Archive for March, 2007 – Out of Focus Site Launches – Photography to Philosophy

March 31, 2007

Focuso - philosophy - photography site features the philosophy and photography of Focus Out – the philophotog – philography – photoshophy.

There is a Focuso Explosion Contest for a free one year Flickr Pro account so come on out and leave a few comments and see if you win!

Nodism Blog Launched – the Philosophy of Meta

March 20, 2007

Nodism Blog

Just launched a blog that acts as an interface into a Nodism Wiki.  Nodism is a philosophy that helps us explore concepts of meta and hierarchy – generational thought, etc.

Many logical people have been modelling life now in computer gaming, etc. and their way of doing so has converged to Object Oriented Programming (OOP).  And in our information age, there has become a standard way to represent and share information, that is XML.

Both OOP and XML rely heavily on hierarchies – nodes.  And so do we all every time we organize, group, categorize, etc.  So what have we learned and can we learn that would apply to earlier philosophies from food chain to set theory.

Please, if you are interested in such matters – which you will see encompass many exciting aspects of life such as invention, time, energy, nature, god, infinity, logic, feedback, recursion, etc. – please visit and write something!!!!

Add your name to the Nodist Colony!  Learn to use a Wiki – they are amazing – and so, so useful for organizing anything!

META ~ Anti-gravity Nano Sci-fi: Verse 05

March 14, 2007

View Vlog

This is the sixth installment of the META nano anti-gravity sci-fi mystery vlog. The original post is below. Click here for the full mash to date. Here is the current META verse and once again, it would be cool to see someone else create a Zen Mix for the poem! Please do and post a link in the comments.

It will come to be that millions of patterns in grids in sectors in quadrants are mapped and tagged with pilot names including missed patterns which gain the pilots merit points. The pilots will perform with efficiencies and acquire standing.

META is a sci-fi story based in the times of the Dan Zen game, Save Earth.

A premise has been written in the form of a prophetic poem. The verses will be put into a Zen Mix and will be posted here over the next while.

We would like to encourage this type of story telling using Zen Mix. And indeed, if anyone would like to make a mix of any of the META episodes, please feel free to post the link to the mix in the comments of the episode post. It is so easy to do that we started our first one with an eight-year old daughter! Click above…

Show us that you are destined to be a star!

  1. Record yourself with a digital camera saying the poem below
  2. Upload this video to
  3. Take a picture for the background and post it on
  4. Go to to mix the two and then post the link here

You can use our background – just look beneath any mix to find out what video or background url was used and copy it into your own mix – remember copyright though. You are free to use our backgrounds for META. In this case we used an upcoming motion graphics tool called Zen Pan to make a background.

Here is the META verse 04…

It will come to be that Professor Y sets up SensoryNet remote controls and a fleet of volunteer pilots fly probes which spray oxygen against the sphere surrounding Earth to map its macro-crystaline structure.

Here is the META verse 03…

It will come to be that Professor Y determines the material of the sphere to be macro-crystaline with ten circular segmented patterns. Professor Y proposes that by mapping the patterns he can formulate a frequency to crack the sphere.

Here is the META verse 02…

It will come to be quite the task for the world government whose eyes turn to Professor Y for aid. Mad Inventor, Professor Y, will have just made the owners of velcro rich by designing velcro self cleansing environmental filters.

Here is the META verse 01…

It will come to be that on the eve of forming a world government a sphere of undetermined material surrounds earth letting sustenance in but not much out. It is assumed that the sphere is alien in construction – none claims responsibility.

Here is the META verse 00…

It will come to be that a new organization called the Free Nations will play watchdog to the United Nations and in 2020 after years of policy battle, the two will combine to form the World Government.

Even if you do not create a mix for META, you are welcome to leave your comments! In the future, we will tell further mysteries from Moustache Mysteries.

All the best,

Dan Zen

Technology Tapoll Predict-a-Poll Blog Launched

March 3, 2007


Tapoll, the predict-a-poll site, now has a blog that concentrates on the technology polls posted on the site.

Blogger was chosen because of its ability to embed JavaScript which is necessary for remote Tapoll polls.

Technology was chosen because these seem to be doing well and I can easily create polls in this category. If anyone else is interested in writing for Tapoll or any other area of Dan Zen, please contact us.

New Blog on Inventing

March 3, 2007


I have been planning on writing to an inventing blog for some time so here is the start.  This will, to some degree, free up the Dan Zen blog to be about the site and perhaps the person while the inventor blog will be a place to discuss the secrets and wonders of invention. 

Please have an initial visit and then hopefully you will subscribe.  I expect there to be a flow of posts as I try and handle a large backlog of ideas.   All the best, Dan.

Digg Cannot Be Scraped

March 2, 2007

It appears that the news sharing site, Digg, cannot be scraped. Scraping is when a site uses a script to get the content from another site.


Scraping can be used for good or for bad. Here are two scenarios: some site goes around to various news sites and takes news articles without credit – it is questionable as to whether this is acceptable even with credit. In a second case, a site owner might scrape Amazon results and provide links back to Amazon for fulfilment. Here, there would be little reason for Amazon to complain.

A better solution to scraping and one that has certainly excelled, is providing an API like a Web service or a feed. With APIs there is an arranged and hopefully consistent format for the data as well as a representation of what data the site wants other sites to use.

Tapoll - predict-a-poll Web 2.0 site

The Dan Zen predict-a-poll Web 2.0 site, Tapoll, uses live data from five popular sites to show items relating to the current poll. This is done with a combination of scraping, and various APIs made available. Users then can reference the items and also start polls referring directly to the items by clicking the associated Tapoll link. To place the Tapoll link after each item, we need access to the data. The current Digg JavaScript interface that is made to put Digg stories on other sites will not do.


In the past, the Tapoll site uses PHP to read the Digg RSS feed. But now, it appears as though Digg is blocking http requests from other scripts most likely with a blanket blocking of non-Digg IP addresses. We get this message when scraping or trying to access the RSS feeds with the PHP file() command. This command works fine with most other sites like Flickr,, etc.

failed to open stream: HTTP request failed!

If anybody has a work-around or any further information on this, please let us know. Perhaps we should have just checked with Digg rather than this attempt at sensationalism. But hey, I’m playing reporter!

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