Photoshop Deception

I was sorting through Picassa when I came upon a couple of older photographs.  I actually did this a long time ago, but since it’s fresh on my mind, I’ll bring it up here. Back in 1996 (or was it 1995?) we went to Maine for a week.  Laura had a conference at Bates College … Continue reading Photoshop Deception

La Superior Taqueria

It’s been awhile since I’ve written up a restaurant review. In fact, I’ve visited five local places over the summer and have notes for reviews that I just haven’t written. These include Saffron Indian Cuisine, Pete’s on Wade Hampton, Basil Garden, Miyako Sushi, and Chicora Alley. I think this weekend I might just do a … Continue reading La Superior Taqueria

Google Maps Gets Even Easier

Google was on a roll yesterday with new product releases. Google Sky took the limelight, but there was another little change that seemed somewhat inconsequential, but has far-reaching implications for the wider use of Google Maps in applications all over the web. If you go to Google Maps and enter any address, you will see the following in the upper right corner of the map…

Clicking on the “Link to this page” link brings up a dialog box with two boxes of information. The first is a direct link to the map. The second is a bit of HTML which will let you embed the map into various web pages.

Prior to this little innovation, users could either link directly to the Google Maps page, or they could go through the process of getting a Google Maps API, setting up the javascript code, then hoping that it all worked in their particular map. Embedding maps into Blogger and other hosted sites was difficult, at best. With this new application, it’s a snap. For example, if I wanted to show the location of the restaurant where I had dinner last night, it’s not problem. I find it in maps and use this new embed feature.

View Larger Map

The only problem is that sometimes the iframe HTML tag isn’t interpreted correctly within the WordPress framework. Other than that, it’s a snap.

Continue reading “Google Maps Gets Even Easier”

The pipes, the pipes are calling

For a couple of months now I’ve been playing with and trying to understand Yahoo Pipes. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but at least now I think I have enough understanding to write about it.

In its most basic form, Yahoo Pipes is a feed aggregator. You can take any RSS feed and view the output. If there happens to be geographic data in the feed, it will automatically parse that information and display it on a map. However, Pipes takes it a step further by providing tools for combining feeds from various sources, analyzing feeds for keywords or location data, or allowing users to input or control parameters for various feeds. For example, you could set up a Pipe to return RSS items from Craig’s List that shows red couches for sale within 30 miles of Greenville. In a stunning example of cooperation, Yahoo even plays nice with their rival, Google, and provides a link to a Google Earth KML output for any geocoded data.

Some of the most interesting items are the mash-ups that can be created. For example, one Pipe takes the feed from Reuters, parses it through the RSS-to-geoRSS webservice, then displays the news items on a map. Another will takes the feed from the NY Times, analyzes it for key words, takes that output and uses it to find corresponding photographs in Flickr.

Continue reading “The pipes, the pipes are calling”

First Day of School

I smiled a lot more today.  There were kids, and most of them were smiling, too. The little bit of sleep I got over the weekend was punctuated with nightmares.  I kept dreaming that all of my servers shut down on the first day of school.  It has happened before, so there was reason to … Continue reading First Day of School

Close Call

Last night I pulled into our local gas station to feed the car, and to pick up a lottery ticket. After all, Powerball was at $210 million, so why not drop a buck or two for a chance to win. The lines at this place were incredible. First, right now it has the cheapest gas … Continue reading Close Call

I hate to complain, but…

My determination to be more enabling rather than controlling has already gotten a severe workout, and the students haven’t even arrived for school yet.  Already I’ve had one teacher request that we put in an Apple computer lab.  We don’t support Apples in our district.  I’ve had to deny other requests because they don’t meet … Continue reading I hate to complain, but…