Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Flying and Invisibility

Having flown in and out of Hong Kong many times in the past, I just loved this little entry in the Humour Cafe. I recall the first time I flew into Kaitak and saw people seemingly only a few metres away working at desks in buildings! Some fantastic photos there and the new airport and landing is nothing by comparison. Just the view of Hong Kong Island as you landed was super spectacular.

Couple of other articles recently about invisibility. This one appeared in the New York Times and there is another article from Discover about "How to Build an Invisibility Cloak" - hmmm, what's next? The human Teleport ? Been waiting for that ever since I latched onto the BBC series Blake's 7 many moons ago. Gotta save a load of jetlag!

Stay well!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

No Vegemite for You!

The US has banned good old Vegemite ??? I don't like the stuff personally but it's a bit of an Aussie institution - Ok, you lot can keep your McDonalds and KFC within your own borders!

Vegemite is banned because it contains folate which is Ok to put on your cereal but, no no no, not on your toast, brother.

They have to be kidding...everyone knows this stuff is great for fixing holes in asphalt!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Software - Eudora Zoho Google Virtual PC

Seems like a whole raft of neat software announcements have been made lately - the first was the announcement of Google Docs & Spreadsheets which is a combo job of the Google Spreadsheet and (the ex) Writely. I still find the Google Spreadsheet a bit rudimentary but it has got better over time - if only they'd support a nice red colour for negative values I could almost use it.

Next was Zoho which I mentioned back in June. Looks like Zoho Single Sign On is On - take a look-see, you won't be disappointed with the range of options and things to fiddle with!

Next I read about the news from Qualcomm about Eudora - I'm a huge Eudora fan, have used it since day dot and now it appears it's going Open Source and Free of Charge sometime in 2007. Here's the FAQ.

Lastly, one of software technologies I'm interested in from a big computing point of view, but haven't really embraced personally as yet, is Virtualisation. Microsoft have just announced the Virtual PC 2007 Beta Program which I might take a peek at sometime - it also comes with Vista support now as both host and guest.

Happy Downloading!

Monday, October 02, 2006

HTML Validation and Flash EMBED tag

EMBED, Google video and html validation......a trail littered with one-way streets and dead-ends...

I decided to give Google Video a go on my site. All pretty easy - just view a video in Google Video and click on the "embed html" button and there's your code. Just insert that into your webpage and you're all done....or so I thought!

First problem - I ran the W3C HTML validator and, of course, it bombed out on the EMBED statement. Ok, off to Google and run a search on embed and html validation - up pops a couple of likely looking sites - the first by J.J.SOLARI details a way to include the EMBED into the HTML 4.01 Transitional DTD - must have been having a bad hair day, but I couldn't get the damn thing to work for me - gave up, rationalised my decision by saying I didn't want to butcher the standard anyway.

Ok, back to Google again....

This time I find a forum which basically says "don't use EMBED, use OBJECT instead and your page will validate nicely". Yup, I did, and yup, it did. But...now Firefox downloads the goddam video whether the user wants to run it or not - and I couldn't find any way to stop that happening. So, I don't want to annoy the 11% of my visitors who use Firefox by artificially loading (unwanted) videos and bumping up their transfer rates...so back to the drawing board yet again.

I gave up trying to Validate via W3C - I use CSE HTML Validator across my site before running the W3C validator anyway, so any page with video on it will be validated with that. A small concession to "purity" but I can sleep at night knowing my pages are valid but I'm also not ticking people off! I also had to include the following metatag to keep the validator happy with the generated EMBED code:

meta content="text/css" equiv="Content-Style-Type"

Oh well, what's a few more lost hours lost spent gnashing and cursing at the keyboard!

Happy EMBEDding!