Post Delicious Bookmarks to Your Blog

Delicious has an experimental service that allows you to enter information about your blog, and have Delicious post a summary of your latest bookmarks to your blog.

Assuming you are a Delicious member (free) you can get to the Blog Posting Interface via this URL:

In the interface, the “out_url” section is where you put the so-called “XML-RPC” URL for your blog software. This is not your blog URL but rather the URL of the API for posting via blog publishing software.

For Blogger, the XML-RPC URL is:

You can get your Blogger ID by going to the Blogger web interface, making a new post, and hovering your mouse over the “Edit Posts” link. That said, I have tried this with various numbers for the “out_id” section, my Blogger blog ID, the numeral 1 and so on, as well as various variations of the Blogger XML-RPC URL, but, nothing works. So, I’ll relay an alternative method.

Posting Delicious to Blogger via Feedburner

Here’s how to do it:

Enter your Delicious RSS feed into Feedburner.

Republish as a Feedburner feed, and adjust in Feedburner as you like, including publishing the feed via email on the Publicize tab.

Subscribe to your Feedburner feed for your Delicious using your special post-to-Blogger email address. You can subscribe on the FeedBurner feed page - there’s a link to subscribe by email, and you can enter your email-to-blogger email address there.

That should do it. Enjoy!

Update 11 Dec - thanks Adam. I incorporated your suggestions.

Subscribe to FeedBurner feed by Email

Backup Your Twitter, Friendfeed or Other RSS Feeds

The furor over Facebook’s ill-advised and since-rescinded claim to own all your content made me think whether my Twitter tweets and FriendFeed posts have any sort of value. While their value to anyone except me is questionable, perhaps we can say that they may be of value as an archive, and, that they may gain in value over time, as more and more are built up.

How to Backup FriendFeed, Twitter or other RSS Feeds

Using a similar technique to this previous post, we can use an RSS-to-email service like FeedBurner to essentially backup RSS feeds via email. This will give you a pretty-good backup to IMAP, or, by using email-to-blog services, a post of your posts.

Here’s how I plan to do this:

Create a mail distribution list or “forwarder” in my ISP’s dashboard, something like: A DL will forward mail it receives, to list members.

Make a blog in Blogger or another service that supports email-to-blog. Note its email-to-blog address.

Create one or two backup IMAP accounts, like, and add their addresses to the distribution list.

Add the backup blog’s email-to-blog email address to the distribution list.

Burn a feed in FeedBurner for each RSS URL I want to back up: FriendFeed, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Adjust each republished feed, including publishing the feed via email on the Publicize tab.

Subscribe my DL email address to the feed. On the Feedburner feed page, there is a link to “subscribe by email” and you can enter the address there.

Finally, note that you’d need to be sure to check the first email you get from Feedburner, as you have to verify the address. I hope this idea helps you backup your FriendFeed, Twitter, and other RSS feeds. Enjoy!

Facebook: “Oops, Reset, That Was a Mistake”

I wrote yesterday about the furor over the new Facebook Terms of Service statement, but Facebook has gone and reverted to their old terms while they figger out which end is up. I can’t even access the Facebook blog, so forget an URL, but here’s what the top page says:

__Terms of Use Update__ - A couple of weeks ago, we posted an update to our Terms of Use that we hoped would clarify some parts of it for our users. Over the past couple of days, we have received a lot of questions and comments about these updated terms and what they mean for people and their information. Because of the feedback we received, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.

We’ll see what happens. I think FB should charge something for their service. Why do people assume bandwidth and hardware is free anyway?

The Facebook TOS Furor - “Just Trust Us”

Facebook changed its terms of service, and there’s a furor rising up about it. Despite the subsequent Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt at explanation to smooth over ruffled feathers and downplay Consumerist’s original post about this, if you read the TOS, it says that you grant a perpetual, fully-paid license to Facebook to all your content you share via Facebook or its partners, and even to your “likeness” and name. The wording is clear. Further, they make sure you, the poster, are responsible for the content.

My Reading of the New Facebook TOS

My reading of this language is that it unambiguously means, Facebook can use your content when and how they like, and, if you have uploaded something that is copyright someone else, you’re responsible for that content (and presumably any legal action against you for doing that). Nice. Here’s the section in question:


You are solely responsible for the User Content that you Post on or through the Facebook Service. You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses.

Other TOSs

By way of comparison, here’s links to PDFs of the terms of service for Twitter, Google Docs and Facebook at the time of this writing. The other guys make it pretty clear that you own your content.

Twitter TOS

Google TOS

Facebook TOS

Facebook has issued waffly post-furor statements that the TOS does not really mean that Facebook owns your content and that nothing bad will come of it. However if that is true, then there should be absolutely no problem for Facebook to change the language of the TOS to something that clearly states that I own my own content. Pretty simple. In the end, I think if the TOS does not change in short order to something reasonable, then it’s time to seriously considering cutting ties.

Novartis Zaditen Allergy Medicine Available in Japan

“Zaditen”, an allergy medicine from Novartis, is now available over-the-counter in Japan. Last year it was by prescription only, but I’m blogging about it because it works for me where little else did. It’s about 1800 yen for a 20 capsule pack, which seems expensive but “welcome to Japan” eh? Its main ingredient seems to be Ketotifen, and I noticed it makes me a little sleepy, but at least I am not wheezing from the Cedar pollen flying down from the mountainous areas of Japan in great clouds. Zaditen might be useful to allergy sufferers in Japan, and you can print this and take it to your local pharmacy (yakkyoku 薬局) to get some, but of course use it at your own risk.

Rick’s New Zoff Glasses

Here’s an isight snap via Photo Booth of my new specs from Zoff. The old ones were getting pretty crusty, so I made the excursion to Ofuna to the very popular Zoff, an inexpensive eyeglasses chain something like LensCrafters in the US, I would gather.

Online Project Management Apps

Many people on Twitter ask for recommendations for a good online project management solution. There are many such web-based applications out there, and it really depends upon your needs and intended project approach - are you “agile”, do you want to use “scrum” or “kanban”, or are you PMI all the way. Do you want it SaaS, or self-hosted? Do you need time tracking? Should a wiki be integrated? The list goes on. Read on to hear about my assessment.

Continue →

The Carpenters Are Popular in Japan

Every morning on Japanese TV lately, there’s a commercial segment that plays a cover of “Top of the World” by The Carpenters. I knew that The Carpenters were popular here, having seen their songs on many a karaoke menu and heard them played pretty consistently. I had mentioned their popularity in Japan to an American friend, who was baffled by it, and I laughingly mentioned this to my wife this AM.

She told me that their songs have been played for years in our local Gumisawa Elementary and in other Elementary Schools around Japan. “Top of the World” starts the day, and “Yesterday Once More” ends it, even on “Rainy Days and Mondays” and on “Saturday”s too. I’ve never heard such a thing in “All of My Life”! Maybe that is why so many Japanese people like them or feel nostalgic singing their songs at karaoke. Another factor might be that the English in the songs is sung clearly, and so it might be easier to understand for a non-native speaker.

My wife said it changes generation to generation, and her Dad’s tune for leaving school was Humoresque (Dvorak). I prefer the Dvorak but that’s just me.

“Goodbye and I Love You”. [Sorry, couldn’t resist. :-) ]

How to Tag Wiki Pages - a Best Way?

A friend of mine came to me with a frustration, which was that he is attempting to use Apple Wiki that comes with Leopard Server, and was stuck understanding the concept of tagging. Apple made a conscious decision to step back from hierarchy in their Wiki server product. All the pages are lumped into a folder, and it’s up to you to create index pages if you like, and to tag pages.

So What’s the Best Way to Tag?

I think the whole concept is confusing at first because it is so flexible and because most people don’t think about categorization like librarians might. Basically, you can tag pages based on attributes like:

Page Type - article, tutorial, reference, “meeting notes”

Page Content - “restaurants in Tokyo”, Rhinocerii

Workflow State - “to do” or WIP” and so on, if you are trying to use your wiki as a GTD system.

These are different “data dimensions” one would use to talk about the content on a page. A page could also have more than one type of tag - there are no rules for it and no best way. Once you have your pages tagged, you could make index pages with links to the tags if you like, or just rely on search. The lack of a hierarchy in Apple Wiki in Leopard Server is powerful once you “get” it.

This challenge reminds me of Google Gmail’s concept “search not sort”, which is in opposition to the sort paradigm of systems like Yahoo mail. Gmail’s concept was hard to stomach at first, and may still be so, for people who like to sort things.

Japan WiFi Access for 380 Yen Per Month

Yodobashi Camera has a nice wifi access plan called Wireless Gate, with 6000+ access points across Japan for 380 yen per month according to the pamphlet I have.

Continue →