On Not | Mo Chit

May 30, 2004

metal_hangers_small.jpg metalic_x_small.jpg
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Posted by Dudley at 02:53 AM

May 29, 2004

Shame on you! It seems that Google's AdWords thinks that people reading this blog are a bunch of criminals.
I don't know what tipped them off, but I've got a couple of leads.
  • Going Nowhere (that's pretty accurate if you're in jail).
  • Python (it sounds gang related).
  • My negative impression of the RIAA.
  • My negative impression of lobbyists.
  • Talk about pirating MP3s.
  • Using TiVo.
  • Mentioning the VMWare key generator.
  • The Creative Commons license.
So clearly if you're interested what's written here, you're more than likely a criminal. I suggest you click on the ad.
Posted by Dudley at 02:44 AM

May 28, 2004

Flash: Fun with setInterval If you've ever written your own scrollbar you've had to deal with the behavior of clicking on the up or down arrow which causes an immediate scroll, followed by a pause and then continually scrolling.

So typically you would want to call a scrollDown method for example immediately, then setup an interval for the pause, and then setup another interval for the continuous scrolling.

Usually your code would look something like this:
function onPress() {
  //scroll immediately
 //setup pause
 _scrollID = setInterval(this,"initDownScroll",350);

function initDownScroll() {
 //scroll immediately again
 //setup continuous scrolling
 _scrollID = setInterval(this,"scrollDown",50);

function scrollDown() {
 //handle scrolling here
Thankfully there is a easy fix that lets you only have to use one function for both intervals:
function onPress() {
  //scroll immediately
 //setup pause
 _scrollID = setInterval(this,"scrollDOwn",350,true);

function scrollDown(first:Boolean) {
  if(first) {
    //setup continuous scrolling
    _scrollID = setInterval(this,"scrollDown",50);

  //handle scrolling here
So just by passing an extra parameter to the first interval, the scrollDown function can detect that the pause is over and setup the next interval.
Posted by Wes at 12:30 PM
Flash: Short circuit evaluation After seeing Darron Schall's white space revelation the other day, I thought I would share something else common to most programming languages. In Actionscript logical expressions are evaluated executing the least amount of comparisons necessary to evaluate the expression. For example
if(true || complexFunction()) ...
if(false && complexFunction()) ...
In both examples complexFunction() will never be executed since it is unnecessary to evaluate the expression. So if your looking for that extra bit of performance, it's always good practice when forming potentially intensive logical comparisons, to put the least complicated comparisons first.
Posted by Wes at 12:05 PM
Bravo, Sony. sony_pva.jpg I take back most of the bad things I said about Sony in my last Sony post. Clearly they have their heads screwed on right when they came up with the VGF-AP1. Finally, people will be able to carry around something other than an iPod without holding their heads in shame. Now, all I have to figure out is what I'll have to pawn in order to pay for this new, pricey gadget. Read more about it at The Register.
Posted by Dudley at 02:16 AM

May 26, 2004

Daily Reconnaissance

General Interest:

Coolest Small Company
A good article about Ann Arbor entrepreneurs. They demonstrate that there's away to grow a business without turning into some kind degenerating franchise.

Fahrenheit 9/11 will be distributed via BitTorrent
This would be great, but I'm not holding my breath.

Announcing and explaining our new 2.0 licenses
Creative Commons releases new licenses along with a fancy new blog badge.

Trust us -- we know best:

Clear Channel Playing Dirty with Bands selling Music
Helping the musicians and music listeners one scam at a time.

Clear Channel Sucks
What else is new?

RIAA Bags 493 More Swappers

The RIAA does not yet know the identities of those it targeted in its latest round of lawsuits but plans to discover them through court-issued subpoenas. RIAA sues but doesn't know who they're suing just yet.

I wonder how many people under the age of 10 and over the age of 60 they're going to sue this time.

Cramping Japan's Digital TV style
Some tips for the FCC.

DVRs 'Recapture' 96% of TV Ad Zapping
My knee-jerk reaction is to disagree because I love TiVo and I hate commercials. Unfortunately, they're right. I actually know all the commercials and recognize them as I'm fast forwarding through all their crap. This is pretty analogous to people pirating MP3s and actually buying the CDs as well. Let me put it this way, I love music and since I don't download any illegally MP3s anymore, I rarely find new bands that I like.

Leave Linus alone so he can code:

Linux report falls flat
Imagine that, Linux was actually written by Linus Torvalds.

R.I.P.: The Counterculture Aura of Linux
Linus adds requirement for patch in order to trace code origin and the NYTimes
attaches the outlandish title "R.I.P: The counterculture aura of Linux" to the article that doesn't go into any detail about this supposedly dead counterculture. Looks like
NYTimes is turning into a blog.

Bookmark This:

How Linux Saved My Files and My Job
Linux saving Windows' ass once again.

Company looks to capitalize on free XML tool
Authentic 2004 is free. It's from the makers of XMLSpy and a chunk of other XML related tools.

You're dying, but here's some drugs:

Aspirin May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer, Report Shows

But the scientists said it was too soon to recommend aspirin just to prevent breast cancer in women who are not already taking the drug for some other reason.

Time to add another pill to the daily regiment.

All stressed out and Everywhere to Go
Flying a lot will make you crazy. Well, duh.

Posted by Dudley at 12:03 AM

May 25, 2004

Beta 2 Managed to squeeze out yet another beta for Gush 1.1. It'll probably be the last beta before finalizing 1.1 The beta has taken a bit longer than most betas partly because we continued to add new features after the first beta. As a rule of thumb, this is generally not a good idea, but we wanted to get the 1.1 to the stage where Gush is stable and most of the smaller requested features were added.

With this out of the way, we can finally move onto more exciting things like file transfer, file sharing, group discussions (Multi User Chat), and much more.

atomenabled.png Gush is finally Atom Enabled. I've been meaning to add Atom support for a long time now, but other things kept cropping up. As expected, adding Atom support was trivial since I've are developed all the bag of tricks to deal with all the variations of RSS, and not to mention all the crap feeds out there.

As of right now, we haven't finished the OS X version. The OS X version has been quite troublesome. Most of the problems are related to using WebKit to house the Flash SWF. WebKit/Safari interaction with Flash SWFs is not nearly as good as Firefox's interaction with SWFs under OS X. First, the cursor doesn't reliably change into the cursor hand over links in Flash HTML textfields. Second, when Gush is minimized to the Dockbar, WebKit seems to pause Flash. This behavior may be fine for most web-based SWF files, but it's not the expected behavior for an application.

We've been trying on and off to compile Mozilla's CHBrowserView so that we may embedded that instead of WebKit. Hopefully, over the next couple of days I can get that compiled and integrated followed by the OS X release.
Posted by Dudley at 07:26 PM

May 24, 2004

Printer lingerie
hp_printer.jpg The The Distributor vs. the Innovator NYTimes article seems to be getting a lot of attention around the web because it highlights the fundamentally differences between HP and Dell's business models.

However, after reading the following paragraph, I just couldn't stop thinking that printers are actually really sexy machines:
Every day, physicists, chemists and fluid-mechanics engineers puzzle over ways to make the symphony of nanoscale ink explosions more efficient and precise. They speak of co-solvents, surfactants, polymers, humectants, friction coefficients and tailhooking (when the trailing tail of a misfired droplet splats wildly).
Posted by Dudley at 04:23 PM

May 23, 2004

Did they read it junkbutton.png Slashdot has a post about a new email service called DidTheyReadIt.com which allows you to send an email, and then be able to track when, where, and for how long their recipient read the email.

DidTheyReadIt.com linked to a USA Today article as part of the favorable press coverage section. The article had the following to say:
Rampell Software CEO Alex Rampell says he's braced for controversy. "It can be used inappropriately, but our intentions are good," he says.

The tracking service could be used by job hunters who want to see if their résumés were read, or by salespeople wanting to track pitches. Today's spam filters can sometimes block e-mail sent with attachments, leaving the sender thinking an e-mail got through when it didn't. This is a way to check. "It can be useful peace of mind to know people got your e-mail," Rampell says.
Ironically, all the of supposedly good purposes for using DidTheyReadIt still sound pretty slimy. How can you with a straight face tell me that this software will benefit me, salespeople, and headhunters all in the same breath?

The claim that you can verify that the email wasn't chewed up my some span filter is probably the most plausible excuse for this software. However, I'm sure these guys, if they have half a brain, have already figured what I just realized now: What if the spammers started using this software to track and profile who received their spam? Big bucks for them, and more spam for me.

Outlook and other mail clients have had different forms of this feature for a long time now. People at the company that I used to work for used this fairly frequently. I setup a special folder for emails with tracking just so that I can purposely delay responding to those emails.

The same kind of people who would use this feature are those who currently send an email and then immediately call to make sure you've received and read the email. Except with this service, they'll be able to be a little more covert with their harassment.
Posted by Dudley at 08:28 PM

May 19, 2004

Yann Arthus-Bertrand YAB has a compelling series of photographs called "The Earth from Above." The frenchmen travels all around the world taking pictures from helicopters and small airplanes. YAB's team has put together a very nice Flash gallery as a sample of his work.
You can also see and download hundreds of photographs for free from the "The Earth from Above" series.
Posted by Dudley at 12:49 PM

May 18, 2004

Money well spent
Picture gallery of Seattle's new public library. (via HotLinks)
Posted by Dudley at 02:37 PM

May 14, 2004

You call these search results? Apparently Google thinks Going Nowhere has some relevance to the following search terms:
  • stick it to them [ Rank # 1 ]
  • broadband sucks [ Rank # 1 ]
  • this aggression will not stand [Rank # 2 ]
  • family guy michael eisner bring money [Rank # 3 ]
  • beautiful flash [Rank # 4]
  • RFID sushi [Rank # 5 ]
  • definition emotionally unavailable [Rank # 6 ]
  • vmware esx keygen [Rank # 13]
  • pederast [Rank # 18 ]
  • overpaid jobs [Rank # 20 ]
  • enemyster beta code [Rank # 31 ]
I'm sorry to say that I don't think these people found what they were looking for with the exception of one or two of the terms. I also wish our ranking for pederast was a lot lower.
Posted by Dudley at 01:23 AM
Double Standard
corporate_flag.jpg United Corporations of America. Sounds kind of funny, doesn't it? Let's just say that in many ways the laws of the land treat corporations as first class citizens, and it's actual citizens like the drooling consumers we've become.

Take some New York Times headlines that have been in the news in the past week:

Pfizer to Pay $420 Million in Illegal Marketing Case
U.S. Discloses Wal-Mart Fine of $3.1 Million [ Clean Air Act violations ]
Record Labels Must Pay Shortchanged Performers

I guess all these companies / organizations have learned their lesson, right? Sure they have. The crime fits the punishment.

Then there's Martha Stewart who was convicted for 4 felonies.There's possible jail time, and unless all the counts are over turned, Martha won't be voting in the next presidential election. Justice is served.

So let me gets this right. Martha is unable to vote in the next election because she sold 200,000 shares illegally netting her practically nothing in comparison to her real wealth. On the other hand, Pfizer, who defrauded Americans and the Medicaid program of billions of dollars, is fined $420 million dollars, a tiny fraction of their yearly revenues of 49 billion, and no jail time (of course, they're a company). Pfizer can still lobby to their heart's content.

Can we really believe what Pfizer has to say about cheaper drugs coming from Canada, eh?

How about the two DMCA amendments before Congress trying to wrestle back some of the fundamental rights U.S. citizens ought to have for content they've rightfully purchased? The RIAA is still allowed to lobby politicians despite not paying the artists they're claiming to represent? I'm sure they have our best interest at heart now, like the time they price fixed CD sales in the late 90s.

To be honest, I hate lobbying. It's a sickening practice that misinforms people in power for the gain of a few. I'm sure there are others who would disagree, but I can hardly see the case for letting corporations lobby that are known to be headed by executives that wantonly break laws.

My suggestion for leveling the playing field is to introduce "free lobbying zones." We can put them right next to the free speech zones.
Posted by Dudley at 12:07 AM

May 11, 2004

Come on, Sony
sony_dej1000.jpg Almost three years ago, after having dinner with some friends in Shibuya, I was going towards the JR station to head back to the homestead when I decided to pop into BicBic. Low and behold there was the Sony D-EJ1000. It made all other CD-Players look like absolute junk in comparison. Heck, most of the CD Player still sold in the US weight 3 times as much, are 3 times as thick, and still use AA batteries. The sound quality on the D-EJ1000 is amazing and it's shock protection is superb. I know I don't use my adjectives sparingly, but the Sony D-EJ1000 deserves it all. It's the impulse purchase that I've been most proud of since I discovered coke vending machines.

Over the years, I've bought a lot of Sony merchandise. I know they have reliability issues, but their stuff just looks too good. However, since Wes bought his first Sony MediaStick MP3 player, I've been completely unimpressed by their MP3 players. Let's just put it this way, they suck.

sony_vaio_pocket.jpg Gizmodo shares some of their thoughts on the Sony VAIO pocket. They basically hit the nail on the head about what's going to be the main problem with the Pocket VAIO and what has been wrong with all of their MP3 players up until now. Basically, someone at Sony refuses to license the MP3 codec so all the media has to be converted into the ATRAC format. The problem is that the software that used to come along with the MP3 players for converting all the MP3s into ATRAC3 is absolutely terrible.

Anyway, the Pocket VAIO looks great, but there's absolutely no way that I'd use it for my MP3 player. For now, I'll just keep burning my music to CD to listen on my wonderful D-EJ1000.

Update: BoingBoing goes into detail why Sony is slowly screwing up their electronics.
Posted by Dudley at 09:04 PM
Subversion Logo We've been using Subversion on and off for a while. Since the 1.0 release, we've used it as our primary source code control solution. It works with well with my other favorite pieces of software: Python and Apache.

O'Reilly has a really nice introduction to Subversion by the authors of Subversion. The O'Reilly Subversion book is also really handy, thorough, and free.

Subversion comes as both a client and a server portion. The client is a command line based which is fine for some, but on Windows I certainly prefer something a little more integrated. Thankfully, there's TortoiseSVN which allows you to do all the source code management by right-clicking on Windows folders.

At this point SVN is already a great solution, but you can get more bang for your buck by installing Trac. Trac is a web-based service that allows developers to collaborate on Wikis, track change sets in your SVN repositories, and do bug reporting / ticket requests. To boot, it has a really nice interface and of course it's written in Python. My only complaint with Trac is that it doesn't allow me to just view all the changes at once for a single file. You can only view the diffs for all the files in a change set. Anyway, it's only at version 0.6.1 so there's plenty of time to get things polished. Here are some nice looking Trac screenshots:

changeset_thumb.png ticket_thumb.png
Posted by Dudley at 07:52 PM

May 09, 2004

Cowboy openrange.jpg I saw the NYTimes article, For 28 Cows and Precious Water, a Man's Got to Sit in Jail. It reminds me a lot of the movie, Open Range. Open Range is really a great western in my mind although a little slow for some. The scenery is great and the ass-kicking is convincing.

Unlike Open Range, it's doubtful that Wayne Klump will be able to march in town and settle his business with all the slick suits. 10 years in Federal court is probably counts as a hell of a fight.

That reminds me, I hope TiVo is catching Deadwood right now. I started watching Deadwood about 5 weeks ago. It's really an amazing show. It's the quality programming I expect for paying extra money for another channel.

The thing about Deadwood that I like the most is the Wild West that it portrays. It's the same rough and tumble West that's depicted in Open Range, but it focuses more on the unscrupulous. Deadwood has its protagonists, but from all counts they're fighting a losing battle. Deadwood in a sense is like good reality-TV, you just don't know what's going to happen.

Deadwood, I think, is probably a lot closer to reality than Open Range. I guess that's why there's a lot more swearing in Deadwood.
Posted by Dudley at 10:18 PM

May 05, 2004

An author's dream come true Actionscript.com is now opening it's doors to contributors, and the best part is, you can earn some extra cash. They are using Google's Adsense, which can now track individual pages. So the more popular or more often you write, the more you can earn. Details here if you're interested.
Posted by Wes at 06:04 PM
A Ringer for a Ringer
al.jpg This week on the Dewoblizer: What the heck does RSS have to do with eWeek's article on Longhorn Trying to Gore Linux? How does Al Gore factor into all of this? The answers: nothing and in no way.

Scoble preaches interoptability between his RedHat and Longhorn machines. I guess he's talking about Samba and Wine? Aren't those the projects that have been taking years to reverse engineer proprietary Microsoft implementations?

Not to worry, because RSS is to the rescue. RSS, for example, will make the whole argument about the mountain of patents disappear when future projects like Wine and Samba are blasted for reverse engineering Longhorn. Oh right, I guess interopt in the sense of Microsoft saying you're allowed to interopt. In the words of Michael Eisner on The Family Guy: bring money.

Just to flex some of my ignorance, but isn't the Avalon XML schema some kind of derivative of SVG? I'm sure they have great technical arguments for why SVG couldn't possibly do what they really wanted it to do. I guess we'll have interopt when others try to converge on the Microsoft specification. Nevermind, I forgot that Microsoft wants to interopt in the USA but not in Europe and New Zealand. Can we add Canada to that list?

Let's talk about a real specification worth complying with -- CSS. How's that coming along? Can we at least be assured we'll have that? Will the "awesome browser" that I can build in Longhorn be able to just take good-old CSS and render it 100% properly without me having to resort to some kind of Microsoft specific hack?

Am I being to harsh? Didn't Microsoft OneNote implement the OPML specification recently? Let me get this right, OPML is the XML schema with essentially just one element and you get to pretty much pick whatever attributes you want for that element, right? Bravo, Microsoft. Bravo.

To be honest, the amount of squirming in Scoble's article makes me more nervous than the eWeek article. And by the way, RSS is not the antacid that I'm looking for in this case.
Posted by Dudley at 01:31 AM

May 04, 2004

Tempkin on the lost art of UI design I just noticed that David Temkin, one of the founders of Laszlo Systems has a blog. Looks like he started last month and is already covering some topics very dear to me. In particular, he talks about how UI programming, once upon a time the place to be, came to be seen as trivial when the web took off. And now it seems that UI decisions are more of an after thought than anything else. I hope that when David looks at something like Gush, that he realizes that there are still some of us who still care a good deal.
Posted by Wes at 10:51 PM

May 03, 2004

Quote of the day The definition of emotionally unavailable was perfectly articulated today:
Emotionally unavailable, what's that!?
Posted by Wes at 07:49 PM

May 02, 2004

Granato goes all Flash Granato has boldly gone where few succeed, and has achieved a very intuitive feel all in Flash. There is good attention to detail including tooltips for images, input field focusing, some nice rollover sounds that aren't annoying, and a few very subtle alpha blends to give some texture to the site.

Just a few observations:
  • Clicking on a post's text turns it blue. Not sure if that is a convenient way to mark items as read or not, but that's what I use it for.
  • Links to different sections of the site load new pages. I'm guessing this is to play nice with browser history and give users the option to open links in new windows.
  • I notice a bunch of links goto various sections of the DENG website, not sure what that's all about.
  • I can use my scroll wheel for the TxFL news which is lovely, but not for the main posts.
  • I'm not seeing any trackback or permalink integration.
Again, it's very well done, so check it out.
Posted by Wes at 02:41 AM

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