Monthly Archive for September, 2005

links for 2005-09-28

Everybody Hates Chris

Some­how our TiVO missed the first episode, but thank­ful­ly Google is host­ing it for us:

Inspired by his child­hood expe­ri­ences, come­di­an Chris Rock nar­rates the hilar­i­ous, touch­ing sto­ry of a teenag­er grow­ing up as the eldest of three chil­dren in Brook­lyn, New York, dur­ing the ear­ly 1980’s. Uproot­ed to a new neigh­bor­hood and bused into a pre­dom­i­nant­ly white mid­dle school two hours away by his strict, hard-work­ing par­ents, Chris (Tyler James Williams) strug­gles to find his place while keep­ing his sib­lings in line at home and sur­mount­ing the chal­lenges of junior high. This respon­si­ble resilient ado­les­cent brings a dis­tinct, fun­ny spin to his every­day tri­als and trau­mas in UPN’s new sin­gle-cam­era com­e­dy EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS. Thurs­days on UPN (8pm EST/PST).

links for 2005-09-21

iTrip LCD

I’ve had the iTrip LCD for a cou­ple of weeks now, and I am very frus­trat­ed with it. I’ve used the reg­u­lar iTrip for a cou­ple of years, and it per­fomed about as well as can be expect­ed from an FM transmitter.

How­ev­er, when I recent­ly broke it, (the con­nec­tor some­how bent and detached, caus­ing some wires to dis­con­nect), I decid­ed to buy a new one. When I saw the LCD ver­sion, I ordered this instead.

My set­up in my car is exact­ly as it was with the orig­i­nal iTrip, (2000 Saab 9–3, 3rd-Gen iPod, with flat EQ and broad­cast to 88.7), but the result is sim­ply mad­den­ing.

With the old iTrip, the iPod vol­ume was set to about 90%, and caused very lit­tle dis­tor­tion. But, with the new iTrip LCD, the sound is heav­i­ly dis­tort­ed at 90% vol­ume, and the unit auto­mat­i­cal­ly reduces the vol­ume to about 50–60% for most music. This of course ampli­fies the sta­t­ic and back­ground noise. To make mat­ters worse, even then the music is still dis­tort­ed. DX-mode makes only a mar­gin­al difference.

I hate to rain on the parade, but I had the old one, and it worked fine. I sub­mit­ted a help tick­et to Grif­fin 12 hours ago, and have yet to receive a response… per­haps their ser­vice techs are busy draft­ing the pro­duc­t’s sup­port web site?

14 is My New Favorite Artist

Thanks Ray­mi.

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar

It’s a pain to build web sites that behave prop­er­ly in Inter­net Explor­er — and, if my IE7 beta any idi­ca­tion, it will con­tin­ue to be a pain.

But, Microsoft just released the Inter­net Explor­er Devel­op­er Tool­bar Beta.

Some of the many fea­tures are:

  • View HTML object class names, ID’s, and details such as link paths, tab index val­ues, and access keys.
  • Out­line tables, table cells, images, or select­ed tags.
  • Val­i­date HTML, CSS, WAI, and RSS web feed links.
  • Dis­play image dimen­sions, file sizes, path infor­ma­tion, and alter­nate (ALT) text.
  • Imme­di­ate­ly resize the brows­er win­dow to 800×600 or a cus­tom size.
  • Dis­play a ful­ly fea­tured design ruler to help accu­rate­ly align objects on your pages.

But of course, I still love the Web Devel­op­er Exten­sion for Fire­fox. It’s just that some­times you have to work with IE.

Google Secure Access client

Jeez, Google is branch­ing out in to all kinds of new busi­ness­es… the lat­est is a ven­ture to pro­vide the world with a secure WiFi con­nec­tion, espe­cial­ly use­fule in pub­lic places.

Dubbed Google Secure Access, it pro­vides a free VPN con­nec­tion to Google. Some observers are already ques­tion­ing Google’s com­mit­ment to user pri­va­cy, which gives pause — but, I for one, would love such a ser­vice. Too bad the down­load is avail­able only for WIndows.

Stef in Norway

I noticed that Stef some pho­tos of her Euro­pean trip. I won­der if she’s back yet?

Norwegian flag on Ulriken
Norwegian flag on Ulriken, by Mystera
Preikestolen, just about at the top!
Preikestolen, just about at the top!, by Mystera

links for 2005-09-17

links for 2005-09-15

Office 12

Microsoft unveiled its new user inter­face for Office 12 ear­li­er this week, and they seem to have depart­ed rad­i­cal­ly from past releases:

…we set about rethink­ing the UI from the user’s per­spec­tive, which is “results-ori­ent­ed,” rather than from the devel­op­er’s per­spec­tive, which tends to be “fea­ture-ori­ent­ed” or “com­mand-ori­ent­ed”… instead of hav­ing to learn how to make some­thing shad­owed, or what the aspect ratio is or the per­cent gray, you just say, “Oh, I like that one,” and you pick it, you click it and get it in your doc­u­ment. It’s more visual.

outlook12 outlook12-2

Word, Excel, Pow­er­Point, and Access are due to get the face lift, but Out­look (the one Office appli­ca­tion that I use con­stant­ly, and which piss­es me off the most), will remain large­ly the same, accord­ing to the press release.

(Although odd­ly enough, xBe­tas has a cou­ple of screen shots of a sim­i­lar­ly engi­neered Outlook.)

My ini­tial reac­tion is very wait-and-see… True, it looks like an aqua rip-off, but con­sid­er­ing I use the suite every day on my work PC, any­thing new will peak my interest.

links for 2005-09-13

Underground Man” update

Thanks to Mint, I noticed that a few vis­i­tors were referred here look­ing for the text of a New York­er arti­cle writ­ted in Feb­ru­ary 2004 titled, Under­ground Man: Can the for­mer C.I.A. agent who saved New York’s sub­way get the Tube back on track?. I had scanned the text a while back, but my direc­to­ry secu­ri­ty set­tings on my serv­er were tight­ened, and the scans were no longer available.

So, if you’re look­ing for the arti­cle, it’s is now prop­er­ly linked in the orginal post.

I still wish I had a way of extract­ing the text via OCR…

links for 2005-09-10

301 (Permanent redirect)

I’ve tak­en a sec­ond step toward fix­ing my Google index­ing prob­lem. On the advice of Casey, I mod­i­fied my .htac­cess file to rewrite all URLs to and send out 301s (Per­ma­nent redirects).

Now, when a user arrives here via a URL, they’ll be trans­par­ent­ly redi­rect­ed to and Google will see the 301 mes­sage. Hope­ful­ly then, Google will get with the program.

Thanks Casey!

Scooterist killed in Boston

I am shocked and hor­ri­fied by a report in the Globe today, that a Scooter­ist was killed last night in a col­li­sion with a truck:

Police were search­ing last night for the dri­ver of a trac­tor trail­er sus­pect­ed of strik­ing, drag­ging, and killing an 18-year-old man rid­ing a motor scoot­er at the Mass­a­chu­setts Avenue onramp to the Mass­a­chu­setts Turnpike.

After the impact, the truck con­tin­ued down the ramp, tak­ing the scoot­er and its rid­er with it, police said. Both were found at the bot­tom of the ramp, which was closed for sev­er­al hours after the acci­dent, police said.

Even more dis­turb­ing that this, the dri­ver either did­n’t know the col­li­sion occured, or fled the scene:

After hit­ting the teenag­er, the dri­ver of the 18-wheel­er stopped momen­tar­i­ly on the Turn­pike to look at a tire that was on fire, said Boston police spokesman David Estra­da. He refused the help of sev­er­al Turn­pike work­ers and drove off with the tire ablaze, police said.

We don’t know much about the vic­tim yet, but this inci­dent should serve as an impor­tant reminder that motor scoot­ers are not toys — they are motor­cy­cles. Too many peo­ple just buy a new twist-n-go Ves­pa, with­out much expe­ri­ence rid­ing, or knowl­edge of safe rid­ing habits. We fre­quent­ly see Ves­pa rid­ers in shorts and t‑shirts, with no hel­mets or gloves, duck­ing in and out of busy city traf­fic. This is sim­ply insane.

Do your­self a favor — take a motor­cy­cle safe­ty course. It’s well worth the $200, and you get a dis­count on your insurance.


Rol­lyo is cool — sign up to beta test.


Not to be out­done by Apple yes­ter­day, I saw that Sony is once again rethink­ing it’s Walk­man brand.

I admit that the design is far more com­pelling than Sony’s pre­vi­ous offer­ings, but a monocra­mat­ic, low-res screen? C’mon Sony!

links for 2005-09-08

iPod nano & ROKR phone

Wow — we all expect­ed the new iTunes phone, but who would have guessed at the iPod nano?

First, the ROKR is avail­able from Cin­gu­lar now. It’s got iTunes (100 songs), Blue­tooth, and a VGA cam­era (sucky) — for $249.00.

But, I’m more intrigued with the iPod nano… Sure, it only comes with a max of 4GB stor­age, but the small size, col­or screen, and “wow” fac­tor is going to make it a big hit. And, the price is right at just $249 for the 4GB, (the same as the now dead, iPod mini).

Start sav­ing your mon­ey… even the ini­tial acces­sories look neat, (if not a bit girly).


Here is my God­son, Tommy…


Godson, by nedward.

I was in Buf­fa­lo this past week­end to cel­e­brate my Grand­ma’s 100th birth­day, and got to see my cousins Mag­gie, Lau­ren, Sarah, and Emma.

Have a Mint

I just ordered and installed the new site stats pack­age Mint, which was launched today by Shaun Inman.

It’s been eons since I had a reli­able site stat track­er, and this pack­age looks as good as the hype. RIP, Refer.

links for 2005-09-03

BU Today

My alma mater just launched a nice­ly-designed por­tal called BU Today, which pub­lish­es (offi­cial) dai­ly news from the uni­ver­si­ty. It’s as if this school final­ly “get’s it” — that Pub­lic Rela­tions matter.

I’m dis­ap­point­ed to see that the code is full of Dreamweaver javascript, spac­er GIFs, and <table>-based struc­ture. And, the weath­er wid­get at the top is flash-based.

Oh well.

links for 2005-09-02