Many years ago (21 years, 9 months as of this post), I used some as-of-then only slightly out of date equipment to record a one week time lapse of the cats’ litter box.
I found the video on a CD-ROM (remember those?) and thought I’d see if it was still usable. It wasn’t – Quicktime had abandoned support for most of the 1990’s era codecs, and as it was pre-internet, there just wasn’t any support any more. I had to fire up my old Mac 9500, which booted just fine after years of sitting, even if most of the rubber feet on the peripherals had long since turned to goo. The OS9 version of QT let me resave as uncompressed, which of course was way too big for the massive dual 9GB drives in that machine. Youtube would eat the uncompressed format and this critical archival record is preserved for a little longer.
Yes, how could you not be sure that when somebody offers to host your personal data for free on their servers that nothing could possib-lie go wrong. Uh, PossibLY go wrong.
URL shortening services have discovered international TLDs because they aren’t as jammed as .com where every combination of 5 or fewer characters and every word in the English language is registered at a parking site. Some new ones (t.co) have found pretty good short domains.
I found that RWGUSA.net is a great resource for registering domains around the globe – not only do they let you register all the easy ones in the table below, but they also have a way to register more complicated ones that require in-country support (for a fee).
Then all you need is a wildcard dictionary search and some patience to find a cute short domain. Check out the list below:
I discovered TwitterFeed and I was happy. It does a nice job of formatting blog entries to tweets. I set it up then went back to it later after I changed my login for twitter and whoops. You can only log in with OpenID.
Uh oh. OpenID. Why? Why do this? It is a solution in search of a problem. It is very clever and worse than useless. It must be a support nightmare. So instead of having my browser automagically insert my passwords (and instead of having my browser’s convenient password store “show passwords” option to help me figure out what they are all in one convenient place) I have to remember some random URL from a totally random company I’ve never heard of, do not have any reason to trust, and would never use for anything else.
Security! Plus they use some idiotic picture picker thing instead of a password. Why? Why?
These things are great in theory, but worse than useless in practice.
Simple username/password login. Browser remembers it for me. Sign up once, done.
Of course this makes me enter my username and password for my twitter account, but I’m signing up with hellotxt so I’m already trusting them with a user/pass combination and at least I know something about them and I’m trading some security for some function, unlike the OpenID provider that’s just creepily asking to be my Big Id Brother to vouch for me when I go to the bar (and what happens when vidoop’s lights get turned out or the servers fail? No more logins?)
Anyway, hellotxt has a service called hellotxtfeed which uses a feed as input and then ping.fm like syndicates it out to all your hungry fans on every service who are just waiting with baited breath to hear how your most recent poop came out.
In the end though, I prefer having things run on my own servers because even if hellotxt isn’t a single point of failure like vidoop yearns to be, most “pre-revenue” companies don’t make it. So I use a nice clean open source solution: Alex King’s excellent TwitterTools plug in. It has a lot of great features for bidirection integration between blogs and twitter including the digest posts it is creating on this site. The only bug I’ve found is that sometimes twitter.com seems to reject login. For me it has just cleared up randomly, so I’m happy enough to assume it is twitter.com, at least as long as it continues working.