I don't know what's cooler: John E. Simpson's weblog or his XML DTD for B movies.
I will be entering the 5K web design contest. I just don't know what I'll be doing. Minimalism is in!
Tech: Selecting a GUI for Linux.
The Obvious: The Cash-Out Effect - a great article about the small fish (Slashdot) being eaten by the bigger fish (Andover) being eaten by an even bigger fish (VA Linux). So, when does Microsoft buy VA Linux?
Ebay is preparing a $1.6 billion bid for Sotheby's auction house. [Wow!]
Ebay says they're not interested in Sotheby's.
NoWebPatents.org is an interesting idea, but I'm not ready to blindly sign up for the cause. I want to see how Amazon (and other patent holders) respond to the industry criticism.
Hey Honey, I got you a gift.
Amazon.com was awarded a patent for their Associates Program. When will this madness and stupidity at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office end?
The GlueTrain Manifesto makes me grin. [For those who don't get it.]
MacOSRumors (Feb 23) is reporting that Apple's MacOS X Aqua GUI is stored in a single editable file. Do you realize what this means! It means that Apple might be allowing for future support of alternative GUIs and skins to run on top of their OS. Imagine a Windows2000 skin running on top of the MacOS. Or an Enlightenment skin. Or even a customized skin developed to suit your or your company's specific needs. Cool! (For you techies, I realize this is a very dumbed-down description and that non-native GUIs/skins on MacOS X requires a lot of work.) [via Bump]
History of Matchcover Collecting
ClickZ: Ten Things I Hate About The Web Business
We are all just sheep. This makes a lot of sense. Read it twice if you have to.
New Weblog: Junkbox. I like this weblog quite a bit, but am not sure if it's going on my reading list. I'm having trouble keeping up with the ones that I already list. Maybe it's time to trim/edit the list again...
The beta site for new Deja.com. I like it except for the area the logo is on. It loads fairly fast on a slow 28.8K connection on an old machine. This is always a good sign.
Microsoft is working on a very AOL-like application called MSN Mars. Yuck. [More]
XMLTerm is an XML-based command-line terminal application which lives and operates inside the Mozilla browser. Very cool.
Wearable Software, Accessibility and Voice Browsing
Well, that didn't take long. They've found a Windows2000 virus already.
David Anderson has an eye-opening interview with Alan Cooper.
Some Flash-only sites submitted by readers:
Tara Calashain notes that the Atomz search engine can index Flash sites.
Builder.com: Flash Generator (allows for true dynamic content in Flash)
I'm watching Bill Cosby guest-host for David Letterman. It's surreal...
And now I'm going to start a rumor. I'll bet that Letterman retires within a year (or possibly much sooner). When Johnny Carson decided to leave the Tonight Show, we started seeing all kinds of regular guest hosts. After his viewers got used to seeing someone other than him hosting the show, he announced his retirement. I'm guessing that Letterman is following Johnny's example, starting with a couple of guest hosts this week. My brother thinks that Jerry Seinfeld will ultimately take over for Letterman. [Personally, I'd like to see him go another 10 years. He's 10 times better than Leno.]
Jabber is an open source Instant Messaging client.
I'm trying to find information about something the founder of VA Linux talked about last night. It's called OpenCRM, which essentially is a Customer Relationship Management system based on open source code.
Another reason not to use Microsoft's ActiveX technology.
Apparently, Adobe is working on a Flash tool. I hope it supports SVG? [Thanks Kim, for the links.]
Bad Software: What to do when bad software fails.
I really like the new k10k.net site design, despite a few minor display problems in Netscape for the Mac.
Here's the k10k.net page that you get when you try to visit with Opera, Mozilla, or any of the 3.x browsers.
I sometimes wonder about the recruitment processes some companies use. I just recieved a recruitment email that was sent to an email address I haven't used since 1996. Where on earth did they find it? Or are companies now resorting to recruitment spam and form letters? Sigh...
The New York New Media Association is hosting a panel discussion tonight about Open Source and Linux. I will likely be going.
I get asked all the time why I think Flash is evil, and I always have to remind people that it's not the technology I hate, it's how people use (or mis-use) it. Flash makes it far too easy for designers to "forget" about the intricacies of what makes the web work. Show me a searchable Flash-based web site, and maybe I'll change my mind. Or better yet, a true dynamically-generated web site that uses Flash as it's primary display technology.
Let me tell you why I'm so excited, and also why I've been so busy lately. Last Thursday, my new employer officially announced support and resources towards developing cutting edge GUIs and technologies for Mozilla. We've already developed two GUI packages with their own skins, and are working on some more very intriguing back-end Mozilla stuff. I'm still learning about all this stuff, but am truly impressed by how open Mozilla really is, and how easy it is to create and implement new skins. If you're curious, you can download and install the packages we developed.
Users should not be able to do this.
An awesome article about the history and origins of Adobe Photoshop.
U.S. Presidential Candidates web site evaluations. This is funny! [via Bifurcated Rivets]
Yay! David Letterman is back to work. He taped his first show yesterday, which will air Monday night. Every person in the audience got a white t-shirt with a red scar on the front, with the date of his surgery printed on the sleeve. Classic!
One of my readers wrote in to mention that is was odd that the chicken incident and the animal blood incident happened on the same day in the same city. Only in Seattle...although, I've seen some pretty weird things in NYC already.
Want to buy my brother's old Powerbook?
I find it ironic that the RSA site was hacked. I'm not surprised, though.
BeerTrek Drinking Game
A List Apart: XML Garden. Simon St. Laurent explains XML in designer's terms.
MS Windows to go open source, not!
Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer. It shows you a behind-the-scenes look at an HTTP request. [Cool!]
Um, this is a bit weird.
Oh my, what will they think of next? No matter which way you cut it, sliced peanut butter is a cool idea.
Microsoft Quote: "It's pretty clear to us is that simply implementing existing standards doesn't help advance the state of the art for the Internet or intranets." This is clearly an indicator that Microsoft does not intend on supporting Internet standards in their products. At least not the standards that make our lives as web developers easier. Standards that benefit Microsoft by locking consumers and businesses into a one-vendor solution/platform, of course.
Slow down, boy.
Apparently, IE 5.0 sucks.
I have to admit, Microsoft has some balls to publish something like this.
Watching TV tonight, my brother noticed that there are like 6 Brad
Pitt movies on simultaneously. He wanted to know why. I responded,
"It's Valentines Day." Gotta make all those single females feel a bit
less lonely, I suppose.
Sorry about the infrequent posts and lack of good links. I've been
swamped this past week. The good news is that I'm working on two
different articles for a popular web magazine, and I'm also working on
some new fiction [gasp!].
I am astonished that it's taking about 20 hours to import my 400 MB
(about 50,000 messages) of email from Eudora 3.1 to Outlook Express 5. OE
5 is a pretty good mail client, but its import function is dreadfully
Salon has an excellent article that talks about the potential of Mozilla.
Population density put into perspective. [via Flutterby]
From the Archives: Stop Mind Control! Get an Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
Put gun to head. Pull trigger. When are companies going to learn that locking yourself into proprietary technology/services is a bad thing. Sigh...I'll comment more on this later.
So Bruce Sterling emails me and invites me to his annual SXSW party. And I think to myself, why does that name sound so familiar? Oh yeah...
Philip Greenspun says that putting a picture of yourself naked on your web site is the most surefire way to get a date using your web site. I argue that if I did that, the server would probably crash in protest. People I've met in real life after I've known them online for a while always comment on how I usually fit the description they had of me in their minds. The only way to describe myself is "midwestern normal." Shrug.
Macintouch: MacOS X Aqua GUI reader comments.
My old friends at Fusionary Media reminded me of their wonderful little gem of a web site called The Box. Definitely ahead of its time for 1998.
I will be attending the SXSW conference in Austin, TX from March 10-14. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone. For those who are attending, some of the other weblog folks have set up a SWSW weblog to discuss the conference.
Regarding yesterday's posting pointing out that someone copied Evan's site. I want to make it clear that I completely understand why people make this mistake so often. In fact, I encourage people to examine the code, technical design, and graphic design of a well-designed web site, but only if you do it as a learning/self-teaching experience. Unfortunately, too many people make the mistake of publishing their "test" sites and then getting busted by the original site author. The way to avoid this is simply to not publish your test sites to a public web server. Or if you do, then remove them shortly after you've verified that everything works. It's perfectly fine to emulate a web site you like, as long as you don't claim that it's your original work or make it publicly accessible.
Here are the technical descriptions of the Tribal Flood Network DOS attack and the "trinoo" DOS attack. This is reportedly what was used to take down Yahoo earlier this week, as well as some other large ecommerce sites.
Cool new weblog with gratuitous use of Flash.
AOL Will Win The DSL War. While this is just one customer's experience, I am worried that AOL's plug-and-play approach may segregate certain portions of the Internet audience. The fact is that most of the incompetence people are experiencing with their DSL services and installation are a direct result of the DSL provider not having properly trained staff, or that the provider they're using totally sucks (i.e. numerous reports that Bell Atlantic and other baby Bells are simply not prepared to handle the mass adoption of DSL, just yet).
Philosophe: Common Sense Rules For Interaction Design
I'm reading a new book called XML: A Manager's Guide by Kevin Dick. It provides a semi-technical look at XML, but more importantly provides an excellent overview of what XML can be used for and educates the reader (probably someone in a management position) about what XML can do. [Highly Recommended]
EvHead gets copied. [No comment]
CamPad Update: I'm still looking for an apartment in NYC. I've extended my deadline and give myself another month and a half to look for a place. I'm also considering trying to get around the brokers who want 15% of a year's rent as a finder's fee. The only way to do this is to get a referral from someone in a building or work directly with a building's super, manager or retail management company (most of who list directly with the broker companies). It's a tough system to break, but I'll take a stab at it. Feel free to recommend "good" buildings in NYC/Manhattan that you think I should check out. In the meantime I think I'll get some of these brokers to show me bunches of apartments for free. It'll give me a good idea of what types of apartments are available in what areas of the city.
A new issue of Reflections
of a Modem Junkie is out.
A friend of mine in the new media industry who is in a hiring
position asked me "Where have all the good web designers gone?" I
completely forgot about my old rant from a while back entitled "The
Problem With the Web Design Industry" which sums up some of my old
feelings about trying to recruit web designers who know what they're
doing. The industry is to a point where there are so many jobs
available and so few qualified candidates that even web designers with
only a little bit of knowledge and experience are pulling in a decent
salary - certainly above the
entry-level figures they should be
Another growing problem is that we're starting to see the first
wave of college graduates who have been formally [classroom] trained in
come out of our colleges. Many of these graduates lack the real-world
experience needed to solve the problems that are thrown at web
designers and developers on a daily basis. I know of many hiring
managers who plow through hundreds of resumes for web designers, only
to find below-average work and designers who don't fully understand
the technology behind the work they're doing. Instead, we're seeing
web designers who rely far too much on Dreamweaver or Flash and don't
make any attempts to learn or understand the basic building blocks of
a web site. Without those fundamental skills and a good
understanding of how a web site is assembled from start to finish, I'm
afraid we're going to start seeing even more Flash-only e-commerce
sites (yikes!) or sites that don't follow the standards in functional
usability and pervasive acessibility.
Experience entry refers to boo.com, an e-commerce
site that uses new media technology improperly. Astute readers will
notice the implied correlation between this entry and the one above
about web designers and developers who don't understand that building web
sites is about more than showcasing new technologies or creating some
From the Archives: Why
Designers Should Care About Mozilla
Fizilla is Mozilla
for MacOS X. [Interesting...]
John Dvorak talks about a hidden
agenda in the Cross Site Scripting Security
announcement Microsoft released last week.
A reader sent in this link
to an article about a species of mammal that
shares a 98% genetic profile with humans. Get this: the species is
female-centered and substitutes sex for aggression. This directly
challenges the assumptions we have about male supremacy in human
decided to be evil.
I know, today's links aren't that great. I stole them from an anemic
bookmarks file on a computer I'm borrowing. (Shhh...Andrew doesn't know
I'm using his computer.)
Scripting Overview. This basically refers to the
security isses involved with
sites that are dynamically generated using a system that parses HTML
in a dynamic method. This may include ASP, XSSI, or any other system
that uses embedded scripting right in the HTML. Steven Champeon
outlines the problem and gives some good examples.
Today is my last day of work at my current employer. Next week, I will be in New York City doing the apartment-hunting route. If you'd like to have lunch with me, feel free to send me an email. NYC apartment-hunting tips are greatly appreciated.
Because so many people have asked, here is what I'm looking for in an apartment in NYC:
About five different people have written in and recommended that I use the Village Voice classifieds. Not only are the majority of them broker-free, you can find some great apartments if you take the time to set up appointments on Tuesdays, as soon as the classifieds are posted.
I've been personally invited by David Kaufman to go see his new band called The Motives play in NYC (2/16 at 10:00 PM at the Baggot Inn). David Kaufman played the keyboards for The Nails in the 1980s. The Nails are best known for their hit song "88 Lines About 44 Women" which was recently used in a Mazda Protege commercial.
Pi + "The Raven" + AANVVV = ???
I'm watching the Twin Peaks pilot on Bravo right now. I completely forgot how good this series was. I've been a long-time fan of the music, though, composed by Angelo Badalamenti.
There is incredible buzz right now around the movie Boys Don't Cry. I couldn't help but notice that the preview uses snippets of Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack by Philip Glass.
Why is it that the Miss USA contest, er...pageant, gets worse each year? Man, what crap TV that is. Complete with a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" multiple-choice rip-off. Ugh.
Expect infrequent updates for the next week or so while I get settled.
The SuperFriends do the "Wazzup" commercial. [Funny!] Not to be confused with the original "Wazzup" Budweiser commercial.
Oh man, this game is going to rock so hard. I think I'm going to have to buy a new Mac just so I can run it. It'll be worth it, though.
I'm guessing these folks have already been added to the various spam filtering tools and blacklists.
Ugh. It's that time of year again.
I don't know whether to be pleased that AOL is being sued for $8 billion or pissed that lawyers are abusing a loophole in computer crime law to do so. Optimistic point of view: sign up for AOL and get $1000.
If you read only one article today, read this one by Jon Udell about Zope, XML and the future of web applications (also called network services). In fact, read it twice. Don't worry if a lot of it is over your head. This is clearly the future of the web. I happen to be reading Jon Udell's new book, "Practical Internet Groupware" right now. Highly recommended.
Cluster Analysis for Web Site Organization
Carl Steadman is one funny dude.
Why don't you just use your finger?
I hate Phil.
Cam speaketh. I don't like how the site designer has made the answers to questions bold and left the questions themselves un-bolded. It's very difficult to read this way, as I expect the bolded type to be the question. [This has now been fixed and is much easier to read/scan.]
From the design corner: Spiral logo critiques.
So I was checking out a new weblog today called Harrumph and she's got a link to a site about The Young Ones, an early '80s British TV comedy. Oh man, that brings back some childhood memories. Especially the one where Neil sings about a hole in his shoe. If you've never seen The Young Ones, you're missing out on some classic British comedy.
I want a Robo-Monkey.
I'm really liking Cynthia Pearce's site. Very clean and elegant.
Burnout in the Net Industry.
As of 11:30 PM EST: www.levi.com has been hacked. In place of the home page, there is the message: "avirex was here please fix your security." It's been that way for a couple of hours, as the file has a modified time header of 10:00 PM EST.
Succaland.com is a pretty cool site. Nice design, too.
Must-Read: The Purpose of Copyright. [There are reports that this link doesn't work for everyone. I hope open-spaces fixes it. It is a great article.]
From my logs comes this bit of interesting data. The numbers on the left reflect which colorscheme people have chosen to view CamWorld in:
80: http://www.camworld.com/cgi-bin/color.cgi?scheme=grey (default)
Salon: No Sex Please, We're Geeks.
I guess you have to see it to believe it: BubbleBodyWear.
I know guys who would use one of these at work.
Cool, little pixel-based animations put into Quicktime. [via Brainlog]
Interesting little article comparing the culture of a startup to the culture and work ethic of large corporations. [via Fresh Hell]
Brunching Shuttlecocks: Presidential Contender Quote Affixer. Clever.
Dvorak analyzes the latest report on the social aspect of the online world.
More info on the Microsoft "Digital Dashboard" I referenced the other day. [via Robot Wisdom]
Dan Bricklin: The Option Value of Open Connectivity.
I found this article at rc3.org about "web-application scalability engineering" and how it's a start-up's secret weapon. Hmmm....
Apparently, Alice is a long-lost, real-life Simpson character.