Scripting News for 10/14/07

nytimesriver.com fix 

The nytimesriver.com site is the perfect way to read news on a mobile web browser, on a Blackberry, iPhone or Nokia N95, as examples. The home page of the site is a stream of new stories, in reverse chronologic order, with titles, links and descriptions.

Until today the links went to printer-friendly versions of articles, now they point to mobile versions, with ads on them, so they make a bit of money for the Times. This was the first concrete result of my meeting with the Times tech guys on Thursday in New York.

http://nytimesriver.com/

Here’s an example of a mobile Times story.

Bug fixed in Flickr-to-Twitter code? 

There was definitely a bug in the code that processed Flickr categories in Twittergram. If you’d specify that a picture required a tag, and one of the pictures didn’t have it, all the other new pictures would be ignored, whether they had the tag or not.

Some people who used the category tagging feature didn’t notice this problem because they never uploaded pictures without the tags.

If you never used tags and had it set up to not require them, everything would work as planned (that’s how I use it).

In any case, knock wood, the bug should now be fixed and all users should be happy whether they never use tags, always use tags, or sometimes do and sometimes don’t.

Thanks to everyone who patiently and carefully reported bugs, esp MDY whose bug report helped me zero in on the errant code. If you want to report further problems, or just say that it’s fixed, please post a comment here. Twitter is notoriously bad for bug reporting, since user’s reports, even in the best circumstances, often leave out important information. With the 140 character limit, it’s impossible to fully describe a problem. That’s one thing Twitter is not good for.

9 responses to this post.

  1. I still can’t get it working. I set it to use “tweet” as the tag and I set flickr to automatically set “tweet” as the tag on all emailed photos (flickr username andyjw) and still no love. Maybe I did somethign wrong? Not sure… anyway, I’ll try again a bit later on and see if I can get it working. Thanks!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Rob Gunning on October 14, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    I’m glad that NY Times can make money off of the articles I’m reading, but 1 of 6 pages? Each page load is sloooww on my 3G BlackJack in Seattle, and 6 short pages takes much longer to load than one longer page. Will a mobile ad have such a low going rate? Aren’t the demographics of the types of people who are reading these articles on their cell phones worth a bit more?

    Reply

  3. Rob, there’s a parameter I can pass that puts it all on a single page, and I’ve made that change. The site should rebuild at 9:10PM Pacific, and you should see the change then.

    Reply

  4. I went to the sample story and first groaned at the six pages because I hate to have to load several pages when just one tap will do. But it as great to see the one page option and I’m happy to regard the first partial page as ‘sample’ allowing me to decide if I really want to read the story after all. I was doubly delighted to realist from reading the comments here that the single page feature is as result of user feedback!

    Reply

  5. Apologies for the typos above – I thought I had corrected most of them. It would be easy to blame the interface on the iPod touch but I should probably just have taken more care…

    Reply

  6. Nice! NYT worked fine on my Sony Ericsson. I was wondering if they where doing any device adaptation at all? For instance by implementing the WURFL. What is the use of an ad that point to nothing usefull? Why not redirect the ad to at&t’s mobile content?

    Reply

  7. Hi Dave.

    I’ve re-enabled my Twitter to Flickr settings on Twittergram. Also uploaded another photo to Flickr with the tag “FlickrToTwitter.”

    After waiting around 20 minutes, there’s still no photo posted to my Twitter account. :-(

    For troubleshooting purposes: my photo is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcdy/1578581354
    and you’ll see that it has the tag “FlickrToTwitter”
    as well as a few other tags.

    Sidebar:
    Btw, I also noticed that another Flickr and Twitter user (mdoeff) decided to use “FlickrToTwitter” as his tag for photos that go through Twittergram. It works fine for him (e.g., http://twitter.com/mdoeff/statuses/335559392)

    I found his Flickr photostream while searching for other photos on Flickr that used the same tag and saw his photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/flickrtotwitter. 8-)

    Reply

  8. Hi Dave

    Now you’ve got this service working for me I’ve uncovered another bug that may be illuminating…

    Seemingly, the issue is that Twitter only updates to http://twitter.com/timwatt when the image sent to Flickr is uniquely tagged ‘twitter’, or whatever’s chosen on your service setting. However, when I upload using the Shozu Java application on my Sony Ericsson K810i the ‘Shozu’ tag is automatically added too.

    Manually removing the Shozu tag on my Flickr page automagically allows the update to Twitter but that is not a realistic option since the service should be automatic from a phone (and not just an iPhone I assume).

    It maybe that there’s an option to remove the Shozu tag from within my preferences on its web site, but possibly not since they are marketing their service on Flickr using this tag. Even if were possible it wouldn’t satisfactorily solve my issue since surely I should be able to add any number of tags I want to (up to the 75 limit!) should I chose.

    Hope this helps.

    Tim

    Reply

  9. Posted by Rob Gunning on October 17, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    It’s great to see the full article on one page – and even more mobilely accessible! Thanks for the receptiveness to feedback on a wonderful service.

    Reply

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