October 2004

Album Cover: Narrow Stairs

"As the flashbulbs burst, she holds a smile like someone would hold a crying child."
Death Cab For Cutie / Cath...

Out of Nowhere

October 30, 2004 6:03 PM

Partly due to the success of the GrayModern Firefox theme, and partly due to the surge in interest in the Firefox browser itself, my site's traffic has changed quite noticeably this month. See for yourself...

Bernzilla.com Statistics

Crazy, crazy stuff.

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (4) | Permalink

Crazy Cover

October 30, 2004 7:33 AM

When it comes to music, I'm always a fan of crazy collaborations and covers, but this one may just take the cake: Snoop Dogg covering The Doors.

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Lair But No Flair

October 28, 2004 11:11 PM

Today MozillaZine, in Andkon Tackles Mozilla Website Again, points to Andkon's latest jab at Mozilla.org.

Personally, all it took was one quick glance at his suggested design to disagree with his argument. I understand that he may be more concerned with content and its ability to pull in IE users, but for someone like me who gains as much confidence in a company from the quality of their website design as he does from the way they pitch their actual products, Andkon's attempt just doesn't cut it. Even his Theme Selector example, which happens to have my name on it, doesn't visually astound me the way the actual Firefox site does.

I have a feeling Andkon's argument would hold a lot more weight with a lot of people if he were able to incorporate his content-related ideas into something that looks a lot more like (or the same as) the current design of Mozilla.org.

I'm curious, though. What do you think?

Web Design | Post Comments | View Comments (2) | Permalink

My SiteScore

October 28, 2004 10:53 PM

After reading one of Cheah Chu Yeow's latest blog entries, How "well designed, popular and accessible" is your website?, this morning, I decided to give my site a whirl and see how it stacked up. Before I go into details, in case you don't feel like visiting Chu Yeow's site, he talks about Silktied SiteScore, a site that, in his words, "purports to 'rate how well designed, popular and accessible your website is'" based on several factors.

I was surprised by quite a few of the findings, and even though I've never heard of Silktide SiteScore before, their results seem pretty believable.

After receiving (on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is best) a score of 5.9 for marketing, 9.5 for design, 10.0 for accessibility, and 8.5 for experience, my site was given an overal score of 8.0. Not too shabby, I'd say.

Aside from the scoring, though, there were other interesting items to be found in the report, some of which I will take to heart in future additions or changes to my site. I have listed the most interesting (in my opinion) below:

  • This website is reasonably popular (approx #2,520,133 in the world)
  • This website is very quick to respond
  • Website is missing crucial elements which help it appear in search engines
  • Use of meta tags is very poor
  • No forms were found in this website (huh?)
  • Popularity on Google is excellent
  • Site contains an average of 4.4 images per page
  • All webpages were found to be fully compliant with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and therefore likely not in violation of the British Disability Discrimination Act

This website scored 8.0/10 in Silktide SiteScore

Web Design | Post Comments | View Comments (2) | Permalink

My First Gmail Spam

October 27, 2004 9:49 AM

I received my first spam email in Gmail today, nearly 6 months after creating my account. The good news is, Gmail correctly recognized it as spam and put it in the spam folder. The bad news is, it looks like people out there are now using Gmail addresses as their fake outgoing email addresses. The message I received was actually a Delivery Status Notification message to be returned to "Stanley Laurel" (sound familiar?) at my Gmail address.

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Shaken, Not Stirred

October 23, 2004 6:18 AM

I awoke to the sound of my dog whimpering this morning. As is par for the course, I assumed she needed to go out back to do her thing. Not a minute later, though, I felt my bed begin to shake very quickly for about two seconds. Having experienced a few earthquakes in the past, my only explanation for what I had just felt was either a small (3 or 4) earthquake or maybe a larger explosion from Mount St. Helens. I've yet to confirm either at this point, but I'm banking on the former. I did find it interesting, though, to read that Japan has been hit by some big earthquakes over the past 24 hours.

Update: There was no earthquake, so apparently I'm just losing it.

Miscellaneous | Post Comments | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Firefox is Going Mainstream

October 21, 2004 9:06 AM

Yesterday I stopped by QFC to pick up some Milk on my way home from work. I was conscious of the fact that I was wearing my Firefox t-shirt (newer versions are available online from the Mozilla Store) but that's just because I often wonder if anyone looks at it and knows what it is – or even better, if someone who doesn't know what it is makes a mental note to check out the website later on.

An interesting thing happened, though, as I approached the checkout line, milk in hand. I noticed the checker checking out my shirt (I guess a checker checking things out is appropriate). Then, he asked me if I do any development for Mozilla. Because I'm not the type to go rambling on about things, I chose the easier answer and just said "I'm a user," even though that isn't necessarily the whole truth.

After running off to get something for the guy who stood in front of me in line, the checker returned and followed his previous comment with "yeah, Firefox is the way to go." This was surprising enough. I've never heard of anyone in a public place (at least one that isn't full of geeks like myself) discussing Firefox or Mozilla with anyone.

Imagine my surprise when the guy in front of me in line turns to me and says, "Firefox is great because it has the tab interface – something that IE doesn't have."

The mere fact that these guys had heard of Firefox was a big deal to me, let alone the fact that they knew and could elaborate on why it is the best browser choice. Several months ago I wouldn't have believed this was possible. In fact, I didn't even think it was possible yesterday – so it was good to see.

Hopefully this is just the first link of many in a chain of events leading up to the eventual dominance of the Firefox browser.

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (12) | Permalink

Bring Neuheisel Back

October 21, 2004 7:22 AM

Okay, so it's over with. Rick Neuheisel has been cleared of wrongdoing by the NCAA. Let's bring him back to Washington and get rid of Gilbertson. Enough is enough. I'm very scared about what the scoreboard is going to read when all is said and done this Saturday.

Sports | Post Comments | View Comments (2) | Permalink

The United Kingdom Weighing In

October 19, 2004 10:08 AM

There's an article running at CNN today reporting that an anti-Bush letter writing campaign has been launched in the UK targeting undecided voters in Ohio. I could quickly go off on a tangent right away begging the question "how are there still undecided voters?" but I won't, because other more important people have already asked that question. It's just too bad no one knows the answer.

My main beef here is with the Americans who reportedly backlashed at those in the UK who are trying to get their two cents in. What's wrong with that? Obviously the United States is a world power and the decision we make in this election will effect not only the British, but the rest of the world. So comments like:

Hey England, Scotland and Wales, mind your own business. We don't need weenie-spined Limeys meddling in our presidential election...

and:

Real Americans aren't interested in your pansy-ass, tea-sipping opinions. If you want to save the world, begin with you own worthless corner of it.

(Reportedly from a Texan...imagine that)

really rub me the wrong way.

Our "intelligent rebuttals" look like that, and then we wonder why other countries are worried about the outcome of this election? We've proven over the past decade that we aren't capable of handling our own elections, and it sounds like Florida has gotten a head start on doing it all over again this year.

This reminds me of when everyone got their panties in a bunch after Chris Martin gave a Kerry shout-out at the 2004 Grammys earlier this year.

The argument that we don't go tinkering around in other countries' elections so they shouldn't in ours doesn't hold water. We hardly have a reputation for tinkering in our own elections, so of course we don't show any interest in other countries'. The fact that Americans as a whole think we are better than any other country doesn't help our case either.

In my opinion other countries should be free to weigh in with their opinions in situations like these. I'm a firm believer in the the more information and knowledge, the better ideology.

And to the undecided voters out there, maybe you should take the fact that other countries are starting to weigh in as a sign that you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Miscellaneous | Post Comments | View Comments (12) | Permalink

The Land of Legendary Receivers

October 18, 2004 6:47 PM

It is very possible that Seattle may become the land of legendary receivers by tomorrow, when it is expected that one of the best receivers in the history of the NFL will be traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

I would love to see Jerry Rice come to Seattle. In my opinion, he is second only to the legendary Steve Largent when listing the greatest receivers ever. I just hope Jerry can get used to wearing a new number.

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Happy Birthday

October 16, 2004 4:54 PM

Today is Oscar Wilde's birthday, among others.

Miscellaneous | Post Comments | View Comments (0) | Permalink

Internet Explorer Prototypes

October 15, 2004 7:19 AM

Robert Scoble has apparently seen prototypes of the next Internet Explorer, and claims that if the actual release is half of what he saw, he will dump Firefox:

Dean Hachamovitch the other day showed me prototypes of the next Internet Explorer. I got to see them before he even showed them to other executives. He told me I could say about that much (I wanted to post screen captures on my blog, but he turned down that request, bummer). I'll add in that if they ship about half of what they showed me that I'll uninstall Firefox. Of course, I'm guessing that it'll probably be a year before any of us will get any bits to look at and I'm sure that Asa, Ben and the other devs over on the Firefox team won't twiddle their fingers. It sure will be an interesting competition.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (7) | Permalink

Red Hat Chili Peppers

October 13, 2004 9:53 PM

While reading through my blog subscriptions tonight, I couldn't help but notice a bit of a Freudian slip Robert Scoble made today. While mentioning some of the exclusive artist deals MSN Music has been making as of late, he refers to the Red Hot Chili Peppers as the "Red Hat Chili Peppers." :)

Elsewhere | Post Comments | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Netscape Just Won't Die

October 13, 2004 9:39 AM

Whenever I hear about the possible reemergence of the Netscape browser, I get very grumpy.

Needless to say, with "special coverage" popping up over at C|Net today regarding the possible rejuvenation of my least favorite Web browser of all time, I am grumpier than ever.

Why won't Netscape just go away?

Even though I'm grumpy, I couldn't help but agree with Jon Mittelhauser's thoughts in Netscape: Bowed, but not broken:

I think it is basically a lost cause. I keep hearing quotes from people like Marc [Andreessen] about how these independent little browsers are going to challenge IE since it is stagnating. I wish them all the best, but I don't think they have learned from the past. Microsoft won that war because they can outspend anyone.

The browser is not advancing because (Microsoft isn't) being challenged. I hope that someone does start to challenge them just to get Microsoft to invest in the browser again, but nobody could ever actually retake the crown. If Microsoft starts to feel some pressure, they will just crank up the spending again and crush whoever it is.

I seriously could not agree more with this statement. When the big ugly IE giant awakens, I have a feeling the little guys are going to be in for an awakening themselves. While I think that Firefox and Safari will most likely be able to hang on, I don't think Netscape has a chance. But then again, I never did.

The aforementioned article also mentions how it is most likely the success of the Firefox browser that has contributed to AOL's renewed interest in the Netscape brand. That puts me in an interesting catch-22, because I of course want to see Firefox evolve and succeed, but I absolutely do not want to see Netscape Navigator, Communicator, or anything else return to the browser market.

I suppose the only solace I can take is in thinking that the new Netscape browser may be based on the Gecko rendering engine, but after hearing about AOL's latest interest in Microsoft technology, I'm not feeling very warm and fuzzy at all.

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (7) | Permalink

Green Plastic

October 13, 2004 8:05 AM

I noticed this morning that my favorite Radiohead fansite, Green Plastic, has been redesigned. Not only that, but the site's maintainer, Jonathan Percy, has finally added an XML feed to his site. Consider me subscribed.

Music | Post Comments | View Comments (0) | Permalink

GrayModern 0.6.1

October 12, 2004 10:00 PM

An incremental release of the GrayModern Firefox theme has been made available today. Version 0.6.1 addresses just a few of the problems outlined on this site and in the MozillaZine Theme Forum – the most notable of those being the return of a usable "Go" button.

For more information on this incremental release, see my Projects page or view the release notes at MozillaZine. Download links and instructions are included at both locations.

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (3) | Permalink

The Difference Between Who and Whom

October 11, 2004 1:19 PM

I remember learning in one of my high school English classes that the right time to use the word "whom" is when the person you're talking or asking about is having something done to them. I've always followed that rule, but for the most part that just meant using "who" a majority of the time.

Rather than being unsure and hesitant when speaking, I'd like to be as decisive as I can be, so today I decided to go out looking on the Web to find out when it's right to use "whom" vs. "who." I very quickly found who/whom among a whole slew of other related sites. I think the site does a very good job of getting to the point very quickly:

"Who" is the subject form of this pronoun and "whom" is the object form.

So, basically, what I was taught was right. I should give thanks to who taught me, because thanks are in order from those whom he taught. As weird as that may sound, it's proper English ;)

What I find most interesting, though, about the resource in question, is the idea it poses about the slow death of the word "whom" in the English language. In some respects, this falls right in line with what I mentioned earlier: my hesitance to use the word "whom" even when I was fairly certain of its correct usage.

If you, like me, are determined to keep the word alive, however, you might be best off using the "he or him" test mentioned at who/whom:

Try rewriting the sentence using "he" or "him." Clearly "He bribed he" is incorrect; you would say "he bribed him." Where "him" is the proper word in the paraphrased sentence, use "whom."

Sounds like a good rule of thumb.

Blathery | Post Comments | View Comments (277) | Permalink

4 and 0

October 10, 2004 11:42 AM

So far this weekend has been nothing but good. We got a Tivo receiver set up with our DirecTV, and it has already started revolutionizing our lives. Last night I went to Best Buy and pre-ordered Halo 2. In a matter of minutes we'll be heading to Qwest Field to watch the Seahawks go 4-0 for the first time in team history.

If Ice Cube had named his song "It's Been a Good Weekend," I'd quote it right now...but he didn't.

Sports | Post Comments | View Comments (3) | Permalink

Helping to Spread Firefox

October 08, 2004 4:01 PM

I just noticed today that I am ranked #27 (at the time of posting) over at the Spread Firefox site's Roll Call Top 250 list of referrers. This is very cool, but at the same time it seems kind of silly. Something like 98% of my site's visitors this month (and there have been a lot) are using Firefox. I guess they just can't resist that sleek looking icon in my sidebar ;) I just wish I was sending more IE users that way.

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GrayModern Update

October 01, 2004 2:23 PM

Whereas just a few days ago my blog was getting several hits per hour, I am back to getting several hits per minute thanks to a recent update at the Mozilla Update site. Those people who were part of the mad rush to download Firefox 1.0PR are now able to see my port of the GrayModern theme when they visit the Mozilla Update site. In fact, the theme is currently listed as the top rated theme on the site. Those ratings should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as people are able to (and more often than not do) post the same review/rating several times. It's certainly nice to see the theme gaining in popularity though, and I appreciate each and every download (approaching 1300 at Mozilla Update at the time of posting).

If you are visiting here from that site, and there's a good chance you are, please be sure to either comment on this entry or to leave comments in the GrayModern thread at MozillaZine and let me know what you think. If you have suggestions in terms of what changes should be high priority or you have noticed an annoying bug that you think should be fixed, the only way to make yourself heard is to let me know here or there. Comments at Mozilla Update are useful for letting potential downloaders know why they should or should not try the theme, but not necessarily for letting me know what should be done in future releases.

As always, more information about the GrayModern theme for Firefox is available via my Projects page.

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (22) | Permalink

No Longer Nothing

October 01, 2004 12:05 AM

While taking a peek at the latest Nine Inch Nails news over at the official site, I came across the following:

september ninth.

nothing studios: 1995 - 2004

we are entering the final phase of the record. we said our goodbyes and decided to head west, indefinitely.

needs change, vans roll over, modular synthesizers meet the desert sand...but life goes on.

Aside from having been posted on what seems to be Trent Reznor's favorite day of the year (9/9), the posting seems to allude to the fact that Nothing Studios is no more. I wonder why?

Trent doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would be scared of Andrews or Ivans. In fact, it seems like they would be his type of inspiration.

Maybe future updates will reveal more.

Music | Post Comments | View Comments (1) | Permalink