October, 2007 Results

Microsoft Tafiti

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007


Microsoft’s new Silverlight platform search engine, Tafiti, is visually interesting and fun to play with.

When you enter a search and click Go the service swirls into action: The search box slides to the top left, and five icons spin into view below it for searching the Web, news sites, images, books, or RSS feeds.

Tafiti sports an animated interface developed by Microsoft’s Silverlight platform – a technology that Microsoft would like to see challenge Adobe’s Flash player.

Instead of sponsored links on the right side of the results, there are five empty shelves. Drag your results onto a shelf to save them in “stacks”; then log in to a Windows Live, MSN, or Hotmail account to see your saved searches the next time you open your browser. You can give your stacks names, send a stack to someone via e-mail, or post it to your Windows Live Space blog.

Play with Tafiti and see what you think…

Vision of The Environment…

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Today is Blog Action Day. It’s a day where bloggers around the web will unite to post on a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment.

You will no doubt see a wide variety of opinions throughout the web on this issue. I expect there to be a lot of finger pointing — it’s the democrats fault or it’s the republicans fault, or it’s the SUVs fault, or it’s because people are having too many kids. Whatever. People will then say that we need to do something, we need to write to congress and the President and demand action.

Of course the environment is a huge topic for the 2008 presidential candidates. Each candidate has their own plan or program to solve the problem. You can read about them here.

But, I believe —

If the world is saved, it will be saved not by old minds with new programs, but by new minds with no programs at all…

Every culture is a collection of individuals, and each individual has in his or her head a complete set of values, concepts, rules, and preferences that, taken together, constitute the building plans for that particular culture. This is known as the cultures Vision.

Vision is to culture what gravity is to matter. When you see a ball roll off a table and fall to the floor, you should think, “Gravity is at work here.” When you see a culture make its appearance and spread outward in all directions until it takes over the entire world, you should think, “Vision is at work here.”

Vision is the flowing river. Programs are sticks set in the riverbed to impede the flow. What I’m saying is that the world will not be saved by people with programs. If the world is saved, it will be saved because the people living in it have a new Vision.”

Every year, without fail, we outlaw more things, catch more people doing them, and put more of them in jail. The outlawed behavior never goes away, because, directly or indirectly, it’s supported by the strong, invisible, unrelenting force called Vision. This explains why police officers are much more likely to take up crime than criminals are to take up law enforcement. It’s called “going with the flow.”

If the world is saved, it will be saved because people begin to think in a different way about the world and humanity’s place in it.

Most of this is from the mind of Daniel Quinn. Author of Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit and The Story of B.

Please take 10 more minutes and continue reading here!

If you want even more reading, try this.

I highly recommend his books. They will change your way of thinking…

Links for the Weekend, 10-13-2007

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

Caffeine > Code ? Good : Bad

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Since caffeine and coding go together like peanut-butter and jelly I thought I would talk about this drug of choice.

We truly are a nation of drug addicts. With alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, most people are more amped than Steve Balmer talking to a bunch of developers.

Bennet Weinberg has written two books on coffee. His latest is called “The Caffeine Advantage.” Weinberg says caffeine is the world’s most popular drug. More than 50 percent of Americans drink coffee everyday — three to four cups each, more than 330 million cups a day and counting… When you add tea and soft-drinks, more than 80 percent of Americans are getting their fix.

It’s no coincidence that all the most popular drinks on earth, which taste quite different from each other, all contain caffeine.

A report by CBS says that caffeine is one of the fastest acting drugs known to man. When we drink it, almost every cell in the body, including the brain, absorbs it within minutes. There, caffeine works it’s magic by blocking something called adenosine, a chemical the body releases to tell the brain it’s tired. Caffeine intercepts the adenosine, turning the “I’m tired,” message into “I’m wide awake.” The result is an invigorating buzz coffee drinkers crave.

Some studies indicate that caffeine can help alleviate headaches. Caffeine is present in both over-the-counter medications (Excedrin) and prescription medications. Caffeine acts to constrict blood vessels and therefore helps some headaches.

Weinberg says, “We really want something that’ll help us work harder, sharpen our minds, increase our sense of well-being, improve our performance; caffeine is just that substance.” Is that guy pimpin’ caffeine or what?

What’s your thoughts — do you drink caffeine?

Do you think it helps with coding?

What’s your beverage of choice while coding?

Tables – Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Tables handle images with captions nicely — you can easily center an image and have a caption centered underneath it while also having the image centered within a container or viewport. However, the drawback of using tables for this is that you are limited to a fixed number of cells across the screen and although the cells can grow and collapse depending on the image size, you can never have any more or less number of images per row than those you started with. If a table is 4 cells wide then you are restricted to 4 images for every row no matter how big or small they are.

When CSS came along a lot of people said “Aha! We can now float our images across the page”. This was a good start as it allowed the images to float across the page and expand or wrap as the page got smaller or bigger. Adding a caption wasn’t that difficult either as the parent container could be floated with the image and caption within it.

In this article we explore some useful CSS techniques to create a small photo gallery that will allow for a caption to be placed underneath our photos. This technique allows our images to flow and re-align across the screen depending on the width of the browser, unlike a table approach which always limits you to the same number of cells per row that you started with.


Random Bits Podcast with Alex King

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Random Bits

Episode 11 – 10/08/2007

Guest: Alex King, Developer and Entrepreneur AlexKing.org

Background: Designer, Developer, WordPress guru, Volleyball Player

Total Time: 30 minutes

It was really awesome to sit down and talk to Alex King about WordPress, which is what most people know him for, but also to learn more about his business, Crowd Favorite, the projects he is working on, and the man behind the Mac!

Podcast Highlights

  • 00:20 – Find out what Alex attributes to WordPress’ widespread success?
  • 02:44 – How many plugins does Alex have installed?
  • 03:37 – Which WordPress plugins should be standard issue?
  • 06:02 – What is a favorite plugin of Alex’s that HE didn’t write?
  • 07:28 – Will WP always be free?
  • 09:19 – What do you say to people who say blogging is just a fad?
  • 11:28 – We learn more about Alex running his own company
  • 14:59 – We talk about bad client experiences
  • 16:49 – Find out what web development tools Alex uses
  • 18:03 – I ask about two projects Alex is working on: ShareThis.com and MyFreeBusy.com
  • 27:38 – We get personal

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Links for the Weekend, 10-6-2007

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

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