If they really come through with selling DRM free tunes, you would do well to suck it up, bear the install, and do some voting with your wallet.
San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin Newsom, just announced his concrete intention to get gun shows banned from the Cow Palace. Gun shows are already banned on city and county land, but the CP is on state land, under which the gun shows are fine.
Newsom's reasoning for getting rid of the gun shows? I have no quotes from it, but the several articles I read state that he is "worried about illegal gun sales in the parking lot".
I'd like to tell you what a load of bullcrap that is. First off, I bought my first rifle at a gun show. I got a better price when I went to it, as happens at the events. But I was a long shot from walking out with it to sell. No my friend, you need to have all the right paper work, ID's, and permits signed and complete. Even after you give them your cash, you have to wait 10 days before they'll hand you the gun. So no, you don't go to a gun show, buy a gun, and walk out to resell it to "thugs" for 150% markup.
Realistically, why not post a few foot patrols in the parking lot. The gun show lasts half a day or so and 2 officers could probably keep the parking lot in lock down anway. I've been to the show -- ain't THAT big.
However, even if you are committing strawman sales, the gun's are all individually coded and can be traced back to you via the first legal sale. (Scratching off the serial numbers doesn't often work because a simple acid etching will reveal the number again anyway.) You lose a gun once, perhaps you really were careless. Two of your guns show up in crimes you best expect a very stern detective to be going over your entire life.
And Newsom is backed by one of our local D.A.'s, Kamala Harris, who goes as far as saying,
"There's an absolute, direct connection between [the] deaths [of citizens] and the sale of guns happening here at the Cow Palace." ref
Is there? Really? So you know how guns are getting from these legally licensed dealers into criminals hands? Good. Let's start putting those assholes in jail right along with the people they sold guns to illegally. That's a solution. Making me have to travel yet another 50 miles in order to purchase supplies for my rifle is ludicrous.
At least the majority of commenters on the SFGate article understand the issue, but how many other people really will?
Blueprint is a CSS framework, which aims to cut down on your CSS development time. It gives you a solid CSS foundation to build your project on top of, with an easy-to-use grid, sensible typography, and even a stylesheet for printing.
On the surface, this could save you some time and work -- that is, until you realize what a bad idea it is.
After you get past the basic "oh, neato" link hovering effects of CSS, you learn that its true power (and purpose) lies in its ability to separate the content and design layer. This "framework" undoes all of that careful crafting and smashes them right back together. Let me illustrate:
You have a 300 page website. Each page is a two column layout. You set it up with blueprint, span-4's, rights, and all those layout classes and get it worked out just right. Cool. 3 months later, you need to switch the column positions and change the sizes. Uh oh! Better get your find-n-replace skills out of the cupboard because it's now time to get find all those classes that define the width and floats and change them around. You end up editing 300 files and hating life. Nice.
How about, instead, you do what CSS is SUPPOSED to do and title those two columns for their CONTENT and not their PRESENTATION. Then you can edit a single CSS file, target the content layer, and change presentation quickly. Entire site change: 5 minutes. Hair saved: Entire scalp.
I will commend the Blueprint author for putting so much work into it -- this tool will certainly allow you to quickly setup a site, but it comes at the price of completely obliterating the entire point of CSS for which I could never recommend this tool.
I've been very on the fence about net neutrality for a while now, but I think I'm ending up on the "must have" side of things. I think I'm falling into that category because it is what makes the Internet great.
I read about a guys experience trying to remove himself -- completely -- from facebook. That was the boring part, instead the interesting part is why he wanted to do it. I've seen the motivation hinted at a few times here and there, and small ruminations of it coming back up.
In this world of Web 2.0 and large community "social networking" sites, it has become a very 'in-thing' to entrust your network, your photos, your stories, your communications, your e-life and large portions of your real life to these ginourmous, usually faceless entities. And they make it so easy: They're slick, they work, they're fast and fluid and they enable you to share with all your friends when you or they aren't tech savvy enough to setup your own websites with interlocking RSS feeds. However, this is not what the Internet is. This isn't what it was meant to be. The Internet is the end points, not the singular.
The greatest thing about the Internet is that you can hook a computer in and create your own territory. You needn't claim a piece of the pie, you can just bring your own picnic basket (and retain ownership and copyright of your food stuffs, to extend a metaphor too far.) The Internet grows outwards, not by grouping around a few single points. But that's what happens with social networks -- you totally integrate there. We're losing what the Internet is about by falling under one site or another's corporate, lawyered, and TOS'ed umbrella. You don't have freedom of speech there. You can't say what you want. Shoot, most of these places you give up exclusive republishing rights to your content for just about anything the host company wants.
This centralized system is the anti-Internet. AOL is no better than what Facebook or MySpace thrives to be -- the all-and-everything Internet stop for your browser. The real question is thus, how do you keep the heart of the internet beating, while still allowing people to congregate in ways that social networking sites so well facilitate -- or is having 500 friends really just superficial fluff?
While this decision has been brewing for a while, what really drew me to it today was an article about a senator from Alaska saying we should install Internet filters to protect the children. Always with the damn children...
Not only that, but if you think this is just something light and fluffy to argue about, check out this article on Ars about the companies selling DPI, Deep Packet Inspection devices today, and exactly how this plays into net neutrality.
I think of categories as a table of contents and tags as the index page of a book. If I'm searching for a broad topic, unsure of exactly what I need to find or the keywords, then I will hit the table of contents (categories). If I know the exact word I need in order to find the information I want, then I will hit the index page (tags).
A distinction I'd long had trouble grasping with myself.
Went out to the KelTec shoot. Was good lots of fun — wicked hot. Followed my GPS instead of the directions and ended up dragging the BMW through 2 miles of dirt ATV road. Doh! Shot some cool guns, including a .308, largest round I’ve shot to date:
Fun times :)
Websites and the browsers used to display them are cruel and fickle masters -- they will choose to work fine one day, and ruin your whole web presence the next. And, of course, it never looks wrong for the person that designed the dang thing.
Most people have a hard time describing exactly what is wrong with a webpage, which element is in the wrong place, or what functionality is going wrong. Heck, sometimes it's simply too much to get the error message. As such, I'm going to walk through the steps for taking a screenshot and uploading it where a developer can see the problem.Step 1) Find the problem
If you can't find the problem, why are you even reading this?Step 2) Take the screenshot -- Press your "Print Screen" button, aka "PrtScn"
While there are different ways to do this between mac and Windows, I'm covering Windows.
Step 3) Nothing happened!? Yet...Step 4) Open MSPaint
You can start MS Paint by clicking you "Start" button, selecting "Run..." typing "mspaint.exe" and clicking "Ok"Step 5) "Edit" Menu -> "Paste"
This will put your screenshot into the new document.Step 6) "File" menu -> "Save As..."
In the dialog that follows, make sure the "Save as type" has "JPEG" selected, and save the file to your desktop (remember the name you give the file!)Step 7) Email the file you saved, or upload it.
I prefer it when people upload their screenshots somewhere. I usually recommend xs.to. Simply pop over to that website, click the "Browse" button, navigate your way to the JPEG file on your desktop, click "Select", check off the "I agree" box and upload. A few moments later it will greet you with a few urls you can give to the developer.
I suppose I should have screenshots of this process -- but the lack is deliciously ironic.
For those who don't want to read my long rant and look at all the pretty pictures, I'll boil this down for you real quick:
MySpace is and ad-ridden hell-hole of a site swamped with crappy layouts, horrendously intrusive marketing, and infested by maliciously insidious users hacking into people's accounts or simply mass spamming you with auto-generated "pretty-girl" accounts.
Yup, that about sums it up. Facebook does none of that, more, and does it right. Let's go along for the point by point, shall we? All images link to full screen versions
Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the seizures you've been having are MySpace's fault. I can't begin to explain how intrusive the ads on MySpace are. Instead, I want to show you something, you see, I am technically competent enough to swim my way through the shit code that mySpace uses to layout its pages. Using said geek prowess, I have taught my web browser how to hide all the ads on MySpace -- not just the obvious "Punch the monkey" ads, but also the "sponsored content".
Here is a side by side comparison of what it looks like when your not being sold up the river to their advertisers, and when you are being assulted by flashing, blinking, winking, and sexing-you-up ads:
Now, I'm not saying that I find all friends on MySpace annoying, but the way the account system is run at MySpace is failing -- horribly. Accounts are hacked on an extremely regular basis and fake accounts are being created even faster, and the MySpace staff can't squash them in kind. I'd like to show you what my Inbox typically looks like after something like only 2 days away from MySpace:
Not one single person in this screen shot is:
It greatly peeves me that this is such a common problem with the site, because the image is fairly typical for me.
And this brings us to the hacked accounts. Now, I don't doubt the intelligence of any of my friends, but the internet is a tricky place and unless you are as innundated by it as I am, you're not going to catch every single scam and malicious link. And it only takes one before your account is suddenly hacked. Here's a screenshot of my bulletins a few days ago, 3 of these bulletins were not posted by the person who's picture is next to it, but by someone who had their password and was posting it in their steed:
In the past month, 3 people in my amazingly small 34 friend circle have had their accounts hacked. That's a startlingly high figure, and one that MySpace is almost entirely responsible for because people are slipping malcicious code into bulletins that should have been stripped out.
One of the greatest things about MySpace's lack of competent HTML filtering is that it lets through custom CSS code on profile pages. This allows anyone with enough skill to make their page look different from the default (read: horrendously ugly) layout.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and when you entrust great responsibility to hordes or hormonally imbalanced youths, you've made a serious mistake.
Some people didn't go to overboard, I think my profile is pretty sane:
Some people actually spent a lot of time on their profile to make it very appealing:
However, the vast majority of users (sorry Lee!) abuse this loop hole and turn MySpace into a thing straight out of the "Big Book of Designer No-nos":
No one can say MySpace is at any lack for features on the site: Video's, pictures, calendars, blogs, forums, group, etc, etc. However, as you will see later on, none of these hold a candle to what Facebook offers in comparison. Some of the comparisons rest solely on the fact that MySpace appears to have been designed by a monkey banging on a keyboard, but mostly the features are barely functional, with no regard to integration or how they fit into the site as a whole package.
Here are two shots which you'll want to keep in mind for later when they are drawn up for comparison, the "album" page and a "group" index page:
This requires no explanation outside of this screenshot:
I got onto Facebook before it was "everyone can join" days once I got a job at CNET. It was interesting, offered a nice setup, but it was 'closed' for all intents and purposes. None of my friends worked at CNET and because my school wasn't the greatest, getting school based emails was near to impossible -- so I didn't expect that route to work.
Since then, however, Facebook has opened its doors to anyone who would like to join, and as such, there's very little reason to continue using MySpace.
Facebook vs. MySpace, feature for feature, Facebook actually loses, but I don't think users do. See, Facebook doesn't have Forums, or Videos on it -- but I don't think you'll miss these. I have forums elsewhere, and only really care to talk to my groups and friends anyway. Videos? Come on: you ... tube.
However, in the areas that I care about for my social networking, Facebook not only has everything MySpace has, but also does a better job.
Now, leaving Facebook doesn't come without some draw backs. First, you can't customized your profile -- this is a negative or a positive depending on your point of view. Secondly, Facebook doesn't have support for music in any way, shape, or form. So, if you use MySpace to run your band P.O.C., etc, then Facebook isn't quite ready for you -- I do, however, hear that this feature is quickly coming. So band heads, check in with Facebook in a month or two.
While not quite ready for a few select groups (bands), the vast majority of users at MySpace would be better served and less inconvenienced by switching to Facebook. Give it a try -- switch over to Facebook, get a few friends to hop over and see how it goes. If you don't like it, come back and tell me I suck, but I can honestly say you'll likely not want to go back to MySpace ... except because your friends are there.
But then, you can be like me, write a nice little article and tell them all to switch to Facebook today. :)