Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Monitor the Web

Wouldn't it be nice to know every time someone writes about you on the internet?, or every time someone mentions your school, or you favorite football team?

Well, actually you can...

There's something called Google Alerts that makes the trick. With it you can create search based alerts that send email notifications whenever there's a new search result for a specified searched text.

There are three types of alerts supported so far, Web, News & Web and Groups. It's possible to set the frequence as: once a week, once a day, and as soon as it happens.

I'm using it pretty heavily to spot web content on open source c# help desk, and sinergia help desk, being my project I want to know as soon as possible if it makes any noise on the web.

Right now, I'm also monitoring for references to:
  • my full name,
  • my most used nickname (gabo_uy),
  • my email addresses,
  • the url of my sites,
I have different frequences set, for the different terms. I'd go for... the more unusual the searched text, the higher the frequency. I tried setting everything to as soon as it happens, but before I knew I was like mail bombed, completely annoying.

Believe me, it's funny to see what it turns out...

The mail sent can be configured to be text, or html. The html email, is actually well formed xml, so I guess It wouldn't be difficult to parse it and develop some sort of web event listener engine, taking the received mails as input. Would this be of any use to anyone?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A peep into google metrics

I've found this gadget called Google Webmasters Tools , former Google Sitemaps.

First you have to add your websites, and go through a verification of ownership process, where you may place meta tags in the html content to probe you are the owner. Once you have claimed ownership, you get to see very interesting data.

Of all the features it provides the most valuable for me is the query statistics report, where I get to see the the highest average PR for specific keywords my site has ranked. For instance I know now that From Uruguay has an average PR of 1 for the "uruguays time zone" query :S

I only wished they would integrate it with Google Analytics into one single app, leveraging the features of both. I've already filled in a request for that here.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Google Maps as a game platform

Do you know Google Maps? It's the browser based, lightweight version of Google Earth (I hope you do know what that is).

We are using it along with Google Maps API, in one of the subjects I participate in the University. The course is a workshop where groups of four students develop a J2EE based system on a proposed scenario.

This semester the proposed scenario is to develop a sort of treasure hunt game that integrates with Google Maps, using the Google Maps API. Like a web based where in the world is carmen sandiego version.

The interesting thing, in my opinion, is that is possible to develop a very broad range of games, based on the platform provided by the Google Maps API, which is targeted to widely adopted technologies, like javascript, ajax + server side logic (programmed in you platform and language of choice).

When I noticed that is also possible to achieve some level of animation, the options grow even larger. For instance do you remember the UFO game, by Microprose, which has a world map view, where you can see you XCOM bases in the world. It could be possible to do something similar to that (of course, without the missions), hunting in this case aliens across the world, starting from UFO sightseeings.

After I googled for Google Maps Games, I realized I'm not among the first ones to realize this, since there are already tons of implementations over it. Is it me, or game programming is made easier every day?

Besides game programming, there are other very interesting applications made on top of GM API, some of them which are reviewed here.

Technorati Profile

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dual Core vs Core Duo, y Core 2 Duo

Estoy usando la misma Pentium 4, 1.6Ghz, motherboard Intel D850MV ya hace cuarto años, y la verdad es que no me puedo quejar, me ha resultado excelente. Pero dado que upgradear la memoria es prohibitivo, ya que tengo RIMMs, y que las compilaciones del Visual Studio están demorando una vida he decidido que ha llegado ese momento cada cuatro años (como las olimpiadas), en que voy a cambiar la maquina.

Estando bastante desconectado del tema hardware por años, empiezo a mirar en sitios de venta de piezas, como tranza, y veo para mi sorpresa que existen procesadores Dual Core a la venta, y que los precios no son prohibitivos de hecho. Observando con un poco más de detenimiento veo que tambien existen procesadores de nombre Core Duo, pero bastante más caros. Entonces surge la pregunta, cual es bien la diferencia entre los procesadores Dual Core y Core Duo?

Averiguando un poco en la web[1][2], parecería que Core Duo si bien tienen menor frecuencia de reloj que los Dual Core logran mejor rendimiento.

Dual Core serían dos procesadores P4 encajados en una sola placa, mientras que Core Duo parecería que es la versión Dual core del procesador M para notebooks. Por esto último, el consumo de energía de un Core Duo parece que es mucho mejor (inferior) que el de un procesador Dual Core. A su vez, el Core Duo cuenta con Smart Cache, esto es ambos procesadores acceden al mismo cache L2 permitiendo un mayor reuso de la data cacheada, mejorando la performance.

En el medio de estas búsquedas, surge un tercer procesador, Core 2 Duo , también llamado "Conroe" ( a estas alturas ya me estoy mareando, la complican). Parece que el mejor de los procesadores Core 2 Duo, el Intel X6800 2.93Ghz, con cache L2 compartido, y con mejoras de arquitectura de la reconcha de la madre, le rompe el culo a todos los que rajen, entre ellos todos los otros procesadores de Intel y AMD.

Listo, ese es el que quiero. La pregunta ahora es, esto salio el 27 de julio en los mercados de verdad (USA), cuando estará a la venta en Uruguay?

Blogger Beta

Just when I had given up all hope on Blogger, they launch this new version, with some of the long awaited features, like post categorization and restricted access to content. I remember requesting post categorization about a year ago, and I know I wasn't among the first ones to demand it.

Right now I'm resorting to some html+js hacks in the old version, to enable content hiding in the front page, and back and forth navigation across posts, I wish I could get rid of these hacks.

In fact this blog is my test drive of the beta version, so far it looks ok, despite some glitches here and there. I like what they've done with the visual edit of the template, even if it has some bugs.

Yet, there are still some features that I'd like, and seem to be missing, like:
  • Support for more than one comment notification email address
  • Post versioning, I'd like to have published one version of a post while I'm working on a new version of the same content.
I hope they don't take too long to upgrade existing blogs, to the beta version.