What are th UI designers smoking over there at Amazon.com?
Compaq and HP are building PDAs that use Linux. More info at handhelds.org.
Microsoft/Mac: Points, Pixels, DPI and You: A Style Guide to Internet Explorer 5
Design and Implementation of an Embedded-Java Web-Camera
Some people might view this as the ultimate hitlist. I have no opinion on it.
Web Design and Sin. [Excellent]
The June 2000 publication of the Netcraft Web Server Survey is up.
Way, way behind on replying to email. Please be patient...
The Challenges of Integrating the Unix and Mac OS Environments
If you doubt that Microsoft is paying attention to Linux development, take a close look at this screenshot I took in June of 1998 before Microsoft's PR people forced the developer whose Linux/Apache server this was put it back behind the corporate firewall. Pay special attention to the URL field.
We're getting one of these computers for our new officespace in NYC. Heh.
I love the title of this session at the O'Reilly Open Source conference next month: MySQL Optimization or How to Get Your Database Application to go Really Fast
Today's links suck in that you'll find them elsewhere. Apologies for being too busy to find anything interesting.
Client-server action? Hmmm....
The NY Times article that pissed ESR off. Wow, OK. I confess. I didn't read this article before I linked to it. Only now, several hours later did I actually read it, er...I mean try to read it. This has got to be one of the most trite pieces of juvenile journalism I've read in a long time. I expected a lot more from the NY Times and am genuinely shocked that they actually published such drivel. Any editor with common sense would have tossed this article into the trash can after reading the first paragraph. It's that bad.
Cam: Browser Wars Redux
I've updated my essays section with a lot of old email postings and various essays I've written over the past year.
Mother Jones: Violent Media is Good For Kids
Apple Human Interface Alumni. [Thanks Elan, for the link]
Tonight on the subway ride (the F line) home, I saw a young woman wearing a t-shirt that said "Rash is gone" in big black letters. Hmmm....
Wow, am I tired. Last night I had dinner with Jeffrey Zeldman, Simon St. Laurent, Edd Dumbill, and Matt Sergeant. What did we talk about? Well, geek stuff mostly. Stuff like XML, weblogs, Microsoft, open source, etc. This morning, I got up at 6:30 to come into work and get my chapter outlines written for a computer book I'm co-authoring that I'll be talking about soon. Exciting stuff.
Those familiar with the Mozilla infrastructure might recognize the similarity between its potential as a distributed application framework and Microsoft's new (ahem, innovative) .NET services forecast. The thing to point out here is that Mozilla is currently about 8-12 months or so ahead of Microsoft. While companies are building applications on top of Mozilla now, Microsoft doesn't expect to even launch their services until 2002.
So, Microsoft wants to become an Application Service Provider. Does this scare the bejesus out of anyone else? Do we really want Microsoft to control the Internet of the future?
Still, the biggest problem facing such services is the fact that most homes still do not have a broadband Internet connection capable of supporting them. Telecommunications geeks will talk your ear off about "the last mile" problem, but we're still many years away until broadband access is pervasive enough to support such services for the consumer market. Instead, what we'll see is an early focus on selling these services to businesses and corporations who have the broadband infrastructure in place, with a later focus on the consumer market.
I don't know what the big fuss is about. I already have a clone.
Slashdot: Why can't we reverse-engineer .DOC?
Andy Oram: Dialog With an Internet Toaster. You know what? Java often goes very well with toast.
Automated Message: We're sorry. All circuits are busy. Please hang up and try again in a few days.
Brian Pfaffenberger compares today's software industry to that of the U.S. automobile industry in the 1950's. Interesting read! [found at Hack-the-Planet]
Andy Ihnatko reports on this year's MacHack conference, bigger and cooler than ever. Even Microsoft had the balls to show up.
Philosophe: Some Thoughts on Domain Names
Microsoft's .NET service is a joke. A big heaping pile of FUD, for sure. In short, it appears they've finally accepted the concept of network computing -- a la Sun's "The Network is the Computer" mandate that's been chanted from the rooftops of people with a clue for the past few years.
Jon Katz: The Rise of Open Media
Something about this image makes me bust out laughing.
If you have emailed me in the past few days and are expecting a response, please be patient. I'm working through my inbox as fast as I can. Busier than usual.
New version of Adobe's SVG plug-in is out. Cool!
Discuss: AOL vs. Microsoft -- The Future of Distributed Apps
XML.com: XML: A Disruptive Technology
Note: I will be attending the O'Reilly Open Source Conference in Monterey, CA from July 17-20. I will also be attending Webzine2000 on July 22 in San Francisco. If you're going to be at either of these events, let's get together.
Deepleap.org: Building a Better Deepleap
If I had an extra $2300 I'd by one of these DVD players.
So, a few years ago I wrote a rant about spam. Today I received spam about this rant about spam. Pathetic.
Transitions in Information Design
I've been using PayPal for eBay transactions for a while now, and due to the sign-up process at PayPal I now have more than one account. As far as I can tell there is no way to combine multiple accounts either. This came about because someone sent me PayPal money to an email address that is different from the email address I use for my eBay transactions. Oops! I hope PayPal fixes this problem of multiple sign-up paths.
At the end of a long day, I come home, plop myself on the couch, download some email to the server, telnet into a mail account with the wireless powerbook, turn on the teevee -- some 300+ channels, mostly movies -- and the only thing I care to watch is Silicon Spin? The whole scenario screams webgeek. Such is my life.
I had no idea the recording industry was so evil. Reading stuff like this makes me want to stop buying CDs from the stores and start buying directly from the bands themselves -- online, of course. [found at rc3.org]
Argus Center for Information Architecture: Information Architecture of the Shopping Cart
WebReview: If You Meet a Data Bigot on the Road, Kill Him
Wow! A Mr. T. stsrter kit. Only $19.95. I wish I knew where this banner came from. [via FastHack]
More than you ever wanted to know about the props from the Star Wars films. [Found at InformationUltra]
Fascinating information about the design of space vehicles.
So, it's been six months since newmedia.com changed their site design from a sensible and readable layout to the current DHTML monstrosity. New Media (and newmedia.com) used to be a magazine that I read regularly, but since the switch I haven't been back once. I'm sure I'm not the only web designer who has stopped visiting. I'd be curious to know if their readership has dropped. I'm betting that it has.
Long-time reader Conrad Walton sent me a note about a site he hosts: survivor.com, which is a small software company. Apparently the site went from 250 hits a day to over 30,000 hits a day. There's a short article about this up at survivor.com.
Apparently, lawnmower racing is turning into quite a popular sport in the Midwest. I love the domain name of the U.S. Lawnmower Racing Association.
Anyone who has spent time in an office knows the universal drive we all share to race around in wheeled office chairs. C'mon, you know you've done it. It's even turned into somewhat of a regular event at MIT. Here's a humorous story about chair racing.
www.beltsander-races.com [from Owen]
Whew, Lane's back. I know how busy he's been, though, so I don't blame him. Also, I expect the rest of my summer to be super busy, for several reasons that I will disclose shortly [stay tuned], so if I start slacking with CamWorld, you have my permission to nag me about it.
MrBarrett: Tale of a Clueless IT Director
Bradlands goes to [SFX: ominous chord] ADSL HELL!!![SFX: echo, reverb]
Here's an interesting article discussing the cracking of AOL's customer service tools and account database.
This Red Herring article about PR hacks reminds me of RLE's wonderful "Tips For PR Flacks."
Robert X. Cringely's latest column talks about how Microsoft might benefit from Judge Jackson's ruling, and also how Microsoft's hardware design guidelines used by OEMs have actually hurt consumers.
This MSNBC article warns that Microsoft's dominance in certain software industries actually stifles creativity and individual thought. Hey, just like the Borg.
Dig it, baby. Ferrari Sparklefreak, man.
I keep thinking about the Microsoft ruling. If the future of home and office computing lies in the hands of software developers, as I said yesterday, I'm curious to hear what the general computer using public thinks. I've read dozens upon dozens of articles about what the software industry thinks of the ruling, but haven't heard a peep out of the general public. Surely, some enterprising newspaper or magazine has taken to the streets and asked the public. Send me links.
For the love of God, this is funny.
Dave Winer has an interesting proposal -- get Microsoft to support the Mozilla browser development as part of a settlement with the government. Hmmm, interesting. I think it goes much deeper than that, though. Microsoft has screwed over enough developers in the past that it's doubtful developers will want to work with Microsoft, even if the project was open source. Microsoft has a bad reputation for a reason. Until they change their fundamental business practices, many developers will probably refuse to work with them.
I'm wearing a bright orange shirt today. Just thought you'd like to know. Taylor sent me a cease and desist letter regarding my unauthorized wearing of "a bright orange shirt." Heh! My coworkers are going to complain if I'm forced to remove my shirt.
An interesting look at how the NY Times is dealing with the Internet Explorer cookie bug.
I'm addicted to Japanese junk food. I can't help it. It's just so different from American junk food, and reminds me of the years I spent as a kid eating British candy. Today I'm eating something called Pocky (made by Glico), which are long biscuit sticks covered with cream fudge. Mmmm, delicious.
Developer.com: The Myth of Open Source Security
Software Developer Communities:
If Microsoft's true fate lies in the hands of the software developers of the world, then who among today's software companies stands to gain the most marketshare? My bet is that it will be companies who have strong developer infrastructures and communities in place. Companies like Oracle who have 600,000 active developers. Or companies like Apple, who are betting that their new, modern OS will lead them into the next decade of home and office computing. How do Slashdot and other developer communities tie into this emerging software development process? The stronger a community, the better your software?
Salon has an interesting article about the blame being pushed around in the wake of the Central Park attacks during the Puerto Rican Day Parade last Sunday. Reminds me of the controversial Seinfeld episode. Here's a clue. If you act like a bunch of assholes, you're going to be portrayed as such. Hiding under the shield of a "minority event" is such a cop-out. I came to this realization last Sunday after having to ride in a subway car full of Puerto Rican Day celebrants who were openly smoking, drinking, shouting, yelling, playing loud music, and generally acting like a bunch of assholes.
I mean, I enjoy a public event just as much as the next guy, but when such a celebration is used as an excuse to have a citywide party and to break the law on numerous occasions, then I'd just as soon ask the city to cancel the festivities.
Just say "no" to PHP.
The coolest thing about the M16 release of Mozilla is that it now has native scrollbar widgets built right in. The default scrollbars are the cross-platform widgets they developed. To change them, go to Edit: Preferences: Debug and uncheck "gfx scrollbars". Cool.
The original Netscape press release. [found at Barista]
I'm now adding TITLE attributes to my anchor tags. This is due to the prodding of the great Jeffrey Z.
The Mac OS in a World With Two Microsofts. [The Slashdot crowd responds.]
WebTerrier: Jacklighted by the Zeitgeist.
The U.S. government is asking for comments about the Digital Copyright Millennium Act. So, speak up.
Peter points me to Scott McCloud's new online column about web comics.
The Orphanage of Cast-off Mascots. [Oh, these are truly classic.] This reminds me of some popular books I find in various design shops and ad agencies:
Holy cow! I've made another $75 at Epinions, even though I have written a review since last October. Come to think of it, I haven't written a CamRant since last October, either. I wonder if there is any correlation.
I went to the Post Office today to buy stamps. From the stamp machine I received a handful of the new one dollar coins. This led me to start thinking about the penny. I generally don't like the penny. It's a nuisance. Too many of them tend to collect in great numbers in your pockets, your desk, your car ashtray, and elsewhere. I'm sure that many of you have entire containers full of pennies at home, waiting to be rolled. I know I do. As a child living overseas on American military bases, I learned that the military doesn't use the penny in their American money transactions, and all prices are rounded up or down to the the nickel. When I asked why, I was told it was due to the expense of shipping heavy pennies overseas to every American military base in the world that uses American money (most do). What a clever idea! These days, the penny is almost worthless, yet there are entire groups of people petitioning the government to save the penny. I just don't understand why. Of course, Coinstar is against the elimination of the penny. [Google-powered links]
If you haven't been over to Flutterby.com lately, Dan and Todd have been adding all sorts of cool new community/feedback features, a la Metafilter, except it's all developed entirely in Perl. Awesome, Dan.
WDJ: How Corporates Poison their Own Web Efforts. I swear this guy was describing my experiences at Borders.com, including the "strangely-colored hair" comment. [via Eatonweb]
Panty Cat is a Japanese game for the Mac about a cat that likes to wear panties on his head. You just can't make this stuff up. [via Robot Wisdom]
Compatibility table for AOL browsers. Awesome. [via Anil Dash.]
MSDN: A Young Person's Guide to The Simple Object Access Protocol: SOAP Increases Interoperability Across Platforms and Languages
I just got an email [spam?] from someone claiming to be selling Star Wars DVDs. He emailed me after spotting my old page at DVDTracker. Does anyone know if these are legit? I'm guessing they are pirated copies. Send me links to discussions about such pirating. I'm intrigued.
Damn, my readers can find anything -- A Galaxy of Bootlegs: A Look at Pirate Star Wars DVDs.
BlogNow is a cool litle Windows-only application. [It's too bad Mac users can't use it.] On further thought, why can't something like this be done with an advanced bookmarklet?
Viruses on the Internet: Monoculture breeds parasites. [submitted by pixelbaby]
More UI spec documents:
From 1967: Security Controls For Computer Systems: Report of Defense Science Board Task Force on Computer Security. [from Interesting-People.org]
Happy Birthday. CamWorld turned three years old today.
Boston Glode: Falsus in omnibus.
Wow, this is amazing. Chronological listing of places I've lived [I've moved a lot]:
Tim O'Reilly: The Network Really is the Computer [Must read.]
Where can I get Ecco Cosmo men's sandals online for less than $100? Send tips.
O'Reilly has an awesome page of Internet and technology conference listings. Far better than anything else.
Sexualrecords.com. [A good idea.]
Adventures of a big white guy living in Hong Kong. [via efader.pitas.com]
Assembler.org: Making Art With Machine Code. [submitted by superape]
alt.sex.stories Text Repository. [submitted by sexlog]
Nice new weblog: Rathergood.
Why user experience disasters happen at the start of web projects.
It's not often that the Gartner Group gets facts wrong. Luckily, sharp-eyed smart people are around to correct those mistakes.
Taylor dissects Scott McCloud's new book, Reinventing Comics.
DOJ requires new error message in all Microsoft applications.
Dave is doing a much better job at representing the various opinions about Microsoft than I ever could, so if you're looking for a bunch of stuff to read, head on over to today's Scripting News.
DaveNet: What the Web Wants [I don't agree with everything Dave's saying, but he makes some excellent points.]
Cam: A World Without Microsoft
These pictures tell a story: 1, 2, 3. Ack! [If you've eaten recently, you might want to skip this.]
Wow, the level of IE arrogance in this email [forwarded to me by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous] is astonishing. Perhaps this company needs to learn some lessons in customer service?
Michael Kimsal: Tips For Effective Email
Lying in bed last night trying to get to sleep, I came to the realization that thinking about complex HTML table structures actually helps. There's something about the way we visualize such abstract things as HTML tables in our minds that works as a kind of sleep stimulant. And it's not just HTML, either. Most programming languages also have a level of abstraction that requires visualization and deep thought. This is probably why most programmers prefer to work in an environment without distractions. Of course, it could also be why I feel so sleepy at work sometimes. This also leads me to wonder about the ratio of caffeine intake with programmers. There are some responses and comments to this.
Whoo-hoo! Scott McCloud's Reinventing Comics hit the stores today, despite what Amazon says. (One of my coworkers already bought a copy.)
Anyone who has ever had to use Visio will enjoy this essay/rant.
O'ReillyNet: Thinking Outside the Outbox
Venture Capitalists are lining up at the door!
Couple of quick links this morning, submitted by readers:
Blanketfort has a floating Geocities cat. [Ahhh, blanketforts....if only our adult lives were as full of such unadulterated fun as we had with our childhood blanketforts.]
writetheweb.com is a community news site that encourages people to contribute stories/links, somewhat in the same vein as Metafilter. I've been part of this site since its inception but have been too busy to contribute much. The site is now open to everyone.
Behind Enemy Lines: A Spammer's Luck Runs Out When She Forges The Wrong Domain. [Wow!]
OSOpinion: Underwhelmed by WAP: Impressions from the coalface
Hee-hee! Bullshitanalyzer.com is great!
Shorts worth watching: Lovely and Vernon, Florida.
Somebody with a Geocities page making use of the photos at fugly.com.
"What do you get when you ask Windows software developers to become web developers? You get HELL. Pure, 100%, evil-compliant HELL."
ExplodingDog is very cool.
Edd Dumbill: RDF - why we should care - and RSS
Jim Roepke really likes WebObjects. I think it's a pretty impressive system, too. This will likely mean future compatibility with stuff like Apache's Java Project, JServ, Jakarta, Turbine, and numerous other open source projects that are being developed using server side Java. This is good.
Stammtisch is the diary of Josh and Michael. Great stuff. Great writing.
I must start reading Slashdot regularly again. This is the first I've heard of openCola.
All of these links have something in common:
All of these PDF documents are on my desktop, meaning that I've downloaded and read/printed them recently:
A List Apart: Bridging the Gap [between desigenrs and sysadmins]
Linux Journal: The Long View on Linux, Part 2
I like meat. I'm not a vegetarian. What are our teeth for, if not for chewing up meat and tough foodstuffs? Sure, the levels of animal treatment are not as good as some of you would like, but livestock raised for consumption is an important part of our culture. See the cow. Pet the cow. Kill the cow. Eat the cow.
Hey, vegetarianism is cool. I respect people who have decided to go that route. It's just not for me. I had a roast beef sandwich with bacon from Subway for lunch. It was good.
Le Monde Diplomatique: Free software for all
Tomorrow, I plan on attending the all-day free conference called Excavating the Archive at Parsons Scool of Design in New York City. I hope to see you there. [via Peterme]
This is such a cool idea. I work with some really smart people!
The NeXT Big Thing.
One last time: The opinions on CamWorld are mine, and mine alone. I do not speak for anyone but myself, nor should anything I say or write be viewed as the opinion of my current employer, my former employers, or anyone else. If you are confused about something I've said, or are angry about one of my comments, you are more than welcome to contact me about it. Thanks.
I'm back. Lots of stuff going on. Trip back to Michigan - long drive, speeding ticket. Writing a computer book. Working 10 and 12 hour days. More stuff I can't talk about yet. Exciting things happening at work, at home, and even with clients. DSL being installed tomorrow. New G4 card for my Mac. Writing a couple of ALA articles, hope I get them finished soon. I think that covers most of the past week.
CamWorld turns three years old on June 11.
I hope Adobe fixes all the insane problems with type control with Photoshop 6. Adobe said they were going to fix them in 5.0 and they didn't. And then Adobe said they were going to fix them in 5.5, and they didn't. Is it too much to ask to have the same type controls in Photoshop that we have in Illustrator?
Linux Journal: The Long View on Linux, Part 1
You're a CEO of a cheesy startup. What do you do? You purchase another cheesy startup that's been in the news a lot lately.
Lawyer vs. WebGeek. Go Tim, go.
Scientific American: XML and the Second-Generation Web
Flazoom: A Cancer on the Web Called Flash [via Metafilter]
The Open Bookmark Project. [Interesting.]
ApacheToday.com launched the other day. Despite the numerous typos, it looks like it'll be a very informative site for those using the Apache web server.
Litter ain't just for cats anymore. Woof!
Join PlasticsHiFi on their East Coast tour. I'm going to try and make it to their NYC show, but my schedule looks pretty tight.
Though it sounds like a porn site, I'm finding loads of great commentary and links at tsluts.com.
Managing Unix Resources. [via Hack-the-Planet]
Readability Of Websites With Various Foreground/Background Color Combinations, Font Types And Word Styles
The [open source] free software vs. commercial software debate rages on over at Hack-the-Planet discussion forums.
Cool! The Cow Parade is coming to New York. I wonder how many New Yorkers will be arrested for lewd behaviour with fiberglass cows?