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BarCamp Miami and the Desire for Local News

BarCamp Miami took place yesterday at the University of Miami. I didn't go since I'm in Philly, but the BarCamp Miami site has a good list (though without a doubt not exhaustive) of Miami bloggers.

I'm currently subscribed to a few Miami-related RSS feeds but I am not nearly getting the amount of local news from South Florida as I'd like. I avoid those cityname.com (such as miami.com) sites like the plague, mainly because you get a few story views before having to register (ugh!), and Yahoo provides a Miami Herald RSS feed that leaves something to be desired (I want full feeds and less on murders, car accidents, etc), so hopefully I can get a bit more from these local bloggers.

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Twitter Reciprocate (for Greasemonkey) 0.3

Robert asked for it, and I was bored, so here's my first attempt at a Greasemonkey script. It basically adds "[Add]" next to your followers list so you can easily add followers as friends. You can find the script here. Let me know of any suggestions/improvements in the comments:

Known issues:

  • Doesn't check to see if a follower is already a friend (could be fixed by checking /statuses/friends.xml). Nothing seems to break by adding people multiple times, however.
  • Doesn't create the link for users with default icons (because user IDs aren't exposed from followers page, but can get them from /statuses/followers.xml). I really hope that the xml returns users in the same order as the page lists them.

I discovered that after putting together this script that those two xml files linked above have the information needed to fix the two issues. I'll get this out there in case people want it ASAP, but I'll work on doing it via the API.

Also, check me out on Twitter.

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Jump on the Bandwagon - Backup Your iTunes Online

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Aaron Swartz points to Bandwagon, an OS X app that seamlessly backs up your iTunes library to a service built on top of Amazon S3. It'll be available on Feb 22, and bloggers can get a free account for posting about the service before it launches.

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The Last BitTorrent/RSS Guide You'll Ever Need

It seems like every week we get yet another guide on how to use RSS and a BitTorrent client to download TV shows automagically. Xtorrent, a Dave Watanabe (of NewsFire fame) app, will soon render those guides obsolete. Beta 3, released last week, adds built-in support for RSS. I've been using it for a few days now and it works wonderfully. Getting started requires only three steps:

Step 1. Find an RSS feed that has .torrent files enclosed (say, from tvRSS.net)
Step 2. Click the RSS+ button at the bottom of the source pane to add the feed.
Step 3. Find your feed in the source pane and double-click or click download to start getting the selected torrent.

Xtorrent has nowhere near the download/upload configuration options that an app like Azureus has, but it is still in beta and the default settings work just fine. Pre-release pricing is available for a limited time ($15.89 vs $18.99), so now is a good a time as any to pick it up.

Note: Downloading copyrighted television programs is a violation of copyright laws. Download at your own risk.

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Gmail Now Does 3rd Party Accounts!

Google has finally rolled out a feature that allows users to get email from other POP3 accounts right into their Gmail inbox. This is great since I won't need Outlook once I'm out of school and work uses POP email. Instructions on setting up "Mail Fetcher" are here.

In other Gmail-related news, Lifehacker has a good howto on setting up an automatic nightly backup of your mail using the command line program, fetchmail.

I've recently switched to Google Reader (more on that later) and now my transition to an all-Google life is almost complete (and is a bit scary).

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HOWTO: Speak Like Steve Jobs

Link to YouTube page

How do you speak more like Steve Jobs? Up your daily usage of the following five words/phrases:

  • Mere mortals
  • Unbelievable
  • HUGE
  • Wouldn't it be great/nice/cool?
  • Pretty cool, huh?

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"That's What She Said" Music Video

Much better than any of the Super Bowl ads…

NBC did a good job incorporating all four shows, but I wish it was longer.

read more | digg story

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Adium Reaches 1.0

My favorite OS X AIM client, Adium, has finally reached 1.0 after being in beta for over six months (I wrote about Beta 1 way back in July). I'm been using Adium since I first got a Mac way back in 2002, when Adium 1.6.2 ruled the world.

That's not a typo, the current, Adium X 1.0, is actually version 2.0. When the developers decided 2.0 would be a complete rewrite, they instead appended an "X" to the application's name and set their sights on a new 2.0.

I was just wondering when Adium would leave beta after receiving an upgrade notification for Beta 42 (!). Here are some of the major changes from 0.89 (the complete list is here):

  • Added global user profile and buddy icon settings. (Personal Preferences)
  • General Account improvements. Accounts can now be disabled when not in in use, and friends can now sign on from your Adium without saving their information.
  • Added an Xtras manager for better browsing and removing of Xtras.
  • Major improvements in privacy settings.
  • Improvements to the default look and feel of Adium.
  • iTunes integration is much faster, and updates as soon as the song changes.
  • Redesigned Chat Transcript (Log) Viewer
  • Optional dock-like hiding of the contact list
  • Requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later (Universal Binary)

I doubt I'll see many day-to-day changes since I've been keeping up with the betas, but for those of you running 0.89, this is sure to be a worthwhile upgrade.

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I <3 IvyGate

I've been following IvyGate, a blog about the Ivy League, for a few months now and I absolutely love them. Not only is it relevant (though not for long :(), but the guys who write it are hilarious. Here's some choice quotes/links:

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Microsoft Brain Drain 2007 and a Vista Non-Vulnerability

Two very important people are leaving Microsoft. First is Bryan Lee, former VP in the entertainment and device division, who oversaw the Zune launch. Second is Jim Allchin, former Co-President of the platform and services division. The latter had an excellent blog post on a day in his post-Microsoft life. Neither are going to competitors, however, instead both are going to "pursue personal interests," as the Reuters article linked above puts it.

In other Microsoft news, a so-called "vulnerability" has been found in Vista. The vulnerability involves having voice commands from a third-party being played over speakers and doing nasty things to a PC. I don't really see this is as a new problem, as it could have been done on any other OS that had voice recognition (e.g., XP or OS X). The easy solution is to disable voice commands (who really uses them anyway?), but a more long-term solution for people who do want voice commands is to have it require a passcode to be said before the OS runs a command.

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