All-Con 2009

All-Con 2009

Cylons and other robots converged on Dallas, Texas this week for the annual All-Con science fiction convention. I joined other members of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group to do demonstrations of our robots. We ran line-following races with the 3pi robots. We hosted a “robot petting zoo” for kids to get hands on with real robots.

We got to hang out with Aaron Douglas, who plays a robot on the Battlestar Galactica remake. We saw lots of robots among the local cosplayers including a really fun Starscream Transformer. There were also some nice static, life-size replicas of hollywood robots created by local builder Jerry Chevalier.

And when we weren’t demonstrating robots we got to have fun with the derby girls of Assassination City and the Lollie Bombs burlesque girls, some of whom turned out to be robot geeks likes us.

Check out the mini-album above or go visit the full-size pics in my All-Con 2009 Flickr album to see all the cool stuff.

Advogato and Syndicated Blogs

Over on Advogato, cdfrey asked whether syndicated blogs were good or bad for the recentlog. He asked whether the authors who allow their blogs to be syndicated into Advogato’s recentlog stream actually stop by to read the recentlog anymore. I’m sure some of them don’t but I’m equally sure some of them do. In any case, I can verify at least one person who syndicates to Advogato reads the recent log – me! :)

ta0kira followed up with some further comments on the topic including the question of whether other sites interleave syndicated posts with content that originates locally. There are a few such as Facebook (see below) but Advogato has always done things that were a little, ummm, experimental in nature. He has a good point that it would be nice to be able to select whether or not to see the syndicated posts. It has also be suggested in the past that an ideal solution is to give each user the ability to create their own personalize recentlog view.

One aspect to consider is that there are several ways of syndicating your blog to Advogato that may go unnoticed. Posts syndicated by RSS or ATOM are explicitly marked as such in the recentlog but syndication by XML-RPC or the older HTTP POST method go unnoted. My blog posts, for example, originate on my personal blog and are then syndicated to Advogato and using the HTTP POST method; and to Facebook by RSS. Facebook’s blog syndication services are horrendously bad incidentally, turning each blog post into a nondescript thing called a “note” with no clear indication of what it is or why it exists.

Another recentlog issue that’s been mentioned several times lately is that some people are piping their twitter feeds into the recentlog via RSS. I agree this can be annoying but rather than block twitter feeds, I’d like to see them rerouted into a user status field, much like Facebook or Myspace. For example, I use twitter and my tweets update my user status field on Facebook. Maybe it’s time to add a user status field to mod_virgule sites like Advogato?