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O’Reilly Radar on the day today:

Having Trouble Differentiating Between Web 2.0 News and April Fool’s Jokes? It’s getting harder and harder to tell.

Quote of the day

March 30, 2007  


This person doesn’t know what’s going on, I need to talk to someone more junior.

Fucking hilarious

February 7, 2007  

(RSS-Readers: here goes a video..)

via Sierra.

Drink Pee, not Coke

January 23, 2007  

pee 1


Not getting bored in Africa

January 19, 2007  

As some of the ones who stayed at home start to ask questions when we’ll show up in Ouagadougou and – looking at the pictures here and on Peter’s blog – probably wonder if we’re on a holiday trip, a short update on what we’ve achieved so far:

Both at the University of Architecture (EAMAU) in Lomé, Togo and the Dept. of Building Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University in Kumasi, Ghana we were warmly welcomed and met local academics who not only gave positive feedback to but are also very much committed to the promotion of sustainable architecture and the use of local materials. In both towns we were shown some interesting building projects that will fit well into the Osafa project database.

In Kumasi we had a very interesting conversation about the impact of official building codes that often disallow the use of local materials and techniques (at least for administation buildings). They were pleased to hear about Cameron Sinclair’s upcoming Open Architecture Network that will hopefully foster the discourse about national building codes in Africa. (Cameron, if you stumble accross this, drop a comment please! I’ll pass on the respective contacts to you by email.)

In Lomé we also met with the director of CCL (Cente de Construction et du Logement) that was founded by the UN and is now financed by the Togolese gov’t, where construction workers are being educated in the production of stabilised earth bricks (red earth plus 14% cement) and subsequent building techniques. (A contact that will especially interest Thomas Granier from La Voûte Nubienne.)

In Accra we had something like a blogger meeting with the bright folks of, a think tank of ghanaians in diaspora, with a close focus on ICT. They are able to help us to “wikify” (=train) local architecture students who then in return can start to document construction projects for Osafa.

Tomorrow we’ll head on to Ouaga (in a 24h bus ride..) where a lot of Laafi– and Osafa-related work is waiting for us.

Back online!

January 10, 2007  

A big hello to those of you who stayed subscribed to my blog for such a long time without any updates! is back. Reason, you ask? Minor, actually – the blog software I installed back in 2003 was broken and I was going to fix it tomorrow. For more than a year. Oh well.

Now it’s done, thanks to the fabulous support from Smeidu and Jürgen, who helped me with layout and code.

Of course I haven’t been silent in the meantime, I just blogged elsewhere. I’ve imported all posts I found worth importing, so stroll through the archives in case your day is boring. Or better check out the photos from South Africa that I have added, from the short trip with Conny last may.

Comments are now open again, too – so I guess you know what to do! One more thing: I’ll probably mostly blog in German from now on, with the occasional exception. The German-speaking blogosphere is now big enough, I don’t need to constantly speak to the entire world. Sorry folks! The blog on the site is split to a Sideblog and the main blog (frontpage) – yet it’s just one. If you subscribe my RSS feed you’ll always get everything (long live fewer choices). If you find bugs you may keep them (and there are many still).

And finally: Tonight I’ll be leaving for West Africa. I promise to write a longish what-has-happened-in-my-life-while-I-wasn’t-blogging posting, afterwards.

feedback für bloglines

August 30, 2006  

da man bei bloglines, dem feedreader meiner wahl, ein offenes ohr für feedback hat, hab ich verbesserungsvorschläge eingeschickt. mal schauen, ob sie so positiv reagieren wie vor 2 jahren.

feature suggestion: starring.

  • problem

for power users (i for example have 172 feeds in 12 folders) it’s hard to keep track without wasting too much time. it’s especially difficult to distinguish signal (i.e. feeds i don’t want to miss and will read) from noise (i.e. feeds i read only occassionally or visually scan for topics/keywords of interest).

of course i could use folders for distinction but i already use them for topical selection.

  • solution

let us "star" individual feeds, like one stars mail conversations in google. items from starred feeds could get a slightly different background color in the stream of feeds, so they won’t be missed.

  • advanced solution

the same highlighting could be applied to all items (per feed or globally) that contain a specified keyword. this way we could recognize signal within a noisy feed.

bug report: items within last session

  • problem

when reading rss items on a per folder basis (i.e. clicking on folders, not feeds) it often happens that one accidentially clicks on that folder twice. result: "no items within this folder", even when there were unread items.

clicking "display items within last session" returns all items from ALL last sessions per feed, not just the new items from that very session that was missed. with big folders it’s virtually impossible to identify the new items in the given pile of "last session" items (# of feeds x # of items per session = can easily be 100). items are lost.

  • solution

when in folder view, "display items within last session" should return only item from last session for that folder, not from last session for every feed in folder.

update 26. september: schweigen im walde. liegt vermutlich daran, dass mark fletcher nicht mehr an bord ist. schade.

i use google calendar and it’s great.

but it’s broken:
my calendar account is associated to my gmail account (a fact that is irreversible, for a reason that i don’t get), however i don’t use gmail much. i rather get my invitations at a non-gmail address. a perfectly legitimate use case. so the problem is that invitations don’t get associated with my calendar and won’t appear there.

there are a number of ways to fix that, google please choose any of them! (i’d recommend to implement 4 and 3.)

  1. use the existing function of associated email addresses in gmail (settings>accounts) to pool email addresses into one calendar
  2. use the existing function "secondary email" in google account (personal information>change security question) to pool that address into the calendar
  3. give me an option to store the event into that calendar when i click the yes/no/maybe link inside an invitation while being logged in at the same time with my gmail-account
  4. create a function in calendar settings where i can add secondary email addresses (that i have to authenticate of course) that i want to pool into my calendar.

do something, this is a major flaw.

technorati-tags: , ,

as noone seems to have documented this (at least i couldn’t find it) i’ll go for it:

how to embed flash (e.g. google video or youtube content) into mediawiki (based on MW 1.6.7, but should work in other versions, too)

i probably could have written a mediawiki extension but i’m too stupid for that. so we’ll have to live with a mediawiki hack. working example.

do the following:

  1. find the file Sanitizer.php in the folder /includes of your mediawiki installation
  2. find the function removeHTMLtags in that file. below that you’ll find a list of whitelisted HTML tags. add the tag embed to the list.
  3. find the function setupAttributeWhitelist in the same file. several lines below you will find HTML-attributes being whitelisted for each HTML tag. so you add a new line (maybe below the line that defines span):
    ’embed’ => array( ‘style’, ‘id’, ‘type’, ‘src’, ‘width’, ‘height’ ),

take care to replace the typographic ‘-quotes by straight ones when doing copy&paste. (wordpress converts the quotes on this blog, so you need to convert them back.)

you’re done. now you can copy the HTML-code provided by google or youtube into your wiki textbox and it’ll work. (make sure to make backups and document so you know what you’ve changed. when upgrading you’ll have to repeat the process. no warranties for possibile security leaks resulting from the hack.)

update april 2007: i just tested, this hack also works with mediawiki 1.9.2, just that you need to add embed to $htmlpairs. (note: in case the embed-code you want to use has the format <embed /> you now have to convert it to <embed> </embed> before posting it to your wiki.) i also would recommend to paste the last line of code near br instead of span (the file has got rearranged a bit).

see you at..

May 24, 2006  

reboot8 in copenhagen?

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