Monthly Archives: August 2010

TweetDeck User Streams is Twitter as it should be

I’ve been fortunate enough to test the TweetDeck User Streams Preview in a private beta over the last month, which enables TweetDeck to display a constant flow of Tweets, unencumbered by API rate limiting, in true real time. Last week User Streams entered public beta, and if you haven’t tried it, do it. Real-time Twitter is something Twitter veterans haven’t seen since May of 2008, and a vast majority of Twitter users have never really experienced it (unless they were among the few to turn on SMS updates for everybody). While this isn’t honest-to-God Twitter over XMPP (though the Streaming API will make such an application possible once more), this isn’t a bad alternative. Give it a try and let me know if you are overwhelmed — I know I was at first (I follow over 1700 people and bots on Twitter).

Nerd networking in Bluffton Tuesday at 6:30

[gmap width=’200px’ height=’120px’ zoom=’12’ center_lat=’32.2372725′ center_lon=’-80.8662327′ type=’G_STATIC_MAP’]Bluffton Web development and social media firm ThreeTenSeven is hosting a nerd networking event at Bear’s Comics in Bluffton Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. This event should be attractive to any and all tech gearheads in Beaufort County and surrounding areas, so if you’re of that persuasion, come on out and meet up with some fellow nerds.

Periodic Earl updates on

I’m doing periodic updates on Hurricane Earl over at the underutilized Charleston Weather blog. It looks less and less likely that Earl is going to be an issue for South Carolina (possibly a different story for the Outer Banks), but it will be cool to see how the P2 WordPress theme — which updates in real-time — responds if/when something does bear down on the Lowcountry.

Fixing the Escort ZX2 brake light issue

The other day, neighbors (and eventually my girlfriend) noticed that my brake lights were on, despite my headlights being off and the car powered down. At first I suspected an electrical short, but I also noticed a strange blue piece in my floorboard. After pulling the fuse to save my battery, I took to The Google where I found a blog post from another Escort owner with the same issue — brake lights and a blue piece in the floorboard. As it turned out, that blue piece was intended to help the brake lights deactivate, and is prone to dry rot and eventual failure. The part was $4, can be found at a dealership, and can be installed in five minutes. My brake lights work properly again and I am once again able to terrorize Hilton Head Island with my absurdly loud muffler. I hope this post can help other ZX2 owners down the road and save them $100+ in labor costs.

The Cape Verde train is getting going

Invest 96, which may become Earl later this week. Courtesy NHC.

Invest 96, which may become Earl later this week. Courtesy NHC.

The Cape Verde train is getting rolling. Hurricane Danielle is all the rage in the Atlantic (and rightly so), but Invest 96, which may become Tropical Storm Earl in the next couple days, is another one to watch, especially if it develops slowly and misses a weakness in high pressure which is the driver that should steer Danielle out to sea. It’s obviously too early to tell where it will go, but as with any Cape Verde storm, it’s one to keep a close eye on.

Relax: OpenOffice ain’t gonna die

Could be in trouble at the hands of Oracle? I’m willing to bet they probably won’t put as many resources behind it as Sun once did, but I also don’t count out the open source community in keeping up maintenance of a very widely-used package. In open source, where there’s a will, there’s at least five open ways (and vigorous debate about which one is best). While Google Docs is my daily driver as far as word processing and spreadsheets go (primarily because Gmail makes it effortless to go between the two), OpenOffice has proven to be a solid complement, especially for presentations.

Fewer push notifications, please

I’m not quite sure how advantageous the new Gmail push notifications are for iPhone given just how lousy iPhone notifications are, not to mention that Google Sync via Exchange is a more complete experience. The only potential advantage to the push notification method is better battery life, though given the volume of e-mail I receive in a day, push anything usually takes a pretty quick toll. And, frankly, I only want notifications for high-priority events; a selective implementation would make more sense, not one that blasts every single message at me.