Archive for January, 2003

January 11, 2003

The Bar Monkey:

” The Bar Monkey, simply put, is a vending machine that serves mixed drinks… Using [these] 16 ingredients, a total of 188 different drinks can be made, with the included ability to add ounce increments of each ingredient to customize (or create) a drink. The drink database is easy to update and nearly infinitely expandable.”

Whoa. A drink database. That is genius.

January 10, 2003

Spot the GIF-erence. Can you tell if the kittens are .gif or .jpg?

I don’t buy too many DVDs. I probably have about 10 total. Just the ones that I really don’t mind watching again and again. The best one so far? Hands down it’s The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition. If you liked the theatrical release, you’ll be amazed at what else is included. I’m usually not one for watching the extra stuff on DVDs, but the extended version has two discs worth of PBS-quality documentaries, maps, interviews, etc. It’s incredible to see what it took for 3000(?) people over many years to pull these movies off. I never got bored and still haven’t finished watching the endless hours of stuff.

More importantly though, the extended edition of the film is fantastic. There’s about 30 additional minutes — all of which never feels forced or tacked on after the fact. It runs as smooth (or smoother) than the shorter version released in theatres. Highly recommended.

January 9, 2003

Wired:

“Not your ordinary department-store watch, Gates’ timepiece is part of a new line of products using a technology called SPOT (small personal objects technology), has a black-and-white screen and gives wearers the time plus real-time information such as news, weather, sports scores and instant text messages.”

Sounds interesting — especially because the data is transferred through FM radio frequencies.

Dean Allen of Textism has released his own content management system called Textpattern. Looks really nice.

January 7, 2003

More Safari stuff. Mena Trott reviews Safari and also has some great links to others who are testing with it, seeing what it can/can’t do. cederholm.org looks (screenshot) pretty good, with some minor problems. Others have posted some disappointing CSS results — but it’s still just in beta.

Lots of new Apple stuff announced at today’s MacWorld keynote speech. Most notable is the new Safari web browser. Seems pretty quick (for a beta) and supports all the usual standards (based on the Konquerer engine). Love the Google search box built-in to the interface.

Save the Dragons Campaign:

“If you’ve come here, you must be interested in saving some dragons. Follow the links to the left to join the many humans (and dragons) of the Campaign in keeping these living treasures from extinction.”

Another find courtesy of RWS.

January 6, 2003

Tantek takes XHTML to a whole new level, by marking up his blog using no div or span tags (ok, he had to add one), but ordered and unordered lists instead. Interesting. Makes sense in a semantic way as well. A weblog is really just a big list… or a big list with little lists contained within. It’ll be interesting to see what can be done visually without the use of div or span tags. Sometimes it’s nice to limit yourself.

January 5, 2003

XML.com posts an interesting article on how easy it is to build your own RSS reader in XSLT. It’s curious to me why there isn’t more talk about XSLT within the whole RSS/syndication/weblog topic. Being an extra layer of separation between the content and layout, it’s so darn powerful — especially when we’re already dealing with XML feeds from most publishing tools.

In response to the pros and cons of putting hidden upgrade messages on top of sites that use XHTML and CSS for layout, Zeldman has spelled out fantastic reasoning for building with web standards. At times it’s difficult to convey the importance and benifical reasoning behing going this route, but his post today will be great ammo to point to.

John’s switch to Canada:

“My name is John… and I’m a Canadian.”

A hilarious parody of the Apple switch campaign. (via da1go)

January 4, 2003

Wired: oranges. Tired: peeling oranges.

I posted the embarrassingly simple script used for Random Web Search on the software page. It’s very stripped down and doesn’t do cool stuff like check to see if the word has already been added — that was added later on with help from a Perl guru at the office. But this initial pass is totally self working. Just drop it in your cgi-bin and add your site address to the script.

January 3, 2003

O’Reilly, makers of wonderful technology books that feature animals on their covers, celebrates their 25th anniversary.

A few of us at work have put together a new venture. It was Daigo’s idea, with my help on the backend, we present to you: Random Web Search (DNS has hopefully found its way around the world). Basically, it’s a way to kill time. Click to generate a random word, then click again to search it on Google. You can also add your own words or phrases to the list.

Wired:

“In a bid to become the third country to send people into space, China announces plans to launch a manned rocket later this year. Other goals may include establishing moon bases and putting astronauts on Mars.”

Mars. I’m wondering if the U.S. is planning a manned mission to Mars. That would be huge. Bigger than the moon. I’m sure someone is thinking about it. I don’t follow NASA news all that much, but it seems like not much has been happening lately. Perhaps there’s something big being planned? Who knows.

January 2, 2003

Heh heh, the 2003 Bloggies.

Happy New Year. Just finished reading The Pirate Hunter, by Richard Zacks. It’s the true story of Captain Kidd, the famed 17th century “pirate” that has had a bad rap for the past 300 years. It was an interesting book and very historical, but took me a long while to get through. I don’t think it was the book’s fault, although the pages are large and the type is small. What’s really fascinating is how part of the story takes place right here in Boston, which was a surprise. You don’t think of Boston and pirates, do you?

Next up… The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Whoa.