Matt's Blog

Archive for April, 2008

FeedBurner will be Integrated with Google Accounts; White Background to Follow

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

FeedBurner, which was acquired by Google awhile ago, announced today that they would be beginning the integration of FeedBurner with Google Accounts. They said that in the coming weeks, “selected publishers” will be given the option to merge their FeedBurner account with their Google Account. I’ve yet to be presented with this option. 😛

They also mentioned that FeedBurner will start to be integrated into other Google Services, like AdSense. Also that “FeedBurner will start to look and feel more like a set of Google services”. Which can probably be interpreted as getting the “Google style”, a clean design with a lot of white and blue.

Hopefully, FeedBurner will start to be integrated with Google Analytics soon, as that would be extremely convenient. I wonder when the FeedBurner blog will be converted into a Blogger-hosted blog…

Update [April 30, 2008 at 9:18 PM]: I just went to the “Monetize” tab in my FeedBurner account, and saw that I can now associate my FeedBurner account with my AdSense account. Upon doing so, it now allows me to add AdSense advertisements into my Feed. Interesting.

Update 2 [April 30, 2008 at 10:18 PM]: The AdSense part currently only adds the ads to your actual blog (through the general FeedBurner site stat tracking/FeedFlare code), and not into your actual feed. A little deceiving…

iPhone Finally Coming to Canada

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

iPhoneRogers Wireless announced today that they have reached a deal with Apple, and will be bringing the iPhone to Canada “later this year”.

They also said that they couldn’t say anything more about it currently, meaning that we’ll probably be getting the 3G iPhone, which is rumoured for release this June.

It’s definitely about time that the iPhone made it’s way into Canada. We really don’t have any particularly amazing phones here… Rogers currently only carries one phone that features WiFi. It’ll also be interesting to see the kind of plans that will be available for the iPhone. Canada has notoriously expensive data plans, which contrasts the unlimited data plans the iPhone gets elsewhere.

Oh course, quite a few Canadians already have iPhones

WordPress 2.5.1 Released

Friday, April 25th, 2008

WordPressThe latest version in the WordPress 2.5 branch, 2.5.1, has been released. WordPress 2.5.1 contains a couple of serious security fixes and approximately 70 bug fixes and enhancements. It is recommended that you upgrade your blogs immediately.

I’ve upgraded already, have you?

Download WordPress 2.5.1.

Twitter Bot: Magic 8 Ball

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

On the Weekend, Gary Jones from BlueFur (Twitter: bluefur) came up with the idea of a Twitter robot that would act as a Magic 8 Ball. He asked me if I wanted to help make it, I accepted, and development began.

What we came up with was a small script that would automatically reply with a Magic 8 Ball-type answer when it was “replied” to. To use it, all you have to do is write a “tweet” replying to magic_8ball with a yes or no question. Which would look like this “@magic_8ball <yes or no question>”.

This little “Twitter Bot” uses the Twitter API to receive the replies to it, and then send out replies with a randomly selected answer. We quickly found out that the Twitter API is quite restrictive. As outlined in Gary’s post, Twitter only allows 70 authenticated API requests an hour, which not only inconveniences developers while testing their Apps, but also users using Twitter Apps. Also, Twitter restricts API calls for replies and such to the latest 20, which can create quite a few problems.

We’ve decided to make this application Open Source, so that other developers looking to develop with the Twitter API can hopefully learn from our code. Feel feel to use, modify, hack and learn from this code to create your own Twitter Applications. The code is release under the GNU General Public License version 3 (or, at your option, any later version). You can get the code here (or in txt format here).

If you have any questions about the code, feel free to let me know.

I’m on Twitter under mattfreedman, feel free to follow me.

Make the WordPress Admin Section Full Width

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

One of the most debated and annoying thing in WordPress 2.5 is that the Admin pages have a max-width on them, which is set to about 980 pixels. Resulting in quite a bit of useless whitespace on the right side of the page, if you have a large monitor.

I have a 22″ monitor with my resolution set to 1680×1050. My browser window is almost always maximized, which meant that about 40% of the screen was being wasted with whitespace. It’s particularly annoying on the Write page, when writing a post felt claustrophobic.

Luckily, Dion Hulse wrote a small plugin, called Remove Max Width, which removes the max-width attributes, and allows the Admin pages to be liquid/fluid width, and use up the entire width of the browser window.

Personally, I now find the Admin section much easier to use, and makes writing a post more of a pleasurable experience. Try the plugin out, if you don’t like it, you can always deactivate it and the Admin section will return to it’s default max-width.