25 Feb 2014

Turn to page 9 and start coding

Author: will | Filed under: book, CoderDojo, overheard, programming, Writing

If the book gets made, I think it might get a quick run through at at least one Coder Dojo. All the better for the second draft.?

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A coding textbook for Irish secondary schools could be written in one day
The attempt is under way today at Facebook’s European HQ in Dublin as part of International Open Data Day.

28 Jun 2013

As the sun sets on the reader empire

Author: will | Filed under: cloud computing, google

I’ve been trying out the three main cloud-based rivals: Feedly, Digg Reader and AOL Reader.

Feedly is the number one, and has a working backend
AOL is good, working well but no back end (yet)
Digg should be buried for now

– This is the front end cloud-based reader I’m commenting on, not the app, not the back end.
– Love it. There are a few niggles, and I’m convinced that some of my feeds didn’t make it over but it synced with Google Reader and kept count/synch with it.
– Keep getting caught out on different keyboard shortcuts, but that’s practice.

AOL Reader.
– Last out of the gate, and surprisingly good. (Or this is an old project they updated)
– As it pulls out the feeds, but not the state from Reader, you end up seeing old posts again, about 50 items from some feeds.
– Polished. Apart from the newsprint look, its pretty close to Google Reader. I’d be happy to keep this as my alternative. I might actually have to start using the rest of the AOL feature set (which is probably why its doing it).
– Same keyboard settings (instinct kicked in when reading through)
– If you are not app-based, this may be the reader alternative for you.
– Downside, slow to update. 24 hours later its finding new / old feeds to expand things out. I think its servers are getting a little hammered.

– As it pulls out the feeds, but not the state from Reader, you end up seeing old posts again, but not quite as excessive as AOL
– Crap.
– Seriously.
– The only way to get Digg reader to see that you’ve read a post is to select the section and “mark all as read”. Which ruins part of the reason for a reader. (Note I am using NoScript, but its not showing any blocked scripts)
– Its something that needs a “lot” of improvement, but given that it looks like Digg wants to use it to feed in to their voting systems, things are going to improve.

Something else might change over the weekend, so pay attention if you mourn the loss of Google Reader.

9 Nov 2012


Author: will | Filed under: LBC

The LBC are looking at “This Will Be My Epitaph” as a topic, and Grannymar offered a tombstone generator.

So this is my epitaph, because I like puns.
Unfortunately the generator can’t take accented characters, it should read “Dearly departed, Buíochas le Dia”.

Buíochas le Dia should translate as “my the blessing of God be upon you”, but it’s usually simplified to “Thank God”.

If you know anyone in Ireland, “He’s gone, thank God” can have two very different meanings. It would be up to the viewer to decide which.

And no, I’m not putting a QR code on my tombstone. Unless it was hidden in other carving that is.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “This Will Be My Epitaph”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.

Do you blog? Do you have an RSS reader set-up to read blogs?

If so, what happens on October 20? Will you be posting to nothing?
Will your feeds dry up as feedburner is no longer passing the message through?

I honestly don't know which of my many blogs and podcasts are delivered through feedburner. I might have noticed at the time, then promptly forgotten about it.

I'm not looking to have to trawl through my feed collection to see if their owner has moved from Feedburner to their own feed (like me) or to a rival.

Or to nothing.

You see, if a blog goes silent, its going to take me a while to notice. Unless the person or company post a few times a day, their absence is going to take a little while to be noticed.

You only notice a noisy person going quite because its unusual for them. You don't notice a quiet person staying quite.

Who will I read on the 21st?

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Prepare for goodbye Feedburner in October 2012
Did you know that Google intends to shut down access to Feedburner’s APIs on October 20? A banner note on the Google Developers Feedburner API page makes that intent clear:
Important: The Google Feedburner APIs have been officially deprecated as of May 26, 2011 will be shut down on October 20, 2012.
It is the case that Google signalled a limited future for Feedburner with its deprecation post in May last year:
[…] Following the standard depreca…

21 Aug 2012

Listen no more

Author: will | Filed under: podcast

Google Listen is my most used app. Its been barely tended to, but it does its one job really well.
I should ask my podcasts like +Pop Tech Jam as to what I should use to replace it. I'm thinking about using Pocket Casts by Jelly Shift.

Any ideas?

And thanks to +Conor O'Neill for telling me about the demise.

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Google cancels Listen. I’m cancelling all non-core products by large corporations
We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. However, with Google Play, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we’ve discontinued Listen.
I never thought Listen was very good but this cancellation is why more and more I avoid Google’s non-core products. They are turning into Yahoo like this. I’m tired of putting effort into products by these large cor…

According to Eurodroid , the Google Nexus 7 (16gb) will be made available in July (when Google themselves start shipping) through the Carphone Warehouse high-street stores for £199. Hopefully this means that the tablet will be made available to Irish customers, or there will be queues to traffic to the Carphone Warehouse in Belfast get an unlocked / untethered tablet for use in Ireland.

Yes I want one. It would be interesting to see how it works down here as it appears to be designed to work only with a Google Play store that does Books, Movies and Music.

I saw the launch at the extended I/O Dublin event held in Google Docks by the GDG Dublin, so there was a bit of talk about the tablet, and disappointment that it would be available in the UK but not a few kilometres away in Ireland. Hopefully the physical stores with make the tablet available here too.

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16GB Nexus 7 tablet launching through UK high street shops, from July | Eurodroid
TweetUK phone specialist Carphone Warehouse has announced it'll be stocking the Nexus 7 tablet, with the 16GB version of Google's Android 4.1 tablet launching through its shops for £199 from this July…

25 Jun 2012

Big problems

Author: will | Filed under: CoderDojo, creativity, Design, google, programming

“Computational thinking is more like art than science”, the pull quote from this video. I didn’t know that Google has an Educational section.

So class, for game design and coding; how do you break down a game in to smaller parts? Break down a game of “Snap” in to a set of parts and algorithms that a simple computer could play.

24 Jun 2012

The black and the red

Author: will | Filed under: LBC, photo

Spotted this moth sticking to the rain soaked concrete yesterday afternoon. Any idea what it is?

Update (thanks Greg), it appears to be a Cinnabar Moth, which makes sense as the caterpillar form eats the poisonous and noxious weed ragworth. Given how it tends to pop up all over the place I suspect we’ll be seeing more of these.

The topic Dark was chosen for the LBC this week by, well, me. This is also the first of two post on this topic, as the one for “the last 3 people I spoke to” might breach a few NDA’s or laws. Don’t ask. See how the other active members handle the the topic:- Anu, Delirious, Grannymar, Maxi Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana and The Old Fossil.

16 Jun 2012

As my guitar softly prints

Author: will | Filed under: creativity, Design, music, opportunity

3D printing is something I really love the idea of. The practical results are, well, mixed.

I’ve seen, and help, amazing pieces. Intricate interlocking design which can only be printed that way. Vases printed fully decorated with different designs on the outside and on the inside. Pieces that look like hand painted with watercolours Egyptian artifacts.

I’ve also seen extruded pieces that look like spaghetti softened and shaped with food colouring. All it needs is a dab of glitter to make it a kids art project. It depends on the printing technique.

However the technology is slowly improving. I’d like to be able to print my own pieces for a transforming robot to vehicle (no brand names please) based on my own design. Or print a broken part to make a robot zombie (just to be different from the usual example). And its getting there.

Of course, if I print a musical instrument, I’m going to try with a simple printed whistle first.

Now I can download a book to read on a hand-held screen. I’d like to be able to design and print (or download) a case for that hand-held screen.
That’s available now.
And if it looks like a child’s spaghetti art piece, when then it looks hand crafted, glitter optional.

Of course, that case may have prevented its screen from cracking. Anyone have a tablet they don’t need?

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How 3D printing is revolutionising guitar-making
Additive manufacturing, starting with nothing and adding material one layer at a time, may soon be used to output entire buildings

4 Jun 2012

Orange jubilee

Author: will | Filed under: photo

Simply a bright orange, crown topped bubble blower. Probably a left over celebration prop from a Dutch royal event. But found on an Irish footpath.

What? No nothing to do with the 4 day weekend across the Irish Sea.