Downhill Battle, a “non-profit organization working to end the major label monopoly and build a better, fairer music industry”, has set up a great campaign to raise funds for IPac, EFF and Public Knowledge. “For every $100 given to these groups in the month of December, Downhill Battle will send one lump of coal to the RIAA and MPAA.“
Archives for December 2004
As mentioned on The Technology Liberation Front , “Greg Aharonian, Editor/Publisher of the Internet Patent News Service—and one of America’s leading intellectual property experts—has just filed a major lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of software copyrights. In his complaint to the U.S. District Court’s Northern California Circuit, Aharonian details the adverse impact of vague software copyright laws and decisions.”
I haven’t had a chance to read all of this, but from the overview, and some skimming, I think this could prove quite interesting as it may well affect the very foundation of the software world.
Also, a quick note, Adam Thierer, who posted this to The Technology Liberation Front, edited CopyFights: The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age which contains some essays discussing this issue and patents on business methods. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is seriously interested in the interaction of copyrights, business and the consumer now and in the future.
Linotype has released Zapfino Extra Pro:
> “when used in an OpenType-supporting application with all contextual features activated, draws on the rich library of glyphs included in the font to automatically generate numerous, changing alternatives that work together, creating a lively typographic impression. This impression can offer the same harmonious feeling as real calligraphy.”
This is an amazing font. Take a look at the different instances of the same letter within the example image. The variation provided by the different flourishes and letter types fools the eye into believing that this is actual calligraphy. This doesn’t look like a font.
Link via Authentic Boredom
Roger Johansson has provides a great post discussing the purpose of the alt and title attributes as defined by the HTML spec, and the way browser makers have muddied the usage of each.
> Alt text is not meant to be used as a tool tip, or more specifically, to provide additional information about an image. The title attribute, on the other hand, is meant to provide additional information about an element.
Link via Jeff Croft
From Coudal Partners and Draplindustries comes the Society for HandHeld Hushing, a polite way to fight back against “obnoxious cell phone users that we all have to deal with in stores, restaurants, trains and pretty much everywhere else.” Simply print out the PDF template and carry the cards with you when you go out.
Men’s Health provides yet another great article, Lift Your Mood explains how your state of mind affects your workout, and how to best take advantage of your mood.
What you’re feeling can make you put less into your workout–or cause you to skip it altogether. But those same moods can be used to help your lifting session. How? Most strong emotions–anger, anxiety, frustration–cause your adrenal glands to release adrenaline and more than 30 other hormones into your system. “This hormonal surge causes your heart to beat faster, relaxes your bronchial tubes to improve breathing, converts fat and protein into extra blood sugar, and even slows down your digestion to improve muscular energy,” says Richard Marsella, Ph.D., author of Welcome to Stress Management. “Whether you feel like exercising or not, your body is already getting a temporary boost that could enhance your workouts.”
Paul James presents an intriguing, and quite usable idea to provide ubiquitous, decentralized avatars (graphic representations of a person, usually seen in Web forums, chat rooms and instant messaging programs) throughout the Web. Favatars, as he has dubbed them, are the favicons that so many people already use on their site (look in the address bar of your browser, and you should see an orange block, with a white ‘A’, that’s my favicon). The idea has a lot of potential, and as it is so easy to implement, I expect to see it added to various blogging packages and content management systems in the future. He has already provided the PHP he uses to create Favatars in the comments on his site.
I have implemented Favatars in the comments here on this site. So, if you have a favicon on your Web site, and want to test, just leave a comment to this post.
To implement this, cut and paste the code he provided within the first set of php tags at the top of your index.php, I would recommend you place it right after the require (blog header) line. Then, to place the icon next to a comment, place the following code in your wp_comments.php page, wherever you want it to appear (remove the line breaks, they are there for readability only):
$CommentIcon = getFavicon($comment->comment_author_url); echo '<img src="' . $CommentIcon . '" alt="' . $comment->comment_author_url . '" class="CommentIcon" height="16" width="16" />';
Just a quick post to keep track of all of the sites that are making use of SilverSpider Play List. Well, all of the sites I know of…
What is SilverSpider Play List?
SilverSpider Play List is a set of PHP scripts that helps you add a recent music list to your Web site. Each time you listen to a song, your media player will send song information to your Web site which will gather the info, and with the help of Amazon, compile it into a list of entries, each containing the name of the song, the artist and the album cover.
The markup provided by SSPL is very clean, and each of the six markup formats relies upon CSS and valid XHTML to control layout and style.
You can see it in action right here on this site.
Steve Smith adds to the many reasons that a developer should learn and apply standards-based design in his post A Natural Progression at
OrderedList.com. Pointing to recent articles about the business value of Web standards, he discusses his experiences working with businesses, who have begun to specify Web standards within their specifications, and takes it to the logical conclusion that the average Web developer needs to learn and use standards compliant code to remain a viable competitor in our crowded market.
As reported on mozilla.org, Thunderbird 1.0 has been officially released! This is great news!
I expect I will be installing it on several family machines over the upcoming month. Why? Because it has been a solid e-mail client throughout its beta period, and has gotten easier to use with every release. It also provides a wealth of great features, including:
- Adaptive spam filters – “Thunderbird’s junk mail controls learn and improve from emails that you receive to stop spam.”
- “Saved search folders and search bar – To help you find emails faster you can save common searches in virtual folders and find emails with the search bar.”
- Extensions (just like Firefox)
- Simple migration from other e-mail clients
- Message grouping (I haven’t used this much, but plan to soon)
- Cross-platform support – You can use it on a Mac, PC or *Nix without any problem
Andy Clarke has posted a great article entitled Accessibility: On a shoe-string. In it, he provides some great ways to the accessibility of a site when “testing is often beyond the client’s budget and the profitable scope of the job.” The article explains a few methods that they use for these types of projects at his design firm, Stuff and Nonsense, providing specific details as to how to replicate the steps in the browser as well as links to some great online tools. Make sure to read the comments as well, several of them include some additional tools and ideas that are good to keep in mind.
5 Great Background Masking Techniques in Photoshop – “In this article, we’ll explore five different methods to isolate objects in Photoshop. As you follow this tutorial, you’ll gain a how-to explanation for each technique. You’ll also get the stats on how long each method takes, and my opinions as to when each method is most appropriate.”