Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Benjamin Franklin

«— Beautiful Websites Will Save the World
—» The Cross is a Time Machine (and It’s Bigger on the Inside)

PO;DR—Pop-over; Didn’t Read.

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

PO;DRPop-overs. Those annoying advertisements, requests for information, and alerts that appear over a web page, obscuring its content. Developers call them modal windows. I call them “the reason that I immediately close that tab or window.” The only way that this annoying virus will stop is if the organizations that are doing it realize that it is killing their bottom line.

If you are as infuriated as I am, join me in closing that tab or window without any further action. Then tell the people in charge via email, Twitter, Facebook, body tattoo, or whatever floats your boat: “PO;DR”—pop-over; didn’t read.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 1:16 pm

«— Hatteras-style Clam Chowder
—» PO;DR—Pop-over; Didn’t Read.

Beautiful Websites Will Save the World

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

A dear classmate of mine wrote me today to ask for examples of good parish website design—the “best to examine for style, layout, information and the most welcoming to the non-Orthodox.” My reply was short on examples, but long on some fundamental design principles. I wondered if maybe I had not really answered the question my friend asked. In concluding, I realized why I think these principles are so important: I have seen too many bad parish websites. Getting a parish website right is not optional. It is a pastoral and evangelical necessity. Here is my reply to my friend (edited for style and content):

Read the rest of “Beautiful Websites Will Save the World”

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 6:05 pm

«— Reflections on L’Engle’s Aesthetics
—» Most unusual spam comment

Microsoft must abandon Vista

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

I am so far removed from the world of PCs and Microsoft operating systems that I have never even played with Vista. For which blessing, I send a grateful prayer to God. I mean, he could have afflicted me with Vista. Instead, he only smote my beloved Jeep. A fair trade.

While Vista was originally touted by Microsoft as the operating system savior we’ve all been waiting for, it has turned out to be one of the biggest blunders in technology. With a host of issues that are inexcusable and features that are taken from the Mac OS X and Linux playbook, Microsoft has once again lost sight of what we really want.

Read the rest: “Why Microsoft must abandon Vista to save itself”

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 7:55 pm

«— Size Doesn’t Matter?
—» Love is the Only Gospel

Check Your Computer for 2007 Daylight Saving Time – Fri, March 09, 2007 – WorldTimZone

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

Check Your Computer for 2007 Daylight Saving Time – Fri, March 09, 2007 – WorldTimZone

Tim has a little chunk of Javascript that checks your computer to see if you’re ready for the new and improved Daylight Savings Time. Check it out.

I’ve got a Mac, so no pain. My Palm is already letting me down: It only sent me an email about the issue this morning. Yet, according to Tim’s article, people have known of this for quite some time now.

We’ll see if the Palm update is lots of pain or relatively painless.

Ask me some other time why I think Daylight Savings should be abolished.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 5:19 am

«— A Double-shot of Standards
—» Show Me the Money

DrBacchus’ House on Autopilot, Flies Into New York Times

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

If you know DrBacchus, you can just hear him saying the following:

For a while, he said, he had lights programmed to flash when someone looked at his Web site (Mr. Bowen has a blog at DrBacchus.com), “but that got annoying very fast.”

Read the rest: The House on Autopilot – New York Times

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 9:34 pm

«— The Gospel vs. H.R. 4437
—» Male activists want to opt-out of unplanned pregnancies

Online Survey for OCA Website

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

OCA – Orthodox Church in America News Release

Take the Survey

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 11:35 pm

«— The Great Fast Approaches
—» On Change and Changelessness

Pet Peeve: “Click Here” Links

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

“For more information, click here.” Where does this link go? Well, in this case, that link goes straight to hell. Actually, hell.com. The “click here” link is about the most useless way of providing text for a hyperlink. It tells me absolutely nothing about what’s going to happen when I activate it. Is my computer going to blow up? Am I going to be asked to register for some service? All I know is that the web author wants me to click it.

In this category for exactly the same reason is the “this page” or “this site” or “this post” link. It means, roughly, “click here.” Vacuous and useless.

Web authors, please stop. Tell me more information, so I know if that’s a web page I want to load before I activate your link. Also, this makes web search engines like Google work way better.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 6:02 pm

«— How Government Works: The Night Watchman
—» Yet Another Inconclusive Study of Aspartame

Hacker Hatchery

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

Running a Hatchery for Replicant Hackers – New York Times

In a surprising move, the NYT uses the word “hacker” correctly in a sentence and gives a surprisingly accessible definition for it.

In related news, four horsemen were seen today in the Valley of Megiddo.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 7:45 am

«— How To Become A Hacker
—» Poverty of Soul

Feed Reader Help Wanted

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

Mac users and free software folks: I need a Free (as in speech) news and feed aggregator for Mac OS X. I’ve been using NetNewsWire 2.0b25 for what seems like forever; I’d forgotten it was a beta. So, when a couple of feeds stopped working — related, it appears, to being valid Atom feeds — I went to their website to get an update. I was shocked to find that it wasn’t Free or Open or anything even similar. I mean, I downloaded the beta without charge! Doesn’t that mean it’s Free?

Stop. I know the answer, and I already feel like enough of a dweeb.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 10:20 am

«— Feel It
—» Feed Reader Help Wanted

How To Become A Hacker

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

How To Become A Hacker

vikram writes that he wants to learn hacking. The link above is a good start.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 5:57 am

«— Not Porn: Chicago to Release Thirtieth Album
—» Hypocrisy

Writing Bookmarklets

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

I recently installed a WordPress plugin that lets me look at my stats, and “writing bookmarklets” is pretty high on the list of search strings. In fact, I come up on the first page of a Google search. Crazy. “Better Living Through Bookmarklets” has some good information to get someone started. “Tips for Writing Bookmarklets” has some really good tips for writing bookmarklets once you’ve gotten a feel for it.

I highly recommend hacking the bookmarklets of others to see what makes them tick. Good targets are Jesse Ruderman’s bookmarklets and Tim Powell’s.

I saw one article in my Googling that advised using “ugly variable names,” ie, random alphanumeric strings, to avoid namespace interference. Ick. Encapsulate your bookmarklet in a function to restrict the scope of your variables. This is also a helpful trick to dispense with void().

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 1:24 am

«— Orthodox Christians for Accountability
—» News Release from Lesser Synod

News Flash

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

I finally upgraded to WordPress 2.0. There was some fiddling around that I still have to do to make it work, but things look relatively stable now. Also, the links to kevinbasil.com over in the sidebar should start working properly over in the sidebar, for the first time since the IP address of the old server was changed without notice several months ago.

The new dashboard interface seems very nice, except that I must agree with DrBacchus: The new writing interface, which imitates Blogger by hiding the HTML from the user, leaves a lot to be desired. I understand simplifying, but multiply pop-ups when all I want is to add a bloody link is OUT OF CONTROL.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 5:26 pm

«— Are You a Heretic?
—» Orthodox Christians for Accountability

Broken iTunes UI in 6.0.2

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

I’ve always thought it cool to broadcast my current song selections to anyone and everyone, so the MiniStore controversy meme currently raging in the blogosphere rates less than a 0.1 on my GAS-o-meter, especially since the broadcast can be disabled easily. What does bother me is a fundamental borking of the user interface.

iTunes’ UI is designed to look like a music player, whether CD, DAT, or cassette tape. Up until 6.0.2, the controls acted like music players, too. The reverse control, when operated once, reset the current track to its beginning; operated twice, it reset the current track to the beginning of the previous track. With 6.0.2, this simple, intuitive behavior is degraded if you’re listening to a podcast. Reverse changes the current track to the previous track. Forward or double-click on the track you were listening to takes you to the position last played in that track/podcast, unless the track is marked as unplayed, in which case it starts at the beginning.

Unclear? Reverse — the back, the two triangles pointing to the left, or your left arrow key — used to take you back to the start of the current podcast. Now, it takes you back to the start of the previous podcast.

This is an improvement, I suppose, if you’re a moron. For the rest of us, this breaks a consistent and intuitive expectation of music player user interfaces — one that is met by nearly every other software music player on the market.

If I were the guy who suggested this UI change, I’d be embarassed that someone took my suggestion seriously, when I thought it was clear that I’d had one too many shots of Jaegermeister. If I were the superior who took this suggestion seriously, I’d be making sure my résumé were in order.

On the other hand, this has the stink of Jobs all over it.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 1:17 pm

«— On the Move, Aye
—» Adult stem cell researchers find ‘fusion hope’

Excerpted Feeds are Evil

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

Excerpted Feeds are Evil at Binary Bonsai

I hate excerpted feeds. If you’re only showing me part of your post, most of the time I’m not reading it unless it piques my interest. The worst offender is Ortho-Dixie. I always want to read his posts, so only getting an excerpt is just a huge waste of my time.

However, some of the commenters on the bit-post above have good points. Perhaps there’s a way to have both excerpts and full feeds? Maybe a WordPress plugin or something?

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 2:45 pm

«— Verizon Vexation
—» Lexington Church Closed for the Holiday

Firefox 1.5 Released

Link to this post  

Share with your friends and followers:
Share

MozillaZine article on Firefox 1.5 release

I’ve been using the beta versions of Firefox 1.5, and I’m very happy. I thought we were going to lose Greasemonkey, but I downloaded the updated plugin for Firefox 1.5 this morning. Security issues make continuing to use Explorer worse than playing with obsolete kid’s stuff; it’s dangerous.

Get Firefox 1.5 now. You’ll be happy you did.

Share with your friends and followers:
Share
Share

Filed under: — Basil @ 7:40 am