All posts by brian

Yahoo! Sports Broken on Nexus 7

Yahoo! Sports was recently updated with an all-new design, following along with updates to other major sections of the site. There has been a lot of vocal feedback – common whenever a popular site has any design changes – but I’m warming up to it.

I only have one complaint: the site doesn’t work correctly on Nexus 7 tablets. Here’s a sample screenshot:

Yahoo! Sports Screenshot from Nexus 7

Yahoo! Sports layout is broken from Android Nexus 7 tablets (click for larger image)

I did some further testing on other Android tablets and phones and found it’s something unique about the Chrome browser on Nexus 7 that causes this problem. All other combinations worked correctly. Yahoo checks the browser user-agent to serve different styles, so there must be something broken for this particular device/browser combination.

Here’s a user-agent string that will cause the problem to appear:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.3; Nexus 7 Build/JWR66Y) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/29.0.1547.72 Safari/537.36

This is easy to reproduce on desktop Chrome browsers as well:

  1. Start Chrome and navigate to sports.yahoo.com
  2. Open Developer Tools
  3. Open settings and change User Agent override to “Chrome – Android Tablet”
  4. Refresh the Yahoo Sports page

I captured a full-length page from Internet Explorer 10 with the Nexus 7 user-agent string as an override: yahoo-sports-it-nexus7.png (5 MB).

Zapier – Smart Update Emails

Zapier is an interesting service I’ve been playing with lately. It’s somewhat similar to IFTTT, but with more of a business focus. In their words:

Zapier enables you to automate tasks between other online services (services like Salesforce, Basecamp, Gmail, and 224 more). Imagine capturing Wufoo form leads automatically into Salesforce or displaying new Paypal sales in your Campfire team chat room. Zapier lets you automate all these simple tasks and get back to real work.

One recent touch that was nice – they send periodic updates with new actions available in their services. The email updates are focused for just the services you have used in the past. Nice and targeted, and probably leading more users to return and try out the new actions.

Zapier Service Email

Smart email from Zapier – updates only on services I’ve used before

Find Largest Files in Dropbox

File hosting services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, and Box all have very generous free storage levels (2 GB and up). Even so, it’s easy to quickly reach the free limit, especially as you start backing up photos, movies, and other large files.

If you’re getting close to your service’s free limit, here’s a solution for quickly finding the largest of your files, so you can clean them out or back up elsewhere. This works best when you’ve set up your service to sync everything to your local Mac or Windows computer. In my case I’m using Dropbox which defaults to this mode.

The solution involves a free (open-source) software application, depending on which platform you’re using:

The steps are pretty straightforward:

  1. Install the utility and start it
  2. Point to your local storage path (in my case, the Dropbox home dir)
  3. Run the analysis
  4. From the results, find the large files and do something with them (back up, move, delete, etc.)

Both utilities show a “treemap” view which helps quickly spot the biggest individual files (e.g., movies), and groups of similar files that collectively take a lot of space (e.g., MP3).

Here are screenshots of the two apps run against my Dropbox path:

WinDirStat Screenshot

WinDirStat results point to the biggest files in my Dropbox account

Disk Inventory X Screenshot

Disk Inventory X results are patterned after WinDirStat

In my case I’m primarily using Dropbox and have used about half of my 5GB account. I use the WinDirStat utility regularly to find large files that are better saved elsewhere, and to keep my Dropbox backups somewhat manageable.

Tweetfave Stats After 30 Days

Graph up and to the rightOne month ago I launched Tweetfave – my new service which improves the usefulness of Twitter favorites. After using Tweetfave myself for so long, it’s been exciting to open it up for others, and to see where it goes.

Here’s a quick look at some numbers since the launch 30 days ago:

  • 400 emails delivered with 65% open rate (thank you SendGrid!)
  • 15 active users
  • 5 inactive users (cancelled)
  • 1,700 tweets favorited (from 1,300 separate sources)

So far my “marketing” has included emailing an earlier interest mailing list (about 30), reaching out to some friends individually, and periodic links this blog and my Twitter/LinkedIn accounts.

Next I’ll be asking for specific feedback from each user and continuing with the next couple of features on my to-do list.

If you use Twitter favorites, give Tweetfave a try and let me know what you think!

Brief History of Tweetfave

Here’s a brief history of Tweetfave – my new free service that automatically emails your Twitter favorites to your inbox.

This project started as one of those “wouldn’t it be useful if…” projects, as an addition to Twitter. I was already using the Twitter favorite feature to bookmark tweets and links to read later, and wanted a way to automatically receive those (short of going to my profile page and viewing my own favorites). Combine that with an interest in learning the Twitter API, and the project was underway.

As I started writing this, I was a bit surprised as to just how long I’ve been working on this. Here’s the history timeline I came up with:

  • First working code: April 2011
  • Tweetfave.com domain registered: May 2011
  • Start keeping source code in git: October 2011
  • Landing page, collect email addresses: October 2011
  • Feature survey on Amazon Turk: November 2011
  • Real front-end live, “coming soon”: October 2012
  • First person other than me using it: April 2013
  • Go-live, open for anyone to sign up: May 2013

Yes, you read that correctly: I have been working on Tweetfave for two years!

That seems like a long time. I worked on it in chunks of time, and kept using it myself. I favorited over 5000 tweets in that 2-year period, an average of 50/week! In the back of my mind I kept thinking I should finish this and see if anyone else found it useful. A couple months ago I decided to quit procrastinating and finish this to the point where others could give it a try. In April I finally reached that point and asked a few friends to sign up. After a couple more bugs fixed and a week running without errors, I finally opened it up for everyone.

Now I’ve got a few people actively using it and everything seems to be running smoothly. In a few weeks I’ll post some usage numbers and let’s see how much interest I can generate.

If you haven’t tried Tweetfave yet, give it a shot and let me know what you think.