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