scale debated http://t.co/hFkrZi4g

RESTful API Design, Second Edition http://t.co/uZthmj9c #API from @landlessness

Rudy wishes I hadn't just shown him: "Saber-toothed squirrel" from the dinosaur days - Boing Boing http://t.co/Wf7Y0ttH

Marked as to-read: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries http://t.co/MC9M0Iti

Ex-Google Reader Product Manager Posts Scathing Review Of Reader Redesign | TechCrunch http://t.co/DscEAHTw

Google indexing via POST: http://t.co/oM2JmHqI (P.S. may not grok your robots.txt, suggests bending over)

Writing helpful API documentation « The Amiable API http://t.co/rx9QdKyk #API

Oakland PD confused: An Open Letter to the Citizens of Oakland From the Oakland Police Officers Association http://t.co/W5LIBY7D (me too)!

Study: why parents help their underage kids pretend to be 13 in order to use Internet sites - Boing Boing http://t.co/aoUSw5wu

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Catfood: Klout and Follower

Klout is building PageRank for people. You get a score between 0-100 based on how large your social graph is and how much you influence it. They also have a simple API and have been kind enough to let me use it as part of Follower so I’ve just released Follower 1.40 with Klout integration.

Follower automates the chore of following new friends on Twitter. It also somewhat automates removing traitors who don’t follow you back – as much as Twitter would let me get away with. One problem with following promiscuously is that you do end up following a lot of spammy and scammy accounts. Adding Klout helps with this as you can now say ‘follow everyone who follows me as long as their Klout score is higher than 15’. This keeps some of the riff raff out. And if a follower’s score rises above the threshold then they’ll be admitted into the club.

You can also use Klout to weed out existing follows with a low Klout. In this mode anyone below a configurable score will be added to the remove list even if they are following you back.

The only snag I hit with API is that while you can lookup a user by Twitter ID the ID isn’t returned in the response. If you query multiple IDs at a time you don’t always get a full set of results so without the ID you can’t reliably tell which result is associated with each ID. For this reason I’m only looking up one score at a time. Twitter has nice bulk methods to grab IDs for up to 5,000 friends or followers, it would nice if Klout could match this or at least fix the ID issue. This is a small problem though and having an automated way of detecting the quality of Twitter accounts is a great addition to Follower. If you use Twitter check it out.

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Download.com goes nuclear

CNET download.com Download Manager

CNET stopped being a useful source of downloads for me ages ago. Over the lifetime of my account I’ve had nearly 100,000 downloads through CNET, but these days it’s one or two a week. I left my products up there anyway, but I’ve just asked them to remove everything they have listed for Catfood Software.

The reason is that CNET has rolled out a download manager that wraps every single download. Instead of the customer getting the product they thought they were downloading they are dumped into a CNET experience that tries to install a toolbar and push Bing / MSN into your browser defaults. Yuck.

It’s one thing for a vendor to partner this way. It’s quite another to roll it out site wide with little notification and no opt out, let alone a revenue share. CNET sell this as being about analytics. Of course it’s all about referral dollars. This isn’t the experience I want for my customers and so I’m pulling the plug on download.com.

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World Time Lapse

I've just made a new time lapse video using web cams from the Catfood WebCamSaver directory:

If you haven't seem the time zone version it's a completely different take.

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Catfood: WebCamSaver and PdfScan

Two new Catfood releases.

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.10 adds support for simultaneous updates in 4 and 16-cam modes. The WebCam Directory has also been completely overhauled. WebCamSaver is a rather voyeuristic screensaver that lets you watch live feeds from around the world. As well as a screensaver the feed is available in my World Webcams Google Gadget.

Catfood PdfScan 1.20 follows hot on the heels of 1.10. The main update is showing a preview of each scanned page which is super handy if you always forget which way pages are supposed to go in your document feeder. Mentioning no names…

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Catfood: Earth, PdfScan and Weather

Three recent Catfood Software updates:

Catfood Earth 3.10 includes rotation to longitude / solar time, volcanoes, a screen saver, time zone updates and more. Catfood Earth uses satellite imagery and a variety of data feeds to render jaw-dropping live desktop wallpaper.

Catfood Earth 3.10

Catfood PdfScan 1.10 saves your selected paper size and feeder choices. There is also an option to keep PdfScan open after saving a scan, something that had been bugging me when slogging through large digitization projects. PdfScan is a free tool for scanning stuff into a PDF file.

Catfood PdfScan 1.10

Catfood Weather 2.00 includes weather alerts and an updated UI. Catfood Weather provides a free, taskbar based weather forecast for US locations.

Catfood Weather 2.00

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International Date Line Longitude, Latitude Coordinates

International Date Line

I’ve been working on an update to Catfood Earth. Several people have asked me to draw the International Date Line on the time zones layer but I’ve struggled to find a decent source for the coordinates of the line segments. I finally ended up manually digitizing the version of the line that appears on Wikipedia. The original is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported so I’m making the coordinates below available under the same license:

Longitude Latitude
180.0000 90.0000
180.0000 75.0000
-169.2500 67.7356
-169.2500 65.0189
170.0500 52.6863
180.0000 47.8353
180.0000 -0.9000
-159.6500 -0.9000
-159.6500 2.9000
-161.8500 2.9000
-161.8500 5.0000
-155.9500 5.0000
-150.6500 -7.8000
-150.6500 -10.0000
-156.0500 -10.0000
-156.0500 -7.8000
-178.0500 -7.80000
-172.7500 -15.0000
-172.7500 -45.0000
180.0000 -51.1815
180.0000 -90.0000

This looks great for Catfood Earth. Please take the coordinates with a pinch of salt if you’re designing a cruise missile guidance system or something.

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Time Zone Time Lapse

The video below shows twenty-four hours from noon UTC to noon UTC on June 7, 2010 using webcams from the Catfood WebCamSaver database. It proves that I really will do anything to avoid finishing off the new Catfood web site.

You can probably figure out that the three blocks of cams are the US, Europe and Japan. The position doesn't reflect the latitude in this version, it's just a random selection of cams for the timezones represented in the database. As it's July and most of the cams are in the northern hemisphere you'll see long days and short nights. I'll try to remember to create an updated version around the autumnal equinox.

The program that generated the frames ended up being simpler than i thought. Because it's fetching images from a lot of different sources I had a timer creating and then saving a frame once a minute and lots of worker threads fetching the images. Each worker thread is assigned a frame number and once it's got the image it locks the main frame and tries to paints it's own area. If the frame number has moved on the image is abandoned. You can see some of the cams flickering on and off in the video — these went down while the frames were rendering or just took longer than a minute to respond.

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Do useful things with the volume shadow copy service (VSS)

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) takes a snapshot of an NTFS drive at a point in time. The clever thing about VSS is that it doesn't copy anything — it starts with the assumption that nothing has changed and then keeps track of every change to the snapshot so only changes need to be stored.

From Windows Vista on it's possible to mount a shadow copy as a drive letter or share. ShadowTask is a command line tool that creates a VSS copy, mounts it as a drive and then runs a program or batch file. For example:

ShadowTask C V dostuff.bat

Creates a copy of C:, mounts it as V: and then runs dostuff.bat.

Let's say you want to copy a locked file — maybe some outlook personal folders. Dostuff.bat could contain:

copy V:\Users\You\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.pst C:\Users\You\Desktop\OutlookBackup.pst

Bingo, you have a copy of your PST without shutting down Outlook.

Download: ShadowTask.zip (50.86 kb)

The ZIP contains both 32 and 64 bit versions of the tool. You must use the version that matches your platform. ShadowTask supports Windows Vista and 7. XP doesn't support mounting a shadow copy so ShadowCopy will fail if you try to use it on XP. ShadowCopy must run as admin (elevated).

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Scanning multiple pages into a PDF file

PdfScan is a simple tool for scanning pages into a PDF file. You can scan single pages from a flatbed scanner or several pages from a document feeder. The page size applies to both the scan and the page(s) added to the PDF.

I wrote PdfScan because I know I'm going to be scanning a lot of documents over the next couple of weeks. Previously I used a tool called ScanToPDF from O Imaging but their licensing pissed me off so much that I'd rather waste time reinventing the wheel than pay them for another copy.

PdfScan - Scan pages to a PDF

This is a beta — it works with my scanner and my documents. There's no installer, so extract the ZIP file and run the EXE to use it. PdfScan requires the .NET 4.0 Framework. If you get an error when you run PdfScan.exe try installing .NET 4 and then run it again.

If enough people use this I'll make it a bit more friendly, add an installer and release it through Catfood. If you like it leave a comment below. If it doesn't work for you leave a comment or email me and I'll try to help.

(Update September 12, 2010: I've tided PdfScan up and released it through Catfood Software. Download from Catfood PdfScan.)

PdfScan uses PDFsharp from empira Software. Thanks chaps!

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Loose Lips...

LooseLips

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Finding NPR on Windows Mobile

Now here's a niche:

Windows Mobile Owners and NPR Fans Venn Diagram

I'm occasionally jealous of an iPhone app, in this case a station finder for NPR. I hate hunting on a long drive or in a strange city. Luckily, NPR has an API, so I've whipped up an NPR Station Finder for Windows Mobile.

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Catfood: Earth and Follower

I've been busy updating a couple of Catfood products.

Catfood Earth updates your desktop wallpaper to show day, night and cloud cover. It can also display earthquakes, time zones, places and US weather radar:

Catfood Earth

Catfood Follower is a Twitter tool that automatically follows people who follow you and/or removes friends who stop following you. I think it's most useful for business accounts:

Catfood Follower

With these two out the door my next project is overhauling the Catfood website. I'm kind of dreading it, but the current architecture is over six years old and it's definitely showing its age.

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About Hikes

Hikes indulges my passions for walking and being uncontrollably geeky. I love recording a walk and then looking at it in Google Earth. It's a great way to get context for a walk that isn't always obvious while you're wandering around.

I started the blog with a pretty complex setup. For a hike I'd take my Magellan eXplorist 500 GPS and a point and shoot digital camera (currently the excellent Canon PowerShot SD700 IS). After the hike I'd use a program I knocked up to compile stats from the GPS track log, and GPSBabel to convert the track log to Google Earth KML. Then I'd resize images and write a blog post.

This works well for longer hikes but it's a bit painful for shorter ones. I've got an AT&T Tilt phone which has a pretty decent camera and GPS built in, so over the Christmas holiday this year I wrote a tracking application for the phone. This app is now available as freeware (Catfood Tracker). As well as tracking your location it also generates a KML file and hike statistics at the end of a walk. Perfect. See Golden Gate Park Loop for a hike recorded entirely on the Tilt.

With an easier tracking option available I aim to blog about more hikes in 2009. I've also added an interactive map to the blog, which shows all the posts in Google Maps. This page is generated from the blog RSS feed, with a marker placed on the map at the first track point of each hike.

(Updated September 26, 2010: I've upgraded from the Tilt to an Android phone and so I've started using My Tracks from Google to record shorter hikes. This blog has also moved from Blogger to BlogEngine.NET. I've just written an extension to geotag posts so you'll see a Google Maps link to start of each hike at the bottom of every post (as well as some additional metadata to help locate posts in geo-aware searches).

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I Thought He Came With You

Robert Ellison's Blog

7,250,102,861 people still need to read this blog.

Dolphins at Fort Funston

Dolphins at Fort Funston