March 27th, 2008


We didn't start the Fire

Yahoo! recently released FireEagle and jolly nice it was too - I've hooked it up to my Dopplr account and I have an idea of what to do with it of which more later.

However things were a bit confusing - there was a Net::FireEagle on CPAN by Aaron Straup Cope yet also a Net::FireEagle::Client linked to on the FireEagle page itself and they weren't really that much alike.

Because all of SF is a seething cabal I asked around and found that the CPAN version was an early version based on the old version of the API. And the ::Client version was somewhat lacking in things like, well, documentation. Or comments. Also it wasn't on CPAN which makes it somewhat of a second class citizen in the Perl world.

So after a bit, I ended up taking over the both of them. I renamed ::Client to just Net::FireEagle, adding CPAN scaffolding, refactored the hell out of it, wrote a load of docs and some (very basic) tests and a nifty little command line script which also serves as an example of how to do the Auth Dance[tm] (which reminds me - the OAuth Auth Dance is much nicer than the Google, Flickr and especially Facebook one).

And lo the updated version now resides on CPAN. It even has a user.
don't encourage

Who, when, where, whatever

I was trying to think of something I could do to play around with FireEagle and came up with something which both tickles my development fancy and also is so incredibly insular San Francisco navelgazing Wanking2.0 that I kind of feel compelled to do it.

So, and excuse the hand waving here, the way it would work is this:

  1. You'd purchase a cheapo RFID reader from somewhere - the ones from ThinkGeek, Phidget and Parallax all look good.

  2. Hook it up to a computer and run TheSoftware which, as yet, exists only in my brain. You will tell TheSoftware what the physical location of your card reader is.

  3. Swipe your brand new card which will prompt you to register yourself with a remote, centralised service.

  4. This service will prompt you to give it FireEagle access.

  5. From this point on whenever you swipe your card over the reader TheSoftware will inform the centralised service which will, in turn, tell FireEagle.

In and of itself this is not very useful but if you had a reader at work then you could swipe in there in the morning and then swipe in at home at the end of the day (or if you work somewhere suitably large then put multiple readers around the place). And then if your friends started getting RFID readers and installing them in their homes then when you went round there you'd be able to easily let FireEagle know where you were. Hell if you could persuade your favourite bars and clubs to do it then you could do it there. Hook it up to your Social Graph and then you can easily work out where all your friends are.

Then of course the data can be subpoenaed by the Government to prove that you're a terr'ist or something.