Category Archives: batBack

Who me? Worry?


Coming soon is the big day where Y-Combinator chooses its Winter teams. Over on the news.yc board, there’s a lot of angst and tension.I applied too (for the first time), but I have absolutely no worries at all about my application. Why? Do I have some secret connection into YC? Am I Paul Graham’s illegitimate love-child? Have I hacked into the YC computers?

Nope.

Because I have context.

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Welcome to the Party, Slide

Attitudes are funny things. For instance, you might think that if I was developing and monetizing a blog toolkit product 18 months ago and had to put it on pause due to lack of investment, I might be a little bitter reading the following excerpt:

Max Levchin already changed electronic commerce as a co-founder of PayPal, an online payment service that is expected to process more than $40 billion in transactions this year.

Now, he’s tinkering with a new way to make money off Internet widgets – high-tech shorthand for the mini-applications planted on the personal pages of online social networks and other popular Web sites like Google.

Levchin’s latest startup, Slide Inc., has emerged as the No. 1 widget maker so far, largely because its programming tools have made it easy for people to add more pizazz to the pictures and videos decorating trendy hangouts like MySpace, Facebook and Bebo.

You know, it’s one thing to be sitting around at a bar somewhere, drinking a beer and talking about how you had a great idea that was stolen by the market. It’s quite a different feeling to have spent six months working on an idea, including running a business plan, creating a marketing plan, identifying an audience, etc.

So what to do?

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XJAX Update

Quite a lot has been going on in the world of XJAX lately. I thought I would share some of it with you.

First of all, I’m busy working on the next version of batBack, my proprietary program to do distributed non-structured text evaluation. That’s coming along well! Originally, I thought version 2.0 would be more of a generic blog toolbox, but as it turns out, there are a lot of companies “poaching” on my space. I have read of a couple over the last month doing universal toolboxes. Since i don’t have unlimited resources, I thought it would be better to go back to content organization and retrieval. I have some prototype screens up, and some neat ideas to share when I get ready.

There’s an interesting blog entry over on a blog called Mukund which talks about identifying users without the use of cookies. Seeing as how I have had about a dozen users complain about missing functionality when they have cookies turned off, this seems like an interesting idea to chase. While I understand some people wanting to lock down their computers as much as possible, overall I think this is a losing game. It’s like the radar vs. radar detector wars in the consumer sector, only on side has all of the cards. A totally secure computer is a totally useless one. I really do not envy security administrators: their job is getting harder by the week.

Over the last year, I’ve been in contact with a few other guys like me who are working on a universal web operating system using XJAX (although they did not use that name.) As a couple of them have noted, this is going to change the nature of the internet in a big way. For instance, your blog provider may just provide a text-storage facility for your posts: you may have another provider take care of handling your comments, and several other providers taking care of adding bells and whistles to your sites. In the commercial sector, companies can deploy core business practices as XJAX services that can plug into web sites in all kinds of neat ways. Let’s say you run a used car lot. You could provide an XJAX tool that let’s users review your inventory and make an offer. Another company may provide insurance quotes in a similar manner. Yet another company may provide financing. If you are putting together a blog entry about buying cars in your local area, you could easily add a set of tools for buying, insuring, and financing the car, all without having to write any code at all! It will certainly make the web more immediate and useful to most people.

So it’s really good that in a year the market has picked up on the XJAX ideas and ran with it. If you mention dynamic script tags or JSON today, a lot more developers know what you are talking about as opposed to even six months ago. I don’t know how far along many of these companies are — after all, I’m on version 2.0 of my tools and some of this stuff you couldn’t find ANYWHERE a year ago — so we’ll see. In the meantime, it will be fun to watch how it all turns out!

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Things I Would Rather Do Than Program In Javascript

I am writing up a new version of batBack, my web syndication tool. I have realized over the last few weeks that I have been procrastinating. Well finally today I figured out why: I hate Javascript. I don’t mean hate like “I would rather eat snails” i mean hate like “i would rather live with snails” It’s just bad. Everything is an object, nothing has a type, and structures are total BS. Yes — there are ways around anything, but at the end of the day, when I’m working in Javascript, I keep feeling like I should have done something, anything more important with my time.

So I decided to write a list of things I would rather do than program in Javascript. It goes something like this:

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The Wisdom Of Crowds

Over on Yahoo, the emails and votes are favoring Ms. Poland to be the winner of the Ms Universe.

I’ve always been a big fan of The Wisdom Of Crowds, so in the interest of science I reviewed the pictures of some of the contestants.

This is a tough job, folks. But somebody has to do it.

It’s all in the interest of science, of course.

Picture of Ms Poland
Ms Poland is the odds-on favorite to win the title of Ms. Universe. Are the crowds right?
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Welcome New Blogs

Welcome to a few new blogs that signed up for batBack over the past week.

my life is a blog by Ajay Abraham of Oman. Ajay — I hope you like batBack! Welcome aboard. (Ajay has a really cool phone on his blog)

Mersing.com is all about a quaint town on the coast of Malaysia. From reading the descriptions, I can almost picture myself there. It sounds like a great place to visit.

My UnKnown Blog was created by Joe Klemmer from Northern Virginia. Joe used to run a dial-up BBS back in the day. Looks like some good material on the blog, Joe.

Finally, we had a sign-up from Italy — Clesius. I don’t speak Italian, and when I visited the site I couldn’t understand what it was for. Anybody out there speak Italian? Help is appreciated, as I would like to get the site set up if I can.

For those of you wanting to see the list of blogs using batBack, I have created a blog roll over at this page.

It’s good to have the new blogs onboard. Hopefully I can proivde new features for all of you batBack users out there in the new future. I have a lot of plans for version 2.0 and I know you’re going to like it a lot.

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What’s Wrong With Internet Rating Systems

Is it just me, or do the current batch of internet tagging and rating systems suck? I’ve been studying and working in this field for years, and it seems to me there are several major problems with the current crop of tools.

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One More Move, and the Monkey Gets It!


Why is this monkey in danger?

I’ve been having more fun than a person should have over the past few months with Web 2.0, and you’re going to get a kick out of what I’ve been doing. Especially since it involves the impending death of a beloved Web mascot.

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