Archive for November, 2005

Playing with Fire(fox)

I installed Firefox 1.5 at work this afternoon. It’s nice so far, and the upgrade was much less painful than past versions. I did get one weird installer warning message complaining about some chrome option but other incompatibilities were handled smoothly. I’m hopeful that this release will fix some of the memory leaks and other nagging problems that have plagued version 1.0.

The only problem was the massive server load. While the main getfirefox.com servers seemed to be humming along just fine (good) the mozdev servers where the extensions reside were getting hammered all afternoon, making it very hard to update my extensions. You’d think they’d have anticipated that problem. Fortunately things got a little better later in the day.

There are some commenters over on Dean’s World who touch on corporate users and the potential problems with unofficial installs. I personally think that such users are usually doing the company a favor by finding problems that will have to be fixed sooner or later. But I don’t have to clean up after those users, either, so can get away with being a rebel like that. 🙂

Over at work we’re officially an IE shop, but as a web developer I have to keep a bunch of other browsers installed. Other IT folks have the same freedom. Many of us in the IT department have quietly switched our default browsers to Firefox because it’s much easier to secure and far more pleasant to use. That’s given us all an incentive to fix problems with our internal applications as we’ve encountered them. There are a few things (including Outlook Web Access) that work signifigantly better under IE but they’re the exception now, and getting fewer every day.

What the Mozilla project really needs to provide now is an easy corporate solution for standardizing Firefox installations and rolling out patches as needed. Microsoft has had that for a long time and it’s expected now from any enterprise software vendor. I suspect that this lack of professional-level administrative tools is one of the big reasons why some large companies are wary of moving away from IE.

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Graceful, Dignified, Tragic.


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Thoughts from Iraq

Literal Thoughts: What a difference a year makes….

An enlightening and encouraging post.

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Le Vrooooom

Ever wonder what it would look like if you strapped a gyrostabilized camera on your Ferrari and sped through the streets of Paris at 130mph?  In 1978? Well, wonder no more. It’d look a lot like this.

Follow one of the links in Jerry Kindall’s post for a video. At 10 minutes long it’s a big file, so better have a speedy connection. Also be sure to check out Renegade Tourist’s excellent Google Map of the route the car takes in the video; click the little map hotspots to see the cooresponding frame from the video.

The comments both on that thread and Dean’s are interesting too. FWIW, I think the video is genuine. I’m no car expert, but the video seems consistent with the story and with Dean’s notion that he’s gunning the unmuffled engine as a warning signal.

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Via Dean’s World, the Cybermen have returned in the new Doctor Who series.

I think the new design is quite nice. They’ve combined the best bits of the many past designs and given it all a nice modern, industrial flair. Without turning them into Borg (or toaster-style Cylons, which some early sketches strongly resembled.)

Cyberman – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And Dean’s right, it’s a darn shame that the new series isn’t viewable or available in the US legally. And to make matters even more annoying the BBC has made it very difficult for our local public TV station to continue airing the original series. Maryland Public Television has been stuck airing the same small batch of random episodes for more than a year. I guess the Beeb would prefer to sell longsuffering US fans DVDs instead of letting us watch for free, but it doesn’t seem like the right way to treat your loyal viewers.

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Ten Times as Big as a Man!

Wow, Stephen Green is right. If the new King Kong movie is half as good as this new trailer then it’ll be awesome.

All of the recent videos on apple’s site require the Quicktime 7 be installed, which the web site doesn’t bother to mention for some reason.

BTW, the tite of this post comes from a cheesy Kong cartoon that I enjoyed when I was a kid. In an AMAZING coincidence (ha) the completely unrelated cartoon will be released on DVD at the same time as the new movie.

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Last week, the New York Times printed an excerpt from an unsent letter written by a soldier killed in Iraq. Unfortunately, the single out-of-context sentence they chose to quote from the letter gave an entirely incorrect impression of what the soldier’s letter actually said.  Michelle Malkin has an extensive post on the subject, with an amazing follow-up including a whiny response from the reporter, who felt the need to chop up a soldier’s last letter in order to express a "fatalism" that the soldier himself never felt.

This is not the first time this has happened. Mudville Gazette sees a pattern. I think he’s right.

When soldiers speak they almost invariably support their mission in Iraq and the war on terror in general. They voted for Bush overwhelmingly in the last election, and they’re re-enlisting in record numbers. They’re in the best position to know how things are actually going in Iraq, and despite the fact that their own lives are constantly at risk they have an overwhelmingly more positive view of how the war is going than you’ll read in a typical news report. I must conclude that some reporters and editors are just so deeply committed to their own predetermined narrative that they aren’t willing to think about such uncomfortable facts. Or let their readers think for themselves.

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