Computers

What I am looking for in a twitter client

by on Jan.06, 2012, under Articles, Computers, Design & Development, Information Technology, Internet, Technology

So it has been awhile since I’ve written an article for this blog. Something I am hoping to fix in the coming months with the updates that I’ll be announcing soon but to sweep off some of the dust, here is a topic I’d like to discuss with the internet, and hopefully the internet will have an answer for me.

I have a problem with Twitter. I like Twitter. I want to use Twitter. I dislike its transient state. I am not the kind of person who can or wants to be on twitter 95% of my life. Unfortunately there are twitter feeds which I do want to regularly keep track of in case they say something important. Particularly friends, family, perhaps some organizations, etc. Twitter is not particularly well designed to delve into the past and I understand that is how Twitter wants it to function.

I know this because Twitter has been systematically destroying RSS support for their twitter feeds, which up until now has been my primary means of at least coping with this in some way. I suspect they’re doing this in order to better control how people access Twitter. Okay. I can understand that. If you don’t want to me to use RSS, then let me spell out what I am looking for in a twitter client that, as far as I can tell, is problematically possible without twitter really having to do a thing.

  1. Keep track of what I’ve read and give me some indication of what I haven’t read.
    • Don’t get me wrong. I like the “chat” like nature of Twitter and trends are neat. Even if this were only on a “per user” or “per list” basis, I’d like to be able to keep track of what tweets someone has made since I last logged in. Preferably with an explicit mechanism for me saying “Okay I’ve read all of these”.
    • Some phone twitter apps do this, but only for your primary feed, not individual feeds or lists.
    • This is primarily because I am a daily, if weekly, Twitter user and I’d like to know what I missed.
  2. Allow me to search a person’s twitter feed easily.
    • Hey remember that tweet your buddy made yesterday to that hilarious YouTube video? You want to show your friends? Hmm… wait that was over a week ago? With no hash tag? Screw it I’ll never find it.
    • In this day and age, Google has spoiled most of us in terms of needing to remember to organize things. Why organize when we can just search?
  3. Allow me to filter my current view of the feed
    • So Marla is having an extended conversation with Stacy about how Terri is a no good cheating whore, while also tweet randomly about funny kitten pictures. I don’t particularly want to see every tweet to Stacy Marla has to say, even though she is my friend, but her non @ based tweets I wouldn’t mind reading right now even though she’s forgotten to hash tag. Filtering would make this easy to do!
    • Most apps do this somewhat already. I don’t always necessarily see what my friends are saying to others if I don’t have the other person on my follow list. The RSS feeds were sadly bad about giving you everything unfiltered and most apps don’t let you control any of the filtering, if they have any.

To put it simply, I wish Twitter would allow me to treat it like an RSS feed or, if you’re old enough to know what this is, a news group. I don’t want this all the time, just some of the time. Since I have not looked into Twitter app development, I am not sure how reasonable these requests are but they seem reasonable to me.

So does anybody know if there are any twitter apps or applications that have some or all of these features?

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Felicia Day’s RSS Rant

by on Nov.03, 2011, under Articles, Computers, Internet, Technology

Felicia Day decided to rant on her blog the other day about how RSS seems to be disappearing from the internet.

RSS Rant [Feliciaday.com]

I rely on RSS for almost all my major internet tracking and reading. While I re-post entries of this blog to Twitter, Facebook, and tumblr, I provide that mostly for a service to those who don’t. That being said, websites should try to accommodate multiple ways of viewing their content, which includes direct subscription via RSS. RSS is a generic system that allows customization on both the website’s and content reader’s end that no other social media type service is ever likely to provide.

 

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Platforms vs Products

by on Oct.13, 2011, under Computers, Design & Development, Information Technology, Internet, Opinions, Technology

So I’ve verified the writer as Steve Yegge. He posted this on Google+ publicly by accident and of course it got copied. I feel the article makes a lot of interesting points about large-scale IT services and products in general which is why I want to share it. Therefor I’ll post Steve’s disclaimer from his follow-up blog post ahead of the article so you understand the context that it is written in.

Part of the reason is that for internal posts, it’s obvious to everyone that you’re posting your own opinion and not representing the company in any way, whereas external posts need lots of disclaimers so people don’t misunderstand. And I can assure you, in case it was not obvious, that the whole post was my own opinions and not Google’s. I mean, I was kind of taking them to task for not sharing my opinions.

So without further adieu: Steve Yegge’s internal rant on Google Platforms

(Warning: Long rant!)

 

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Comic Links: Steve Jobs

by on Oct.06, 2011, under Articles, Comic Links, Comics, Computers, Entertainment, News, Technology

If you weren’t aware, Steve Jobs died last night. What I find rather heartening is that the majority of articles written about the subject are focused on his life and the contributions he gave to all of us. Comics too, have been making their homages to the man. Here are a few early ones:

xkcd #961

Scenes From a Multiverse: 2011-10-06: Catering by Taco Bell

Abstruse Goose: #402: Forbidden Fruit

Psuedofolio: Can you teach Creativity?

Tales From the Pit: 2011-10-06

I’m sure more will come. I’ll update this collection as I find them.

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A tablet with functionality I actually want

by on Sep.29, 2011, under Articles, Computers, Technology, Videos, Visual Media

Video Link

Okay so not a tablet. An operating system with tablet support that is actually what I want and it’s Windows. This kind of blows my mind.

Major features: Seemless multi-tasking. A full controllable file system for data sharing between apps. USB capable.

While not implicit, it would be amazing if the OS could actually transfer between PC and Tablet hardware, or allow a smooth connection between an app on a tablet, and a computer.

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IT Achievements

by on Sep.26, 2011, under Computers, Entertainment, Information Technology, Internet, Technology

The following is for those of us who have worked in the world of Information Technology for any significant length of time.

IT Achievements

To offer some examples:

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Video:Loading Ready Run: Internet Receptionist

by on Sep.22, 2011, under Computers, Culture, Entertainment, Internet, Videos, Visual Media

Video Source

Hehe. Nunchucks and Skateboards. I love callbacks.

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TedTalk: Taking back the Internet

by on Aug.10, 2011, under Articles, Computers, Information Technology, Internet, Technology, Videos, Visual Media

I have to agree with everything Rebecca MacKinnon talks about in the above video. It is a 15 minute long video but well worth watching, talking about the use of the uses of the internet and how it’s use is being mishandled by governments and corporations that are using it in ways no citizen would allow.

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Life time subscription to book you buy

by on Aug.01, 2011, under Articles, Books, Computers, Information Technology, Technology

So what if the text books you bought in college never went out of date? You never sold them back but instead kept them and instead regularly updated them with the latest research and findings on that book’s subject?

That is exactly what Vikram Savkar of the Nature Publishing Group is hoping to achieve with his interactive digital book Principles of Biology.

Lifetime access to up-to-date info—is this the future of the textbook? by Yun Xie [Ars Technica]

None of these concepts are new. Tabletop roleplaying game books have offered free errata for their games even before they started selling digitally and the promise of interactive books has been around for a while but this is the first time it has been applied to text books. I rather hope it succeeds.
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New Books & CDF – Computable Document Format

by on Jul.29, 2011, under Articles, Books, Computers, Design & Development, Information Technology, Technology, Videos, Visual Media, Writing

Wolfram launches a new document format that puts interactivity as the core concept [Kurzweilai.net]

This is a great example of what I’ve been talking about regarding where books are headed. Wolfram is releasing a document format that will contain not only text and images, or maybe even the occasional embedded video, but actual interactive information. Geared primarily towards business documents, text books, and research documents, the idea could still hold true for any type of written work. Embedded within the text are apps that display information visually that the user can then manipulate to show how things can change. Graphics that actually allow a modification of variables, math equations where you can quickly and easily plug-in values to see how the equations change, and more.

The document standard is designed to make it easy enough for any person to create a document. No need to be a programmer to create the interactive features of the CDF. This is the real novelty of the idea, since webpages and flash have granted capabilities similar to this for years but their methods of creation have a steep learning curve.

If you’re interested in learning more, the below video goes over the various features of the CDF.

Video Source

 

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