Alex Russell's well-written reality check for XHTML validatorians.
Alex Russell's well-written reality check for XHTML validatorians.
An interesting new technique for reading passages of text quickly on tiny screens.
Are there any Cream of Wheat aficionados in the audience? If so, can anyone tell me why my local supermarket gives me four choices for what should be one of the most basic foods on the shelf? See the picture below that I snapped yesterday. We apparently have a 10-Minute version, a 2.5-Minute version, a 1-Minute version, and an Instant version now:
I haven’t eaten Cream of Wheat since I still had my baby teeth, but is there really such a need for so many versions? I guess I understand the “10-Minute” and the “Instant” because usually food that takes longer to cook is better, but is there a palpable difference between the three quickest versions? And perhaps more importantly, if the stuff is to be eaten hot, how much quicker could “Instant” really be than “1-Minute”? Who is the person who needs to shave a few seconds off of their one-minute breakfast drill?
Ah, so that's what they are called. I've always loved these things.
Apologies for the generally worthless post, but I discovered the other day that I had inadvertently enabled a setting on my mail server which deleted all items from my inbox which were older than 30 days. There were probably 30 or 40 emails I still needed to return which are now gone forever. So if you wrote me something in the last few months and I haven’t responded to it yet, please write again!!! Especially if you’re the person who wrote in with those two really, really nice examples of sIFR-ized sites you’d designed or if you’re from that technical school in Seattle and wanted to say hi. Those are the two that I remembered clearly and tipped me off that something was wrong.
Anyway, that’s it. Sorry for the interruption.
P.S. Is anybody else as baffled as I am that after 10.4, 10.4.1, and now 10.4.2, Apple’s Mail program still takes 5-10 seconds to pull up a new mail window when you hit the “Reply” button? Is that really such a hard problem to fix?
P.P.S. Safari is also crashing on me about once a day now. Anybody else? Two years of virtually no crashes and now this? I think it’s a known issue with the newest Safari release but are we going backwards?
P.P.P.S. Anybody tried Vonage? Especially for a business? Any good?
Josh explains some of the great thinking behind his new invoicing app Blinksale.
After switching from my beloved DirecTV w/ Tivo service to Comcast’s HD w/ DVR service a couple of weeks ago, I now understand why every household doesn’t have a DVR:
Because mainstream DVRs, in and of themselves, suuuuuuuck.
This new Comcast 6412 box in my living room is such a royal pain to use that I’ve begun watching less TV simply because I hate interacting with it so much. I pull up the channel guide and it shows me only six channels per screen. I hit rewind and the box doesn’t even acknowledge my keystroke for a couple of seconds. I look for the 30-second commercial skip button and there is none. The amount of annoyances this little box ships with is almost unbearable. It’s a high price to pay for recordable HDTV, and I will probably continue paying for it, but it sure does feel like almost every other piece of Microsoft technology I’ve ever used: just good enough to tolerate and just bad enough to piss me off at every turn. If it weren’t for the fact that I can record Anna Kournikova in high definition and transfer the footage to my Mac for viewing over and over and over again (see actual screen capture above), this thing would be on the first van back to Philadelphia, or Redmond, or whatever heathen land from whence it came.
Following is a comparison of my DirecTivo service and my Comcast HD service –
|DirecTivo||Comcast 6412 HD PVR|
|Local, Recordable High Definition Channels||No||★ Yes|
|Hardware Footprint||Big ugly dish on deck, receiver in living room||★ Receiver in living room|
|Easy to Transfer Video to Mac||No||★ Yes|
|Interface Makes Me Want To…||★ Hug my TV||Never watch TV again|
|30-second Commercial Skip||★ Yes||No|
|Channel Guide||★ Useful, efficient||Wasteful, maddening|
|RW/FF Snapback||★ Yes||No|
|Recordings Begin and End On-Time||★ Yes||No|
|Remote Easily Controls A/V System Volume||★ Yes||No|
|Channel Volume||★ Normalized||All over the map|
|Standard Definition Channel Quality||★ Digital, very good||Analog, borderline unwatchable|
I have decided to tolerate this Comcast box with Microsoft interface until a more Tivo-like product is available, but I’m definitely not happy about it. I also worry about DirecTV’s impending HD push because they’re offering their own box instead of a Tivo-powered one. That Tivo isn’t just owning every living room in America right now is a sad, sad tragedy. Here’s a message to Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Microsoft and any other company trying to control my living room:
Make it harder for me to watch TV and I’ll watch less TV. Make it easier and I’ll watch more.
A look into the growing poker blogging scene and how profitable it may or may not be.
A great video tutorial about using some of Photoshop's new smart features to ease your workflow.
After checking out B. Adam Howell’s excellent IYHY.com site a couple of weeks ago, I thought it might be a good idea to write a little tutorial about how to make your entire site more mobile-friendly without even touching your pages. You may think that since you write valid code and separate structure from presentation at all times, your site already works great on mobile devices. You may also think bad things don’t happen to good people. In both cases, you’d be wrong.
What’s really needed until HTML/CSS/JS support is improved in mobile devices is a little server-side filtering. By pulling out everything a mobile device can possibly choke on before it even gets to the mobile device, we can create a mobile version of our site which is not only viewable on more devices but is much quicker to download as well.
And you know what? The mobile version of your site is probably going to be much easier on screenreaders too.
Outlined below are the four steps to get this done in a matter of minutes, provided you are in an Apache environment and can run PHP. If you’re not, these steps can easily be adaptable to other technologies.
→ Read the rest of this entry
David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.
If you’re wondering what a excellent blueprint for a modern media company looks like, look no further than Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti’s latest email to his employees. In it, Peretti explains a lot of his company’s virtues, the most important being a relentless focus on always providing what’s best for the user. Vox Media (operators of The Verge) is the only other company I can think of which approaches this level of reform and execution.
I love this so much: a cross-referenceable database of cover songs, searchable by song or artist. Slowed down, acoustic covers — no matter the song — are so enjoyable to me that I wish it was a requirement to play one at every show. If you like them as much as I do, make sure to check out M. Ward’s Let’s Dance or Sun Kil Moon’s entire album of Modest Mouse covers.
Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror
The precision and innovation that is required for space exploration just blows my mind. I did not realize that Curiosity will have to basically land on Mars completely unaided by man, but it’s so much more complicated than that.