Cyber-stalking with FriendFeed

Well.. here’s my public FriendFeed that you can use to follow everything that I do online.

Spooky, eh? If there’s only one RSS feed that you want to keep track of my online world, this is it.  Looks like a very promising web service. It allows you to make and keep track of comments for all your online feeds that you subscribe to. All your feeds and conversations in one place. Interesting…

Yahoo Pipes – Web 2.0 mashups tool

Three weeks ago, Yahoo announced a real impressive tool for developing web mashups called Yahoo Pipes. In the UNIX and command line world, a pipe “|” represents a joining of two programs, taking the output of one and making it the input for another, until you finally get the result you want. i.e. cat log.txt | grep “ERROR”. Yahoo Pipes is really just a conduit for data between web services, much the same as in UNIX where a pipe is a conduit for the transfer of data between programs. I can’t help but think of the wonderful possibilities this web app could have. As Tim O’Reilly states in his blog entry about Pipes “This is something I’ve been waiting nearly ten years for.” A bold and important statement coming from the man who coined the phrase “Web 2.0”.

Now, the concept of Pipes is not new. UNIX has it. Even Apple has a similar type of desktop application called Automator. What is new is that it is all done using a web browser AJAXified interface. You do not need a lot of web programming experience to get started, as you can simply take existing modules and mash them up into your own Pipe. You can then share your Pipe with others and you’ll quickly get the concept of code reuse.

m2.gif

The Pipes Editor – URL Builder allows you to fetch any data source via its RSS, Atom or other XML feed, extract the data you want, combine it with data from another source, apply various built-in filters (sort, unique, count, truncate, union, join, as well as user-defined filters), and apply simple programming tools like for loops. You can solicit user input and build URL query strings to submit to REST-based sites. You don’t just get to look at the output of your Pipes program on the Pipes web site. Output options include RSS, JSON, and you can even get results by email or SMS. Popular uses of Pipes is to use it for searching multiple sites at once and getting aggregated results, or to get alerted to items that may interest you. I wrote one example called “Deals On Memory” that searches sites like bensbargains.net and techbargains.com so that I get alerted to the latest deals on computer memory.

New Year Predictions 2007

Wow! It is another year gone by. Lots of things have happened in 2006 for me, some good, and some not so good. But let’s not dwell on the past. Instead, I offer some predictions on what I think will be keeping me and the rest of the technology world busy.

  • The semantic web will finally become realised: RSS feeds and iCalendar formats will become mainstream. Why can’t I login to my credit card website and be able to easily transfer bill due dates into my Google Calendar? Security and privacy? That’s what SSL is for. Also, Microformats will be the new thing that many websites will be implementing, including my own. Check out my hcard microformat in my About Us page.
  • Blogs and wikis will also become mainstream in the business world just as it has become mainstream in the rest of the web community. This past year, blogs and wikis have trickled into the corporate world. At IBM internal, this past year has seen this come into fruition. Check out the public directory of IBM bloggers. I am listed as second to last on the page.
  • The realization of the mobile web 2.0 as a legitimate business model will start to gain momentum. We have the three screens that occupy our lives: TV, computers, and mobile devices. Mobile devices have had a lot of catching up to do in North America. In Europe and Asia, it is arguably the number one screen for viewing and interacting with information. In North America, the younger generation that grew up using mobile phones to communicate will come into the corporate world, and will become the new set of consumers for companies to target. This generation is less reliant on TV for information, and spend more time being mobile. That trend is proven by the vast number of laptop sales versus desktop computer sales. Thus, mobile phones as the primary screen interface will be a constant source of information and entertainment. Companies that can enable the mobile lifestyle without roadblocks will be the ones that the new mobile generation will embrace. That means, no walled gardens, no DRM, use of open standards, data easily transferable and moved, and the enablement of websites for the next generation of mobile web browsers. Head over to my other blog called The Mobile Web 2.0 to keep track of the latest developments in this field.