My vegetables are blogging

My vegetables are blogging: Some bloggers post photos of their kids or pets. Over the past four months, I’ve been posting photos of my rookie attempts at growing vegetables. This week, the tomatoes are starting to fully ripen. Nashville food blog Fixin’ Super’s Laura Creekmore instructed me to not pick the tomatoes too early — and I’ve followed her recommendation. Planting and tending the little garden has been fun and after the initial effort, it has been something that only requires a few moments in the early morning or late afternoon. At some point, I’ll list numerous things I’ve learned from doing it. However, one of the funniest things I learned was that the run-away bushes I thought were okra are actually squash. (I could have referred back to this photo and known better.)

A new feature (powered by RSS)

New rexblog feature (powered by RSS): If you are looking at this page via a web browser (and not, say, a newsreader), you may have noticed that I’ve added a couple of new features to the right column. At the top is a display of the most recent links added to my del.icio.us account. I’m calling it the rexblog linkblog. Below that is a display of the most recent photos added to my Flickr account. I’m calling it the rexblog photoblog.

This morning, I mentioned that explaining what RSS is is more difficult than displaying what one can do with RSS. Displaying the rexblog linkblog on this page is one of those things one can do with RSS. I saw something similar on another blog (I’m sorry I can’t recall whose) using an RSS-to-javascript tool from feedroll.com. I couldn’t quite get their code to display the feed precisely like I wanted, so executive director of rexblog hacknology, Patrick Ragsdale, whipped me up some code and, well, there you have it.

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Mystery bad word

Mystery bad word: At lunch, while skimming the print Wall Street Journal, I noticed the paper used “s—s” for, I’m guessing, the word “sucks.” After seeing Brittney Gilbert’s post on the profanity policy (or lack, thereof) at Nashville is Talking, I wondered if WSJ.com “spelled” the word any differently online. Online (it requires a paid-subscription, but try it anyway.), the word is even more mysterious because rather than using the “long dash” as they do in print, they use two hyphens “–” making it look like the individual being quoted, Robert Sutton, is saying: “Working for yes men ‘just s–s.’” Is there a crossword puzzler out there who can help me decipher the following four-letter profanity: s–s.

By the way, Robert Sutton, or “Bob” to those of us who read his blog, has a book coming out in 2007. Its title will challenge the copy editors at the Wall Street Journal.

Geeky discovery

Geeky discovery: (Apologies to those who think the following seems like I discovered the obvious.) With a few hours in an airport and on a plane last evening, I wasted some time continuing my Treo 700p discovery tour. While the phone’s 1.3 MP camera is far superior to my previous Treo’s camera, it’s still not my camera of choice — no flash or zoom, for instance. I typically have my Cannon PowerShot SD-600 with me (geez, I feel like this post is filled with product placements) and use it for photos and quick videos. While messing around with the phone, I noticed that it uses the same size memory card as my camera and wondered what would happen if I put the card from my camera into the slot on my phone? In one of those rare moments of gadget bliss, I discovered that my phone’s camera software read the photo and video files from my camera and that I could use Sprint’s (gee, my third brand mention in one post) photo mail to post a photo from my camera’s memory card to my Flickr (four) account. Having mobile broadband enabled me to upload this 1.5 MB photo in less than a minute.

Bonus link: Johnnie Tech shows how to transfer MP3 files from your computer to a memory card to listen to with a Treo and about mid-way through the video asks, “Who is Robert Scoble?” (Gotta love it.)

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What is RSS good for?

What is RSS good for? (Quoting Dave Winer)

“When people ask me what RSS is good for, I start with “automated web surfing.” It gets you more news for the time you put into using the Internet. If you don’t want more news then RSS is probably not for you. But if there are subjects that you are intensely interested in, and if the people covering the topics also offer the information in RSS, then your computer (or a web site) can make web surfing a richer and perhaps more productive experience.”

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to explain to non-technical people (and even some technical people) what RSS is is to demonstrate to them what one can do because it exists and is so universally available.

Bonus tip: If you want to know what RSS “is,” a good way to “google” an explanation is by using the following string of words: things you can do with RSS.

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