April 2007

Album Cover: Sea Change

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

Goodbye, D-Jack

April 30, 2007 1:04 AM

We Will Miss You D-Jack

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

MTV Returns to HTML

April 28, 2007 7:50 PM

As a web designer, ESPN.com and MTV.com are two websites I have always kept an eye on to find cutting edge web design techniques. I remember ESPN.com doing some things back in the late nineties that really inspired me. MTV.com has always been a bit more funky, and less-predictable, but those can be two very good things.

I was disappointed when I found that MTV.com was bogged down in Flash recently, but today I see (via SimpleBits, another source of inspiration) that MTV.com has been reborn as an HTML-driven entity once again. It's a tad bit bloggy now, but at least it's not overrun with Flash anymore.

On a semi-related note, while reading up on the new MTV HATS at MTV Labs, I couldn't help but chuckle at the following comment:

so are the videos not working anymore?? because they haven't been for me.

Unfortunately, I think the commenter was literally asking about the videos on the site, but I couldn't help but read the comment as a sarcastic jab at the fact that the actual MTV television channel never plays videos anymore.

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

X, Y or Z

April 25, 2007 1:06 AM

One of the most fascinating things about blogging is finding out, after-the-fact, what types of comments, opinions, anecdotes or bits of shared wisdom will attract the most visitors.

For instance, since June 7th of last year, I've had only two posts that have been viewed over 2,000 times. The one with the most views is How to Restart Windows via Remote Desktop, which has been viewed over 3,700 times at the time of writing. The popularity of these types of posts is fairly predictable, given the fact that people in similar predicaments often utilize Google to quickly find solutions to their problem.

On the other hand, there are posts like On the Same Page. That particular post has been viewed over 2,100 times. The funny thing about that kind of post, though, is that I have no clue as to why. In that post, I mentioned God, Jeff Buckley and the Ferrari 360 Modena Spyder. So what's the big draw?

I have my guess. What do you think?

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

The Web Design Survey 2007

April 25, 2007 12:45 AM

Are you a web designer?

2007 Web Design Survey

If so, take The Web Design Survey.

I'm looking forward to seeing the results.

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

Insert microformat Here

April 24, 2007 8:20 PM

While looking up some Coldplay-related news tonight, I stumbled upon this article over at the Telegraph. The article's main content is followed by what seems to be a commonplace on news sites and blogs alike these days, a series of links allowing readers to quickly post the story on popular social news sites like Digg, Newsvine and several others. The Telegraph example in particular is actually fairly clean. I'm sure many of us have seen the icon farms that some sites tack on to the end of their content to allow this type of social interaction on a much wider (and much more annoying) scale.

The problem with this approach, especially as the web evolves and more and more social sites participate in link sharing, saving, commenting, etc., is that it becomes harder and harder for any one particular provider of content to ensure that users have one-click access to their site of choice. For instance, if you leave out a link to del.icio.us, your chances of getting me to interact in any way are pretty slim (other than the fact that I already have a "post to del.icio.us" button on my browser's bookmark toolbar).

As more competitors pop their heads up (especially the ones that get really, really popular like Digg did), it becomes increasingly more difficult to provide majority coverage using the method employed by the Telegraph in the aforementioned example.

So what is the solution?

In my opinion, microformats are the ideal solution to this problem. As a provider of content, you can provide a single microformat along with your content that UAs like Firefox can watch out for on the user's behalf. When such a microformat is detected, a toolbar item, extension, or some other chrome-resident entity can change slightly (I'd leave this behavior up to smarter minds) to indicate to the user that the content is ready to post to their social news or bookmarking site of choice. The list of supported sites could be similar to the list of options you see under your browser's search bar in that there is a default set (for users who don't know about or aren't interested in the capability of adding their own custom providers) that is extensible.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how microformats solve these types of problems as well as the many others that people haven't quite thought up yet.

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

Firefox in Planet Earth Series

April 24, 2007 7:43 PM

If you're like me and you've been watching the amazing Planet Earth series on the Discovery Channel, be sure to keep an eye out for the footage of a Red Panda in the wild that appears in the episode "Mountains." If you didn't already know, the Red Panda was the inspiration for the Firefox logo.

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

Limbo 2.0

April 22, 2007 8:22 AM

I caught this over at BoingBoing this morning:

A Vatican panel has issued a report that concludes that unbaptized babies go to Heaven, not limbo, as the Catholic church has been claiming for centuries.

Looks like that magical thing we know as religion is keeping up with the times, too (or at least trying).

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

Google Web History

April 22, 2007 1:11 AM

Over a year ago, in a post titled Brainmarks, I wrote about some of the common frustrations in trying to remember where to find specific web content. In addition, I considered the pros and cons of having access to a "private cache" of visited web sites. I see now (via the Official Google Blog) that this "private cache" idea has become a reality in a new Google offering called Google Web History.

Once they figure out how to enable it for users that don't want to install their Google toolbar, I may just give it a try.

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

The Good 'Ol Days

April 21, 2007 11:31 PM

This Forever Geek article on the price of Internet access in 1995 reminds me of the day my mom came upstairs and asked me why this "Internet" thing I was so fascinated by was costing her over $200 in a single month.

But it was worth every penny.

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

One Year of Last.fm

April 21, 2007 11:11 AM

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of me joining Last.fm and tracking all of the music I listen to at home and at work. According to the stats on the site, I listened to 13,560 tracks over the course of the last year. If you estimate that a track averages about four minutes in length, that means I was listening to music at a computer for about 904 hours, or almost 38 days. It's a real shame Last.fm can't track the music that I listen to in my car via actual CDs (gasp!).

Here's a breakdown of the artists I listened to the most over the course of the past year:

  1. Coldplay (849 plays)
  2. Pearl Jam (628 plays)
  3. Keane (451 plays)
  4. Snow Patrol (450 plays)
  5. The Beatles (448 plays)
  6. The Shins (361 plays)
  7. Death Cab for Cutie (338 plays)
  8. Radiohead (329 plays)
  9. Zero 7 (296 plays)
  10. Depeche Mode (201 plays)

I intended to list out my top albums and tracks as well, but because I'm the kind of guy that listens to an album in its entirety, you can already get a feel for what those lists look like based on the artist list above.

One thing I didn't do much of over the past year was collect friends on that site, so if you're a Last.fm user and you're interested, send a friend invite to Bernzilla on there.

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

Copying Firefox Bookmarks from XP to Vista

April 09, 2007 1:57 AM

I made the big jump from Windows XP to Windows Vista tonight. One of my first orders of business was to copy over my Firefox (yes, I'm still using it) bookmarks from my DVD backup of my Windows XP settings. As it turns out, doing so wasn't quite as straightforward as I would have liked it to be. Whereas Firefox's bookmarks are stored here on Windows XP:

C:\Documents and Settings\Bernzilla\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\profiles\yadayada.default\bookmarks.html

On Windows Vista, they've actually been moved here:

C:\Users\Bernzilla\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\ Profiles\yadayada.default\bookmarks.html

So if you've recently made the switch and you're scratching your head, wondering where the bookmarks need to go, there you have it.

Browsers | Post Comments | View Comments (29) | Permalink

Comcast's Turd Ad

April 07, 2007 8:33 AM

I just spotted this Comcast ad over at a blog I was reading:

Screenshot of a Comcast Ad

Is it just me, or does it look like a turd talking on the phone?

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

Still Clothed

April 07, 2007 7:26 AM

Things have been so hectic at work that I haven't been online in a little while. Turns out I missed CSS Naked Day this year.

Oh well, you all saw me naked last year. It really wasn't pretty.

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

A Trip Back in Time

April 04, 2007 1:25 AM

I was just transported back to the 1990s, thanks to Grace Haven. They've got the hit counter, the guestbook, the cheesy background and repeating graphic along the sidebar...but best of all, they've got the good ol' marquee text scrolling ever-so-whimsically by. Ahhhhhh.

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

Moving Permanently to Lynx

April 01, 2007 12:59 AM

Long-time readers know that I'm a big supporter of Firefox. Or was a big supporter of Firefox. The truth of the matter is, I've had a slight disdain for the browser for quite some time and it's finally snowballed to the point where I no longer want to use it. I've been considering my alternatives lately, and the fact that IE7 locks up all the time and Opera is just so...Norwegian...has left me no choice other than to switch permanently to Lynx.

I've caught some flack here before for not supporting the Lynx browser with my web designs, so I really feel this is the logical step to keep that from happening again, and keep my web browsing experience somewhat sane and predictable. So you can doubtless expect to see some graphical changes around here very soon as I optimize for Lynx and remove some of the nice-to-have but mostly unnecessary bells and whistles like fonts, colors and other "artsy" graphical elements.

I'll certainly continue blogging here as I make the transition so as to keep everyone up-to-speed on the process. Hopefully, if I document the process thoroughly and demonstrate how freeing the switch can be, I can convince at least a few others to jump ship with me.

Update: Okay, April Fools' Day is over so I can come clean. I'm actually switching to wget. Who needs a browser at all when you've dealt with HTML for so long that you can actually visualize what it's doing in your head? ;)

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