tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 10:35pm on 05/04/2013 under , ,
It struck me that it would be useful to be able to see if any of one’s LiveJournal friends are on App.net, so I wrote a script to do it. Probably not very efficient, but it works.

This depends on people using the same username across different sites, however, so bear in mind that while it may identify a username on App.net that matches one of your LJ friends, it might not be the same person.

Being Ruby, I’d imagine it works on most platforms.

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require 'net/http'
require 'net/https'
require 'open-uri'

friends = Array.new

ARGV.each do |user|
  open("http://www.livejournal.com/misc/fdata.bml?user=#{user}").readlines.each do |line|
    friends.push line.slice(2..-1).strip if line.match /^>/
  end
end

http = Net::HTTP.new('alpha.app.net', 443)
http.use_ssl = true
http.verify_mode = OpenSSL::SSL::VERIFY_NONE
http.start do |connection|
  friends.sort.uniq.each do |friend|
    puts friend if connection.head("/#{friend}").code.to_i.eql? 200
  end
end
tobyaw: (Church Square)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 10:37am on 26/02/2013 under
app.net now has free accounts, alongside the existing paid accounts.

https://join.app.net/

Would anyone like an invitation?
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 04:18pm on 02/11/2012 under , , , ,
I like paying for services that I use. I like being a customer who, hopefully, is valued by a company whose product I enjoy. That is a healthy, honest relationship.

I also like using free services. I truly appreciate people putting time and effort into developing free software, into making free-to-use web sites, and all other forms of volunteering. Their actions make this world a better place.

What I hate, however, is software, services, and media that is funded by advertising. There is an unpleasantness in a company seeing the users of its products as assets to be sold to advertisers. Where I am a user, but somebody else is the customer, there is inevitably going to be a conflict of interest. And if one follows the money, the conflict will always disadvantage those who aren’t paying.

I have been happy to pay for online services; with paid accounts on (amongst others) LiveJournal, Flickr, Github, Spotify, and more recently, App.net, I am happy to deal with companies that (to one extent or another) treat me as a customer.

I am much less happy with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Google — companies with desirable products, but that give me no opportunity to be a customer. These companies gather vast amounts of data on their users, and develop closed systems that fail to play fairly with others, because it benefits their real customers — advertisers.

Facebook gives us a convoluted privacy system that encourages over-sharing, and introduces user-hostile features like sponsored posts and Facebook email addresses. Twitter gives us sponsored tweets and buggers about with third-party client software. Google are just evil.

These companies should offer a premium product. They should accept a few pounds a month from users who want to turn off advertising, who want decent API support for client software, who never want to see sponsored content, and who want to be treated like a valued customer.

In the mean time, I’m happy to be a customer of LiveJournal (through all its ups and downs) — that is why I keep blogging here — and am happy to be trying out App.net for microblogging. I like app.net’s attitude, and their up-front desire to take money in return for providing a service.

https://alpha.app.net/tobyaw
location: St Andrews, Scotland

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