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29 January 2004 @ 02:53 pm
Nifty things I found today  

Stuff You Can Poke

Greendisk - CD-RW's, jewel cases, and floppies made from recycled materials. They also recycle old CD-R's, CD's, audio tapes, floppies, and video cassettes. A damn cool company, with a worthy goal - comes from a series of articles I'll comment on later.

When the price drops, the programmable LED ID Badge will make Paranoia games that much more exciting. A remote control allows you to switch between four different messages - battery life is about 18 hours.

The creepiest plush toys I've seen in recent memory - huggable, pettable, squeezable microbes - available in Ulcers, Mars Microbe, Rhinovirus (cold), Influenza, Sore Throat, and Beer Yeast. Kinda cute, in a creepy The Coming Plague kind of way.

News and Links

Google hacks, in compendium.

101 things Mozilla can do that IE can't. One more reason to be assimilated make the switch - thanks to photomoviegeek for the cool link!

In the spirit of "How Not to Blog", here is Eric Raymond's HTML Design Hell website. This is an exceptionally caustic rant about site design, much of which harkens back to days of yore (by which I mean Lynx). Funnier if you know enough about web design top be dangerous.

An interesting project for making first-person adventure games called the COG Engine. COG is designed to be used by non-programmers, and finished games run on browsers that support Java. Not very complex, but pretty damn cool.

Interview with the disaffected programmer who wrote the Solitaire game that comes bundled with Windows, bringing about the end of productivity in America. The link is shamelessly ganked from my precious little Slashdot, and is pretty damn funny.
elfdope on January 29th, 2004 02:05 pm (UTC)
Urge to order squishy microbes rising. Need squishy soft microbes.
King of the Voidabaddonx99 on January 29th, 2004 04:36 pm (UTC)
Squishy microbes!
I want the common cold and beer yeast ones. Those have the most style.
The past is prologuenemoren on January 29th, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
I've read the Design Hell site before, and while I'm happy to say I'm in the clear (as far as I know), it strikes me that someone could/should write a new list for websites that have been produced after like 1998.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on January 30th, 2004 01:44 pm (UTC)
That's a good idea - ESR will almost definitely never do it again.
Doom: It came from the Seussutilitygeek on January 30th, 2004 12:40 pm (UTC)
Best when viewed with Brain 2.0, eyes 1.5, corrective lenses 3+
Finally got around to reading the Design Hell site. When seen from both a geeky and a historically geeky perspective, funny in different ways.

Although, given the current Browser War, I'd argue that there's nothing wrong with "Best Viewed with something vaguely standards compliant, like not IE."

But that's just me.

Also, I want huggable germs!

Also, as much as I prefer Moz over IE, I didn't like the 101 Things site simply because a lot of those are wrong. I can't think of specifics days after the fact, but if you're going to bash a product for features it doesn't have, make sure it doesn't have them.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on January 30th, 2004 12:53 pm (UTC)
Are they wrong because of false positives, false negatives, or just good old-fashioned disinformation? I'm just not quite sure what it is you mean - and I have a feeling that they padded the list with standards compliance issues in places where IE has decided the "embrace, extend, destroy" methodology is in place.

When I was still running OS X, I found out that IE on the Mac is almost 100% standards-compliant, with almost no extensions - the Windows version flags and chokes like a morbidly obese killer whale in Boston, you know, by comparison.
Doomutilitygeek on January 30th, 2004 01:32 pm (UTC)
Briefly running through the site...
5. Sidebars -- IE has a sidebar, though it is not easily extensible
101. Giant Lizards are Cool -- the why is the icon on the taskbar a frickin' steering wheel?

There were other discrepancies -- both positive and negative -- when I read it more closely, but these just jumped out at me. And yes, several of them should have been lumped together (like all the DOM2 crap).

As far as IE/Mac goes -- yes, the HTML compliance is closer than IE/Win, but the DOM is so fucking off the mark that it makes writing JS for it excruciating (one for compliance, one for ie/win, one for ie/mac). Also, the CSS model is also different from standard and IE/Win. Ugh. Safari's not bad, though there are one or two gotchas.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on January 30th, 2004 01:42 pm (UTC)
5 - Come strong, or don't come at all. I should also mention that Karim (yes, that Karim) is responsible for the non-extension of this by non-MS people, TTBOMK. We do, in fact, have an asshole to blame.
101 - Reset under Windows to other icon (oh wait- Windows won't let you do that) - Windows defaults it to the Netscape-style navigation wheel because they are wankers, not because it doesn't come with one. I think it was a Mozilla branding strategy, one which I don't agree with - I promptly changed it back.

Sorry - when I say "standards-compliant", I meant things I know are W3C things - if DOM is, I wouldn't know.
Doomutilitygeek on January 30th, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC)
It's the Document Object Model. IE/Mac has one that's confusing as hell. It also has some wierd quirks. One (that I'm intimately acquainted with) is that all plugins have an infinite z-index. This means (for you nontechnical or nonweb people) that no matter what, a plugin floats over other page content. Similarly, for some unknown reason, selects (like dropdown menus and stuff) have an infinite z-index in IE/Win.

It doesn't surprise me that Karim was responsible for making things hard/impossible to use. When he precepted my CS24 class, he handed us a library to use that didn't work. He put some clever code in it and tested it in Win and in *nix, but not on the Mac (where we were forced to work). I later pointed out to him that clever ideas that don't work aren't particularly clever. He didn't appreciate that. Wanker.