Friday, November 20, 2009

Yahoo! Pipes for Twitter's Reading List

I've managed to create a very nice and probably useful Yahoo! Pipe to manage my Twitter friend's feed as a reading list.

As you know, nowadays it's a common practice to post interesting links to your Twitter feed. Even I personally hooked up my Google Reader with the help of Twitterfeed to post articles that I want to share directly to my feed on Twitter. Works well, except that I miss a lot of links. I can't read my friends feed all day long (and I'm following only a hundred or so people). So whenever I read the feed (very occasionally) I can hit the shared links of only that period of time. I don't browse history or anything like that.

However, I'd probably like to read all the links that they advice to visit. I'm pretty picky about whom I'm following. You can call it social news. Where your social circle is doing the job on filtering the news for you. And you end up with a list of "pre-approved" things that you're safe to go with, without high risk of wasting your time.

Anyways so I run into this venture and built a quick hack for myself.

I call it Twitter Reading List. You put your name & password in there (yeah, I can be a asshole and copy your data, so take a look at the source first if you're afraid of it :), and you will get a RSS feed of all posts from your Twitter friends, whom you follow and who posted something interesting. This pipe will fetch a title of it for you, as well as link it to direct link to whatever your friend wants you to read.

Well, yeah, on the negative side, I don't like the idea of sending my password plain-text, but... whatever. One more thing, it looks like it's limited to some specific number of posts there. It's probably possible to overcome, I don't know.

So fire it up, link to your Google Reader or any other favorite news reader and have fun!

P.S. IT IS buggy. It's a dirty hack and I need to fix the regexp for URLs among many other things, but it works.

P.P.S. Yahoo! Pipes rock. This is definitely a great way to easily sketch up a tool and use it right away. Try it yourself.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Краткое введение в экономику говна

Сначала никакой экономики не было, а было одно говно и ягоды.
А потом прошло несколько тысяч лет.

Удивительный опус на тему говна. Не требует умственных усилий, однако, скрывает обучающих подтекст. :)

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Tough" questions from GMAT 800

I saw a number of positive reviews for the sample questions from the Kaplan GMAT 800 book (now Kaplan GMAT Advanced).  Not a problem, just got a copy for myself, and went through it.

To avoid confusion, I completed only Critical Reasoning part of it.  However, making in average 75% of correct answers (1 mistake in every 4 questions set), I got some serious doubts about extraordinary type of questions there.  

They are good, but not much more.  

On the other note, format of the book is really weird.  I don't like it.  I believe the willingness to do a guidebook drove them to such a style, but it doesn't help at all.  I'd prefer something closer to a "classic" approach, when I clearly have a set of questions to work through, and the answers to clearly state correct answer, but not looking for it in the several blocks of explanations.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Funnel Analysis from Mixpanel

Figuring out your funnels is one of the most important things you can do to increase your quantitative understanding of your website. It's critical to get the starting measurements - the dropoff and conversion rates - before you change anything.  That's the only way you can know the effect of the changes you make. By constantly tweaking and measuring, you should be able to really improve your number of conversions.

Mixpanel has a set of functions that can be really useful for a company in the Web. While I still had no chance to compare their functionality to what Google Analytics provides, other than being real-time, I'm planning to spend some more time playing with it.

Mixpanel has a free 10K "data points" account ( which is sorta confusing for a person like me. I'm more like thinking in visits, page views or things like that. But thanks to Tim Trefren from Mixpanel, who explained this to me:

"A data point is counted every time you track a visitor action. So, in terms of pageviews/month - if you track one event per page, you will use exactly the same number of data points as pageviews."

And, well, Mixpanel wouldn't be something you'll use to put on every page (like you can do with Google Analytics). You'd want to put it only on subset of them, linking to specific actions. Or you will probably use Mixpanel's API to assign "data points" to some triggers in your Web application' actions. This is, by the way, could be also a pretty useful feature.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Friday, November 13, 2009

В каждом из нас... человек-паук!

В каждом из нас есть немного человека-паука. Найди себя!

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Microsoft, it's your call

There is something that I'd like Microsoft to pay a better attention to.  It's the partnership with third party telemarketers.  

Like Ivy from CSG Openline who's for the second time calls me at 7am to both my home and private cell (from number 888-834-8586) trying to tell me about something from Microsoft.  Certainly she apologies, however, she acknowledges that it's 7am in the morning and she knew that before placing a call.  What the heck she was expecting for?  Am I sleeping and dreaming about somebody from Microsoft to call me and tell me about some crazy shit?  I'm not that lonely.  

So, please, stop it. Once is an accident.  Twice is a negligence.  Third time would be pattern and nobody will enjoy it, take my word for it.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Invicta's Russian Diver for $99

You've got less then 24 hours to purchase this Russian Diver's inspired watch by Invicta for just $99. That's is a pretty nice deal.

They put Swiss quartz movement in, screw-down crown with a cap, very attractive rubber bracelet with buckle, decent lume and 53 mm in diameter (not including crown).

With MSRP of $575 (ridiculous, like there is anybody who pays MSRP for Invicta), however the regular price rarely goes down the $200 bucks and typically is around $249 for a piece.

Give it a shot. Pretty decent watch for those who like the Russian Diver's style but doesn't want to break a bank for it.

# Posted via web from opportunity__cost

Saturday, November 7, 2009

No freakin calendar out there?

Keeping in mind that it's 2009 coming to its end, I'm really surprised to not been able to find any good calendaring software that just integrates everywhere. It's only recently Google has enabled the CalDAV access for iCal, so now, thanks God!, I can manage all my calendars both online and on my Mac laptop.

However, not that fast.  

My iPhone (come on, isn't is the greatest thing since sliced bread? :) can sync with iCal (not a decent approach for cloud-computing trending era), but fails to show any other calendars attached to my account.  In addition to such a boomer, it gets synced with the weirdest name you can imagine (but who cares).  I've also tried setting up a separate CalDAV account for calendar on iPhone as well as establishing Google sync through Exchange protocol - none of these things can show any additional calendars (called delegates in iCal). 


Here is an idea.  While so trendy cloud-computing managing panels are growing so fast, it looks like people managed to miss very basic things.  The managing panel for Mail-AddressBook-Calendar kind of stuff.  That has inputs and outputs, and dashboard.  Manageable with drag and drop.  Say, I want the Google Calendar, Google Mail and Yahoo Address Book (or, screw it, just native Mac Address  These are inputs.  Outputs are connectors to any type of software you can imagine.  Dashboard is one screen that allows to work flawlessly with you stuff.  That's it.  That easy.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Вконтакте решили поспамить

Подонки с Вконтакта.ру решили спамить онлайн.

Странная стратегия, конечно. При таком жутком переводе своего спама на английских язык, ко всему еще.

Или это какая-то новая инициатива, и это личное дело каждого теперь?

# Posted via email from opportunity__cost

One o'clock watches

After some period of silence, I'm ready to add the one o'clock watches to my collection of crows.

One o'clock.  While it's a little cheat, the limited edition from Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques line, the Historiques American 1921 has a cushion-shaped case with a crown positioned at 1 o'clock.  However, if you'll read the dial, it's on 12 o'clock.  Either way, it doesn't make it less interesting for me.

- Historiques American 1921

I still miss crown positions at 5, 7 and 11 o'clock.  You're more than welcome to send your links to unusual and interesting crown positions, and I'd be happy to add the to my collection.

The full collection of crowns' positions is here at

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