Displaying articles in the internet category

Square lets you charge credit cards with your iPhone

Square is a new company founded by Jack Dorsey. Their product is a small card reader that mounts onto your iPhones headphone jack and together with the accompanying app it let's you charge credit cards with your mobile handset.

Square credit card reader

Along with services like Zopa, Obopay, M-Pesa and Mint Square is a nice addition to the type of services we need to kick some new life into the stuffy world of banking.

They've done a nice video to show off the product, please take a look.

Square website

2 million TV's are located in US bathrooms

Some really interesting facts in this video by XPLANE and The Economist

  • 95% of all music downloads last year was unpaid for.
  • Youtube, MySpace and Facebook takes 250 million unique visitors per month.
  • Nokia makes 13 cell phones per second.

Here's the sources for all facts in the video

Balloonacy videos and Webby awards

I just found some fun little videos I made about a year ago when we did the Balloonacy game.

Timelaps video

Made from screenshots of my blog over a few hours time

40,000 balloons in 22 seconds

The second one is a speed run through the map and most of the balloons on it. It looks a bit mental in the middle.

(Thanks Gav for wicked AF skills)

Map + Balloon data visualisation

This is more geeky and it's showing the basic data structure we used for the race map and some rainbow portals and balloons. It was rendered using Ubigraph.

I have no idea why it got such bad framerate when transcoded by Vimeo.

Vote for us in People's Voice!

Balloonacy is nominated in three categories in the Webby Awards. I'm super thrilled about this and I'd love it you helped us win! Sign in at the People's Voice and in the Website section, balloonacy can be found under Services > Telecommunications. In the Interactive Advertising section balloonacy is under Game or Application and Online Guerilla & Innovation.

Google street view in London

Big brother has been around and taking snaps of London.

Here's my house.

View Larger Map

It's time for a good old book burning ceremony

We're having a clear out of some old programming book at work. A part of me feels a little weird about throwing away books, it's sort of something you just keep, forever. But don't worry, we're getting some brand shiny new web3.0 books to fill the holes in the bookshelf. ;)

Here's an excerpt from Spainhour & Quercia's Webmaster in a Nutshell (First Edition 1996):

This is a book that needs no introduction. By this time, if you don't know what the World Wide Web is, then you probably haven't heard of Rollerblades, VCRs, or Boris Yeltsin either.

programming books

Great tool for managing the boring bits of freelancing

Freshbooks is an awesome tool for managing all the boring bits when it comes to freelance work. It does Time tracking, Invoices and keeps track of your VAT and stuff as well. Basically all the things you don't want to spend your energy on, Freshbook does for you.

Freshbooks login screen

Thanks to a competition on Jacob Gube's blog Six Revisions I got a free subscription for a year, and I can't tell you how sweet this app seems to be.

Thank you Jacob and the Freshbooks team!

Mixing text and media with oEmbed

Getting your Youtube, Qik, Vimeo etc files into blogs and discussion boards is not always a walk in the park. You normally have to find a object tag for embedding the file or when it comes to images you need to get hold of the actual image files URL and wrap it in an img tag.

Diggnation Youtube

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just copy and paste the URL you find in the address bar of Youtube or Flickr?

oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites. The simple API allows a website to display embedded content (such as photos or videos) when a user posts a link to that resource, without having to parse the resource directly.

eEmbed has been created to help out with this. It's an open standard for requesting the correct embed code for a given URL. Basically what this would look like for the end user is that you write your text and where you want an image or video you simply paste the URL for the particular web page into the text.

On the server side we make a call to the media host's oEmbed API and ask for the correct way of embedding the particular media URL and then we display it for the user.

Example user input:


Output after oEmbed lookup at Flickr:

<img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3127/2717919854_a7d5b2325e.jpg?v=0" alt="boat plane" />

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Pocket Guitar for the iPhone

I've been feeling wary about buying apps from the Apple iPhone App Store, but today I finally broke my defiance and got Pocket Guitar, and it is genius. It's only £0.59 and it totally rocks!

Here's a guy playing Pink Floyd: