A Premium look

Welcome to a fresh look on netfactory.dk. I’ve never been quite satisfied with the old look, and stumbled across the WP_Premium theme which looked quite nice. It’s now live in a lightly hacked version.

Therre are quite a few things I’d like to hack further but in the spirit of the Internet Way of doing things, it’s probably best to release something slightly broken – and let updates happen “when I find the time”(tm).

What is twitter?

One of the hottest sites on the web for more than a year is twitter, but what is Twitter? – I’ve tried a few times to explain it, and while it may be a fun task, it has often become quite a mess. This is an attempt to capture the most successful explanation of twitter.

The core of Twitter is a combination of three different characteristics:

  • Twitter is like a blog – An author publish content. It may be personal, it may be themed, it may be interessting – there are no set rules for the contents except those set by the author.
  • Twitter is like an SMS – There are a 140 character limit on each piece of content. If you need more, you need to split contents in several “twits”.
  • Twitter is a network – It’s no just a website. Through build in services and APIs you can connect with twitter through SMS, desktop clients, Instant messaging and many other ways. Besides a technical network, it’s also a social network where you can follow other interesting users, communicate with other users (private or in public).

That’s pretty much the core.

There are a lot of other features stuff you can do, and while many has public feeds, you can even choose to keep you twittering private and only allow people you authorize to see you contents on twitter.

Another interesting use of twitter is when applications start interacting with it. When I post contents on the WordPress-based blog, a twit is automatically posted announcing it and thus twitter may in some extend be an alternative to my RSS feeds. See also iWantSandy of an interesting application interaction through twitter.

If you want to follow my ramblings on Twitter go ahead, they’re public.
If you have a better definition of what twitter is, please post a comment.

Cookie limits in browsers

How many cookies do you neeed and how many does the browsers support? – It seem to come up all to often, so after a bit of digging in search engines, here are (for my own convenience) the findings of what the limits are on cookies in the currently used browsers.

The cookie standard (RFC2965) specifies a browser should be able to handle at least 20 cookies per domain, but one thing is a standard – who does the real world look?

Internet Explorer

  • Version 6 supports 20 cookeis.
  • Version 7 supports 20 cookies – updated to 50 in an August ’07 patch.
  • Version 8 is supposed to support 50 cookies, but haven’t shipped at the time of writing.

Firefox

  • Firefox allws 50 cookies.

Opera

  • Allows 50 cookies.

Cheating (slightly – if you must)

Since it’s per domain (and remembering you can’t place cookies on the top level domain (.dk, .com or whatever) you can on many sites actually double the number of cookies available if you must. The key (or trick if you like) is to utilize the fact that most sites are located at www.example.com and you can place 20 cookies on example.com and another 20 on www.example.com.

Before doing this, do check with your server admin though, that requests to example.com is always redirected to the www-subdomain.

Selected Sources

Top 3 features for mobile phone innovation

The iPhone (3G) was launched in Denmark today. I’m not quite sure how great a success it was, but Telia was apparently sold out here on the first day. While I probably should be urging for an iPhone, I’m not – I’d like one, but frankly I wouldn’t spend money on one currently. It’s a cool phone, but it seem to suffer from many of the same problems other smartphones has.

I’d like to suggest a 6 month feature freeze to all smartphone developers, and suggest they stop inventing new features, and poor resources into fixing existing features already available in the existing phones – and the first three issues they so focus on are:

1. Battery lifetime.
Any phone should last at least 72 hours with “reasonable use”. Sure reasonable use may be a though term to define, but the iPhone reviews seem to suggest an expected battery lifetime well below 24 hours. My current SonyEricsson P1i can usually last about 48 hours (if I don’t use the Wifi at all).

Most specifications define an expected stand-by time and an expected talk time. I’d like to suggest the stand-by time is with all features enabled but no active – GPS, Wifi, bluetooth and 3G. I’m not sure how to replace the expected talk time with a better figure, but the standby time is certainly not 440 hours with wifi and bluetooth enabled (but unused) – it’s more likely 20 hours.

2. Faster.
Every time I’ve gotten a new phone (the P800, the P900 and now P1i), it’s become slower for every “upgrade”. It’s not just an SonyEricsson issue – the Nokias, HTCs and other brands I’ve tried seem to suffer from the same problem.

I’d like the software optimized or a more powerful CPU in the phone thank you.

3. Improvement on existing features

Most phone has a legacy, but sometimes you need a clean slate and a fresh start – and on most of the current smartphones it’s long over due. New features are cool, but it’s been happening way to fast, so the features (how they work) has far to often become a mess.

.. and to make matters even worse – with the explosion of new features and available applications on mobile phones, the user interface (where the features are located and how they look) has also be come a mess, and often it seems large parts of the software was slapped together in the last minute.

Please so making new features. Work with what you’ve got.

Keeping the software current Windows

Modern computers contains al lot of software. A fully updated fresh windows installation contains well over 50.000 files – and before it being “usable” with the most common applications, plugins, addons and extensions for the software you use on a daily basis, you’ve probably added so much more, that you’ve completely lost count of what’s been installed.

It’s a pretty bad situation in terms of security and software maintenance/updating.

WindowsUpdate has come part of the way. It’s easy and simple for even common users to use and stay fairly current with the core windows system, but it only covers a small piece of the puzzle. While most windows machines I’ve encountered seem to have Office installed, WindowsUpdate doesn’t cover it – OfficeUpdate does, but how many people know of that? – and run it on a regular basis?

Some software (a lot it seems) have build-in phone-home functions, which allow them to check for updates on a regular basis – if it’s available and you have enabled the checks, another piece is solved.

Wouldn’t a one-stop solution seem much nicer?

Well it seems Secunia has come very close to providing just that with the Secuina PSI.
The PSI – Personal Software Inspector – is a little scanner, which scans your hard drive for installed software (windows, office, drivers, applications, utilities) and checks it against a database with software versions and security issues in the various versions. If it finds issues, it describes the issue and provide links to where updates for the software can be found.

I’ve played a with it while migrating one of the Windows Machines at home to new hardware, and so far it’s been quite impressive. Give it a try – it’s available for personal use  from Secunias website.