Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just force the browser on us, please!

As a web developer, I understand the headaches of having to adjust code to properly function or display across several browsers. It's the nature of the beast. It's better now than it used to be, as standards compliance keeps getting better across the board. But when a new version of a browser comes out, why keep the old one around? Just force the browser on us, please!

Ok, I know that forced upgrades can also cause support problems, especially when it causes more bugs than it fixes, or breaks functionality which could potentially break an entire web site.

But, by doing so, developers would be more apt to stick to well known standards, which leads to more solid code, and less chance of breakage.

I'm ranting because IEBlog says IE7 will be optional and IE6 will continue to be supported and patched until the lifetime of the OS it runs on is over. A quote:
Everywhere that IE6SP1 is supported today, IE6SP1 will continue to be supported until the OS it ships with expires. Are you running IE6SP1 on Windows 2000 SP4? You will continue to get support for IE6SP1 until Windows 2000 expires (slated expiration: 2010).

2010? I hope people are not still running Windows 2000 in 2010. So the days where one standard codebase renders exactly the same on all browsers and platforms is still a way away. Although today's most modern browsers are converging, it's the old ones that are still around that hurt us the most.

Let the public adjust their habits to forced upgrades. It won't take long before most people get used to the idea that the browser they are currently running is always the latest and greatest. Other software does this, why not browsers?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Blu-ray or HD DVD? Choose your side.

The high definition DVD format war rages on. Choose your side and show your true colors! Partial to Blu-ray? Or would you rather throw your hat in for HD DVD?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Zazzle Adds Third Party API

Zazzle has added a new API that allows software developers to connect into their customization services and products. Check out current implementations, such as, as well as my very own Hello My Name Is... t-shirt site!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

IE7 fix list

IEBlog lists all the changes, bug fixes, CSS fixes/additions in Internet Explorer 7. This looks to be a new era for Microsoft when it comes to standards compliance. Well, at least a stepping stone in the right direction.

I have been using beta 3 of IE7 on my laptop, and yes, it is way better than IE6, although there are still some minor quirks and the occasional crash. But when it comes to CSS (and transparent PNG support) it is leaps ahead.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Perpetual motion machine challenge...hoax?

A company by the name of Steorn claims it thinks it may have stumbled upon "free energy", a.k.a. perpetual motion. Of course, this has been claimed by many in the past, only to be proven hoaxes, scams, or just plain bad math.

The difference here is that Steorn is challenging all scientists to try to prove, one way or the other, whether their device works. And they say they won't take moeny until AFTER the scientific community has released their findings.

According to the company, they stumbled upon this accidentally, and now want the scientific community to verify what they believe to be a perpetual motion machine. And if scientists find that it is not the case, so be it.

At face value, this seems very legitimate...why would a hoaxer go through this kind of scrutiny? But since a perpetual motion machine is widely regarded as impossible according to the first law of thermodynamics, one must think what else could this be?

My thoughts? It could be one of three things:

  1. Legitimate claim, bad math. Steorn thinks they did it, but miscalculated energy input/output.
  2. A big social experiment. Let's see how many scientists are suckered into throwing away the basis of their beliefs on the remote chance this cold be real. Or what is the current public reaction to claims of this nature when money is removed from the equation.
  3. Someone finally reverse engineered alien technology and got it to work. Everyone knows that flying saucers are powered by magnetic forces.

Monday, August 14, 2006

agámi Systems receives $11 Million in funding from Hercules!

A press release has been released today announcing agámi's latest round of funding by Hercules Technology Growth Capital for a tidy $11 Million. This is great news for the NAS company known for it's...well...kick butt user interface :-)

Ok, I am biased since I used to work there and built their user interface, but now it is in the trusted hands of a fellow colleague who does great work (also known as the co-founder of

Congratulations agámi! Well done!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Second Life forums closing...

Yes, it looks like Linden Labs is phasing out the community forums in favor of blogs and in-world forms of communication. This has, of course, started an outcry from some residents, while others are praising the decision.

Personally, I think this could be a good thing if newer forms of communication make it easier for residents. Discussion boards are one of the first community driven communications mediums used widely on the Web. With Web 2.0 sites pushing the envelope on social networking and communication, I think it may be time to update and move into the new century for many sites.

Second Life has a huge social aspect to it, and using a dated out-of-game discussion platform feels a bit odd to me. Let's hope newer and more interactive forms of discussion are in the works!

P.S. I think there is still a place for discussion forums, but more along the 3rd party route. Fan sites, help sites, group sites, etc, are the perfect place for niche discussions. Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

How Evil Are You?

Surprisingly, I found this link in one of the Internet Explorer team member blogs :-) Just ask yourself, how evil are you?

Monday, August 07, 2006

AOL: Another Obtuse Lapse

I don't know what the people at America Online are smoking, but maybe they should start selling whatever it is, because they may need to look for a new business model soon. These people released massive amounts of user search data to the public, tied to individual users!

Ok, so the user names are not used. Instead, they use randomized numbers, but you can track a user's searches and navigation by this number, and pretty easily find out who they are by analyzing their search terms. Ego searching is very common.

So imagine seeing that user "1297734" seached for his name, for example "Ted Samplename", then this same user later searches for "Seattle prostitutes". Well, suddenly we can start assuming that Mr. Ted Samplename, of Seattle, is looking for a little on-the-side action. Talk about invasion of privacy!

AOL has since removed the data, but the damaqge is done. It's being mirrored all over the place. I'm just glad I'm not an AOL user, and I feel bad for anyone who is.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Meet the Zazzlers and join the BBQ!

Lunch 2.0 is an interesting concept...Web 2.0 companies sponsor a BBQ at their offices open to the public! And this coming Wednesday, August 9th at noon, it's Zazzle's turn to host!

Come meet the Zazzle team (including yours truly) and enjoy food, food, and more food! Simply RSVP by clicking here and entering a comment! See ya there!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Be a star with SingShot!

SingShot is a new site for karaoke lovers. Sign up, choose a song, plug in your mic, and sing. Not only is that fun, but you can record your renditions for all to hear.

Now here is where the real fun begins. It's like a train can't stop looking, no matter how bad the scene. I'm amazed at how truly bad some people's recordings are! As Simon Cowell would say, "Appalling". There are some truly talented people on there, however.

So in general, I like the site. It's fun. But to record songs and actually be a star, you have to pay (after your 2 week free trial ends). Subscription plans are $9.95/month (billed monthly), $7.95/month ($23.85 billed every three months), or $4.95/month ($59.40 billed once a year).

Free members can only play member recordings, create a profile page, and rate and comment on other member performances. If you don't want to be the American Idol, but rather play Randy, Paula, or Simon, then the free membership is perfect. But if you want to be the next Clay Aiken (and who doesn't?) be ready to pony up some cash.