Making My.Opera more social

gwibberopera

I recently posted an idea in the “Idea Mill” for Gwibber which is a social client for GNOME developed with Python and GTK+.

My idea is to evolve My.Opera from a traditional web browser based social community to a client based community so that users can quickly and effortlessly update their status, reply and receive private messages, follow community updates and more.

This project will require a large effort to get going from the start, but would help the My.Opera community grow by making the service available to a larger crowd.

The current problem with My.Opera is that it depends on a community of Opera enthusiasts. Lets face it, Opera has a very small market share when compared to the current leading browsers. If the community is to truly succeed it would make more sense to remove the requirement of being an “Opera fan” and focus more on making the service a social success such as Facebook or Twitter.

With my idea, My.Opera could integrate with applications such as Gwibber and TweetDeck to allow users of the online service to easily follow others, review and update their private messages, keep track of community updates and stay updated in general with the activities available at My.Opera.com.

Here is my mockup for Gwibber:

As you can see, My.Opera would be able to attract users in a fashion nearly identical to that of Twitter with features that already exist and have existed for some time now.

The only current setback….My.Opera doesn’t offer an extensive API to make this idea possible. While they do have some API support in place, they lack what is needed (AFAIK) to make this support possible without fetching and parsing pages designed for a web browser.

The inclusion of this support would be very beneficial to My.Opera, especially when Ubuntu 10.04 is release with default integration with the social client Gwibber.

Making this giant step into the micro-blogging and “friending” era via clients would also be very beneficial to Opera Software ASA‘s business model. With more people joining the My.Opera community (after seeing the service support in Gwibber and other clients) the number of people exposed to the Opera browser would be fantastic!

This could potentially be a game changing move for Opera and it would be wise to take advantage of it as soon as possible with the current popularity and high demand for social micro-blogging services today!

If you’re a frequent My.Opera user and you’re interested in this idea for Gwibber and potentially other social clients, please cast your vote to show support and let the My.Opera community developers know that you’re interested!

Gwibber + U.NU

gwibber-2-29-90-1

I’ve been using Gwibber on and off for a while now, but recently I’ve started using Ubuntu 10.04 full time and Gwibber has now been directly integrated.

Back when I used Gwibber before, it was a half-developed Twitter client. Its much more than that now and its progressing nicely!

Gwibber 2.29.90.1

Some people might compare it to TweetDeck for Windows, but it has a little ways to go before its as feature complete as TweetDeck.

I’ve decided to start making contributions to the client via user interface improvements and improving service reliability among other things. However, I’ve started with a simple contribution that is one requirement for me…the use of my favorite url shortener service: U.NU

U.NU is your basic url shortening service, but it lacks a great deal of features that other services typically offer such as detailed statistics for each link. This doesn’t bother me, as the most important thing to me is a short url. ;)

Now that I’ve submitted a (very) simple python script that enables a new url service in Gwibber, I’ve marked a point where I’ve actively began contributing to the open source community (to applications that are not my own).

Gwibber is now a part of Gnome so I’m hoping that when Gwibber 2.30 is released, along side Gnome 2.30, they will include my little patch/contribution so I can use my favorite url shortener in my tweets. This is the beauty of open source. :D

If you’re curious about the theme I’m using, it’s the Homosapien Metacity theme. I used the online Homosapien Metacity Customizer to get the blue theme though. You can make your own remix of this theme there if you wish or you can just download the exact one that I’m using.

Ubuntu 10.04 and LifeCam VX-1000

If you’re using the same web cam that I’m using, the Microsoft LifeCam VX-1000, then you may already be familiar with the difficulties involved in the process of getting this web cam to work in Ubuntu…or rather, the difficulties that were involved.

After countless days spent and hours wasted over the past 4 months that I’ve owned this web cam, I had not been able to find a solution to see it work even once.

The problems I ran into were that the few solutions for this camera were specifically for 32-bit Ubuntu, while I’m using 64-bit Ubuntu.

Typically these days, this type of problem isn’t architecture specific in Linux, which means that fewer people have to battle the problems that are unique to x86_64 platforms. In my experience with Ubuntu, x86_64 application/firmware support 4 years ago was a joke. Today, x86_64 support is commonplace and practically a standard.

After upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04, I was able to see this support change yet again! Without configuring anything in Ubuntu 10.04 x86_64 the video feed from my web cam was working flawlessly (I tested using Cheese 2.29.90)!

There is the small matter of getting the mic on the web cam to work, but for now I’ve got an old mic that plugs into the ports from the motherboard. So I will have sound, just not through the web cam just yet. Hopefully I can find a solution to this as well, in which case I will be sure to link you to. ;)

In the future, I’d also like to submit a patch or hack to enable the LifeCam Call Button like I did previously in Windows 7 so that you can configure what the button should do…take a picture, video, start a call or chat, etc.

Google Buzz

Now that news has spread about a potential “Twitter-Killer” coming from Google as early as 10:00am tomorrow (according to trending topics on Twitter), its time for my own dish of speculation.

Around a week ago, I read a blog post mentioning that Google’s Gmail has restricted the use of the label “Buzz”. Reading this, I immediately attempted to create a label named “Buzz”in my own Gmail account and the rumor was confirmed.

Playing off of this small find, I wonder if Google will release a product named “Google Buzz” that integrates into Gmail so you can follow “Twitter-like” updates by simply clicking on the Buzz label.

According to TechCrunch, the new product will be integrating at least two existing Google products, while one is highly speculated to be Gmail. This is where my theory with the Buzz label comes into play. ;)

What do you think this new Google product will be? Any speculation? We’ve all got until 10am Feb. 9, 2010 to guess!

UPDATE (2009-02-09):
It looks like my speculations were correct. TechCrunch has a short write up regarding Google Buzz.

UPDATE 2:
If you want to start using Google Buzz right away and its not integrated into your Gmail account yet (it should appear between the Inbox and Starred tabs once its been integrated, but it will take some time for most people to receive the update) you can use it on your mobile (iPhone/iPod Touch/Android device) by opening your browser and navigating to “buzz.google.com“. That’s it! Hope your busy buzzing!

My Guide to Jailbreak the iPod Touch

Mobile Photo Feb 2, 2010 12 51 50 PM

I recently made a quick list of steps that I followed a while back to jailbreak my iPod Touch as I usually do to keep as a reminder guide in case I have to go back and do it again. You can use this on your iPod Touch and/or iPhone, however, the iPhone is a little more risky as you could potentially brick your device if you don’t create a proper restore point or backup prior to jailbreaking it.

I thought I would post it here so others can find it and use it as I most likely will again in the future. So…below is my “quick and simple” guide (copy/pasted from my bbPress forum post) as well as a few things you can do with your device after you’ve jailbroken it.

Index:
I… Preparation
II.. Jailbreak
III. Securing your jailbroken device
IV. Installing apps and customization
V.. iPod/iPhone with Ubuntu
VI. Previews of my iPod

Notes: It is no longer required to Jailbreak your iPod/iPhone in order to use it with Ubuntu. If you only wish to use your device in Ubuntu, simply follow the link in Step #10 and ignore the steps to Jailbreak your device.

Preparation
1. Update your iPod via iTunes to the latest firmware available.
2. Backup your iPod to allow future system restores (in case of an error).

Jailbreak – (more detailed guide)
3. Download “Blackra1n” http://www.blackra1n.com/
4. Open “Blackra1n” and click “make it ra1n”
5. Wait until you are prompted with a message similar to the following:
“Your jailbreak is done once the phone reboots.
If this was the simplest jailbreak ever, …”
6. Now simply wait for your device to reboot on its own. It can take a minute or two to reboot. (If you ever reboot or turn off your device in the future, you will simply need to connect it to a computer and click “make it ra1n” to reboot it after its been jailbroken. Also, iTunes must be installed for “Blackra1n” to work correctly.)

Installing apps and customization
7. Download the “Cydia” application from the new “Blackra1n” app that should now be on your device.
8. Download the following apps from Cydia (some require a reboot so don’t go too far from a computer…as noted above).
—1. Categories – This enables you to create folders on your springboard and better organize your icons.
—2. WinterBoard – This allows you to install (seperate) themes to further change the appearance of your springboard, unlock screen, icons and panels.
—3. MIM (Make It Mine) – This allows you to change the carrier name (iPod, iPhone or whatever it may be) to something more personalized. Mine is “kyPod”. You can also change the banner (where the time is usually displayed) to anything you’d like as well. I left my banner default (time).
—4. Install themes, navigate to the Winterboard app to find and activate them.

Securing your jailbroken device
As with any hack, there are risks. One of those risks is that your device can become infested with a few nasty viruses that have recently made news headlines. To avoid this, simply follow the steps to change your devices default SSH password. Steps are also provided in your Cydia application towards the bottom of the home screen labeled “Change Root Password”.

9.  Open the Cydia app. Scroll down to find the guide labeled “Change Root Password”. Scroll down to Step #4 in the Cydia guide labeled “Change the mobile Password”. If you connect to your device via a terminal window (Mac or Linux will work or you can download the “Terminal” application via Cydia and use it) you can connect via SSH using the “su root” as the root user and “alpine” as the default password. You want to change “alpine” to something different so the typical virus won’t have your default password. After logging in via root, type “passwd”. You will now need to enter your new password twice (it will not appear as you type it as a security measure). After you’ve entered your new password, exit the terminal…you’re done! You may also change your mobile password if you wish by starting the password change with “passwd mobile”. This may or may not be beneficial to you.

iPod/iPhone with Ubuntu
10. Following the directions that I discuss and point to at the following location:
http://www.kyleabaker.com/2010/01/17/ubuntu-ipod-touchiphone/
It is no longer required to Jailbreak your iPod/iPhone in order to use it with Ubuntu. If you only wish to use your device in Ubuntu, simply follow the above link and ignore the steps to Jailbreak your device.

Previews of my iPod