Saturday, April 21, 2007

Desktop Tower Defense is highly addictive

Desktop Tower Defense is a highly addictive game I just stumbled upon. Rarely do I take an interest in games, but what seemed to be an innocent and unsuspecting click to the link turned out to be "time consuming".

Whatever it is, DO NOT click on this link to Desktop Tower Defense and start playing if you are very busy...

Its in the strategy...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Flickr Photo of the Day: This is becoming a habit

The lights began flashing and the bells started ringing just as I was driving past so I pulled off the road and took up my position again. This is my favourite of these bridge shots - it seems better from this side of the tracks ;-)
I'll soon be on waving terms with these train drivers, methinks...

It's a pity Jicin only has one decent railway bridge...

This is becoming a habit, originally uploaded by stevacek

Monday, April 09, 2007

Reflections on a Mote of Dust

Have you ever wondered what it looks like it we are to put the entire universe into proportion, from prodigiously small atomic particles to the deep infinite reaches of space? Nikon Universcale is a superb flash application that tries to give us that perspective.

Encapsulated in its pedagogy is the measure of sentient life. One cannot help, but be reminded of Carl Sagan's "Reflections on a Mote of Dust". Nikon Universcale holds immeasurable beauty -- the beauty of creation.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Gaim renamed to Pidgin

In a move that has shocked many loyal Gaim users and also the open source community, Gaim has announced that they are renaming Gaim, the popular instant messaging client used in many Linux variations, to Pidgin.

At the center of this controversy is the AOL issue. The name was changed to protect the developers and to ensure the long term survival of the project, in order to reach a settlement with AOL. All that being said, AOL is not doing any good to its reputation. To quote Digg user ackza:
The fact that AOL-time warner and entities like the RIAA and MPAA can't make any money anymore and are horrible business people doesn't excuse them from this BS they pull every second. They deserve to be counter sued for frivolous lawsuits.
Meanwhile, we will wait for Pidgin 2.0.0, which is expected end of this week or early next week.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

RSSing The 5th Wave

Many of us have heard of The 5th Wave, a weekly comic strip by Rich Tennant which usually appears in the papers on Sunday. Naturally, I enjoyed it. However, a certain question struck me - where is the RSS feed where I can view the cartoon every week in Google Reader? Indeed, there wasn't a RSS feed which I could subscribe to!

With some help from Dapper (read more it here), I managed to extract the relevant parts of the webpage which I needed and generate an XML file which could be manipulated.

Since I was not satisfied with the RSS generated by Dapper, I went to Yahoo Pipes, another data masher of sorts, and pieced together a RSS feed that gets data from the XML file.

Still not fully satisfied, I decided to write a simple PHP script that gets data from the XML file and outputs it in the exact format that I wanted.

Every week, when a new cartoon is published, the content from the Dapper XML feed will change and so will the corresponding RSS feed. Google Reader will then rely on this RSS feed and "adds a new post" for your viewing pleasure.

Thus, I have come up with 2 viable options:
- Yahoo Pipes RSS Feed for The 5th Wave
- Host your own PHP script to extract the contents

I also hope that through this post, I have demonstrated the usefulness of Dapper.