Blogs

Embedding Picasa Web Albums with JavaScript

Over the weekend I moved the majority of the photographs from my photo albums stored with my hosting provider to Picasa Web Albums.  My original plan was to use Picasa's "paste HTML to embed in website" feature to link to the albums from my site, but a quick search of the internet turned up some simple JavaScript code demonstrating the ease with which Picasa Web Albums could be fully integrated with an external website.

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Qt Notes: Managing QStackedWidget with Qt Designer

While working on my iTunes remote control software, which uses the Qt cross-platform application and UI framework, I found the need to change the contents of a UI form based on system state.  QStackedWidget seemed like the perfect tool for the job, but there was one slight problem; it couldn't be fully managed with Qt Designer.

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The Making of an Easy Program Launcher Button

After watching Matt Richardson's AWESOME Button project video, where he embeds a microcontroller within a Staples Easy Button to create a special purpose keyboard, I was inspired to make a similar item to present as a gift to a user of the software that I develop professionally.  This user had requested that we create an "Easy Mode" for our software to group all of the features commonly used by his organization into a simple and easy to use graphical user interface component.  Since the "Easy Mode" concept was inspired by the Easy Button campaign from Staples, I thought an Easy Button would be perfect for launching the software in the "Easy Mode."  

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Qt Notes: Working with QSslSocket

The Qt cross-platform application and UI framework provides a great deal of functionality to explore.  After working with it off and on for the past two years I am still finding new and useful features to include in my projects.  Recently I have had the opportunity to work with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) support, and have put together some notes to group some key documentation points together and to clarify a few points from the documentation that I found to be unclear.  

Programming: 

Fixing a Flip UltraHD that won't charge its battery

About a year ago I received a Flip UltraHD 2nd Generation camcorder (the one with the rechargeable battery) as a gift.  I made little use of it at first, and it wasn't until I took it with me on a trip to New Zealand at the end of the summer that the battery fully discharged for the first time.  I connected the camcorder to my laptop to allow it to recharge, but the display showed the "Connected" screen instead of the "Charging" screen and the red charge indicator light never came on.  My Flip wasn't charging its battery.

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CrisisCamp DC: A Retrospective

Responding to the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010, the CrisisCommons group organized CrisisCamps at locations across the globe.  Among these locations was Washington, DC, the area where I currently reside.

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You've got mail-ware!

Early Wednesday morning I received three nearly identical e-mails.  Each had the appearance of SPAM, but not your typical SPAM.  In place of the usual advertisement composed of bad spelling and poor grammar was a well written message crafted to look like an invoice and accompanied by an HTML attachment.  Inspecting the contents of the attachments revealed that each contained identical JavaScript code, which was clearly malicious.  The JavaScript had an appearance similar to that of obfuscated shellcode, with a string of hex values being unescaped and written to the HTML document:

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Bundling GPS Tracks and Geographically Located Photos in KML

Recently I described my effort to add GPS data recorded during a road trip and a canoe trip to Google Maps.  I had written some JavaScript to import my data into a map, with a few options for customization, but felt that there was more that could be done with the data from the canoe trip.  I had a number of photographs from the trip and a desire to map them, along with the GPS data, at the positions at which they were taken.  Although the photographs did not contain any meta-data providing the GPS coordinates for the location at which they were taken, they did contain meta-data indicating the time at which they were taken.  Since I had a GPX file full of time associated geographic positions, I decided to fuse the two together.  

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Putting GPS Tracks into Google Maps

After watching a recent episode of Hak5, which showcased Google Maps GPS Mashups, I was inspired to finally do something with some of my own GPS data.  I had GPS data from a canoe trip taken last year and a road trip from a few years ago stored on my handheld GPS with which I had always planned to do something, but just hadn’t had the motivation until now.  While a little simpler than the project described on the show, my initial goal was to draw the GPS track data in Google Maps annotated with waypoints drawn as map markers.  The markers would be used to mark specific locations with descriptive text and images. 

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