Firefox 2.0 delayed. So what!

Firefox 2.0 might not be out until October. So what. I like being the first kid on the block with the latest software so I downloaded the beta as soon as it came out. It was OK. The new features include an anti-phishing tool, which is nice; new tab features — which are available as extensions in 1.5 and better search, allowing you to search individual websites — which is nice, but … ho-hum. In fact, I find all the new features a little ho-hum. What I would have liked to have seen was a serious de-bloating and a serious speed injection. I use Firefox now, because I have to. I would much prefer to use Opera, but alas, many websites don’t work in Opera. I’m also looking forward to Swift, but for now it’s just way too buggy.

Published in: on August 17, 2006 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Windows live writer – initial thoughts


Ok, so here’s a post using Windows Live Writer. When I first started the program up, it crashed my computer. It took me a second time of starting and crashing to realize what the problem was. Windows Live Writer does not seem to like ZoneAlarm. So the next time I started it up, I turned off ZoneAlarm first and turned on Windows Firewall, which oddly enough it has no conflicts with. Imagine that.

As soon as it starts up, Windows Live Writer asks you a few questions about your blog, downloads a few things, presumably it’s stylesheet and layout and then presents you with a window in which you write your blog.

There are menu options to add images


and maps.

Well, that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. Let’s see if I can publish it. Cross your fingers! If you’re reading this then it has in fact been published.

UPDATE: I’m now editing this in my regular WordPress online editor. I noticed that while it got most of it right, WLR didn’t get my font size correct. I wonder if it will fix things, when I republish, with this new content.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Apparently not, and in fact this new content seems to be too small as well. It might have something to do with the changes I made to the original WP template, but if so, then obviously WLR is not working properly.  Also, it’s supposed to look exactly the same in the editor and on the page and it does not.  The pictures are a little bit off.

Published in: on August 14, 2006 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Windows Live Writer

Windows has released this desktop app, called Windows Live Writer for writing blogs. I don’t have time to download it now, but I will later today and let you know what it’s all about. In the meantime, go download it yourself and tell me what you think.

Microsoft says:
Windows Live Writer is a desktop application that makes it easier to compose compelling blog posts using Windows Live Spaces or your current blog service.

So it should be compatible with WordPress and others.

Published in: on August 14, 2006 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Google Videos to change interface

TechCrunch blogged about this

Looks like they want to make their interface look more like Youtube‘s. They probably have a way to readily monetize the system, perhaps with more than just Google ads, and want to get the jump on Youtube. If I were Youtube, I’d be listening and start rolling out anything new now. If Google Videos gives me the ability to, say, buy all my videos and any other I like , on DVD with a nice image etched (of my own design) on the front for $7.99, then maybe I’ll just move them over there to get the DVD and forget to move back.

Why hasn’t Youtube done anything like that yet, anyway? Just like Flickr for pictures, they should and can easily offer some sort of added-value features that people will pay for. Maybe it’s a matter of finding a provider who can supply the anticipated demand from all those millions (zillions?) of users. In any case, Youtube has got to get movin’ on this.

Published in: on August 13, 2006 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Protopage version 3 update

One of my favourite Web 2.0 (Ugh!) start pages is Protopage. I like the full control you have over placing widgets or gadgets or whatever it is they call them. I found a while ago that they really needed an upgrade from version 2 and have since stopped using it. In fact, I have stopped using all start pages.

I found I was using Protopage mainly for web feeds and that I didn’t often use its other features. I also hated the numbered pages they have, where many other start pages now use tabs. In the end I switched to Bloglines, which I find is the best online feed reader out there, although I think it leaves a lot to be desired. But that’s for another post.

The protopage people now say :

With version 3 we’re going beyond expectations to create some powerful ways for you to organize and categorize your page content. We’re also creating the means for you to extend Protopage and add your own functionality – so you’ll be able to customize your Protopage even more than ever before. The look and feel has also had a spring clean.

They have said version 3 will be available sometime this quarter, which, if I’m not mistaken, ends at the end of September…. so still another month and a half away, although they could roll it out anytime now. I’m excited and I hope they give me enough reason to switch back.

I wonder now whether anyone is actually still even using these start pages, or were they a fad that is now becoming so … last Friday. Is it just me who’s stopped? I’d love to see some stats.

Published in: on August 12, 2006 at 2:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Google moves groups, adds video


Have you noticed? Google has added Video to it’s top links and has removed Groups from the prime position it’s had all these years. Instead, Books, Froogle and Groups and “even more >>” are grouped into a drop-down list.

In its blog Google says:

Search has always been a fundamental paradigm here, so we’re constantly working to integrate more services into the main search experience. So while you can go to specific search services directly through the More>> dropdown, you’ll also find great results from Books, Groups, and Froogle by just searching Google. As our product line evolves, we’re also finding that we have a few destinations that people need to get to directly — sometimes because the user experience relies heavily on browsing (News, Video) or because there’s a different way of searching (Maps).

Google also says it plans to introduce more changes over the next few months. I guess this shows the importance Google is placing on its video search as it tries to compete with

At the time of this posting, the changes have not been Google Canada (

UPDATE: Here’s what happened to Froogle, which was also moved off the main links section, and Google Videos after the switchover.

Published in: on August 12, 2006 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Swift: Webkit-based browser for Windows


Saw something about this browser called Swift at CSS Insider and so, being the browser nut that I am, I downloaded it and tried it. That thing is pretty much instantaneous. There is absolutely no waiting to load a web page. Well, it’s fast, but I did a little, unscientific comparison with Firefox and it’s not that much better. It does, however feel very light and robust. Probably because it is. It’s in alpha and there’s probably not a whole lot to it yet. It crashed on me twice already in 4 times using it. I also noticed I couldn’t input a password on any password sites. It’s obvisouly not ready for prime time yet, but it has potential and it’s something to keep an eye on.

The site’s own tagline says: “A web browser for Windows based on the Apple Webkit rendering engine”

Web designers and developers take note. There could soon be a new browser for you to watch out for. I truly hope it will be fully standards-compliant.

Published in: on August 10, 2006 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Time Fountain


This has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It’s a strobe light and water fountain that seems to turn back time. At least that’s what it looks like. It actually doesn’t look like much in this picture, but watch the video. It’s very cool!

The Time Fountain by Nate True

Published in: on August 10, 2006 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gmail coming out of Beta?

This is meant as a test “Blog This!” from, but I never realized it was still in beta. Although I did wonder why the invites thingy was still there.

Australian and New Zealand residents are the first in the world to be able sign up for Gmail without having to scrounge for invites from existing users.
As of today, users can sign-up to Google’s Web-based e-mail program by simply registering on the site

read more | digg story

Published in: on August 9, 2006 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Programmer meet designer

I came across this great site where designers and programmers can find each other. Often designers aren’t that great at programming and vice versa. That makes it tough for freelance web developers to build decent sites. They might look great, but function poorly or function great, but look horrendous. This site puts programmers in touch with people who can actually make a nice-looking design and designers in touch with the people who can put their designs into practice. You have the option of posting listings asking for a one-time or multi-job collaborator or for someone to work with on a long-term basis.

At one point earlier this year, I was considering setting up a site exactly like this. I just never got a round tuit.
This site was obviously designed by a programmer, without the help of a designer.

Here’s the site’s own description of itself:

This site was created to unite programmers and designers because rarely is a person good at both programming and designing. PMD helps programmers and designers partner up to make websites and web applications that look and work great. It also lets entrepreneurs and writers find people to work with.

UPDATE: I just read on this blog that the person who created the site is just 13 years old.

Published in: on August 9, 2006 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment