Microformats useful via FeedBurner?

I route my RSS feed through FeedBurner. My Atom feed is created directly through Blogger and I don’t yet route that through FeedBurner.

FeedBurner does lots of cool things like stat collation and feed transformation so that given one type of feed as input, it can output any of the others. For example, here’s my Atom feed translated into RSS 1.0

I was just thinking that if I started producing content which used microformats, wouldn’t it be nice if FeedBurner, when set to output RSS 1.0 extracted the microformat information and put it into the review vocabulary?

There are already tools which consume feeds containing this kind of review information, and this kind of facility, alongside cool tools such as Les Orchard’s Greasemonkey hack for textareas, would open up a world of possibility. From HTML to RDF in one easy step 🙂

Identity 2.0 presentation

Do you know Dick about Identity 2.0?

Dick Hardt gave a keynote address at OSCON 2005 about what’s involved with identity 2.0 and touched on reputation and trust. Not much new, but a really nice summary and some good pointers at the end to where real progress might be driven from and by whom.

The video of the presentation is online in Flash, Quicktime and Windows Media. Worth a watch.

Fresher’s Week

poster sale, by pip

It’s Fresher’s Week at the University of Bath, and the place is filled with bright and eager young things walking around whilst members of various clubs and organisations try and recruit them with ever more exciting displays; today there are jugglers, salsa dancers, rowers (plus boat), and a girl in a short skirt offering to sell you a sausage for a pound.

It’s actually kind of nice to see so many fresh and innocent faces around, not to mention the feeling that the campus is waking up again after a short snooze. We’ll have to see if this attitude continues once terms is in full swing and there’s nowhere to eat at lunchtime. 🙂

Blogging different types of content with XML schemas

Joshua Porter’s post A Glimpse of the Future: Joe Reger’s XML Schema Coolness, links to a screencast by Joe Reger which shows him going into the admin interface of his web-based blogging tool, uploading a new .xsd file and then being able to create a new blog post using the elements defined in it. In addition to this, the output from his blogging tool includes structured blogging markup.

The use of XML schemas to dynamically define different types of content is very interesting, and my team at work are currently investigating something similar. Doing this means that your blogging tool is (in theory) infinitely expandable to cope with any kind of content. Given the right kind of user interface this could really work.

Joshua says This is exciting, it is the future, and there’s just a chance he’s right.

ID cards for what reason?

No2ID spokesman Dave Gould …. said “Why are we spending public money on this technology when it hasn’t been approved by Parliament? Surely that isn’t the way a democracy works?

“Why aren’t you informing the public about everything you are doing to create a database of all of our movements.

“This is a breach of civil and personal liberties. No other country in the world has a system like this.”

However, Mr Burnham rejected all the claims.

He said: “Anyone who is worried about these improvements to the security to our country clearly has something to hide.

Dear lord, have they not heard of answering questions instead of just trotting out doublespeak?

I think the killer line for me in this article is where Andy Burham, the Home Office minister in charge of the current “charm offensive” says “There are a lot of myths being bandied about by people and I will admit there is some pressure on me to find a way of making the database secure.”

JESUS! You haven’t found a way of making the database secure and you’re already spending my money? It just makes you want to give up and emigrate.

About a year ago there was a televised interview hosted by Paxman (I think it was with the PM, although it may well have been Blunkett) where the head of SAS, the organisation which makes the software and databases which handles just about all the input and analysis of data from medical trials and categorically stated that there was no such thing as a clean database for something even a fraction of the size as we’re going to get as the backend for ID cards (because it’s going to happen quite regardless), and nothing other than manual checking of data would help with it, and so what was the government proposing to do to deal with wrong data in its database? At which, the interviewee (our dear Blair or Blunkett) made a “hmmm” noise, looked into the air, and moved on to the next question.

I don’t get ID cards. I don’t get how they can make us safer (the Home Secretary says they can’t), stop benefit fraud (biometric cards have been shown to be easily spoofed) or prevent illegal immigration (because they won’t have cards in the first place, and work cash-in-hand). I don’t see how the data can be secure (Home Office ministers don’t know how either) or reliable (database experts say it can’t). What are the arguments for ID cards?

Netvibes DLA

Netvibes is an ajax web application along the lines of Google IG (does that thing have a real name?), except a lot slicker – it really feels responsive and like a real application, and I can easily imagine using it as my personal portal – something I’d use to start off with each day. Of course, I’d want to run it on my own server though, but at the moment it looks unlikely that they’d release the code to do that (personal opinion – I could be wrong!).

Local wifi networks and messageboards

I live in an apartment block. My last home was also in an apartment block. Before that, a house for a year, but for the two years previous to that, I lived in an apartment block. Our noticeboard is very small, and covered in messages from the owners of the building.

Everyone living in an apartment block shares some similar concerns – am I paying too much for rent?, when do the bin men come? where are the good restaurants around here? my cupboard doors keep falling off – poor construction, or is it my fault? Apparently this is where residents associations normally come in. Personally I’ve never seen nor heard tell of one, so I’m going to assume for the time being that they only exist in US comedies and old peoples’ homes.

Whilst at my last apartment, I bought a wifi router (the Linksys WAG54G if you must know – no, not the one with onboard Linux!), and I could pick up the unsecured signals of a couple of other wifi networks nearby. The same goes for my current apartment.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could set up a wifi-based local apartment block noticeboard? Or even hire out ethernet-over-power adaptors to people without wifi cards so that they could get in on the act. Then we could share all these worries, wirelessly, for free, without hassle. The guys at Neighbornode think so; they’ve even got the software and downloads to let people do it. They don’t mention the ethernet-over-power bit, but it sounds like a logical extension, although fraught with actual human interaction 😉

I’m far too reserved to possibly suggest to any of my neighbours that we actually do something like this, but it might be nice.

I wonder if there’s any way of broadcasting out to other local wifi nodes that I have something available, and seeing who answers? I hear that iTunes has some network sharing facilities, which is a possibility, although that would rely on someone else using iTunes too. An interesting field, but one I probably won’t be exploring any time soon. 🙂

Streaming feeds

As well as writing about the new Google Blogsearch, Anil Dash writes about the SixApart AtomStream

AtomStream is an endless flow of Atom posts, presenting the updates to LiveJournal and TypePad free for consumption by any tool or application which wants to consume them.

This is the extension of the work that Brad was doing a couple of months ago

Brilliant. Finally. I’m still waiting for Blogger to start doing this with their feeds.

Streaming feeds is nice, and something that I first saw via Atom-over-XMPP. It’ll be nice when we don’t have to bother pinging everyone any more. Finally I won’t have to keep hitting refresh on my Flickr page, desperately waiting for someone to leave a comment, I’ll just be able to feverishly check my aggregator because as soon as I have a comment it’ll know (my hacked version of FeedOnFeeds can connect to XMPP streams and receive Atom feeds, but not normal HTTP streams. Yet).