Export Safari Reading List Items

This is something I should have done a while ago, but recently I started using my reading list for managing more items than in the past. After finally searching I found they’re stored within Safari’s bookmarks data (~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist).

Using the plist library the reading list item urls can be extracted using python.

#!/usr/bin/env python
import os
import plistlib

# load bookmarks plist into dict
relpath = 'Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist'
fullpath = os.path.join(os.environ['HOME'], relpath)
plist = plistlib.readPlist(fullpath)

# get the reading list node
for child in plist['Children']:
  if child.get('Title', None) == 'com.apple.ReadingList':
    bookmarks = child['Children']

# extract urls from each
urls = (bookmark['URLString'] for bookmark in bookmarks)

Then the urls can, for example, be opened in a different browser.

open /Applications/Google\ Chrome.app $(~/bin/readinglist-urls.py)

Why bother, use Pocket or Instapaper?

It’s a more universal “save url for later” because often the iPhone will open a share sheet with only a few options that includes saving to the reading list.

Pocket for me is for longer posts or articles that I save for times where I can lounge in a comfy chair or when travelling. My workflow with Safari’s reading list is odd, but its a temporary bookmark list that I can saveĀ links from any webview in any app I use on my iPhone and then I can take action when I’m back on my MacBook.

It’s not a Phone! It’s not a Computer! It’s an iPad!

This has been discussed to death, but I have decided to weigh in a few thoughts. If you love to customize your PC, run Linux, or would give up your netbook only from your cold dead hands, then this post is not for you. If, on the other hand, you think that the iPad is actually a bit more than just a large coaster, feel free to continue reading.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the iPad hasn’t been released, has only had a limited hands-on time for a handful of people, there will be a version 2, and most of my thoughts could be somewhat translated to another appliance-like tablet device.

That Really Is The Name. No Joke.

There have already been hundreds of jokes and parodies about the name, some recent, a few in the past. Will we continue to mock it 6 months from now? Probably not, as either it will have failed as a product, or the name will fade into the background as almost every name does (think Microsoft, Bing, even Google for that matter). Sure this name may sound the most ridiculous right now, and there is merit to women being upset that it wasn’t thought out even a little. But over time it will just be the name and in six months it won’t matter anymore.

Hyper-Hyped Up Beyond Imagination

Is it even possible that Apple’s reveal could have lived up to most of the hype showering the internet? I don’t think so. It may have been short of many reasonable expectations, but the hype was definitely an impossible goal to be reached (especially since Jobs did claim the device to be magical). I think I can safely say that the version they showed off at the event was not magical, and really was just a larger iPhone. That said, I think Apple delivered a product very similar to the first iPod, something that initially is a letdown, but with lots of potential.

Continue reading

Zune Dies and Resurrects Itself

So on Dec 31, I got to work, hooked up my Zune and was ready to listen to some fine podcast/music, when I noticed the loading screen was not going away. After searching all over the place I realized many other Zune 30 owners were having similar problems. After awhile, I found out that Zuneaggedon was upon the entire population of Zune 30 owners (all 5 of us, right?!) and our Zunes were bricked, or seemingly so. Finally I receive update that the Zune will arise from the dead, without doing anything, after seemingly hanging itself over a measly leap second. Well I’m glad to say Microsoft responded well, but didn’t show a great standard of software development (especially after events like Y2K). I now have mixed feeling about the Zune, though I think I shall get the Zune Pass Buy 10 deal for a while and then decide whether to stick with what I previously viewed the superior music/audio listening platform.

The Zune team was very quick to respond, and gave some relief that they were at least looking into the problem, and official came out with the solution of waiting for Jan 1, 2009 to roll around (Patience is a virtue I guess).

Zune Team’s official update
Some great commentary about this fine New Years Event can be read on a TechFlash article

Daaa-da-da-daaaaa … I Give You the Memristor!

HP announced in April 2008 that they had developed a switching memristor. This is supposedly an electronic device that falls under the fourth, previously unknown and now debated, fundamental circuit element. In 1971 a link between charge and flux was missing from the four fundamental electromagnetic quantities (charge, voltage, current, and magnetic flux), and the element that linked them was named “memristor”, but was not developed.

It is an interesting technology due to the fact that it could create non-volitile memory that is both cheap and many can fit in a tiny space. Part of the discovery is due to the new capabilities with regard to nano-technology. The uses are not fully known, but it might never see the light of day due to the domination of the transistor and other non-volatile memory that already exists.

Basically a memristor is fundamental a charge-dependent resistance element. This means that the magnetic flux over the element is a function of the amount of charge that has passed through it, simply changes resistance as it is “(dis)charged”. However, don’t take my word for it, as I understand the subject, but have done no research. Instead take a look at some other reports: