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Merry Christmas - How to save time by never registering for websites

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BugMeNot is a site dedicated to providing usernames and passwords for (m)any websites. It's a great way to avoid logging in. However, it's sometimes tedious to check every time whether there is a login available or not. I am not sure I really save that much time going to the website each time and trying to locate a working password. Luckily there is a solution!

BugMeNot Extensions for Firefox and Chrome!

Checkout Chrome Version in Action:

My personal opinion is that the firefox extension is better. You simply right click on a username field and say 'Login with BugMeNot' and voila! It also allows you to go back, try another account, choose an account and report success/failure rates.

Bonus Tip: Mailinator - disposable email accounts for things you want to register for once and don't ever want to be contacted by again.

Project 5 - News Aggregator

Yesterday I built the beginnings of a news aggregator.

What it does:

  • Aggregates RSS feeds to database
  • Each feed has customizable title, image (forced size 100x100)
  • Displays RSS items sorted by date (newest first)
  • Almost MVC - design and content are relatively separate but not fully. I didn't use a PHP Templating Engine, it's hard coded with functions that do output some HTML
  • Sitewide variables done via static PHP include.
  • Shows Comments (Disqus)
  • Allows Commenting on article (Disqus)

What it doesn't do (yet):

  • Pagination - only showing 10 items, no way to scroll back further
  • Search - no search implemented yet
  • Channels - view all items posted by a certain blog
  • Admin Interface - Adding new sites, editing is all done directly via MySQL.
  • Magic Tricks - Illusion Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money... or candy.

Internet Failure

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Yesterday was another fun day where my internet didn't seem to be able to hold a connection for more than 2 minutes. After trying for hours, I just gave up, seems to be functioning today. Had an overall good day though :)


Just couldn't get much done today. Wasn't very focused, lots of distractions. Holiday season is starting to kick in as the family returns home.

I fixed some bugs with Buzz Scanner. The basic problem is Google Charts only allows a maximum URL length, so you cannot pass infinite amounts of data in to graph.

The solution: a method to add all adjacent units of data together:
3,6,3,8,9,6,3,4,5,0,6 becomes 9,11,15,7,5,6 (if it's odd, just leaves last one)

It expects data already in the URL format for Google Charts API in the chd field.

Sample expected input:
Sample expected output:

The PHP code:

function mergeData($dataString){
    $chdTempArray = explode("|",$dataString);

Project 2 - Update 2 - Finished

Video Game Music is done. The only part missing was a header.

I used a contest on DigitalPoint to get it done for $20.

The winner was Zealot Designs with this logo:

Not bad for $20 and got to look at a lot of potential options and choose the one I liked most.

Tip: you can view any image on your live site using Firebug and inspect the image you want to change and edit the URL to any other image.

Project 4 - - Because Delicious is Being Sold?Shut Down?

Bookmarking Options

The site is complete.

Data was collected about the providers I saw most mentioned across social media platforms. Important features were categorized and researched.

Instructions on how to backup/save bookmarks.

Project 3 - Buzz Scanner - Done(ish)

Buzz Scanner

What does Buzz Scanner do?

Buzz Scaner monitors 20 of the biggest brands (10 Tech, 10 Automotive) on Twitter and tracks their sentiment over time. 1 Hour and 24 Hour time frames are available.

It is a personally satisfying proof of concept that I wanted to build. I've played with the idea of Brand Monitoring for over a year and finally wanted to just build something in the space. A first step.

There is no monetization right now. But there are a few options if I decided to take it further in the future like creating a SaaS platform like all the rest. I think there is some consumer potential as well if you are monitoring content. Finding the *right* information is so valuable.

Clever Marketing or Trademark Infringement?

I typo'd as (flipped I and A).

They know they are a gmail typo, they even say "You’re right, this isn’t You accidentally mistyped into your address bar. "

Then they pitch their own email service.

click to see full screenshot

That domain is getting a TON of traffic too:

Does it meet UDRP requirements?

(i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
Google has at least two TMs:

Project 3 - Buzz Scanner

Honestly, I am not quite sure what this will turn into. I've seen hundreds of buzz monitoring tools, I've written some stuff in the past to do data mining of this type of information.

I am thinking why not build something with a front end as well?

What I am planning:

1. Pull data from Twitter about pre-defined keywords (Brands)
2. Run Sentiment Analysis
3. Graph over time
#. Maybe put mashup other data (stock price)

How this makes money? Probably doesn't right away. Licensing the code, building something more complex/target a niche for a later version. Use it to build credibility to sell other services.

Privacy Victories from the EFF

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I just received this from the EFF and it's wonderful news. Warrants required to search 3rd party email providers (gmail, hotmail). Today is a good day :)

Dear Kevin,

It's been a great week for electronic privacy and the 4th Amendment!

In a decision issued yesterday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can seize and search emails stored by third party email service providers. Closely tracking arguments made by EFF in our amicus brief, the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail.

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