Monthly Archives: August 2008

Sweetcron: Roll Your Own Feed

I just found out that the roll your own feed thing called “Sweetcron” has been released. Basically, you install it on your server and it aggregates your activity onto one page. I installed it and stuck my blog, twitter and delicious accounts into it. Oh, and Digg too, I think, but I don’t really Digg stuff much anymore. You can see it here (it should have this post on it by the time you can read this, too).

The initial release is really barebones and somewhat crappy. There’s no commenting system (it just tells you to add one). I like the way that the system formats images within imported blog posts, but everything else seems like an afterthought. The Twitter imports had a picture of some random Asian dude before I changed it to my own picture. Why not use the Twitter user image? Also, when you click through to a blog post, all of the text just pops out, unformatted. It turns everything into one long paragraph.

I’m all about paragraph breaks.

Besides a few supported feeds, Sweetcron kinda just imports RSS generically. Like my delicious bookmarks don’t have anything special. Just the text and a link to the bookmark. At the very least, Sweetcron should have support for all of the things that FriendFeed does. And by support, I mean it should intelligently handle any categorization and formatting of the content.

I guess Sweetcron is strictly for the hardcore such as myself, but I was hoping it’d have a little more going for it upon its first release.

New Glasses Time!

I’ve been pretty lazy in doing appointment stuff. I just recently did my (somewhat) annual physical and optical checkups. With the optical one comes new glasses! In the past I’ve had normal square frames, semi-rimless frames and then totally rimless.

I don’t like the semi-rimless because it makes me look old, and the totally rimless one makes me look evil because the transitions effect in them never goes away (they’re always kinda tinted). I wanted some thicker frames this time around but the plastic ones I tried on didn’t feel too great. So I ended up getting a pair of metal full frame glasses that are sorta dark green and have this weird temple design.

The lady at the eye place was really cool and helped me try on a bunch of frames. Many of them looked kind of girly or totally bad for my face. The lady definitely knew what was up with what worked and what didn’t. Unfortunately, the frames that I really liked cost a lot and weren’t included in my vision plan. I dunno if this was her ulterior motive or if she was just picking from all the stuff equally. She probably has some kind of incentive to pick more expensive frames; but she did suggest only the ones that I agreed looked good.

Anyway, it went between two good frames but the green ones won in the end. If I can’t get a green DS or a green Wii, at least I can get green glasses. They should be ready in a few weeks. I’ll just pick them up right when school starts since I’ll be out of town for a while in the next few weeks.

As a bonus, here are some funky frames I found that didn’t make the cut (but I didn’t bother taking pictures of the actual frames I ordered, whoops!):

SXSW 2009 Presentation Submission + My Panel Picker Picks

A few weeks ago, I saw that SXSW Interactive was accepting applications for panel ideas. I’ve been playing a lot with analyzing social networks and network structure in and out of my coursework at the University of Michigan, so I wrote a panel proposal for a walkthrough of network theory and how it’s relevant and useful to companies and products that have some kind of social component.

My general motivation for proposing this is that I’m sure that a lot of companies have some really interesting network data about their users that isn’t being put to good use. Sure, a company like Microsoft or Yahoo will have their own research labs (this paper from Yahoo Research about the evolution of social networks is totally awesome), but smaller companies will most likely lack the resources and skills to do interesting network analysis. Hopefully my presentation will serve as a good starting point for people with access to rich network data to produce some really interesting data and maybe even share it. This kind of data is usually difficult to get access to, so it’s kind of a shame if the data exists and isn’t being used.

Anyway, check out my official submission here. It’d be cool if I could get some supporters to vote and comment on the thing, but I guess that might become kind of spammy as well. I also checked out a bunch of the proposals on the SXSW Panel Picker. Here’s a few I think look interesting:

Ruby Sinreich, Understanding Social Networks, Beyond the Graph – This one seems probably the most similar to mine, so it makes sense that it looks really interesting to me. It looks like rather than focusing on theory, this panel will be more practical in nature.

Mussie Shore, Bustin’ Social out of the Network – This one looks neat mainly because the speaker founded a mobile software company that was acquired by Google and now works on OpenSocial. Plus there’s a ton of positive comments already (wonder if he’s got his possee on this).

ian nieves, Discovery: The Future of Friend Search – Searching people is a problem that I’ve always had an interest in. Using network centrality measure makes sense to rank which people come up in a search. I’m interested in seeing what kind of algorithm this guy is using for friend search.

Russ Unger, Friendship is Dead – I just love the idea of this panel. The fact that people aren’t really people anymore; they’re just items to collect in Facebook. Kind of like Pokemon.

I haven’t gotten through all the panels but I’m hoping to skim through all the sections I might find interesting. Hopefully my idea will be interesting enough to be selected. Remember, sign up for a SXSW account, check out the Panel Picker, and vote for stuff (including me)!

Wii Fit Update: 2+ Months Later

My weight loss is still going pretty well with Wii Fit though the numbers seem to fit better to a power law than a linear function. But luckily the alpha is still pretty forgiving, so I’m still losing weight.

Today I reached a sort of achievement (personal, not xbox live style) by doing the 10 reps of push-ups and side plank without collapsing or “dropping my hips” as my trainer likes to say. Although she asked even though I didn’t. Oh well. At least I know I accomplished this task.

Also, the lunges are freakin’ hard. I wonder if I’m doing them correctly. They make the leg that I step back with feel like they’re going to explode around the 9th or so rep. Lunges are probably the only exercise that hasn’t gotten easier since starting Wii Fit. I wonder why…