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burkina faso again

February 22, 2005  

in case you miss my posts here, i’m in burkina faso right now, with laafi. will post news or photos here soon unless i don’t find a decent connection. in the meantime you can check out the photos i took in 2003.

my new travelmate

February 17, 2005  

acer travelmate 8000my good old compaq armada decided to travel to the happy hunting grounds, so i had to look for a new travelmate.

which is – an acer travelmate 8004. very fine with a bright and huge screen, and lightening fast. conny has just set it up for me, thank you!


interesting blog post about the history of XMLHttpRequest:

in reality, we have microsoft to thank for what truly is an innovation. that’s right: scoble, gmail and oddpost are just tweaked versions of outlook web access, based on microsoft innovations.

see also my post “next generation web-applications“. (via del.icio.us.)

hack the web with greasemonkey

February 15, 2005  

did i mention that i love firefox? here’s another reason why: the greasemonkey extension. (firefox extensions are plugins or addons that do all sort of things. very useful.) i can see in my logs that about half of my frequent readers still use internet explorer. switch now, you won’t regret.

greasemonkey allows you to install javascripts that modify the web or a specific website for you, eg. by adding features, correcting usability-errors, changing colors, removing ads or frames, etc. so far there aren’t many scripts out there yet, which will surely change soon. if you know javascript you may start to hack the web today: you don’t want to wait for your favorite website to add a function? just do it yourself. see matthew’s scripts for a couple of examples.

the most useful script to me so far is this bloglines-del.icio.us integration script. it solves a need i’ve addressed before: if you want to bookmark a page you’ve read on bloglines, you can do so directly now. the link “clip this”, leading to bloglines’ own “clippings”-feature, becomes “post to del.icio.us” with the help of greasemonkey plus the script. so cool.

bloglines_before (1k image)
» bloglines before

bloglines_after (1k image)
» bloglines after

(del.icio.us-bloglines script found via pixelgraphix.de)

the london camphone militia

February 15, 2005  

lewisham_before (2k image)lewisham_after (2k image)the borough of lewisham, a district of london, has introduced a creative use of camara phones to keep its streets tidy: every citizen is asked to take photos of “problems” on the streets (such as abandoned cars, garbage or graffitis) and upload them to lovelewisham.org, with the help of a free java midlet. a cleaning team then visits the site, removes the problem and posts an “after”-image to the website. see examples on the left, taken from their picture collection.

cool. and a little bit frightening. wouldn’t like to see a bottom-up surveillance society à la george orwell be created with the help of cellphones. (via smartmobs)

fighting against spyware

February 12, 2005  

what was i thinking when i turned my IE security-settings down to “low” instead of turning it up to “high” (in order to test a web-feature without cookies and javascript)? maybe i thought of turning the browser-featureset “low”, not the security. i shouldn’t have used internet explorer in the first place (which i normally don’t do) but i didn’t want to mess with my firefox settings.

he who doesn’t listen will have to feel. it took me a couple of hours of hard work to get my system free of all this malicious spyware, adware and whatever crept onto my harddisk via some shady sites stumbled accross on goggle-imagesearch. spybot, adaware and the new microsoft antispyware only found parts of the problem. with the help of the nifty little hijackthis (and a lot of googling of single processes running and registry-editing) i finally achieved a spyware-free system again. not recommendable for inexperienced users though, it’s not too hard to squash your system totally with this tool.

my recommendations:
use firefox instead of IE, use a firewall and up-to-date anti-virus-software, activate windows update and run spybot from time to time (use also its “immunize”-function).

and don’t do stupid things as i did.


hot news: google has made the wikipedia foundation the offer to host wikipedia. i hope the offer is accepted, wikipedia sometimes is dog-slow, especially the german version. and it could be even more useful if google would enhance wikipedia with a decent search function.

(via ross mayfield’s linkorama)

1 jahr hotspot-liste

February 11, 2005  

vor einem jahr hab’ ich mit dem hightea und dem museumsquartier die hotspotsliste wien gestartet, quasi versehentlich. kurz darauf ist noch die liste der hotspots in den anderen bundesländern dazugekommen. mittlerweile sind’s immerhin 38 kostenlose hotspots in wien – in der innestadt ist somit immer ein lokal mit gratis wlan in der nähe – und 57 im rest österreichs. und die page ist die trafficstärkste auf helge.at, mit ca. 160 page-loads pro tag. eindeutig der penetranteste eintrag in diesem weblog..

rückblick:
» hotspots.at!
» computerwelt über meine wlan-liste
» helge.at in e-media


the new google maps (only US maps so far) does the same any map application does – just better. jason fried hits the mark:

here’s the default map i get when i search for our office on yahoo maps, MSN maps, mapquest and google maps. is there any question about the value of design and the customer experience after seeing this comparison? google slaps them down again.

google maps is another example of clever usage of rich user interfaces, just not using XMLHttpRequest (as in gmail and google suggest) but iframes and DHTML. see the article “google mapping“, where joel webber takes a look under the hood of google maps. (update: sorry, forgot: via UI designer and ross mayfield’s linkorama)


fresh from this server’s log files: someone from lorain, ohio searches for “photo of crazy muslims” and gets back my blog entry “crazy: US deport cat stevens“. so who’s crazy now?

ok, enough blogging for today, there’s still some work to do.

Common misspellings: Farnberger, Fahrenberger, Farenberger, Fahnberger, Fahrnleitner, Fahrngruber, Fahrnberg.
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