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Showing posts from February, 2010

Facebook chat just got chattier

News today is that Facebook have altered their IM service to use XMPP, the Jabber standard, as used by Google Chat, Jabber (obviously) and many, many others. Some of us nerds even run our own private Jabber servers. And some of us even nerdier nerds use irssi and bitlbee to access IM. Now it's possible to use those great programs to chat to your Facebook friends as well as your IRC and IM contacts.

One problem, though, is Bitlbee's annoying trait of displaying usernames, not real names. When your contacts all have names like u364638 it can be hard to see who you're talking to. Thankfully the whois data provides a real name, but it can be a pain doing that for everyone who logs in.

Fortunately, there is a script available to fix it. Download the bitlbee_rename.pl script (author unknown), stick it in .irssi/scripts and load it. This will detect when a new contact joins, run a whois on them and rename them to their real name. You have to keep it loaded, because it only works …

iTouch ... mice?

Today I have mostly been playing with TouchMouse, a free iPhone app from Logitech that allows you to control your computer from your iPhone. Strange idea, but interesting, I thought.

In order to control any particular machine, you need to download the TouchMouse server for your operating system (currently Windows or Mac) and, of course, install the TouchMouse client on your iPhone. Starting up the client presents a list of detected servers on your particular wireless network and lets you select one, or enter an IP manually. I've not had to try the IP method yet because it has detected my Windows and Mac laptops perfectly every time.


In use, the app resembles a cross between a 2D mouse and a 3 button trackpad. The bulk of the iPhone screen is used much as a Macbook trackpad, including 2-finger scrolling (horizontal and vertical) and 2-finger right clicks. Alternatively, you can use the mouse buttons situated at the top of the screen.


For entering text, press the keyboard button at the…