Categories
Software

Skype is pretty good

I rarely do software reviews, but thought I’d quickly give a mention to Skype.

Skype is not VoIP, but allows you to voice chat with other users. For free. But it’s better than it’s competitors.

AIM has “talk” but it doesn’t work behind any firewalls. Quality isn’t great. Yahoo works behind some firewalls, but quality is even worse. Skype works behind firewalls and has excellent quality. I’d say better than most phones. It’s also encrypted for your protection (using AES) Skype is overall very sexy in performance. Minimal bandwidth, and optimal quality. My hope is that they manage to keep PC to PC calls free forever (without ads).

I do hope however that some open source alternatives become available. This technology will be big in the next year or two. Just as VoIP is kicking off, this going to be something worth looking into for many people. But I hope it will be open protocols like Email, rather than a closed protocol mess like IM. This has the potential to be a real golden internet tool. Hopefully it won’t loose out to patents and proprietary networks.

Anyway. It’s a great product to look at, and give it a shot. I’m personally convinced this concept has finally come of age. It’s just a matter of them opening the protocol so others can build clients to use their network (and perhaps subscribe to their paid services), or if the open source community needs to create their own universal network.

Categories
Blog

MovableType 3.1

Sweet, perhaps blogging won’t suck for much longer. Looks like MovableType is working on some stuff.

Some things l think are pretty interesting:

Dynamic PHP publishing, controllable on a per-template basis: You can control whether you publish a dynamic or static page on a per-template basis, letting you balance the publishing and traffic for your weblog. For example, high-demand documents like XML syndication files can be static, for maximum speed and lower server load, and individual post archives can be dynamic, eliminating the need to rebuild pages when making a global template change.

Now being a PHP developer, this sounds pretty good. But I’m curious about performance. I personally prefer static pages whenever possible. But I wouldn’t mind having some PHP in there.

Subcategories: A new category management interface gives you fine-grained control over the organization and display of your posts. You can even easily move a subcategory from one parent category to another.

Where have you been for so long?

Then of course this plugin pack:

  • MT-Blacklist: a comprehensive spam-blocking and management system for comments and TrackBacks, with an advanced interface and remote importing of blacklist entries.

My prayers are answered.

  • XSearch/Plus: A system which allows you to plug in alternate search engines for Movable Type. This includes a working implementation of a powerful Plucene-based search engine.

Very cool, but again I question performance and server load.

  • KoalaRainbow: A visualization engine for Movable Type which uses its own query language to generate graphics based on arbitrary queries of data in your Movable Type system.

Cool. Personally I would vastly prefer out-of-the-box Gallery integration.

  • Markdown: A simple text markup language which allows you to create posts in plain text and have them display in semantically correct valid XHTML.

People who know me, know I love HTML, and find it geeky to play with. But I wouldn’t mind seeing what this is about. From looking at the webpage, it really kicks butt. So I would love to take a spin. And considering it’s GPL, I might just use that elsewhere.

On a little tangent, that would be pretty spiffy for bugzilla.

  • Notifier: An email notification system which lets your readers subscribe to be notified whenever an individual post, a category, or even an entire weblog is updated. There’s also a complete system for managing subscriptions.

Would anyone go for this if I set it up?

Categories
Apple

RealNetworks files can play on an iPod

This is going to make some shockwaves this week. Apple shot them down not to long ago, now they are working on the iPod regardless.

Personally I hope Apple embraces it. I think it would remove a major barrier some potential iPod customers face. If Apple locked in a deal with Real, it could become the premier hardware provider for two popular music services. Customers of either provider will still want an iPod.

Together, they are stronger than separate against Microsoft.

Just like Mozilla is a lot stronger with Safari, and Opera working together, than separate.

Categories
Blog

Comment Spam is driving me nuts

Come on Jay. We need 2.0. We know it’s good.

Seriously. I’m sick of deleting all these spams. And I don’t want to give up on it.

Problem with TypeKey is that people hate signing up for things. So it limits people from commenting. I hate that. I love when people post comments here. I really do. It’s my favorite thing about this site.

Ugh. No more Spam.

And my email inbox is 100X worse.

We need real laws against spam now!

Categories
Web Development

XHTML FAQ