Archive for December, 2005

Christmas Toys

December 30, 2005


Well Christmas (and more specifically, my wife) brought another wonderful toy for me this year. A new Canon Digital Rebel XT digital SLR camera. Suffice it to say that there will likely be more photo related info posted to the blog in the coming months. However I also got 8 rolls of 35mm film in my stocking from my mother in law so the film SLR (also a Canon naturally) will not be shelved for a while yet either!

Magnatune has it right…

December 30, 2005

Dave Winer writes that he likes everything about Magnatune in response to this Techcrunch article about their business model. Sure they might not have any big artists in their stable, but I’m not sure they will have to. I found out about Magnatune months ago and have browsed it several times mostly looking for soundtrack music for my home video projects. There are quite a few really good artists there and their whole licensing structure is modern. Check out the music of Rob Costlow or Heavy Mellow for an indication of how good music doesn’t always have to be big name music.

They have non-commercial licenses that allow you to either download 128kbps mp3 files or email in for higher quality audio files for no charge. As long as you are not charging any money with your project they don’t expect you to pay them fees for the music. They use the Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike Creative Commons license for this.

Incidentally, I picked up on Rob Costlow’s music via P.W. Fenton’s wonderful Digital Flotsam podcast (interestingly, P.W. is now working with Adam Curry at Podshow – likely a competitor to Magnatune in terms of new music artists). Recently PW switched to only playing podsafe music on his podcast. I’m not sure if this means only music from the Podsafe Music Network or ‘podsafe’ music in general.

Python Creator Guido van Rossum now working at Google

December 21, 2005

Well here I was thinking that the inventor of Python wouldn’t necessarily need any extra income… of course was he really the inventor…maybe I should be checking the edit history of his wikipedia page.. 😉

Read more at www.oreillynet.com/pub/…

Humility – Look it up on Wikipedia!

December 21, 2005

This whole wikipedia self-auto-bio-egotistical editing thing is really getting annoying. People are editing their own bio pages (gasp!). People are blogging about how they would never edit their own bio pages (double-gasp!) My gawd, how the hell is 12yr old Johnny supposed to use Wikipedia to complete his science project on dinosaurs if it’s so tainted by scandal??!! Improper credit given to the inventor of podcasting?…whats next…Einstein’s entire contribution to science edited out of existence??

Get a grip! You’re taking the piss out of something genuinely useful to the vast majority of people. I don’t think you, you, or you realize that no one really cares if Wikipedia’s creator edited his own bio or if Adam Curry edited his own bio page or if Dave Winer would never do such a thing. I think you’re really missing the point of the whole thing: the open and free access to, and sharing of, knowledge. Whether or not Jimmy Wales created it all by himself or was too busy running a porn site I really don’t care. The site is useful to me. Shallow as it is to say, I really don’t care who invented it. Sure it’s nice piece of information to know, but it doesn’t affect whether or not I find the site useful.

This posting by Rogers Cadenhead is a piece of tripe and reads like something out of the National Enquirer, only with much less relevance to society as a whole… Get your faces out from in front of your vanity mirrors and get on with something more important.

Oh yeah…here’s a word that fewer and fewer people seem to know: humility

Is this cool or what…

December 17, 2005

This ascii movie is cool…er…retro-cool….

NewsGator Online – Please tell me there’s a better way…

December 16, 2005
I’m experimenting with NewsGator Online right now. Currently I use Bloglines for the bulk of my blog reading. However I am not averse to switching. I’ve imported my Bloglines OPML file no problem, however NewsGator shows all the posts for each feed as being unread – which is correct. However, I can’t seem to find a way to mark all of them as ‘read’ in one fell swoop. I can mark them page by page however with 980 unread blogposts and 779 unread podcast posts it seems that it might take a while to clear them page by page. There must be a better way….right??

Firefox woes Resolved (well almost..)

December 16, 2005

So I’ve got my bookmarks back. I’ve got my bookmarks toolbar folder back in working condition (there was an empty dummy copy of this folder somehow created which screwed things up.) However I’m still puzzled as to why the changes I make to my toolbar buttons do not take. So if I add the ‘Add New Tab’ button to the toolbar it plunks it up there, but if I shut down and relaunch firefox it disappears?? It seems that themes will take hold and stay but the toolbar modifications still won’t. I’ve re-installed a fresh v1.5 to no avail. Oh well, maybe better to learn the keyboard shortcuts than keep dicking around with it.

Blogger Web Comments for Firefox

December 16, 2005

Evan Williams points out the new Firefox extension from Google that uses blogsearch to show you the latest things other people are writing about what it is you’re currently reading. I’m giving it a try (even as I type this in fact!) and it seems pretty useful in letting me dig deeper into a given subject if I want to. Although the slide-up comment window might get a bit annoying after some time. We’ll see…

Read more at evhead.com/2005/12/blog…

Firefox woes – Part Two

December 14, 2005

Okay, I’ve managed to import a bookmarks folder that I saved a month or so ago. But what seems weird is that I can’t seem to add anything to my bookmarks toolbar folder. When I open up the bookmark manager there is a duplicate entry for ‘Bookmark Toolbar Folder’ that I can’t seem to delete. I’ve attached a screenshot above. I’m not sure what’s going on here…

All My Firefox Customizations Have Vanished

December 14, 2005

What a wonderful morning. I come in to work and fire up Firefox and lo and behold all my customizations are gone!! No bookmarks, no live bookmarks, no bookmark toolbar visible and when I make the toolbar visible it is, of course, empty. All my bookmark keyword customizations are gone! The funny thing is that my history is still intact and the droplist that appears when I am about to enter my login ID for a site still contains my ID. What is going on here?

Also, since it’s been so long since I set up all these customizations, I’m having trouble re-creating them. I had set up a keyword for google.com which was ‘gg’. So that when I typed ‘gg’ plus some terms into the address bar, it would run a google search on these terms and show me the results. This doesn’t seem to work anymore. Sure the ‘gg’ will take me to google.com but if I add terms in the address bar I get taken to various different pages which are definitely not Google!

I’ve ran a couple of spyware scans to no avail. It’s like someone came in an uninstalled Firefox and then reinstalled it. Only I thought that this practice would usually leave all the customizations intact. No one’s been on the PC since I left yesterday, and besides, no one here would be able to erase all those customizations in one fell swoop (would they?). I’ve also noticed that all the themes are gone (I only had a few since upgrading to 1.5) other than the base theme, and the couple of buttons I added (for creating a new tab etc.) are gone from the toolbar.

I guess I could look at it positively as a ‘fresh start’ but for now I’m pissed off.