Drupal and the Blog API

I wish someone had told me you had to enable the Blog API module before you could use all the cool blogging tools like Flickr’s “Blog This” or Firefox plugin ScribeFire. I tried setting up both, and kept getting unhelpful errors. It looked like my username and password were wrong. This was frustrating, because I was sure my username and password were correct. After significant Googling, I finally found a helpful explanation. And now it works perfectly. You can see the previous post, which I sent straight from Flickr. So, hopefully now this page will be one more Google hit explaining that, if you want an external site or application to access your xmlrpc.php file, you’d better turn on the Blog API module.

Hillary and Barack

DSC_2028, Originally uploaded by Barack Obama

It’s nice to see Hillary finally putting the party and her country before herself.

I’m just kidding. I’m finding it difficult to be annoyed with her at this point – she lost, and now she’s helping Obama, because that’s what you do when you finish second in a really close and strongly contested race. She’s very capable, and she’s very smart, and I think she can be a great asset to the Obama campaign. I’m just glad she’s not going to be President.

By the way, if you’re not friends with Obama on Flickr, you’re a total loser.

Is Brandon Fahey the worst hitter ever?

Just watching a bit of the Orioles-Nationals game. It seems so far that we have Evil Daniel Cabrera rather than Unhittable Daniel Cabrera. He didn’t walk a batter in the two run first inning, but just about every ball he threw was hit hard, and only some good anticipation by Brian Roberts to get a double play got them out of the inning only down 2-0. But Brandon Fahey. Do you understand what it means to have a career OPS+ of 50? This guy must have photos of the O’s GM doing something really, really awful. I know it was time to get rid of Miguel Tejada, but I think I speak for most Orioles fans when I say that we expected you to replace him with a real major league player. Now the bases are loaded for the Nats with two outs in the bottom of the first. I need to go find a bottle of tequila.

Why do you think I’m stupid, Microsoft?

If you read any of the blogs that I do, you’ve probably already seen Bill Gates’ 2003 complaint about Windows Update. Windows Update is a piece of junk. It’s always been a piece of junk. It probably always will be a piece of junk. What’s really disappointing is that it doesn’t have to be. Take a look at the package manager in Ubuntu Linux. It’s probably the same in many other flavors of Linux, but I don’t have experience with them. Anyway, package manager is simple. When there are new versions of software or new patches to the operating system, it puts a little notification in my taskbar. When I click the notification, it tells me what is available for update. It even separates them into recommended vs optional, and tells me a little bit about each update. I can choose some, all, or none of the updates to apply. When it’s finished updating, sometimes I have to restart. It puts another notification in the taskbar, and then that’s it. I can restart when I’m ready. Windows, on the other hand, is much more obnoxious. By default, it doesn’t want to tell me what it’s doing. When it finishes, it pops up a window that tells me to restart now or later. If I say later, it pops up again in a couple of minutes. And again. And again. Look, Microsoft, sometimes I’m at work and don’t have the time to restart. Sometimes I’m in the middle of something and just don’t feel like restarting. Why can’t I have that option? Why can’t you just show me a little “You need to restart at some point” notification and leave it at that? And we’re not even talking about Vista here. This is XP on my work computer. And the only reason Windows is on the computer at all is because it’s a work computer. I’ve restarted now, and everything seems to be fine. I don’t know what update it did, but everything still works, so it can’t have been too big a deal. Nice to see Microsoft still patching XP – I guess they realize that Vista sucks, and most people who don’t have to upgrade haven’t (and won’t).

Another ebook reader set to fail

Teleread | Astak E Ink readers: Five- and six-inchers due in July; 9.7 inch flexi screen and Walmart and Costco e-stores in ‘08?

Models with five- and six-inch screens are tentatively scheduled to be offered for sale at the Astak Web site around July 28. That’s next month, yes, not this one as Astak originally wanted, but it is still an acceptable delay, given all the technical and business variables. Astak hoped to sell the five incher for less than $200 but now plans to start out at $229-$249 in order to allow pricing flexibility for the big chains, which Bob hopes will start selling Astak products around October.

The word on this ebook reader just a month ago was that there were three sizes, with the smallest starting at about $150. That was awesome. The $300+ ebook readers out there now are just too expensive to change the market. Sony and Amazon, as well as some lesser known players, already have expensive e-paper devices. To beat them, you have to either change the experience of reading a book, or blow the doors off them on price. This latest news suggests that Astak is doing neither. I see wifi and bluetooth and touchscreen and I cringe. I can get a cell phone with all these things. None of these are going to change the market for reading books. Having Walmart and Costco on board is good for mass adoption, but convincing shoppers to pay $250 to be allowed to read a small subset (for now) of all available books that aren’t even cheaper than their much-more-expensive-to-produce paper brethren is something that even the gifted marketers at Apple would have a hard time accomplishing. So it looks like I’m back to waiting for something that may not come for a while. I thought I could hold out until the end of July, but I thought I was getting change back from $200. As priced (Assuming the linked info is accurate), this one is a pass just like Amazon’s Kindle.

I could have been killed

Have you ever walked south on 16th Street on the right hand side across U Street? You have a light there, but then you have to cross New Hampshire with a crosswalk and no light.
View Larger Map The wife and I do it just about every day on the way to work. It’s not a problem to cross U Street, but crossing New Hampshire is a little dicey. Almost every day, someone assumes that, because they aren’t turning at a 90 degree angle, they don’t have to yield to pedestrians. Twice in the last month or so, we’ve had a car actually slow down or pull over to yell at us for getting in the way. This is all while walking in a crosswalk, by the way. The wife, being more confrontational than I, has exchanged words with some of these drivers. I emailed Jim Graham yesterday, and he has tasked a staff member with looking into it. I want them to put up a sign reminding people that they have to yield. I know it’s a funny intersection, but it’s an area with a lot of foot traffic, and it’s dangerous. It doesn’t help that many pedestrians will yield their right of way to cars. I understand the reasoning there – if you get hit by a car, your broken bones and whatnot don’t really care about the stand you were making for pedestrian’s rights. However, when you give up your right of way, you are also taking mine, because now the drivers think they’re right. So stand up for your right of way. And if you’ve ever had this trouble at this intersection, or any other, write to your councilmember. I don’t actually know who’s in charge of that area – Ward 1 and Jim Graham’s turf ends just north of there at Florida Avenue. But your councilmember would no doubt be aware of who needs to be notified. I’ll keep you posted on what he intends to do about it.

A little anniversary

I don’t remember exactly when I started this blog, but tomorrow is the second anniversary of the earliest post still in existence. That’s a long time. I wrote a lot more about stuff in the news when I started. Maybe I should go back to that. I had more time at work to find things to write about then. Now I actually have to do work when I’m at work. It’s really tough to find time for my hobbies during the day. So, here’s to another two years. Or more.

Nats beat the rain, not the Angels.

imgp1165Another game, another loss. Lackey was highly effective if not impressive to watch. Jay Bergmann, a nice example of why record is a crummy indicator of pitching success, matched him most of the game. Unfortunately for the Nats, Willie Harris provided the entirety of their offense, and the defense deserted them in the top of the eighth. Our new seats were okay. I don’t really like having to walk indoors through the air conditioning to get to our seats. It just seems wrong. And there was a really obnoxious guy sitting just behind us. He appears to have season tickets, since my boss recognized my description of the guy. But they’re comfortable (Padded seats! At a baseball game!) and it’s a good view. So I guess I can’t complain. And they played the game this time. Two straight rainouts would have been tough to take.

The weather around here is whack

Two hours ago it was sunny. Half an hour ago, it was raining hard enough to fill up the entryway to DCUSA (With people trying to escape the rain, I mean). Now the sun is coming back out. Normally, I wouldn’t care too much, but we got my company’s Nationals tickets tonight, and they’re the newly upgraded seats with access to the Stars and Stripes Club, whatever that is. Last time we tried to go to a game, we got rained out. And tonight the game is delayed an hour and a half, but is scheduled to start at 8:30. So we’re cooking dinner (read: I sautéed some vegetables and now the wife is putting them on a pizza) and getting ready to give the game a shot. I find it a little ridiculous that I’ve had tickets to two games this month, and both have been affected by rain. Although while the first game was one that I chose months ago, these tickets were handed to me this afternoon because no one else wanted to go. Perhaps the weather report had something to do with that. In any event, John Lackey is scheduled to pitch for the Angels tonight, and he’s having a fantastic season (When he’s not on the DL) – his 0.92 WHIP means he’s pretty much not allowing any baserunners. And while Vlad Guerrero is having an off-year by his standards (.289/.348/.506), he’s in the middle of a 13 game hitting streak. There are probably going to be some Nationals players involved in the game, too.