Do you Need a Vacation? Colombia is waiting for you!

January 17, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Posted in colombia, tourism | 1 Comment

Villa de Leyva en Boyacá, Colombia
Villa de Leyva

National Geographic Adventure finds the top destinations for 2008 and beyond: Mountain: Colombia: “With its vibrant colonial cities, whitewashed mountain villages, mist-laden coffee country, and rapidly developing tourism infrastructure, Colombia could one day give Costa Rica a run for its money”.

Piedra del Peñol
El Peñol, Antioquia

Wild Frontiers, Colombia Explorer: “Vibrant Colombia is a land of contrasts and legends, an entire continent encompassed by one country. After being off the travel map for some time, Colombia is gradually moving back into the spotlight as an exciting new travel destination, and this itinerary is designed to capture some if Colombia’s incredible diversity.Ranging from the savannahs and wetlands of the southeast that are rich in biodiversity, to the paradisiacal beaches in the north, Colombia has a staggering array of landscapes and terrains. From the cosmopolitan metropolis of Bogotá to the cobbled alleys of the colonial towns, we will explore all aspects of the country and indulge in a multitude of activities, from bathing in mud volcanoes to adrenaline sports in the adventure capital of San Gil. Taking in the spectacular underground salt cathedral at Zipaquira, and stunning colonial Barichara, there will be plenty of opportunity to experience the real Colombia, meet the warm and hospitable locals and have a truly memorable trip.”

Pueblito Paisa, Medell�n, Antioquia, Colombia
Pueblito Paisa, Medellín

EcoTurs: EcoTurs Colombia arranges birding and wildlife ecotours across Colombia, especially tours to the ProAves reserves that protect the most endangered biodiversity.

Villa de Leyva en Boyacá, Colombia
Villa de Leyva


San Gil, Santander

San Gil, Santander

Barichara, Santander

San Gil, Santander

Parque Nacional del Chicamocha, Santander

Babbel (or learning new languages with Flex…)

January 17, 2008 at 11:00 pm | Posted in applications, flex2 | 2 Comments

Babbel is a really cool Flex Based Rich Internet Application that supports learning of new Languages (German, Spanish, French, Italian and English).

More Info:

Learn New Languages Easily With Babbel

Interview with Babbel Founder on Flash, Flex, and RIAs

Apprendre les langues avec Babbel, une nouvelle application Flex

Zimki is dead

September 25, 2007 at 10:37 am | Posted in javascript | Leave a comment

It seems that Zimki, hosted JavaScript environment is now officialy dead:

We regret to inform you that the Zimki service is to be withdrawn and therefore will no longer be available from 24 December 2007. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

One of the first things that will be disabled is the token usage section so unfortunately you will be unable to view your realms’ usage (code, bandwidth, storage etc.). You will still be able to create and manage your realms, and realms will not be suspended for exceeding usage restrictions during the close down period.

As of 24 December 2007 all applications and data remaining on the Zimki service will be deleted and the servers decommissioned. Users are advised to move their applications along with any associated data before the closure date. There are no plans to opensource Zimki.

We hope that Zimki has helped to increase your knowledge and understanding of the possibilities that utility computing and an online application framework can bring. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and support with beta testing the Zimki service.

The Fotango Team

Bad news… It was a really interesting idea based on utility computing.

Google Maps Mashup: News Explorer

July 15, 2007 at 1:21 am | Posted in ajax, google maps | 9 Comments

This is mi first Google Maps / Ajax  based Mashup.  It tries to “geolocate”  RSS news and show them over Google Maps.  Here a Screenshot:
News Explorer

Live Action” here: Google Maps News Explorer

Known Issues:  Sometimes you have to click “view” 2 or three times to view news over the map (It seems that there are some problems in the service that provides RSS to GeoRSS conversion)

Lessons Learned: Ajax programming can be really painful.   Firebug rocks!!!

(Coming Soon: A little tutorial on “How to create your own Google Maps News Explorer”).

LastTube: Award Winner

June 1, 2007 at 10:49 am | Posted in award,, lastTube, mashup, Rich Internet Applications, video | Leave a comment

LastTube award winner for MASHUP OF THE DAY at

Mashup of the Day Winner

Yahoo Pipes + Google Earth = News Around The World

May 29, 2007 at 12:34 pm | Posted in google earth, kml, mashup, yahoo pipes | Leave a comment

Application “launcher” here.

This is a simple “experiment” using new Geo features in yahoo pipes. It tries to locate news over Google Earth using a KML generated by Yahoo Pipes.

A Couple of screen captures here:
Yahoo Pipes + Google Earth = News Around The World

Yahoo Pipes + Google Earth = News Around The World 2

Application “launcher” here.

Mashing up, Around The World, Around The World…

Are Mashups and Yahoo Pipes ready for Production?

May 28, 2007 at 2:29 pm | Posted in mashup, yahoo pipes | 1 Comment

As someone said, Yahoo Pipes is a dream come true for Web Developers and RSS/XML Fanatics: Easy to use, growing component base, cloning (a really useful “copy/paste” feature that helps you to learn many tricks from other people)

According to Pasha Sadri (here): After all, you can just as well build your own web platform based on Pipes and then find a way to make money off of it.

Is that really true? I know, pipes stills in beta, but frecuently downtime and errors can make you sad:

2007/02/08 Downtime : “As many of you noticed, we’ve had some downtime today as we try to cope with the unexpected heavy load. We’re working on adding more capacity and hope to be back to normal soon.

But, a “dream come true” to developers can overwhelm your servers, as Pasha Sandri says in “Crazy 72 hours“: “It’s been almost 72 hours since our beta launch. Needless to say, the response to Pipes has been overwhelming for everyone on the team (and our servers!). I have finally had a chance to relax/sleep after addressing some of the immediate issues.”

(More downtime, here and here).

Really nice in terms of product’s reception, but annoying if you create pipes that doesn’t work as expected . (rss problems, server failures, non friendly errors during “development”…).

What if your $450m idea depends completely on someone else’s services and data? (perhaps a Web as Platform mashup monster that you feed with tons of public feeds and web services ).

Maybe you are playing god with your big Mashup, maybe you are becoming a Victor Frankenstein powered by RSS and REST. But remember, Mary Shelley’s novel doesn’t have a happy ending. Don’t forget that god doesn’t have to worry about QoS, high Availability, performance,cache, latency, Maintainability, clusters, distributed processing, team management, bug tracking, unit testing, load testing, concurrency, business plans, ROI…

Maybe for such kind of “big commercial mashups”, public free web services and data are not enough. High availability and data quality are big issues that have a price, and -obviously- you will have to pay it.

Finally, a gentle introduction to Yahoo Pipes: (for newbies and curious minds).

Pipes: A Tool For Remixing the Web

LastTube Buzz!

May 23, 2007 at 11:49 pm | Posted in, lastTube, mashup, youtube | 4 Comments

Thank you all for your support. It seems that many people like LastTube (my little “One Day Mashup” experiment).

Some Buzz around LastTube:

– “Take Lasttube for example. It’s a great web-based video player combining and Youtube, glued together with Yahoo Pipes and Adobe Flex 2. It’s been whipped up by one lone programmer in Colombia of all places, who by his own account only needed one day to complete this project, including coding, testing, googling and lunch time.”

Janko leaves a couple of interesting questions on the table:

“If mashup programmers can do stuff like this in no time – what does that mean for start-ups like For one thing, they really have to try harder”.

“People have been questioning the commercial viability of mashups for quite some time now. Is it possible to make money, build businesses with someone else’s data feeds? Maybe that question was wrong from the beginning. Instead, we should have used mashups as a kind of litmus test for commercial web offerings and asked: Is there really a business model for a start-up if someone else could achieve the same thing with a quick mashup?

  • My “ meets YouTube” original pipe on the top of “Hot Pipes” in Yahoo Pipes during last weeks: (195 clones… and growing ;))

lasttube pipe

  • You Got Your in My You Tube: (Nice review with some suggestions for a next release) “The ability to access a filtered list of videos based on my listening behavior is a great feature. ..The overall UI is clean, simple and easy-to-use.”
  • The Evil Robot and Mashups: (Evil Robot says: It seems that is easy to use Web Services with Adobe Flex) “Además, aparentemente es facil hacer que una informacion publicada en un sitio web pueda ser leida por un “applet” de flash publicado en otro sitio (public web services). Con el plugin de java era practicamente imposible hacerlo.
  • 10 Pipes for Your Tubes: “Here’s a list of the ten of the most useful video mashups to date: 1. meets Youtube. This mashup searches Youtube for videos of the last ten tracks you played on” video is coming…

May 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm | Posted in, lastTube, video | Leave a comment video

You can find video examples Here and here excellent video quality, nice player… but… I like more lastTube 😛

Flex Based Mashup: lastTube, meets Youtube.

May 7, 2007 at 7:02 pm | Posted in as3, flex2,, mashup, video, yahoo pipes, youtube | 7 Comments

As a “proof of concept” and challenge for myself, I have create a Client Mashup using Flex 2 and Public Web Services.

Constraints: No server side code created. Only one day of work.

Result: “lastTube, meets Youtube”

Basically you can easily view Youtube’s videos related to your Recently Listened Tracks published in

Brief Description, Details and Application’s Launcher here:

Screen Capture:

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