May 2006 Archives

Trivial

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Ended up at Trivia Night at the Baggot Inn tonight with Ken Goldstein (aka Kenny G and K-Donk, among many other aliases).

Despite the fact that it was my first time there and we were far outnumbered by many other teams, the two of us managed to pull off a very respectable second place, which, monetarily, translated to $15 off our beer tab. Next time I’m bringing reinforcements.

Well, That Took Long Enough

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So I’m finally publicly launching the new design. Hopefully it’s a little cleaner than the old one. It’s been tested on Safari, Firefox, and IE 6. I’m positive that the design is horribly broken in IE 5; lucky for me, then that users of IE 5.5 and below constitute about 0.6% of my reading public (less if you include everyone who reads me via RSS).

It renders almost flawlessly in Safari and Firefox, and slightly less so in IE. The IE rendering problems are pretty much entirely inexplicable and can only be blamed on IE’s quirky interpretation of CSS standards. The Safari and Firefox issues are both very minor and entirely my fault, so I’ll go back in and tweak some of the archive template at some point soon.

The obvious moral of the story is not to use Internet Exploder to surf the web—or, indeed, for anything at all.

The hardest part of the whole process was getting the individual archive pages to work properly. The rest was pretty straightforward.

In case you’re wondering, the basic framework was lifted directly from this A List Apart article on simple three-column design in CSS.

ES.com Redesigns. Plus, Spam!

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Elizabeth Spiers has put together a rather snazzy redesign of her own site, at long last retiring the classic (if I say so myself) blue-on-blue of the old design.

And in other blog-related news, I’ve turned off MT 3.2’s built-in spam filters in favor of MT-Akismet. MT 3.2’s spam filters were very good—a vast improvement over what previously existed, to be sure—but the spammers were slowly winning the war, and more and more spam was slipping by my defenses (including renaming mt-comment.cgi and mt-tb.cgi). Askimet is very, very, very good. I haven’t had a single piece of spam slip through yet. If you’re having trouble with spam on your blog — and if you don’t, you probably don’t have comments open — try Askimet.

The Second Thing You Learn In Law School

One thing you learn very quickly in law school is that law students, as a class, aren’t very good at math. Herewith, some more evidence bolstering that claim.

And In Today's New York Times

Two things of note in today’s Times:

First, “Armed Groups Propel Iraq Toward Chaos” is today’s Captain Obvious award winner. Is anyone out there still seriously claiming that Iraq is better off today than it was before the invasion?

And second, Frank Bruni lets his freak flag fly and goes on a fast-food-fueled coast-to-coast road trip, fulfilling the dreams of college students everywhere.

Zoom Zoom Zoom

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This little web toy is a collection of photographs, each made up of a photomosaic, infinitely recursive (just keep clicking). It’s also a total time sink.

Update: On further review, it appears to be part of an art/marketing promo/web gadget project sponsored by Getty Images. That does explain where they got all the pictures from. And yeah, it’s a total, total, total time sink.

03_finland_left_2006.jpg A Finnish heavy metal band named Lordi (most likely an amalgam of “Loki” and “Lord”, unless it’s an unlikely homage to Lodi, California) managed to win the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Their winning entry, “Hard Rock Hallelujah” was performed while the band wore costumes that would not be out of place in the Klingon room at a SF convention and monster masks that look like leftovers from a Troma spectacular.

Lordi, however, was not the most unusual competitor (after all, Nordic countries and heavy metal go together almost as naturally as meatballs and ligonberry jelly); this year’s most unlikely entry was a country band from Germany called Texas Lightning.

Still, as CNN noted, this is still Eurovision:

Regarded by many as the contest good taste forgot, Eurovision is adored by fans of camp everywhere.

The Big Lake They Call Gitche Gumee

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So, iTunes has taken to playing The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald more than should come up randomly… which leads me to wonder if my iTunes has decided to become Canadian.

CNN.com is reporting that internet addiction is on the rise, and addicts may suffer from the “cyber shakes”.

I find it amusing that I ran across this while I was continuing to adjust the new design. Anyway I have to say thatt “cyber shakes” iiis the most ridddiculous thingg I’vvvve ever hearrrd.

It's That Time Again

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I’m beta-testing the new look for pf.org right over here. Please leave comments—you love it, you hate it, you know where I ripped off found inspiration for the design.

It's About Time

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Apple has finally introduced Intel-based iBooks MacBooks. They come in both classic white and black (the black model is, for some reason $150 more expensive than the white model for the same configuration). The new MacBooks have a magnetic latch (the original clamshell iBook didn’t have a mechanical latch, either), and the screen, instead of a matte surface, features what Apple is calling a “glossy” screen.

The “glossy” screen technology is, I believe, the same technology that Sony has been using on their Vaio laptop displays for some time.

It has an alleged 6-hour battery life, which is awfully nice, and it weighs only 5.2 pounds. Hmmm…..

Apple also took the opportunity to very quietly bump up the processor speeds on the 15” MacBook Pro and offer “glossy” screens on both models of the MacBook Pro.

This Is Mindbogglingly Cool

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This is kind of hard to explain in a few words, but it’s basically a visual representation of a harmonic sequence that generates its own music. The author has a somewhat more detailed explanation, but I find that it works best just sit there and watch and listen to it run.

Yes, It's Finals Time

One thing about law school is that there’s a fair amount of overlap in classes—for example, Rule 11 gets covered in both Civil Procedure and Professional Responsibility; First Amendment time-place-manner restrictions not only show up in Con Law II but also Cyberlaw; various privilege-related issues pop up not only in Evidence, but also Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, and Family Law…

About The Only Good Thing I Can Say...

…about finals is that they mean that the end of the tunnel is really really close.

Unfortunately, there are usually a few freight trains between you and the end of the tunnel, but no pain, no gain…

Quote from a Machead who recently installed Windows XP on his Intel Mac via Boot Camp:

I’ve also discovered that the only useful piece of software that comes with XP is Spider Solitaire.

One Last Chance

For those who are interested in opera, my sister will be appearing in three short, new operas this weekend as part of New York City Opera’s VOX 2006, a showcase for young American composers (and, by extension, young American performers).

Karen will be appearing in A Letter to East 11th Street, Leaving Santa Monica, and Crescent City; the first on Saturday, May 6 at 3:15, and the latter two on Sunday, May 7 at 2. All performances will be at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, located on the corner of LaGuardia and Washington Square Park South.

This will be Karen’s last New York appearence before she heads to Germany for a two-year contract, so check it out…

LucasFilm has just announced that the original Star Wars Trilogy will be released on DVD in a non-special edition form; i.e. how they were originally seen in the theater; i.e. Han shoots first.

Apparently the dics will be “attractively priced” and will only available from September through December. This is, of course, YAWTGPTBMTAPF (yet another way to get people to buy movies they’ve already paid for), a process that will repeat itself when the movies are re-re-released in HD.

That's Unique (Well, Not So Much Anymore)

Tired of counterfeiting one-off products? Why not fake the entire company?

Another way of looking at this is that the counterfeiters realized that in this day and age of outsourcing, it’s cheaper and easier to hire someone else to make the fake product for you…

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