Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Lifetime Phone Package?

A company has a planned offering that will give you VOIP (Voice Over IP) telephone service for the rest of your life for $999.

Think about it - no more phone bills.

Read the article here

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Working around the crossdomain.xml security settings in Flash MX 2004

So, my company asked me to build a small weather pod. Something very simple that would sit on our Intranet. Easy enough I thought, check around for a web service, let Flash MX 2004 Professional consume the little sucka and move on to the next big project.

Not so quick -

First, I had a heck of a time finding a free weather web service. Most - like Accuweather are charging for it. That's just sad. They should at least have a bare-bones feed that just gives the temp for free.

I finally stumbled across this service at the National Weather Service.


This is the XML feed for the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (there are others there, sorted by state, and there are RSS feeds as well!) Grab those here -


The government service is free and currently experimental - but hey - it's accurate and updated every hour... for free. Tell me a free third party extension that you don't "use at your own risk"

So, now I figured - this is sweet. I just need to use the XML Connector and grab the data from this feed and bam - done, right? Nope. It worked fine locally - while testing, but once I published it and tried to view it in a web page, I ran across the new Flash Player security issues.

The new security basically states that you have to have a "crossdomain.xml" file on the server that serves the web service which will control access. Well... seeing as I don't contol the National Weather Service's servers - this wasn't going to work for me.

Then it hit me... hey - how about if I use a ColdFusion page to grab the data and then store it to a file? Yeah, that would work! And it did. Here's a sample of the code I used.

cfset url_address="http://weather.gov/data/current_obs/KARB.xml"
cfhttp throwonerror="yes" resolveurl="yes" method="GET" url="#url_address#"


cfset filen=" getDirectoryFromPath(getCurrentTemplatePath())"
cffile output="#cfhttp.FileContent#" file="#fileN#" action="write"


Then it hit me, well this works and saves the XML from the web service to a file - ready for consumption - but what can I use to trigger this to happen in intervals or every time I view the page?

The answer: Flash Remoting and CFC's.

I created a CFC with the above code and just invoked it from Flash before I loaded the XML doc, this ensured that I was working with the latest and greatest data from the weather service!

By using this process I was able to overcome the cross domain security issue and still deliver the weather to our employees. Don't even ask me how I overcame the fact that we have ColdFusion MX on the development server and 4.5 on the Production! That's a whole other headache.

If you'd like the source for the work I did here - drop me an email.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Skinning Components in Macromedia Flash MX 2004

Here is a great Developer Center article from Chafic Kazoun regarding different methods that you can use to skin your projects in Flash MX 2004. 

Check it out.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A little peice of inspiration for you...

I ran across this article through my searches today and it just hit home, so I wanted to share it with you.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Church Music RIA

While browsing over at Dan Dura's blog I found this cool link to the LDS Church Music site. Be sure to check out the music player, this is one of the best web applications I've ever seen. I'd like to incorporate some of this stuff into xChange as I build it.. and seeing this makes me think that I have a long way to go! I'd really like to know who designed this site, so if you have any idea - drop me a line or comment.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Friday, July 09, 2004

Microsoft does well on the hot seat

An article from Internet News discusses how MS employees held up during barrage of questions in relation to IE's security issues in a recent chat. View the full article here

SysAdmin day - July 30, 2004

"The Sysadmin is a very special species of geek. The type of person that spends his or her day ensuring that *your* day at the office doesn't suck. Often mistreated by the suits and under appreciated by the folks they support, it's about time Sysadmins receive their own special appreciation day.

When is it?

Friday, July 30th!

What do you do?

Appreciate your sysadmin, lavish them with praise, monkeys, gifts, incense - whatever it takes to make them feel like the demi-gods they are. Are you a Sysadmin yourself? Then indulge in the sweet victory of your own day!

No, ThinkGeek didn't create this day, it's a legitimate appreciation day - go Google it! Keep reading to enter to win stuff and also get a free shirt this month at ThinkGeek as we send mad props to the Sysadmins of the world..."

Think Geek is one of the best places
for picking up all your geek needs!

Interesting Article regarding Microsoft's API war

Everyone else has blogged about this article, so I thought I would to....
let me know your opinions.


Friday, July 02, 2004

Brando dies at 80

Have to respect a man who was quoted as saying telling the truth about why he acted - for the money! "Acting is an empty and useless profession" Check out the full article on Yahoo here.
I did thoroughly enjoy his performances in "The Wild One" and "The Godfather".

Wanna start your own HotSpot?

You can do so, with little hardware cost using Public IP's Zone CD! Another great article from Wi-Fi Planet.
Find out how you could be up and running in no time here

WiMAX milestone

Interesting article on Wi-Fi Planet regarding the WiMAX standard which will bring wireless connectivity to a level of throughput that allows for much larger scale uses than 802.11.
Find the article here

Empower your team!

Microsoft has a way for you to really get involved with .NET development. They'll give you a great discount on their software, as long as you promise a deliverable software product within 2 yrs. I have decided to use this to complete the backend of the xChange project. Check the Partner initiative out here

"I'm going Platinum!"... even online...

Now you can score a Gold or Platinum album through digital sales.
Read the story here

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

EBay opens API

Don't know how long this has been around, but I thought it was cool to see.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

New Project - xChange

I will be working on a new project called "xChange" this summer. The project will be completely coded in CFMX and is an online collaboration suite for musicians. It should be very exciting. I am currently looking for a place to host the project and files such as SourceForge, if you have any ideas or can recommend something to me, drop me a line.

Find out what "Brady" is...

Macromedia Flex, which was released earlier this year will have an IDE all of its own! The product which is in BETA 4 right now will be a trimmed down version of Dreamweaver with specific items directed at making server behaviours and data connections easier and less coding. You can take a look at what the talk is all about here

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Got a web-related question? thinkNadon!

This blog will be the center of my life on the web. I'm hoping that it will become a resource that many people use to find out anything that they may have wanted to know about the web, networking or Macromedia products! This site will also allow me to talk about the new technology that I am working with and post code examples.

In the meantime, if you have a web-related question - fire away.