Monthly Archives: April 2008

Lots of Dutch Visitors Using my iPhone Translator App

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 30, 2008
Mobile, Personal, WWW / Comments Off on Lots of Dutch Visitors Using my iPhone Translator App

I just wanted to say hello and thanks to the guys at for their coverage of the iPhone Translator app that I wrote last weekend. It looked like a good article, from what limited amount I could understand, and they even took a few nice screen shots of words being translated to Arabic and Korean.

I was surprised to find this week that Dutch users account for the majority of traffic to the app, and it appears (from web accesses to the home screen icon) that people are bookmarking it for future use.

Hartelijk dank!

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Translate Words and Phrases on Your iPhone

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 27, 2008
Apple, Mobile, WWW / 5 Comments

Screen shot of iPhone TranslatorI’ve been working on learning Japanese over the last two years, and have been making a better stab at it recently. What I realized would be helpful is a quick translation tool on my phone from English to Japanese. I tried whipping one up with the Google Language API.

Try out this iPhone Translator in your browser or on your iPhone.

  1. Open in your iPhone.
  2. Select a combination of languages you want to translate between, e.g. from English to Japanese.
  3. Bookmark the translation page for quick access when your out on the run.

I have a trip planned to Vienna later this year, and it would be really nice to have a quick German to English translation tool on hand. This would be promising if only I had an international data plan.

Other supported languages include Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, and Chinese.

Please try it out and leave feedback in the comments section below.

(Thanks to DryIcons for the icon I’m using on the site for iPhone and iPod Touch home screens.)

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Diversity Factor at Amazon Web Services

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 25, 2008
Cloud Computing / Comments Off on Diversity Factor at Amazon Web Services

Nicholas Carr makes a nice point about “diversity factor” within Amazon’s AWS clients.

We have been looking at a number of services in our own hosting environment that are “spikey”, things like image manipulation, video encoding, marketing email blasts, etc.  By offloading the spikes from our origin servers, we get better efficiency out of those machines — I.e. they are handling consistent loads throughout the year.  We push the spikes onto S3 and EC2.  Amazon’s clients have a wide variety of needs, which help to even out their loads.  I might be driving high load today at EC2, but tomorrow my traffic might be sleepy during someone else’s peak.

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Unsubscribing from Direct Mail Sent by Chase Bank

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 25, 2008
Green / 1 Comment

I’ve been working hard on cutting down my direct mail (spam) by calling, emailing, and submitting privacy forms to opt-out of direct mail marketing.  Some folks have been tougher than others.

Yesterday, Chase Bank sent two identical letters to my wife advertising the same credit card offer.  I spent at least ten minutes surfing around their web site reading terms and conditions, privacy policies, and contact addresses trying to find anything about how to unsubscribe from Chase’s direct mail.  Almost all of these options expected that you were already an account holder and had a username and password — including the option to send an “email correspondence” through their site.

Finally I found an option to send an email to customer service.  When they responded, they sent a URL for a mailing opt-out site, which I could not locate on Chase’s own web site.  If it’s there, they did a really good job of hiding it from anyone who’d be interested in finding it.

Nice job, Chase.

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Interesting Ad for MacBook Air

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 14, 2008
Apple, Gadgets, Mobile / Comments Off on Interesting Ad for MacBook Air

This YouTube video for the Salesforce and Google Apps Integration uses the MacBook Air as the hardware platform that demonstrates the new applications.  The cool thing is that this is where we could be in a few years as more and more data resides online, and not on your hard drive — lightweight, mobile, thin-clients.

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Which Presidential Candidate Uses Twitter More?

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 08, 2008
WWW / Comments Off on Which Presidential Candidate Uses Twitter More?

Everyone’s talking about TweetStats.

Rather than talk about how cool TweetStats is, I thought I’d show off some stats for two people I didn’t realize were Twitter users until today. OK, I don’t really believe that either of these two are actually writing these, er… “tweets“.


Barack Obama is totally kicking Hillary Clinton‘s ass on Twitter.

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PHP Tag Tokenizer

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 06, 2008
PHP / Comments Off on PHP Tag Tokenizer

I found a great tag tokenizer written in PHP.  I ran a few quick tests to find out that it does exactly what I was looking for, a space-separated tag parser that recognizes multi-word tags when wrapped in quotes (Flickr-style).  Very nice.

Worth sharing: PHP Space-Separated Tag Parser.

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