Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Warmer than Washington

We're spending this week in sunny, warm Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. at a beach hotel near the cruise ship port. We saw the Dawn Princess depart around sunset this evening. It's monstrous. It can hold 1,950 guests and it's 856 ft. long -- a search at The Skyscraper Page shows only 65 buildings in the world that are taller than 856 ft.

Friday, November 19, 2004

computing power in 1990 = (ungodly amount / 1000)

"By 2007 or 2010, we are going to have an ungodly amount of logic on a chip," Agarwal said. That's roughly 1,000 times the computing power a chip had in 1990.
From a Washington Post article demonstrating the precise arithmetic used by the Post's technology reporters.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Adding a "www" option to Diggler

Someday I intend to create a list of tools I find essential to help me be more productive in a windows or linux environment. Until that day, I'll start small. Last summer, I wrote about Mozilla Firefox and its extensions. One extension I particularly like is Diggler. "It adds a menu button next to the address bar with actions relevant to the current URL, for example to step out to the parent directory..." and more. This means that if you're visiting:
the diggler menu will have options for:
Clicking on these will take your browser immediately to the new location.1 Another way to get a sense of what this extension does it by looking at a screenshot.

Now, what if you're looking at http://dir.yahoo.com or http://us.f604.mail.yahoo.com/ym/login?.rand=38fssok and you want to go to http://www.yahoo.com? Diggler's menu doesn't offer this as an option. But, diggler is customizable in a way that geeks will appreciate. The rest of you can tune out now. Using regular expressions, you can do pattern substitution to add this usage.2

Adding a "www" option to Diggler
Open the options for Diggler, add a new user defined tool. For the regular expression, enter:
for the action, enter
1I use Yahoo as an example because its directory's URLs are nicely hierarchical -- Yahoo also happens to provide clear links to go to each of these higher levels. Not every site is so friendly.
2This won't work as expected with domains that have three significant chunks, e.g. with news.bbc.co.uk, you won't get www.bbc.co.uk, you'll get www.co.uk. Adding an additional tool to handle such URLs is left as an exercise for the reader

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Scary election scenario

Did you know that in Bush v. Gore the Supreme Court wrote: "the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote" in presidential elections? (Supreme Disenfranchisement)

And they're right. The U.S. Constitution does not say that individuals have the right to any say in the Presidential election. The scary scenario painted here is that the vote in some swing states gets so muddled that the state legislatures step in and just say "it's too complicated to sort out, just let us decide." -- and they have the right to do so.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Bulbous Bouffant

Earlier today, I heard "Bulbous Bouffant" on Flashback Alternatives (streaming 80s new wave and occasional comedy. I found a version online, but somebody put some weak animation in front of it. Follow the link, click on the big button labeled "Watch This Movie!!!" then ignore the graphics and enjoy the comedy of The Vestibules.