Feet up! : blogging/widgets

Ergast Motor Racing API

The above is from the Ergast API Gallery. In their words: "The Ergast Developer API is an experimental web service which provides a historical record of motor racing data for non-commercial purposes. Currently the API provides data for the Formula 1 series, from the 1990 season onwards."

It's an absolute goldmine of Formula One stats, and trivially easy to use, the API Documentation gives you a taster. The api is RESTful and has great urls for every request and json or xml results. If you're just into mere tinkering most web browsers will present the xml in a very usable form. I've used the core data for the Wiki's Grand Prix 2009 page, I now need to write a script to auto-populate my wiki page with the latest results after each round.

[Mon, 11 May 2009 14:48] | [] | #

Identica badges

There's been a lot written about Identi.ca a micro-blogging service based on the Free Software Laconica software. Whilst some view it as a Twitter-clone in many ways it's very different, with a primary focus on open software and federated servers, rather than relying on one closed-source central server. Much like the advantages of Jabber/XMPP over the monolithic, closed systems of MSN/AOL in many ways.

One area that Identica/Laconica currently lags Twitter is in the plethora of 3rd tools. However with a Twitter compatible API the list of apps is growing rapidly, some being simple ports of existing Twitter apps, others being entirely new.

The primary reason for this post is Kent Brewster's cuddly little identica badge, which although still a prototype is plenty functional enough for many people. Below is how my Identica content looks like on the badge.

Nice, simple and with a bit of tarting up/visual bling, it'll be quite pretty too. Click on an author's name in a post, to explore his or her friends' posts. To see my identi.ca page, click the top link on the badge.

[Tue, 05 Aug 2008 17:49] | [] | #

Up, up and away

Following Saturday's mention of the Orange Animals Balloonacy I've now signed up for my own balloon, you can follow its travails/travels here. If you seee it come past your site, please give it a wave!

I ought to file this under "Odd, but strangely compelling".

[Tue, 24 Jun 2008 13:43] | [] | #

Balloon Racing

So I'm balloon racing for Orange, if you look at the bottom right of the page you should see a small orange balloon bobbing around (click on it if you dare), tip of the hat to Tom's site for pointing me towards this balloonacy.

What does this mean? Possibly some more traffic to the site, and it's something suitably silly so I like it. So, for the newcomers, welcome (have you seen the wiki?), and for the regulars, yeah I've sold out (again) don't panic, it's short term and normal (shoddy) service will remain in place. Enjoy!

[Sat, 21 Jun 2008 12:47] | [] | #

Insight-full stuff

I'm not entirely sure whether I should post this in the widgets category, but given that there is a widget involved, I guess it's as good a place as any. As an aside, I suppose that's why folksonomies are so popular, as there's little angst about choosing the perfect single category, you can just shotgun all the selections that are close enough.

Jim Hughes - Techdirt Insight Community Expert Today's widget is for the Techdirt Insight Community, of which I happen to be a member. The Techdirt Insight Community (TIC) is an invited community of experts, who currently provide analysis and feedback on a competitive basis on a number of submitted cases. I find the competitive aspect interesting, and approaching the cases in a serious and analytical manner certainly appears to be the most successful approach.

Today's news of an alliance with Thomson Financial, allowing Techdirt to distribute research material from the Techdirt Insight Community (including TIC's new Smart Dossiers) through Thomson's leading research and analysis platform is a big step forward for TIC. Providing another route to market for TIC's data, and potentially more interest in the entire TIC programme.

[Wed, 06 Feb 2008 19:34] | [] | #

Truphone button

Add this to the "it seemed like a good idea at the time" list.

Now perhaps it's down to the way I use Truphone, but for me it's pretty much useless. The idea of the button is that it shows whether my phone can take Truphone calls right now, or whether they'll be forwarded elsewhere (at a possible cost to both parties). There's one fatal flaw in this apparently useful button, I haven't and won't give my Truphone number out, as I don't believe in the concept of me paying to receive calls. So, I only connect the Truphone app to my WiFi when I need to make free international calls, at which I must admit it is very good, with a sound quality that makes Skype look like the toy it is.

If this all makes me sound like some curmugeonly old luddite, then so be it. I'm a big fan of VOIP, but with the cost of voice calls approaching zero there is very little benefit for me (YMMV) in fiddling around and gaining yet another phone number.

Case in point, I have more inclusive minutes every month on my mobile contract than I use, so almost all UK calls to landlines or mobiles are effectively free from my mobile. My landline provider offers free calls to everyone using the same provider, which is 2/3 of my regular calls, and cheap rates otherwise. So going through some hassle to save a very small sum really isn't worth it.

Get Truphone

[Wed, 03 Oct 2007 07:25] | [] | #

Symbian smartphone search made easy

Something I've had on the wiki for a while is the search box below. It's a swicki from eurekster, and it will find you a load of search results optimised toward Symbian smartphone oriented results. The more searches you guys do, the better it can be trained to return great results.

check out the smartphone swicki at eurekster.com

If you'd like this on your site follow this link to find instructions etc.

[Thu, 26 Jul 2007 22:11] | [] | #

Latest MobuzzTV episode

Do you watch MobuzzTV? I do, it's one of my favourite vlogs. Anyway they've now made it nice and simple to embed the latest episode on your weblog / home page / whatever; simply add the following line of html and "Bob's your uncle"...

<script src="http://dailybuzz.mobuzz.tv/?embed"></script>

Here it is in action:

Great stuff, it'd be cool to be able to embed a specific show too, I guess that's in the pipeline.

[Mon, 02 Jul 2007 13:08] | [] | #

Widgets category

This is the first new category for a while. Here's the logic behind it, I like widgets, buttons, badges etc for blogs, but I also like minimalism. So as a compromise between a stack of the latest shiniest widgets all over the sidebar of my blog (the teenage girl bedroom look), and the Zen purity of tasteful white space, I've decided to dump the widgets I like in this category of the blog. If you feel you need widget overload, fight your way thru this category, otherwise be grateful that the irregular posts here will fall off the front page reasonably quickly.

Enjoy!

[Fri, 29 Jun 2007 17:50] | [] | #

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