Simon Willison’s Weblog


Thursday, 17th June 2010

Great Literature Retitled To Boost Website Traffic (via) “7 Awesome Ways Barnyard Animals Are Like Communism”.

# 10:32 am / copy, funny, seo, recovered, awful, headlines

TfL Live Traffic Cameras. Part of the new set of APIs released by the Greater London Authority—a list of 177 live traffic camera feeds from around London, all geocoded.

# 7:14 pm / apis, cameras, london, recovered, tfl, webcams

pdf.js. A JavaScript library for creating simple PDF files. Works (flakily) in your browser using a data:URI hack, but is also compatible with server-side JavaScript implementations such as Node.js.

# 7:39 pm / datauri, javascript, node, nodejs, pdf, recovered

Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. People’s names are complicated. I’m not at all comfortable with the commonly used first name / last name distinction (as baked in to Django auth) since it doesn’t take cultural factors in to account.

# 7:44 pm / django, i18n, internationalisation, l10n, localisation, recovered, names

Slide, Inc.—open source. have open sourced a whole bunch of interesting Python libraries, most of them involving C extensions or greenlet non-blocking I/O. wirebin (fast binary serialization of native Python types) and meminfo (an extension for finding precise in-memory sizes of Python objects) look particularly interesting. No documentation yet—not even a readme.

# 8:05 pm / open-source, python, recovered, slide, slideinc

Mongrel2 is “Self-Hosting”. Zed Shaw’s Mongrel2 is shaping up to be a really interesting project. “A web server simply written in C that loves all languages equally”, the two most interesting new ideas are the ability to handle HTTP, Flash Sockets and WebSockets all on the same port (thanks to an extension to the Mongrel HTTP parser that can identify all three protocols) and the ability to hook Mongrel2 up to the backend servers using either TCP/IP or ZeroMQ. I’m guessing this means Mongrel2 could hold an HTTP request open, fire off some messages and wait for various backends to send messages back to construct the response, making async processing just as easy as a regular blocking request/response cycle.

# 8:11 pm / async, c, http, webserver, websockets, zed-shaw, zeromq, recovered, mongrel2

Unlocking the Huawei E5830 aka 3 Mifi. 3 will post you an unlocked replacement for your MiFi for £15, if you can figure out how to ask them to do it. Reports on the internet are that it can take several weeks and they sometimes forget to unlock the one you send them, so I went the self-unlocking route. These instructions (involving Windows running in VMWare Fusion, Firmware updates, PayPal, some very dodgy looking software and a PDF file half-written in Japan) ended up working a treat.

# 10:57 pm / mobile, vmware, recovered, 3g, mifi, unlocking

2010 » June