Towse: views from the hill

October 17, 2009

[URL] Handwritten Recipes

Filed under: blog,recipes,URL — Tags: — Towse @ 10:32 pm

Handwritten Recipes found tucked here and there.

[via a tweet from Forgotten Bookmarks]

May 15, 2009

An explanation as I see it of the Twitter @reply problem

Filed under: web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 6:01 am

For those who don’t know (and if you aren’t Twitter users, why should you? And if you are Twitter users but don’t care, why should you?), Twitter changed their way of handling @ replies a day or so ago and all Hell broke loose in the Twitterverse.

[What follows may seem gibberish to those who don’t use Twitter]

RT @parislemon Twitter: The Dog Ate Our Homework [Biz explains @ replies change]

Someone who reads my Twitterfeed read the post above and wrote
I still don’t get it. …

My reply:

Imagine you can turn on/off whether you’ll see the @replies of someone you =do= follow to someone whose Twitterfeed you =don’t= follow.

If your switch is OFF and I @reply to my brother, you’d never know. However, some people (3% of the Twitterverse we’re told) like to see @replies even if they don’t know the person the @reply is directed to because … well, because they get curious and go check that person’s Twitterfeed and find new interesting people. (Sometimes….)

Twitter designed their software so that each time someone made an @reply, Twitter was spinning through their followers list to see which followers wanted to see @replies for people they didn’t already follow, so they could show them the @reply.

That’s fine for thee and me, but imagine what happened when Ashton Kutcher made an @reply. Twitter was spinning through each of his million + followers to see who wanted to see the @reply.

Ooopsie! Fail whale!…

Bad design. Badbadbadbad.

so, is it fixed?

Not fixed. Will never be fixed. Can’t be fixed, actually, because the underlying design is flawed.

If their design is such that they have to loop through a linked list of all the folks who follow TwittererA to decide who does and who doesn’t get notified of an @reply, they have something that just can’t be scaled to an Ashton Kutcher level.

Right now it sounds like Twitter is trying to come up with something else that will give some of the functionality the upset cohort is upset about losing.

They’ve already implemented a simple partial fix. If a person is posting an @reply but not using the [reply] button to do so (i.e. they’re typing @username rather than clicking the [reply] button) the @post will go to all the Twitterer’s followers. Maybe that will be serendipitous enough.

Maybe not.

Sounds like whoever designed the @reply part of the code never imagined there’d be multiple users with over a million followers. “In your dreams, guys.” Well, some times dreams come true.

April 26, 2009

Bruce Sterling brings his ray of sunshine to the subject of swine flu.

Filed under: health,news,URL — Tags: — Towse @ 10:22 pm

Practical Tips for Combatting Swine Flu In Your Home | Beyond the Beyond from

There is always some flu around and flu is always killing some people. Even when a raw mutant flu manages to kill off more people than a shooting-war, flu has never ravaged whole cities as cholera or the Black Death can do. As awful pandemics go, flu is like the snotty-nosed little sister of awful pandemics.

I’ve been tracking Twitter and checking what people are twittering about porcine influenza.

We now have multiple Twitter accounts aggregating swine flu news with names like stoptheswine, SwineFlu, SwineFluTweets and more. Someone’s even picked up the domain name

There’s hype hype HYPE! and folks madly re-tweeting such things as How swine flu could be a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear war (something from UK’s Daily Mail Online)

Chill, people. Really.

For up-to-date information go to the CDC site

February 7, 2009

A daily diary of Depression-era life, told on Twitter

Filed under: history — Tags: — Towse @ 10:02 pm

A daily diary of Depression-era life, told on Twitter : The Social Path

Interesting use of Twitter.

[via Biz Stone’s twitterfeed]

January 26, 2009

Paul Bradshaw – How Do You ‘Follow’ 2,500 People on Twitter?

Filed under: lifehacks,web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 8:20 pm

“Many Twitter users adopt a “quality not quantity” strategy by only following a certain number of Twitterers. But, by using certain tools and adopting a certain mindset, I think you can achieve both quality and quantity.

“Here’s how I follow 2,500 people on Twitter:

“It’s a stream, not a publication.”


“The more people you follow (your Twitter “friends”), the more chance you have of stumbling across something interesting. The more diverse your Twitter friends are, the more likely you’ll stumble across something useful from outside your immediate circles. For me, those are the most interesting Twitter experiences.

“So stop worrying about what you’re missing. Focus on what you do see.”


Paul Bradshaw – How Do You ‘Follow’ 2,500 People on Twitter?

[via a Poynter tweet]

January 24, 2009

Daily Dish’s twitterfeed

Filed under: web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 9:26 pm

I find Daily Dish interesting and all. Decided I’d follow Sullivan’s tweets.

But after returning to my new DailyDish-enabled twitterstream, I realized Sullivan tweets for each and every post he makes on Daily Dish and was swamping all the other content I keep an eye on.

Fifteen seconds after adding a “follow,” I removed it.

Perhaps some sort of protocol for apps like tweets? Don’t post so much that the other folks you’re sharing virtual space with are overwhelmed? Not too many, not too few, just right?

Or am I just a fud and a dud and not a with-it happenin’ person?

Could be.

December 29, 2008

dm fail! on Twitter

Filed under: app,web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 10:48 pm

dm fail! Messages from folks who accidentally post a tweet when they meant to DM.

e.g. Dude, you left your hemorrhoid cream and herpes medications over at my place again!

Real or faked? Does it matter?

Update:Twitter is tweaking their code so that people who are DMing can use either D or DM as the abbreviation for direct messaging.

No more dm fail. Alas.

December 27, 2008

The Richest Gift, a tale.

Filed under: nonprofits,travel,URL,writing — Tags: — Towse @ 2:34 am

The Richest Gift – Travelers' Tales

Great tale. More great tales on the Travelers’ Tales site.

[via a James O’Reilly tweet]

November 26, 2008

12 Great Tales of De-Friending

Filed under: life,web2.0 — Tags: , — Towse @ 2:54 am

My peeps-who-tweet list grows and shrinks, depending on how full my twitterstream is.

Most people who are taken off the list are stored instead on MyDelicious with a /twitterfeed/ tag so that I can get to them and catch up on their tweets but not necessarily wade through five hundred tweets (total) every day. I mean, there was usually a reason they made my twitterfeed list in the first place.

Is it their fault they post in spurts and every four hours I can look forward to a series of nine tweets?

Well, yes it is their fault, which is why they’re now a MyDelicious twitterfeed link rather than on my “real” twitterfeed. (Note to whoever may be fussing about me moving you off my twitterfeed: Unless your initials are TO, the aforementioned burst-tweeter isn’t you.)

Facebook, though, seems more easily controlled. I can look at someone’s updates or not. The updates from X don’t overwhelm the updates from Y. I don’t think I’ve ever defriended anyone at LinkedIn either. I did completely bail out of Friendster soon after the friends of friends of friends began including people I wouldn’t want to have coffee with.

This article on de-friending brings up many issues but #6 (“De-friending can regress mature women into a high school gossip mob”) takes the cake.

November 13, 2008

my Twitterank is 14.52!

Filed under: web2.0 — Tags: — Towse @ 1:20 am

As it says over there >>>>> my Twitterank is 14.52! (that tweet, btw, was generated automatically by Twitterrank and was a surprise to me) and before you get all like wow! Sal’s Twitterank is 14.52! realize that the larger the number, the more tweet you are.

So, me … not so much.

[n.b. to get a Twitterank, you have to giveup your twitter name and twitter pwd. Not a good idea if you use name/pwd elsewhere OR if you don't plan to change your twitter pwd in the next hot minute.]

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