Apture for WordPress

I first started experimenting with Apture a few months back, and have since turned it off. While I loved it, it had a habit of chewing up memory on my server. To me it was a combination of ease-of-use, along with providing readers with quick links to rich content. Indeed, I would call it the most impressive plugin I have ever used in all the time I have blogged since 2002.

Rory O’Connor of HuffPo has gone a step further and called Apture Web 3.0. Says he:

Is Apture “a paradigm shift in publishing and online communication,” as Harris would have it? Decide for yourself – but there’s no doubt that it provides new tools to users that enhance their online experience, and allows bloggers such as yours truly to add true context to what I post. Sure, I could add the same content by copying and pasting code from, YouTube, but Apture makes it dead simple to add and share content on the Web. So what’s not to like?

If it wasn’t such a resource hog I would add it to all the blogs I host. As yet, I have not seen any other Irish bloggers try Apture, but I would encourage any bloggers out there to give it a go. Once you get the hang of inserting the extra content (wiki links, photos and videos), you will find yourself doing it to all of your posts.

Other plugins I have been playing with or plan to install are Open Calais by Thomson Reuters and Searchles.

Update: I’ve reactivated Apture for further testing. It is one of my favourite plugins, of all time. I must ask everyone if they like it too.

Back to reality

My first full day of news and it aint pretty. Near riots in Waterford, Dunne nearing bankuptcy, Quinn saying he lost €1bn in Anglo, and some unbelievable scheme of local authorities to rent empty houses at prices way over the odds.

Eddie Hobbs was also getting berated by some for suggesting that recent graduates should leave the country. I can’t think of many reasons to stay, especially with Lenihan and Cowen fumbling along. Australia and Canada do seem like good options for many, rather than the slow motion train wreck this country is facing.

How many people were at the inauguration?

I, like many others, was asking that question throughout the day. Being on the ground it felt like Croke Park times 20. Slate asks how best to reach a figure:

Thanks to advances in aerial digital photography and computer image-processing, it’s now possible to get a fairly exact head count—without a magnifying glass. As Farouk El-Baz of Boston University explained in a 2003 Wired article, the best way to obtain an accurate image is to fly over the assembly at peak time and take a digital photograph (resolution 1 foot per pixel) from 2,000 feet or less. Using satellite images, an Arizona State University professor calculated that about 800,000 people attended the inauguration Tuesday—considerably fewer than the AP estimate (based on photographs and comparison with past events) and less than half the Washington Post number (based primarily on security agencies on the ground).

I think Slate is looking at it from the wrong perspective. To me the core issue is mobile networks, not digital images. Why don’t the US cell network firms, which deployed extra cell towers all over the mall, just release the data on how many people had cell phones in the area and then use this information for some free publicity?

Perhaps certain people like myself might have more than one phone on them, but most won’t. I imagine it would be fairly easy to tell how many people were on the mall by counting the number of active cell phones in the area.

Inauguration photos

It is a difficult thing to describe. I was among the million in the crowd, and had a front row seat to history being made. Among the highlights though were the reaction of the crowd to George Bush – wholescale boos. This was followed by everyone singing “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye”.

After Obama became president, the music started – hail to the chief came on and the people around me began dancing. People smiled and danced with strangers, the atmosphere was one of sheer delight. The crowds were tremendously positive, and despite being squeezed and jostled everyone was polite and friendly. The crowd also reacted well to the gaffe during the swearing in.

Here are some of the photos from today’s inauguration.


More below the fold.
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Lincoln Memorial concert pictures

If anyone was wondering how many people went, all I can say is that a huge amount went. I have never seen so many people congregate in one place. This photo demonstrates, almost:


All the way from Lincoln to the Washington monument. Estimates are 500,000 people, which I would agree with.

Lots more in the Flickr set.

I have some video, will try and upload soon.