Die, Flash, Die

Technology, Internet 2009-05-18 11:00

I’ve never liked Flash. And yet, I can’t deny that it’s been an enabling technology for a new type of artform - Homestar Runner being one excellent example. That’s aside from all the media its enabled, like Beatport and Youtube.

But I don’t like the technology. The good news is that standards-based, browser-friendly technologies like SVG and the canvas tag may be getting good enough to replace Flash. Rahaeljs is one example.

Congress API

Politics, Internet, Infinite Series 2009-04-29 01:47

How to Snag Embedded Media

Internet, Media 2009-01-20 05:28

Want to grab a copy of a song that plays through an embedded media player on a site? “View source” sometimes works, but a technique that works even for highly dynamic players is Firebug.

Go to the page with the media player, open Firebug, click the Net checkbox, then click Enable. Now click the play button on the media player. This should cause a couple of net requests to appear in the console. Look for the one that ends in .mp3, right click (or ctrl-click on OS X) and select Copy Location. Now open a new browser window, select the location bar, and press Ctrl-V (or Apple-V). To download it, open a terminal, type wget, and then paste in the url and press enter.

Internet Time-Wasters

Internet, Art, Silly, Games 2008-09-13 03:23

My latest method for goofing off on the internet: Zero Punctation. All the epsiodes are good, but the review of Assassin’s Creed is a good place to start.

The recently posted review of Braid captures what’s wrong with the game industry (high development costs stifling the innovation and creativity that typically comes from small dev teams), and how Braid is part of the new wave of indie games which is changing that.

For reference, past goof-off methods include: the Onion (oh so long ago), Homestar Runner, Ask a Ninja, Penny Arcade, and XKCD.

People Who Care About the Same Things That I Do

Philosophy, Internet 2008-06-24 08:25

All humans share a basic yearning: to connect with other people who care about the same things that they do.

Perhaps this, more than any other factor, explains the rapid adoption of the internet. It’s a channel for people with unusual interests - interests too diffuse in the general population for them to find each other in fixed geographic area - to meet and congregate.

Or as Megan McArdle more bluntly puts it: “The internet is the Freak Liberation Front.”

Web 2.0

Internet 2008-05-07 02:31

Web 2.0 seems to be trickling down to corporate America. I went to OfficeMax’s site today, and found myself kind of stunned when the page loaded up. Reasonable use of whitespace, decent typography, gradients, rounded corners. None of this would be out of the ordinary, except that I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on a big company’s website before. I normally expect a style more like Staples or Office Depot: small, ugly type; cluttered layout; distracting banner ad-style graphics - in short, Web 1.0.

Some Good Podcasts


  • My History Can Beat Up Your Politics
  • American History Before 1870
  • The History of Rome
  • Technology

  • Girls Gone Geek
  • I, Cringely
  • Google Developer Podcast
  • Other

  • The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
  • Tool Talk
  • Podictionary
  • I’m too lazy to give links right now - just search, dangit.

    Ron Paul Cures What Ails Ya

    Politics, Internet 2008-01-02 01:54

    I’ve always suspected that there’s an untapped vein of libertarians in this country - far beyond the 3 million or so votes that the Libertarain presidential candidate typically pulls in each election. These potential libertarians are people that believe in individual liberty and a fiscally responsible government, and understand that one-size-fits-all government mandates will never accommodate the needs of a diverse population. But most of these people don’t know the word “libertarian,” or if they do, they may be scared off from some of the Libertarian party’s more controversial positions.

    The result is that these folks don’t feel any particular affiliation to any political party, and usually don’t even bother to vote. Politics is just something they’d rather avoid, because none of the choices really fit with their own beliefs. And they think that they are alone, because they don’t know many other people who feel the way that they do.

    The meteoric rise of the Ron Paul revolution has been a deeply satisfying and uplifting experience for me. Just as I had always thought, there are far more than just those 3 million big-L libertarians out there. Ron Paul has given a voice to many of them. Ron Paul supporters are very often people who have never before felt connected to the political process or any particular candidate.
    Read more »

    Net Neutrality

    Internet 2007-08-17 07:14

    Accurate Directions

    Internet, Travel 2007-06-11 01:59

    While typing in my zipcode to get directions on Google Maps, I accidentally left off the last digit. Apparently, this is a postal code in Belgium, and without the slightest hesitation Google Maps dutifully served up exact turn-by-turn directions between there and here. Step 24 had me quite amused:

    They were even thoughtful enough to put the distances in kilometers, what with me starting my trip in Europe.