Archive for April, 2005

Tiger is Coming!

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

My Tiger is in the mail, but Slashdot already links some reviews of tomorrow’s MacOS, including a David Pogue review in the New York Times. (I used the BugMeNot FireFox extension to read it.)

Color Wheel PNG Follies

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Color wheel user Jim wrote in to say that he was having trouble with the transparent shading square in both FireFox 1.0.2 and Internet Explorer 6. I couldn’t replicate the FireFox problem, but my IE at work is doing the same thing. More breakage from the perpetually broken browser is frustrating, to say the least, but you can still use the shading box without the color background (while you’re waiting for a real browser to download).

So if you want the geeky explanation, here it is: I use a directX thingamajig (DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader filter) to get around IE’s fundamental brokenness as it manifests itself in PNG transparency. The latest service pack (SP2) seems to have turned off directX stuff for some people, which is, I suppose, what I get for using stupid proprietary extensions to broken browsers.

If you’re interested in stupid proprietary extensions for your antique broken browser, here are some other links about PNG alpha transparency support:

Or just use FireFox.


Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Slashdotters encourage you to slashdot DoubleClick’s The Decade in Online Advertising 1994–2004.

Merger on the Information Superhighway

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Google map of the day: Area 51

Adobe is looking to buy Macromedia, prompting some Slashdot speculation about regulation and whether Flash will now run as slow as the Acrobat plugin does.

The Real Pop Secret

Friday, April 15th, 2005

There’s nothing like GeekPress for news of the weird, such as: Scientists Discover the Secret of Popcorn’s Popability.

Windows Strikes Again

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Windows has been lying low for a while now, lulling me into a false sense of security. But while I was away from the PC overnight, it decided it really needed the latest update. So it downloaded it and rebooted on its own. Any work I was doing yesterday is now lost.

I don’t remember what I had open; at least I know I wasn’t in the middle of the Great American Novel.

Here Kitty, Kitty

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Tiger is coming! The official release date is April 29th. I’m looking forward to Dashboard and Safari RSS. (I love NetNewsWireLite as much as the next machead, but I just don’t have time for a separate RSS application.) I’m sure I’ll enjoy all 200 new features.

Return to the Planet of the Shrews

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Here’s a pretty picture I came across through Slashdot that shows just how much genetic material we retain from the Mother of all Mammals, our latest common ancestor. This blog entry at Corante discusses the possibility of resurrecting the Shrew Eve.

Sin City

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

Backpedal of the day: BBC Apologizes to Who Star - it sounds like a whitewash to me.

I came, I saw, I wasn’t even squicked. The most disturbing part of “Sin City” for me was its failure to disturb. The violence against eyeballs was minimal, the maimings numbing, and the many messy castrations more calculated to disturb the male half of the audience than yours truly. I’ve seen both volumes of Kill Bill and I found them more squicking, probably because I actually cared about the characters. With “Sin City” I spent most of the movie wondering who was who (except for the cool traitor, who had character to spare).

I did enjoy the comic-noir language and black-and-white atmosphere, and I thought the vignettes were good individually. But I spent too much mental time trying to figure out how each one was connected to the last, considering that the answer turned out to be “very loosely.” In the end I didn’t feel that the movie came together, either emotionally or plot-wise.

Browser Security Check

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

iPod link of the Day: iPod icons

GeekPress linked this handy browser security check. I ran it at work (the Place of the Evil OS) and discovered that my Java plugin for Firefox was insecure and needed an upgrade.

I was surprised. I guess I assumed that since Firefox was open-source, it would behave like Safari and keep itself up to date on security issues along with the OS. After all, Java bugs me every other day to download its latest updates. (I have two versions of the SDK and five or six of the runtime environment for work.) You’d think it could update its own plugin while it was at it.

No such luck. I checked out some Firefox plugin advice, but there was no faq entry for “I already updated Java but the plugin won’t update.” I tried updating Firefox to 1.o.2, but still the plugin remained stuck in the Java Stone Age. In the end, I deleted all the Java-related bits from the Mozilla plugins directory and reinstalled the runtime environment yet again, and it finally took.

I was glad to come home to my mac.