Generating coordinates from location (WordPress)

Though you can manually add in post meta values for coordinates, or use plugins such as geopress or geo-mashup, it is not that complicated to automatically generate these yourself, using mathematics to work out coordinates. First of all, lets create the file that will do that work of generating coordinates (save as class.googleHelper.php, and save somewhere)

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Dress up your fonts

Something simple to make your site font a little more modern and smooth. Google provide ability to add free embedded fonts – they can also be purchased at a charge you want to pay. You can pay nothing, but that would be mean spirited – people do a lot of work for free in web world, myself included. Payment isnt expected but believe me, it is hoped for 😉

How to do it

<link href=’http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Ubuntu:regular,italic,bold,bolditalic&#8217; rel=’stylesheet’ type=’text/css’>

Just place the above string in <HEAD> section of you header file (assuming you are still not madly using static web page). The next stage is to alter your stylesheet, for example:-

font: normal 12px/18px ‘Arial’, Helvetica, sans-serif;
becomes
font: normal 12px/18px ‘Ubuntu’, Helvetica, sans-serif;

Simple! (Ensure you change all CSS font definitions where you want this embedded font to appear)

“podcast” – another way to say “playlist”, only more expensive

I am a real collector of social networking sites, why, I do not know but I have ended up with a set of ones I use regularly, namely delicious, tumblr, stumbleupon, reddit (such horribly designed site – I love it!), vodpod, etc .. all used for different purposes.

Collecting audio has been more challenging as 95% of audio bookmarking sites are music-related, and I was more interested in other audio – presentations, comedy, lectures ….  and due to another Apple smokescreen of “podcasting”, means most sites that offering these types of audio adopt the “podcasting” terminology, and either have such restrictive functionality makes it boring, or have the cheek to charge for basically being able to bookmark and upload your own “podcasts”.  For podcast, read f*cking audio file!

The same way the iPod/iTunes turned a simple concept of hard drive, sound module and player software into a song and dance of epic callous sales and marketing – but at least they are generally only ripping off idiots.  A fool and his money are indeed, soon parted.

huffdufferHowever, my little rant over (the mere thought of Apple causes smoke to eject from my ears), I found a nice site, huffduffer, that did what I wanted.   Still adopting the “podcast” terminology, but importantly on this site, it could juts as well be called a radio station.  A simple service that allows you to bookmark mp3 files, and create essentially a playlist (or podcast if that pleases you) – whatever apple try and dominate in this area, this is still THE audio format and the most prevalent. Doubt I could describe it better than their short blurb:-

  • Find links to audio files on the Web.
  • Huffduff the links—add them to your podcast.
  • Subscribe to podcasts of other found sounds

A well formatted RSS file, and very active community.  Still very much web 2.0 user-generated content philosophy, which is generally now slated – but is a mutually beneficial free service such a bad thing?  I could have actually created service myself, but I figure there is enough to be doing, and the web is a community after all, so support these web services.  I think we take too much for free for granted.

Searching using profiles

apmldiagramUser profiling is about empowering the web user – the user should always control the data they want to be available to web services (search engines the largest example).   In order to fully leverage their technology, web service providors want your information, so they can present you with relevant information from the http://www.  The problem here is that you would not have control of that data – there may be many times when you dont want your browsing information recorded, for many reasons!

apmlresultsUsing profiling options such a an APML file, can give you control using the power of microformats (the best way to present data across the www, as they are data storage standards supported by many web services).  For example, you will notice an additional search box to bottom of page, and that is where a user can enter in their APML profile URL.  This site then uses that APML interests file to guage relevant posts, and even reports % relevance (click on thumbnail to right to view screenshot).   Try it youself with our APML profile URL .

Now doesnt that seem like an easier way to search for information, and find out quickly is a site is for you?  A basic demonstration of the possibilities towards semantic web – our APML profile is generated based on the blog post tags, and their frequency.    It is worth remembering that computer systems are only as intelligent as the humans that “tells” them what to do – that is going to include you now!

Text 2 Mind Map – The text-to-mind-map converter

Text 2 Mind Map – The text-to-mind-map converter

Unsure as yet why this is – it is not for speed, as it is not noticably quicker than creating mindmaps directly (using something like Freemind).  But tried an xml file file, which came out in a good way, illustrating the goupings/hierarchy.  One of those things I keep bookmarked, and think about what to use it for another time.  So many web 2.0 inspired sites popping up there are bound o be many that are short-lived.

Media 2.0

Media 2.0 Workgroup – Social, Democratic, Distributed
 

As one of the many (no doubt), who try and catch the internet waves, I realised my own personal weakness – tangents.  In the latter part of 2004 I started a venture mullshrimp, whose aim was to provide an online DAM (Digital Asset Management) System, providing services to upload video of multiple formats types, rought-cut edit, and stream online.   It was based on sound open source servers,encoders,decoders, cms.    I am sure now I wasnt alone in that "idea" – in fact of course we have the cream that rose to the top in youtube – s truly user-friendly and clear service, and still is.  I, on the other hand, became obessed with supporting as many formats as possible, and attempting to build a revenue model when just getting people to just use a service like this was a challenge.  The question is have a I learnt from my mistakes, now that it seems media 2.0 is upon us.

Asides the unfortunate 2.0 tag, I see media 2.0 as convergence between web 2.0 technologies (microfomats, social networking) and digital media.   I also note that these movements happen, regardless of fashion.  So the original mode of web 2.0 is now proved in the field, so to speak, so time to incorporate more than just the generic.  And so onto microformats … this is the web 2.0 area I latched onto to begin, albeit late!  I have long used rss/xml as forms of aggregation, but now there are extended formats designed to support different purposes.  Media, regradless of type – video, audio, photo, presenetations needs metadata, and it is this data that needs to be in machine-friendly format in order to be read easily by current and future microfomat SOA’s.

What my mullshrimp-bruising has already taught me is that just because you find a good application of technologies, what really forces the sell is adoption by the masses – the impatient ipod-generation ( a large market sector now).   Eschewing the virtues of a DAM that supports multiple file formats, when instead I should have presented the public with a fait-accomplit.  Why should they care what format their video file is in – they should just be able to upload and view it.  THey want to be able to tag it easily, and also be able to rate the videos.   I am forgetting that adults also have the "look at what I made!" drive.    In many ways, I am victim of my generation – in a era where only outcasts used computers.

I have more or less given up trying to start a company in the UK – the environment and atmosphere is poor, and at many points over the last fgew years I have felt thoroughly ashamed to be english.  Why i have latched on to technology so much, and the communities it is only place where you can truly count yourself as a "world citizen".