Friday, January 14, 2011

Yahoo! Pipes and YQL: Perfect together

I wrote a guest blog for the Yahoo! Developer Network on combining Yahoo! Pipes and YQL.

I was asked to write a post after my FaceTheMusic bookmarklet earned an honorable mention in the YQL + Kynetx app contest.

It was very cool of the Yahoo! team to invite me to write something. Special thanks to Havi! I was worried about writing too many exclamation marks in my emails because I was so happy to get this opportunity, but then I remembered it's Yahoo!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

FaceTheMusic: Bookmarklet to find similar artists using Facebook

I made a fun and, dare I say, useful bookmarklet using the awesome Kynetx Appbuilder and YQL.
First, drag this link to your bookmark bar:


Next, log in to Facebook and go to your favorite band's Facebook page.

Then, click the bookmarklet.

VoilĂ ! A handy list full of links to similar artists you can check out. Some you may know, but others you may discover.

UPDATE: FaceTheMusic earned an honorable mention in the YQL + Kynetx app contest!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What if Facebook turned into a music-startup?

It's no secret that creating a music start-up is incredibly hard and to make it profitable is next to impossible.

You know what would be funny?

If Facebook dropped everything it was doing and decided to turn into a music start-up.

Say it took all that data about your favorite bands, combined it with an API for related music and filled your news feed with just that information. They could allow bands to buy postings that will show up in your news feed. Would people stop logging in to Facebook and feel betrayed? Or would they like the new music they discover?

This is a great presentation explaining the difficulties music-startups face:

Watch live video from Startup School on

Friday, October 22, 2010

iMade an iPhone app: UpDownNYC

It was hard to figure out the best tag line for UpDownNYC -- the iPhone app I developed that lists the MTA's elevator and escalator outages.

"Finding the MTA's elevator and escalator outages before you do."

"If you're going uptown or downtown, check UpDownNYC."

"Is your elevator up or down? Check UpDownNYC."

"You won't know if you'll being going up, down or nowhere without UpDownNYC."

Ultimately, I decided on the first one and kind of slip in the second one when I can.

Click here to open iTunes and download the simplest, sweetest, and most free iPhone app ever made by me so far.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

eHarmony and Ashley Madison commercial parody

I had a lot of fun writing, filming and editing this. This was the greatest reward of all though.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Apple Fanboy sticks with Roku over Apple TV

WTF Netflix?
One of the only times I had a problem with my Roku.
I've had my Roku for more than two years and I still use it all the time. It changed the way I watch Netflix by offering instant streaming right to my TV.
One reason I was an early adopter of Roku was because I was an Apple Fanboy who wanted to try out Netflix's Instant Streaming. In the summer of 2008, if you didn't own a Windows computer, the next best way to stream Netflix was with Roku since Netflix wasn't offering streaming on Macs yet.

Today, Apple Fanboys have a tough decision; abandon our beloved Roku for Apple TV or stay behind Roku and renounce our Fanboy title.

I'm keeping my Roku and here's why.

The main reason is you can't purchase movies or TV shows on Apple TV. I love renting, but sometimes I want to own a TV show and if I can use my Roku to purchase TV shows on Amazon Video, I'd prefer that to renting.

Roku recently opened itself up to developers so anyone can write screensavers and channels/apps for it. Developers use BrightScript to write applications that can be private or public. Public applications need to be approved by Roku. Only people who know your private application's code can access it.

To access Roku's Developer Mode you hit this sequence on your Roku remote:
Home 3x, Up 2x, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right
If someone discovers something similar for Apple TV when it's released, we could assume Apple is planning apps down the road, but so far Apple TV apps have not been announced.

There's lots of other competition out there for putting streaming video on your TV like PlayOn and the soon to be released Boxee Box, so time will tell if all these products can coexist.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prediction: Photo tagging and what it means for our privacy

Imagine being able to take a photo of anyone, whether you know them or not, and instantly finding out their name, where they are from and their occupation.

That's my prediction for the future. The very near future.

You may have heard of Google Goggles. It's Andriod software that allows you take a picture of just about anything and search the web for it.

Now imagine that for people.

You may be asking, "Where is this database of faces and names?"
Every time you tag a photo on Facebook, Flickr or TwitPic you're giving valuable information of not only who is in the photo, but where their face is.

Now you may be asking, "OK, but if I take a photo of someone, how will the computer figure out where their face is if I haven't tagged it?"

Facial recognition software already exists. Using that software you can easily identify where the face is in a photo you take.

Then the software would just have to take that face, match it up against a database of all the other faces tagged on the web and bada bing! A match with a name and profile.

See someone on the street that looks familiar, but can't remember the name? No problem.

Someone ruin your photo of Eiffel Tower by walking in front of your shot and you want to tell them as much? You got their number.

Want to pick up someone at a bar. Just snap a photo from a distance, pull up their profile and check out their interests. Approach and say, "This is a long shot, but I have an extra ticket to see [their favorite band]. You wouldn't know anyone?"

Privacy -- fun while we had it.