Faraday CEO One of the 30Under30’s

Cross-posted from the Particls blog.

There are only a limited number of start-up founders in the world, even less who sets his or her mind to change the very fabric of the internet. Chris is one of them.

When Chris and I founded Faraday Media, it was of extreme importance that just being another startup was not enough. We had to do something meaningful. Something significant. Not happy with fame or glory, we wanted to grow as people – giving back to a medium which had fed us for long time. To take the internet to a new place, just like Google had done nearly a decade ago. Its been a long road for Faraday, and while it hasn’t always been easy, Chris’ drive and aspiration has bought us to new and extraordinary heights, time after time after time; often at great personal sacrifice. I could never ask for a better CEO, or friend.

It’s no secret that Chris and I are the best of friends and it makes me very happy, to congratulate him on being selected as one of the 30Under30’s for Anthill, the leading entrepreneurial magazine in Australia.

From the website:

At 26, Chris Saad is one of Australia’s most impressive young web entrepreneurs. His theory and practice around web standards – specifically ‘DataPortability’ and ‘Attention Management’ – have gained significant traction and are set to have a profound impact on the evolution of media in the digital age. Saad has co-founded several web-related companies and organisations, most prominently Faraday Media in 2006, of which he is CEO. Faraday Media is developing Particls, a technology that learns user habit and taste and delivers relevant information to them via news crawler, SMS, email, flash visualisations, etc. He also co-founded the Media 2.0 Workgroup with 14 industry ‘commentators, agitators and innovators’. There’s no shortage of ideas or energy in this digitally-minded entrepreneur. One to watch in the years to come.

Make sure you click through to the Article, subscribe to the mag and read the other 29 profiles!

This is recognition to a man whom has dedicated and sacrificed so much for the greater good, a true philanthropist. Well done Chris, you are definitely deserving of this prestigious award and will no doubt be one of many in the years to come.

APML 1.0 Initial Draft

Cross-posted from the Particls blog.

The APML community has been itching for the APML 1.0 Specification for a little while now, and Paul, our resident genius; has spec’d out the initial draft for community discussion.  You can find the intial draft, at http://groups.google.com/group/apml-public/web/apml-1-0-draft-1

From the Public Google Group:

This comes with a very large fore note: This is a very early draft only, and nothing is set in stone. Given that the community is obviously itching to start seeing APML 1.0 progress, I felt that it would be an appropriate time to release this and assist in structuring the discussion. I intend to follow this with a few more emails that detail individual sections I believe need substantial addressing.

APML version 1.0 proposes a number of substantial changes over the previous 0.6 version, with some of the changes including, but not limited to;

  • The Addition of an ‘Entity’ node to describe (People, Businesses and other non-metaphysical interests.
  • The Addition of a ‘Location’ node to outline places of interest.
  • The inclusion of an rdf:about node attribute to allow for richer RDF-type ontologies without reducing the “simple” nature of APML.

APML has come a long way since its inital conception a little over 2 years ago.  And I am very proud to be involved with a community of people all dedicated to creating an open format to give attention back to the people who own it.

The APML Workgroup is committed to ratifying this standard as soon as public commenting is evalutated, and is tasked to provide a smooth transition to the new version; so please feel free to head over to the public Google Group and put in your 2c.

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Hardcover)

Design Patterns is a modern classic in the literature of object-oriented development, offering timeless and elegant solutions to common problems in software design. It describes patterns for managing object creation, composing objects into larger structures, and coordinating control flow between objects. The book provides numerous examples where using composition rather than inheritance can improve the reusability and flexibility of code. Note, though, that it’s not a tutorial but a catalog that you can use to find an object-oriented design pattern that’s appropriate for the needs of your particular application–a selection for virtuoso programmers who appreciate (or require) consistent, well-engineered object-oriented designs.

This book is the bible.  If you’re a developer and dont have this book buy it now!  Ina  startup world, where abstraction, scale and writing re-usable code is paramount.  This book will give you the tools you need to do it.

Fantastic .Net Design Pattern Examples

Design patterns are recurring solutions to software design problems you find again and again in real-world application development. Patterns are about design and interaction of objects, as well as providing a communication platform concerning elegant, reusable solutions to commonly encountered programming challenges.

The Gang of Four (GoF) patterns are generally considered the foundation for all other patterns, and the website contains an awesome set of .Net examples for each of the patterns.

Making the HTC Touch Cruise as Cool as an iPhone

I love my new phone. Its a HTC Touch Cruise and its certainly made me a happy panda. Even happier now that I can make it into a SUPER phone.

My current Windows Mobile based SUPERPhone.  Recently, I installed much of the HTC Touch theme (along with files I modified – of course) and have come up with a great looking phone with minimal memory issues.  This involved dumping some of my favorite programs including phoneAlarm and WisbarAdvance due to the amount of memory they eat up and the current instability of said programs on Windows Mobile Professional 6.

Extending Explorer with Band Objects using .NET and Windows Forms

One of the great things about Firefox, is how easy it is to extend. Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer, not so much.  If you’re a ATL or COM guru then you might not find it so hard, but for those of us from a Managed Code background; its like splitting wood in your eyes.

A while ago I found a great article on CodeProject by Pavel Zolnikov, which walks you through the implementation of an Explorer bar with the help of BandObject base class. Describes implementation details of the BandObject class.

This was excellent, but it really didn’t work using the .Net 2.0 framework – that is until I found this little gem Band Objects – .NET 2.0 Redux.


Recently, I’ve been looking for a graphing library, that…well…didn’t suck. I was even prepared to part with my cold-hard cash to get the library. While discussing this with a friend he pointed me to Flot and I’m reasonably confident that “wow” cam out of my lips. This description came from the Flot, Google Code page:

Flot is a pure Javascript plotting library for jQuery. It produces graphical plots of arbitrary datasets on-the-fly client-side.

The focus is on simple usage (all settings are optional), attractive looks and interactive features like zooming.

Although Flot is easy to use, it is also advanced enough to be suitable for Web 2.0 data mining/business intelligence purposes which is its original application.

The plugin is targeting all newer browsers. If you find a problem, please report it. Drawing is done with the tag introduced by Safari and now available on all major browsers, except Internet Explorer where the excanvas Javascript emulation helper is used.

It can do all kinds of sexy graphs…

…and full AJAX graphs.

I am very impressed with this graphing library and think it will be my library of choice.

Using ASP.NET 2.0 along with Microsoft Speech API.

I’ve done a lot of feed reading and writing over my more recent professional career, and something that has always been a fascination of mine, has always been an engine which could “read” RSS/ATOM feeds.  That is, an engine which can turn a feed, into a set of MP3’s.

I had bookmarked this page a while ago, and found it when cleaning up my bookmarks.  I didn’t want it bookmarked anymore so I thought I would blog it and share the link with the other 2 people subscribed to this blog.

The library itself is not too shabby, but the Microsoft Speech Engine is actually pretty lame.  I guess there is always time though.

The code looks like:

private void SoundFeed(string url, int itemCount)
RssFeed feed = RssFeed.Read(url);
RssChannel channel = (RssChannel)feed.Channels[0];

if (channel.Items.Count > 0)
SpVoice readr = new SpVoice();
readr.Speak(“Your are listening to “ +
channel.Title + “.”,

int counter = 1; // num of items tracker
foreach (RssItem item in channel.Items)
if (counter > itemCount)
if (!item.Title.Trim().Equals(string.Empty))
readr.Speak(“Reading Item “ +
counter.ToString() + “.”,
readr.Speak(“Title of the Post: “,

if (!item.Description.Trim().Equals(string.Empty))


catch (Exception ex)
throw (ex);

I think I shall have to play with this some more soon and make me a Windows Mobile 6.0 app to download podcasts for me to listen to each night.