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  • Joe 14:41 on June 9, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: Firefox 3.5, , Geolocation API, Google Gears, , ,   

    Firefox 3.5 does geolocation! 

    Firefox crop circle
    Image by KonMan via Flickr

    Since early beta release of Firefox 3.1 there is experimental support for the experimental W3C Geolocation API.

    Now Doug Turner, one of the engineers who is behind the Geolocation support in Firefox, wrote a nice background story geolocation in Firefox 3.5 (hacks.mozilla.org). A very interesting read, and it turns out that geolocation is not only for mobile devices, but also available in regular Firefox versions, using wifi or IP address mapping.

    Using Firefox 3.5 or another location aware browser? Give it a try by clicking the button below, a map with your current location will be loaded…


    • Firefox 3.5b4 has an annoying bug (#490046) which lets you get your location only once per run.
    • Privacy is an issue, Firefox asks for permission by showing a notification bar on top of the screen. Click “Tell them” to proceed…

      Click "tell Them"...

    Map your location…

    What the script does…

    // call native geolocation API:
    // callback initializes a google map with the geo data:
    function callback(position) {
        var point = new GLatLng(position.coords.latitude, 

    Google provides a similar Geolocation API implementation through Gears.

    Got another browser where the API works? Please leave a comment!

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    • Joe 09:45 on June 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Update: indeed, the bug has been fixed in Firefox 3.5b99 – but some requests return a very unaccurate estimate, while others are perfect within only a few meters error.
      I guess in some cases Wifi is used, while in other cases generic Geo IP tables are used (e.g. if the Wifi lookup times out?).

    • Doug Turner 03:14 on June 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      exactly. if a wifi position is found, that is the location that is shared with the website. if no wifi position is found, a location based on IP is shared.

      Keep in mind, all of this is optional — we don’t share anything until you click “share location” in the notification bar.

      Hope that helps!
      Doug Turner

    • Johan Sundström 04:13 on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Works fine in the iPhone 3G mobile Safari (OS 3.0) browser, too.

      • Joe 06:54 on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Cool, thanks!

        It doesn’t work out of the box on Android’s Webkit browser on the G1, need Google’s interface for that apparently.

  • Joe 15:44 on June 5, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: bit.ly, is.gd, TinyURL, , , WordTwit   

    Use your blog as shortened URL service 

    WordTwit 2.0
    Image by Duane Storey via Flickr

    I just discovered and installed a very nice WordPress plugin, WordTwit. The main purpose of this plugin is to tweet your new blog posts on Twitter, together with a link to the new blog post.

    So far nothing too shocking new, but the latest version (2.0.x) of the plugin adds the option to use your own blog as url shortening and redirecting service. Think tinyurl.com, is.gd or one of the gazillion alternatives out there.

    Now that is really cool. Except it didn’t work for me.

    Turns out that there was a little bug if your blog is not served off the root or your domain, but a sub directory instead (which is /blog in my case).

    So, a patch (shortened link, noticed?) solved this and all should be set to go now.

    Oh and this post is serving as a test post for the Twitter update…

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  • Joe 11:58 on June 5, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Fun with Twitter Spammers 

    Actually, Twitter spammers aren’t funny at all. But sometimes they use such stupid names and avatars that you wonder who in their right mind would ever  follow them.

    A common way these spammers try to get your attention, hoping you will follow them, is just start following your twitter account “at random”. Now one day I found the following two low lifers, with apparently opposite intentions, in sequence in my followers queue:

    These followed me in sequence, too stupid to be true?

    These followed me in sequence, too stupid to be true?

    Now I’m pondering which one to pick, the pathetic diet promoter or the fat cheesy one?

    Seriously, advice to those who create such spammy accounts: don’t waste the effort, you make me laugh at very best if I don’t outright block you.

    Conversely, if you’re a human being and like to follow my sometimes random tweets, you’re still more than welcome to follow me (@jlapoutre) on Twitter!

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