I’m not on holiday at the moment but taking the odd day off over the summer. Yesterday was one. I found a good set of amusing links, here are a few.
The New Devil’s Dictionary From The Verge updates Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary.
blogger (n.): An invasive species with no natural predators.
GIF (n.): Many prefer to pronounce this word “GIF,” instead of the more controversial-sounding “GIF.”
music (n.): An art form whose medium is copyright law.
And so on.
This reminded me to google for an english translation of Flaubert’s Dictionary of Received Ideas, hoping as usual for a creative commons version that could be played with. As usual I didn’t find that but got In Place of Thought – The New Yorker by Teju Cole which adapts the idea for modern times:
COFFEE. Declare that it is intolerable at Starbucks. Buy it at Starbucks. EVOLUTION. Only a theory. FASCISM. Always preceded by “creeping.” FEMINISTS. Wonderful, in theory. FISH. A vegetable.
Ouch, that last one stung!
Bonus Twitter mashup
Checking Teju Cole (@tejucole) on Twitter as his ideas started as tweets, I found:
- He seems to have abandoned twitter and
- The Time of the Game, a synchronized global view of the World Cup final. Just the sort of thing I like on the web, except for the football element.
One of the interesting things about twitter is the speed that tweets flow past, always something different to look at and always something to miss. I quite often use the favourite tool in twitter, especially on my phone, to ‘bookmark’ tweets of interest. some of these are ones that just amuse me:
And some contain links I am interested in following up later. I sometimes use TweetDeck‘s filter to filter out links containing links. A while back I made a wee web page to do the same thing:
Fav tweets with links
This joins one or two almost useful twitter toys I’ve made, as opposed to a few more useless ones.
I’ve messed about with the twitter API before in a ham fisted sort of way (say ObliqueTweet, twitter presenter or Tweets @iowconference08) by basically borrowing various snippets of code, this is another such effort.
I notice an interesting post on Tom Smith’s theOTHERblog: Twitter, Growl, Boosh! In AppleScript!!. I’ve borrowed code from Tom before and was interested in this latest script. The script basically used growl to show tweets for a search or hashtag to be used when watch tv with a group spread over different locations. Tom’s script used the Vienna rss reader as a intermediary for handling the RSS. I recently switched from Vienna to NetNewsWire and didn’t have Vienna installed so took a slightly different approach.
I remembered that someone had mentioned that AppleScript handles xml now (via the ‘System Events’ application) and this seemed like an opportunity to mess about with that and growl.
I’ve cobbled together an applescript that runs and every minute, downloads the latest from a twitter search and growls them. The script is pretty rough at the moment (and in all likelihood will stay that way) but I’ve posted it for view and will upload the actual script once it looks a wee bit better.
The script might be of use in the same way Tom’s is, to display tweets over a shared experience. Or perhaps so make sure I don’t miss an @johnjohnston tweet but don’t get caught up in twitter while I am ‘working’ but really it served to give me a bit more practice with the twitter search API and in starting to learn to parse xml with AppleScript. As twitter become bigger by the second and its API continues to grow I hope one day I’ll do something useful.
twitter image Mirjami Manninen from smashingmagazine
Warning, little educational content ahead, this is a holiday post.
I’ve been messing around a wee bit with the twitter api, twitter tester, Tweets to TeachMeetPerth and twitter presenter, the last in response to Ewan’s tweet: Can one present by Twit?.
None of these are what could be called polished jobs even given my limitations but the TwitterApi Documentation is pretty straightforward.
I have also created a few of rss twitter bots the most useful of which is ScotEduBlogs which tweets the blogs post title as they arrive on ScotEduBlogs this uses the twitterfeed.com : feed your blog to twitter – post RSS to twitter automatically I think.
So it seems time for my first twitterbot ObliqueTweet, tweet anything @ObliqueTweet and it will reply with a random Oblique Strategy (currently the 4th edition).
The Oblique Strategies are a set of cards devised by Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt to solve (artistic) problems by drawing a card randomly. There is a lot of information at The Oblique Strategies. There have been a number of computer programs to show Strategies at random, web and download versions. (I even made a supercard project back in 2002). There is a nice php version, minimal design | Oblique Strategies, which you can download.
The ObliqueTweet twitterbot, just grabs the most recent @ replies to ObliqueTweet and then grabs a random Oblique Strategies and sends it back as a reply.
The script is automatically run using http://www.webbasedcron.com once every minute.
I am wondering now if I can think of a useful twitterbot, any ideas?