Facebook places is a social networking social check-in feature which would broadcast the user’s latest check-in on the wall, readily accessible to the friends. This kinda creates an illusion amongst your friends that you’ve got a social life and you’re boasting about it. Well, I like it and hope Google has its own too and if you’re in a country where its not launched yet, here’s a tip on how to use Facebook places outside the US.

FacebookPlaces-GoogleMaps

Me and a couple of friends have started using Facebook places. One thing which annoys me is the Facebook places web version uses the “Bing Maps”. I totally get it that Microsoft must be pushing “Bing services” through Facebook as it owns a part of the share.

But you know what, Bing Maps suck big time – Particularly in terms of having less details available. Sometimes you can’t even find why did some one check-in in the middle of no where.

Like this (If you can see, the place makes no sense on Bing Maps, but is represented well on Google maps with road information available)

CG-Bing CG-GMaps

Now that you get the picture.

Download – Facebook Places with Google Maps – Greasemonkey script

Some more screen shots of this are

TCS-Bing TCS-GoogleMaps

The source code is hosted at Google Code. If you have any suggestions/queries – Feel free to ask them here.

Update 26/01/2011 – There were some changes in FB’s places HTML generation and I found that script was broken. I just fixed it in Rev#6 of the check-in. And you can now use this on Firefox and Google Chrome or any other browser with UserScript support.

Update 23/04/2011 – FB changed the HTML again, it took me sometime to fix it (couldn’t take out time). It’s now fixed in FF4.0 and Chrome 10.x+

Update 19/05/2012 – Sorry for the delay guys, I know FB has changed over time.. I’ve just uploaded another version which works on some of the pages. Added https detection too. I’ve got 2 major feature requests that are
* Interactive Google Maps
* Timeline support (particularly the ones with places merged with FB pages).

While developing for Android these days – Felt a lack of a utility which could be installed by developers to keep the Android device and the Desktop’s clipboards in sync.

There must be a gazillion ones on the Market, but here I am talking about a non-Google plain Vanilla Android emulator/phone which won’t have market and you’d have to cook up something like this to keep ur desktop and mobile clipboards in sync.

Sheesh, even Windows mobile 6.1 has a utility to do that (MyMobiler – a 3rd party utility because Microsoft didn’t care enough for the Windows mobile developers before!!!)

So announcing the Android Desktop Clipboard Sync utility – to never turn back and worry about clipboard (Well, its not all that huge, just made the line up!)

Android Desktop Sync

So I had to write my own. The current utility would have a “Desktop component” which acts as a server and the “Android side” client component which keeps sending data to the server.

I am maintaining the source code on Google Code and will try to keep release versions to maintain stable release.

The current code is an 0.1Alpha’s with source code is ready and would update the desktop clipboard with any changing mobile clipboard always.

The components explained

  1. Server side component – Usually runs on your desktop machine (I’ve tested this on Windows) – Written in Java
    This has a server socket and whenever receives an input data – updates the desktop clipboard.
  2. Mobile Side client – Runs on your Android Emulator or your device (should be connected to the PC through a network usually WiFi – Written in Java (using Android SDK) – Target set to 2.2 Froyo
This has a live thread checking if the device clipboard has been updated, If yes – It’ll establish a network connection to the server component to dump the latest clipboard.

I plan to modify this to include bidirectional sync (The code’s there but commented out – causing some problems).
To start using this android sync utility – Ensure

Steps to install and configure

  1. Check out the source from Google code SVN repository and mark as writable if required (If you need to change – See Step#2)

    svn checkout http://android-desktop-sync.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ android-desktop-sync-read-only

  2. There are 2 projects in it – Import them into your Eclipse (already configured with Android SDK and has Java)
  3. AndroidClient – Is the Android project (modify it to your need in case you’re working below <2.2)
    Change the source code file ClipboardSharerApplicationActivity.java to connect to your machine’s IP address.
    I will probably later make this as a text field on the page so that the user can input the server (desktop’s) IP address and port number instead of hardcoding it.
  4. DesktopServer – Is the Desktop Java project which won’t require modifying unless you wish to change the server socket’s listening port.
    In case you wish to – you would be changing JavaDesktopClipboardAccessServer.java
  5. That’s the configuration – First launch the DesktopServer and then launch the Android Client.
  6. Voila! After this is done, you should see that anything you copy into the clipboard on the Android Device would be available on the desktop clipboard.

Happy Copy pasting! If you face any issues in setting up this – Let me know

[Icons Courtesy – Google Developers & Computer Icon + Me, cooking up both together with a weird bidirectional arrows]

The original idea’s from Tamar from her post to Google Support. You will need Greasemonkey Firefox plugin to use this. This works as a Google Chrome extension too.

Install the GMail Address Swapper GreaseMonkey Script.

.

The script would swap the email addresses values between ‘TO” and the “CC” in your GMail compose page. This will work for any compose page (New email or replying to existing conversation).

A new icon (see screen shot below – the new image below the “TO” text) will be auto-inserted when you install the GMail Address Swapper GreaseMonkey Script.

Before

image

After

image

That’s it, The source code is available in the script itself and the SVN Repository is maintained on Google Code. If you need any modification to this, let me know on Twitter @Swaroop.

Update 1

I have just tested that this works on Google Chrome too (Without GreaseMonkey) – Just install the script from UserScripts.org. Let me know if you face any problems in Firefox or Chrome (Doesn’t need GreaseMonkey or GreaseMetal)

Update 2 (Oct 24, 2010)
Chrome 7.0 stable broke this extension. I found a typo in my code which was causing all the icons to appear. I have now fixed it and released the next update for GMail Address Swapper. Let me know if you’re still facing any problems.