And Something Completely Unexpected

I wasn't expecting to stumble across this. I clicked on a random blog I have bookmarked in which I guess the guy has gone on a media fast. I was trying to find information on media fasting when I came across a link to Praize IM: the Christian Instant Messenger. Nothing is quite like an IM network for intellectual inbreeding.

Personal Information

I just had a great idea! Sites like Amazon ask for your email address and password. Now if they asked for your Jabber ID they could request your VCard (or any future profile system we get going) and automatically populate your shipping address, name, and everything else that they want and you're willing to give. Combine that with the XMPP/HTTP authentication JEP they don't even need to ask for a password.

Granted privacy would be a concern, so I can imagine putting in my JID at the site, and then my client would popup a dialog telling me that Amazon is requesting my address, name, and phone number. I don't want them to know my phone number, so I uncheck that and let them retreive all the other data.

Since my address could change, and I don't want to enter it into their site this might as well use pub/sub. Then they'll always have my latest address for greater or worse. All I had to do was enter my JID and click OK to get introduced and signed in.

Keep the Internet Free

The UN's grasp is closing on ICANN as reported by the Beeb. Here are some quotes:

In the face of opposition from countries such as China, Iran and Brazil, and several African nations, the US is now isolated ahead of November's UN summit.

All emphasis is mine. China and Iran. What a lovely pair to manage the Internet. And several African nations have access to the Internet? I assumed it would only be South Africa and maybe Egypt. Seriously though, aren't there bigger problems in Africa than who runs the Internet?

"We have no intention to regulate the internet," said Commissioner Reding, reassuring the US that the EU was not proposing setting up a new global body.

Rather she talked of a "model of cooperation", of an international forum to discuss the internet.

I'm really disturbed by the words of Commissioner Reding. Words like "no intention to regulate the Internet" and "model of cooperation" sound like empty promises to me. If the former was true then why not leave the Internet the way it is? As for the latter, a discussion forum needs no power. In fact the ICANN could setup an online forum in a matter of minutes. Is that OK?

The Closed Alliance


Microsoft and Yahoo! are in talks about teaming up in the IM space. I have to ask: what's this mean for us, the Jabberers?

(And if you're from Jabber, Inc. or Antepo, how's the interop with AOL coming?)

Countinously Stressful Situation or CSS

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I've ran into one of those fun things that CSS can do. I have a layout that has a header with a menu and a couple of columns. The header pokes down on the right hand side. That area poking down contains the menu. To fill the gap that that makes, the left column is positioned higher than the right column.

I was having problems with it consistently laying out properly and went and tried it in a table. I got it looking and working perfectly in Firefox, but IE considered the mouse clicks on a menu button to be going to the table. So I had to rethink it all in DIVs and to float each column. I finally got that going in both browsers after IE would make them vanish (note: I think the container needs a width to prevent that).

Now it looks good in both Firefox and IE, but Firefox is acting like IE was with the table layout. Sigh...

Warning: The first Internet Explorer engineer I meet, I'm going to ring his neck!

Going Downhill With a Gimp

I just upgraded to Gimp 2.2. I was hoping that some odd interface bugs like holding down shift or control with the selection tool would only do one and one thing only. That wasn't fixed, but this montrosity got introduced instead:

The Gimp's new browse dialog

My main problem with this thing is that there is absolutely no place for me to quickly type in the filename that I want to open. I am forced to browse all the to the root directory, down through /mnt, and bunch of other crud where I could have just punched in "/mnt/drive/images/clipart/crud/myimage.jpg". The old browse dialog even supported TAB completion.

So my request to the people behind the Gimp: add a text entry field to the browse dialogs that worked just like the old one, fix some actual bugs that make the Gimp a pain in the ass to use, and stop hanging out with the guys that Apple, Microsoft, and Google fired because their GUIs just plain sucked! Otherwise I'll go looking for another pixel editor, and I might just end up in Windows.

It's HBO


Slashdot made a post about HBO attacking BitTorrent. I made a comment that will probably never get modded up, so here it is:

Let's do some math:

  • HBO: $13/month * 12 months = $156
  • Rome DVD: $20
  • Rome in DivX: $4/episode * 12 episodes = $48

Now lets see, HBO has at least four decent series, and I'll let you do the math. I think $4/download for each hour long series they do would compensate them more than enough.

It's time media companies adapt and grow up.

I would pay what I pay for a pack of cigarettes to download each episode, so long as they weren't DRM crippled. I've watched and enjoyed at least four of their series so that covers the yearly fee that my household pays to get HBO. In sum HBO could be making more money if they let me download the episodes of each of their series.

Nvidia GLX and Composite

I just upgraded my NVidia drivers only to find that GLX didn't work. After some fiddling I thought I'd take a gander at the new docs for the GLX driver. Near the bottom it mentions that GLX won't work if the composite extension is loaded too. It recommended that the AllowGLXWithComposite option be set to True. That got GLX working making me happy.

A Laissez Faire Corollary

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Here's a laizze-fare corollary:

It is wrong for the government to interfere with business, thus it is also wrong for business to interfere with government.

I believe that's logically sound. If not I think it has merits anyway and is worth further thought. It would also be some sort of ideal too, since government will most likely keep putting its hand into business forcing business to interfere with government. My that's grand!

Ah ha! Captcha!

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I just wanted to say I hate captchas. I ran across two tonight. One was an image that was barely discernible to me, and the other was adding zero to 87. I have to ask: Can we come up with something better before I'm given a complete Turing test just to post a small little comment on a site or, with the spim discussions, send a message?

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