Geeks With Blogs

Lance's TextBox June 2006 Entries
Campaign for a oil-free Congress
From Since 1990, Big Oil has given more than $190 million to members of Congress and 75% ($142,635,314!) of those donations have gone to Republicans. Those donations guarantee an energy policy that serves the oil industry's interests over the public interest. Until we stop politicians from taking oil money, it'll be hard to move into a clean-energy future. Join the campaign that asks members of Congress to publically pledge not to take bribes money from oil companies ......

Posted On Monday, June 26, 2006 11:54 AM

Soccer? Football? Whaaaaa???
Tonight on Conaan O'Brian, he played a new game: “Audience Member From Tonight's Show Or U.S. National Team Member?” The point of the “game” illustrates the fact that people in the US don't really give a damn about soccer/football. In fact, the only people in the US that are watching World Cup games are those that were born or spent a large portion of their lives overseas. Quote from a “Late Night with Conaan O'Brien“ analysis of one World Cup game: “One ......

Posted On Saturday, June 24, 2006 9:45 PM

Don't use Google Maps for pushing drugs
I was reading about signing up for a Google Maps API key, and I just thought this was funny(from There are some uses of the API that we just don't want to see. For instance, we do not want to see maps that identify the places to buy illegal drugs in a city, or any similar illegal activity ......

Posted On Friday, June 23, 2006 8:09 AM

RSSBus Template to output Virtual Earth Maps
I've mentioned before how you can generate Google Earth KML using RSSBus. The current beta of RSSBus already comes with a yahooMaps operation that will generate an RSS feed that contains a Yahoo Map of a particular location. Virtual Earth, you say? The LoadMap function of Virtual Earth takes a latitude and longitude coordinate as input, so here is some RSSBus Template code that will call the RSSBus yahooGeocode operation and use its lat/long output to generate a Virtual Earth map. The first step ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 21, 2006 12:52 PM

Developing for Amazon S3
Jeff Barr pointed to Sergey Schetinin's S3 Manager (he's looking for beta testers). The screenshot included in this post is not of Sergey's project - but a demo project that comes with the /n software's IBiz S3 Integrator. The IBiz S3 Integrator is a component toolkit for software developers that allows you to easily add Amazon S3 capabilities to your own applications. The toolkit comes with the development component as well as the a demo, such as the one you see here. This particular demo allows ......

Posted On Friday, June 16, 2006 12:29 PM

The bloglines plumber has really nice shoes
The Bloglines plumber must do a good job, he doesn't even get his shiny shoes dirty. He is working on the Bloglines pipes now. I hope he does more than just fixes the pipes. Maybe he has a carpenter buddy who can fix some of the broken boards and a painter friend who can put on a fresh coat of web 2.0. I think he could also use a PR friend, too. Why doesn't bloglines have a blog? There is an Ask blog, but it seems a bit odd that a feed reading service doesn't have its own blog. If he could bring ......

Posted On Thursday, June 15, 2006 1:01 PM

Where's Tim's Lunch?
In my last post I showed how I can create an RSSBus template to take the Where's Tim RSS feed and output it as a Google Earth KML format. This time I'll create an RSSBus script to take Tim's most recent location and output an RSS feed of pizza restaurants that he might eat lunch at today. I'll do this by “pipelining“ together Tim's feed with another restaurant feed. What's the difference in an RSSBus script and an RSSBus template? Not much. A script outputs an RSS feed, and a template outputs any ......

Posted On Thursday, June 15, 2006 11:19 AM

Where's Tim RSSBus Template
Tim Hibbard has added GeoRSS to his Where's Tim location feed (by the way, you can get your own location feed through Where's Tim On Demand). I've talked about how RSSBus can be used to work with feeds and generate new output based on them. Here's a simplistic but neat example: I took Tim's location feed and called it from an RSSBus template. Inside the template I split out KML (Google Earth's XML format) that draws a path showing Tim's path throughout the day. Here's what the KML looks like in Google ......

Posted On Thursday, June 15, 2006 9:50 AM

Links - A standard for representing location in RSS/Atom feeds Scoble Exit Interview - From Mary Jo Foley at Microsoft-Watch. Shame on Microsoft - C&D, this makes me sick. Where's Tim On Demand - This is pretty cool, real time mapping of your location. ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:50 AM

GeoRSS - location encoding in RSS feeds
Unfortunately I'm not at Where 2.0 (wish I was), but O'Reilly Radar reports that Mikel Maron revived the RSS as the “Unix pipe of the Internet” analogy today while talking about GeoRSS, a standardized way for encoding location in ATOM/RSS feeds. Mikel's own mapufacture aggregates multiple GeoRSS feeds into a single map. Recently I spent some time playing with the RSSBus YahooOps, which contains geocoding and yahoo mapping feed generation capabilities. I used these operations to generate ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:25 AM

The "Unix pipe of the Internet"
In an interview with ACM Queue last year, Ray Ozzie called RSS "the Unix pipe of the Internet": "RSS is an extremely important standard. It’s the HTML of the next generation of the Web, or some people might refer to it as the Unix pipe of the Internet. It’s a way of channeling data from one application to another in very interesting and robust fashion. Again, I think it’s important as a technique far beyond just collaborative software." Again on his blog and at the E-Tech conference Ray hits on this ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:20 AM

Hello Stanley Cup, Welcome to Raleigh
Since the people in Buffalo liked it so much, I couldn't help but add this photo to the Edmonton Oilers Flickr group, too. All in good fun, of course. Go 'Canes! Technorati tags: carolina hurricanes hockey nhl edmonton oilers ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 13, 2006 12:40 PM

Fun customized graphics generators
A while back I ran across's newspaper clipping graphics generator: Pretty cool. Today someone told me about another one, ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 13, 2006 10:55 AM

Lookout, Chris: Gnome-be-gone

On Uncrate recently:  Gnome-be-gone.  Lookout, Chris, I hope none of these turn up at Gnomedex.


Posted On Monday, June 12, 2006 7:43 AM

Race For The Cure Results
This past Saturday was the Race For the Cure (5k). My goal was to finish in 26:30, but I did not quite meet it. Close, but no cigar. My time was 26:56, but I'm happy with that. I was in the recreational race, so I was not chip timed but did my own timing with a stopwatch. My friend Andi participated in the competitive race (chip-timed), and finished in 1052nd place. It sounds bad, but out of over 1700 people in that race and a finishing time of 27:17 - awesome! From what I heard that day, over 19 ......

Posted On Monday, June 12, 2006 6:37 AM

"The most elegant RSS service I’ve seen so far"
Hendry Lee calls RSSBus "the most elegant RSS service I’ve seen so far". While its true that RSSBus is currently available for Windows only, we will have a Java version available in the future. How about a chart to describe how the concept works for less tech-savvy viewers? I hear ya, that's good advice and something that we will definitely do. Until recently our focus was mostly to reach and get feedback from techies and alpha-geeks. Now we have gotten a lot of useful feedback, made some positive ......

Posted On Friday, June 9, 2006 10:44 AM

100+ MORE ways to use RSS
Mike Gunderloy points to arc90's 25 New Ways to use RSS. Here are over 120 more ways to use RSS - all exposed as RSSBus operations: AmazonOps: feeds that provide access to Amazon services. AsteriskOps: feeds of voicemail, call connection. CcOps: feeds for credit card authorization, validation, refunding, voiding. EbayOps: feeds that provide access to EBay services. ExcelOps: feeds for retrieving information from Excel spreadsheets FedexOps: feeds for FedEx shipping, rate queries, and tracking. FeedOps: ......

Posted On Friday, June 9, 2006 9:50 AM

Google Spreadsheets API: Library and Demo
Ready for some feedback. Download the library and let me know what you think. There is a csharp winforms demo included that shows how to use the GSheet class that is contained in the dll. Contents of the zip: csharpDemo - Folder containing the csharp source code of the demo GoogleSpreadsheetsAPI.dll - Library containing the GSheet class. nsoftware.IPWorksSSL.dll - IP*Works! SSL library for communications code Update: Download it here, source included. Update 2: The library is no longer available. ......

Posted On Thursday, June 8, 2006 2:14 PM

Google Spreadsheets API
Lots of people are talking about Google Spreadsheets. Yesterday I wrote some c# code to enable me to access my Spreadsheets account from my .net applications: a Google Spreadsheets API. So far I can authenticate, list all my existing spreadsheets, create a new spreadsheet, edit individual cells, delete a spreadsheet, rename a spreadsheet, import from a local XLS file, and export to a local XLS or CSV file. I will post some code later today. properties: string Email string Password string CurrentSheetKey ......

Posted On Thursday, June 8, 2006 7:05 AM

New bloglines version in closed beta?

In the referrer logs of my recent post about Bloglines, I see that apparently there are improvements under way after all.  Anybody have access to  I want to see!

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Posted On Wednesday, June 7, 2006 7:19 PM

90 degrees in Carolina, but Oilers still cold!
As I write this there is 15 minutes left in the third period of the game.  Score board: 5-0.  The Oilers are sinking to a very low level and take cheap shot after cheap shot.  They can't seem to stay out of the penalty box, and half of their pentalties are stupid preventable mistakes caused by their own frustration (including a major on LaRoque in the third).  After this game, I think the Oilers are finished.

Posted On Wednesday, June 7, 2006 7:16 PM

One thing I agree with Tim about is his assessment of Bloglines. They talk a big game, and they have a good offering - but come on people step back up to the plate! Bloglines just seems so stale to me. If it ain't broke don't fix it - true, but don't let it sit there and waste away just to eventually be overtaken by the competition. A few months ago I sent in some suggestions, but the response I got back was completely off-putting and unhelpful, hopefully not a sign of their interest in improving ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 11:02 AM

hockey in the heat of the south

Tim Bray says that "the notion of a championship hockey team from Carolina seems all wrong somehow".  Whats up with that?  Because I live in North Carolina I can't enjoy a hockey game just as much as the Canadians can?  Is there a rule that says you have to have mounted police running around in funny hats in order to have a good hockey team?  :P

Posted On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 11:01 AM

Google Spreadsheets Sneak Peek
Jayaveer has a sneak peak of Google Spreadsheets.

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Posted On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 7:59 AM

Pros and Cons of Buying an Apple (sarcastic)
Pro - Really cool mailbox: This picture comes from Flickr. Con - Everything except the mailbox burns up in fire: Read more about the iBook in flames ......

Posted On Friday, June 2, 2006 9:11 AM

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