Styling jetpack sharing google plus button

Nothing profound.

I use jetpack so I wanted to use the provided sharedaddy module.

The google plus button is a new addition and displays the medium button with default annotation.

I don’t have the traffic to display annotations. I want to use the small button.

So per google’s docs, I edited the sharing-sources.php file



Better approach

Of course, the above hack reverted the next time I updated jetpack. So, I did this in javascript instead:

Note: (9/2012) Google updated their api to change from count=false to annotation=none. Snipped above updated to reflect this…

jQuery(‘.googleplus1_button iframe’).attr(“src”, jQuery(‘.googleplus1_button iframe’).attr(“src”).replace(/count=true/,”count=false”));

Outlook -> Office Online -> [insert icalendar hack here] -> Google Calendar -> Google Sync -> Blackberry

I have reason to want an exchange calendar sync’d to my blackberry. Problem being, the blackberry is not on that exchange server’s enterprise services and blackberry internet service doesn’t sync calendars.

Happily, Office Online offers the ability to publish calenders in an icalendar format. With Google Sync for Blackberry and Google Calendar I could subscribe and sync to my blackberry.

At some point, this broke.

Unhappily, it appears the Office Online feed has started failing in Google’s icalendar parser. It also fails in the iCalendar Validator by Steven N. Severinghaus.

Google has just released an Outlook add-in to sync calendars but I have restricted permissions to install software on my Outlook pc. So, I decided to try to solve this on my own.

Using http rather than webcal iCalendar Validator was able to flag the following:

Error: Error was: Error at line 68: Unparseable date: "2"

Looking in the feed, I found word wrapping breaking dates and guids:

EXDATE;TZID="GMT -0500 (Standard) / GMT -0400 (Daylight)":20090316T140000,2

After finding other services that could parse the feed but none that would sync over the wire to my blackberry calendar, I wrote a short php script to make the feed comply with Google’s parser.

//request the icalendar file
$output = file_get_contents('http://[path to calendar ics file]');
//clean up the icalendar content
$output = preg_replace("/[\n|\r]+\t/m", "", $output);
//print out the result
echo $output;

Now I can subscribe to the calendar via my script’s URL and google reads and syncs it to my blackberry. Happiness for now – at least until this kludge train derails again.

Color e-ink reader

From Endgadget Japan as pleasingly broken translated by Google the Fujitsu FLEPia. 1.8 second refresh rate at 64 colors and pricey. But the first portable computers and cellphones threw out your back.

It’s a start.

Ruining it for the rest of us

A December episode of This American Life starts with an interview with Will Felps.

He placed college students on teams with an actor alternately playing a “jerk, slacker, and depressive”.

The “bad apple” not only wrecked the team’s performance, the other members began to think and act like him.

Here’s a Google book preview of Will Felps’ paper, How, When and Why Bad Apples Spoil the Barrel: Negative Group Members and Dysfunctional Groups

Oops, sorry about your retirement fund

The New York Times describes what happened to United Airlines stock value on September 8th, How a Series of Mistakes Hurt Shares of United

Investors wiped out $1 billion of the market value of UAL, United’s parent, within minutes of an erroneous news flash on Bloomberg screens about a United bankruptcy. Google and the Tribune Company, the owner of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, whose Web site was the source of the article that led to the headline, soon blamed each other for causing the fiasco.

United Airlines Stock ValueA chain of mistakes and vulnerabilities led to United Airlines six year old bankruptcy being reported as fresh news. Investors reacted, destroying value to the point that trading of UA stock had to be stopped until the situation could be cleared up.

Two features on a Tribune run website started the chain. One allowed an old article to appear in the most viewed box. The implementation apparently doesn’t prevent obscure articles from filtering to the top in off hours.

The second displayed the old article on the Sun-Sentinel site with today’s date but no original publish date.

Google crawled the article. It’s age and lack of original publish date confused the automated news search into interpreting the article as current.

Then a private analyst published it without independent verification. Then Bloomberg included that analyst’s report in their feed.

This led to the panic selling. Trading was resumed and the stock recovered much of its value but don’t mistake that many people lost alot of money.

The Times focuses on the relationship between newspapers and search engines. You can also focus on the pressure of news agencies to keep up with “breaking news” on various platforms. You can focus on a loss of discipline among editors.

I’d like to highlight how two casually implemented features on a website indirectly led to serious harm. I can’t imagine a print editor allowing an old article to appear without an original publish date. So how was it acceptable to allow online content to appear that way?

Given the relevancy algorithms Google is known to use, how much was the behavior of Tribune’s “most viewed” area intended to create exactly the behavior that backfired in this case, i.e. to create referential links back to Tribune for old content.

There’s plenty of blame to go around but how much sits with those who defined, accepted and implemented this behavior?