DiggBar Brings Digg Features To Any Page

A screenshot of DiggBar in action.

Finally, a toolbar I might actually use. Digg unveiled their new toolbar/URL shortner today, though it’s not a toolbar in the traditional sense. Instead of downloading an add-on all you have to do is add digg.com/ to the front of the URL you’re currently viewing. How clever is that? The service will take you to a shortened URL, suitable for sharing on Twitter, as well as bringing all the goodness of Digg into a subtle, compact toolbar above the page. From there you can digg or submit a story, view comments from other diggers, bury the story, see related stories or peruse random stories that have already made the front page of Digg.com. Your Facebook and Twitter friends don’t have to be out of the loop since share buttons for the two services are also included. Check out the video below for a demo:

I really like this new feature which aims to take on Stumbleupon and tinyURL at the same time. To make it even easier to use I wrote a bookmarklet that you can use to add digg.com/ to the front of any URL with the click of a button. Just like a real toolbar! To use it drag the link below to your bookmark toolbar.
Update: Nevermind, you’re probably better off using the official DiggBar bookmarklet.

Digg Toolbar

Will Diet Coke Kill Us?

Beats me, but according to willdietcokekill.us it will. Pretty self explanatory site with a clever domain. I wish it would link to some information supporting its stance as I drink Diet Coke every Tuesday for the most part.

Diet Coke Spewing

Kudos Jon Maxfield of Saint George, Utah!

Google Releases API For Charts

Google has impressive, interactive charts incorporated into many of their products. The best place to see them in action is Google Finance where stock prices are graphed over time allowing the user to zoom in or out, stretch or expand the selected view, and other fancy interactions. The result is a rich experience for viewing and manipulating data.

Today Google unveiled the public application programming interface to interact with their chart engine. While not as rich as Google Finance charts, this public charting tool is extremely flexible in
creating line charts, scatter plots, bar graphs, Venn diagrams, and even pie charts. Charts are generated by constructing a URL with various parameters, or options, to customize a chart dynamically. Making a URL request returns a PNG image which can be saved to disk or embedded on any web page. Some examples of the charts are shown below.

Documentation for charts can be found at http://code.google.com/apis/chart/ which provides a smattering of examples.

I am very excited by this release as there are a ton of different applications these could be used in. Using some simple JavaScript, you could take these charts a step further and create animated charts using various URLS with one incrementing data parameter. Kind of like this (JavaScript code borrowed from Chip Chapin).

I would like to see a user-friendly interface built on top of the API so those who are less developer inclined can make charts and graphs easily. It wouldn’t be too hard to make a simple JavaScript program to construct the URLs. I will try to crank something out tomorrow at work, because this is simply too cool to pass up.