exporting bookmarks with tags from delicious

So as many of you have already heard, it looks like Yahoo will be shuttering delicious. Sad but apparently true. In any event, one would think that it would be a relatively simple matter to export from delicious and import into your browser’s bookmarks. The export part is relatively straightfoward, but (at least for those using Firefox, which I do), if you want to import your tags along with your bookmarks, things get a little trickier, because of some incompabitilies between the format that delicious uses for its export file (html) and the format that Firefox uses (JSON).

Apparently, some folks far cleverer than I came up with some ruby scripts that can do it, but why go to all that trouble. Here’s the easiest solution I’ve been able to find: Go here but before you follow the steps, make note of the following:

  1. instead of typing in the URL identified in Step 2 (http://api.del.icio.us/posts/all) use this one instead: https://api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/all (you need to copy and paste into the location bar).
  2. In Step 6, there is one minor detail omitted – the steps to restore should be [Bookmark] -> [Organize Bookmarks] -> [import and backup] -> [Restore] -> [Choose file] -> <created file at 5>.
  3. Also in Step 6, if you have a lot of bookmarks be forwarned that Firefox may become non-responsive as it processes the import. It may give you the “script is taking a long time to respond” message. If you do get that, select the “don’t ask again” checkbox and then click “continue”, then go grab a coffee or some other beverage. Once its done, you should have all your bookmarks (and tags) from delicious now safely ensconced in your Firefox bookmarks.

If you still need an online bookmarks tool, consider Mozilla Sync or Diigo. Perhaps not surprisingly, there seems to be a bit of a backlog in processing imported bookmarks into Diigo. If you don’t need to import bookmarks into Firefox and plan to use something like Diigo exclusively, then of course no need to go through all of the hassle above, as (from what I understand) Diigo will import tags when you import your delicious bookmarks.

Goodbye delicious, it’s been nice knowing you.

going to china? bringing technology? careful there…

This story in Wired serves as a good reminder that export control laws, particularly U.S. export control laws, do have teeth. In short: a retired US professor was sentenced to four years in jail for sharing his research with graduate students in China. Apparently, the U.S. government felt that the research he shared was restricted technical data, disclosure of which would put U.S. national security at risk.

In this particular case, the U.S. State Department had apparently warned him, but he disregarded the warnings and went ahead anyway. So, for most folks, it’s unlikely to be much of a risk, unless of course the State Department calls you up. That being said, if you are planning to travel to and/or do business in China, Iran, etc., it might be a good idea to think about what you might not want to bring over with you on your laptop, particularly if you will be presenting any of it to citizens of those countries or leaving anything there.

Unfortunately, export controls are not exactly straightforward, particularly those dealing with the type of things you can’t export. In Canada, this is particularly the for the what’s described as “dual-use” group. This group describes things that aren’t necessarily used for sensitive purposes, but could be, hence the “dual-use” moniker.

Just as an example, take a look at Category 5 – Part 2 of the Canadian Export Control List, which deals with cryptographic technology. Not exactly an easy read. Though thankfully over the years they have put in some common sense carve-outs. You’ll find them in the tiny, tiny notes at the beginning and end. Then there’s the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, which makes the Canadian requirements look comparatively straightforward.