Friday (ish) links – January 15th 2010

A few random selections from this week’s reading.

Discussions of online privacy continue to rumble on. ReadWriteWeb had a piece about (facebook’s) Mark Zuckerberg repeating the adage that “the age of privacy is over.” Zuckerberg’s comments would appear to continue the confusion around facebook and privacy. Facebook’s popularity is at least in part due to peoples’ perceptions that there is some privacy (or at least control) inherent in it, but they keep eroding that. I deleted my facebook account a few weeks ago, partly because I was tired of negotiating its plethora of options. Twitter’s “always public” or “private” are really so much easier to handle.

Jeremy Gould pointed out O2’s SIM only iPhone plan on twitter the other day. I really wish I could find an equivalent in the US. On our last trip I was carrying two iPhones and a Palm Pre, but ended up buying a $10 virgin mobile phone from Best Buy.

Perhaps the biggest news in web development this week was the release of jQuery 1.4. The full announcement is here. I’m particularly pleased about all events now supporting live(), the improved support for contexts for actions, and the performance speedups, but many of the API changes look very nice. It’s been great to see several meaty blog posts about how some of the new features/improvements were achieved, such as this one on how the live() support works and Ben Nadel’s piece on handling problems with mouseover/mouseout.

In a similar vein I continue to enjoy Yehuda Katz’ coverage of Rails 3, including this piece on ActiveModel. It’s great to finally have a simple way to use AR’s validations, callbacks, etc. outside of ActiveRecord without resorting to nasty tricks. Gabe de Silveira also deserves some credit, not only for his very useful looking validation_scopes gem, but also for a dissection of its writing.

I missed this month’s LRUG but have been reading up on Dragonfly, a ruby library to handle image uploads and produce resized versions on the fly based on directives in a view. Putting that logic in the view makes a lot of sense and I really like the rails integration being handled by inserting rack middleware. I’ll definitely be looking for a project to try it out on.

Ajaxian continues to be the best source for impressive efforts with javascript. This week I was especially taken by efforts to implement audio sampling in firefox.

Fresh from Silicon Roundabout’s appearance in the latest issue of Wired UK, Ben Terrett of RIG has been working on some merchandise. I guess this joke’s just going to keep going.

TinyMCE is now on github. Chances are it’ll remain a pain to use (as are all editors of its ilk) but at least it can be checked out more quickly now.

And of course it’s been impossible to miss the tragedy in Haiti. The past few years have seen really impressive efforts to harness open source tools and techniques for use in disasters. Andrew Turner’s blog is a good stopping off point to find out what the mapping community has been up to.

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