Sunset on the Erie Canal

August 3, 2010

Sunset on the Erie Canal

Recent travel photo albums (post created with help from the Graph API)

June 11, 2010
  • Last day in Poland - Our last day. We visited Schindler's Factory (but couldn't get close because of construction), biked around the city, had drinks on the square with the med students to celebrate, and dinner at a milk bar
  • Poland 5/27/2010 - Around Kazimierz – the old Jewish district. We visited a synagogue, saw Ariel (Spielberg's favorite restaurant), and walked through the new Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is also a memorial. The walls are made out of pieces of broken tombstones.
  • Poland 5/25/2010 - Cake followed by liter beers at Pod Wawelem
  • Poland 5/24/2010 - The sun came out so Megen and I went to the square for a drink before dinner Photos in this album were taken by Megen (except the photo of her :P). She's good :)
  • Vienna 5/23/2010 - Kunsthistorisches museum, St. Stephen's Cathedral, gelato, the opera, and lots of walking Many of the photos later in this album were taken by Megen
  • Vienna 5/22/2010 - Hofburg Palace (treasury and apartments), Demel for cake and coffee, and the opera
  • Poland 5/20/2010 - It wasn't raining so I took a short walk around the square
  • Poland 5/19/2010 - We finally found the cake place everyone has been raving about. I tried a blue cheese and chocolate cake – it was pretty good but Megen's marzipan cake was way better Also Megen took me to the sign pointing out 7400 km to Rochester!
  • Poland 5/18/2010 - Zubrowka (bison grass vodka) for Caren's birthday
  • Poland 5/17/2010 - A private dinner with the deans at Muzeum Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego Collegium Maius
  • Poland 5/16/2010 - Pierożki "U Vincenta" (Van Gogh themed pierogi restaurant), Singers (a bar with Singer sewing machines for tables), and Pijalnia Czekolady for hot chocolate
  • Poland 5/15/2010 - "In Krakow we have a love parade – it can get dangerous" our waitress on the square as she took away the flower pot and ashtray at our table

Created with this script:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import json
import sys
import urllib
import urllib2

from optparse import OptionParser


def main():
    parser = OptionParser(usage='usage: %prog [options]')
    parser.add_option('-a', '--access_token', dest='access_token',
        help='You can get your access_token from '
    options, args = parser.parse_args()
    if not options.access_token:
        body = urllib2.urlopen(GRAPH_BASE + '/me/albums?' + urllib.urlencode({
          'access_token': options.access_token,
    except Exception, e:
        print e

    albums = json.loads(body).get('data', [])
    albums = [a for a in albums if 'poland' in a['name'].lower()
              or 'vienna' in a['name'].lower()]
    print '<ul>'
    for a in albums:
        print '<li><a href="%(link)s">%(name)s</a> - %(description)s</li>' % a
    print '</ul>'

if __name__ == '__main__':


March 11, 2010

Just testing PubSubhubbub support. I needed a small distraction earlier today.

Apple should allow Push Notifications to iPhone home screen URL bookmarks

February 11, 2010

Here is how it could work:

  1. The owner of a site adds the following meta tags to the page:
    <meta name="iphone_permissions" value="push"/>
    <meta name="iphone_callback" value="/iphone_callback"/>
    There might be other important tags like an application identifier that the owner registers with Apple.
  2. When a user adds that site to their home screen the iPhone fetches it, finds the tag, and prompts for the permissions.
  3. If the user grants permission the iPhone POSTs back to the callback value with all the information the application needs to start pushing to the iPhone. I don't really know what goes into this step but I'm sure there are some necessary identifiers the application needs. The important thing is that the POST contains the cookies for that domain, allowing the application to link the device and the authenticated user so it can send the appropriate notifications.
  4. Users of applications like Gmail, Google Voice, and FriendFeed that don't have iPhone applications enjoy all the benefits a real application has. Developers continue to push new code daily without dealing with the Apple approval process.

Obviously this isn't in Apple's short-term best interest. If this were added I'd have little reason to ever use the Mail app again. It would devalue the benefits one gets from building a full fledged iPhone application. Eventually Android will get push notifications and the meta tags could settle on a standard that all could use. Suddenly there is no developing for multiple platforms, no waiting for approval, and no missing features. Long-term Apple goes from having the largest app store to having the entire application ecosystem. Developers don't need to learn Objective-C; they can continue to use whatever language they like to build their web apps in. Devices stop differentiating themselves based on the number of applications that run on them and start improving the overall experience.

What I did this weekend

September 28, 2009
  • Thursday evening: Off to NYC, Ed's Lobster Bar, food coma
  • Friday: B&H, Shake Shack, Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the Whitney museum, trek to Brooklyn for birthday celebrations
  • Saturday: Balthazar, shopping, The Marriage of Figaro (Cherubino was amazing), La Esquina
  • Sunday: Dim sum, back to Rochester, Cirque du Soleil, football

It's been a fun weekend.