tobyaw: (Pink cake)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 11:41am on 15/09/2013 under
I’ve just realised that I created my LiveJournal account ten years ago. I’ve been blogging here, on and off, since summer 2003.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
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: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 12:23am on 01/12/2012 under
At the beginning of November I decided to write a blog post every day. I’m slightly surprised that I didn’t miss any.

I set myself other targets too: I would vary the subject matter of my posts from one day to the next; I would write multiple paragraphs and say something with more depth or development than could be expressed through a tweet; I would try to include something informative, something topical, and some personal opinion in every post.

Overall it has been quite satisfying; I will continue into December, but I will aim to post a greater variety of content, and multiple posts a day. Let’s see how we go!
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
tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 07:53pm on 28/09/2010 under , ,
LiveJournal, all your sins are forgiven now that I can have a hat on my userhead. (Gosh, yesterday I didn’t even know that they were called userheads.)

I hadn’t noticed until today that LiveJournal has an option for “Scotland” in the profile page country list. Previously I was in “United Kingdom”; odd that they have Scotland but neither England nor Wales in the list.

Watching more Avengers this evening. We’re in the middle of the 1967 series now. Joy.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 07:53pm on 28/09/2010 under , ,
LiveJournal, all your sins are forgiven now that I can have a hat on my userhead. (Gosh, yesterday I didn’t even know that they were called userheads.)

I hadn’t noticed until today that LiveJournal has an option for “Scotland” in the profile page country list. Previously I was in “United Kingdom”; odd that they have Scotland but neither England nor Wales in the list.

Watching more Avengers this evening. We’re in the middle of the 1967 series now. Joy.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
LiveJournal released some new features this morning, which triggered an outpouring of reactionary unhappiness. The same sort of thing happens whenever Facebook adds new features, changes page designs, or tweaks its security model. I suppose many people react badly to change. Personally, I like the software I use to be in a state of constant development. New features must be tried: some will work, some won’t, but I’d prefer to be using a blogging platform that is trying to improve itself, rather than one that accepts a state of decay.

The crux of the objections seems to be that LJ users can choose to cross-post comments that they make to Twitter and/or Facebook. Since anything I write as an LJ post or comment is mine to do with as a wish, I see no problem with this. However, LJ’s implementation, which can reveal a link to and title of a locked post, could do with tweaking.

I’ve turned on the new cross-posting functionality to see whether it works any better than my existing solutions of twitterfeed (which worked reasonably reliably) and Facebook's Notes import (which often imported LJ posts days late). How appropriate, to try cross-posting with a post about people being cross about cross-posting.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
LiveJournal released some new features this morning, which triggered an outpouring of reactionary unhappiness. The same sort of thing happens whenever Facebook adds new features, changes page designs, or tweaks its security model. I suppose many people react badly to change. Personally, I like the software I use to be in a state of constant development. New features must be tried: some will work, some won’t, but I’d prefer to be using a blogging platform that is trying to improve itself, rather than one that accepts a state of decay.

The crux of the objections seems to be that LJ users can choose to cross-post comments that they make to Twitter and/or Facebook. Since anything I write as an LJ post or comment is mine to do with as a wish, I see no problem with this. However, LJ’s implementation, which can reveal a link to and title of a locked post, could do with tweaking.

I’ve turned on the new cross-posting functionality to see whether it works any better than my existing solutions of twitterfeed (which worked reasonably reliably) and Facebook's Notes import (which often imported LJ posts days late). How appropriate, to try cross-posting with a post about people being cross about cross-posting.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 05:08pm on 09/06/2010 under , ,
For some time I've wanted to post a notification on Twitter whenever I update my LJ. Some other blogging systems have built-in support for Twitter, but with LJ we're stuck with using a third-party tool.

I found a service called twitterfeed.com. After creating an account using my LJ OpenID, it allows one or more RSS or Atom newsfeeds to be specified (LJ feeds are of the form username.livejournal.com/data/atom), and it then posts any updates to Twitter. It seems to work well, and was very easy to set up.

No idea how they make any money from providing the service, though.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 05:08pm on 09/06/2010 under , ,
For some time I've wanted to post a notification on Twitter whenever I update my LJ. Some other blogging systems have built-in support for Twitter, but with LJ we're stuck with using a third-party tool.

I found a service called twitterfeed.com. After creating an account using my LJ OpenID, it allows one or more RSS or Atom newsfeeds to be specified (LJ feeds are of the form username.livejournal.com/data/atom), and it then posts any updates to Twitter. It seems to work well, and was very easy to set up.

No idea how they make any money from providing the service, though.
location: St Andrews, Scotland

Links

June

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
        1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6 7
 
8
 
9 10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30