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Poster child of the Web 2.0 movement and all round general legends Meebo have just launched a new service called MeeboMe that allows you to host a flash based chat window on your website and allow people to send you IM messages.  It is in Alpha stages at the moment so may well cause problems.  Anyway – if you want to drop me an IM message then feel free to click here for a chat window.  I’ll not have this on my main page quite yet because a)  I’ll probably get tons of spam and b) It’s alpha so will probably break in loads of nasty places.  Anyway – worth a try!

Opening Pandora's Box


Just discovered the website - Pandora. Basically, it allows you to create a streaming music station by typing in the names of some songs or bands that you like. It will then play you music by those artists and similar ones. It is great for discovering new music and re-discovering tunes that you have heard on the radio but forgotten who they were by. Currently it is free and also free of audio adverts. They also offer a subscription service which will remove all commercials. Pandora is currently only available to people in the US. I'm in the States at the minute so I can't tell if it is doing any IP resolving to determine location or it is just using the ZIP code which you enter on registration.

At the risk of inventing a new Web 2.0 buzzword, the interface could be described as FLAX (FLash and Xml) - it's pretty nice and does a good job of masking the restrictions imposed by the music licensing deals that the company has struck.

If you (like me) spend a lot of time tied to your computer then this is an ideal source of background music. So far I've done a couple of quick "Stations". A relaxed one and one full of pop. Be warned, I like my music like my movies - unchallenging. However, thanks to Pandora this is changing and I'm listening to stuff I would never have thought to buy myself from iTunes.

Google Analytics

Google has recently announced it's new Analytics service. I've just added the tracker to this site so we'll see what the data looks like in a few hours. From all the screen shots it looks pretty nice, will post an update when I see what it thinks to my small site traffic...

Rather than being a 20% time project, this appears to be the result of Google buying Web Analytics firm Urchin back in March. Looks like they've done a Keyhole and are now giving away the basic service for free. In this case to massively bolster Google's AdSense scheme.

UPDATE: As of 20:09 on the 15th November (24 hours after adding the tracking code), still not got any reports to look at in Google Analytics. I guess that a lot of people signed up for the service yesterday...

Egoless Programming

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I colleague of mine, Mike Cooper, just pointed me towards the "Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming". Hopefully not because he thinks I need to heed the advice - but it is always good to think about your own behaviour when revewing and pairing. Reading the article made me think back to the first code review sessions I've held with people where they often need to take things less personally, but also to some great pairing sessions I've had with people that really adhere to these rules whether they knew they did or not. I can't help it, I'm in a retrospective mood just lately.

Google Reader

As you've probably discovered by now, Google has launched Google Reader - a web based RSS reader with all the fancy AJAX lovliness you'd expect.

So far, I'm a little dissapointed. The site looks nice, and the keyboard shortcuts work well - but I had loads of problems importing my subscription list - also the performance is a little slow. I tend to read my feeds in categories, and there are some categories that I care more about reading every artcile whereas others that are very high volume and I just scan the headlines.

Basically, Google Reader is interesting but Bloglines has my RSS traffic still. I expect Google Reader will start working better as time goes on, at first I didn't like gmail that much...

Meebo Rules

Occassionally, I come across something that is soo good I think twice about recommending it to people because I don't want the site to get so busy that it becomes un-useable. But this thing is just too good to be quiet about.

Go check out meebo. Check it out right now, and I mean right now - you won't regret it. It is like Trillian, but over a web site using some of the best Ajax since Google Maps.

Oh No!

Proof, if it was ever needed, of the power of modern browsers. Nuts to Google Maps, DHTML Lemmings is the perfect use of your browsers power. This works for me in Firefox 1.0 and IE 5.5. Oh No!


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