Thank you Veterans

Image Copyright flickr.com/look4uThis Veteran’s Day, I would like to honor family members who have served this country.

I would like to honor my Father, Richard V. Moline III, who served this country in the US Navy before I was born.

I would like to honor my Sister in Law, Betina Garcia, who currently serves this country as an Army Corporal.

I would like to honor the memory my Uncle, James Carr, who like my father, also served in the U.S. Navy.

I would like to honor the memory of wife’s Grandfather, Therman Branning, who served in World War 2, including as a member of the U.S. Army Cleanup Crew after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I would like to honor my Uncle Herman Jones, who recently returned from Iraq where he was a member of the team training Iraqi Police Officers

I also would like to honor my friends who have served this country,

I would like to honor John Savage, who I worked with at GetOnTheAir, who served as an Army Ranger in Iraq.

I honor my old school friend Josh Brown who I know currently serves this country, though I don’t know with which branch of the military.

I know there are many more to honor who have served or are serving, and I’m very sorry if I forgot you in this post. I am very proud of everyone who has served this country.  God bless all of you.

Thank you to everyone who served in the U.S. Military, not just those I’ve listed here, but every single man and woman who has put on a uniform.  I owe my safety and security in this country to the sacrifice you’ve given to us.

Rachel Beckwith’s Amazing Gift

Rachel Beckwith's 9th Birthday WishFor her 9th birthday, Rachel Beckwith asked people to donate to charity:water rather then give her presents. Sadly when her birthday arrived she was $80 short of her goal of raising just $300 for charity:water.

A month after her birthday she died in a car crash, in the month since her death, donations on her page have reached $1.1 million for bringing water to children in Africa.

Today, August 19th, is World Humanitarian Day 2011, and I found out Rachel’s Story on an article on Mashable of 12 incredible internat activists who made a difference.

I don’t often write pieces about charity here on my blog, because I figure people won’t read them, but Rachel’s story touched my heart.  When setting up her donation page she wrote this:

On June 12th 2011, I’m turning 9. I found out that millions of people don’t live to see their 5th birthday. And why? Because they didn’t have access to clean, safe water so I’m celebrating my birthday like never before. I’m asking from everyone I know to donate to my campaign instead of gifts for my birthday. Every penny of the money raised will go directly to fund freshwater projects in developing nations. Even better, every dollar is “proved” when the projects are complete, and photos and GPS coordinates are posted using Google Earth. My goal is to raise $300 by my birthday, June 12, 2011. Please consider helping me.

Thank you so much!!!

As I said, she didn’t reach her goal before her birthday.  $300 would have been enough to give clean water to 15 people.  After her untimely death she has raised enough to provide clean water to nearly 60,000 people.

Let’s honor the memory of this extraordinary child by helping her raise even more, her $1.1 million will go far, $2 million will go even farther.  Visit her donation page to help out.

Migrated Back to WordPress

wordpress powerOver a year ago, I migrated nick.pro from WordPress over to Drupal.  I did this so that I could experiment with Drupal more, thinking I could make a more robust site if I did so.  Unfortunately, while Drupal is a fantastic, flexible platform for web development, it is simply not efficient as a blogging tool.

Drupal was so cumbersome to use as a blogging tool that I ended up stopping blogging altogether.  So for the first time in years of migrating this blog around and around, I’m reverting it back to a previous home on wordpress.

In the last year wordpress has come a long way, with lots of great new features that makes blogging even simpler then it was before.

I in no way mean to bash drupal, it’s still far and away the best CMS system out there for developing complex sites, but for a blog… it’s good to be home.  My hope with this migration back to WordPress is that it will lite a fire under me to blog again.  No more can I shirk my blogging responsibilities with the whine that writing a post in drupal is just too much work.

Shut down for an hour

For the second year in a row, my wife and I participated in Earth Hour. At 8:30 I hit the main breaker in our apartment shutting everything down for an hour. During that time we read together by candlelight and reflected on just how much energy we use on a day to day basis. It was amazing to us how quiet it was without the ambient hum of electronics running, serving our whims, and it was humbling to think how hard it seemed to read by candlelight and how much we rely on technology for every aspect of our lives.

If you didn’t participate in Earth Hour this year I urge you to do so next year. It’s a simple and symbolic way to focus on saving energy and the mounting energy crisis.

Twitter Tip: A Better @replies List in TweetDeck

@Replies tab on Twitter
@Replies tab on Twitter

Both Twitter and TweetDeck (as well as most other Twitter Clients) give you an easy way to get a list of responses people sent you.  On Twitter itself, this is the @Replies tab off of your home page. TweetDeck gives you a Replies column by default, and if you delete it, you can get it back by clicking on the replies button Replies button in TweetDeck on the top of the screen.  TweetDeck’s replies button uses the replies twitter feed feature from the Twitter API to work, so it returns the exact same list that you get on the home page.

I’ve found however, that I often want to track everything that is said to or about me, even if they are not technically @replies.  Because of this I’ve ditched the replies column in my TweetDeck and instead have created my own @replies list of sorts using the Search feature in TweetDeck which uses the Twitter Search API. To do this yourself follow the simple instructions after the break.
Continue reading “Twitter Tip: A Better @replies List in TweetDeck”

Google Chrome Extensions Coming Out by May!

That’s right, I said it, and so far I’m the only one who has. Google has announced that extensions are coming to Google Chrome but have been mum on when. However I saw something today, that indicates the timetable may be short. Google officially opened up registration for Google I/O 2009, their third annual (first one was just called Google Developer Day) Developer’s Conference.

Google Chrome Extensions Session at Google I/O 2009
Google Chrome Extensions Session at Google I/O 2009

Like last year, it will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Along with the open pre-registration, they’ve also posted a list of Sessions (subject to change). High up on the list is a session entitled “Developing extensions for Google Chrome” which contains the following description:

Learn how Google Chrome makes it easy to write extensions using the web technologies you already know. This talk will cover the basics of the extension system (distribution/packaging, installation, updates), as well as the different APIs to enhance with the browser.

I’d say this is a safe bet that if Extensions are not released BEFORE Google I/O, then they will be released as a new feature AT Google I/O. Extensions are coming, but what about Mac Support?

UPDATE FROM GOOGLE I/O: While the session went through as planned, it turns out my theory was wrong, they simply aren’t available to announce support for extensions yet, although it is coming soon, and they are really well implemented in beta.

UPDATE 2 (June 3rd): The Session video is now up on youtube, I’ve embedded it below:

Is the book better than the movie?

Is the book better than the movie?
Is the book better than the movie?

It is no secret that I’m a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia series of books and movies, and as a loyal fan, I follow news related to Narnia, and one of my favorite news sources for Narnia related news is NarniaFans.com.  I don’t normally bother to post Narnia related news here, because I feel that I would never be able to do the justice that a dedicated site such as NarniaFans can do, however today my Google Reader showed me an article relating to Narnia that caught my attention for more reasons then The Lion.

In New Zealand, the New Zealand Book Council’s agency (Colenso BBDO) in Auckland, New Zealand, has come up with a rather ingenious way to try and get more young people to read.  When people in New Zealand rent Prince Caspian on DVD from video rental stores in Auckland and the surrounding areas, they see the DVD on the left, and on the right a number of pages, in fact, they see the first 2 chapters of Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, with a title page that contains the question “Is the book better than the movie?”

I felt like posting about this story here because I love anything that encourages young people to read.  When I was growing up, the Chronicles of Narnia were some of my personal favorite books to read, and I read them over and over again, today sadly a lot of young people who go to see these movies (which are fantastic), don’t even realize that these wonderful books exist.  By putting the first couple of chapters of a book in with the DVD Rental, perhaps children who enjoy the movie will decide to read the accompanying beginning of the book, and when they get hooked, will head to their local library to grab the rest of it.

This could obviously work for series other then Narnia, imagine if the Harry Potter DVDs included the first two chapters of their accompanying books. I know by chapter 2 of Philosopher’s Stone, I was hooked on J.K. Rowling’s style.

And why limit it to the DVD release, have movie theaters hand out pamphlets of the first chapter of Inkheart after children go to see that imaginative tale this month.

I applaud the New Zealand Book Council for trying out this imaginative campaign to bring more young people to literature.  It is my belief that with more children reading books, we will have a much brighter tomorrow.

Upgrades and hard work

I recently migrated nick.pro and other sites from regulus over to a new server named Atlas, it’s much more powerful, but there were some hiccups in the transfer that I’m slowly having to iron out.

I also just upgraded WordPress to the new 2.7, and I must say, I’m not a big fan of the all grey interface, but I’m liking some of the new features, for example the QuickPress block on the Dashboard that let me write this post without having to leave the dashboard at all.

I’ve been working a lot of extra hours as of late in order to put new things live on Justia, and it’s had a few negative side effects. Last Wednesday night I was up all night working on things for Justia and then only got an hour and a half of sleep before having to get up Thursday for another day. Unfortunately that hour and a half was obviously not enough, because I fell asleep in the shower and crumbled to the floor of the bathtub, bashing my knee against the metal soap dish, and then on the floor of the tub hard before jolting myself awake.

The doctor said I mildly dislocated my patella and sprained one of the ligaments that connects the bones down there. All throughout the past weekend up until today I’ve had to walk with a cane to keep the pressure off my knee.

Last night I had another all-niter of work, but fortunately didn’t injure myself again, tonight it’s 2:20 a.m. as I write this and I’m about to go to bed, so there’s a little rest for the weary, but it’s worth it. Tonight I pushed some significant improvements to a Justia site, which I might blog about later.

Mashup Camp 7 Wrapup

As I Posted about last week, I attended Mashup Camp at the Computer History Museum this week. It has been a packed couple of days. I mentioned before I was not really considering entering the Speedgeeking Contest that occurs at each Mashup Camp. Last Spring’s Mashup Camp I was a bit depressed to come in last place, but this contest was different, this time they had one top prize (A MacBook Pro) awarded by attendee voting, but then the individual providers sponsoring the event also had their own contests of who had the best mashup using their service.

Even charged with that information, I still felt like I didn’t want to enter the competition, not really because of the agony of defeat, but because of the work that would be involved to do a mashup. However, when I heard about the Wet Paint Injected API, I knew I could in a relatively short period of time, write an awesome mashup using this service, and so I started considering it on Monday evening, a few hours later, I resolved myself and knew I had to give it a shot.

Mashup Camp was fun, especially the Speedgeeking and the Keynote from Tim O’Reilly, but the highest point of all for me was when the representatives from WetPaint announced in the closing reception that my mashup had won the Wet Paint Best Mashup Contest!

I’m so excited about this, that I’m going to cut this blog post short and go celebrate. Thank you to Wet Paint for both putting up an incredible Wiki Injection API for adding wiki content to pages (rather then adding pages to wikis), and for choosing my project for the Win, and thank you to the organizers of Mashup Camp for organizing a great Unconference.

I'm Attending Cloud Connect January 20-22, 2009The Organizers of Mashup Camp have announced another event at the Computer History Museum in January called Cloud Connect, and I’ve already registered for that one, so if you come, I’ll see you there.

Wet Paint Prize and SwagUPDATE 2008-12-03: I just noticed the WetPaint team’s Blog Post wrapping up their experiences at MashupCamp and wanted to thank them for the prize (which arrived Today via FedEx), and for the card which is now pinned to the wall of my Cubicle. Check out their tales of upgrades to First Class at the end of their post, which I presume is on Virgin America, due to the mention of Massage Chairs.