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A blog devoted to all things geeky, including PHP, Web Development, Photography, Design, Gadgets and Gizmos.

September 24 2008

Google seeking more innovation

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Google is fostering innovation again, not by simply ecouraging their workers to spend a day per week thinking of new projects in a wide variety of niches, but also encouraging the public to innovate.  Project 10 to the 100th is a competition aimed at taking some great ideas from people around the world and realising those ideas.

The categories Google is accepting ideas in:

  • Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures? Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
  • Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
  • Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem? Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?
  • Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
  • Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?
  • Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.

Check out out

September 17 2008

Google buying Valve!!

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Rumours abound that Google might be buying game maker and distributor Valve in the next few days.  Various media sources have indicated that it is a pretty substantial rumour and should go ahead shortly.

Why would an Internet giant like Google buy a gaming company you ask?  Well it has something to do with the fact that Valve also operates ‘Steam’, one of the best online game distribution networks around (..well probably the best).  I use steam everyday to play online games including Team Fortress, Call of Duty 4 and ET: Quake Wars.

With Google’s power behind the great idea/implementation that is Steam we could see buying/playing games online becoming even more popular and widespread over the coming years.

September 14 2008

Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates Ad Part 2

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Ok this advertising campaign is getting weirder still.  Again I got a few chuckles over the absurdity of the situation Gates/Seinfeld are in, however I’m not sure it will do anything for Microsoft’s products or image.  MS need to release a new feature rich and fast operating system with medium hardware requirements (not the buggy intrusive mess that is Vista).  OS X and linux distros are continually ripping away market share and this ad campaign doesn’t assure me MS will hit back with good products.

September 14 2008

Doubt trailer looks awesome!

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Doubt is a film starring Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  The trailer looks incredible, great to see these 2 high quality actors together!

September 11 2008

Widget Crazy!

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I’ve added more widgets to the blog…

Feedjit Map widget, which shows the general area where visitors are from, and a blog catalog recent visitors widget (similar to the yahoo mybloglog one I added a while back).  Hopefully I won’t add too many more or the page will become a behemoth!

September 11 2008

US Elections

Looks like McCain has been up to a few dirty tricks in his advertisments.  Maybe he has Karl Rove on board his advertising campaign?

September 04 2008

Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft Ad released!

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I got a couple of chuckles out of it, but stamping a celebrity on your product doesn’t make your product (Vista) suddenly catch up to OS X or the good Linux distros.   Anyway here it is…

September 04 2008

Web Accessibility Toolbar

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This is a fantastic Web Accessibility toolbar for Internet Explorer, which I stumbled upon recently.  It combines a lot of functions which people normally use the web developer toolbar (Firefox) for, as well as some specialised accessibility features.

Some of what it does:

  • Validation shortcuts (W3C HTML Validator, W3C CSS Validator, W3C HTML Tidy, W3C Link Checker, WDG Html Validator etc)
  • Screen Resize features (change resolution)
  • Basic CSS functions to let you check applied styles quickly
  • Image alt tag checker and image functions
  • Page structure tools (DOM analyser etc)
  • Tools.  Here it gets interesting, AccMonitor accessibility, The Wave accessibility tool, Webxact / Bobby and more.  Also, disability simulators including Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration.

That gives you a pretty good indication of exactly how accessible your site is.  You can download the toolbar via http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/info.aspx?page=614

September 04 2008

Share code with pastie!

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I’m often discussing Javascript/PHP/HTML in a chat window and usually paste chunks of code I want to show the other people into chat.  Problem is, quite often the recipient gets smileys all through code or it does’t render properly on their chat client or the snippet gets lost along the way.

http://www.pastie.org/ looks like a pretty sweet way to share those snippets while maintaining code highlighting, formatting and also for keeping it referenced for later usage.  It’s a free service (donations accepted) so pretty handy for quickly showing off your latest ubersauce function.!

September 02 2008

Google Chrome - The real IE killer?

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Google Chrome LogoI recently installed both IE 8 beta and Google Chrome (Google’s first entry into the web browser market).  Installing IE 8 was a painful 6-7 minute process (IE 8 beta  nuked my Internet explorer 7 install).  In contrast, Google chrome installed in about 1.5 minutes and was a pretty simple process.

The main focus of Google Chrome is to provide a standardized browser interface for accessing web applications.  Gmail, Google docs and the numerous other online web apps are incredibly complex in terms of Javascript and Dom structure because they seek to accommodate the numerous browsers with all of their particular failings (yes I am looking at you Internet Explorer).  Google Chrome seeks to provide a stable platform for presenting web apps.

Google chrome has a really nice touch on the interface - the tabs are above the navigation bar.  It seems like a small change but it makes sense when using the browser.  Aesthetically Chrome is simple and clean.  When browsing it is incredibly fast and since it’s using the tested webkit  as the rendering engine (as used by Safari) we can trust that it will be a LOT closer to correctly rendering XHTML/CSS than Internet Explorer.

Chrome also has a ‘magic bar’ for the url box, which functions in the same way as the Firefox 3/IE 8 url box.  Start typing in a url and it checks your history and favourites for any matches.  Great feature.

Chrome also has a privacy mode (aka porn mode) called incognito.  Safari and IE 8 also have this feature, something FF 3 missed  out on.  When using Incognito, “Pages you view in this window won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and they won’t leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window.”

Chrome also includes it’s own task manager, each tab runs on it’s own thread so theoretically if one application freaks out, the task manager can end the offending process and you can continue browsing in other tabs.  Chrome includes the ability to bookmark applications to desktop/quick launch bar which is handy.

The Javascript engine in Chrome is something special too.  The rebuilt the Javascript engine from the ground up and called it V8.  The engine runs independently of the browser, the end result being incredibly fast javascript speeds.

Did I mention Chrome has all of these features but is still FAST AS HELL.  While I will continue to use FF 3 for web development and SEO work (the plugins are fantastic), I think Chrome might be a new favourite for general web browing and when using web applications.  But I’ll be waiting for the Mac version thanks.

More Info:

Chrome Javascript Speed Tests
Thorough look at Chrome capabilities