At 11 PM Wednesday night I was fine. By 1 AM I was in serious pain, and by 3 AM I was in the emergency room at Overlake Hospital. A CT scan confirmed what I already knew — that I had a 6 mm stone in my right kidney.
I don’t have the adjectives to describe the pain of a kidney stone. The pain is simply beyond belief, beyond anything I have to compare it to. It’s not an “ouch, that hurts” kind of pain. It is more of an “I hope I die soon to get some relief” type of thing.
Fortunately, the hotel was well-stocked with pain killers, and an intravenous dose of Toradol put me right. I have learned that it is worthwhile to know what they are giving you, so that you can know what works (and what doesn’t) and also because doctors and nurses seem to treat you differently when you express an interest in the details of what is going on. They are almost always happy to answer questions and to share their knowledge. In this case I talked to the doctor about the alternative pain killers before they shot me up, and I decided against Percoset due to the bad side effects I had experienced during a previous bout with stones.
Oh yeah, did I mention that this is my third kidney stone? Not that I am proud of this record or anything, but I do seem to be susceptible to them for some reason.
Ok, so next week I will go in to the hospital for an ESWL treatment. Basically, they focus a sound wave on the stone using a parabolic mirror, and then adjust the frequency until the stone resonates and ultimately explodes. Once it has been reduced to dust, it will pass without further pain or complications.
I run several blogs (this one, my Amazon Web Services blog, and a private one for the family), and I generally don’t cross-post, since the blogs have distinct audiences.
This time, however, I have run across something that’s cool enough to warrant a second post. Sean Nolan’s Amazon Screen Saver is simple yet effective and hypnotic. Using the Amazon books catalog as a data source, it simply retrieves and displays cover art, one title after the other, fading the older ones into the background.
It runs on Windows (Sean is a one-time Microsoft employee) , installs in a flash, and works like a charm.
Because Syndic8 is a platform for all kinds of interesting applications (most of which I don’t know nearly enough about), a lot of the site functionality is also available in the form of XML-RPC web services.
To go along with the tagging functionality that I rolled out last week, here are a bunch of new tagging functions:
- TagFeed to assign a tag to a feed.
- GetTaggedFeeds to fetch the Feed Ids of all feeds with a given tag, for all users or for a particular user.
- GetAllFeedTags to fetch the set of tags used on all feeds, either globally or for a particular user.
These are all documented on the Syndic8 Web Services Page.
If you build something cool with this, please drop me an email.
I have been working with the folks at KnowNow since the middle of 2000, when Kragen Sitaker and Adam Rifkin invited me to visit their Seattle “headquarters” (a couple of rooms with cardboard walls in a dilapidated building in Seattle). They’ve come a long way since then (and I have too).
We’ve been working toward real-time news distribution ever since, and our new partnership is the latest step in that direction.
Here is the official press release: KNOWNOW AND SYNDIC8 PARTNER TO OFFER LIVE, CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED RSS FEEDS FOR SUBSCRIBERS.
I’ll have the first round of integration done within the next couple of days, more news here when it is ready.
The latest issue of Newsweek has an article on tags.
The Syndic8 menu now includes a Tags entry, for direct access to the Tag List. As of this morning there are already 203 tags in the system.
Sites such as del.icio.us and FlickR pioneered the concept of tags, or user-assigned labeling and categorization information. This has come to be known as a folksonomy.
After a couple of days of hard work, I am pleased to announce that Syndic8 now has a feed tagging system. Any logged-in user can add their own tags to a feed using a form in the top-left corner of each and every feed info page:
The tags for each feed are shown in the top-left corner of the feed’s info page. Here are the tags for feed 130801:
Clicking on any tag name will display a list of all feeds with that tag, for example ‘cricket‘:
There’s also a way to see all of the tags, on the new tag list page:
The existing XML-RPC API will be extended to provide full read-write tag functionality. Already, any function which returns feed info now includes the list of tags assigned to the feed (if the “Tags” pseudo-field is specified). A lot more is coming.,
On May 5th I will participate in the Extending Your Business with SOA panel at InfoWorld’s upcoming SOA Forum in San Jose.
My friends at Feed Burner have just announced the closing of a $7M round of funding. That’s awesome!
If you scroll this page down a bit, you will see a rather cool “Blog Map” on the right side. This map is generated at feedmap.net, using the Microsoft MapPoint web service. I met with Chandu Thota, author of this cool tool, late last week. We are going to do some integration between feedmap and Syndic8 in the very near future.
If your feed is in Syndic8 and you have not yet marked it up with location metadata, now is the time to do so. There’s full information on the metadata help page.
Microsoft Redmond Campus Map
Microsoft West Campus Map
Microsoft North Campus Map