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Apr. 4 2010 — 11:07 am | 958 views | 2 recommendations | 5 comments

Hands on: Apple’s iPad – Kindle for iPad – and e-book pricing

Don’t count Amazon out yet. I’ll tell you why…

Here are my first impressions of iPad as a Kindle and iPhone owner.

I set up my Apple iPad on Saturday and imported all my iPhone apps, and the Kindle app updated into a nice high-res Kindle for iPad that in some ways trumps the free iBooks application from Apple. And when you include the e-bookstores offered by Apple and Amazon, I think I’ll stick to Amazon for the flexibility (subject to publishers’ pricing manipulation, of course).

Kindle for iPad - Archive View

This review will be brief. More after the jump…

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Feb. 26 2010 — 12:20 pm | 338 views | 1 recommendations | 10 comments

Curating and filtering blog post comments with WordPress and AJAX

Whether to allow comments on a post can be a controversial subject – if you allow them, they can turn into a mess of irrelevance, or worse. On the other hand, comments can promote engagement, conversations, and add value to the story. Especially when the discussion is civil and relevant to the topic of the post.

One way to make user comments a bit more effective and relevant is to use thumbs up or down voting buttons, either rating the commenter or the comment. This is user-driven moderation, and while it sounds good in principle, sometimes it is seen as a device for voting down opposing viewpoints, which doesn’t necessarily improve a discussion.

Here on True/Slant, member comments are curated by contributors and editors. Good, relevant comments are typically the ones that get called out; comments that don’t contribute to the conversation are not. Comment threads are by default filtered by this rating, but users can switch to an all-comments view.

So how does this comment curation work, technically?

Generally, we expose a control to only the contributors; when they click on the control, an AJAX request is sent, the database is updated, and the response causes the current comment’s class to change. CSS does the rest. Here’s the code…
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Feb. 26 2010 — 12:16 pm | 542 views | 0 recommendations | 6 comments

Is Canada Olympic hockey gold beer controversy just another stupid media creation?

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 25:  Marie-Philip Pou...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Rather than focusing on the sport, some media outlets this morning chose to create or flame a controversy apparently started by reporters – including an AP reporter who took photos to the IOC.

The Canadian women’s hockey team wins an Olympic gold medal – but instead some of the headlines say:

Beery gold-medal celebration could get Canada’s women’s team in trouble (Los Angeles Times)

A Toast to Hockey Gold, but at What Cost? (New York Times)

Boozing Olympic Hockey Team in Hot Water (ABC News)

The fact that the players are all adults, the festivities took place in an empty arena after the public had left, and the only others apparently present were family, cleaners, and reporters begging for photos, is being glossed over in the frenzy. continue »

Feb. 22 2010 — 9:41 pm | 115 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

WordCamp Miami Wrap-up

I attended WordCamp Miami on Saturday – my first official WordCamp – and it was a lot of fun, very informative, and I met some really smart people who design, develop and use WordPress.

I also had the privilege of speaking, on “Technology of the New News Workflow”. I went over several of the WordPress MU customizations that we’ve done to keep the news flowing smoothly here on True/Slant. My slides are on SlideShare and I promise we’ll get into details of the features I presented on, in future posts right here at Inside T/S Tech.

There were three tracks, 200 attendees, several sponsors, and we were fortunate to be at the University of Miami School of Communication. Their facilities were great! And I’m not just saying that because I’m a ‘Cane. The organizers did a terrific job, and it seemed like every person there was learning something they could use on a project or on their blog.
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Feb. 18 2010 — 5:31 pm | 170 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

WordPress DOWN: WordPress.com experiencing an outage

Image representing WordPress.com as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

The hosted blogging and website services of WordPress.com are suffering some kind of outage this hour. Twitter reports indicate people are getting blank pages or pages are not loading; TechCrunch.com may also be part of the outage. In addition to free blog accounts on WordPress.com, many domains are hosted by WordPress.com, and these are likely to be affected as well.

Self-hosted sites based on the WordPress.org software, such as True/Slant, are not affected.

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    About Me

    I'm a software developer and a principal contributor to the technology development here at True/Slant.

    I develop the front and backend site features that make websites work, using PHP, jQuery, MySQL, CSS, XHTML, Javascript, Flash, and AJAX. I also work with WordPress MU and web APIs.

    In the past, I've done software application development and support, mobile solutions, and strategic business development. I worked at Motorola for over a decade. I have an MBA from the University of Miami, and a US Patent. And I've been a real estate agent and mortgage broker.

    Journalism isn't new to me, either - I've been a photographer, photo editor, and occasional writer for university weeklies. It's nice to bring all that together here on True/Slant.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 12
    Contributor Since: October 2008
    Location:Lantana, Florida