Twitter tracking

Twitter added a really cool feature – tracking:

You can follow friends on your phone through Twitter, but what about concepts? What if you wanted an update anytime anyone mentioned your name, your favorite band, “NYC,” “earthquake,” or “Steve Jobs?” In real-time? What if you were attending an event and wanted to know who else was there?

You can send “track something” from your mobile or IM and get instant notifications when somebody metions “something” on Twitter.  Works like a charm.  I’ve already subscribed to “mamchenkov”, “cyprus”, and “wordpress”, and not only I got some notifications, but I also found some relative content.

With this feature it is easy to get news and answers to questions even for those people who don’t have many friends.  You just type your WordPress question in, I’ll get it in a second.  Then I can reply to you with “@your_nickname”.

The only thing to be careful about is generic terms and brand names.  You’ll get notifications in all languages, not just the ones you can understand (I got this tested with WordPress, which is a rather popular piece of open source software  used all over the world)…  Still, love this new feature.

Google AdSense via Wester Union

Yet another cool thing from Google – Google AdSense payments can now be received via Western Union.  For the time being they offer it only in a few countries, mostly those with weak banking system (?) – Argentina, Chile, China (Mainland), Colombia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, and Romania.

Benefits are obvious:

  • Faster transfers.  Money will be available next day after the payment was issued.
  • Easier processing. Cash, no checks.
  • More money. Western Union transfers are promised to be free. Check processing costs something.
  • More privacy (not that I care). Again cash, not a debit-only check.

I don’t get all that much money from Google AdSense, but I sure can appreciate the method.  Hopefully Google will expand it to Cyprus and the rest of Europe in the near future.

Pain and hunger

My last year’s diet was a huge surprise for my own body.  I caught it unexpected.  It never thought I could do something like this to it.  But I did.  It lost the battle then.   Though it learned the lessons…

Getting back to gym is a challenge this time.  I am getting exhausted way before I start any exercises at all.  And it’s not just lazyness. It’s physical.  My heart is jumping out, my breathing is all broken, my pressure is doing trigonometry… and stuff like that.  And any muscle activity causes pains.  Immediate and then some more of those that stick for a few days.

Additionally to that, I get hunger.  And I mean Hunger.  I’m hungry every moment of day and night.  I can finish my breakfast, and go straight for lunch and dinner.  I can have three lunches.  I can do them 10 minutes apart.  And I can make them XXL-sized.

These reactions are of course part of my body’s defense mechanism.  They want me to stop all this physical training stuff, and just eat more food, so that reserves could be made.  Winter lies ahead.  And there should be a way to get back those 20 kilos too…

Doing less this time takes more effort on my side.  But there is no way back.  I’m not going to surrender.  Because if I do it once, there will be an endless supply of reasons to do it again.

Sketchcast – useful toolbox addition

With all the tools and services blooming recently, it’s still hard to find something useful. Sure there are a million ways of sharing pictures and bookmarks, but we’ve had it for years now. Today, finally, I stumbled upon something which looks to be very useful. And I was glad to see that it is extremely easy to use too –

Sketchcast allows one to create simple sketches – drawings with text and voice over. The tool like this has a huge variety of applications – from driving instructions and computer tutorials to flowcharting and comics. Often I do feel a need to sketch something and then share it either with general public or with certain individuals. Now I have an easy tool to do that.

Sketchcast also has a few additional features which just make it even more useful – RSS feeds, channels, and easy publishing. For the first time in a long time I have a feeling of “easy and simple” coupled with “everything I need, at least for now”. Good job done there.

Here is my channel (the link was added to the right too). You can also subscribe to my sketchcast RSS feed.

Classical music voting battle for Valery Gergiev

It’s nice to see that pop music is not the only one getting top charts, awards, and noisy promotions:

The world’s biggest classical music radio station and the world’s most influential classical music magazine have joined forces to make an already great classical music award even better 

Particularly, I’m glad to see that people can vote via a web site.

Some of my friends are voting for the conductor Valery Gergiev. If you are not familiar with his work, you can listen to some of it here.