January 2011 Archives

Egypt Has No Internet!

Egypt has no internet. I didnt know a government could take down the internet like that. Poof! I mean, the cables cross many national boundaries. The Internet was designed to withstand a nuclear attack. Do countries have a kill-switch?

Egypt Internet Goes Poof!Here's a link to a site called internetegypt.com. It's down. 404. Nada.

Dont throw out your old shortwave radio just yet. Seems low-tech still rules.

Can all nations do that? Specifically, my nation?

The internet as a "tool of dissent & populist organization." Interesting concept to ponder.

Clearly they dont like Mubarek. Did he not have a pale vampire glow tonight? Dude, hire a new make-up artist.

Egyptian protestor with broken arm & headPhotos of Egypt in Revolution

Collection of exquisite photographs titled » Days of Rage.

Uh, I had linked to some of the photos I liked, but for some reasons the photos at those links keep changing.

Maybe cuz they keep adding photos to the beginning, which changes the numbering of the later ones. Im over it.

Instability in a region that is already volatile .. not good. Egypt shares a border with Israel. Note that the word armageddon comes from the Hebrew term » har megiddo, meaning "Mountain of Megiddo" ..

.. which is a hill upon which ancient forts were built to guard the main highway between Egypt & Mesopotamia (i.e. modern-day Iraq, plus parts of Syria, Turkey & Iran). Lovely. Probably just a coincidence.

Is that the odor of revolution I smell? Seems to be spreading throughout the entire Middle East (.. thanks to Gene Sharp & his little booklet). Time to dust off those old Beatles albums. Somebody find Dylan.

Three Minutes of Sunshine (.. with Julie Allen)

There I was, sitting on a couch, minding my own business, when up walks this girl. She stuck out her hand, and with an easy smile said, "Hi! I'm Julie."

Julie AllenNow, girls dont usually walk up & introduce themselves to me like that (.. uh, not unless they're serving me a restraining order, or happen to be a detective who has called me in for questioning).

We were the only two in the room (.. where I was waiting for friends to finish their socializing). At least it seemed that way.

I found her easy to talk to. Classic all-American girl-next-door.

Not too good-looking to make you nervous, but cute enough to make you proud to take her on a date.

Picture of health. Vibrant. Wholesome. Fun. Hints of tomboy. Easy to like. Very.

I took particular note of the confident strides she took while approaching. Long, alacritous steps .. specially for such a little thing. (Only 5-3.)

Didnt know at the time that she had been a national-caliber runner. Nor that she had graduated from Stanford, with a full-boat scholarship (.. which tells me she's not only fast, but smart). In high school, she was second in the state (California).

[ She went to Corona del Mar high school. C-d-M is where I met Kobe. That's where Kobe lives. And also my 89-year-old walk-in-the-park friend. It's a ritzy little hamlet wedged between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach (.. where I used to live). ]

We chatted for only a few minutes .. before others came up and wanted to talk to her. But she definitely gave me the impression of being a 'together' person. As we went our separate ways, I called out, "Thanks for introducing yourself". And I meant it.

That was the first & last time I saw her.

Julie Allen crash» The Accident

Julie is .. gone. ('Dead' sounds so horribly harsh.)

She was involved a horrible 10-car accident .. down on Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH) .. two weekends ago (9 days ago) .. a truly horrific crash that everybody here is talking about.

Three people died. More went to the hospital. Traffic was blocked off for 10 hours. (PCH is a heavily-traveled road.) Julie's car was the cause.

Hard to believe. Cuz it was barely a month or two ago when she walked up and stuck out her hand with such enthusiastic vigor. Seems like just yesterday.

Police claim Julie's car (a Taurus) was doing 90 or 100 MPH .. fast enough to send it airborne. It is not easy to get ANY car up to 100-mph driving down PCH (40-mph zone) .. even if you were trying.

It's a busy road (2 lanes each way), especially on the weekend. Sometimes traffic slows to a crawl, particularly during the summer months .. when locals take to navigating the side-streets.

I honestly cannot imagine a car -- any car, not even a Ferrari -- doing 90- or 100-mph down that particular stretch of PCH. My first thought was that the accelerator must've stuck. Cuz nothing else made sense.

First HTML5 Web Page

Created my first HTML5 page today. See here » HTML5. Nothing fancy, but it does validate, and it's something I can use to test new features. For the last few years, I've been using » XHTML 1.0 Strict. HTML5 is TNBT (the next big thing) for the web.

HTML5 logoIE9 is currently in beta, but once it's officially released, HTML5 will take off in a big way (.. because the Microsoft browser has so much market share).

Along with CSS3, HTML5 will make working with web pages and creating web applications much easier.

If you haven't seen Apple's HTML5 site yet, check it out. Very cool. You'll need to install the Safari browser, tho.

Exciting stuff. HTML5 + CSS3 will be like » Web 1.0 .. the way the web should have started.

One big difference between HTML5 and other W3C specifications .. is that HTML5 is very OPEN. Anybody can join the WHATWG mailing list.

Anybody can submit suggestions & recommendations. And many have. Yet browser manufacturers have veto power, since a spec that's not implemented is pointless. This frustrates developers.

Anybody who creates web pages for a living will find this notice a big deal, titled » W3C Confirms May 2011 for HTML5 Last Call, Targets 2014 for HTML5 Standard. A great interview with the HTML5 HMFIC (editor, named Ian Hickson) is posted » here.

Check out some of these heavyweights on the WHATWG team:

  • Brendan Eich - the guy who invented Javascript
  • Hakon Wium Lie - the guy who invented CSS
  • David Hyatt - the architect of the Safari web browser & the Webkit engine that powers it.

So you shouldnt be surprised that HTML 5 will have Javascript playing a bigger part in the web of the future. HTML 5 will make Javascript's role more native, less like a plug-in.

Here's hoping that HTML5 will help Javacript run more efficiently, and keep it from making our CPUs run at 100% power when loading pages from sites that make heavy use of it.

If there's a loser with HTML 5, it will Flash video. The jury is still out, but it looks like Flash will be losing market share to HTML5 video.

HTML 5 is really about » backward-compatibility. XHTML 2.0 was a revolutionary design that broke backward compatibility. This is the main thing that folks didnt like about XHTML 2.0, and the major reason why HTML 5 ultimately triumphed. XHTML 2.0 would've "broke the web" .. or so the claim goes.

Our Long Slow Slide .. into the Drink

When I was a kid (growing up in Connecticut), our school took us on a class trip .. to Indian Well state park. Nice place. Lots of woods & water. Once there they cut us loose and simply gave us a time to return at the end of the day. Cool.

Indian Well state parkI went exploring with some friends. Wasn't long before we heard the sound of rushing water and found a stream.

[ It was actually bigger than a stream, but too small to call a 'river'. Maybe 10-feet across, half that deep. ]

Naturally, I wanted to head upstream .. to find where this sucker originated. Heck, maybe we'd even find a waterfall.

At one point, the only way to continue was to leave the river and head up the steep hillside that bordered the creek. There we could go around the impassable obstacle and rejoin the river later.

So I'm making my way thru the woods .. with the river down below some 50-feet, the sound of rushing water music to my young ears. Loving every minute of this adventure.

I'm walking on a steep slant.The ground is covered with a mixture of leaves and pine needles. When all of a sudden I started to slide. Not very fast, but inching toward the river .. which kept getting louder as I kept sliding closer.

My slide was torturously slow, but I couldn't stop. Desperately I sought something to grab hold of, but the branches were all out of reach.

The outcome was obvious. I was going swimming. =)

Sure 'nuf .. after a surrealistically long slide, I started gaining speed and ended up in the drink. Ker-plash! Wearing long pants and sneakers. The last 6-feet were off a ledge. So it was kinda cool going airborne .. like launching off a diving board.

I was able to keep my balance enough to stay on my feet. So I only got wet up to my waist.

On the National Skids

That sliding feeling. That helpless feeling of slipping slowly toward the inevitable .. that's the feeling I got when I read about this guy (Jared Lee Loughner, aka the 'Arizona Assassin') who shot a congresswoman in the head (Gabrielle Giffords) .. at point-blank range.

Then he started shooting everybody in sight. Even little kids. A 9-year-old girl died. Obviously a nutcase, but it's not like he's the only whacko out there.

Feels like our society is on the skids. Sliding toward the inevitable. Not very quickly, but definitely moving in the downward direction .. toward the drink of history.

Good Time to Learn Web Design (CSS)

This is a good time to learn web design. By which I mean » CSS. Cascading style sheets. It is possible to style & customize the appearance of a web page without CSS, but that method comes with severe limitations.

Without CSS, any changes to your design require you to edit each page individually. Might as well just shoot yourself.

CSS templates can represent a good starting point. But without knowing CSS, you're limited to what another designer has dreamed up. No customizing for you. No personalizing your pages.

[ And yes, everybody should have a website of their own, a place they call home, however humble it might be. We all start with a single ugly page. Everybody has an area of expertise to share with the world. ]

Internet Explorer 9.0What makes now a good time to learn web design? Browser support is finally being standardized. By which I mean » Internet Explorer.

Yes, even Microsoft is finally getting into the web standards game .. especially with their upcoming IE9. (Firefox is my favorite in this area, tho I use others, too.)

IE6 & Cross-Browser Compatibility Issues

Volumes have been written on the headaches early web designers suffered at the hands of cross-browser compatibility issues, primarily due to IE6. They had to jump thru one flaming hoop after another in order to get their sophisticated designs to work in all the popular browsers.

IE6's usage remained high long after newer versions had been released (IE7 in 2006 and IE8 in 2009) .. due primarily to the reluctance of corporate IT admins to upgrade.

They liked that IE6 didnt let their corporate users do very many things online (.. that might open up or represent a security hole). But designers couldnt deliver a product without IE6 support, cuz it was used so heavily for so long.

Another contributing factor » reports of Vista being buggy when released. Took Microsoft a long time to dial it in and squelch these reports. Vista also came with eye-popping hardware reqirement$. So folks (like me) just stuck with Windows XP. Many of these hold-outs (unlike me) never upgraded their browser.

I wont delve into all the gory details, but will simply say that IE6 is finally at the point where it has (or will shortly) become a non-issue. Its use lingered many years longer than I ever woulda imagined or thought possible. IE6 was released way back in 2001 with Windows XP.

The Season of Resolution

Another lap around the sun. We made it. Aren't we supposed to be seeing a giant checkered flag in the sky about now? That was a trip. Ready for another? The 2011 coaster will be departing shortly. All aboard. Buckle up. Keep your hands inside the car at all times.

Winter solsticeNoticed lots of folks out running yesterday. Heck, one girl even walked into the coffee shop dripping with sweat. (Yeah, I was impressed.) Resolutions.

Never done the resolution thing, myself. But something I've been pondering this holiday-week (.. regarding fatherhood) is this »

» I want the Bug to feel he can be himself around me, open & honest. And I want to know him for who really is .. and not for who I want him to be. Feel me?

I wasn't trying to think of this. It just kinda 'came to me'. Like somebody whispering in my ear. I mean, when kids are young, they are notoriously (& hilariously) honest. Awe-inspiring transparency. Nature's finest moment. But then they grow up.

I dont know if it's easy, but I certainly feel it's important .. to maintain that openness. Cuz once lost .. I think it might be tough to recover.

Trust sits at the heart of this openness. And what is more important than trust? Can you love someone you dont trust? Would that be real love?

I mean, what kind of relationship can you have without trust? And what could be more important to a dad than the relationship he has with his son?

So that's where my head has been wandering to this holiday season, this holy season when nights grow long & cold, and the warmth of summer seems distant. Not hard to see why this time of year would become the season of resolution.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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