Day: February 21, 2003

  • Teaser: rss2wml

    I’m working on a python library/script to convert an rss file to a browsable wml file.  Right now it can be used as a library and run from a cron job, though I’ll release a cgi example at some point too.  No source code for you yet, it’s still too ugly.  Here’s a picture of my cel phone browsing the WML of my RSS feed before this post:


    It’s not clickable or really functional yet, but right now you can see a list of titles from my RSS feed at the time I ran the script.  It uses Mark’s RSS parser, which does all of the heavy lifting as always.

    Expect more over the weekend (read: sunday).

  • Low Disk Space

    Running low on disk space again, this time filling up 200 megs.  I might have to cut down or eliminate cross posting to categories.

  • Motagging

    Russ has something here:

    Okay, I didn’t look this up to see if someone else is doing it, but I was thinking about Moblogging and the idea of real world annotations – where you can mark a space using GPS and then someone else can “see” what’s happening at that space when they run into it with their cool high-tech mobile phone.

    I love the idea of tagging a unique number or identifier to a place and then being able to access it later.  I don’t know how well little stickers with numbers would be recieved by law enforcement, government, and tree huggers.  Damn tree huggers.

    In a system set up like this, I’d also love to see many ways to get at the data.  Cel phones would be able to access it via WAP/WML, MMS, SMS, etc.  I’d also like to see clients for Java-enabled phones and possibly native Symbian-OS clients.  I’d like to see XML-RPC, SOAP, REST, and other web service interfaces to the motagging data so that we can get at it in the way that is easiest for any particular situation.  (Sorry, it seems that when I get excited, alphabet soup tends to happen)

    Laptops on 802.11b would offer a richer interface to the data, possibly with links to or geographical representations of other nearby tags.  There would be a tagpop top 40 which would monitor the most popular tags across the globe so that we can see where new and exciting things are happening, and finding out where in the world is ‘so last week.’

    You could pop up an interface on your phone to find any tags that are within three city blocks of you.  Eventually the tags would cease being little stickers posted everywhere and the technology would fill in with GPS other next-gen phone features.

    I’d love to see MoWiki’s pop up, though they’d have to be easy enough to annotate (read: easier and less intimidating than current wikis) and the wholse system would have to be resistant to abuse.

    I would claim ownership of the tag at the sub shop down the street and tell people that the pizzas taste great if there’s a line out the door but are not so good when it’s slow, or to get the Chicken Suvlaki on a sub roll, but watch out cause it’s messy.  Someone would chime in a week or two later and say that the meatball and cheese sub is a little bland but great for $3.50.

    It would be really hard to filter out tag spam.  Signal to noise ratio might be an issue.

    The idea has tons of potential.

  • Homeland Security Web Service

    I was thinking about creating a web service that would spew out the current terrorist threat level.  When it got to the implementation phase, I decided that it was probably not wise to poll a web site at in order to parse out the current threat level.  I thought about it, did it a few times, got it right, and decided not to deploy it.

    Secret Service Agent: “Can you explain why a machine on your network has polled the exactly every hour for the past two weeks?”
    Matt: “Uhh…”

    Needless to say, I was quite happy to find out at xmethods that RBailey at Tinetics has recently released a security level service.  Here’s my quick (less than 2 minute) app utilizing this service:

    Security Level XP

    The code behind this in C# is a joke (after importing the web reference using the WSDL for the service:

    homeland.securitylevelService s = new homeland.securitylevelService();
    string alert = s.getsecuritylevel();
    lblAlert.Text = "Current homeland security level is: " + alert;

    There’s a switch statement after that to color code the label’s background color based on the result.  Nifty.

    Yes, I was bored in class.

  • Lindows Laptop

    Man, I want a Lindows Laptop.