Scripting News for 1/6/2008

Two FlickrFan change notes 

Two new bits of news for FlickrFan users.

1. Change Note #22. If FlickrFan is opening in the wrong browser, there’s a new preference that tells it to open the desktop website in the default browser, and not to bother launching a browser. You should use this feature if you find it annoying that FlickrFan launches Firefox or Safari. Eventually, if everything goes well, we’ll phase out the feature. Didn’t want to do it all at once because it’s a dangerous place for breakage. One step at a time. 🙂

2. Change Note #23. If for some reason your copy of FlickrFan isn’t updating, you can always get the latest version, quickly, without losing any of your data or prefs or downloading any pictures again. (Key point.)

ABC News/Facebook debate fiasco 

The Internet doesn’t have time zones, and while my colleagues in the blogosphere who happen to be located in the Eastern or Central time zones were watching the debate live on TV, we in the western states were left to either wait three hours, or DIY a Ustream webcast of the debate, which we did. About half way through we figured out how to make the local New Hampshire ABC affiliate webcast work on a Mac, and it was a little easier to understand what was going on.

In 2008, sixteen years into the web, there’s no excuse for not broadcasting a political event live to the world. If ABC News hasn’t got the ability to do it, then ABC News shouldn’t be running it. That Facebook lent its name and reputation to this fiasco is amazing. Why didn’t they speak up?

BTW, otoh, Charles Gibson was a great moderator and the format was, in every way, fantastic. What a shame we all couldn’t experience at the same time.

Open source hardware in the news 

Bug Labs moves closer to shipping. Yesterday they announced pricing for their component, open source gadget hardware kit.

NY Times: “Neuros Technology International, creator of a new video recorder, has decided to go in a different direction. The company, based in Chicago, is providing full documentation of the hardware platform for its recorder, the Neuros OSD (for open source device), so that skilled users can customize or ‘hack’ the device — and then pass along the improvements to others.”

Phil Torrone, a longtime champion of open source hardware, must be happy.

Me, who’s always looking for, and never finding the perfect podcast player, has more hope if the users get to develop the products.

Logitech Squeezebox 

This product makes big claims, but it’s hard to tell through the hype how it works or even what it actually does.

Here’s what it sounds like to me. It’s an iPod-like device with a built-in hard disk that somehow synchs with a desktop or laptop PC (or Mac?). It also has a transmitter of some kind (FM, wifi, ???) and proprietary receivers can be anywhere in the house, with speakers attached, and you can control any or all of the systems with the hand-held unit.

Screen shot of the back of the unit.

CNET Australia has a review (they seem to like it).

There is an Amazon page for the product ($299) and 11 user reviews. So this isn’t a new product? Huh?

Update: There’s a new version of the product that’s apparently quite different from the previous version. The comments have the scoop, from users, who love the product.

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