Archive for May, 2003

Date: May 31st, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– He1 – Drink

我喜歡喝咖啡 – Wo3 Xi3 Huan5 He1 Ka1 Fei1 – I Like To Drink Coffee.

Date: May 30th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
33 msgs

Microsoft announces IE is dead

There have been rumors, but Zeldman found the official word: IE is dead. Version 6, Service Pack 1 is the last “standalone” version they will ever release. Get used to all those bugs, cause they’re going to be there for a while. Like, forever.

Q: when / will there be the next version of IE?

A: As part of the OS, IE will continue to evolve, but there will be no future standalone installations. IE6 SP1 is the final standalone installation.

Q: Why is this? the anti-trust?

A: Although this is off topic, I will answer briefly: Legacy OSes have reached their zenith with the addition of IE 6 SP1. Further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS.

I read this as meaning they’re going to “integrate” the browser more deeply than ever, starting probably in Longhorn. But they stopped working on the standalone IE a long time ago. So unless in your world everybody is going to upgrade to Longhorn in an orderly fashion, (here’s a hint: I’m writing this on a Win98 machine,) this means we’ll be dealing with the enormous suckitude of IE6 for quite some time.

Those of you stuck in IE land:

UPGRADE to the latest official Netscape, complete with all your favorite plugins!

UPGRADE to the latest Mozilla, the full featured and most advanced browser suite going!

UPGRADE to the new Mozilla Firebird, an easy to use, simplified, standalone browser!

Or if you’re on a Mac, UPGRADE to the impressive new Safari!

IE doesn’t just suck for us, the hapless web developers, it also sucks for YOU, the user. All the browsers I just linked to have popup blocking, tabbed browsing, enhanced privacy controls, better support for web standards, fewer security holes, more vibrant developer communities, and are just all around WAY BETTER.

In comparison, IE is GARBAGE. And Microsoft has abandoned you.

Date: May 30th, 2003
Cate: Regular

The Guardian tracked down Salam Pax… and hired him!

Salam’s story. Turns out Salam is indeed his real name.

He will start publishing his thoughts in The Guardian’s G2 section next Wednesday. He is also still posting to his blog.

Date: May 30th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Cha2 – Tea

Taiwan is famous for 烏龍茶 – Wu1 Long2 Cha2 – Black Dragon Tea — Oolong Tea. I saw some of it being grown near 阿里山 – A1 Li3 Shan1 – Alishan Mountain in Taiwan, rows and rows of low bushes, which reminded me of 易經 – Yi1 Jing1 – I Ching hexagrams for some reason.

Tea

Click on the tea for more pictures from Taiwan. I’m not sure what language that site is in, but you can use “vorige” and “volgende” to move between the pictures.

Date: May 29th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Peaceful settlement in b2 wars

b2++ and WordPress to merge!

Here’s the story at Donncha O’Caoimh’s site, he’s the developer of b2++.

Looks like upgrading to WordPress is now inevitable. I wonder if there’s any way I can contribute all these hacks I’ve put in my copy of b2 to the main project… Hmmm…..

Date: May 28th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

咖啡 – Ka1 Fei1 – Coffee

and are meaningless words used to transliterate foreign words.

咖哩 – Ka1 Li3 – Curry

嗎啡 – Ma3 Fei1 – Morphine

Date: May 28th, 2003
Cate: Regular

All Consuming

Erik Benson’s All Consuming is another neat application of all the raw data that webloggers are churning out each day. This one looks for mentions of books, and tracks and aggregates the mentions any number of ways. Well… not any number. Maybe like 5 ways.

Here’s how it works.

Date: May 28th, 2003
Cate: Video Games
1 msg

PS2½?

Sony will release this year (in Japan) a new console confusingly called the PSX. It’s a PS2/TV Tuner/Satellite Tuner/120GB HDD/PVR/DVD[+-]R. No word yet on the price, or plans for a US release. It also will feature some unspecified connectivity with their new PSP handheld, and an Internet adaptor.

blue LEDs

Strange that this was announced now, instead of at E3. I wonder, does this mean PS3 is still quite a ways off? Maybe Nintendo really will be first to market with their next-gen console, like they hinted they would be?

UPDATE: This story says PSX will be released in the US and Europe early next year!

Date: May 28th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ku4 – Strong (Alcohol), Cruel, “Cool”

means cool like Joe Cool cool.

Snoopy as Joe Cool

Date: May 28th, 2003
Cate: Meta
3 msgs

My URLs are now cool

For instance, the URL of this post is

http://minutillo.com/steve/weblog/2003/5/28/my-urls-are-now-cool

Which, in case you are wondering, is much cooler than what it used to be, which was

http://minutillo.com/steve/weblog/?p=361

Archive and category URLs are similarly upgraded. Of course, the old URLs will continue to work.

Fellow cafeloggers may wonder how I did it. Short answer: mod_rewrite and a few well placed b2 hacks. Long answer: View the source! That’s what it’s there for. Start with .htaccess.

Date: May 27th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere

A visit to the DMZ

The DMZ dividing North and South Korea may not be quite like you think it is:

My visit today to one of the worlds most militarized zones included a Disneyland-like ride down into the earth, a luncheon in a touristy restaurant with a view of miles of barbed wire fencing and a soundtrack featuring Janet Jackson singing Nasty, and a little Korean boy whose aunties thought nothing of letting him bring and incessantly use a toy space gun that made loud machine gun sounds as we drove through checkpoint after checkpoint of armed guards.

Date: May 27th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Zhi4 – Wisdom

Jenny’s having her 智齒 – Zhi4 Chi3 – Wisdom Teeth out tomorrow. Scary!

means a back tooth, but – Ya2 means front tooth.

Date: May 26th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
5 msgs

FEED ON FEEDS VERSION ZERO DOT ONE

It’s out!  Here’s the tarball.

Happy feeding.

Date: May 26th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
4 msgs

Teaser

Feed on Feeds 0.1 is complete! I’m going to let it burn in on Minutillo.com overnight before I release it. Major new features:

  • RSS auto-discovery
  • OPML import/export
  • MagpieRSS 0.5 featuring gzip support
Date: May 26th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xiong1 – Cruel, Fierce

Chinese people think that the more “whirlpools” (漩渦 – Xuan4 Wo1) you have in the hair on your head, the more you are. I have three.

Date: May 25th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yue4 – Traverse, Exceed

can be used in expressions that match this pattern: X Y. It means roughly the more you X the Y you get. Like 越吃越肥 – Yue4 Chi1 Yue4 Fei2 – The more you eat the fatter you get.

But I looked up this word for a different reason. Toto made us some awesome Bánh cuốn today, and you need to say 越南 – Yue4 Nan2 – Vietnam.

Date: May 24th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
6 msgs

– Bing4 – Sickness, Disease

My computer was attacked by a 病毒 – Bing4 Du2 – Disease Poison — Virus from Korea today. It had no effect on me.

病毒 originally meant virus in the epidemiological sense. But it also now means computer virus, just like in English.

Date: May 23rd, 2003
Cate: Meta
5 msgs

Danger! One of you may have a worm!

I just got a copy of W32.Sobig.B@mm (an email from support@microsoft.com, with a .pif file as an attachment) in my mailbox. That means somebody who has my email address on their computer somewhere is infected. IT MAY BE YOU. The above link should tell you how to check yourself out and clean it if you have it.

UPDATE: I checked the headers on the message, if I’m reading them right, the worm came from a computer in Korea, at the “KORNET” ISP. (The address is in the range 211.222.246.0 – 211.222.255.255. I don’t want to give the exact address because the computer may be vulnerable now that it is infected.)

Date: May 23rd, 2003
Cate: Regular
2 msgs

Starbucks – Taipei, Taiwan – 9/26/2002

contributory trade dress infringement

That’s Jenny, Yvonne, and Sally. Starbucks in Taiwan was nice, but the Starbucks “experience” in Japan was much better. I can still clearly remember the way they all would say “Ohayo gozaimasu!” in unison when we walked in in the morning, and the way the cashier would repeat my order to the drink maker in detail, who would then repeat it back for confirmation, and then say it again when I picked it up, and the super polite way they’d thank you over and over. “Arigato gozaimaaaaaasu…”

One morning we walked in, and the girl slipped up and started to say “konbanwa” (good evening) instead of “ohayo”. In quick succession, she realized she was saying the wrong thing, and began to correct herself, and then looked at me and realized I probably didn’t know the difference. There was a priceless moment of confusion, but she ultimately decided to err on the side of caution and say good morning, just to be sure.

Date: May 23rd, 2003
Cate: Geekism
2 msgs

b2 wars continue

b2++ is going great. They have a plugin architecture, and caching, and seem quite active. But…

Michel V, the mysterious author of the original b2, has said that WordPress “is going to become the new official branch once they get a release out”.

Whose cuisine will reign supreme?

Date: May 23rd, 2003
Cate: Meta
3 msgs

Disturbing search requests

One favorite pastime of webloggers is to talk about the horrible search keywords people use to find their sites. Today somebody found my site with a search that is absolutely CHILLING:

CALLING WEBSERVICE FROM MAINFRAME

There is no information about how to do that here, nor will there ever be. Sickos.

Date: May 22nd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Kou3 – Mouth, Mouthful

Date: May 22nd, 2003
Cate: Geekism
4 msgs

XMLHttpRequest just blew my mind

<script>
  var myXMLHTTPRequest = new XMLHttpRequest();
  myXMLHTTPRequest.open("GET", "http://minutillo.com/some/document/", false);
  myXMLHTTPRequest.send(null);
  alert(myXMLHTTPRequest.responseText);
</script>

I had NO IDEA that you could do that. And it works in IE 5+ (with a few more lines of code to create the XMLHttpRequest object) and Netscape 6+. You can only request documents from the originating server, but that’s good enough. You could use this to make XML-RPC or SOAP (or RESTful) API calls, right from the browser, and be able to do something meaningful with the response. Whoa. Why was I not informed that this exists earlier?

Mozilla.org’s documentation.
More XML docs from Mozilla.org.
Microsoft’s documentation.

And Jim Ley puts it all together to show how it can be done cross-browser.

Date: May 21st, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Yin1 – Reason, Cause, Because

為甚麼 – Wei4 She2 Me5 – Why?

因為 – Yin1 Wei2 – Because.

Date: May 20th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Wei4 – For

為甚麼 – Wei4 She2 Me5 – Why?

Date: May 20th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– You3 – Have, Posess, Exist

Three things I created were almost simultaneously noticed and linked by other people today:

My encoder bookmarklet, by Antipixel.

My feed on feeds, by DevBlog.

And my Chinese/English dictionary, by little. yellow. different. (look at the mini-blog on the side)

A really strange coincidence. Now I’m a little more 有名 than I was before.

Date: May 18th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xiao1 – Disappear, Vanish, Subside

Today’s trip was 取消了 – Qu3 Xiao1 Le5 – Cancelled. Next year, bunny.

Date: May 18th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
8 msgs

Server-Side PHP/MySQL RSS Aggregator: FEED ON FEEDS VERSION ZERO

FEED ON FEEDS VERSION 0

FEED ON FEEDS is a server side RSS aggregator. Server side beats client side because you stay in sync no matter where you go, and all your links and stories stay in your browser, where they belong.

This LazyWeb entry, combined with having plenty of free time this weekend, finally pushed me to release this thing. Will it work for anybody other than me? Only time will tell.

Date: May 18th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Web Search for a Planet

The Google Cluster Architecture

(the title reminds me of this (hacked) short story I found the other day)

(via Hack the Planet)

Date: May 18th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Jie1 – Street

This time we’re going to 逛街.

(you do remember , don’t you?)

Date: May 16th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Tong4 – Hurt, Pain

Don’t ever have this done. 好痛!

Date: May 15th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Shi2 – Eat Up Slowly, Eclipse

日蝕 – Ri4 Shi2 – Sun Eclipse

月蝕 – Yue4 Shi2 – Moon Eclipse

– Yin1 – Cloudy

哎呀! – Ai1 Ya1 – Aiyaah!

Date: May 15th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
6 msgs

Character to entity encoder bookmarklet

Why would you use a ridiculous page like this one to convert non-ASCII characters to HTML entities when a totally sweet bookmarklet is available?

(encodes all characters above 127 to HTML entities in every <input type=text> and <textarea> on the current page.)

Date: May 15th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ju3 – Carpenter’s Square

Unfortunately nobody can be told what the 矩陣 is. You have to see it for yourself.

OK, fine, I’ll tell you. 矩陣 – Ju3 Zhen4 – Matrix. But the title of the movie in Chinese is actually 駭客任務 – Hai4 Ke4 Ren4 Wu5 – Hacker Mission. Lame, huh.

And here is an An English-Chinese Dictionary of Mathematical Terms.

Date: May 14th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
5 msgs

b2 has been forked: WordPress

The main author of b2 has been MIA for months. So some new kids have grabbed the code and forked it. They’re calling it WordPress. The code is available at SourceForge and the project seems to be pretty active. They aren’t very ambitious though. The main thing b2/WordPress needs, I think, is a plugin/mod architecture. There’s a reasonably big and lively b2 community out there (Maciej’s found ~700 users so far) with lots of neat hacks and improvements, but they mostly require manual code changes to integrate, which is just too much of a pain.

Fixing the URLs is important too. It’s too bad to see their own development weblog uses b2’s stupid default URLs.