December 2005

Album Cover: Pretty Hate Machine

"If I was twice the man I could be, I'd still be half of what you need."
NIN / Ringfinger

2006 Here We Come

December 31, 2005 5:17 PM

Apparently it's already 2006 somewhere in the world. While most other geeks are posting Web 2.0 and tagging predictions and other overly geeky conjectures on their blogs, I figured I'd do something a little different and come up with a short list of things I'd like to see happen in 2006:

  • A Super Bowl win for the Seattle Seahawks
  • Our soldiers coming home (alive) en masse from Iraq
  • An impea...ahh, I won't go there
  • Better music
  • More smiles
  • At least one cure for a major disease
  • Fewer natural disasters (we need a break)
  • The Smashing Pumpkins reuniting

That's about all I can come up with at the moment, but it will have to do.

Happy New Year everybody!

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

In the News

December 29, 2005 10:15 PM

The company I work for got some good press today.

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

Bit by Bit

December 29, 2005 12:20 AM

Back in junior high, my friends and I slept in shifts while we waited for a large picture of Jennifer Aniston's face to download over my 2400 bps Internet connection.

Tonight, if I wanted to, I could download 7 Depeche Mode albums in lossless format while I sleep. And I wouldn't even need anyone to man the connection.

At the risk of sounding like Kip, I love technology.

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

Realizations

December 28, 2005 11:05 PM

I came to a few realizations tonight.

First, after reading a post at Slashdot about how the P2P population is growing again, which states toward the end:

Keep in mind however; these numbers do not represent the population of the BitTorrent community, which would surely add many millions more.

I realized that I am strictly a member of the "BitTorrent community" they speak of, and no longer a user of P2P software of old (relatively speaking). I allegedly download only full albums via uTorrent and Mininova these days.

Second, I realized that I still attribute more credibility to the things I read on Slashdot than I do to the things I read on Digg. I think it has more to do with the quality of writing in the individual posts than it does the amount of time the sites have existed. When I read Slashdot entries they have a consistency to them that I just don't see over at Digg. Maybe this can be attributed to differences in moderation. I don't know.

And last, I realized that I have been working too much. I have been thinking about work way too much when I'm not actually at work, I have been dreaming about work (and apparently talking to my girlfriend about it when I'm half-awake), and my typing speed has dramatically decreased over the past week or so. My hands and my brain could definitely go for some good ol' fashioned R and R.

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

James Bond Trivia

December 27, 2005 1:31 AM

I took the time to enjoy Spike TV's "008 Days of 007" tonight, catching the best Bond, Sir Sean Connery, in Never Say Never Again. Then I ran across this tidbit tonight over at James Bond Multimedia:

Connery would return once more as Bond in 1983, but only in an unofficial film "Never Say Never Again," where as Roger Moore was featuring as the 'true' Bond in Octopussy.

Unofficial or not, Never Say Never Again is definitely one of my favorites.

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

Naughty Bernie

December 21, 2005 11:38 PM

I know this horse is beaten and dead, but I can't help myself...

Is it bad that every time I see SimpleBits I immediately want to start designing a website and ripping off Dan Cederholm?

Deep down I know it's wrong and Santa will see, but I seriously can't help myself. Plus, Dan's got other things on his mind right now, so I could totally get away with it...

Right?

Web Design | Post Comments | View Comments (0) | Permalink

No More Poker

December 21, 2005 8:07 PM

Sorry, but you'll no longer be able to leave a comment on my site that has anything to do with poker. The spammers have ruined poker talk for the rest of us. Given that I've only posted about poker a handful of times, I don't anticipate this being a huge problem.

If you do feel the need to talk about poker candidly, you can still always email me ;)

Blogging | Post Comments | View Comments (5) | Permalink

Drive-By Blogging

December 20, 2005 9:16 AM

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late, but December is always the busiest month for me with CES just around the corner.

This will be quick.

What was up with Randal telling Mr. Trump that there should only be one Apprentice, therefore denying Rebecca of a shot I think many would agree she deserved?

I noticed last night that in one of Progressive Auto Insurance's television commercials they show a mockup of a web browser that seems to have my GrayModern Firefox Theme applied to it. Interesting.

Oh, and if you haven't been watching SNL lately, you've been missing out. The new additions to the cast have really spiced things up on the show, and recent hosts like Jack Black and Alec Baldwin (one of the best, in my opinion) have taken things to a new level. Oh, and one more thing...

The Chronic - what? - cles of Narnia!

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

The Greatest Invention of All Time

December 12, 2005 10:21 PM

A couple of years ago during a phone interview with Amazon, I was asked what I thought was the greatest invention ever, and why. It's one of those questions you'll get asked occasionally in a technical interview to give the interviewer an idea of how your mind works and how you deal with somewhat abstract or broad concepts.

Given that I'm no interview expert (I've been the interviewer many, many more times than I've been the interviewee), the question caught me a bit off guard, but to this day I'm actually proud of the answer I gave, and haven't come up with a better answer since.

I told the interviewer, "Music."

Initially, you might not think of music as being something that was invented, per se, but in reality it was. I doubt there's any concensus as to when music was invented or who invented it (the Wikipedia entry on the history of music is fairly vague), but I don't think there's any denying that at some point in time the first music was created and/or heard.

Since that point in time, music has become more of a universal language than any other creation or invention. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn't have a penchant for one form of music or another. I think the iPod phenomenon alone is proof that music may be one of the most ubiquitous inventions, languages and/or forms of expression the world has ever seen.

That is how I see things, but what about you? What do you think is the greatest invention of all time?

Music | Post Comments | View Comments (6) | Permalink

Arcanius Style Recent Comments

December 09, 2005 12:52 AM

I would have called them "Bernzilla Comments," but apparently the name was already taken. If you aren't reading this in a newsreader, you might have noticed that I've updated the way recent comments are displayed in the subheader of my site. The inspiration came, appropriately enough, from a recent comment by Ryan (aka Arcanius). We seem to have inspired each other, albeit in slightly different ways, so I think everyone wins in the long run.

Because of MySQL limitations like the one Ryan discussed and others, adding the new functionality wasn't as easy as it probably should have been. Going down the whole SELECT DISTINCT path didn't do much good either. MySQL does some funky things when you use DISTINCT in table joins or when returning several pieces of data. That is another subject for another time, though.

If anyone's particularly interested in how I implemented this, I might be willing to go into more detail. Because my blog is "home brewed" and I don't use a publicly available system like WordPress, the specifics of my code might not be as useful as posting pseudo code, but I'm willing to do either. In the meantime I'll just say that I wrote a custom PHP function to do the job.

I'm still debating whether I should report a count (in parentheses) when there has been only one recent comment for a post, or whether I should include the x as suggested by Ryan. I'd love to hear any and all feedback, so either leave a comment or send me an email.

Web Development | Post Comments | View Comments (4) | Permalink

GrayModern 0.7

December 05, 2005 5:17 AM

I'm about to watch my blog readership decline quite a bit, but so be it. My GrayModern theme for Firefox has been updated to work with Firefox 1.5.

Upgrading from GrayModern 0.6.2 to GrayModern 0.7 was no easy feat. A lot has gone down in the days since Firefox 1.0 was released, and if it wasn't for a very detailed, helpful post in the MozillaZine forums I wouldn't have been able to pull this update off (without starting from scratch, at least).

GrayModern 0.7, which is now officially available for download, fixes nearly all of the compatibility issues with the latest version of Firefox (also note that it breaks compatibility with older versions) and also fixes the issue where a print icon was not available in small icons mode. The latter was one of the most frequently reported issues, so hopefully that will make a few people happy.

For a little more information on this latest release of GrayModern, check out my post in the forum or my Projects page. Once a bug in Mozilla Update's developer console gets fixed the theme is reviewed and accepted, this new version will show up at the Mozilla Update site as well.

And finally, let the record show that I was up after 5am getting this bad boy out the door. The things I do for my fellow Firefox fanatics ;)

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (17) | Permalink