How To: Invite ALL of Your Facebook Friends to Google Plus At Once

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Using a neat little trick, I managed to send everyone on my Facebook friend list a Google+ invite. In this post, I’ll show you how to do that. It’s actually quite simple. If you don’t have a GMail account, this will still work for small amounts of contacts, but you need to use a GMail account to process and invite all of your contacts at once.  First, if you don’t already have a Yahoo account, sign up for one. Otherwise, sign in and go to Yahoo Mail. The reason this works is because Yahoo and Facebook have some kind of partnership. Once logged in, go to the “Contacts” tab. Click “Import Contacts”, and choose the “Facebook” option. Allow Yahoo access to your Facebook contacts. On my account, it only imported 100 contacts the first time. After the second try, I had all 257 of my Facebook contacts imported. Now that you have your contacts imported, go back to the “Contacts” tab. Click “Actions”, and choose “Export All…”. When asked, export as a “Yahoo! CSV” file, and remember where you saved that. You will need it later. Now go to Google Contacts. Create a new group called “Facebook”. Once you have a “Facebook” group, click the “Import” link on the upper right of the page. Select the Yahoo .csv file, and make sure to choose to import it into the newly created “Facebook” group. Now that you have all of your contacts imported, if you don’t have GMail, select all of your contacts and choose “Email”, otherwise go to GMail and login to that. In GMail, click “Contacts” and then click the “Facebook” group. Click the checkbox above the list of contacts to select them all at once. Now click the “Email” button. You will now see all of your contacts in the “To” field of GMail or your email client. Copy the entire list, and paste it into the Google+ invite form. Click invite. Congratulations, you just invited all of your Facebook friends to join Google+.

I Finally Snagged a Google Plus Invitation!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Google’s new invitation only (for now) social network, Google+. If  not, I suggest you check out the site and take the tour. Google+ will likely forever change the way we interact with friends online, by grouping friends into social “circles” and sharing only certain material with certain groups of friends. In addition to that, another neat feature is “hangouts”, where you can have a group video chat with up to 10 different people. Regardless, today I managed to snag an invitation to the service by posting my email address on Beatweek’s Facebook wall. Less than 5 minutes after posting my email, I had an invitation sitting in my inbox from Bill Palmer. Shortly after that, I even got a second invitation to the service from the same person. Unfortunately, because Google wants to limit how many people are on their service, even with an invitation, I couldn’t sign up for the service yet, but I’ll definitely be checking the Google Plus website frequently to see if I can get in. I’m incredibly excited to try out this new service from Google, and I have incredibly high expectations from it. Anyways, if I do manage to get in, I’ll be happy to invite anyone who requests an invitation from me. I’ll update this post (or post another post) once I get into Google+.

UPDATE: I got a second invitation by Richi Jennings of Computerworld, who I emailed before posting on Beatweek’s wall, asking for an invite. Thanks Richi! However, I still didn’t manage to get into Google+, unfortunately… :(

UPDATE 2: I finally managed to sign up for Google+! I’ll try to invite everyone who asked me to send them an invitation, but I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to sign up.

My Blog Is Now Running WordPress 3.2

WordPress Logo

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I upgraded my blog to the new major revision of the WordPress blogging platform, version 3.2, as soon as it was publicly released. In only a day, the new version was downloaded over 330,000 times. The new version of WordPress is supposedly much lighter and faster than the previous iteration, as a lot of bloat has been removed and a lot of the code was optimized to be more efficient. The new version features a new admin panel and an HTML5 compatible default theme. Overall, I am pleased with the new version of WordPress, and I’m looking forward to even more positive changes to the platform in the future.

ROME’s “3 Dreams of Black” WebGL Demo Is Awesome!

If you haven’t heard of ROME’s 3 Dreams of Black WebGL demo, you should seriously check this out. It’s an interactive music-video like experience that is rendered in the web browser in real-time using JavaScript and WebGL. Because it’s hardware accelerated, it allows for insanely complex, dynamic, and interactive graphics to be rendered right within your web browser. Of course, you will need to be using a modern web browser for this to work, such as the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox (5 was just recently released), Opera, or Safari. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer does not support WebGL, which is required to view this demo. Also, this is an open source project, so all of the source code is available on Google Code. 3 Dreams of Black is more than just a music video. It offers a look at the future of the web, where open web technologies can be used to create interactive experiences never before thought possible, all through a web browser. If you have a modern graphics card that supports a reasonably modern version of the OpenGL API, I highly recommend playing with this demo. For the rest of you, there is a video on YouTube that shows off the demo.

FiOS WEP Key Calculator Website Updated

It’s been a very long time since I last worked on my Verizon FiOS WEP key calculator website. Over the last few days, I decided that it looked dated, and I decided to make it look a lot cleaner, using the magic of CSS3. I removed several images from the site, such as the header image, and the background gradient image, and I replaced them with a pure CSS-based approach, reducing the total page size from just above 12Kb to only 6.5Kb, and significantly reducing the already low amount of time taken to load the page, as well as making it feel more modern. The page loads, literally, almost instantly now, even on a dial-up connection, which is rather impressive if you ask me.  I think visitors will like the new look of my FiOS WEP key calculator site, and if you have any feedback about it, feel free to leave a comment on this post.

A Simple JavaScript Dice Rolling Site

Portable Network Graphics

Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t been blogging very much about my recent projects lately, and I’ve been putting off writing about this one for a while, but I finally decided to share this. I recently created a JavaScript + SVG dice rolling demo site, roughly based on the work done by Taylor Copeland on his JavaScript dice implementation, as well as a lot of new code written by me, and part of an HTML5 test suite written by Niels Leenheer that detects whether the user’s browser supports inline SVG or not. This code should run just fine on all modern browsers, and if it fails to detect support for SVG images, it should fall back gracefully on pre-rasterized PNG images. The project is open-source, and can be downloaded in it’s entirety as a 7z archive. The source code of the page is dynamically generated using PHP, and it accepts GET parameters that affect the page returned. Also, if you look through the source code, you might just find a secret GET parameter or two… ;)

EDIT: Somehow I managed to forget to link to the actual site, even though I linked to the 7z download. Click here to visit the site. Sorry about that!

Working on creating my own “App Store”

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on coding my own “App store“, as an alternative to the Android market. It’s been a lot of work, but at the same time, it’s been fun and challenging, and it really helped me get reacquainted with my long-lost PHP skills. Although there are still quite a few problems to solve (such as how users will get updates, and how application purchases will be done), the site itself for the store is finally starting to look great, and in the not-so-distant future, it should serve as a pretty good way to distribute the free versions of my applications. In order to make the user experience as good as possible, I will also be incorporating some of the new features introduced in HTML5. The site as it is takes advantages of exciting new CSS3 techniques, JavaScript, and web fonts.  Personally, I believe that the site will look great when it’s finished, and I can’t wait to release it! There is still a lot more work to be done, but I believe that I have reached a significant milestone in the process of releasing this to the public, and I realized that I haven’t written very much for quite some time now, so I wanted to let you guys know that I’ve been busy coding, and I have no intention of giving up coding. Stay tuned for more updates!

Fun Fact: This post contains the brand new official HTML5 logo, which practically just came out.

Incorrect FiOS WEP Calculator Mobile Browser Detection Fixed

Today I fixed a bug in the FiOS WEP Calculator mobile browser detection code. iOS devices and BlackBerry phones are no longer detected as Android devices. This fix will make the site more usable for users by displaying more relevant information under the download section. To check out the changes, visit the FiOS WEP Key Calculator website on your mobile device.

Introducing FiOS WEP Calculator Mobile!

For all of you who don’t have an Android device, it’s been difficult to calculate a default FiOS WEP key using your mobile phone. Well not any more! Now if you visit the FiOS WEP Calculator website on any mobile device, as long as your device supports JavaScript, you can calculate a default WEP key (I’m also planning on porting the script to PHP, and using server-side calculations for devices that don’t support JavaScript in the future). The mobile optimized version is incredibly lightweight, with no CSS files (all styles are embedded in the main page) or images, what-so-ever, and all unnecessary formatting in the source code removed. On a 3G connection, the page should easily load in under 1 second almost every time (the entire page is less than 3kb). I believe that this new website will make it significantly easier for users of every mobile platform to use FiOS WEP calculator on the go. To check it out, visit goo.gl/D6P5x on your mobile phone, or scan the following QR code:

FiOS WEP Calculator Site is Now Valid XHTML Strict!

I’ve been working on optimizing the FiOS WEP Calculator website for a while now, reducing the sizes of the image files, and reducing the amount of code, in order to get the page to load faster on slower connections. After messing around with the source code for a while, I can finally say that I managed to get the page to be 100% valid XHTML Strict! Having a page that’s valid XHTML is important, since it ensures that the page will work properly in as many browsers as possible. I also took the liberty of adding meta tags for description and keywords, so that the site will look better in search engine result pages.

UPDATE: The site is now extremely optimized in order to reduce page loading time, especially on slower Internet connections, such as dial-up for those of you who still have it.