Archive for November, 2006

Digg has yet to release an official API for working with their data. They have hinted at one for a long time and some folks have worked out a few details. Even better are the web services that Digg seems to be exposing. A few rudimentary and completely unsupported and unofficial documentary efforts have occurred.

There is one piece missing from all of these efforts thus far. It is frustrating me to no end. As far as I can tell, it is difficult, at best, to determine whether a given link has been submitted to Digg already. So, if you are programming some system and want to provide links to submit items or Digg items, you are incapable of determining which tool to provide the user.

Digg’s official policy at this point is to push all the users to the same place and let the submit form on their site sort things out. That’s what their Tools site has to say about it. For most developers, I imagine this is less than desirable. It is much better to be able to show the Digg button for those items already in the Digg system and let your users update that Digg without leaving your site.

The Holy Grail of the Digg API at this early stage then is letting developers dynamically determine the state of any given URL in the Digg system and present their users with a way to easily add a Digg to that URL or to submit that URL to the Digg system with a minimum of fuss.

One WordPress plugin developer seems to have done just that. I do not run a WordPress install and cannot test his work. I have spent the better part of the day trying to adapt it to work outside of WordPress with little luck. His curl and scrape method seems fragile and is certainly prone to slowness.

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas about how this can be implemented in PHP? I have some code, but it’s based on the plugin above and I am not comfortable with the HTML scrape.

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Our Democracy is At Risk

I just watched one of the most powerful documentaries I have ever seen. HBO’s Hacking Democracy details Bev Harris’s attempts to expose the problems with electronic voting machines. It shows how the machines, the software, the procedures, and the business involved with the entire electronic voting process are a gaping hole in our democracy.

Votes are not only not being counted, but are being stolen and discarded. So, not only might the vote you place be ignored, but it may very well be switched and used against you.

This documentary is extremely timely and is not partisan to one party or the other. I HIGHLY recommend you seek it out wherever you can. The future of our country is at stake in a way unlike it has ever been before.

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