Google Reader “Next” Bookmarklet Fail

One of my peeves about using various Google products is that sometimes bugs can sit around unfixed for ages. Like this one: Google Reader provides a bookmarklet that allows you to easily skip directly to the URL of the next unread item in your reading list, bypassing the Reader interface completely. It is nice if you like to read blog entries and stories with full formatting, rather than just the feed content. It is also nice when you subscribe to feeds that only post a summary, and require click-through to get the full content of an article.

However, when using it, sometimes you get this:

Google Next Bookmarklet 403 Error

Sometimes using Google Reader's "Next" Bookmarklet Causes a "Forbidden" error.

This problem has been reported in Reader-related forums for months. It has something to do with viewing other people’s shared items, and you can work around it by going into Reader and reading the next item there. Still it’s very annoying.

Now, I develop software too, and I recognize that every team has a long backlog of work, and some things fall to the bottom, but it seems like a long-standing, customer- user-facing bug like this would eventually offend some developer enough that he or she would just go and fix it out of pride.

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Turtle Graphics In Python? Cool…

I just learned that Python has Turtle graphics built in.  Very cool.  How did I not know about this before?  Now I guess I know what Maggie’s first programming language will be. Inspired by this nice post showing how to draw fractal trees, here’s a quick Sierpinsky triangle algorithm in Python:

import turtle

def striangle(depth,base):
   turtle.down()
   if depth == 0:
      turtle.fill(1)
      for i in 0,1,2:
         turtle.forward(base)
         turtle.left(120)
      turtle.fill(0)
   else:
      for i in 0,1,2:
         striangle(depth-1,base)
         turtle.up()
         turtle.forward(base*2**depth)
         turtle.left(120)
         turtle.down()

turtle.reset()
striangle(6,5)
turtle-sierpinski

Depth 5 Sierpinski Triangle

Fun!