March 2007

Album Cover: Sea Change

"How could this love, ever changing, never change the way I feel?"
Beck / Lonesome Tears

Ocean's 13 Trailer in HD

March 31, 2007 5:34 PM

I've been on a bit of an HD kick lately, ever since I invested in a Panasonic TH-50PX600U TV a couple weeks ago. It's gotten to the point where I'm watching shows I would have never watched before, simply because they're available in HD, and avoiding shows I used to love to watch, simply because they aren't available in HD.

Something really caught my eye today, though, and it doesn't have anything to do with my cool new TV. A couple weeks back, I finally upgraded from my old CRT monitor to Gateway's FPD1975W flat-screen, HD-ready LCD monitor. Today was the first time I actually watched any HD content on it.

Ain't It Cool News pointed me to a new Ocean's 13 trailer over at Yahoo!. I clicked on the 720p link for their "exclusive trailer" and was blown away by the clarity of the downloaded .qtl file as it graced my screen in the Quicktime player:

George Clooney and Brad Pitt in a Scene from Ocean's 13

Wow. I think I'll go watch it again.

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View Source Just Got Harder

March 30, 2007 12:06 AM

When you get a chance, take a look at the process you have to go through to get View Source to work like you're used to it working (in IE7, at least)...over at the IEBlog.

I guess they weren't kidding.

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

Don't Be a Dolt

March 25, 2007 8:16 AM

Here's a quick tip for you web designers and developers out there. When you put in little random comments that you don't think anyone will read because you're taking for granted that most of your site visitors will have Javascript or Flash enabled, remember that there's at least one other big consumer of your comments that you might be forgetting about:

Screenshot of Google Search Results for 'Vueve Clicquot'

So don't be a dolt.

Web Development | Post Comments | View Comments (1) | Permalink

What's Up With Bloglines?

March 24, 2007 9:04 PM

I took a look at my Apache logs tonight and noticed that I still have roughly the number of Bloglines subscribers as I did when I made the big switch a couple months ago. I guess that's a good thing, given that I went AWOL for a little bit pretty recently. More on that later...

The question I have now is, what's up with Bloglines? Are they innovating at all? Doing anything about Google Reader and its recent surge in users? From what I can tell over at their "blog," it sure doesn't look like it. But I'm not using their service anymore. According to the numbers, you just might be. So what's up with Bloglines? I'd love to know.

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How Google Reader is Changing My Eye Behavior

March 24, 2007 7:36 PM

If you're a Google Reader user and you're as in to the whole j, j, j, j, j thing as Robert Scoble is, you may have noticed what I noticed tonight. As I'm quickly moving through my feed subscriptions and hitting that j key over and over again, I've found that I'm training my eyes to stay focused on one spot on the monitor rather than moving downward through content.

It was very noticeable at first, but it's become even less so as I've been using Google Reader more and more. Since I know hitting the j key brings the next post upward to the same level, my eyes no longer have to move. It's kind of a strange sensation as you're reading through a lot of posts in a short amount of time. I almost feel like I have to take breaks while I'm reading so I can move my eyeballs a bit and they don't start to dry out or something. Anyone else notice this?

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Waiting for Opera Mini to Switch to oneSearch

March 24, 2007 4:10 PM

When I bought my new RAZR phone, one of the first things I did was download Gmail Mobile and Opera Mini. However, unlike the previous time I had downloaded the latter (on my older phone), I noticed that the default search engine had changed from Google to Yahoo!. I wasn't pleased to see that, but I hadn't yet tried to search for anything.

Today, that changed. I needed to find a Wells Fargo for my soon-to-be mother-in-law, who is visiting this weekend. Since I'm a Bank of America customer, I had no idea where to find one, so I figured I'd fire up Opera Mini and try a Yahoo! search for 'wells fargo burien wa' since we were in Burien at the time.

Unfortunately, unlike the search results on a PC, the mobile search results seem to omit the "Local Results" section, which is the only thing that would have been useful for me. What I did see were some ad-like links and nothing of any real utility. I had used Google on the older Opera Mini to do the same type of search in the past, and had been presented with phone numbers, addresses and even maps, so today's search was disappointing to say the least.

I remembered reading over at Opera Watch just this past week that others had voiced the same concerns regarding Opera's decision to switch to Yahoo! from Google. So I decided to head back on over there and read what I had read again. This time around, I realized that Opera actually intends to switch to oneSearch from Yahoo! very soon.

The article at Opera Watch not only covers this planned transition, but also links to a flash demo of oneSearch that is pretty cool. They've put a lot of thought into stripping out all the stuff that makes sense on a PC and not so much on a mobile device. Their "pizza" search example shows exactly what I expected to see when searching for "Wells Fargo" today. In fact, they make it a little easier since you can set your default search location and leave off the "burien wa" or "seattle wa" that I typically tack on to the end of my local mobile searches. Anyone who's searched on a mobile device before knows that the fewer button clicks you have to use to get what you want, the better.

So like Daniel Goldman of Opera Watch, I'm definitely eagerly awaiting Opera Mini's switch to oneSearch as their default search engine.

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

So Long, Ken

March 23, 2007 9:31 PM

I've written about him here before and even met him in person. Tonight I learned via Seahawks Insider that Ken Hamlin, one of my (and my fiancée's) favorite Seahawks, has signed a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. It's a real shame to see "The Hammer" leave Seattle. It sure was fun while it lasted.

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The Beginning?

March 12, 2007 11:14 PM

The other day I caught the tail end of the trailer for a new straight-to-DVD release, Dukes of Hazzard - The Beginning. I wasn't sure I believed what I was seeing, but sure enough, it's real. It's really annoying to have one of the major aspects of your childhood completely ruined by the same type of people who thought it was a good idea to come out with something like 13 sequels to American Pie.

Oh well, at least I have things like the 'Survivalism' video and the trailer for Grindhouse to help ease the pain.

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

Ripping CDs to MP3 in Windows Media Player 11

March 12, 2007 8:24 AM

I needed to rip a few CDs today from a computer that didn't have iTunes on it. Turns out my next best option (without hunting for other software) was to use Windows Media Player 11. However, by default WMP rips in Windows Media Audio (.wma) format. I'd much rather have MP3s of course, so I went to the Rip Music tab in WMP's options and changed the output type to "mp3." At that point, though, it wouldn't let me rip my CD and gave the error "Windows Media Player cannot rip one or more tracks from the CD." Lame (pun not intended), right?

The link WMP sent me to for more information didn't offer much, other than to suggest I needed to find an MP3 encoder for my computer, but before I tried to do that I did a little extra hunting and came across this:

Let's look at a solution for you, first off try changing the bitrate to anything other than 128kbps, should do the trick without having to do anything more complex.

Sure enough, I went back into WMP's options and bumped the slider bar up 'til it hit 192 Kbps and WMP was able to rip to MP3 format without any other modifications.

Computers | Post Comments | View Comments (57) | Permalink