Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Interesting Google Finance Streaming Quotes Bug

Posted in Apple,Errors,Google,Interface,Web 2.0 by Elliott Back on September 27th, 2007.

I was looking at AAPL today and saw this:


Google doesn’t update the color when it receives new streaming quotes, so if AAPL is positive and goes negative, the price stays green. This is easy enough to fix.

Facebook Stock Quotes Application

Posted in Blogging,Facebook,Hacking,Web 2.0 by Elliott Back on June 4th, 2007.

I just finished writing a basic stock quotes application for the new developer platform. We’ll see if it takes off or not, as right now I am its only user. It doesn’t help that it’s not in the directory yet either!


The stock-quotes application took me about a weekend of work to complete, working part time a few hours a day. There are three major parts to it:

  • The backend to store user, ticker pairs and cache quotes
  • The hooks that set the FBML on users’ profiles
  • The canvas pages that let users edit their tickers

Facebook’s new platform is relatively easy to use, but not without its quirks. For example, it’s applications have both the notion of “standalone canvas applications” and “dynamic profile applications” with no way to turn off one in favour of the other. So, when you build something on the Facebook F8 Platform you’re essentially building for at least two code paths, even though most of your users will probably only want to interact with the application through the profile.

If this app hypes you up, please check it out on Facebook or give it a Digg!

Update: Facebook won’t include me in their directory. They sent me this mystifying email: “Thanks for your submission of “Stock Quotes” to the Facebook Platform’s Product Directory. We have reviewed your application, and unfortunately cannot yet add it to the directory because it is unfinished or under construction. Please fix this problem and resubmit the application.” I wish I understood, because it is working and in use on my profile!

Update 2: Now it’s listed in the directory! Yay! By magic after about 10 minutes after the above email!


Quotes Site For You

Posted in Life,Memes,Pay Per Post by Elliott Back on July 24th, 2006.

payperpost.jpgI’ve always thought about starting a user-moderated quotations site myself, but the market seemed too “niche” to front the development time. So it’s always nice to come across a nice quotes site, like www.onlinediscountmart.com/quotable-quotes.html. I’m not entirely sure who did their selection, but they have some great quotes. For example, on love:

“When love is not madness it is not love.” Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Now, this is classy stuff. I’ve actually read the original text this comes from–Calderón de la Barca’s epic play, La vida es sueño, written in 17th century Spanish.

They seem to have a lot of Christian/Inspirational/Bible quotes, so if you’re a hardcore leftist aetheist, the site might not be for you. However, their secular categories are sweet, well done, and classical:

“One word frees us
From all the weight and pain in life,
That word is love.” Sophocles

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