» 2011.Jan.28 » Egypt has no internet. I didnt know a government could take down the internet like that. Poof! I mean, the cables cross many national boundaries. The Internet was designed to withstand a nuclear attack. Do countries have a kill-switch?
Here's a link to a site called internetegypt.com. It's down. 404. Nada.
Dont throw out your old shortwave radio just yet. Seems low-tech still rules.
Can all nations do that? Specifically, my nation?
Collection of exquisite photographs titled » Days of Rage. Uh, I had linked to some of the photos I liked, but for some reasons the photos at those links keep changing.
Maybe cuz they keep adding photos to the beginning, which changes the numbering of the later ones. Im over it.
Instability in a region that is already volatile .. not good. Egypt shares a border with Israel. Note that the word armageddon comes from the Hebrew term » har megiddo, meaning "Mountain of Megiddo" ..
.. which is a hill upon which ancient forts were built to guard the main highway between Egypt & Mesopotamia (i.e. modern-day Iraq, plus parts of Syria, Turkey & Iran). Lovely. Probably just a coincidence.
Is that the odor of revolution I smell? Seems to be spreading throughout the entire Middle East (.. thanks to Gene Sharp & his little booklet). Time to dust off those old Beatles albums. Somebody find Dylan.
» 2011.Jan.24 » There I was, sitting on a couch, minding my own business, when up walks this girl. She stuck out her hand, and with an easy smile said,
Hi! I'm Julie.
[ The last girl I dated was a Julie .. so it was easy to remember her name. ]
We were the only two in the room (.. where I was waiting for friends to finish their socializing). At least it seemed that way.
I found her easy to talk to. Classic all-American girl-next-door. Not too good-looking to make you nervous, but cute enough to make you proud to take her on a date. Picture of health. Vibrant. Wholesome. Fun. Hints of tomboy. Easy to like. Very.
I took particular note of the confident strides she took while approaching. Long steps for such a little girl (only 5-3).
Didnt know at the time she had been a national-caliber runner. Nor that she had graduated from Stanford, with a full-boat scholarship (.. which tells me she's not only fast, but smart). In high school, she was second in the state (California).
[ She went to Corona del Mar high school. C-d-M is where I met Kobe. That's where Kobe lives. And also my 89-year-old walk-in-the-park friend. It's a ritzy little hamlet wedged between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, where I used to live. ]
We chatted for only a few minutes .. before others came up and wanted to talk to her. But she definitely gave me the impression of being a 'together' person. As we went our separate ways, I called out,
Thanks for introducing yourself. And I meant it.
That was the first & last time I saw her.
Julie is .. gone. ('Dead' sounds harsh.)
Hard to believe. Cuz it was barely a month or two ago when she walked up and stuck out her hand with such enthusiastic vigor. Seems like just yesterday.
Police claim Julie's car (a Taurus) was doing 90 or 100 MPH .. fast enough to send it airborne. It is not easy to get ANY car up to 100-mph driving down PCH (40-mph zone) .. even if you were trying.
It's a busy road (2 lanes each way), especially on the weekend. Sometimes traffic slows to a crawl, particularly during the summer months .. when locals take to navigating the side-streets.
I honestly cannot imagine a car — any car, not even a Ferrari — doing 90- or 100-mph down that particular stretch of PCH. My first thought was that the accelerator must've stuck. Cuz nothing else made sense.
» 2011.Jan.19 » Created my first HTML5 page today. See here » HTML5. Nothing fancy, but it does validate, and it's something I can use to test new features. For the last few years, I've been using » XHTML 1.0 Strict. HTML5 is TNBT (the next big thing) for the web.
Along with CSS3, HTML5 will make working with web pages and creating web applications much easier.
Exciting stuff. HTML5 + CSS3 will be like » Web 1.0 .. the way the web should have started.
Anybody can submit suggestions & recommendations. And many have. Yet browser manufacturers have veto power, since a spec that's not implemented is pointless. This frustrates developers.
Anybody who creates web pages for a living will find this notice a big deal, titled » W3C Confirms May 2011 for HTML5 Last Call, Targets 2014 for HTML5 Standard. A great interview with the HTML5 HMFIC (editor, named Ian Hickson) is posted » here.
Check out some of these heavyweights on the WHATWG team:
Here's hoping that HTML5 will help Javacript run more efficiently, and keep it from making our CPUs run at 100% power when loading pages from sites that make heavy use of it.
If there's a loser with HTML 5, it will Flash video. The jury is still out, but it looks like Flash will be losing market share to HTML5 video.
HTML 5 is really about » backward-compatibility. XHTML 2.0 was a revolutionary design that broke backward compatibility. This is the main thing that folks didnt like about XHTML 2.0, and the major reason why HTML 5 ultimately triumphed. XHTML 2.0 would've "broke the web" .. or so the claim goes.
» 2011.Jan.17 » When I was a kid (growing up in Connecticut), our school took us on a class trip .. to Indian Well state park. Nice place. Lots of woods & water. Once there they cut us loose and simply gave us a time to return at the end of the day. Cool.
I went exploring with some friends. Wasn't long before we heard the sound of rushing water and found a stream.
[ It was actually bigger than a stream, but too small to call a 'river'. Maybe 10-feet across, half that deep. ]
Naturally, I wanted to head upstream .. to find where this sucker originated. Heck, maybe we'd even find a waterfall.
At one point, the only way to continue was to leave the river and head up the steep hillside that bordered the creek. There we could go around the impassable obstacle and rejoin the river later.
So I'm making my way thru the woods .. with the river down below some 50-feet, the sound of rushing water music to my young ears. Loving every minute of this adventure.
I'm walking on a steep slant. The ground is covered with a mixture of leaves and pine needles. When all of a sudden I started to slide. Not very fast, but inching toward the river .. which kept getting louder as I kept sliding closer.
My slide was torturously slow, but I couldn't stop. Desperately I sought something to grab hold of, but the branches were all out of reach.
The outcome was obvious. I was going swimming. =)
Sure 'nuf .. after a surrealistically long slide, I started gaining speed and ended up in the drink. Ker-plash! Wearing long pants and sneakers. The last 6-feet were off a ledge. So it was kinda cool going airborne .. like launching off a diving board.
I was able to keep my balance enough to stay on my feet. So I only got wet up to my waist.
That sliding feeling. That helpless feeling of sliding slowly toward the inevitable .. that's the feeling I got when I read about this guy (Jared Lee Loughner, aka the 'Arizona Assassin') who shot a congresswoman in the head (Gabrielle Giffords) .. at point-blank range.
Then he started shooting everybody in sight. Even little kids. A 9-year-old girl died. Obviously a nutcase, but it's not like he's the only whacko out there.
Feels like our society is on the skids. Sliding toward the inevitable. Not very quickly, but definitely moving in the downward direction .. toward the drink of history.
» 2011.Jan.08 » This is a good time to learn web design. By which I mean » CSS. Cascading style sheets. It is possible to style & customize the appearance of a web page without CSS, but that method comes with severe limitations.
CSS templates can represent a good starting point. But without knowing CSS, you're limited to what another designer has dreamed up. No customizing for you. No personalizing your pages.
[ And yes, everybody should have a website of their own, a place they call home, however humble it might be. We all start with a single ugly page. Everybody has an area of expertise to share with the world. ]
What makes now a good time to learn web design? Browser support is finally being standardized. By which I mean » Internet Explorer.
Volumes have been written on the headaches early web designers suffered at the hands of cross-browser compatibility issues, primarily due to IE6. They had to jump thru one flaming hoop after another in order to get their sophisticated designs to work in all the popular browsers.
IE6's usage remained high long after newer versions had been released (IE7 in 2006 and IE8 in 2009) .. due primarily to the reluctance of corporate IT admins to upgrade.
They liked that IE6 didnt let their corporate users do very many things online (.. that might open up or represent a security hole). But designers couldnt deliver a product without IE6 support, cuz it was used so heavily for so long.
Another contributing factor » reports of Vista being buggy when released. Took Microsoft a long time to dial it in and squelch these reports. Vista also came with eye-popping hardware reqirement$. So folks (like me) just stuck with Windows XP. Many of these hold-outs (unlike me) never upgraded their browser.
I wont delve into all the gory details, but will simply say that IE6 is finally at the point where it has (or will shortly) become a non-issue. Its use lingered many years longer than I ever woulda imagined or thought possible. IE6 was released way back in 2001 with Windows XP.
» 2011.Jan.02 » Another lap around the sun. We made it. Aren't we supposed to be seeing a giant checkered flag in the sky about now? That was a trip. Ready for another? The 2011 coaster will be departing shortly. All aboard. Buckle up. Keep your hands inside the car at all times.
Noticed lots of folks out running yesterday. Heck, one girl even walked into the coffee shop dripping with sweat. (Yeah, I was impressed.) Resolutions.
Never done the resolution thing, myself. But something I've been pondering this holiday-week (.. regarding fatherhood) is this »
I wasn't trying to think of this. It just kinda 'came to me'. Like somebody whispering in my ear. I mean, when kids are young, they are notoriously (& hilariously) honest. Awe-inspiring transparency. Nature's finest moment. But then they grow up.
So that's where my head has been wandering to this holiday season, this holy season when nights grow long & cold, and the warmth of summer seems distant. Not hard to see why this time of year would become the season of resolution.