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User Journal

Journal Journal: Modernised Style Guide for EULAs and other online legalese

Full capitalisation of normal words, underlining, boldface and scare quotes must be limited to one phrase in any two consecutive paragraphs, or two words in any two, three in three, etc. up to a limit where the use of n so emphasised words in m paragraphs, n>m, requires n-m paragraphs either side to be free of such emphasis, and thus requires the document to contain at least n paragraphs, excluding headers.
Any statutory requirement for whole paragraph emphasis must be provided by a margin stripe.
A new version of a document must clearly indicate through appropriate colours where text has been added, changed or deleted, with the old version made visible by hovering over the change indicator.
A timeline slider must be provided to give access to diffs against earlier versions (which the user has accepted).
The user's acceptance on one device must be recognised as acceptance for all devices linked to that account.
The user must be asked to separately indicate acceptance of each significant change.
A button must be provided to allow a user to view or "print" the document in traditional style, i.e. with full capitalisation of parts to be glossed over.
A button must be provided to number the paragraphs with nesting and other supplementation to avoid cascading number changes between versions.
Default full word text is to be no smaller than 11 on 13 and all sub and superscripts no smaller than 8 point, with standard interface options to zoom in or out.
Installers must enforce compliance with these guidelines.

User Journal

Journal Journal: iPad Camera Connection Kit

Ever since last week's announcement, Apple's Tech Specs have made it very clear that a USB camera is going to be an option:

The Camera Connection Kit gives you two ways to import photos and videos from a digital camera. The Camera Connector lets you import your photos and videos to iPad using the camera's USB cable. Or you can use the SD Card Reader to import photos and videos directly from the camera's SD card.

which the rumour sites that think they are all over iPhone OS 3.2 support for video calling seem to have missed.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Waking Up 14

*blinks, looks around* Hmmmm....wha?

Four years. Wow.

I've just realized that I've spent nearly every free moment of the last four years of my life playing WoW. That's why I stopped posting here, and really haven't been heard of on any part of the net except within the game. What an unbelievable time sink. Even worse than Slashdot!

I quit a few weeks ago. I'll probably go back to playing at some point, but I'd really like to include other things in my life again. I even made a facebook profile.

I have no idea whether any of my old /. friends are still here or not, but I figured I'd post just to let anyone who is around know that I'm awake.

For what its worth, I'm still married, I have an 18 month old son named Rowan, and I'm living near Denver. My website is doing well, but I'm still working a day job to help pay the bills and get benefits. Life has been pretty quiet, which is very nice.

I'll probably post more later...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Silly thought about next Sunday

Posting here because I can't clear my head of a plainly silly idea.

This coming Sunday, January 25th, is the middle of a long weekend and the traditional peak of summer down under.

So why do I keep thinking about getting everybody with unrecoverable old Macs to take them and sledgehammers to some otherwise deserted parking lot, plus my new HD camera to remake an ad?

Yes it has been a quarter of a century, an anniversary everybody seems to be ignoring alongside the inauguration of hope and concern over Steve's health.


Journal Journal: 80 minutes of ads for a kids movie? 7

My wife and I were excited to see that Disney was bringing back 'family movie night' on ABC this Summer. For both of us that brings back memories of youth watching a movie with (our respective) families after Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, or 60 Minutes had ended.

However, apparently families with young kids are not the target audience Disney Corp. has in mind. For Saturday June 7th, they will have Finding Nemo, which runs just 100 minutes if you watch it uninterrupted. But if you don't own the DVD and want to watch it on ABC instead, you'd better give the kids a can of cola with dinner, because the movie will start at 8 PM Eastern Time and run until 11 PM. I can only assume that the additional 80 minutes will include some cast commentaries, as well as a preview of WALL-E, but what is the point if the kids fall asleep while Marlin and Dory are still stuck in the belly of a whale? You're just going to have to try and rent it or add it to your NetFlix queue so the kids can see the rest of it.

I had such great hopes for Disney when Steve Jobs became it's largest shareholder, I guess my trust was misplaced.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Don't ever call submit submit

This really should have been a headline item in HTML 101 but it is surprisingly difficult to find a quick explanation of the non-obvious diagnostics which eventually led me to a relatively simple problem.

When there is a namespace clash in JavaScript, properties outrank methods.

When you name a submit button, that name becomes a property of the containing form. Assuming the containing form tag says name='myformname', the very useful document.myformname.submit() method becomes unreachable.

And the obvious answer, changing the form name, becomes impossible to contemplate when your main client's business-defining intranet is built on middleware which calls every submit button submit so that progress through a process is represented by values of $in{'submit'}.

I've even relatively recently added code which logs $in{'submit'} along with other details of every process that is run so we can learn more about actual usage patterns.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Melbourne Slashdot 10th Anniversary Party 4

I have a long history of translating indicated attendance into actual numbers for functions, but basing it on acceptances from an untested source was always going to be risky.

So I don't know whether I should just celebrate that the eight who made it seemed like a pretty good sample or bemoan the 23 who didn't show out of the 31 who registered.

The obligatory photo evidence is on Flickr!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Touching a raw nerve

While I do think /. moderation includes the kernel of a good idea, specific examples are almost never worthy of meta conversation, at least not until I scored a 50% Insightful, 50% Flamebait which naturally adds up to +2 Flamebait.

Maybe that's what I should have expected for taking pot shots at all sides. Makes it hard not to hit some mod's comfort zone.


Journal Journal: Puzzling WebFilter at this car dealer 1

Puzzling webfilter here at the car dealer I'm getting my 30k service at.

Sites that are blocked for having "Web Communications":

Oddly not blocked:
most (all?) of the rest of
IRC (the server that ESCHATON "Web Communcations" actually occurs on) (obviously)

Hardware Hacking

Journal Journal: Fender Bender (not mine) 2

I witnessed a fender bender yesterday
I left my name and number for the two drivers - no one else stopped out of the 30 or so cars in the vicinity, including one within 4 feet of the accident
no one was injured, but I'm surprised the driver at aparent fault didn't have a heart attack - he was like 85
this couple were literally "Sunday drivers" aparently coming home from church
the guy said he hadn't had an accident in 20 years
he complained that drivers don't brake to let other drivers make turns anymore
they were hit making a left hand turn through a long line of stopped traffic when they crossed throught the right-turn only lane than wasn't stopped

Here's what I recall in case I need to refresh my memory later:

At about 12:25 PM Sunday December 10th, 2006 I was driving my family Eastbound on MD 410 approaching the onramp for the Baltimore Washington Parkway (satellite view). The traffic on 410 going straight was backed up because of a red light at the 410 overpass, but the right turn only lane was clear. I was in the right most of the straight lanes. From what I could tell the traffic in the straight lanes had left a gap for traffic entering/leaving Eastpine Dr. which was two car lengths in front of me. A red car approaching westbound on 410 saw this gap and made a left hand turn across the eastbound lanes. Just as it was crossing the Right Turn only lane, a black car drove past me and hit head on into the right rear door of the red car. The light at BWP/295 changed and the other cars in the area all proceeded on their way. The two cars directly involved both drove a short way onto Eastpine and parked, as did I.

After ensuring that both drivers and the passenger in the red car were not injured, I offered use of my cell phone which was declined, then I provided my name and phone number to the drivers and noted the time, location, and license plates of the cars involved.



Journal Journal: The wrong kind of swinging at the playground 2

We had an interesting experience today taking my kids, wife, and 72 year old mother to the new playground where my youngest daughter and I planted a tree last weekend. A man in the driver seat of a fairly new LARGE SUV, (the real working kind, not a family type one) was aparently receiving oral favors from a woman standing outside the truck, this was going on in clear view of the playground. Well, somewhat clear view, you couldn't see what the woman was doing with her face in the man's lap, only that her face was in his lap, and that he seemed very happy. My wife noticed first and pointed the situation out to me so we could try get the rest of the family to the playground and absorbed so they wouldn't notice.

I found a corner of the playground away from my mother and kids and called the local police tip line, but as the park which has recently been annexed by the city I live in, hasn't officially been become part of the city yet, they transferred me to the county police. After being on hold for at least 5 minutes, they finally took my report. About 10 minutes later the county cop cars started rolling in, no lights or sirens or anything, and at an appropriate casual parking lot speed, eventually totalling at least six cars. At this we walked past the scene toward the duck pond. I couldn't follow everything that happened from there, but I think they got off (no pun intended) with just a stern warning, as the aparent activity had ended at some point between me hanging up and the police arriving. By the time we went back to our car, the SUV was gone, and there were only two cop cars left,

Later my mother wondered outloud what all yhe cops were there for. So I'm pretty sure she never picked up on the original activity.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Will our collective arrogance never end?

So it is supposed to be news that elephants pass mirror test of self-awareness. What else could anybody not drowning in their own anthropophilic delusions expect? Clearly they ruled the old world, and their hairy cousins a fair chunk of the rest of the north, for quite a while before our kind made it out of Africa. We even forget that eyesight is not near as important to cetaceans and proboscideans as it is to primates, so we can only hope that science will eventually mature enough to look for truly unbiased signs of self-awareness that will help narrow down the few recent characteristics that have facilitated the human infestation.

Pulled up one car back at the lights at an exit from the Monash this morning, I was given a reminder this morning that there are still distinctions to be made between species as a mudlark repeatedly alighted on the door sill of one of the cars in front, then quickly dove towards the driver/passenger window of the car in the other lane, pulling up just enough to land on the other sill, clearly intent on repelling its reflected rivals, but still comical.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pure Nerd 7

            Pure Nerd

            82 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 43% Dork

            For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

      My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness You scored higher than 99% on geekosity You scored higher than 99% on dork points

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Journal Journal: Once Upon A Time 1

My now 5.25 yr old daughter used to think that Fairy Tales began with the words "On A 'Possum Time" which was a source of never-ending heart-melting cuteness to my wife and I.

Today my now 2.6 yr old daughter picked up a book and told me it was a "What About A Dime" story.

Please send over a box of paper towels to wipe up my melted heart from the floor.

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Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman