July 22, 2014 0

Guns of Brixton

By in !me

Can it be more reggae than the original? Yes man.

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July 21, 2014 0

[loveMachine] reached level 2

By in /me

Object can not be liked

More than a month already has passed since I’ve planned to write this post. I thought about naming it “[loveMachine] frustration level 2″ or “[loveMachine] turns into a hate machine” as suggested by some users. But its a totally different post that I’m glad to write today.

Since the beginning of June, Facebook has been acting strangely in response to my automated liking script. For a couple of weeks, I was so often blocked from liking, that I was not even able to find a pattern or a maximum number of likes that could be interpreted as “good behavior” by Facebook. Sometimes, 50 likes would get me banned. Sometimes, 200. It didn’t seem to have any logic. And the ban would last from 12 to 36 hours. Making the process of adjustment even more difficult.

But then, as if nothing happened, everything went back to normal. Or so I thought. The [loveMachine] was clicking likes. They seemed to be validated, and fb_friends were receiving notifications for it. But there were no traces of these likes, none under the posts nor in my Facebook “activity log” page. Only likes under comments were being validated normally. After a little digging, and with the help of some other users, we found out that Facebook detects that it’s a script doing the likes and instead of blocking the script, it would just invalidate the likes 30 seconds or so after they were being done. This generated a lot of frustration among users because friends were notified of their post being liked, but not seeing any likes under it. It also puzzled me because I didn’t know how to find a workaround or how Facebook was even detecting that I was using a script. It also turned the loveMachine into a loveCommentsOnly machine.

Andrew wrote:

The love machine has kind of turned into a hate machine. It likes things then unlikes them now for me giving people notifications with no visible likes.

Mohd wrote:

Don’t like my comments.:-@
*if u have to like, then like my pics only.

I was prepared to rework the whole script or turn into a “comments only liker” when something magic happened. And this is the true “level 2″ of this project. I received contributions from other users. Yes. In the jargon, I got my first pull request. For the non techies, it means that other users of my script were sending me code improvements. The first one came from Anna Li. She worked on a bash script for Windows to ease the installation of the [loveMachine] and its necessary dependences. Then Andrew Nakas proposed some fixes for the “liking problem”. He found out that by using the mobile version of Facebook, the likes seemed to be activated normally by the script and Facebook doesn’t remove those likes afterwards. A consequence of this is that comments are not liked anymore, since they are not displayed by default on the mobile version of the site. But I guess that’s not too important for now. So thanks to Andrew’s input, the [loveMachine] is back on track for me and him and all the ones that have enjoyed the script so far.

Let’s see how long this new version will behave “against” the giant Turing test machine called Facebook.

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July 8, 2014 0

Tomáš Moravec hacking urban transportation

By in !me

Anybody up to do this in Brussels? No tram can use the rue Gallait in Schaerbeek this week, so it could be the perfect spot to try it out. ;)

Thanks Luc L. for the link.

(video)

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June 24, 2014 0

Ain’t no sunshine in Panama

By in !me

Well, it’s rainy season here these days and at this hour, it’s still tuesday, but whatever the time of the year, that’s pretty much the tempo things get done in Panama.

(video)

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June 12, 2014 0

Atelier banc uHbench pour les 5 ans de Mundo-b

By in /me

Mundo-B-5th-anniversary

J’ai le plaisir, en ce jour, de proposer un atelier de fabrication de bancs public open source pour les 5 ans de l’espace Mundo-B. L’atelier est réservé aux membres, mais d’autres activités sont accessibles au public, comme la vision de cet excellent documentaire “Copa para quem” et autres festivités.

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June 10, 2014 0

Ederlezi

By in !me

Ederlezi − a traditional balkan folk song − by the much loved Beirut.

(video)

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June 3, 2014 0

Lisa Hannigan is upside down

By in !me

Ça vaut peut-être pas Diana Ross, mais bien quand même. Et puis il y avait des couchers de soleil sur la vidéo. Et Caro, on est mardi, c’est dangereux les couchers de soleil.

(video)

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May 29, 2014 0

Liking comments is just spitting in the wind

By in /me

meh

I’ve been struggling with the [loveMachine] during the past weeks. First, the main disk on my home server, from where the script is running, crashed beautifully. Second, Facebook has somewhat changed the rules lately about how much likes I can do in a certain period of time (will write more on that later).

During one of those “banned from liking” periods that I get once in a while, I accidentally realized that Facebook was banning “likes” on posts, but not on comments. WTF?! Yep. Can’t like posts, but can still like comments. How’s that? No idea, but there is obviously a difference for Facebook. And my guess is because “Likes on comments” mean jack shit. At best, they serve the purpose of filtering the most appreciated ones on posts that have hundreds or thousands of them. But beyond that, they are just worthless. And something worthless doesn’t need to be limited.

The official post announcing the feature (on June 16th, 2010) is so boringly written, it does nothing to contradict my point.

All in all, this led me to change the loveMachine.js script so it could make the difference between a like under a post and a like under a comment. Thus, even under a temporary ban, it can still spread its love but only to the commenters.

“Meh” illustration by Ken Murphy and released under CC-by-nc-sa

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May 27, 2014 0

Sweet dreams

By in !me

Terez Montcalm sweet dreams. Original by Eurythmic.

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May 25, 2014 0

De l’importance du sigle d’un parti politique

By in !me

Que vous soyez en vote papier ou électronique, il est important de retrouver facilement la liste pour laquelle vous désirez voter. Une image valant mieux qu’un long discours, voici une photo d’écran (oui, le bouton “Prnt Scrn” ne marchait pas ;) ) prise, en ce jour, dans un isoloir bruxellois.

#be2505

Je ne sais si cela fait le même effet pour le vote papier, mais sur écran, les partis ayant un sigle se détachent mieux que ceux qui n’en ont pas. Parmi ceux qui ont un sigle, affiché sur cet écran fort lumineux, j’ai trouvé que ceux dont le sigle était dessiné en noir sur fond blanc (Vlaams Belang, FDF, PS, CD&V, ISLAM,…) se reconnaissaient mieux que l’inverse (MR, Ecolo, Ptb, MG,…).

J’ai été étonné de voir que le CDH n’avait pas utilisé son logo pour sigle, ce qui est assez confondant, alors que “tous” les autres “grands” partis l’ont fait, ou s’en sont approchés. En plus, ce sigle CDH est écrit en grandes lettres blanches sur fond noir. C’est, pour moi, moins lisible et ça fait fort penser à un logo que je n’ai pas reconnu. Cette stratégie aura certainement faire perdre quelques voix.

Étonnant aussi de voir que la N-VA n’aie pas choisis son logo bien reconnaissable comme sigle. C’est moins flagrant que pour le CDH, parce que cela ressemble plus à une notation sans sigle faite en typographie grasse. Mais cette logique de ne pas utiliser le logo qui sert à toute communication me rend perplexe.

Le sigle PS n’est pas le logo non plus, mais la différence est plus subtile. Le P, entre autre, devrait être moins gras.

Pour la sp.a, ce n’est également pas le logo, même si on n’en est pas loin (tout en minuscule et le point entre “sp” et “a” est conservé). Mais la typographie originale est différente et italique. (Mise-à-jour: j’avais consulté un ancien logo)

J’ai bien conscience que les contraintes de taille et de “couleur” font qu’il est parfois difficile de rendre au mieux le logo du parti. Mais s’en approcher le plus possible me semble la meilleure stratégie. Parce que sinon, à quoi bon dépenser des fortunes en communication, si au final, dans l’isoloir, votre liste n’est pas identifiable ?

Pour les autres, sans sigle, le choix de l’écriture en capitales est sans doute la meilleure option. Des signes de ponctuation (comme le ! pour Debout Les Belges)  peuvent aider à le repérer plus rapidement.

Ces considérations graphiques, même si elles vous paraissent secondaires, sont à mon avis importantes pour capter le vote des électeurs indécis. Les vrais militants n’hésiteraient pas à sortir de l’isoloir en criant au scandale s’ils ne trouvaient pas leur liste préférée. Mais les autres? S’ils ne trouvent pas rapidement leur premier choix seraient certainement tenté de cocher le deuxième ou celui le plus attirant visuellement.

Et ce sont bien ces indécis qui font chaque fois toute la différence.

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