Blog Posts by Julie Choi

  • Mint.com: Personal Finance Management on My Yahoo!

    Editor's note: This is a guest post from Lee Sherman, editor of the Mint.com blog. As part of the launch of new open applications for users of My Yahoo! and Yahoo! Mail, we asked all of the app developers to introduce themselves and talk about building their apps on Yahoo!'s open platforms.

    yap_mintlogo.jpgOne million users already have found Mint.com to be a better way for money management and now they can get Mint right on their personalized My Yahoo! page with Mint?s new Yahoo! app.

    After getting the call from Yahoo!, the Mint team was able to develop the app in just six weeks, taking full advantage of the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP) in order to bring the most important functionality of the Mint.com service to Yahoo! users.

    Since the My Yahoo! homepage is the place where users go to catch up on the most important things in their lives, the Mint team was careful not to overwhelm them with all of the detailed information they can get on Mint.com. Instead, the Mint.com app provides an overview

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  • Picnik: Edit Photos on Yahoo! Mail

    Editor's note: This is a guest post from Picnik, an online photo editing company. As part of the launch of new open applications for users of My Yahoo! and Yahoo! Mail, we asked all of the app developers to introduce themselves and talk about building their apps on Yahoo!'s open platforms.

    Picnik_Yahoo_Icon.pngPicnik is an online photo editor that helps users deal with the challenge of time-consuming downloads and software installs. Because Picnik lives in the browser, users get fast, easy access to a powerful set of tools for editing, sharing, and printing images using any Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Mozilla, etc.) on any computer platform (PC, Mac, Linux).

    Picnik has powerful photo editing tools, including basic one-click fixes and powerful, advanced tools, plus effects, touch-ups and vanity features, collages and professional-quality fonts, designer stickers, and shapes. Starting today, these feature are available to Yahoo! Mail users by clicking on the Picnik app.

    Picnik%20Yahoo%21%20Mail%20app.JPG

    Picnik

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  • Big Lights, Big Omaha

    As someone who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska (and talks about it to anyone I meet), I was excited to hear about the Big Omaha conference when it was announced at the end of last year. Omaha (as unfortunately not enough folks know) is a creative center in the Midwest in business, the arts, and music (among others). And that lack of knowledge about (and organization around) Omaha's creative output was the impetus behind this great event this past weekend.

    To this point, Omaha is home to many businesses/events well known outside of the Midwest corridor, including:

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  • Yahoo! OpenID: Cinco de Mayo Outage

    For anyone using OpenID, we wanted to let you know that on the morning of May 5th, the Yahoo! OpenID service experienced a partial outage that affected users and some of our OpenID Relying Parties. We learned about the outage through our YOpenID Twitter channel. Folks affected by the outage were unable to make HTTPS connections to the OpenID service, preventing users from signing in with their Yahoo! OpenID. We were able to restore service by 11am PDT.

    In the spirit of openness and transparency, we wanted to let you know about the problem and thank those those who tweeted about it. The Yahoo! OpenID team takes uptime and site reliability very seriously, and we're adding additional monitoring to ensure that this type of outage does not happen again.

    Thanks for using OpenID!

    Allen Tom
    Architect, Yahoo! Membership

  • JSConf: Best JavaScript Conference Evar

    One week ago: JSConf 2009 was a 2-day slice of heaven for JavaScript developers. Offering a great mix of technology, networking, and fun, JSConf was was so popular among its 130 attendees, that by its second day, it became a "trending topic" on Twitter. So, what made JSConf so special?

    Outstanding Organization: Meet Chris Williams: an avid JavaScript developer who saw a need and had a vision for a conference all about JavaScript. Meet Laura Williams: talented architect, gifted planner, and loving spouse. Together, this dynamic duo worked tirelessly and took personal risks to create JSConf 2009 - the best JavaScript conference I've ever attended.

    JSConf 2009 Chris Williams at center

    YDN was a proud sponsor for the B-Track as well as the Significant Other Track. The B-Track featured great speakers, and the S/O Track took conference spouses and kids on a tour of DC which included the White House, Union Station, Smithsonian Postal Museum, monuments by Duck Boat, and Oldtown Alexandria.

    JSConf 2009 S/O Track

    Awesome Content: the speakers at

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  • YSlow Release

    One of the most frequent complaints I hear about YSlow grades is, "Some of these performance rules do not apply for my website." Most web developers want to evaluate site performance according to their own specific design and content criteria. For example: Not all sites use content delivery networks (CDNs). With the latest release of YSlow, it becomes really easy for web developers to configure their own rule sets and get relevant grades for their pages. We've also incorporated nine new rules, in addition to the previous thirteen. The ability to create your own rule set for performance testing is a next step towards opening up YSlow for developers to create and share their own rules.

    Improving page performance sometimes involves reducing page weight. Images are one of the biggest contributors to page weight for most sites. Our performance rules talk about optimizing images to improve performance. Most often, in-depth knowledge of tools like Photoshop and other design tools is

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  • To Do: Climb the Summit of Productivity; Be a Better Person

    ?Too much stuff to do; not enough time.? It may as well be my motto some weeks ? in fact I?ve been meaning to print bumper stickers, but haven?t gotten around to it yet.

    Well, apparently this state of affairs is not an isolated one. More ways and means of getting stuff done than I?ve ever seen before in one place (and believe me, I?m a nut about these things) were on display earlier this month at a conference called GTD Summit -- the first worldwide meetup for devotees of a system called Getting Things Done. I had the pleasure of attending as part of small Yahoo! delegation invited by the conference?s organizers, the David Allen Company.

    Productivity tools remind me of gambling strategies ? everyone thinks they have the perfect system, until they go broke. But one approach seems to generate consistent wins for many: eight years ago, in a book of the same name, David Allen published the Getting Things Done methodology. The book has sold more that a million copies around the world,

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  • Impressions from ETech: Design Patterns for a Post-Consumerism Culture

    Attending Etech last week for the first time, I was impressed and inspired by the talks and the attendees. I loved the energy and exchange of ideas. One presentation in particular grabbed my attention: Thor Muller and Lane Becker?s ?The End of Obsolescence: Engineering in the Post-consumer Economy.?

    Muller and Becker (from crowd-sourced customer support service GetSatisfaction.com) explained why they believe we're moving towards a post-consumerism economy and discussed some of the trends and opportunities that are now arising from this culture shift.

    Our consumption-driven economy is taking a beating; people are becoming unable or afraid to continue buying as they have in the past. Much of the run-up in the economy in recent years drew on credit and home equity in order to purchase goods at unprecedentedly high levels. Now, with home values dropping, credit difficult to come by, and unemployment at an all-time high, many people are fundamentally changing their spending habits. In

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  • BarCamp 3 Singapore Revisited

    The most recent Barcamp to arrive on Singaporean shores was held at Ngee Ann Polytechnic on 28 February. It attracted a crowd of enthusiastic participants who flitted between various presentations held along 3 tracks in a collection of meeting rooms. This Barcamp also introduced a new format -- the fluid calendar -- in which topics submitted after a registration deadline are put up for audience voting, with the timeslots decided on the fly. This made for an engaging audience-driven experience in the true spirit of Barcamps. Presentation topics were varied as usual, with a range from tech and entrepreneurial topics to one on street singing. A well known blogger also scored a first by presenting via video stream in real time, from across the globe in the United States.

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    It was my pleasure to give a short presentation and demonstration on the SearchMonkey platform, which was recently launched on search pages across countries in the Southeast Asia region. SearchMonkey drew queries and

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  • BarCamp Bangalore: A Recap

    Barcamp is more about meeting up with other tech geeks and nerds than about attending specific sessions and presentations. It's a great venue to meet like-minded people who are passionate about technology.

    Yahoo! Developer Network sponsored the venue for Barcamp Bangalore 2009, which took place on a weekend, March 7 and 8, 2009. The crowed that gathered was a good mix of puzzled first-timers and ranting Barcamp veterans. Yahoo!'s Bangalore office cafeteria was big enough to host 5 parallel sessions, but the cozy indoor setting proved quite noisy.

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    Photo Credit: "Huddle" by Alagu M

    By 8 a.m. the first morning, the mood was electric. Day one offered a good mix of sessions, ranging from tech-heavy to non-technical discussions. Web frameworks, Django, Open Street Maps, the future of web standards, yoga and digital filmmaking were among the topics covered.

    The guys who spoke about the OpenStreetMap Project focused on the need for a mapping platform parallel to Wikipedia -- of, by, and for

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