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Links & observations from Steve Bogart

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1 July 1999

"My brother. There is nothing I can give you, save this: my advice.
Remember what I did. Remember that I left.
Remember how hard it was for me to leave; and that it was not your fault."
-- Destruction, in Sandman: Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman and Jill Thompson

Yahoo's backing off (a little) from its recent declaration that it owns anything you post on its site (including GeoCities home pages):

  • Yahoo: Your Homestead's Your Own [Wired]
    In response to a boycott and criticism from outraged customers, Yahoo late Wednesday abandoned rules that had given it eternal ownership of all GeoCities Web sites.

You know, it's really ...frustrating... that Wired titles every one of its articles 'Wired News' instead of giving it a useful title (see the above article's title at the top of your browser window).

The script I wrote that creates a NowThis-formatted hyperlink to the current page in my browser gives me the option of using the page's title as my link text OR whatever's in the first H1 tag. Wired uses neither mechanism to indicate what an article's title is. I therefore have to manually locate, copy & paste the title.

It's not (yet) annoying enough to change my script to accommodate their quirk, but it's still annoying. Pages should have meaningful titles. HTML 101.

They seem to put plenty of metacontent in their pages' source code; why can't they get this relatively simple thing right?

As you've no doubt read, Slashdot has been 'acquired' by Here are the relevant articles, with comments from the source:

[I note that last one is written by the same person who dumped on Linus for his speaking style.]

I view this as a pretty darn good development for all sides. As artists can benefit from having rich patrons, starving open-source coders can use monied backers to further their own art. CmdrTaco deserves some sort of breather and/or reward for the amount of work he's put into what has become a valuable community resource. Good for him.

(I'm not sure it's our business how much he got in the deal, either.)

Cameron Barrett rants on user-centered design (basically: don't make absolute table widths, don't imprison text in GIFs, and allow your text's font and size to be user-controllable -- all sensible [obvious?] stuff):

FWIW, I can't remember a single page I've ever made which is not flexible-width (what people are now calling 'liquid'). Certainly everything on this site ("so far", I note carefully) expands to fit bigger windows or shrinks to accommodate smaller windows.

PC maker proclaims 'We have no ideas of our own!' Check out these side-by-side photos of the iMac and the E-Power PC (an iMac ripoff):

This seems worth suing over.

Is it safe to download Eudora Pro 4.2.1 yet? They had, what, 40 beta versions and there were still bugs in the final 4.2?

Think I'll wait another week and see if any other bugs are found.

Two new logs, both pretty cool: Medley by Lynette Millett, Have Browser Will Travel by Jim Roepcke

Low-hanging fruit:

Via RobotWisdom, a good story on the dubious practice of retouching significant details out of photos, and how it's gotten easier for anyone to do it:

  • Photo finishes and altered states [SF Examiner]
    Reportedly, Prince William is a shy guy who isn't all that at ease in front of a camera. To have him show up as the only Mr. Sobersides in a smiley family wedding portrait seems to me a faithful rendering of the way things are.

    In years to come, all the royals could have looked at Ed and Sophie's wedding photo and sighed, "Ah, just like William."

    In next century's history books, scholars could have noted that William displayed his customary solemnity.

    Now that peculiar, individual "imperfection" is gone.

Clearing up a prom queen's acne in a magazine photo is one thing; changing the substance or meaning of a photo seems quite different, and isn't something a 'news' organization should do. IMO.

Via Slashdot: Milk have you?

Camworld pointed to a few weeks ago. It's a useful index to recent writings of popular columnists. Unfortunately, a big chunk of the screen is taken up with an advertising frame. Very bad for usability.

Solution: make your bookmark go straight to the frame with the good stuff:

Via Flutterby, a sneak peek at images from Toy Story II (scroll down):


(Note: the little penguin is named Wheezy, not Tux...)

Boy, it's nice to feel like I actually put up some useful stuff. Or, at least, a lot of stuff. Welcome to July! Whee!

And for those keeping score, yesterday was going to be my last day at work, but I'm actually working through tomorrow.


ONE MORE DAY. Then no more regular income, only what I get through freelancing.

I know this is the path I've chosen, but still...eek!

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