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2005 (Fathom this!)

2005

“Sir, just because it’s all-natural doesn’t mean it’s edible.”

John Hargrove runs a comedy site where he does silly things and writes about them. I was home sick today, so I don’t know if these were really so funny, or if it was just me.

The Turnpike Prank, The All-Natural Prank, The Credit Card Prank.

Ilya
  • Henri Sivonen outlines the ultimate “blogging server”.
  • Presentation Zen is a weblog about making presentations better. While I don’t really care for the mining of Zen wisdom, I very much appreciate the author’s vision; bullet-pointing captive audiences to death has got to stop.
  • Shakespeare & Co. Wow, didn’t know this still existed.



Peculiarly Auxiliary Wisdom

Never being
a big reader

of Jorn’s Robot Wisdom

(yet knowing who he is
and respecting his work)

I find myself
peculiarly fascinated by

his Auxiliary Wisdom.

So away
you

and visit

his excessories

Ilya


PowerPoint battle of the century

Click To Add TitleLeslie Harpold and Micheal Sippey go at it with PowerPoint. Who knew there was so much to slideshows?

Ilya
  • hCard is a “simple, open, distributed contact information format for people, companies, and organizations, which is suitable for embedding in (X)HTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML. hCard is a 1:1 representation of the vCard standard in XHTML.”
  • Textbook Revolution is an online resource for free educational material.
  • Tietoviikon blogi.

Spiekermann in 80s BBC clip on typography

Erik Spiekermann on type in a BBC clip from the 80s. Be sure to check out his post on the heritage of Nokia’s corporate typeface.

Ilya

Syndicating and sharing calendars, contacts, and pretty much everything

Ray Ozzie’s take on Really Simple Sharing (of calendars and contact lists). Russell has a few questions.

(Geez, what’s up with MSN Spaces’s URLs?)

One important thing to note is that the focus is on sharing personal information with specific people or groups, not the Web at large. The management of these “privilege groups” is tough.

Oh, and today I broke down and finally installed Skype.

Ilya

Matias Tactile Pro USB — best keyboard ever?

Is Matias Tactile Pro USB Keyboard the best keyboard ever? I have no idea. Luckily, there’s a lot more to know about keyboards.

I like keyboards that make loud clacking sounds when you press the keys. You can get big old “clackies” from the Kyläsaari recycling center for five euros a piece.

Ilya

Sataman hosting-toiminta Nebulalle

Muistan, kun Nebula oli ainoastaan pieni ja pätevä hosting-firma. Tänä päivänä se on varmasti edelleen pätevä, mutta isommaksi se tosiaan on kasvanut.

Koska Nebulan tiedotteihin ei ole ankkureita eikä permalinkkejä, on tiedote alla kokonaisuudessaan.

11.11.2005

Satama myy hosting-liiketoimintansa Nebula Oy:lle

Satama Interactive on myynyt Sataman hosting-liiketoimintansa Nebula Oy:lle. Hosting-palvelun yhteydessä Nebulalle siirtyy noin sadan asiakkaan sopimuskanta. Samalla yhtiöt ovat sopineet hosting-palveluita koskevasta yhteistyöstä. Yhtiöt ovat päättäneet olla julkistamatta kauppahintaa. Kaupan vaikutus Sataman vuoden 2005 tulokseen on vähäinen.

Satama luopuu hosting-liiketoiminnasta keskittyäkseen ydinliiketoimintaansa, digitaalisten palveluiden suunnitteluun ja toteutukseen. Hosting-liiketoiminta tuli Satamaan vuoden 2004 syyskuussa ostetun Kuulalaakerin liiketoiminnan ja kesäkuussa 2005 ostetun G5 Digital Design Oy:n myötä. Hosting-liiketoimintaa on harjoittanut lähinnä Sataman Turun toimisto.

Satama ja Nebula ovat sopineet yhteistyöstä, jossa Nebula toimii Sataman kumppanina tarjoamalla Sataman asiakkaille hosting-palveluita.

Ilya

What if the real Web 2.0 has nothing to do with WWW?

Abandon the Web has some interesting ideas on the evolution of the Web. The author (going by the moniker of J.R. Pessimist) poses five “paradoxes”, or problems with the Web today, and suggests, for one, that we need a whole new platform. World of Warcraft and Skype are examined as examples of alternative networks. Via Evhead.

Ilya


Grass and rounded corners?

Whoa, check out the the grass and the rounded corners? Both presenting at next week’s Helsinki MobileMonday, Nokia and Opera seem to be sharing some grass-roots love.

Ilya



  • Seaside is a Web application framework for Smalltalk.
  • Lisp-on-lines is a Web application framework for Lisp.
  • Paul Graham’s On Lisp is available in electronic format.
  • Hmmm. Hottest Blogger is exactly what the name says it is. But there’s something strange going on there…
  • Wow, this illusion is really neat!

Nested comments vs. out and out branching

I don’t like threaded discussions. Not in forums, not anywhere. But the way Phil Ringnalda’s blog comments nest is a neat solution that doesn’t take away attention from the general discussion. It provides replying-to context without spreading out the comments by branches. While it still isn’t perfect, I’m not sure there even is a way to have reasonable “discussions” among crowds, online or off.

Ilya

Akateeminen vs. Amazon

Mietin, olisiko halvempaa ostaa kirjoja Amazonista vai Akateemisesta, jonka kautta voi tilata myös kirjoja, joita ei ole liikkeessä myynnissä. Vertailun tekee työlääksi se, että Amazon kätkee postituskulut tilauksen viimeisimpään vaiheeseen.

Vertasin verkkokauppoja tänään, ja yhden kirjan otannalla Amazon vaikuttaa edullisemmalta.

Pehmeäkantinen Moneyball maksaisi 22 euroa Akateemisessa, ja Amazonista tilattuna, edullisimmalla postituksella, 17,20 euroa. Kirjakohtaisesti ero on aika suuri.

Asiaan liittymättömänä, osoite “akateeminen.fi” ei johda Akateemisen kirjakaupan sivuille, vaan johonkin epämääräiseen työpaikkailmoituspalveluun. Ärsyttävää, tuo squattaus, varsinkin kun Akateemisen osoite on akateeminen.com.

Ilya

Ajax-based “Web desktops”

Ajax-based “Web desktops” are sprouting up like mushrooms. What’s funny, is that their functionality is basically the same as Netscape’s customizable portal back in 2000.

Cribbed from Techcrunch’s round-up, the newcomers are Netvibes, Protopage, and Zoozio. Then of course there’s Google Reader and Microsoft’s Start (or is that Live?).

While I really liked Start at first, Bloglines fairly quickly won me over. It’s better as a feed aggregator, at least. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but I was impressed that, despite being hard to find, there is a way to export feed subscriptions as an OPML file.

Ilya
  • What’s the difference between Upcoming, Eventful, and Zvents?
  • Blogscient claims to provide a bird’s eye view of the blogosphere. The user interface is much clearer than Memeorandum’s.

Free sheet music

Free sheet music. Taneli and I thought a lot about sheet music on the Web back in 2000. We had a business plan worked out, and a lot of ideas on neat things to do with the sheet music. Phase one would’ve been to offer music in the public domain for free.

Ilya

Memeorandum, the automatic blog newspaper

Memeorandum glues blog posts and news pieces together as newspaper-like frontpages. Unfortunately, my first look didn’t impress me. Wired talks to Gabe Rivera, the creator of Memeorandum.

Ilya

  • JSON is a lightweight data-interchange format meant to be easily used with Javascript. Useful for tranfering data for Ajax. There are two implementations for PHP: JSON-PHP and PHP-JSON (as a C extension).

  • Mice sing to their beaus, they just sing so high, humans can’t hear it. It may be that lab mice haven’t learned to sing as well as their wild cousins.
  • Schizos get illusions, they just see them where they aren’t.
  • Bret Easton Ellis sets himself in Lunar Park. The Random House site has sound clips of Ellis reading and being interviewed. Did you know that in 1987 Ellis dined at the White House as a guest of Jeb and George W. Bush, both fans of his work.

Commodore’s unsung history

The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore is a fascinating read. Well, the first sample chapter is (pdf version also available). There’s also excerpts of chapters 12 and 19.

Via Retromania.

Ilya

Blogi on kuollut

Blogi on kuollut, pääkirjoittaa M&M:n Matias Erkkilä. Omituisia väitteitä ja todisteita. Eikö blogeja tulla kirjoittamaan enää, kun niiden uutuudenviehätys loppuu? Onko blogien huonoutta se, että niiden kirjoittamisesta ei (yleensä) makseta? Ja kyllä, se, että Nieminen, “bloggaamisen edelläkävijä”, lopetti bloggaamisen, on selkeästi merkki lopun alusta. Ei kannata välittää siitä, että Nieminen pyörittää nyt yritystä, joka omistaa Blogilistan. Blogi on kuollut.

Päivitetty: Erkkilä pehmentää julistustaan, muttei malta olla tökkäämättä haarukkaa monologibloggaajien silmään.

Ilya

How is it I always seem to bust at Beef?

There’s something about We Got Beef (a bar in Helsinki): when I almost never come here, it’s even worse than when I’ve come here more frequently; and I’ve never really felt comfortable here. I’m okay in whatever shithole Kallio has to offer, I love checking out the over the top nightclubs, so how is it I always seem to bust at Beef?

Ilya

Never Search For New Content For Your Blogs Again, Let Other People Write the Content. You Just Post it to Your Blog!

RSS to Blog (don’t want to link directly to it) is a horrible idea! The sheer audacity of it!

“Never Search For New Content For Your Blogs Again, Let Other People Write the Content. You Just Post it to Your Blog!”

Well, gosh darnit, that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! Never again will I have to strain my fingers hunting-and-pecking away, writing my own posts. I’ll just let someone else do that!

Ilya

  • Frank Keinotin kuusi vuotta sitten kuvattu elokuva 8 vuotta valmistunee ensi vuonna. Ystäväni Perttu näyttelee pukumiestä. Trailerin perusteella elokuva tuskin julkaistaan teatterilevitykseen…
  • Anssi Miettisen blogireportaasista tulee seuraavan Kuukausiliitteen kansijuttu. Ja nyt Anssia harmittaa, ettei korjannut pientä pikkuvirhettä aikaisemmin.
  • Julian Dibbell’s Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man is over five years old, but it’s still a great read.


Which vs. That

Which vs. that. The basic rule: Use “which” plus commas to set off nonrestrictive clauses; use “that” to introduce a restrictive clause.

Ilya

Paul Ford writes novel

And what a backstory there is to it: Paul Ford started writing a column under a fake persona, and scored a book deal. I’m buying the book today. I have not kept up with the author of a long-time favorite Website of mine.

Ilya

Detecting between Finnish and English

I wrote a quick and dirty script to detect whether an entry was English or Finnish. It’s based on two explicit lists of signifiers (frequent words that are in only in one language). Each signifier is assigned a weight in order to make up for the fact that signifiers may occur in bodies of text of another language.

It’s actually much easier to match English than Finnish.

I couldn’t find any real natural language models for PHP, which is really a shame. A Markovian language classifier would’ve been exactly what I needed. I bet Ispell would work.

Ilya

First post via SMS

So this is my first post via SMS. I had to implement the metaWeblog API for my homegrown publishing system to get this to work, but besides some problems with PHP’s strtotime function, it was a breeze. Thanks, MS!

Ilya

Dr. Inman’s Mint

Check out Dr. Inman’s Mint for look at Mint, the great-looking Bearskinrug weblog, and links to the thoughts of other Mint beta testers.

Ilya

WACT, Cake, and more!

WACT is a PHP-based MVC framework. I wonder how it stacks up against Cake, a PHP framework based on Ruby on Rails.

Update: And there are plenty more.

Ilya

Oma koti kullan kopiosuojattu

Olen seurannut Jaakko Kuivalaisen Tekijänoikeus-raportointia suurella mielenkiinnolla. Teksti on sujuvaa, ja käsittelee lain kehittymistä ja mahdollisia vaikutuksia ymmärrettävästi ja yksityiskohtaisesti.

Huvittavin (ja kenties hälyyttävin) sivujuonne löytyy merkinnästä, jossa viitataan Mediaviikon pääkirjoitukseen Lex Karpelasta. Kuivalainen ehtii päivittää merkintäänsä sen verran toteakseen, että pääkirjoitus on herättänyt paljon negatiivista palautetta, mutta sittemmin juttu on hävinnyt kokonaisuudessaan Mediaviikon saitilta!

Tosiasia on kuitenkin se, että lain epäkohdat kiinnostavat vain pientä erikoisryhmää. Se, että Lex Karpela ei ole mediassa ja suuren kansan riveissä herättänyt suuremmin vastustusta, ei sinänsä ihmetytä. Mikä kylläkin kummastuttaa, on se, että epäkohdat vaikuttavat niin räikeiltä. Tämä merkintä purkaa hyvin kotiin murtautumisen metaforan ongelmia.

Kopiosuojauksen murtaminen ei ole ainoa ongelmakohta, jossa oikean maailman lakeja sovelletaan tietoverkkoihin. Yksi klassinen esimerkki on tapaus, jossa teksasilainen it-ammattilainen ilmoitti eräälle yliopistolle havaitsemastaan tietoturva-aukosta yliopiston verkossa. Mies pidätettiin ja tuomittiin murtoyrityksestä — vaikkei ollut yrittänyt itse hyödyntää aukkoa millään lailla.

Jos kävisi kokeilemassa pankin ikkunoita, ja huomaisi, että yksi on jäänyt lukitsematta, ei kannata kertoa siitä kellekään. Ikkunoiden kokeilua pidettäisiin murtoyrityksenä: eihän kukaan lainkuuliainen kansalainen pankin ikkunoita muuten kokeilisi.

Ilya

Vanity.designity.com

MS bloggaa. Pitänee pummata häneltä tekstarijulkaisumahdollisuutta.

Ilya

Books24x7

Books24x7 is Dataclub’s new online reference library. It contains the full texts of some 4000 information technology books. The price for under ten user licenses is 399 euros (plus VAT) a year. I’m thinking we’ll sign up for a free week’s trial during code-time in our next project. I wonder how it compares against O’Reilly’s Safari.

Ilya

Mapping chapters

The table of contents of Sommerville’s Software Engineering is useful for figuring out which chapters correspond between the sixth and seventh editions.

Ilya

It may not be Copilot, but it’s free (if you have Win XP)

Step-by-Step Guide to Remote Assistance for Windows XP.

Ilya
  • The Onion Skin Router, called Tor for short. “Instead of taking a direct route from source to destination, data packets on the Tor network take a random pathway through several servers that cover your tracks so no observer at any single point can tell where the data came from or where it’s going.”

Some blogs to follow

A few days ago, Saras asked me if I read any blogs. “Only Kottke,” I said, “and even that only when I want to surf.”

Saras had read in some survey that weblogs are one of the major passtimes of Web users, and he’d been looking into them to see what they’re all about.

Now, Saras is a Unix geek, of the rabid “vegan, no TV, there’s more to life than consuming” variety, and not in the least ignorant of current events, so I found his questions about weblogs curious.

“I don’t understand blogs,” Saras said. “Why people are into them. I haven’t been able to find one that I could read for more than ten minutes. There were some almost-well-written ones, but they were only good for five minutes.”

I didn’t quite know what to tell him. I ended up shrugging: “to each their own.”

For me, following blogs has become less like reading books and more like reading a newspaper. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just changed how it feels.

Anyway, here’s a few blogs I found noteworthy (but which I probably won’t really be following).

Republic of T — “Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.”

Business Logs. — “BusinessLogs helps companies communicate better with their customers through the use of weblogs and smart user interface design.”

Professional PHP. — “Web Development with PHP, PHP Advocacy and Best Practices.”

Ilya

Brea

Brea is a great font. “Toying with antiquity in two realms, Brea uses primitive dot matrix, the first electronic print, as a medium for expressing a once intensely manual Old English hand. These incongruous historical allusions update the Middle Ages, but places them squarely in the early ’80s.”

Ilya


Make your CSS behave

Good Behaviour makes your HTML cleaner! Pun, pun, hooray!

Marc has some good points on Behaviour on O’Reilly Radar.

Ilya

blogit.hs.fi

Kas, Hesarillakin on blogeja: Kuukausiliitteen toimittaja Unto Hämäläinen aikoo seurata weblogissaan presidentinvaaleja. Mitäköhän muita blogeja HS:lla on?

Blogilistalta löytyvät ainakin HS:n tiedetoimituksen Kvarkeista galakseihin ja Anssi Miettisen Kuukausiliitteestä, päivää!, joka toimii apuvälineenä blogeista kertovan jutun kirjoittamisessa.

Digitodaykin julkaisi tänään perjantaina uusimman bloginsa, harmittavan pliisusti nimetyn Ulan-Ude-blogin. Tekstiviestitse raportoiva Tuomas Karhu kirjoitti kesällä huimaa suosiota nauttinutta Moskova–Vladivostok-blogia.

Ilya
  • Placeopedia mixes Wikipedia with Google Maps. First thing I did? I added Kallio to the map, of course!

Concomitant survival

“There is a natural trend to reach an ‘equilibrium’ between the agent and the host interests, in order to guarantee concomitant survival for a longer time,” Dr Marco Vitoria said.

Ilya



  • Django sounds like Ruby on Rails except it’s written in Python. However, I heard that one of Django’s main developers switched to RoR.



Star Control

If you’ve ever played Star Control when you were a kid, you should check out The Ur-Quan Masters. Ur-Quan is an open source version of Star Control 2, based on material from the game’s original creators. What got me thinking about Star Control was the sounds in the game. I remember some of the “alien themes” vividly. I was hoping I’d find the game and try to create ringtones out of them.

Evidently, I’m not the only one who’s liked SC’s music — Precursors is a group of (Finnish!) enthusiasts who have remixed the music from Star Control II.

Ilya

Moskova–Vladivostok

Digitodayn Moskova–Vladivostok-blogi aukesi viime torstaina. Toimittaja Tuomas Karhu päivittää blogia ainoastaan tekstiviestein. Vaikka viestit ovatkin haircut-tyyppisiä, on blogia ihan hauska lukea.

Alla oleva viesti on yksi blogin parhaimmista. (Anna on Karhun tapaama puolalainen kanssamatkustaja. Parilla ilmeisesti synkkaa.)

5.7.2005 klo 18:20 — Ravintolavaunussa on pari muuta asiakasta minun ja Annan lisäksi. Taustalla soi hiljaa venäläinen musiikki. Vanha tarjoilija palvelee verkkaisesti.Vietämme vaunussa kolme tuntia jutellen viime päivien tapahtumista ja juoden venäläistä olutta. Koko tilanne tuntuu epätodelliselta, kuin elokuvasta. Välillä alamme käyttäytyä, kuin olisimme osa elokuvaa. Olen koko matkan aikana lukenut kolme uutista tekstiviestinä. Elämä on täällä, tämän junavaunun sisällä. Ainutlaatuista kokea, miten ympäröivä maailma menettää merkitystään. Olen kahden päivän sisällä Vladivostokissa.

Ilya

Werewolves and color schemes

Werewolf is another name for Mafia the game. Janne’s played it, lucky him.

Web color schemes is a neat collection of websafe color schemes inspired by many sources.

Both links via Kuutio.

Ilya

Project Aardvark

I’ve enjoyed reading the Project Aardvark weblog. Fogcreek’s idea is great: four interns create a working, saleable software product in the course of one summer. Last Friday, they finally revealed their product.

Ilya

Session extension

Ever since Marko Samuli showed me Firefox’s Session extension, my pain has been less. I’m actually able to close Firefox once in a while. It’s still miles behind Opera’s usability.

Ilya


Looking for a game or two

The Games Journal is a great small magazine on board games. I just discovered it this month, when it’s celebrating its fifth year anniversary. My favorites are the reviews; I’m interested in finding a few new board games. Read more

Ilya


Kolmannes teineistä on Irc-galleriassa

Enterin mukaan yli 30 prosenttia 15–17-vuotiaista suomalaisista on rekisteröitynyt IRC-Gallerian käyttäjiksi. Oho. Via Janne Jalkanen.

Huhujen mukaan Sanoman toimitusjohtaja kävi Jenkeissä kuulemassa blogigospelia, ja on kääntymässä uskoon. Heti kun keksii, miten siitä saisi bisnestä. Kuinkakohan usein hän ja Alex Nieminen nykyään lounastavat?

Ilya





The Dark Side of Oz?

There’s a strange belief that Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon was written to be an alternative score for the Wizard of Oz. While for me the idea’s a hmph, it still sounds like fun to try.

Ilya

It has 24 eyes, four parallel brains and 60 arseholes

What is the box jellyfish, A.K.A. Tripedalia cystophora. And it’s helping solve Darwin’s “how can a complex organ like the eye be explained by evolution” question.

Ilya

Growing freedom

Valinnanvapaus is my favorite piece in Rikkaus, UIAH’s graphic design department’s spring exhibition. Rikkaus explores the things all around and in everyday life that make us rich.

Ilya
  • This floral wallpaper background thing is getting way out of hand. Please. Stop.
  • Chicagocrime.org puts crime on Google Maps. Wow.

Robert Evans meets Andrew Blake

Robert Evans, the subject of the most stupefying bio I’ve ever read, meets the “Helmut Newton of porn,” Andrew Blake. A great read. Very Thompsonesque.

Ilya
  • Open Web GUI is an open source effort to create interfaces for common tasks in Web applications.



Blugracu design

Whirlpool’s site is an excellent example of “blugracu design”. That’s short for: blues, grays, gradients, and curves.

Ilya


  • XAMPP is an Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl.

Jordan: New Spring

I can’t believe I’m admitting to reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Let alone reading New Spring, a friggin’ prequel to the ten novels already published.

Well, my name is Ilya, and I’m a fantasy reader.

There, I’ve said it. Yes, I’m a fantasy reader, though I hope my reading list shows that I don’t read fantasy exclusively. In fact, about a year and a half ago, I found that I couldn’t stomach most fantasy novels. Ever since, I’ve half-joked that “real literature” has ruined me for fantasy.

But back to Jordan. New Spring felt nicely familiar, like visiting Grandma’s. I can’t help it: I liked it.

I am a little miffed, though, that Jordan is writing prequels instead finishing off the Wheel of Time series. I’d like to finish that and be over with it.

There is only one fantasy series that I’d ever recommend non-fantasy junkies to read: George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (the fourth book is still under progress).

Ilya

Vonnegut: The Sirens of Titan

Unlike most Vonnegut novels, I actually had a hard time getting into The Sirens of Titan. Maybe it was because it is one of his early works, maybe because it was a British edition, which was set in a horrible Bodoni-style font.

I managed to finish The Sirens (no feat at all, of course, I always finish the books I start), and it was okay. Not as good as Galapagos (a low book of Vonnegut’s — despite the deeply resonant ideas it revolved around), but better than Vonnegut’s early short stories collected in Welcome to the Monkey House.

Ilya


Using javascript to clear links to the current page

Jonathan Snook, web designer extraordinaire, has written a javascript to clear links that lead to the current page. Such a simple, clever idea. Why didn’t anyone else think of that?

Ilya

The twenty percent policy

There’s been some talk about how innovative Google is in allowing its engineers to spend 20 percent of their time on personal projects. Turns out, Toshiba was already doing this in the 70s. The Japanese electric typewriter — no small achievement — was developed as such a personal project.

Ilya

Proximity

Proximity is addicting. By what logic are the numbers presented?

Ilya

I wasn’t wrong, I was just using creative pronunciation

PBS has 100 examples from The Big Book Of Beastly Mispronunciations: The Complete Opinionated Guide For The Careful Speaker by Charles Harrington Elster.

Ilya

Individual-i

Individual-iBruce Schneier’s Individual-i is a symbol for personal liberty.

Ilya

And from the heavens shall rain

The end of the world if God is a juggler.

Ilya

Strandbeest

Theo Jansen is the father of strandbeest. From Mark Hurst’s interview:

Q - Will these creatures live on in some fashion?

They can do it in two ways. They might live on the beach; the guy who works for me, he’s quite young, and he knows how to build them now. Maybe after I’m dead he can keep the beach animals alive, and he could get a pupil as well, and maybe it could go on for some generations.

But it would take several generations to make the beach animals truly independent from us. Today, every five minutes I have to do something to repair them again. But that’s longer than it was before; it used to be a few seconds. Storms, especially, are terrible for these beasts, but they’re surviving them better now. There must be a point where this period could go to weeks, or months even. They’ll need a way to repair themselves, and to multiply. They do that already a bit, but I have to help them very much doing that.

Ilya

Blocking prefetching

To block Firefox’s prefetching (if you don’t want it to mess up your web statistics), trap HTTP request headers reading “X-moz: prefetch” and return a 404 error.

Ilya
  • O’Reilly’s CodeZoo rates and distributes free software components.


  • GIMPshop is GIMP with the user interface tweaked to resemble Photoshop’s. This is such good news.


Why weblogs work, in four words

Tufte’s goal in his work: “Simple design, intense content.” If I had to describe in four words why the weblog format works, these would be the ones.

Ilya

What is Ajax?

JJG on Ajax: “Ajax isn’t a technology. It’s really several technologies, each flourishing in its own right, coming together in powerful new ways. Ajax incorporates:

  • standards-based presentation using XHTML and CSS;
  • dynamic display and interaction using the Document Object Model;
  • data interchange and manipulation using XML and XSLT;
  • asynchronous data retrieval using XMLHttpRequest;
  • and JavaScript binding everything together.”
Ilya
  • Ourmedia.org provides unlimited hosting for audio, video, images, and text, for free, forever, provided that it is licensed under the Creative Commons. Backed by the Internet Archive.

To single quote or not to single quote?

If ever in need of some practical information on optimizing PHP code, John Lim’s howto is a great resource. The article has been kept up to date with changes in PHP, and serves as a reminder to focus on what really matters in optimization.

There has been some discussion lately about whether it worthwhile to use single quotes over double quotes in PHP. Yes, it’s faster to use single quotes since PHP doesn’t have to look for variables within a string. But no, it’s not really worth the effort to use single quotes exclusively. Why? Most significantly, the performance gain is neglible (if you need more speed, this isn’t where you’re going to get it). And secondly, if you have to change code (or coding practices), you’re only making it harder to read and creating more work.

I’ve heard people advocate extreme optimization before. My favorite was the tongue-in-cheek school of thought that recommended that all HTML code be parsed so that tags with long names are replaced with shorter ones, and all “unnecessary” whitespace be removed. The browser doesn’t care what your code looks like, and the less whitespace there is, the less data there is to transfer.

Ilya

Usable XMLHttpRequest forms

Baekdal demonstrates usable XMLHttpRequest forms in practice. He makes a good point that plain-vanilla HTML forms actually have some things going for them in the usability department; designers need to be aware of these when creating forms with more advanced features and behavior.

Ilya

Concurrency is coming, ready or not

Processors can’t get much faster, so they’re going parallel, and sooner than you think. From a sidebar: “… Today’s single-threaded applications as actually used in the field could actually see a performance boost for most users by going to a dual-core chip, not because the extra core is actually doing anything useful, but because it is running the adware and spyware that infest many users’ systems and are otherwise slowing down the single CPU that user has today.”

Ilya
  • FontForge is an open source outline font editor.

How geeks and other people use computers (to get stuff done)

While I haven’t jumped on the GTD bandwagon (yet), I really like Cory’s transcript of Danny O’Brien’s talk about the productivity of alpha geeks.

I have a dozen text files on my desktop with various lists. Mainly URLs, but also song names and notes and books recommendations. I never used the desktop until I stopped blogging for a while and started keeping this miscellaneous stuff in flat text files.

Ilya

On fonts, lists, and weblog structure

Janne’s always-excellent Kuutio has moved. No links are broken, but the old site is still up and there’s no forwarding.

Via Kuutio: Fontleech, a weblog for free fonts, and some recommendations on free fonts that all designers should have, Vera and Libertine. This is a topic that has crossed my mind often, and Janne whistfully says that it’d be nice (if he had time) to upkeep a list of must-have typefaces.

While on the topic of keeping comprehensive lists, I will now meander into a little talk about weblogs, a favorite subject matter of oldtimer-bloggers everywhere.

One of my principles of running a weblog is to collect, in atomic entries, items that could be collected later into a list of resources. While categorization is one way of providing this kind of structure, it generally fails due to the difficulties of using categories in the first place. In my own blogging system I also use a freeform textfield called “topics”, in which is meant to tie entries together by other factors than their topic.

For example, when I was importing old posts into Fathom this, I noticed I had many posts in which I mused about Sunday evenings. Now, Sunday evenings is not something I would give its own category, but it is a topic I had returned to several times, and might do so again. How then, to connect each post without manually linking to each one? Topical keywords.

While I do have a tool that shows me all my existing topical keywords, I decided when I was designing the system that I’d leave the field as open-ended as possible. I hoped it’d allow me to accidentally create unexpected connections and complementary two-way links between entries of superficially irrelevant nature.

My excitement over topical keywords has so far proven unfounded — I have the same problems with keywords as I do with categories. How many keywords should I assign? What should they be based on? Feelings, moods, people, places? General or specific topics? Some of the problems of categorization go away with keywords, but others arise.

Tags have created a big stir lately in blogland. I like the idea. What I would really like to see would be open ontologies to map different tags together. And then I want automatic categorization. CS (that’s computer science, not Counterstrike) gods, do you hear me?

Ilya

  • Samsung to release a 7 megapixel camera phone. Great resolution, but who needs it? People who can’t take decent photos, or those who can, but who won’t be using a cell phone to do so.

From the subject line of a spam message

ā€œPhotoshop, Windows, Office cheap! Aphorisms tolerated.ā€

Ilya

Help save the earth!

World Jump Day is a grand attempt to shift the world into a new orbit and stop global warming, extend daytime hours and create a more homogenous climate.

World Jump Day is on July 20, 2006. The time to jump in Helsinki is at 9:39:13, so find a hard surface, and synchronize your clock.

Ilya

In the eyes of an economist, everyone is a greedy, backstabbing miser

Robert H. Frank writes about how the self-interest model may skew the perspective of economists. “Repeated exposure to the self-interest model makes selfish behavior more likely.”

“The narrow self-interest model, which encourages us to expect the worst in others, often brings out the worst in us as well.”

Ilya


Sedu & Selin Co.

Tuulipukuviihteen kurkot jahtaamaan taviksia verkkoon, tapahtumiin ja kännyköihin. Oh no.

Ilya

Joey Comeau’s debut novel to go for $1400

Joey Comeau is raising money for his tuition by serializing his unfinished novel online. The first chapter of Lockpick Pornography is up and waiting to impress you. Comeau writes disturbing and hilarious job applications at Overqualified and creates the webcomic A Softer World together with Emily Horne.

Ilya
  • I was looking for a little email obfuscation this morning, but it seems Hiveware has gone away. Automatic Labs has a copy of the Enkoder.
  • Joku ei tykkää missien alastonkuvista. Eikä Digitodaysta. Eikä varsinkaan Tuomas Karhusta.

A download-and-run wiki

Instiki may be easy to install, but I wonder if it’s so easy to learn to use it to its full extent.

Ilya

A book in five days

From the Literary Saloon: “A ‘book’ in five days. That’s what Mara Reinstein and Joey Bartolomeo — writers at Us Weekly — have done: 40,000 words (on Brad & ‘Jen’, who have apparently broken up, which is apparently of interest to someone out there) in less than a week.”

Ilya

Ohjelmointitekniikka-kurssi

Ohjelmointitekniikka-kurssilla (3 ov) tutustutaan mm. Javan 1.5-versioon, assert-lauseisiin ja graafisiin käyttöliittymien toteutuksiin. Kurssi suoritetaan opintopiireissä. Ryhmien ratkaisut ovat verkossa.

Ilya

Getting in the back of the line

Reserving some books today, I noticed that Helmet now shows users their rank in the reservation line. Based on my place on the waiting list, it would appear that Mikko Rimminen’s Pussikaljaromaani is trouncing Tuomas Vimma’s Helsinki 12.

Assuming that there are only single copies of each book, and that each person picks up their reservation promptly, reads it, and returns it within 30 days, I will be reading the first lines of Helsinki 12 sometime in October, 2009. I’ll still have to wait another eight years until it’ll me my turn to pick up Pussikaljaromaani in February 2018.

Of course, that Helsinki 12 is in its second printing and ten euros cheaper than Pussikaljaromaani could affect these standings. Or it could be that the kind people who use the library like reading about drinking beer more than they like reading about assholes living it up dotcom style.

Ilya


David Brin on the morals Star Wars

“Star Wars” despots vs. “Star Trek” populists. I read this David Brin’s article from 1999 yesterday for the first time. It touches on the topic of why the scifi genre is held in such little regard outside of its fanbase. Be sure to read Brin’s note on the Enlightenment, Romanticism and science fiction.

Neal Stephenson discussed a similar topic, why commercial authors aren’t respected in the literary scene, in an interview on Slashdot a while ago.

Ilya
  • Bisnes.fi Imagelle. “Kun Bisnes.fi siirtyi Talentumilta Acacomille, lehdessä oli viisi työntekijää. Työntekijät lähtivät yksi kerrallaan eikä tilalle palkattu uusia.”

Ainoastaan Suomessa

Tuomas Vimman Helsinki 12 -kirjan kansikin on pornoa. Janne havainnollistaa. Kirjaa lukemattakin ja sen uusmediamiljöötä kavahtaen siitä on vaikea olla pitämättä—jo pelkästään sen markkinoinnin vuoksi.

Ilya

Crashes RAMmed away

On par with me not writing here, like, forever, I’ve failed to mention that my computer (which has been acting up and bluescreening daily for a long time) is much better. I was given a brand-new 512MB RAM chip, and after removing the two older chips, everything’s been working almost flawlessly. Knock on wood.

Ilya

Iselilja X3M:n viikon levy

Gåten Iselilja oli Yle X3M:n viikon levy pari viikkoa sitten. Gåten lähimmäksi Suomen sukulaiseksi veikkaisin Nightwishiä, joskin sen norjalaista mytologiaa luotaava folkpoprokki ei varmaan ole tarpeeksi raskasta Nightwishin faneille. Bändi on tulossa Suomeen maalis- tai huhtikuussa.

Ilya

Mining meaning from notes

Stephen Johnson writes about how his note-taking system has changed the way he writes — and thinks. Sounds familiar. I had lofty goals for my personal CMS (which I use to publish this weblog) to do basically the same thing. Only my heap-of-code doesn’t have any of the contextual search features of DevonThink, which means my CMS does nothing like it.

Ilya

  • A mobile version (MIDP 1.0) of Settlers of Catan is under work, but it doesn’t seem very active.

Open source software from Helsinki University

The University of Helsinki computer sciences department is planning to put together a collection of open source software and other programming material generated by students and researchers. For now there’s only a germ of a list.

Ilya

Audioscrobbler

I installed Audioscrobbler today. Not sure what to do with it, but still.

Ilya



Neil Stephenson interview

Neil Stephenson interview at Slashdot. In his answer to the second question, Stephenson has a great explanation for why “commercial authors” aren’t respected by the literary scene.

Ilya

Prelinger Archives

The Prelinger Archives contains over 40 000 “ephemeral” (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. One gem: Are You Popular?, “one of the best examples of post-World War II social guidance films, with examples of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ girls, proper and improper dating etiquette, courtesy to parents, and an analysis of what makes some people popular and others not.”

Ilya

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