Now This Log

Archives: January 2002

Saturday, 26 January 2002

Word of the moment: shrapnel

Use a form of the word in a sentence. One sentence per poster. Please, no wagering. permanent link

Precautionary, pre-emptive heads-up on the Comments feature: I've added a note to the comments-posting form:
Note: I am extremely loath to ever actually do so, but I
do reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.
Also, be aware that Greymatter logs your IP address.
In some ways, this should go without saying, but the first time I remove a comment (if it ever happens, which I'm hoping it won't), someone (who was probably anonymous in the first place) would pitch a fit and say it was censorship, oppression, etc.

Only governments can censor; everybody else is a private actor when it comes to their own web space. And web space is not hard to come by to post one's views elsewhere using any language one chooses, so there is zero obligation on my part to provide space at my own expense for everything anyone might ever say.

That said, I don't expect to ever have to delete a post. I'm not that easily offended and I don't want people thinking they have to walk on eggshells; I will never be in a hurry to pull this trigger. I just wanted this to be explicitly stated in case it ever does come up.

Please speak your minds freely. Seriously. permanent link

Friday, 25 January 2002

Browser feature request: I'd like to be able to turn JavaScript on or off per browser window instead of for all open browser windows. I'd also like the on/off switch to be accessible via a button on the toolbar or a keyboard shortcut so as to make the change a quick and easy operation.

Motive: I hate surfing with JavaScript enabled on general principle; the number of sites that abuse the ability to programmatically affect your browsing experience is rather greater than the number of sites that do useful and/or unobtrusively helpful things with it. Not to mention that it's still possible for Badly-Written JavaScript to crash my browser (or that the browser is at fault when handling Good JavaScript; either way the experience sucks).

There are those sites, however, which require JavaScript to be on in order to be fully accessible. Say, weblogs that require you to have it enabled to even view others' comments [boo hiss], or pages that use JavaScript to pull content from another address into a page. (At least one LiveJournal I know of does this; without JavaScript it's a blank box in the middle). These sites aren't really bad, because it's a safe assumption that the visitor has it turned on (90%+ of surfers do based on stats from some of my sites); I just wish I could visit them without having to go through the "oh yeah, I need to turn that on don't I" dance. Often it's just easier not to visit.

Then there are the sites that show you absolutely nothing on the home page unless it's activated and have no message at all to indicate to the average, non-programmer visitor what the problem is. (TMBG, I'm looking at you.) I'd like to be able to enable such sites to work without opening myself up to risks from other windows I may open while visiting the first site; thus the wish for per-window activation.

If this were implemented, one could imagine having a set of sites you could 'trust' to run JavaScript by default but leave it off for all others, or ask per site where it's detected, or whatever. This is done in some browsers for cookies now; the interface would not be so different for making JavaScript activation decisions. And for the 90%+ of people who don't care, it could of course have an 'always on' option.

I imagine this is a complicated thing to ask, but there it is. Maybe in version 9 browsers...

Weaker, compromise position: I would be partially mollified by a toolbar button or keystroke to turn on/off JavaScript for all browser windows without having to open the bloody preferences window every time it comes up (a three-step process at minimum). This should be relatively trivial for browser vendors to implement compared to the above.

Related coding note: This technique [found via Kottke] was very useful when I had to make a JavaScript-enabled banner ad but wanted to keep it as backwards-compatible as possible (that is, browsers with JavaScript off get to see a real link instead of something useless like "#"). permanent link

Time for some audience participation.

Word of the moment: extricate

Please use a form of the word in a sentence. One sentence per poster. No warranty implied. permanent link

Thursday, 24 January 2002

Thanks to Mom for sending me this link:

Wallace & Gromit get into the game [MSNBC]
Thursday, Wallace and Gromit maker Aardman studios announced a new line of video games coming soon.

[BAM! Entertainment] spokesperson Mika Kelly said the company hadn't yet developed any game story lines, or even decided what platform the games would be published on.
And the story direct from Aardman's site (the link may or may not work properly, it seems to be random):

More good news for Aardman and Wallace and Gromit [Aardman]
The premiere project of the new partnership will come to fruition in 2003, with the arrival of the first ever multi-platform Wallace and Gromit console game.
Hm. I was hoping it would be a PC/Mac game; we don't have a console and I'm not going to buy one to try it. Maybe I'll just hang out in electronics stores.

That reminds me, the W&G DVD should go on my wish list... permanent link

Stupid challenge to avid web surfers: Read my mind.

Why did I just check into the domain name (Someone owns it but apparently isn't using it.) Why did I look up "wwwwd" in Google? (I didn't find the meaning of it that I was looking for, btw.) What does it mean?

Hint: Rightfully it should appear with a question mark at the end.
Hint 2: "wwwwd?" could also be phrased "wwwwdnd?"

The answer will appear Friday in the comments area of this post.

No, it's not in any way important, and it's not at all likely that you'll be able to guess it if you don't already read multiple weblogs. It's just a phrase that popped into my head that someone was bound to come up with someday because of the confluence of w's. I'm just surprised that I seem to be first...

Now that I've thoroughly beaten that into the ground and removed all amusement value, guess away. permanent link

Wednesday, 23 January 2002

HBO's Six Feet Under won't start its second season until March.


In the meantime, at least they're repeating the first season (Wednesday nights). If you missed it last time around, it is something you should try. permanent link

Fun bits from last week's The Tick, which has apparently been canceled. (Boooooo!)
Arthur: What's wrong?
Tick: Could be nothin'... Could be the stench of unfathomable evil.

Tick: My brain feels like it's going to have a baby!
Arthur: It's called a headache.
Tick: It has a name?!
Patrick Warburton does such a good job... permanent link

Tuesday, 22 January 2002

Peter Gabriel news, snagged from Up is slated to come out this year (10 years after Us...). Also:
Peter's entire catalogue has been re-mastered to produce the best quality CDs and also to be ready for the new formats of DVD Audio and Super Audio CD. We also hope to re-release the whole catalogue on Vinyl throughout 2002...

When the albums were originally mastered Vinyl was the principal format. Because record players can track more complex music better at the outside of the disk, the running order of So was determined by the format rather than by Peter. So there may be some subtle changes in the re-mastered versions.
As Richard Chappell explained, due to the increased sampling range of the new formats there is a noticeable increase in clarity and definition especially at the bass end of tracks.

The Peter Gabriel re-masters will be released between February and April 2002.
Probably not something I'll be getting, as I would just rip them to 192K versions anyway, and I've got decent versions as it is. Maybe it would depend on the extras...

He's also doing the movie soundtrack for Rabbit-Proof Fence.

Nice to see he's going to finish the album... permanent link

Monday, 21 January 2002

My 'blogger code' is: B9 x* !

Or, translated:

B9: I've been blogging for well over 3 years.
x*: I married a woman I met through her weblog (she's a B8).
!: That's all that need be said, eh. permanent link

Links, exploration and
synthesis from
Steve Bogart

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photo by my wife
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