Can you hear me?

How many more ways do we really need to keep in touch? I already routinely run three IM clients just to communicate with friends / colleagues. Is another IM system really helping me? It’s overload.

Posted in Web

Terror Comes to East Finchley

Well – any illusions I may have had about being “safe” up here in sleepy little East Finchley were shattered today. Yes it’s true. Terrorists are ditching cars right here, in the middle of middle-class British suburbia.

In other news, I ventured back into the Tube system today for the first time since Thursday. After the bombings on the 7th, things seemed like they returned to normal fairly quickly, but now everyone really is warily eyeing everyone else. It’s quite un-nerving.

Posted in London, Terrorism

More Bombs

Hopping the Barrier at Euston RoadSo we got bombed again. When will these people quit it already? I had a pretty surreal walk across London this time trying to get to a Tube stop that works. As I write this, I’m finally in a Tube train travelling north from Mornington Crescent station back to East Finchley. I tried the bus for a while then gave up. Here are a couple shots of the area around Warren Street station where one of the bombs went off. The top one is of someone hopping the barrier at Euston Road (normally an extremely busy street but they weren’t allowing any vehicle traffic within a certain area), just before I hopped it as well. The bottom one is someone approaching the police at one of the many police lines around Warren Street and Euston. I regularly commute through Warren Street so I can only immagine how fun the next few weeks are going to be. I sense some serious home-working coming up.Londoner approaching a police line near Warren Street
Hey you know what’s even cooler? I just sent away my passport this morning by courier to get it renewed! So I have no ability to leave the country if I need to. Great!

Posted in London, Terrorism

I would just like to point out…

…that in October of last year I said that George Bush was putting my family at greater risk with this ill-conceived Iraq war. Last week’s bombing in London bears out those concerns. Instead of “making the world safer,” Bush has made the world even more dangerous by stoking the fires of extremism, through the Iraq war, prisoner abuse, etc… etc… But still he goes on with his “war on terror” message (he’s consistent, I’ll give him that). Unbelievable.

Posted in London, Politics, Terrorism

Sunk In

I think it’s only just sunk in, after having read the detailed analysis of Thursday’s bombings: I’ve often found myself commuting to work via the Picadilly line — it’s one of my alternate routes. If I hadn’t been out of the country on Thursday, it’s quite possible that I could have been on a train between King’s Cross and Russell Square stations at around 8:50.

Posted in London, Terrorism

Stuck in Germany

So here I am stuck in Germany while the terrible events in London unfolded today. The family is fine. Thanks to everyone who has contacted me today to check up on us. Now I only hope I can get home tomorrow morning.

Posted in London, Terrorism, Travel

An Oasis of Calm in Terminal 1

I’ve been transiting through Heathrow regularly for about six years now, and for six years the most consistently high-quality food to be found is at the Seafood Bar café annex to the Caviar House food shop. You wouldn’t expect to find high quality smoked and raw seafood in the middle of an airport departure lounge, but there it is. They’re actually in all the Heathrow terminals and I believe in Stansted and Gatwick as well (all BAA airports?). I particularly recommend the Russian Balik smoked salmon, accompanied by a Balik beer (strong). Fabulous.

Posted in London, Travel

Sender ID Controversy

So I actually think Microsoft might be doing the right thing by pushing people to deploy SPF records. (See this news.com article.) SPF records aren’t going to eliminate Spam, but they could be an important tool in verifying email origin. I deployed SPF on my torgo.com domain earlier this year — it was pretty easy and I think it’s been effective judging from the drastic reduction in the number of bounced-back messages caught in my spam filter presumably from spam senders spoofing a torgo.com address. Microsoft shouldn’t claim that SPF is going to end spam — it isn’t — but it’s a good step forward. Interesting to note that W3C is also endorsing SPF, albeit with some caveats.

Posted in Technology

When is a Duck also a Fish?

One of the key issues that I think is going to come up in the context of the Mobile Web Best Practices working group that I’m going to chair is that of Accessibility. To put it simply, what is the intersection of Web “accessibility” and Web “mobility?” To be sure, a lot of what makes a Web content accessible can also aid it in being Mobile browser friendly. Some times I hear people say that a user of a browser on mobile is “disabled” in a way because of the limitations of the mobile device. I disagree with this notion. I think — and forgive me for this — that users of mobile browsers are actually “differently-abled” in the truest sense. There are both advantages and disadvantages to mobile browsing. For example, you have the disadvantage of the smaller screen but the (at least potential) advantage of mobility and location awareness. But there is definitely an intersection. The Mobile Web Best Practices group will have to develop a set of guidelines and a checklist, akin to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines checklist, and in reviewing the WCAG checklist, it seems like much of it could be imported or referenced (subject, of course, to the consensus of the working group). The trick will be determining the intersection of mobility and accessibility. Surely, some of the WCAG guidelines will directly map on to Mobility requirements whereas some won’t. For example, careful use of color, or providing alternate visual cues when color is used as an interface element is important because of the huge number of red-green or otherwise color-blind people out there (a common rant subject for my friend Eric Snider — and by the way I’m glad to see there’s someone than I am about updating their blog). But is this strictly speaking a mobility requirement as well? I’m tempted to say “no,” whereas use of CSS as opposed to tables to support content layout is certainly applicable to Mobility as well as Accessibility. Tricky stuff.

Posted in Mobile Web, W3C

Podcasting?

I give up. I just don’t understand the kids these days.

Posted in Web

Who is Daniel K. Appelquist?

I'm an American ex-pat living in London and an independent consultant and advocate for emerging web technologies, the open web, open source and open data. As well, I am co-chair of the W3C Technical Architecture Group, I am a founder and co-organizer of the Over the Air hack day series and a founder of Mobile Monday London. I'm a former .com CTO and subsequent .com refugee. I am a parent dealing with the increasing complexities of raising children in a hyper-connected world.

If you are so inclined, you may find my public key on Keybase.io.

My books:
Mobile Internet for Dummies
XML and SQL

For more info, see my Linkedin profile.

More (probably than you ever wanted to know) about Torgo.

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