Scripting News for 10/7/2006

Who do I have to sleep with to get SlingPlayer/Mac? 

For a project I’m doing, I’m looking for a feed with photos, probably using the Media-RSS namespace defined by Yahoo. The pictures should be of current events, people, places and things that made headlines in the last few days. Yahoo has plenty of these feeds, but the pictures are tiny. I need pictures that can fill a largeish high-def screen with pixels. A high-def AP photo wire feed would be great. I’ll share whatever suggestions I get. (BTW, Flickr feeds are perfect, but I want pictures of disgraced political leaders, warfare in Iraq, hurricanes, etc.) 

Class act in VC 

NY Times article on Sevin Rosen’s decision to return the money raised in their latest round to investors. “If we really believe that there are fundamental structural problems in the venture industry, should we raise our fund and just hope that the problems will get better?”

I think some of the other VCs are “parking” money in their portfolio companies, investing more than the companies can possibly use, to make it appear to their limited partners that they are deploying their money.

There were some extreme examples of this at the tail end of the dotcom boom, for example, a company called Firedrop, that basically did mail list software, received $90 million. What became of that money?

Mac vs Toyota 

I thought, since I’m such a good customer, I’d save a little time and send an email to Apple, rather than waiting on hold for an indefinite period. This certainly saves me valuable time, and I imagine that it saves them time as well. Unfortunately I got a form mail back telling me that they hadn’t read the email and didn’t plan to. So I’m still stuck with a Mac that doesn’t work and no clue when they might make it work.

I thought I would say that I’m still using the Vaio, and it’s filling the role that the MacBook used to play, but it’s not true. I am spoiled, Mac OS X is a much nicer OS than Windows XP. It’s like the difference between driving a Ford and a Toyota, and I do drive a Toyota, but there is one big difference. When there’s a problem with my Toyota, they fix it in hours not weeks. And they quite often pay for it, even when it’s my error that caused the problem. (A long story for another day.)

Postscript: Shortly after posting this item I got a call from the local Apple Store asking me to bring my Mac down. It’s in service now, getting a new heat sink. Should have it back in 4-5 days.

8 responses to this post.

  1. A little-known trick about Flickr photo feeds (of which there are so many):

    You can append “_enc” (without the quotes) to the end of any Flickr feed URL to get a version of the feed that includes the photos as enclosures. Perfect for “photocasting”, or any other application fetching photos via feed.

    Don’t know if it’s relevant to your current project, but I thought you’d appreciate this, if you didn’t already know. 🙂


  2. I already have this tool working well with Flickr. As I said in the post, they don’t have the photos I want. No problem with the format.


  3. Posted by stefan constantinescu on October 7, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    so you need to make a blog post slamming apple that they haven’t fixed your machine for them to get their shit together to contact you? i don’t like that at all.

    am i the only one who thinks this is bad pr?


  4. Stefan, you’re jumping to conclusions. I doubt if there’s a correlation betw the two events. Just a coincidence, imho.


  5. Posted by Andy Rhinehart on October 7, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Dave, drop me an email on the photos thing and let me know what you’re looking to do with the feed. I might be able to help.


  6. Posted by Solo on October 7, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    Did the NYT kill the NYT river? Nothing is showing up now, on my phone (Palm OS, EudoraWeb) or in Camino. Just your header saying “Click here for information…” I have been using it steadily since you started it. Hope it’s just a glitch, I can’t go back…!


  7. View source on Google News RSS feeds. You’ll see hidden in there the links to the original images on the source sites which they then turn into thumbnails. A bit of Regex should be able to extract them.


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