Adsense Notifier Firefox Extension Update Version 0.9.4

I never realized how addicted I was to the Adsense Notifier extension until it suddenly stopped working for me.

And sure enough, there's a new version out today to handle a change from Google.

Version 0.9.4 — September 2, 2007 — 62 KB
Fixed screen scraping to accommodate Google change in the earnings display


Posted on Sun, 2 Sep 2007 23:58 by Seni Sangrujee (1394 day(s) old)

Ajax PHP Chat Room Recap

I've been searching for a good Ajax chatroom for a while for a site that I run. I originally had a Java chat applet in place, but it wouldn't work with everyone's browsers.

After installing several of them and getting feedback from users, we've settled on phpFreeChat until something better comes along.

Here's a list of the Ajax PHP chatrooms that we evaluated with a few comments:

  • phpFreeChat
    This chatroom had the best response time and was almost as peppy as a java chat applet. It had the least lag of all the ones that we tried, which was probably the most important factor in picking this one.

    There are several other nice features, though, including using either mysql or the filesystem, private rooms, themes, smileys, intuitive interface, and more. There's also a very good forum for support or customization questions.

  • AjaxChat
    This chatroom was very close to what we were looking for, and we're still using it as a backup chatroom. It seems to have a little more lag than phpFreeChat, though.

    One interesting feature is the use of avatars, which is very fun, but once we had 5-6 people in a chat session, the avatars became annoying as they took up too much space, and the messages scrolled by way too quickly. It also is mysql based, which is a plus.

  • Ajax Sunset Chat
    This chat app is very cool because it doesn't look like any other chatroom. It's basically a bunch of avatars sitting at a bar with "talk bubbles" appearing above them as you type. It was very fun at first, but kind of hard to follow a conversation with more than one person.

  • Chatr

  • Chategory

Also, here's a couple of Flash IRC clients:

And here's a list of java applet chat clients.

Posted on Tue, 30 Jan 2007 18:01 by Seni Sangrujee (1609 day(s) old)

Addicted to making Miis for your Wii

Wow, people are really into making Miis.

There's an impressive site over at http://miiplaza.net/ where people are showing off their celebrity Mii creations as well as providing a place for Mii addicts to share their Miis with each other.

And for folks that feel inspired to create a new Mii while at work, here's a cool flash Mii Creator.

Posted on Fri, 19 Jan 2007 12:28 by Seni Sangrujee (1620 day(s) old)

USB Humping Dogs

These USB humping dogs are great!

humping dog

And they have a beagle version. :)

They're available at digitalworldtokyo.com

Posted on Wed, 17 Jan 2007 18:26 by Seni Sangrujee (1622 day(s) old)

Playing the Wii in a movie theater

This has been out for a while, but it was new to me. There's a great youtube clip of playing a wii on a movie theater screen.

One of my friends is a manager at a local movie theater, which uses a digital projector to show advertisements between features. After seeing the It Burns When I Wii video, we figured we could one-up it with the equivalent of a 344" television screen. We wanted to use my friend's Nintendo Wii in the theater, but we didn't want to have to deal with yards of cabling. Inspired by doctabu's design, I built my own wireless sensor bar for less than $20.


Posted on Thu, 4 Jan 2007 15:08 by Seni Sangrujee (1635 day(s) old)

Sore from playing the Wii

Ooof, my back and shoulders are extremely sore today from playing the Wii the last couple of days. It's mostly from Wii Boxing, so I'm cutting back on that game for now and focusing on the others.

Now I see why they say the Wii is a console for kids, I think I'm too old for this (or I need to start a training program to be able to play every day)

There's good news in the availability front, as over at SlickDeals, people are reporting new shipments in several of the major stores every day (BB, Target, CC, EBGames, even Fry's) :)

Posted on Fri, 29 Dec 2006 11:19 by Seni Sangrujee (1641 day(s) old)

Finally got a Wii!

I've been scouring numerous forums for a while to try to get info on when the latest Wii shipments will arrive, and the latest rumor is that a lot of places will be holding the Wiis that arrive until December 31. (http://www.ps3seeker.com/wii/ says this too) I didn't find this to be the case.

There were two toys that I've been thinking about getting for myself this Christmas, the Wii or the Helio Drift. Well this morning, I found out that the Helio drift doesn't provide an SDK and isn't open to third-party apps, so I decided to fuck that idea and remove that company from my radar.

I then decided to call around looking for a Wii. The first place was Target and they weren't very helpful. The second place I called was the Best Buy in Sunnyvale on El Camino, and they said they got a shipment this morning. I was pretty surprised at how easy it was and got in my car right away. When I arrived and bought mine, there were 5 remaining as of 10:30am this morning, but they're likely gone by now.

Other people on the shopping forums have been reporting finding Wiis at Targets today as well as Best Buy, so I'm not sure about the validity of the Dec. 31st rumor or the accuracy of WiiSeeker.

Posted on Wed, 27 Dec 2006 12:33 by Seni Sangrujee (1643 day(s) old)

Kattare, Web Hosting for Developers

I've praised my web hosting company, Kattare, on this blog before, but I'm going to do it again.

When I first found them, I was looking for a JSP/Servlet hosting service where I had my own private tomcat, ssh access, and a mysql database to use, and they've really shined there. It's essentially like having my own server, but I don't have to deal with the maintenance and updates. I like to have lots of control and be able to develop in my own little sandbox without having to contact someone for every little configuration tweak (tomcat settings, DNS config changes). And their performance is rock solid, they had no problems handling a massive surge in traffic I had when I was slashdotted.

But for my latest project, I was having a tough time deciding whether I should do it in Java or PHP. Luckily, PHP support was already included with my hosting plan, so I could tinker around and experiment with both options side by side. Kattare rocks!

Posted on Thu, 7 Dec 2006 17:46 by Seni Sangrujee (1663 day(s) old)

Wii Hacks

Posted on Mon, 4 Dec 2006 15:10 by Seni Sangrujee (1666 day(s) old)

PSP Browser Revisited

Ok, after playing with the PSP web browser for a week, here's my take on it.

Couch: I had hopes that the PSP would be good for light web-surfing while watching tv on the couch, but I'm going to stick with the laptop. The PSP browser doesn't handle a lot of sites well and runs out of memory on many sites that aren't text-only. Plus, while I'm couch-surfing I like to have dozens of tabs open and flip back and forth between different places. The PSP browser only handles 3 tabs and doesn't handle switching back and forth very well.

Stationary Bike: This is where web-browsing on the PSP shines. I just go to a few sites every morning (stocks, news, blog feeds), but that's good enough for 40 minutes of exercising.

Randomly around the house: I occasionally fire up the PSP around the house when I want to check on a stock price quickly or I see a blurb on a news item on tv and want to find out more info immediately (i.e. plane crash details). It's not as instant-on as I would like, but it's still faster than using my laptop. Actually, I should try taking the UMD out of my PSP and maybe it will boot straight to the menu instead of a game, which would help speed things up.

Subway: I've read about trains with wifi, but, alas, mine doesn't have it, which sucks. I haven't even been taking my PSP on the commute anymore as I've been trying to catch up on my sleep these days.

Posted on Tue, 16 Aug 2005 13:34 by Seni Sangrujee (2141 day(s) old)

I (heart) SeatGuru.com

I haven't been flying as much as much as I used to, so I've forgotten how much I love SeatGuru.com.

For some reason I had just assumed that the site has disappeared since great sites tend to go away or morph into something less useful, but it's still as good as I remembered. I actually find it more useful now than before, since in the past, I would merely select the cheapest flight(s), but now I'm willing to put more thought into my flights.

Posted on Wed, 10 Aug 2005 15:35 by Seni Sangrujee (2147 day(s) old)

Glimpse of the Future?

I just read an interesting article over at SiliconValleyWatcher.com.

Some of the noteworthy points include calling out Technorati, using conference panels to pitch products, and commercializing the blogosphere:

What surprised me was how aggressively Mr Hirshberg was pitching Technorati's expensive blog tracking services to this audience of agency and corporate communications professionals. Mr Whitmore barely mentioned his company, and I didn't pitch anything, maybe I should have :-)

But I did get an interesting peak into the world of "selling the blogosphere" and how there is a large and growing number of companies, such as Technorati, that would like to make a lot of money from the work of millions of bloggers.

This resonates with a conversation I followed over the weekend:

"PR People Are Morons" link
"Given the assignment to discuss PR in the age of blogging, he invited a client, whose product actually has a reputation for being spyware, to announce a new version. And that was it. No one else on his panel, no discussion about the future of PR." link
"The word-of-mouth network is so efficient that if bloggers don't watch their brands they'll lose readership, respect, and, worse of all, if liars try to show up at conferences they will get called out and derided." link

A few thoughts:

  1. I've been to more than my share of conference talks that turned out to be PR pitches. I used to advocate getting up and leaving en masse, but it turns out a better method is to call the person out in the Q&A and then blog about it.
  2. I wonder if it really is effective when spammers are publicly identified.
  3. Reading all the comments and trackbacks involved there's an underlying sense of dread of things to come which I'm noticing more often these days. It's not uncommon for people to always express the feeling of "thing were better before", but there seems to be a surge in the attitude that commercial interests and spammers are succeeding in diluting the conversation.

    We're already seeing interesting innovations crippled in their infancy like tag spam on Technorati and possibly My Web 2.0.

    I'm curious to see if the blogosphere follows the same path as Usenet (along with email) and evolves into something much less effective because of a diminishing signal to noise ratio as well as spam. Hmm, Usenet also had a strong sense of self-policing that occasionally turned into a mob mentality, but it never seemed to recover from the spam invasion when it hit the hypergrowth phase.

Posted on Mon, 11 Jul 2005 13:01 by Seni Sangrujee (2177 day(s) old)

Securing login pages

I meant to blog about this last week, but I was sick and never got around to it. There was a great conversation I was following about Should login pages be protected by SSL?

Lots of good points on both sides. I definitely favor secure login pages for financial, purchasing sites, etc. that's a no-brainer. I'm not sure about general purpose sites, though.

The case that bothers me is logging on over an insecure wi-fi hotspot. For me, I have several levels of passwords of increasing complexity and varying rotation schedules:

  1. simple disposable accounts when checking out a site, "qwerty"-style password for an account that I probably will never come back to
  2. sites where I'm not very concerned about the data (bloglines, my yahoo)
  3. message boards, email password
  4. bank, paypal, credit card sites
  5. webserver shell, database, etc.
  6. government work

So, if someone sniffs my msgboard password from an unsecured login page, it won't likely cause problems with my bank account. But I have the feeling that some people, like my parents, have a common password for most of their sites.

So, is it a disservice to leave a login page non-https for your users, even if you're not handling sensitive data? (aside from the password)

I've been debating whether or not to secure the login page for Gefilter Fish, so I checked out what the trend currently is with hip websites:
http://del.icio.us/login - doesn't appear to use ssl
http://www.flickr.com/login.gne - doesn't appear to use ssl
http://www.blogger.com/start - doesn't appear to use ssl
http://www.bloglines.com/login - doesn't appear to use ssl
http://www.furl.net/index.jsp - doesn't appear to use ssl
http://123.backpackit.com/login - doesn't appear to use ssl
http://360.yahoo.com - MODE: Standard | Secure option

Hmm, not many sites seem to bother securing a login page anymore. Am I missing something? Is there a better, Web 2.0 method of accomplishing this nowadays that I don't know about? Or have people come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter for non-critical websites?

Posted on Thu, 30 Jun 2005 15:15 by Seni Sangrujee (2188 day(s) old)

Web 2.0 Definition

There are some interesting efforts to define Web 2.0 over at whatisweb20.com and Wikipedia.

Unfortunately, these definitions always come across overloaded with technical jargon or sound like marketingspeak.

When I talk with people about Web 2.0, geeks love it, but I have yet to find a way to explain why it's important to clients, users, or upper management.

BTW, I forgot how cool this image/text looks when I see it pop up on a Wikipedia article:

Posted on Sun, 12 Jun 2005 10:47 by Seni Sangrujee (2206 day(s) old)

Neat Sites

I think I've fully emerged from my online malaise now, as evidenced by the number of sites I've been furl'ing in the last few weeks.

Here's a few cool sites that you may have already seen, but I thought they deserved the additional linklove.

  • ClockWork - Simple and clean. I could have used this back when I was billing by the hour instead of by project. But it's still good for letting me track how long I've been working out or how long I've been heads-down coding.

  • colr.org - It looks like this was a little too popular for the server. It's a great site to examine colors for websites. Here's a cached copy

  • chicagocrime.org - Another GoogleMap hack that kicks ass. I'm sure there's a version of this for the Bay Area by now. I'd love to see this combined with a 3D city like GeoSim's Virtual Philadelphia or Google's upcoming 3D San Francisco.

  • flickr Colr Pickr - Words can't really do this page justice. I could play around with this for hours.

Posted on Fri, 10 Jun 2005 13:22 by Seni Sangrujee (2208 day(s) old)