Random Items on a Friday Afternoon

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Well, it’s been a long week here at the RedMonk home offices, with multiple deliverables, lots of consultations, a couple of meetings with local firms yesterday (more on them later), a couple of calls about upcoming blog topics, some internal RedMonk biz stuff, and our usual full slate of briefings. If all of that sounds like the lead in to an excuse that I don’t have the energy for a real posting today, that’s because it is. I’ve got a couple of big topics on the slate, but nothing easily tackled late on a Friday afternoon. So instead you get a miscellaneous grab bag of (potentially) interesting items:

  1. Word from multiple different communities involved in Google’s Summer of Code program is that it’s going very well; even better than anticipated. The community folks I’ve spoken with have been pretty much ecstatic about the extra help and the quality of the contributions. Anybody still think Google doesn’t contribute to open source? One person (can’t remember who, sorry) compared the program favorably to the GNOME bounties, and given the success we’re beginning to hear rumors (1, 2, 3) of a “Winter of Code.”
  2. Re: my local identity namespace request, I’ve already had one interested party volunteer some time in solving that problem. Anybody interested in collaborating on that with him?
  3. If any of you are having the problem with your implementation of Movable Type & MT-Blacklist where it HTTP 500’s you when you try and display the Blacklist log, just get yourself into MySQL and truncate the mt_ext_bl_log table. Did this for us last night and it’s back to normal. ** DISCLAIMER ** Messing around with your database could get you into big trouble, so if you do it and something goes wrong, don’t blame me 😉
  4. Speaking of MT, I’m actively contemplating a switch to WordPress b/c of the increasing volume of plugins – and particularly themes – available for that platform. It’s way down on my tech ToDo list, but is on my radar.
  5. This week’s tech support call was the installation of a wireless network. It involved an HP machine, Netgear PCI wireless card, and a Linksys router. Unlike previous outings, this one went off without a hitch. Still too complex for an ordinary non-technical person, but not too bad.
  6. Since a couple of people have inquired, no, my IMAP connection is still down. After an emergency maintenance shut down last night – which I was totally fine with, ASP-One closed my support ticket this morning. The only problem was that they hadn’t actually fixed the issue. I’m stuck in a world dominated by spam, and I don’t like that world. After being late to two briefings this week because I couldn’t find the email with the dial-in information, I’ve set my account to forward email over to my Gmail account, now that Gmail has this. Problem solved, right? Not so much; I’m getting only about every fifth message and usually it’s an hour or two later. ASP-One, your days are numbered.
  7. You know what they say about free advice, but here’s something I’ve said probably 10 times this week: when doing a product demo or briefing, try and lead with the application or an implementation of the product first. It helps keep interest, and it’s easier to map technical abstractions to the application if you’ve seen it first.
  8. I don’t do much music advice here, other than direct people to my Last.fm (formerly Audioscrobbler) profile, but both of the new Sigur Rós singles, Glósóli & Sæglópur, are worth a listen. If you’re not familiar with these guys, you may have heard them: they were featured during one of the final scenes of the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Not like anything you’ve heard before, I promise. If you’re really adventurous, you can grab their ba ba ti ki di do EP, which is inspired by Indonesian gamelan music.
  9. Someone asked me the other day what the single biggest thing I’d like Firefox to do that it doesn’t do now, and that was easy: offline, cached access. Combine that with an optional prefetch for my online aggregator and I’d be a lot more reluctant to shell out the $10 bucks for a wifi day pass with t-mobile or some such that I’ll use for, at most, an hour.
  10. Someone else asked me why we spend so much time blogging, and blogging on developers issues, and my response was to ask them why Linux is where it is today: because of CIO’s and other IT “decision makers,” or because of the open source and development communities?
  11. Two words I have an irrational hatred for that are used all the time in blogs (and have probably used myself): heh and blogosphere. A phrase I don’t like? “Let’s double click on it,” as used within a briefing. No real reason, just hate them.
  12. My top three yubnub commands (see here for instructions)? “gm” – searches Google Maps, “am” – searches Amazon, and “em” – searches emusic.com.
  13. By popular request, I’ll be publishing – probably to the wiki – a list of the Firefox extensions and Greasemonkey scripts I use on a regular basis. If you don’t see that by mid next week, someone remind me.
  14. If you’re in CO, or have access to O’Dells beverages through another channel, I highly suggest their new 5 Barrel Pale Ale. It’s excellent.

Speaking of which, it’s about time I had a few of those 😉 Enjoy your weekends, will have more for you next week.


  1. "Speaking of MT, I'm actively contemplating a switch to WordPress b/c of the increasing volume of plugins – and particularly themes – available for that platform. It's way down on my tech ToDo list, but is on my radar."

    Have you seen all the new themes and plugins for MT, especially since the MT3.2 launch? With the new integrated spam-blocking features, you don't need blacklist at all anymore, and there's dozens of other improvements that no other platform offers. If you've got the time, take a look at our posts about Movable Type 3.2, and I think you'll find plenty of distinctive reasons to stay on MT and upgrade to the latest version.

  2. Anil: thx for the note. though i’m aware of some of the new themes, i haven’t actually seen them yet – will be sure to give them a look. as for SpamLookup, i’ve been running it for a while and it’s not bad, but not perfect either.

    will take the time to give 3.2 a look, either way.

  3. A-list Microsoft bloggers choose WordPress

    Ok so the headline is a little punchy/paunchy, given two people can’t really be a trend, but I wanted to call out that Kim Cameron, recently named Identity’s God, has moved to WordPress. This follows Scoble’s decision (which to my mind…

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