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HELLO, I'M FAMOUS STARRING JOHN HODGMAN: GQ Features on men.style.com

2008 Sep 30, 12:11"Before he was on The Daily Show, before he was the PC in the Mac commercials, John Hodgman wondered, just like you, about the very special world of famous people. Now he explains why being one of America's best-known minor celebrities is even better than you imagined"PermalinkCommentsjohn-hodgman humor article apple tv fame

WebAIM: Blog - History of the browser user-agent string

2008 Sep 8, 7:00A brief history of user agent strings in web browsers, culminating in: "And thus Chrome used WebKit, and pretended to be Safari, and WebKit pretended to be KHTML, and KHTML pretended to be Gecko, and all browsers pretended to be Mozilla, and Chrome called itself Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/0.2.149.27 Safari/525.13, and the user agent string was a complete mess, and near useless, and everyone pretended to be everyone else, and confusion abounded."PermalinkCommentshumor internet browser mozilla google chrome user-agent ie

[whatwg] Web Applications 1.0 Draft

2008 Aug 20, 9:48Apple will or will not license the canvas tag? 'Apple Computer, Inc. ("Apple") believes it has intellectual property rights ("IP Rights") relative to WHATWG's Web Applications 1.0 Working Draft, dated March 24, 2005, Section 10.1, entitled "Graphics: The bitmap canvas". At this time, Apple reserves all rights in its IP Rights and makes no representations as to Apple's willingness or unwillingness to license these IP Rights. However, in the event that the Web Applications 1.0 Working Draft, dated March 24, 2005, becomes part of a formalized draft standard at W3C or IETF, for example, Apple is prepared to address the disclosure/licensing rules of such organizations.'PermalinkCommentsapple patent html ip html5 canvas whatwg browser browser-war

6.09: The World According to Woz

2008 Jul 7, 5:26"888-8888. This was his new cell-phone number, and his greatest philonumerical triumph. The number proved unusable. It received more than a hundred wrong numbers a day."PermalinkCommentsapple prank wired article phone education steve-wozniak

TileStack - Your Creative Playground

2008 Jun 9, 5:10"Remember that great application that used to come with all Macs called HyperCard?" I do! Closed beta now but looks fun.PermalinkCommentshypercard programming web apple mac

Apple - Web apps - All Categories

2008 Apr 23, 2:42Web apps intended for the iPhone could easily be made into activities for IE8.PermalinkCommentsapple directory activity iphone software web tool tools

Zeno's Progress Bar - Stolen Thoughts

2008 Apr 7, 10:09

Text-less progress bar dialog. Licensed under Creative Commons by Ian HamptonMore of my thoughts have been stolen: In my previous job the customer wanted a progress bar displayed while information was copied off of proprietary hardware, during which the software didn't get any indication of progress until the copy was finished. I joked (mostly) that we could display a progress bar that continuously slows down and never quite reaches the end until we know we're done getting info from the hardware. The amount of progress would be a function of time where as time approaches infinity, progress approaches a value of at most 100 percent.

This is similar to Zeno's Paradox which says you can't cross a room because to do so first you must cross half the room, then you must cross half the remaining distance, then half the remaining again, and so on which means you must take an infinite number of steps. There's also an old joke inspired by Zeno's Paradox. The joke is the prototypical engineering vs sciences joke and is moderately humorous, but I think the fact that Wolfram has an interactive applet demonstrating the joke is funnier than the joke itself.

I recently found Lou Franco's blog post "Using Zeno's Paradox For Progress Bars" which covers the same concept as Zeno's Progress Bar but with real code. Apparently Lou wasn't making a joke and actually used this progress bar in an application. A progress bar that doesn't accurately represent progress seems dishonest. In cases like the Vista Defrag where the software can't make a reasonable guess about how long a process will take the software shouldn't display a progress bar.

Similarly a paper by Chris Harrison "Rethinking the Progress Bar" suggests that if a progress bar speeds up towards the end the user will perceive the operation as taking less time. The paper is interesting, but as in the previous case, I'd rather have progress accurately represented even if it means the user doesn't perceive the operation as being as fast.

Update: I should be clearer about Lou's post. He was actually making a practical and implementable suggestion as to how to handle the case of displaying progress when you have some idea of how long it will take but no indications of progress, whereas my suggestion is impractical and more of a joke concerning displaying progress with no indication of progress nor a general idea of how long it will take.

PermalinkCommentszenos paradox technical stolen-thoughts boring progress zeno software math

Howto: iPhone Webclip icons

2008 Jan 16, 2:53These are as bad as favicons! Boo on URI space squatting.PermalinkCommentshowto apple iphone icon favicon webdesign web ipod development via:swannman

Old Miscellaneous Thoughts

2007 Dec 26, 5:45Miscellaneous thoughts I had that would have been relevant many months ago:
PermalinkCommentspopfly apple personal history-channel indiana-jones pipes mac technical microsoft mashup yahoo nontechnical

Windows Media Center and Zune Integration Hack

2007 Nov 28, 1:23One of the new Zune features that had me the most excited was the claimed improved Windows Media Center integration which unfortunately turned out to simply mean support for the Win MCE video format (with an exception for HD). I wanted to be able to pick shows recorded by my Win MCE and have the Zune automatically sync up the latest episodes. However, with the improved podcast support in the Zune software one can easily create a ridiculous hack to accomplish this.

The new Zune software has podcast support which does everything I'd want to do with a Win MCE recorded TV series so the goal is to shoehorn a TV series into a Zune podcast. An overview of the steps: Create an XSLT that converts Win MCE data to a podcast, run the XSLT as a scheduled task every few hours per TV series, setup a Web server pointed at the resulting podcasts and the Win MCE Recorded TV directory, and subscribe to the resulting podcasts in the Zune software.
  1. Reading through the Win MCE data stored as an XML file in "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\Recording\Recordings.xml" and the spec for podcasts I created an XSLT to convert a series from Win MCE data to a podcast.
  2. I added a new task to the Scheduled Tasks to run my XSLT using my xsltproc.js script. The task runs a handful of commands that look something like the following:

    C:\windows\system32\wscript.exe C:\users\dave\bin\xsltproc.js C:\Users\Dave\Documents\trunk\development\mce-zune\mce-to-podcast.xslt C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\Recording\Recordings.xml --param title "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" --param max 4 --param baseURI "http://groucho/" --param thisRelURI "tds.xml" -o "D:\recorded tv\tds.xml"

    For each TV series I run a command like the above and that outputs a podcast for that series into my "D:\Recorded TV\" directory.
  3. Zune only allows http URIs for its podcasts so I installed a web server on my Win MCE server. I'm running Vista Ultimate so it was quick and easy for me to install IIS7 but any Web server will do. Then I pointed it at "D:\Recorded TV\".
  4. Once all the above was done I just subscribed to the resulting podcasts via my Web server and viola! Since I'm forced to use a Web server I can even run the Zune software on a machine other than my Win MCE server. You can see a screen-shot above of my Zune software showing my Colbert Report podcast.
PermalinkCommentstechnical xml mce hack windows media center zune windows xslt podcast

Many Eyes

2007 Oct 31, 10:41Upload your data and visualize it in various interesting ways using Java applets from IBM.PermalinkCommentsvisualization java applet ibm analysis graph

Interactivate: Histogram

2007 Sep 27, 11:20A page demonstrating a java applet that produces histogramsPermalinkCommentsjava applet html graph histogram

17 powerful bookmarklets for your iPhone at LifeClever ;-) Tips for Design and Life

2007 Sep 10, 4:29Bookmarklet suggestions for the iPhone.PermalinkCommentsapple iphone bookmarklets browser hack script javascript

First look: Safari 3 beta on Windows vs. Firefox 2 and IE7

2007 Jun 17, 11:59I expected more from Safari -- more like Opera. There weren't many exciting features to convert me.PermalinkCommentsapple article safari internet browser arstechnica review

IE7 Feed Display Update

2007 May 22, 3:22I've created an update to the IE7 feed display.

After working on my update to the XML source view I tried running my resourcelist program on other IE DLLs including ieframe. I found that one of the resources in ieframe is the XSLT used to turn an RSS feed into the IE7 feed display.

My first thought for this was that I could embed enclosures into the feed display. For instance, have controls for youtube.com videos or podcast audio files directly in the feed display. However, I found that I can't use object or embed tags that rely on ActiveX controls in the page or in frames in the feed display.

With that through I decided I could at least add support for some RSS extensions. Thanks to IE7's RSS platform which provides a normalized view of RSS feeds it was really easy to do this. I went to several popular RSS feeds and RSS feeds that I like and took a look at the source to see what extensions I might want to add support for.

For digg.com I added support for their RSS extension which includes digg count, and submitter name and icon. I added the digg count in a box on the right and tried to make it fit in stylistically. For the iTunes RSS extension I add the feed icon, feed author, and descriptions. I was surprised by how much of the podcasts content was missing from the feed view. I also added support for a few other misc things: the slash RSS extension's section and department, the feed description to the top of the feed display, and the atom author icon.

I wonder what other goodies lurk in IE's resources...PermalinkCommentsfeed res slashdot digg resource itunes technical browser ie rss extension

Apple - iTunes - iTunes Store - Podcasts - Technical Specification

2007 May 17, 11:18The spec. on the iTunes RSS extension.PermalinkCommentsrss reference itunes apple podcast music xml

iTunes fingers musical fraud (New Scientist Technology Blog)

2007 Feb 20, 10:29"The recordings of a British concert pianist who found fame in the last years of her life have been exposed as hoaxes by Apple's iTunes music player."PermalinkCommentsitunes apple music fraud hash classical article

Drive-By Pharming (TR641)

2007 Feb 16, 11:23This paper describes an attack on home networks using a page with javascript and java applets that takes over your router. Foiled by using the non default password.PermalinkCommentssecurity hack router browser javascript java article

Websites as graphs - an HTML DOM Visualizer Applet

2006 Jun 7, 3:15Neat graph of the DOM of a webpagePermalinkCommentsart cool graph java software tools html
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