Creative Home Engineering integrates “silent, automated hidden passageways” into your home. How cool is that?! Beyond the standard “pull on a book” or twisting a candlestick, their custom switches give you the ability to activate the passage entries any way you want. The “triple-redundant safety features includ[e] optical sensor arrays, overtorque protection, thermal sensors, infrared sensors and mechanical obstruction detectors” as well as biometrics (fingerprints, optical and voice). They apparently have pre-fab kits ($150+) available for those who can’t afford a complete solution ($10,000). Link via one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman.

Remote Destruction of Data on a Stolen Laptop

Mac Geekery has a nice little article discussing how to remotely destroy data on your laptop should it be stolen. The concept is great, and the use of Perl could easily be replaced by other technologies. I like the idea of taking the machine down and notifying the user that the machine is stolen, in addition to gathering additional info as to the laptop’s whereabouts.

Design and Web Books

While I don’t have much time to actively participate in the Designers in House List, to which I subscribe, I enjoy reading many of the threads. One recent thread from a while back, titled “Your favourite web design book” served as a reminder that I should update my list of Web and design-related book recommendations. It’s been quite a while. So, here is a brain dump of the tomes on my bookshelf and ones that should be. The list is by no means comprehensive – I would love to hear your recommendations!

Items without a rating indicates that I do not own the book, but believe it is worth attention due to recommendations from other Web-type folks, or that I hold the author in high respect due to their other work and contributions to our industry.

Unitless line-heights

Eric Meyer sheds some light on the interesting application of line-height within the cascade, specifically he recommends implementing Unitless line-heights (‘1′ instead of ‘1em’ or ‘100%’ for example) in order to avoid the wrong values flowing down the cascade to descendant elements. I highly recommend you check it out should you be a Web dev type of person.

The Rebirth of the End of the World

The time has come for Apocalyptic Dreaming to rise from the pitiful state that it has devolved into. Running for years with an old design atop an outdated content management system, the site had become a burden to me, its creator. So, I present a revitalized site, ready to display its much improved strength, reliability and extra floppy appendages.

Dear Lord…What have I done?!

Many many many changes have been implemented and much toil was experienced in order to bring forth a stronger site. These changes include:

  • Porting the site from MovableType 2.6 to WordPress 2
  • Designing a new standards-compliant (XHTML + CSS) site from the ground up, with a focus on readability, usability and future expansion.
  • Implementing a user registration system (through WordPress) which will speed up postings of new entries while easing my workload.
  • Discrete implementation of Ad Sense to cover a little bit of the cost incurred for running the site