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April 15, 2003

WLTIIM.com

CNN and others have highlighted this site and brought it to it’s knees, but it seems to be running OK now, so it’s my turn to link to it: We Love the Iraqi Information Minister.com.

This guy provided a great amount of comic relief to the world for the first two-plus weeks of the war in Iraq. We all owe him a debt for that. I found myself tuning into the daily press meetings. Classic stuff.

It’s a shame he’s fled the country— he could have had a future in entertainment. What a comic straight man! For those of you that miss his daily rantings, word is he keeps you (mis)informed right from his own blog.

January 29, 2003

Opera 7

Opera 7 is out and a pretty impressive little browser from what I've seen so far.

It's been rewritten since Opera 6, smaller than Opera 6 no less. In fact, the version without the Java runtime weighs in at a 3.2 MB download. That's substantially smaller than Phoenix or Chimera, the 'lightweight' versions of Mozilla.

It has better standards support. It renders my site beautifully. In fact, it does a better job rendering the external link CSS than any other browser, especially for the cases where the link happens to wrap to the following line, as it does for this long link to my home page -- some browsers don't render it at all, some render it to the right of the first line, but Opera does the right thing. Oh and with Safari, the external links look terrible because for whatever reason, it ignores the no-repeat rule. I hope this gets fixed in Safari before the final release. I ran it through the W3C CSS1 test suite, CSS Edge site and others. So far, so good.

The keyboard navigation features are very cool. Shift+Arrows to spatially navigate links/clickable objects within the document. Keys for site navigation (assuming the site has the <link> tags for them), like Ctrl+Shift+Space to go to the home page; Ctrl+Shift+F for the site search page; First, Next, Previous, Last, Up, etc. all have similar hot keys.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but so far I haven't seen any ads in Opera 7. Have they dropped the ad panel with this release or did they forget to enable it in the final build? Update: Yes, ads are in there and will be enabled 14 days after installation. Thanks, Phil.

Well in any event, it's comforting to know that browser competition is alive and well. In fact, Internet Explorer 6 is looking downright ancient these days. I think it's the only browser left that doesn't natively offer the option to disable popup windows. Where is Microsoft these days? 6.0 came out back in August of 2001 fer cryin' out loud.

January 20, 2003

Syndirella

Syndirella is great little RSS reader that has already become one of my few 'start-up' apps (alongside Phoenix, e-mail client and Trillian). You use it to grab headlines from news or blog-oriented web sites (which is pretty much every site I regularly visit). This site has a RSS feed as well -- you can find the address for it on the About this Site page. It's a great time saver and keeps you informed.

Syndirella is a .NET application. And I find it deliciously ironic that this is the first .NET-based application I've installed on my computer and it just so happens to be GPL software. If you're familiar with Microsoft's stance on the GPL, you'll better appreciate the irony. I only wish that it had been developed using SharpDevelop instead of Visual Studio .NET.

October 25, 2002

Googlism.com

Googlism is the latest new Google toy. I suppose there is no end to the fun you can have with Google. Use this one to find out what the Internet thinks of you and your loved ones. Or the place you're planning to vacation. Stuff like that. The 'who' search takes ego-searching to a whole new level. Try mine out-- not much to say, but I like the way it's said!

October 16, 2002

Composite

This is pretty sweet. Finally, a visual editor I can use from within Mozilla! Works with any <textarea> field. And copy/paste works great from a web page into it's edit window-- it preserves links, images, formatting, etc. Impressive.

October 14, 2002

Counterscript

anti-telemarketing EGBG counterscript: "Telemarketers make use of a telescript - a guideline for a telephone conversation. This script creates an imbalance in the conversation between the marketer and the consumer. It is this imbalance, most of all, that makes telemarketing successful. The EGBG Counterscript attempts to redress that balance."

October 1, 2002

MIT OpenCourseWare Pilot

MIT OpenCourseWare: MIT and the OpenCourseWare team are excited to share with you a first sampling of course materials from MIT's Faculty.

MIT hopes to eventually publish the course material for nearly all of their 2,000 courses. Here's the list of courses that are available today. If you browse through some of them, you'll find that it's no small task. Everything from lecture notes to assignments are documented. Software tools and made available for various courses. Suggested study materials are given. Pretty nice. This would have been pretty handy during my college years.

I bet the MIT alumni are groaning though-- now everybody could say: "Yes-- I studied at MIT!"

September 26, 2002

Meet Dewie

Dewie, the Turtle

The FTC's Consumer Information Security web site is now up and is showing off the mascot they've chosen (press release about it). I guess they felt a 'kick me' sign on the front would be redundant.

All over the site, you'll see Dewie the e-Turtle. Dewie's wired, but carries his security shell no matter what he's doing on the Internet. Even though turtles take their time, Dewie crosses the finish line first because he takes the appropriate steps to avoid a disaster.

Seriously though, there is some useful information and security tips at the site, especially for those that have no clue about viruses and spam. That is, if the consumer can stop laughing long enough to read it.

(via random($foo))

I promise-- they're both #6B6B6B

The Checker Shadow Illusion is the best optical illusion I've seen in a long time. Thanks to Andy Baio and Jason Kottke for sharing.

September 13, 2002

Origin of the Smiley

Mike Jones has discovered the origin of the :-) smiley! Scott Fahlman gets the credit. Just look at what he started. Scott documents it here. I can even see the resemblance:

Scott Fahlman, sideways
:-)

Pretty obvious (uh, the top image is Scott). Now everytime I see :-) I'm going to picture Scott. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing...

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