iTunes User Agent

June 8th, 2006

I was caught a bit surprised when I started seeing the iTunes user agent in my logs. Apparently a few of you downloaded via iTunes. Which is cool.
Agent: iTunes/6.0.4 (Macintosh; N; PPC)

Like an RSS reader, when you open iTunes, the program will go and fetch the feeds for any podcast subscriptions you may have. From my experience using iTunes, you don’t have to go and actively search for the podcast feed. This fetching seems to occur when the program is merely opened - for example, I hadn’t actively “updated” my podcast feeds in iTunes.
[tags]Apple, iTunes, podcasting, podcast, podcast feeds[/tags]

Get your Thursday Web 2.0 game on

June 8th, 2006

This table from Webmonkey breaks down the popular community based collaborative filtering Web sites. You know, they’re supposed to collaboratively help you find stuff on the Web 2.0.

Speaking about Web 2.0, it seems that Technorati has straightened out the crawling issues with this blog. I appreciate their willingness to help.

Hey, apparently there’s nothing else to innovate on the Web, so why not a collaborative filtering site just for gossip blogs?

And finally, in case your technology induced ADD isn’t distracting enough, a link to, which is not only an aggregator of top links on some popular collaborative filtering sites and other Web 2.0 properties, but which also allows you to submit links to their “your pops” section.

[tags] collaborative filtering sites, Web 2.0, Web 2.0 meme needs to go away, Technorati, [/tags]

cleverhack on iTunes

June 6th, 2006

It’s official, the first (of many more to come) cleverhack podcast is now on iTunes. I should probably think of some cover art.
[tags]Apple, iTunes, podcasting, cleverhack [/tags]

Quick Apple Related Update

June 6th, 2006

1) I was linked to by over the weekend. Now, I’ve been both slashdotted and instapundited a few times, but let me tell you that macsurfer can throw comparable traffic.

2) At least half of my readers are using a Mac, but I had not seen the following user agent until this weekend. I can’t think of any of my regular readers who would have such a setup.
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060508 Firefox/ Mac OS X [Tiger PPC]

3) “There were tears, there was laughter, there was my G5.” How sweet. ;-)
[tags]Apple, Cult of Mac, User Agents, Macsurfer, Uschi Lang Said Yes [/tags]

First cleverhack podcast

June 4th, 2006

I am pleased to announce (with not that much background noise) the first cleverhack podcast.

Topics include: Background noise, cleverhack site info, Technorati, tech news, my LG VX9800 phone saga, thoughts about current music and more.

Download Podcast

Update: I’m trying to get the Mighty Seek Podpress plugin working- as you can see the flash podplayer doesn’t work. But the old school direct link to the mp3 file does. It’s something with the .htaccess file apparently and I’m a tad bit frustrated that the install docs failed to mention this.

Update 2: The flash player is working now. The whole mention of the .htaccess in the install FAQ led me on a snipe hunt, but all is well now and the only part of the plugin that doesn’t work is the stats, and at this point, they aren’t really that important.  Also, the flash player has a bug in which it requires the mp3 file to be encoded at 11.025 kHz, 22.050 kHz or 44.100 kHz.

Panic! At the MacBook Pro!

June 4th, 2006

(There’s a musical reference in that title…)

Since I’ve been writing about Apple products so much, I might as well give you the not so hot news. Or in this case let you know that I don’t allow MacBook Pros on my couch as they get *hot*.

While a few of my readers are happy MacBook Pro owners, one particular MacBook Pro I know of has been experiencing kernel panics at the rate of one or two a day. At first the thought was that perhaps running Parallels with Windows XP was causing the kernel panics, but then they started occurring when the MacBook Pro was in normal use… which is worrying at best.

Anyway, the MacBook Pro kernel panic log messages seem to reference the APIC controller and in my A+ Certified experience seems to mean that there’s something hardware related.

Has anyone else seen anything similar?

Update: There’s a log of the most recent panic contained in the full post.

Update 2 06/07/2006: At this time, it seems like the panics were caused by bad third party RAM.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday morning user generated content

June 4th, 2006

Suffice it to say, I think the Internet survived without me for the past few days. So here’s a Sunday link post.

-I have discovered that Dunkin Donuts offers shots of espresso. Funnily enough, espresso is not listed under Featured Products under the Dunkin Donuts corporate Web site. Since I’m not a fan of Dunkin Donuts regular coffee (too mellow), I decided to take a try with a double espresso this morning. When I ordered it, the overly busy counter guy (well, it was a Sunday), made a face when I asked for it. From what I could tell, all he did to make it was put in a few espresso pods into the store’s coffee machine, pressed a few buttons and then walked away. He wasn’t “pulling shots” by any means.

The verdict: Not bad at all, I’m adequately caffeinated but I would get it only if I found myself at a Dunkin Donuts. Also, I think the pricing ($1.07 for the first shot, $0.69 for the additional shot) is a little bit more than Starbucks double espresso, but I will check on that.

-Is it wrong to read the NY Times Wedding & Celebrations page for the amusement factor?

-Apparently, the Philly Radiohead shows were sweltering and a “mixed bag”.

-Talking about Philly area shows this summer, these guys have compiled a comprehensive listing — and why oh why are so many of them on week nights?

[tags]Sunday, coffee, donuts, newspaper, music, Philly, Philly music, still annoyed to have missed Radiohead[/tags]

friends don’t let friends use

May 31st, 2006

stock photography on their Web sites.

So, sorry, I was reviewing a not well done Web site earlier today, and it could have done without a few of the image types shown above.

Also related: Are secure site seals needed? This article suggests so, although personally (and what I’ve heard from other Web designers), I am not a fan of them at all.

[tags] Web design, Marketing [/tags]

dear popular news provider

May 30th, 2006

If you’re going to provide video on the Web, would it be a problem to provide a text summary or transcript of your video offerings? Some unnamed news providers offer video, however, one in particular features video only stories so the content is then trapped.
While I like the Web, and I like video on the Web, sometimes I just don’t want to click on video.

[tags]Web, Web content, Web video, Web news[/tags]

Yahoo User Interface blog

May 29th, 2006

A few weeks ago I mentioned how I liked the beta Yahoo front page. Well, as it turns out, the developers behind the redesigned page and other Web projects at Yahoo are writing a new Yahoo User Interface or yuiblog.

Now, this blog isn’t merely about Web design or use of CSS, rather, they’re taking design to the next conceptual level discussing User Interface problems and real life solutions. Issues that I’ve been thinking about the past few months. A definite must read for those of us interested in not only appearance but utilization.

trackbacking - site info

May 29th, 2006

It looks like someone was trying to trackback me on the music geekery post, but it doesn’t seem like it worked. Dear anonymous blogger, if you’re willing to troubleshoot, drop me an email.

Some Web design and Web marketing ideas from the NY Times

May 29th, 2006

When I’m clicking around online, I’m always on the lookout as to how other sites utilize Web design and Web marketing techniques. One of the more interesting sites these days is the NY Times, which underwent a recent redesign. It seems that the site is still getting tweaked, and although I wish they’d do away with the Georgia/Times font for their headlines, the site manages to capture my attention.

Taking a look through the page source, I found out that they’re using a DOCTYPE Transitional with a hybrid table and CSS layout. Their CSS page is damn large, but it seems like they’re accommodating all browsers with their design.

On the marketing side of things, I was intrigued to notice the recent push for logged in readers to subscribe to NY Times related email newsletters. Rather than merely have a “sign up for newsletters” box on their side menu, the folks at the Times decided to pre-fill the box with your email address, so all that you’d need to do is press the Sign Up button. (But hey, could they make the Sign Up button a little more noticeable?)

NY Times email box