Categories: General Software

An effort to recognize (and filter out) stupidity in blog comments via weighted Bayesian analysis. Useful for filtering out excessive “LOLs” and too many text-message style abbreviations, I think this is a brilliant idea.

Also, love this from their FAQ (emphasis in italics mine):

Q: Do you really expect to be able to detect and filter anything that’s conceivably stupid?
A: No, of course not. You’d need real AI for that, and beyond a certain point it’s simply subjective; after all, a sufficiently advanced AI would probably filter out the whole of human discourse, which isn’t the idea.

Flex in a Week video training

Categories: ActionScript Adobe AIR Adobe Flex AS3 Howto

Adobe is offering Flex training on their developer site using videos and supplemental PDFs. Check it out here:

As of this writing, days one through three have been added.

Invitations to Aviary

Categories: Adobe Flex AS3 Cool Sites

I currently have five four invitations to Aviary ( if anyone is interested.

Cuil - Yet Another New Google Killing Search Engine

Categories: General SEO

A new search engine started by former Google employees called Cuil (and pronounced “cool”) launched today. It is said to search 121 billion pages, ranked by “content and relevance”. Cuil seems to run very fast, and they seem to have better designers than Google did when they first started.

My opinion: they must be still working on indexing all those pages, because right now, Cuil sucks.

Silverback - Unobtrusive usability testing software for website designers

Categories: Cool Sites Software Usability

I found this usability-testing screen capture application really interesting when I first read about it in February on Vitamin:
The article wasn’t about the software itself, but about the cool parallax background effect on the website. Which it is certainly still cool and all, but the Silverback software is definitely more useful.

In a simpler time, when software was much less complex, software makers would do usability testing. They would record real live people actually using their applications and record their actions, and then use the information they gathered to improve the quality of their product. Or file it away and forget about it…

But with the ultra-fast get-it-done-now speed-driven nature of web-based software development, usability testing has gone by the wayside. And Silverback aims to solve that.

Take a look at the video:

Silverback screencast from Jeremy Keith on Vimeo.


Does your company do usability testing? Let me know in the comments.

iPhone 3G Availability Tracker

Categories: iPhone JavaScript JSON

via John Gruber

No need to check every evening after 9 on Apple’s availability page if you plan on purchasing from an Apple retail store. The iPhone availability page, made by Chris Barnes, uses Apple’s JSON inventory feed which is updated every 15 minutes throughout the day:

NW Ohio .NET User Group Talk: Building Web Applications with the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Framework

Categories: DotNET General Howto

Ryan Lanciaux, a friend of mine and .NET developer, will be giving a talk for the NW Ohio .NET User Group on building web applications using the ASP.NET MVC framework, Tuesday, August 19th. Find out more at,guid,7d6f35d0-0156-4d5e-9ec5-885db293b610.aspx

Also, check out Ryan’s site where he writes (mostly) about .NET topics at

Book review: php architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development

Categories: Adobe AIR Books PHP Reviews

Currently I’m helping to lead the development of an enterprise-grade rich internet application. We’ve decided that the front-end client is going to be a desktop app running on Adobe AIR and using the Flex framework, but we’re still discussing options as to what the back-end should be running on. Java, .NET, Ruby on Rails, even Python…all have been discussed, but the one we were initially writing off was PHP. In an effort to be fair, I’m re-considering, and recently finished reading a book, php|architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development, that aims to position PHP as a viable enterprise platform.

Keep reading “Book review: php architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development”...

Inquiring minds: SquirrelFish in Adobe AIR?

Categories: Adobe AIR JavaScript

Inquiring minds want to know: with WebKit officially banking on the use of the SquirrelFish JavaScript interpreter (WebKit is the HTML rendering engine underlying Apple’s Safari browser and Adobe’s AIR platform), does this mean that we’ll see Adobe moving away from using JavaScriptCore for JS execution and toward using SquirrelFish?

In 2006 Adobe donated the Tamarin interpreter to the Mozilla Foundation (press release). Tamarin is a JavaScript engine based on Adobe’s Flash ActionScript interpreter. More recently, a branch known as Tamarin Tracing is most likely going to make its way into Firefox 4.

Early tests have shown SquirrelFish to be a (whopping) 52% faster than Tamarin, which seems like it would make it an ideal candidate for AIR.

So the question is: will Adobe abandon the child of its scripting engine in favor of SquirrelFish?

[Update, 11/17/2008] Yes, they did indeed.

Two Twitter Clients I Use

Categories: Adobe AIR General

For a long time I resisted using Twitter, because I was more interested in getting, along with this blog, up and running. But after seeing some practical benefits to using Twitter, I’m starting to get my feet wet.

When I’m on my Mac, I use Fluid to run a SSB (site specific browser) for Hahlo - and I’ve made it into a nice menubar item that just sits up out of my way, there when I want it. It even has Growl notifications (currently disabled for me - I’ve got work to do!) to let me know when someone I’m following makes a new tweet.

On my Windows machine, I’ve just started using TweetDeck - it’s a full-featured yet minimalist front-end to Twitter that runs on the Adobe AIR platform. That means it’s cross-platform. Thanks to Iain Dodsworth for putting this one together, it’s very well done.

I’m aware that there is a vast array of Twitter clients out in the wild, like the TwitterFox plugin for Firefox. I’d be interested to know what you’re using, so feel free to let me know in the comments.