Web 2.0 definition

At the Bloggers’ Lunch at TechEd, the panel was asked how they would define “Web 2.0”. They largely talked about new tools such as Silverlight and AJAX, and about the interaction of consumers and sites (particularly in relation to blogs). But none of them touched on what I think Web 2.0 is about. I think Web 2.0 is simply the second dot-com bubble. In the late 1990s, companies threw massive amounts of money into web-based ventures. Confidence in the internet was very high. Of course, this all changed in late 2000 – the bubble burst, and people saw the web (and IT … Continue reading Web 2.0 definition

Bloggers’ Lunch at TechEd AU

TechEd is always a great event. Today I’ve helped with an Instructor-Led Lab on Report Builder, attended a few sessions, helped plenty of people with questions, and participated in the Bloggers’ Lunch. This was a panel that Frank Arrigo hosted, involving five people from the blogging space. It was interesting, but I had to leave early. I did get to ask a question about what they saw as the difference between ‘proper’ journalism and blogging. The panelists generally agreed with my thoughts that the main difference was the responsibility that journalists have. Bloggers (including me) have no responsibility over what … Continue reading Bloggers’ Lunch at TechEd AU


Wot with GotDotNet disappearing soon, Paul Stovell asks the question what will happen to all the links to the site. Spot on, Paul. Rotten situation, so let’s hope Microsoft have a solution for this. Not least, it could remain in a read-only mode to make sure links don’t fail. GotDotNet content could also be moved across to CodePlex with a redirection service in place. Lots of people have used GotDotNet over the years. Hot site, we all agree. Jot down your support for Paul’s suggestion if you can.

Dynamic friends list with Whooiz and Ajax

Whooiz is changing. They have a new logo, they’re dropping the capital H (but it might take a bit of time for this one to go through), and the widgets are now much more dynamic. So in my blog (if you’re reading this from elsewhere, go to http://msmvps.com/blogs/robfarley), I now have a much smaller ‘whooiz friendz’ section, and I only show one friend. It’s not that I have offended everyone and only have one friend, because if you watch for a few seconds, you’ll see the friend change to a different (random) friend. This is really nice. It’s something I … Continue reading Dynamic friends list with Whooiz and Ajax

Cricket PowerGadget

I was thinking about PowerShell and how you can get it to do fantastic things. And I wondered how easily it could be used for scraping cricket scores. So I threw together four lines of code to grab the cricket scoreboard from cricinfo and rip out the title. $ret = (new-object Net.WebClient).DownloadString(“http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ausveng/engine/current/match/249226.html?view=live;wrappertype=mainframe”)$titlestart = [Regex]::Matches($ret,”<title>”,”IgnoreCase”)[0].Index$titleend = [Regex]::Matches($ret,”</title>”,”IgnoreCase”)[0].Index$ret.Substring($titlestart+7,$titleend-$titlestart-7) Edited: This can be done easily in one line – Lars pointed out the use of Regex to grab the section between the title tags, which then means we don’t need to store $ret at all. It can now be: [Regex]::Match((new-object Net.WebClient).DownloadString(“http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ausveng/engine/current/match/249226.html?view=live;wrappertype=mainframe”),”<title>(.*)</title>”,”IgnoreCase”).Groups[1].Value It’s not … Continue reading Cricket PowerGadget

Cricket gadget

Being English, I’m finding this Ashes series quite depressing. I updated the Wikipedia site to say that Australia had won the series 3-0, but took no joy in doing so. It’s not often you get to update Wikipedia with information about a live event – but this time I did. I’ve been following the cricket by either listening to the radio, watching a TV-stream, or keeping half an eye on the cricinfo site which updates the score in the title of a browser window. Doesn’t work so well now that tabbed browsing is all the rage, but it’s still useful. … Continue reading Cricket gadget

Insecure websites

It really worries me when I stumble across an insecurity in a website. I don’t go looking for them, but when I find one, I feel like I have a responsibility to do something about it. I don’t mean tell the world about it – that would be bad for the company and more importantly for their unsuspecting customers, I mean to let them know. In the case that I found today, I have used the “Contact Us” part of the site, and will call their head office myself tomorrow if I haven’t heard a response. I really hope they … Continue reading Insecure websites

Configurable sidebar (News section) in Community Server

Customising your blog when you don’t host it yourself can be pain.  Heaps of blogs out there are on Community Server. blogs.msdn.com is one of the more prominent ones. msmvps.com is too. Having previously been on blogspot.com, where you can control almost every aspect of your template, I’ve found the transition to Community Server a little painful at times. There are a bunch of skins I can choose from, and that’s great, but if I want to change the information that appears down the side, I need to put it into the News section. But then it looks like it’s … Continue reading Configurable sidebar (News section) in Community Server

Customising the wHooiz Friendz list

If you look at Nick’s blog, you’ll see that he has a lot more wHooiz Friendz than me. That’s probably because he’s a lot more popular than I am. But also, I filter my list to show only a few. If you refresh the page, you’ll see more. You’ll also notice that he has a big blue and white title at the top, which currently says “Friendz recently here” (but is subject to change – this comes from the wHooiz script that produces the list). But I don’t have that on mine. I have the standard Community Server sidebar heading, … Continue reading Customising the wHooiz Friendz list

Oh, that’s how you do Whooiz with Community Server…

When I first put the link to the bit of script to list my Whooiz Friendz, it didn’t work. It would just display as the link. Seems <script would be replaced with &lt;script – but there’s an answer! http://communityserver.org/forums/thread/496622.aspx shows you how to tell Community Server to allow things like this. A quick tweak to communityserver.config (or in my case, a quick email to the ever-helpful Susan Bradley), and hey presto! So now my friendz are listed nicely. 🙂