21 Jul 2009 @ 4:01 PM 

After a little time off to visit with friends and family who were in town visiting, I’ve jumped back into xTweet, my Twitter application for the XBMC Media Center.  Now I have a new version, v1.4, ready to release.

Fly little one, fly!

Read more below or go ahead and download it here.

Now you can view your followers/following lists with xTweet.

Now you can view your followers/following lists with xTweet.

Changes in v1.4:

  • View your Following and Followers lists
    • View the user’s timeline
    • @mention the user
    • Send them a Direct Message
    • View their Following and Followers lists
  • Updated the format for auto-tweets
    • song: “listening to ARTIST – TITLE on #XBMC Media Center
    • video: “watching VIDEO on #XBMC Media Center

Feel free to check it out by downloading it here.

Want to know more about the project?  Check out the xTweet project page on GoogleCode or the xTweet discussion thread on the XBMC Forums.

Have feedback or suggestions?  Are you able to translate xTweet into another language?  Let me know @AsylumFunk!

Screenshots:

Select a user that you're following or followed by to get more info on them.

Select a user that you're following or followed by to get more info on them.

New options: view a user's timeline, @mention them, send them a Direct Message, or view their followers/following lists

New options: view a user's timeline, @mention them, send them a Direct Message, or view their followers/following lists

View a user's timeline to see their recent activity.  Select a message to easily reply to it.

View a user's timeline to see their recent activity. Select a message to easily reply to it.

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Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 21 Jul 2009 @ 04 40 PM

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So it turns out that Facebook allows advertisers to use your profile photo (and possibly other details) in their advertisements… wtf?!

I read about this here, where apparently someone saw an advertisement for “Hot singles”… featuring his wife’s profile photo.

Awesome, huh?

Awesome, huh?

To prevent Facebook ads from using your details in their advertisements, you’ll need to update your Facebook privacy settings:

Now don’t say I never did anything for you ;-)

originally posted here: Facebook sez, “Don’t mind us, we’re just whoring out your photos”

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Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 17 Jul 2009 @ 01 57 PM

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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the formation of a task force to conduct a 60-day review of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). The mission of the task force is to assess the effectiveness of the system in informing the public about terrorist threats and communicating protective measures within government and throughout the private sector.

– source: US Department of Homeland Defense

Red light... green light!

Red light... green light!

For the unaware, the color-coded warning system was put into place shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.  Its (stated) intent was to provide citizens and government agencies with an easy-to-digest summary of the country’s current threat level.  Note: If you’re an American citizen and this is all news to you, you may want to stop reading now and crawl right back into your underground bunker ;-)

In its 8 year lifespan, the system has had no shortage of critics, Democrats, Republicans, stand-up comedians and myself included.  While the idea itself appears to be of some use, the Bush Administration’s implementation left much to be desired.

No King Kong?!?  This is America, dammit!

So why the criticism?

The Bush Admin. was accused, on several occasions, of fluctuating the levels in order to manipulate public opinion.  In August 2004, then-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge raised the level to orange, the 2nd highest level, just as the Republicans were wrapping up their presidential convention, riding claim’s of having a tougher stance on terrorism than John Kerry, the Democratic candidate.  Some claimed it was due to potential threats to the financial sector, while others found the timing to be far too convenient.  You decide.

Duct Tape and Cover!!!

Duct Tape and Cover!!!

Putting subjective politics aside, let’s return to the issue at hand: is the system, as it is currently implemented, useful to the American public?  The way I see it, the system is only useful if it is regularly updated to genuinely reflect the current state of affairs.  The level hasn’t dipped below “yellow” since 2001, the year it was created, despite the relative peace we have experienced domestically over the past 8 years.  So frankly, if it isn’t being updated, it’s obsolete.

There is, however, the argument that we are always “at risk.”  While it sounds like pure fear-bating, I suppose there’s some validity there; any country, especially one was influential on the global scene as is the US, runs the risk of being attacked at some point.   But operating under this premise, the level would never drop below “yellow,” despite it being the median level on the scale.  Worse yet, the yellow level stands for “Elevated”, implying that it is NOT the status quo, though it does make FOX News headlines appear much more sensational.  A warning system that continually reports a “default” level of “elevated” sounds broken to me.

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you find yourself, I think it only makes sense to at least review the system,  now 8 years after its inception, and even Tom Ridge agrees with that ;-)

story found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/15/colorcoded-terror-alert-s_n_232651.html

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the formation of a task force to conduct a 60-day review of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). The mission of the task force is to assess the effectiveness of the system in informing the public about terrorist threats and communicating protective measures within government and throughout the private sector.
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Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 29 Nov 2011 @ 09 04 AM

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 09 Jul 2009 @ 1:12 PM 

I’ve put some more work into xTweet, my Twitter application for the XBMC Media Center, and I’m pumped to release version 1.3 into the wild!

Fly little one, fly!

Read more below or go right ahead and download it here.

xTweet v1.3, locked and loaded, more screenshots below

xTweet v1.3, locked and loaded, more screenshots below

Changes in v1.3:

  • full Direct Message support, featuring:
    • Compose (send a new direct message)
    • Inbox (messages you have received)
    • Sent (messages you have sent)
  • a German translation, thanks to pt-1!
  • a fix for an issue that previously caused the “Tweet about this song/video” options to not work properly

You can reply to or delete messages by simply selecting the message from either the Inbox or Sent menus.

Extra goodness:
If you have the Twitter application for Facebook installed, you can also update your Facebook status right from xTweet.

Feel free to check it out by downloading it here.

Want to know more about the project?  Check out the xTweet project page on GoogleCode or the xTweet discussion thread on the XBMC Forums.

Have feedback or suggestions?  Are you able to translate xTweet into another language?  Let me know @AsylumFunk!

Screenshots:

To access the Direct Messages features, select "Direct Messages" from the main menu

To access the Direct Messages features, select "Direct Messages" from the main menu

The Direct Messages menu lets you compose a new message, view your inbox and sent messages

The Direct Messages menu lets you compose a new message, view your inbox and sent messages

Compose new Direct Messages

To send a Direct Message, select "Compose" from the Direct Messages menu, enter the recipient's username, enter your message, and voila!

Let people know what you're watching or listening to! If you have audio or video playing while xTweet is open, a "Tweet about this song/video" will appear.  Select the option and it will update your status automatically!

Let people know what you're watching or listening to! If you have audio or video playing while xTweet is open, a "Tweet about this song/video" will appear. Select the option and it will update your status automatically.

Check out the most recent updates from your friends (and yourself) with the Friends Timeline.  This is the default view on the Twitter homepage

Check out the most recent updates from your friends (and yourself) with the Friends Timeline. This is the default view on the Twitter homepage

Sprechen Sie Deutsches?  xTweet is now available in German (thanks to pt-1!)

Sprechen Sie Deutsches? xTweet is now available in German (thanks to pt-1!)

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Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 09 Jul 2009 @ 05 42 PM

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 06 Jul 2009 @ 3:15 PM 

I haven’t even been following major news in recent months, but I’ve had enough with the coverage of Michael Jackson’s death.

Yes, the loss of human life is regrettable, but come on… enough’s enough.

Cue Stephen Colbert to point out the ridiculous depths that news outlets have gone to in an attempt to bring you anything and everything about the fallen king of pop… an exclusive piece on MJ’s pet monkey, Bubbles.

sigh…

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Categories: Uncategorized Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 06 Jul 2009 @ 03 34 PM

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 04 Jul 2009 @ 2:51 AM 

Whoa, whoa, whoa…

Pandora mixes audio advertisments into your playlists now? wtf?!

Granted, I haven’t really used Pandora in the past 2 months, nor do I have a premium account, but seriously guys… talk about a jarring user experience

I remember when ( *cue the old man voice* ) Pandora used to play whatever you wanted to hear all the time, the only interruption being periodic “are you still listening” messages (we used to walk uphill both ways in the snow just to listen to streaming music!!!).

How long has this been going on?!

For shame Pandora, for shame…

I don’t want to jump the gun, but this seems like a slippery slope… something about opening someone’s box…

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Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 05 Jul 2009 @ 10 53 PM

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 30 Jun 2009 @ 11:05 PM 

Two weeks ago, I started looking into creating XBMC scripts (think “FireFox extensions” for your digital media center).  If you haven’t heard of XBMC, it’s definitely worth checking out; an open source media center on PC, Mac, Linux, and even the original XBox.

The only problem was, XBMC scripts are written Python and I don’t think I had even seen a line of Python code before then.

Luckily, I saw this as a challenge: learn a new programming language, improve my XBMC experience, and contribute to the open source community.

Over the next few days, I didn’t sleep much, but started picking up Python (and the XBMC framework) at a rapid pace.  Within a few days, I had my first solo contribution to the open-source community (GPL FTW); the XBMC DVD Manager.

After learning the ins and outs, I wanted to take a shot at something with wider appeal.  I’ve been using Twitter more and more over the past few months and was surprised to see that no one had yet to build a Twitter client for XBMC.  It clicked and I had my idea.

I started by putting into writing WHY I was writing the program I had envisioned (honestly, all developers ought to start with this), then put together a list of features and some crude wire-frames. Once I knew what I wanted to do, I started coding.

Four hours later, I had a working prototype. Within the first day, I released version 1.0 into the wild.

The initial version allowed users to manually update their Twitter status or tweet automatically about the song/video they were playing in XBMC.  A few days later, version 1.1 was released, allowing users to send direct messages to their friends.

I decided to take a few days off of coding at that point…  or rather, my body was crying out for sleep ;-) . So I sat back for a while, keeping an eye on how much exposure xTweet was getting.  I didn’t do much in the way of “publicity”, simply adding the application the XBMCZone.com. Within the first week, xTweet has been downloaded by over 150 users across the world. Sure, that may not be a lot, but considering it was something I created for shits-and-giggles, it made me feel like kind of a big deal ;-) .  I’ve even found a few people Tweeting about my project (*brushes shoulders off*).

I’ve still got a number of features that I want to add to xTweet, so keep an eye out here and on the official Google Code page for updates.

Anyway, I’m getting long-winded now. So in closing…

If you have XBMC,  go ahead and check out xTweet now!

If you haven’t installed XBMC, quit being lame, (grab it), then let me know what you think!

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Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 01 Jul 2009 @ 10 00 PM

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 26 Jun 2009 @ 7:24 PM 

*peeks head out*

*looks around*

peek-a-boo

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Categories: life
Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 26 Jun 2009 @ 07 24 PM

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 11 May 2009 @ 2:34 PM 

One year ago, I packed everything I owned into a Geo Metro and started driving west from Pittsburgh.

I stopped when I ran out of land, in Sunny San Diego.

I haven’t been back since, but tomorrow I’m flying back.

Yeah, that’s all I’ve got for now…

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Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 29 Nov 2011 @ 09 00 AM

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 18 Apr 2009 @ 5:26 PM 
Seriously...

Seriously...

With every web project I engineer, countless hours are lost to the hellhole which is Internet Explorer 6.

It was pretty much the worst idea since Jason Bateman decided to join cast of Teen Wolf Too.


  • it doesn’t support web standards
  • fails to render PNG transparency
  • leads to more bloated, less intuitive code
  • forces “IE6 hacks” like:
<!--[if lt IE 7]>
This message is only displayed in browsers earlier than IE7.
<![endif]-->
  • and:
div
{
    width: 100px;
    padding: 10px;
    border: 10px solid #000;
}

* html div
{
    \width: 140px; /* for IE5 and IE6 in quirks mode */
    w\idth: 100px; /* for IE6 in standards mode */

  }

Luckily, support for Microsoft’s bastard child is dying.

I don’t even want to go into the details of my hatred right now… everytime I do, a part of me dies.

Fuck IE6 and anyone that looks like ‘em!

http://www.bringdownie6.com/

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Categories: web
Posted By: AsylumFunk
Last Edit: 29 Nov 2011 @ 08 53 AM

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