Recently in Geek Category

EVDB Followup

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A bit of a follow-up to my earlier post on evdb: there's a bit of a conversation in the comments, with notes from both an evdb person and the developer of upcoming, which recently got a nice upgrade. Jon Udell has a good post with lots of linkage to reports of an evdb demo, and discusses the importance of services not locking-in your data.

I'd like to discuss something else, though, which is that neither are answering my complaint, which is lack of data. Both services rely on user-provided data, which is fine but is prone to error and incompleteness. What would be nice is if the big holders of that data (ticketmaster, pollstar, etc.) realized the benefit of opening up to services like evdb and (or, more likely, they come to a license agreement to use their data). Until this happens, I'm unlikely to be too jazzed about a service, no matter how open and cool it is, because if I can't trust that it's going to inform me of an event I'm interested in (and in a timely manner, i.e., before tickets go on sale), I'm not going to put my trust in it. Yes, it's great that I can let people know that I'm going to be at an event and all that nice social-network whatnot, but that isn't the main reason someone (well, someone like me anyway) would use an event site: I use it so I know what events are coming up. That, to me, should be the bare minimum for an events site: good events data. Without it, no amount of cool data slicing/splicing/sharing is going to be of use to me. With it, I'll put up with a lack of other features (which is why I still use, even though it sucks in every other way).

Events site that doesn't suck


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if evdb doesn't suck, it could be really cool. Om Malik has slightly more info. Judging by their jobs page, they might just have the right idea: "Linux, Apache, Perl, PHP, PostgreSQL / MySQL, Javascript, XHTML, XML, RSS, Atom, and iCalendar."

Nifty use of amazon services

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[ This is awesome. ] Some sample searches to get you going: Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, PJ Harvey.

Bloglines Bliss

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If you answer yes to all of the following:

then you might just want to head over to my geek(ier) weblog and see what you can do about it.

Color matching gizmo

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Now this is a gadget with potential - Benjamin Moore - The Pocket Palette Device:

This convenient hand-held electronic palette search instrument allows you to match colors to the entire Benjamin Moore color system accurately and easily with the touch of a button.

Priced for professionals only at $299 USD, though. If they're smart, they'll be giving these to home improvement stores to lend out to customers.

Scientists being funny

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Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature is a site dedicated to amusing (for some value of amusing) organism names. My favorite has to be Apopyllus now (a spider), closely followed by Ytu brutus (water beetle).

Found via this ny times article, which via.

Mozilla: The Highly Extensible Browser

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Diveintomark put it this way last year: mozilla is the emacs of browsers. What does this mean? emacs is a popular text editor for geeks, and one of its core principles is that it is highly extensible: you can add functionality and change behaviour to suit your needs. There are some people that basically spend all their computing time in emacs, using it as a software platform on which they develop and work.

Now take a look at some of the popular extensions for Firefox, the most popular browser from mozilla:

  • ForecastFox - weather right in your browser window.
  • BetterSearch, which gives you thumbnails (plus some extra handy links) when using all the top search engines and some of the popular bookmark management sites.
  • Greasemonkey, which lets you add custom behaviours to sites that you browse. (This extension basically makes it easier to extend mozilla. If that doesn't scream emacs, I don't know what does.)

These add to Firefox's functionality in useful and interesting ways, without requiring any help from the mozilla team itself. Firefox has become a software platform of its own, attracting tons of smart people that want to do cool things on the web and use Firefox as their main tool. As it continues eating away at IE's browser share, you'll see more and more activity in this area. This month's wired has the story behind its development.

PS: If you want a brief explanation of why you should be using Firefox (if you're not already), read this.

Paper Enigma Machine

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Is the internet making with the awesome today, or what? Paper Enigma Machine (via)

GMO Rule!

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Somtimes it's really great living in the future: genetically engineered landmine detecting plants. Nothing about that sentence isn't awesome, n'est pa?

gadgets in a war zone

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What's In Your Gadget Bag, Peter Maass?. Stuff you need to report from a war zone.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Geek category.

Food is the previous category.

Language is the next category.

This is, a weblog by Bill Stilwell. I take the occasional photo.


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