Radio Commercials for Web Browsers

Posted by Mike Brittain on October 24, 2006
WWW / 1 Comment

While in the shower this morning, I heard a radio commercial for the release of Internet Explorer 7. Microsoft’s marketing blitz is in the works. Keep in mind that this is a marketing campaign for what is ostensibly a free product. I guess it is important to them, having lost about 10% of the browser market to an open source product.

The IE development team apparently also sent a cake to the Firefox team to congratulate them on the shipment of Firefox 2.0 today.

Gone Fishing… for Kites!

Posted by Mike Brittain on June 06, 2006
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This guy was riding around on his bicycle on the west side on Memorial Day. He was carrying a fishing rod through the park. Even better, he was fishing for kites! See the video.

A JavaScript History Tool

Posted by Mike Brittain on June 06, 2006
Personal, WWW / Comments Off on A JavaScript History Tool

My second article at IBM’s DeveloperWorks web site was published today. This article covers the building of a history class in JavaScript that mimics the forward, back, and reload buttons in your web browser. The specific application is for adding a history cache, or stack, to an AJAX application.

It only takes a second…

Posted by Mike Brittain on May 22, 2006
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This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen on YouTube, yet. I think the best part of It Only Takes a Second is the guy falling from the lift (around the 3:00 mark) — not only does he fall 15-20 feet, but he lands on what looks to be a plate of knives!

Shake Shack WebCam

Posted by Mike Brittain on April 13, 2006
Mobile, WWW / 3 Comments

That’s what we all need, a webcam at the Shake Shack. But since there isn’t one, I give you Shack Watchers (shackwatchers.com) [ed. This site died in 2011].

Take photos from your cell phone when you’re walking by Madison Square Park, and post them to Flickr using the tag “shakeshackline”.

Oh, and have a burger for me while you’re there.

IE7 Beta 2 Released: Zzzzzz…..

Posted by Mike Brittain on January 31, 2006
WWW / 3 Comments

There’s no denying that I’m a staunch supporter of the Mozilla Firefox browser. In fact, you may have seen my name in the New York Times. But I’ll say it anyway: I’m not at all excited about the upcoming release of IE7.

Sure, I’m going to install it as soon as possible, check out the new interface, and see what’s different. But from everything I’ve read, there’s nothing new about this browser. Everything sounds like a repeat of something I’ve had in my browser for nearly a year now…

  • Tabbed browsing: Zzzzzz…..
  • Search tool bar: Zzzzz…..
  • Simplified user interface: Zzzzz…..
  • Web developer toolbar with DOM inspection: Zzzzz…..
  • More security for Active X: Huh? Well it’s about time that Microsoft did something about that. We’ve only known for a few years that this is a problem.
  • RSS feeds: Zzzz…. hhckk hhckk? Wait, maybe something interesting there.

Again, I have not checked out the new beta yet, but if RSS feeds are identified in IE7 in such a way that they are actually easy to subscribe to, then maybe IE has made some decent progress. The only native subscription to RSS feeds that I know of in Firefox are “live bookmarks”, which are incredibly inadequate. RSS is probably the most poorly implemented feature in Firefox. I have faith that this will improve.

The fact is, however, that these new features in IE7 are all goals that the creators of Firefox set out to accomplish in version 1.0. They did such a good job that they caused Microsoft to change direction midstream. IE7 was originally only going to ship with Vista, until the new OS became so delayed that there was no choice but to face the fact that Firefox was gaining precious ground in the marketplace.

Whatever. Maybe my biggest problem is that I’m going to have to listen to people in my office (who don’t know any better) go on and on in the coming months when IE7 is finally released about how great it is, when they’ve never even experienced these same features in Firefox. Inertia is a tragedy.

One parting thought, however. I was looking over the developer checklist for testing sites with the new browser. I found it funny that “Get the developer toolbar” came after the bullet point that discussed what to use the toolbar for. I would have thought it more appropriate for those to be reversed.

inArray Method is Listed Among Top 10 Most Useful JavaScript Functions

Posted by Mike Brittain on January 02, 2006
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I certainly won’t claim to be the only one who has ever written one of these Array prototype methods, but Dustin Diaz has listed my inArray JavaScript method among his Top 10 most useful functions of all time. Thanks for the mention!

This method as originally listed with some other pieces of code that were posted to EmbiMEDIA Labs.

Nothing to Tell About Spambot Research

Posted by Mike Brittain on December 29, 2005
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Over two years ago, I posted a series of test pages to research various methods of encoding, or obscuring, email addresses in order to hide them from spambots. Each email address that is presented on those pages is unique to the visitor that reaches the page. In other words, I am able to track which visitors, IP addresses, and user-agents were involved in scraping a test address from my site.

Over that time, a number of people have asked me about results of these tests. Unfortunately, there is still nothing to report. I haven’t received any spam at these addresses. One of the addresses in the test was constructed as a control and was not encoded in any special manner. I had expected to receive lots of spam over that time period. Instead, it did not receive any of the typical mortgage refinance, cheap toner cartridge, hot stock deal, or penis enlargement offers that I tend to get at my everyday email address.

It’s normally great to not be getting spammed… but not so much when you’re deliberately trying to!