Administrative Note — Feeds Moved on FeedBurner

DLTJ uses the FeedBurner service to enhance its syndication feeds and gather statistics on readers. Several years ago, Google acquired FeedBurner and recently has begun the process of forcing — errr — integrating users to the Google account structure. I completed the process, but it isn’t entirely clear that it took hold (my transferred feed isn’t showing up in my new Googlized FeedBurner dashboard). If you used to read DLTJ via an RSS/ATOM reader and noticed that you didn’t see this post or any subsequent posts, please let me know.

Consolidating Travel Details with TripIt

I’m sitting in the Denver airport (and quite pleased to have remembered my note to myself about tunneling through ad-laden interception proxy) with lots to think and blog about after this year’s Midwinter meeting. It was a very productive meeting, but I am still in “travel mode” so I thought I’d mention a new service called TripIt that has made this travel notably easier.

Midwinter Travel Tip: Flying United? Checking Luggage? Save $3!

United Airlines, along with many other carriers, has instituted a policy of charging for checked luggage. For United, the first bag is $15 and subsequent bags are $25 each. If you check-in for your flight online between now and January 31st, however, you can save $3 on each the first bag. The online check-in process asks for your credit card to complete the transaction. You can also print your boarding pass during the check-in process. When you get to the airport, use the self-service kiosks to start your check-in process again. The baggage tag will then automatically print behind the counter and you’ll soon be on your way.

Central Ohio E-Waste Drop-off Locations

As part of our winter holiday activities, our family has been busily clearing out the basement to set up a play area for the kids. In doing so, we created a stack of old electronics — monitors, printers, stereo receivers, and such — that are of questionable working condition and worth. In looking around the web, I found the list of e-waste disposal locations on the SWACO website. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell which one was the closest because it was in a static list. So with a little spare time I put them on a map to help me find the nearest location; hopefully it will help you find the nearest location as well.

What Makes Google Tick? A Pointer to an Analysis

Why does Google do what it does? A report by the faberNovel management consulting firm describes Google’s “key success factors” and how it goes about achieving them. The report talks about “Google as platform” and goes on to describe how it makes money serving the network effects of that platform. For instance, it subsidizes one side of its platform — search engine users searching for free — to gain large amounts of traffic (eyeballs) that advertisers want (the network effect). Even more than that, though, Google sees advertising as a form of information in and of itself. The report says: “With [its system of selecting ads to be placed on a page], Google is able to claim that their ads are in fact a way for them to provide additional information to the user.”

Clay Shirky on the Need for Better Information Filters

Last month, Clay Shirky gave a presentation with the title “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure” at the Web 2.0 Expo. 1 Shirky admits up front at the start of the talk that the topic is something new that he is exploring, and as a result the ideas are not fully formed. (I get lost in how the last of his three examples applies to the topic at hand, for instance.) But his viewpoint is a refreshing way to look at the issue of “information overload” from a new perspective, and it is worth looking at even in this raw stage. For starters, he says that we’ve been facing information overload for the past 500 years — since the introduction of the Gutenburg movable type press gave readers more books than they could possibly read. What has changed in the last decade has been how past information “filters” are no longer effective.

The Jester Joins Twitter

It was only a few months ago that I was teasing Dan Chudnov for joining Twitter. Now I’ve gone and done it myself. I don’t expect to be using it much, but after observing the “Falls Church, VA” incident yesterday, I thought it would be an useful tool to have at-the-ready. Here’s the story of what inspired it.

DLTJ Updated to WordPress 2.5

Unlike previous upgrades, this left some functionality broken — notably some of the links in the second block under the “about” heading to the left (if you are reading this from itself). But, you know what? — it’s Friday afternoon and all of the important bits are working. I think. So if you see anything odd, please let me know.

SSL for WordPress Admin and the Problem with XMLHttpRequest

Note! The updates to SSL handling in WordPress version 2.6 handle the problem of SSL-encrypted admin sessions in a much less hackish sort of way. It doesn’t make any sense to use this plugin with WordPress version 2.6 when you can simply add define(’FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true); to your wp-config.php file.

The WordPress Codex has documentation for running the login, registration, and administration interfaces on an SSL server. There is even a plug-in that will do much of the heavy lifting for you. I have found both of these methods, by themselves, to be rather unsatisfactory, though, in that admin services that rely on AJAX calls back to WordPress break (such as the periodic saving of drafts). What happens is this:

DLTJ the Target of Real Dead-Tree Junk Mail

Dorothea Salo started a conversation late last year that was picked up by Walt Crawford and others about receiving unsolicited “PR spam” with the expectation that the content of the message will be blogged about. In a related matter, I got my first example today of someone scraping DLTJ to send me junk mail through the U.S. postal service.

Junk Mail to DLTJ’s President, Tom Wilson [?]