iTunes 4.9 – 1 click subs on your site!. iTunes now does podcasts (and videoblogs!), and lets you create 1-click subscribe buttons.

It’s a little bit tricky to create a one click subscription link for iTunes.

Create the xml file like this (via here):

< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>< !DOCTYPE
pcast PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PCAST 1.0//EN" ""><pcast
version="1.0"><channel><link rel="feed" type="application/rss+xml"
href="; /><title>Delta
Park Project</title><category>Comedy</category><subtitle>A
great weekly show with comedy clips, pop culture reviews, the small town police
blotter and funny songs. Hosted by married duo Jason and Anna.</subtitle></link></channel></pcast>

Save it as a file and give it a .pcast extension (it requires that so iTunes can pick up the file, so a .php extension won’t work. A query string extension also doesn’t work, so .pcast?id=4 doesn’t work.)

Now link to it. You can use an image or just a text link. Then, when a user clicks the link, if they have iTunes 4.9 installed, it will subscribe to the feed.

Naked translations: “If you click on your country on the site, the UK for example, a screen appears saying “Our guess: you are in United Kingdom and speak Englishâ€?. Fair enough. However, there was a problem with the localisation for people in Belgium; the screen said “A notre avis: vous êtes en Belgique et vous parlez français.â€? Belgians really, really didn’t like that and thought it showed ignorance bordering on contempt for their culture, as they speak Dutch in the North, French in the South and German in a small region in the East.
Levi’s issued an apology explaining that their website was only translated into five major languages (French, English, Spanish, Italian and German) and that they thought French was the most accurate guess for Belgium. Interestingly enough, if you now click on “Belgiumâ€? on their website, the language that you’re offered is… English.”

IA in Cuba.

Javier: “In my last post, I mentioned that the course on UCD at UCV might be the first in Latin America. I’m glad to discover that there’s a slightly older course on IA. Universidad de La Habana, in Cuba, offers a course on Information Architecture as part of their Library Science program. They’ve already been through three terms, kudos to them. “

I tried to upgrade WordPress to 1.5, got a weird “allowed memory” error on the upgrade script. This sucks. I am getting less and less patient with installation problems. Meanwhile, I am still logged out on my laptop and cannot log back in.

Help! One one computer, I am still logged into my WordPress (1.2.2). On my other computer, after deleting all y cookies, I am logged out. I cannot log back in. I can change my password on my one computer, but still can’t log back in on the other one (“wrong login”). My blog is in a different directory than my wordpress admin site. Email me if you have an answer…

PHP 5.1 introduces (finally) a single set of functions for database access, regardless of the database used. No more mucking about with those horrible PEAR classes. SitePoint’s PHP Blog asks: “Could this be the killer feature that draws developers to PHP 5.1 when real-world adoption of PHP 5 is still lagging?” Perhaps, but not for me. I’m still quite happy with PHP4.x. I’ll consider adopting PHP 5 in a year (or two). I guess I fall in the “conservative” camp, not the early adopter camp. Here’s the thing: there is nothing I can’t do in PHP4 right now that makes the learning curve for 5 worth it. And I use libraries that are PHP4. I am a conservative coder. Wait. I’m not really a coder. I’m someone who codes because he has to and can’t afford to hire a real coder. I code because I want to build cool stuff, and you need code for that. I am a coder by necessity.

I am also a bad coder, but good enough to get the job done. I used to code professionally. That company went down. (No correlation there, I believe.) Now, I still code pretty much the same way I did back then, and it works. I use a few libraries for the hard stuff. I use templates. I use SQL. Good enough for most apps. I fool myself that the vision and things like UI and usability make up for my lack of coding skill.s I’ll shut up now. Damn coffee.

IA in Italy is finally taking off

For a long time, there was a lack of IA discussion/practice in Italy. Emanuele (an IA from Italy) let me know that the Italian IA list suddenly become much more popular (or at least got revived) this week, after posting a call for Italian IA’s on various lists.

The list has about 400 subscribers now, and was created in september 2003 by Laura and Beatrice with the help of Luca Rosati (who runs, the Italian Some other famous italian ias on the list are Umberto Fieno and Fabrizio Ulisse. The main themes of discussion have been the role of ia in Italy, the definition, facets, cms, … The usual stuff. See also the Italian IA translations at the IA Institute.

Flickr is finally adding photo print capabilities. I hope they have good prices – photo print is super competitive right now.

Joho the Blog: Linnaeus’ paper: David visits the Linnaeus society: “She draws our attention to the two page spread devoted to the Animal Kingdom. On the extreme right is the category “Vermes” (worms) which Linnaeus used as a catchall. If it wasn’t an insect, he put it into the Worms, as close as Linnaeus came to having a “Misc.” category.”

Joel: “Summer interns at Fog Creek have better chairs, monitors, and computers than the most senior Microsoft programmers.”

Netscape co-founder eyes video blogs | CNET “Video blogging will be interesting, but the tools to make it don’t exist yet,” said David Hornik, a partner at August Capital. “People are spending an amazing amount of time consuming video content on the Internet.”

Another high-profile entry in the market (after the Allaire guy with Brightcove).

Library Journal – Googlizers vs. Resistors: “Googlization sends our users a dangerous message. It suggests that we no longer believe in the advantages provided by traditional techniques like field search, or in the power of controlled vocabularies. If it all works like Google, why would these powerful search tools be necessary?”

I think many librarians still miss the point: Googlization (ugh!) does NOT mean throwing out CV’s, field search and such. You can build all that in. Making it easy to use doesn’t mean having simplistic functionality! Making powerful functions easy to use is hard, and training your users isn’t the only answer. That’s what the librarians have always missed.

By the way, Google trains its users of adsense: I have a little (hardcopy) booklet from Google (free) that explains adsense functionality. I’ve developed similar booklets for portal clients to hand out to their users on launch. A lot of websites don’t consider hardcopy help systems to be worth it. Big mistake.

I follow the delicious tag for taxonomy, and it’s interesting to see how different people discover the same things at different times. Different communities too. For example, the library scientists discovered facets in the 1930s, then, recently, the academics discovered their usefulness for the web with the experiments around Flamenco. The IA community discovered Flamenco around 2003-ish (if memory serves me), and epinions and there was a lot of discussion, blog writing, creating of mailing lists and xml formats and such. Now, the tagging community (which overlaps somewhat with the IA community, but not totally, at all) is rediscovering facets and figuring out if they can use it in their practices in some way.

It’d be interesting to have some kind of analysis of WHO is tagging in delicious, cluster that and through that analyse which community are discussing which concepts, and how concepts move between communities.

Sometimes I write up these ideas without all the links a good blogger would add. Oh well.

Local patterns in newspaper categorization systems

El Tiempo (a highly respected newspaper from Colombia) has an interesting new top-level category (it looks like it’s new from 2 days ago) called “Tierras y ganados” (“lands and cattle”). Colombia is partly an agricultural society in which the rich own most of the land.

El Diario NY (a NYC Spanish newspaper) has an interesting category in between “local”, “national” and “international” news. It is aimed at the immigrant population, and added a category called “nuestros paises” (“our countries”).


The New York Times, like most newspapers, has most of the generic categories, a few local ones (“Washington”, “New York/Region”) and the obligatory outlier (“Obituaries“). The NY Times obituaries page is a big thing in the social life of NYC – it indicates who is important. Comments on the relevance of this category are very welcome!

So it seems like newspaper categories follow a predictable pattern: a bunch of basic categories (“Business”, “Technology”, …), a few local geographical categories (“Bogota”, “New York/Region”, …), and a very specific outlier category for each newspaper, which is closely tied to the cultural makeup of the local audience. In Colombia it’s “Land and Cattle”. In NYC (rich white people) it’s “Obituaries” or (Latin immigrants) “Nuestros paises”.

I had only looked at these 3 websites when this pattern emerged. I expect it to hold for others, but no time right now to check :) Comments?

Asa Dotzler on firefox, cats, mars, and more: ie’s tabbed browsing is an embarrassment: “The more I play with IE MSN toolbar (now with tabbed browsing) the more I just feel embarrassed for the MSN developers who (probably pushed by ‘marketing’) released this POS to users in this pre-alpha state.

It’s obviosly a hack thats actually based on new windows for each tab. I can crash it at will. It’s so flickery as to be completely unusable. It’s filled with serious dataloss bugs. It’s just crap, plain and simple. Anyone that makes any excuse for this embarrassment, please trackback me because I’m very interested in hearing how anyone can defend it.”

On Discovery channel I just saw a “sandfish”, a little creature that actually swims throug the sands in the desert. Frank Herbert’s sandtrout creatures in his Dune books must be inspired on that. Amazing.

I wonder, by the way, if keeping a blog will improve my memory.

A Visible City: How do anthropologists blink?: “Pat and others at ID have a project called Design for the Base of the Pyramid. Most of the research has been conducted remotely in India. The ID folks have set up templates and sent them to various researchers in India (social workers, architects, and MBAs, all new to observational research) with instructions to gather information in the slums of Mumbai.”

Can you distribute research? I heard that at least some user research for US companies is done by Indian companies. Outsourcing UX?