JimboFBX writes: ESPN.com is the latest website to adopt a fluid lay-out, and as with almost every other site that's done so in an effort to accommodate tablet devices, it has resulted in a significant downgrade in the user experience, especially for smartphone users. The comments page has been overwhelmingly negative.
A fluid lay-out is page that is user-agent agnostic and simply reorganizes the page based on the dimensions of the browser window. You can preview the mobile page by simply shrinking the browser window.
Is it me or is the combo of a fluid layout + ajax calls ruining web browsing? It takes 8 seconds to use CNN.com because the pop-in from AJAX calls results in a constant reorganization of the site. Yahoo.com requires that I refresh it TWICE in order to see the latest news, an issue that is made worse by Chrome on Android forcing you to stop the page before you can refresh it (menu button, stop, menu button, refresh, menu button, stop, menu button, refresh). theonion.com was horrendous when it first switched to the fluid layout; its still bad but at least the auto-playing video ads (with sound) at the bottom of the page are gone, and the back button seems to work properly now. There's nothing wrong with the idea of a fluid lay-out, but the execution of it always seems to be terrible.
JimboFBX writes: Meetup.com, a popular website for forming groups and arranging meetups (I first used it for airsoft), is once again down due to an ongoing DDoS attack that no doubt must be causing their engineers fits. It started on Thursday, February 27th and has been going on through the weekend despite meetup overhauling their infrastructure to counter it. For many users, this goes beyond just being an inconvenience as a lot of users rely on the site for communication and to find the address of a meetup.
JimboFBX writes: The Nenana Ice Classic is a contest held in Alaska where a tripod is placed on the Tanana River in the winter and for the past 97 years the winner(s) is whomever is closest at guessing the exact date and time it will fall over from the ice underneath it melting in the spring. This year a new record was set as it melted on May 20th at 2:41 pm, the latest ever. The Ice Classic has been a barometer for climate change as one can see it has on average melted earlier and earlier, especially in the past decade. To put things in perspective, the last time it fell on May 8th or later was in 2001. This is the first time in the past two decades it has lasted longer than that. In 1992 it melted on May 14th and that was a freakishly strong winter. Seven of the past ten years the ice melted May 2nd or earlier. Does this start to mark the turning point for climate change, or is it more proof of the extremes that are to come as the Earth continues to heat up?
JimboFBX writes: Interesting piece of baseball history happened on Friday. Jean Segura of the Milwaukee Brewers stole second, tried to steal third too early, but made it back to second before being tagged. The problem was that teammate Ryan Braun already made it to second on the steal attempt. After tags were applied to both baserunners, Segura started trotting to the dug out before realizing that he wasn't out, Braun was, and his only option was to make it back to first. He then of course proceeded to try to steal second base again. The software for keeping the box score? Doesn't (yet) support someone running backwards on the bases. Looks like that will have to change.
JimboFBX writes: Amazingly I'm seeing little info about this... But my calendar alarm on my iphone still doesn't work properly (4.2.1, the latest version for my 3G). If you set an alert for an event on your calendar it will occur an hour later than what you wanted. So for example, a "half hour early" alarm will give you a warning a half hour after the event started. Clearly another day-light savings bug, which makes you wonder how incompetent the QA department must be at apple to fudge this up time and time again.
JimboFBX writes: I've had my 2007 Camry for a while, but it wasn't until recently I took it in for the recalls and scheduled maintenance that I remembered "Oh yeah, I wondered if they ever released a firmware update for my sound system because the shuffle mechanism is defective". Making a long story short, the 2007 Camry and likely other Toyota vehicles have a poorly designed shuffle algorithm that barely could be called a shuffle at all. Its the sort of thing I'd expect a first semester Computer Science student to turn in and hope the instructor doesn't play with long enough to find how poorly designed it was. Basically, if you insert a CD, it creates 8 playlists from the CD, and never veers from it. When you turn on the car, it always goes to the beginning of the next playlist after the current song finishes. I tried newer model years and saw deja vu, although the issue isn't as pronounced if it still exists on newer vehicles. Please see the youtube video for a demonstration and for a longer description of how it works. Sound is completely unnecessary, just watch the song number.
After some phone calls, seeing a dealership, and frustration, I'm throwing in the towel for getting this fixed and decided just to embarrass Toyota instead by putting up a video. Enjoy. Maybe they'll fix it now if it gets enough attention.
JimboFBX writes: One of the things that constantly comes back to frustrate me is my girlfriend's experience with the Washington State Achiever's Scholership, also known as the "Gate's Grant" (as in Bill and Melinda Gates). You'll have to excuse any inaccuracies in my story as I am only going off of the (limited) information I have available to me.
The Gate's Grant is an all expenses paid full ride into a Washington (the state) university designed for poor high school students in select areas. The qualifications for the grant supposedly go to individuals whom have high academic performance. However, my girlfriend's school does not offer AP no honors classes and instead took college classes at the local university using Washington's Running Start program. It is ours and her high school counselor's belief that in pure ridiculousness this disqualified her for receiving the grant. Besides grades, the only other factor that grant officials use to choose applicants is an in-person group interview. Here is an e-mail I sent a while back to the organization, and never received a reply:
Hi, I have been dating someone who applied for the Gate's grant in 2004. She grew up in a small, poor, rural town. That individual at the time had a 3.8+ GPA and was attending Running Start. She was denied the Gate's grant. Her advisor, who was so certain she would get it, did not have her apply for any other scholarships (in order to give it to others), and by the time she found out that she was denied the grant, it was too late to get those others. This individual, on top of exceeding many of her classmates in school, also was in basketball. Her family contributed nothing to her education — her mother and stepfather (not married) were both in college, and their only income was student loans for themselves. Her Father was in nursing school, and was divorced. The individual was living with her mother. This year, this individual's sister received the Gate's grant, with a 3.2 GPA in the same high school. She participated in vollyball and softball. She was not in Running Start.
To put things in perspective, that same year, a friend of this individual who received the grant in the same class had barely above a 2.0. Another friend, an illegal immigrant, also received the Gate's grant, and had a 3.2 GPA. However, she can not use it due to her status. Another individual received it, and had a 2.8 GPA. Another individual also in Running Start did not receive the grant, and was one of the top students in the class. Another individual did not receive the grant, and had about ~3.5 GPA. That individual was also in several sports and extra-curricular activities. Because she did not get the Gate's grant, she could not attend upper education.
Many of the individuals who received the grant either failed out of college their first year or did not even try.
Since starting college, my girlfriend's family's contributions to her education has been in the negatives, since she has had to pay money to them. In her first year of college, she was unable to afford her living conditions and all of her books, and did not receive sufficient loan money at WSU because $1000 of it was a "Parent Plus" loan, which her parents could not qualify for because of their credit. Without her books, she had to share with others, and the financial stress ended up with her doing very poorly her first semester. On top of her financial issues, she was forced to live in dorms, although we were able to waive that for the second semester so that she could share an apartment with another and save money. Because of her poor grades the first semester, she was denied the only scholarship she received, $500. I finally stepped in and helped her financially and have since contributed thousands for basic things like food, school books, and living conditions.
Simply put, if it wasn't for me, she would not have been able to afford attending college. She currently has since done well in school and will be attending Nursing school in ######. She had also applied to others, but was denied on at least one occassion due to the barely passing grade she received in chemistry that first semester at WSU. If she did not make it this semester, those Running Start classes she took would expire as being "too old" in many schools, and she'd have to retake several of them. She still has to pay back her student loans, of course.
When her father died in late December, her brother and sister both qualified to receive $600/month. She didn't get anything.
The only reason we can find that my girlfriend was denied the scholarship was because she took Running Start. In my opinion, the method the foundation uses to distribute awards has been very poor.
I would like an explanation as to why she was denied. I find it very hard to believe she did so poor at the in-person "conference" that she deserved to be denied the grant.
At the end of the e-mail I give my name and my girlfriend's name.
To say we've lost sleep over this is just the tip of the iceberg. To elaborate since the letter, her father died December of a year ago, not last December. Only two people are in higher education on that list of unnamed award winners. The first is the illegal immigrant who has been paying for school out of her own pocket and would be a great individual in the professional field she wants to enter. It is a shame she has to fear being deported despite being in this country since age 6 and has attended school that entire time. The other is my girlfriend's sister, who as of recently wanted to go into the subject of "science" because "she's good at it" or maybe join the Piece Corps. She has no idea what she wants to be in other words.
To elaborate on my girlfriend's sister, she has received thousands of dollars in free money and lives with her mom. She has spent that money on a new computer, a 32 inch HD TV, and a lot of clothes. She also used it to help pay off an ~800 dollar cell phone bill she racked up via instant messaging when the plan didn't support it. When she took antibiotics recently, she didn't know that your supposed to take the whole bottle and not stop when you feel better. Apparently, the local high school never taught her that. She also has avoided getting a job like the plague.
Since leaving WSU and attending another university and now a community college, my girlfriend has fortunately received almost enough money to support herself through loans she will have to pay back. I say almost because it does not cover car repair that I've had to put thousands towards. Apparently, WSU likes to underpay people in financial aid. When my girlfriend said to the financial aid office at WSU, "this isn't enough to live on", their only response was "I'm sorry but I wish you the best of luck". She couldn't get a job. She applied at the limited positions available, she never got hired, and nobody was hiring for work study.
So now with the ask slashdot part.... HEEELP!! Seriously, this has to stop, if you're going to give out free money and extravagant scholarships at least give it to deserving individuals. What about our illegal immigrant friend? She has been in this country since age 6 and is 21. Isn't there anything for her? She's afraid that if she graduates she won't be able to get a job for fear of the repercussions if they do an extensive check on her SSID (which belongs to a dead individual). Is this all just a huge flaw in the system that someone important needs to be told about so it gets fixed? Who to tell?
JimboFBX writes: The spore creature creator has been released. Its a limited demo, but it lets you make a full creature and test drive it a little. It gives some insight on what you'll be able to do with your creatures. Personally, the novelty already wore off within 10 minutes. From what I can tell, the full creature creator is a seperate purchase from the actual game. Gotta love EA.
JimboFBX writes: Democratic senator, presidential candidate, and former first lady Hillary Clinton recently gave information about her health care plan. Essentially, everyone would be required to have health insurance, and health care providers would be required to give more affordable insurance. Taxes would be raised on individuals earning $250,000 or more to help pay for the plan. Insurance companies would be banned from turning down individuals with pre-existing conditions, and most businesses would be required to provide health care. Sound familiar? Massachusetts is already doing something rather similar. The question is, would this kind of system work?