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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ease into Summer : Win A Spa Certificate From CentrSource - Indulge Yourself!

CentrSource, the unique shopping resource that is built around you, the consumer, is launching an online promotion to encourage site visits and new user registration.

If you register before June 15, 2005, you will be automatically entered into our "Ease into Summer" contest for one of forty $100 gift certificates to be used by you or that special lady at the "sumptuous, state of the art" Verity Spa, located in the elegant women's club, Verity, in downtown Toronto ( The National Post describes Verity, Toronto's only private club for women, as a "luxurious oasis of French Provincial crossed with industrial warehouse."

Click here for Contest Details and Registration.

You are automatically entered into our contest every time you forward our contest entry from within CentrSource to a friend or family member.

Also, when you visit CentrSource, don't forget to check out the "Latest Offers" section on our homepage. There you will find scores of unique offers from leading international, national and local advertisers. In fact, you will find over 5,000 advertisers specifically selected for consumers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

(Full Disclosure: I work with CentrSource Inc.) Tags: //;
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Monday, May 30, 2005

Found Words: Automagically

Automagically: a word play on "Automatically", Automagically is when something is expected to happen or be done magically, without thought, knowledge, or care of, what is involved with accomplishing it. This is a word I've used for many years, most likely via a Freudian Slip, to describe users request for a computer function or process request: " the marketing department wants the system to Automagically forecast demand for the next quarter". Brian convinced me to document it. Tags: ; Technorati Tags:

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rewriting Amazon : GreaseMonkey script for the Toronto Public Library

I customized Carrick Mundell's LibraryLookup Greasemonkey script (for the Seattle Public Library) to do the same for the Toronto Public Library.

What's it do? On any book listing page, the script inserts a hyper-link below the book title which, when clicked, will search for the book in the Toronto Public Library catalog.

I also made a small modification: the Library Search Url and Library Name are now separate variables to make it a little easier to customized for other Library Systems.

Here's the Script: amazontorpllinky.user.js
Now go browse for The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2)

Note: I've tested this on the Amazon sites for US, Canada, France Germany and Japan with success. However, it does not work for the UK site. Why? Because the UK does not use the same class element names to give it a place to insert the html rewrite link. In fact, it only uses 2 class names on the whole item page. The Style Sheet and classes are there, they just don't use them. Weird.

This particular madness was kickoff by John Udell who started the LibraryLookup Project in 2002 (with bookmarklet's). Many Thanks.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sherlock Holmes meets H. P. Lovecraft

Following sfsignal's review of "Science Fiction: The Best of 2003 edited by Haber and Strahan" I read Neil Gaiman's 2004 Hugo Short Story Winner :"A Study in Emerald" all part of Shadows Over Baker Street here's hoping fluffcthulhu approves. (If not, then read "I CTHULHU" (or What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47 ° 9’ S, Longitude 126 ° 43’ W)? ) Tags:
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Rapture of the Nerds, A Tough Guide

science fiction writer Charlie Stross has released to the wild his Singularity! - A Tough Guide to the Rapture of the Nerds.

Developed using Tiddlywiki, an experimental microcontent WikiWikiWeb built by Jeremy Ruston written in HTML and JavaScript, it has a slick user interface that makes me think of a Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy (local or movie)- another kind of "Tough Guide", and written with Tongue firmly planted in USB Port (do you get a tingle when you do that?). Charlie's having fun! (Now on Boing Boing, and a few other places)

For the record, we have another name for people who are "unclear about the true nature of the Singularity" : call them "a cheap source of atomic feedstock". Tags:
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Monday, May 23, 2005

Jack Bauer's Day 4 ends

Ok, so we just watched the end of "24", Day 4. I think I know what's going to happen in Day 5!

"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire: THE A-TEAM."

I love it when a plan comes together. (Which leads me to this), Since I didn't see any "One Armed Men", He can't be The Fugitive

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Processing XML/DOM In JavaScript

Richard Schwartz has hit one out of the park with Some Useful Utility Functions For Processing XML/DOM In JavaScript with came out of his Proof of Concept: Browser-Based Field Encryption With Blowfish Via Ajax. Well done Richard! Tags:
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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Problem Solving with our Cephalopod uberlord

Evening spent with fluffcthulhu, and minions feorag and autopope, along with dozen odd Torontorians (like rfmcdpei) at C'est What for drinks and a wide ranging talks. An enjoyable time, much beer, many all world problems solved, and if the world would stop spinning I might be able to remember them......possible brain munching by Cephalopod's.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Remixing Crime with Gmaps

Via Links Archives: May 2005 we have Chicago Crime, A freely browse-able database of crimes reported in Chicago, viewable by Crime type/Street/Date/Police district, Mapped with Google Maps!! They drill down to a very fine level of Detail: the block or police beat, and how about getting a RSS (RSS 2.0) feed for that Block or police beat?

The data comes from a Chicago Police Department site, Citizen ICAM, that lets the public search for recently reported crimes, update once a day with only 90 days' worth of data and a week delay before crime reports are available online. (Do we have anything like this for Toronto?)

This might like giving a hypochondriac a encyclopedia of disease, but it's an amazing application, and value-add to a existing set of data: Business Intelligence (BI) for the DUY vigilante. I wonder if you could re remix it with Paul Rademacher's HousingMap remix of Craigslist and Google? Hm....Craigslist+Crime Reporting+GMaps = "Just why is that rent so cheap?"

Update:Boing Boing picked up the story. chicagocrime has linked back in Press.

And then there's a remix of Google Maps and Gasbuddy : Cheap Gas

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bloor West Village Art Tour 2005

Toronto's Bloor West Village Art Tour is happening this weekend (May 13, 14, 15) with 21 Artists in 13 Locations around Bloor West, the Junction, and Little Malta. Tags: / or Technorati Tags: /

Ajax, Ajax Everywhere

How Ajax changes everything from Powazek:

"Stop thinking about the web in terms of pages that go from a server to a browser, and instead think of pages as collections of chunks that can each go to and from a server as needed. In many ways, it reminds me of the revolutionarily simple lesson from blogs: When you think of the web as posts instead of pages, important things happen. In the same way, thinking of the web as dynamic portions of pages opens up all sorts of user interface opportunities." Tags:
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Hiring is Obsolete and Google agrees

First I read Paul Graham's latest essay: Hiring is Obsolete, then I read (Via gizmode) that was acquired by Google (dodgeball is a cellphone / SMS hook-up service ), run by two guys (only 2 guys!), who started it up out of grad school – all familiar themes of Paul Graham essay’s:. "Just Do It!" And Andy thinks some interesting possibilities with Blogger and Google Maps, and gives out the w00t to his former students.

If your not feeling Obsolete there's more under: Tags:
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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Technorati and Tags added with GreaseMonkey for users

Fabricio Zuardi ( wrote a GreaseMonkey script to make it easier to add Technorati Tags to your blog post when/if you are editing with in (but not within the pop up "BlogThis!"). Bryan Price ( modified it to make it conducive to being XHTML compliant.

I've took that script and made some trivial changes to create a GreaseMonkey script (my First!) to add generic tag links :

It can also be customized to link to your own tag links, by editing the "deliciousTagRoot" variable.

Note: The script does work with the pop-up "Blog this" bookmarklet. See July 5th update below for a way to do this.

Other Modifcations come to mind: creating both tags sets from one set of inputs.

update May 23rd: now noted on Absolutely - Complete Tool Collection. Welcome!

update May 29th: driko looks to to add puedo-categories to his blog with a little help from may GreaseMonkey (GM?) script. and Mamata (from Brasil!) has it on his(?) list of GM scripts.

Update: June 19th: A Consuming Experience comments on and links here.

July 5th Update: Esben figured out how to get a similar greasemonkey script working for the popup "Blog This" bookmarklet from Blogger see Excellcent! He used the Id Element "postArea" to insert the fields. Well Done!

(Now if we could use the "postoptions" element or the "postArea" and we might have one less GM scipt running)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Automating Geobloggers with Google Maps longitude and latitude

Via Andrew Baio's Waxy Links we have a newer, faster way to annotate the web using the previously mentioned Flickr + Google Maps Remix known as .

Excellatronic Communications has been hacking up a storm, starting with a GreaseMonkey script which fills my LazyWeb request (very dangerous) with both Greasemonkey script and bookmarklet's (so the IE people can play too!) which:

  1. redirects you to the geoblogging website for that Maps.Google location.
  2. displays the longitude and latitude coordinates on the Google map, which is useful for people who want find the coordinates of where they took their images so they can add the required tags to their flickr images.
That second script will be very useful of other things as well!

But he didn't stop there! Then he went and wrote another Greasemonkey script to Automated most of the GeoTagging Flickr Images Process, making use of the above script, allowing you "add GeoTag" on the flickr page and using the the placename or postcode or zipcode get the longitude and latitude, then build the correct flickr tags.

Awesome hacking Dude!! Let the annotating and Tagging of the World Begin! (or at least Northern America, and Britain, since GMaps doesn't cover as much geography as MapQuest or even MultiMaps. (yet?))

Also revdancatt continues to improve the site.

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Texas Holdem on Runnymede

ET and I played Texas Holdem poker last night (Saturday) at our (other) neighbor's house - Jen and Jason - with a gathering of their friends and family. Much fun was had, along with beer, chips and M&M's. ET was the second to get cleaned out at our table, and spent most of an enjoyable evening showing off her skills at card shuffling while acting as dealer. I survived into the second round, doing a good job of beating and/or bluffing Steve and the other Jason, until Tracy came along and out-matched me in that regard! (Tracy finished in the final 3, clearly experienced in these matters)

Must practice for next time!

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Lancaster of the Lake and Toronto's Aerospace Museum

On the Radio (, Andy Barrie spoke with Philip Gray, a young pilot with the RAF during WW II. Philip Gray, Lancaster, RAF. (RAM, Runs 9:50) ) I heard about the restoration of the World War II (Heavy Bomber) by the (TAM). This brought back many happy memories visiting it as it sat on a pedestal placed as a memorial along Lakeshore Drive near the CNE grounds ( @ Coronation Park) (as pictured below. image from Toronto Aerospace Museum.) where it was till the mid 90's (?)

but also of a Family Friend, Lew, who piloted one in WWII during the 1000 bomber raids. I hope to pay a visit soon, see the Lancaster - and other exhibits - and pay my respects. I miss seeing it next to the lake as I drive by, especially after the (nearby) HMCS HAIDA (Tribal Class destroyer) was moved to in 2003.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Adactio Elsewhere : the power of web API's + XML

Adactio (Jeremy Keith) has built Adactio Elsewhere - using the power of alphabet soup, in this case: PHP5, Web Services, XML, XSL, OPML, RSS, JavaScript, DOM Scripting, Ajax, XHTML and CSS - to gather piece of his info into one Personal Portal Page.

How? Short answer : Restful API's such as Amazon , Flickr, and Upcoming, returning XML parsed by PHP5's superb new DOM functions, and styled by XSL/CSS . A nice dollop of progressive enhancement with Ajax for spice.

Very Slick. Very Powerful. Let's take a peek...

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Richard MacManus at Read/Write Web talks about Pulling the pieces together

plus: workhabit notes some XmlHttpRequest Libraries (JavaScript), and very nice Enhanced Form Widgets experiment, and Styled form controls

Link Back: Your Welcome, Colin "Relapse" Morris' Cupboard.

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Monday, May 02, 2005

Geobloggers : Flickr + Google Maps Remix

is the lastest remix in this case: Flickr + Google Maps.

Basically by either adding 3 tags to your Flichr photo, "geo:lat=xx.xxxx", "geo:lon=xx.xxxx" and "geotagged", or If your camera records the GPS data in the Exif headers, then tag your photo with "geocoded".

2 notes: He's using the Flickr RSS feed not the API and talks about pulling " feeds for geotagged" items. Great for restaurant reviews maybe? Tourist maps? (see First We'll Map Manhattan!! for other crazy suggestions).

I've geoblogged one flickr image for "Here" ,but no joy yet. Frel! Can't make it work. My Turing Rating must be at a all time low! Joy!

Lazyweb request:I wonder how hard it would be to whip up a script to show any Geobloggers (GeoFLickr/GmapFlickr/?) images for my current Google map? You would need to figure out the longitude and latitude of the current map then ask GeoBloger or FLickr and Map the results. Done! (I love it when a plan comes together!)

Google Maps Hacking and Bookmarklets and Dougal Campbell's Geek ramblings:Google Maps Lat/Long Bookmarklet for a head start.

Updated: Now with 90% Automation

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Where Has The 'Venture' In Venture Capital Gone?

Bob asks a reasonable question : Where Has The 'Venture' In Venture Capital Gone?. or Was it ever there? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Categorized under: and "Things I would really like to know"

Update May 2 : Via Harvard Business School we have Four VCs on Evaluating Opportunities.