Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

Our images of Pauling’s Nobel Chemistry medal used by The Daily Show?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Last night while watching The Daily Show, where the first segment was on Gore’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, I noticed a familiar image used in one of the graphics. Several of the websites we’ve created (I work at Special Collections at OSU Libraries) feature one or both of Linus Pauling’s Nobel medals, and I’ve either created the images myself or prepared them for the web (I think Eric did the best one we have and I’m using it here). On the show they used an image of a Nobel medal along with Gore for one of the graphics, and I believe the Nobel medal image they used was ours (again).

It’s hard to be 100% sure that they used our images, but they’re one of the few high-quality Nobel medal images available online and we’re also the 3rd result for a Google Image search of ‘nobel prize‘. None of the other images available really look like ours, and there’s a few telltale signs (highlighting on the chin, slight leftward slant of ‘Nobel’). And, at least this time around, they didn’t use a Peace medal (which is quite different from the others). I wish I had higher quality images to compare, but these are the best I could find.

Here’s our image of the medal, followed by screenshots of the two specific episodes (most recent first). See for yourself:
Linus Pauling's Nobel Chemistry medal (1954)

Exhibit A: Linus Pauling’s Nobel Chemistry medal (1954) from our website, Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History.

The Daily Show, October 15, 2007

Exhibit B: The Daily Show, October 10, 2007

The Daily Show, November 11, 2004

Exhibit C: The Daily Show, November 11, 2004

I’m very pleased that one of my favorite shows used something I had a part in. You never know what being highly ranked on Google will get you. Now I just have to get something on The Colbert Report…

Over 11,111 songs scrobbled

Monday, December 11th, 2006

I’ve been using Last.fm (formerly Audioscrobbler, hence the title) for most of the year now, and just tonight I passed 11,111 songs (I figured this extremely arbitrary milestone was as good as any). I’m by no means among the most active users, but that’s a decent amount of music. It appears that my Overall Top Artists chart is heavily influenced by new releases in the last year, which is no real surprise. While I wish there were some more ways to analyze the data and see trends, the information provided is fairly interesting. It also serves to remind me of some of the older albums I own that I haven’t listened to in quite awhile. The user profile pages and artist pages can also show some intriguing relationships and comparisons. I highly recommend joining, and if you do be sure to let me know.

Bloglines is old and busted. Gregarius is the new hotness.

Monday, May 8th, 2006

I installed Gregarius tonight and successfully set it up to replace Bloglines. The install is public and at ryanwick.net/feeds

A few minor things were more difficult than they probably should have been, and there were (and still are) problems with a couple feeds, but overall it was a smooth transfer. I reordered some feeds and changed things around from my previous setup but didn’t alter the order too much.

I really like how in Gregarius you have to mark specific items or feeds as read, otherwise it leaves them unread. This means that if you glance at something, but then move on to something else, it doesn’t get marked as read (a wonderful Bloglines “feature” that I won’t miss). Also, you can control how many feed items appear on a “page”, so if you don’t want to be hit with 100+ unread items all at once you don’t have to.

There’s a few UI additions or changes I’d make, but I’m not sure how much time I want to devote to tweaking this, as I’m very happy with the default.

Time to move away from Bloglines

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

Overall I’ve been fairly happy with Bloglines, but recently I’ve been increasingly frustrated with the service. Between downtime, UI inconsistencies, the fact that you can’t retrieve past the most recent 200 items in feeds (it’s all text – how hard is it to archive?), and that there is no pagination in long unread lists, I think it’s time to look for an alternative.

I need a web-based reader, so Gregarius is at the top of the seemingly short list. It would be nice not to have to setup and manage yet another app, but word is that Gregarius isn’t very fussy.
I may also check out Google’s Reader, but it doesn’t look ready for primetime yet.

Discogs.com – Very cool site.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

When looking up music release information or discographies, I relied on a combination of Amazon.com, Allmusic.com, sometimes Wikipedia and record label or store websites. Now I can add Discogs.com to the list. They rely on user-submitted content and function very similar to IMDB.com. I was impressed, and will look to see if there’s some things that I can contribute.
They’re also local, which I thought was really cool. First I find that CDBaby is based in Portland, now Discogs.com, who knows what else is out there.

Fun with online calendars and WebDAV

Monday, March 6th, 2006

For about a year now I’ve been running my own personal online calendar using iCal files on my web space and accessing them with Mozilla Sunbird and WebDAV. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it was working, and there’s not much in the way of alternatives (save for web-based shared calendars). Well, somewhere along the way, one of my iCal files (the big, important one) got corrupted. I’m not sure if Sunbird was in the middle of a file write when my wireless connection went out, or if it didn’t survive the temporary move when I setup WordPress. At any rate, the file was incomplete, with over half of it missing (of course, the half I was missing was the newest half). Since Sunbird keeps a local copy of each calendar file on the local computer, I was hoping to resurrect the file with an older version that was more complete, but each of the local ones had been overwritten already since the remote, “master” file was different.

After a few days of not making any progress on this, I remembered that I had seen something at some point about accessing backups of my files on DreamHost (awhile back they started making snapshot backups). I was able to pull an old file from a 2-week old backup. The next trick was to replace the corrupted file with the complete one. Since the remote iCal file is essentially the “master”, it wasn’t enough to replace a copy of the file on the local machine, open Sunbird, and try to get it to overwrite the remote file. It wouldn’t take, and I’d be back with an incomplete file. So I had to overwrite the bad file on the server. But since the directory is enabled as WebDAV, I can’t copy and move files like normal. I had to disable WebDAV on the directory, wait a few minutes, then copy over the new file, turn WebDAV back on, wait a few minutes, and then hope everything works. Luckily, it did, and I haven’t had any more problems.

Also, I managed to download Sunbird 0.3a1, when I was trying to get Sunbird to work with my corrupt file. I knew most changes in 0.3 so far have been on the backend, but there has been some nice UI cleanup already. So far it seems stable enough for everyday use, but hopefully the full release of 0.3 isn’t far behind.