Category Archive

Posts in Web

November 16th, 2011

American Censorship Day: Nov 16, 2011

Today, Congress holds hearings on the first American Internet censorship system. […] The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users. It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook. Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn’t be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

The improbability of persecuting trivial crimes is not the point. The opportunity to provide any mechanism for third parties to summarily censor and sentence others is the definition of vigilante law, and it is bad.

February 9th, 2011

How did WordPress win?

An extended post by a former product manager for Movable Type, comparing the fortunes of Six Apart and WordPress. Some interesting business insights, for example, in how WP made gains in the corporate blogging world, a realm that usually doesn’t seem relevant to the livelihood of  blogging software companies. Turns out it is.

Bonus: In a footnote, there’s an interesting bit of gossip about the Huffington Post and Movable Type.

December 7th, 2010

U.S. to Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011

The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.

Except when inconvenient to oneself.

June 2nd, 2010

Smokescreen

Interprets Flash files entirely in Javascript. Not only a remarkable accomplishment in its own right, but also because it’s primarily one person’s work. One of a couple similar projects I’m aware of, but this one seems to have the most traction.

It’s also interesting to speculate why Adobe isn’t attempting anything like this, or why they’re so closed-lipped about it if they are.

January 19th, 2010

It’s time to stop using IE6

I’m filing this under “ZDNet Imitates The Onion”.

I wish security vulnerabilities were the only reason why people should stop using Internet Explorer 6. Web developers have been campaigning steadily and conducting user outreach for many years to instigate upgrades. IE 6 support inflates web development budgets (because of the added work necessary to support an outlier platform), results in websites that aren’t as good and useful as they could be (because of client demands for full feature parity across all supported browsers), and a host of entrenched attitudes regarding web design that should have been shaken loose six or eight years ago. Unfortunately, as a web developer working on contracts I rarely have the option of arbitrarily cutting off IE 6 users, and currently most IE 6 users are themselves unable to upgrade.

December 17th, 2009

Browser size

An interesting graphic showing you how much viewport area (where the web content is, between the scrollbars, toolbars, and so on) web users see. Made useful because you can load your own websites in for comparison.

It’s worth remembering there is no page fold because every web browser is capable of scrolling and every web user knows how to scroll. Google has provided a guide for where to put the most important information and action elements on the page, not a guide for how short and narrow to make your web pages.

December 14th, 2009

Five reasons why this is the only online SEO marketing blog entry you will ever need to read

Today’s guest author is a prolific columnist and consultant about SEO strategies and author of the e-book Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred Seventy Six Ways To Put Your Site In Front Of People Who Have No Use Of Your Services, available soon from Churnumout Press.

It happens to the best of us: We get stuck in the marketing doldrums. To break yourself out of your marketing doldrums, you should do some kind of search engine optimization that you haven’t done before. Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your site for the benefit of being found through search engines. One of the best ways of learning about breaking out of marketing doldrums through search engine optimization (or SEO, as the experts call it – and now you can be one too!) is to read a numbered list, for which there is an example below.

  1. Read a numbered list of SEO strategies, of which this is one.
  2. Break yourself out of your marketing doldrums, for example by doing some kind of SEO you haven’t done before.
  3. Try a new SEO strategy, because it may break you out of your marketing doldrums.
  4. There may be things you haven’t tried before in the realm of SEO, so study numbered lists of them for ideas. For example, this one. Many people find this useful for breaking themselves out of their marketing doldrums.
  5. Many SEO experts recommend experimenting with new SEO strategies. Such things are available online, helpfully itemized in numbered lists.

Do you often find, after skimming to the end of a blog about online marketing full of useless factoids gleaned through lazy research from Wikipedia, a pointless and awkwardly-phrased leading question meant to invite conversation in a hollow attempt at fostering traffic and precious advertising revenue? Tell us about it by using the commenting form to comment!

December 8th, 2009

Panic Blog

Aside from the geek-awesome alternate universe Atari 2600 game packages, I’m just plain grooving on the site’s design. Usually page designs with multiple motifs look like bad ideas executed badly but this is wonderful in all kinds of ways. (edit: Use the Safari or Chrome web browser for added grooviness.)

November 25th, 2009

Ta-da List

A free web service from 37 Signals for you to make and manage checklists. It’s personal organization stripped of complication and methodological orthodoxy.

This site has been around for a while but it never crossed my path until namedropped by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber the other day. I’m already fond of it; I can add to-do items from whatever device (computer, phone, netbook) I’m on at the time and check them off from any other. It has a custom UI for the iPhone and possibly other mobile devices. It’s unrelated to 37 Signals’ other fine products, some of which I use, aside from the one-line ads for them in the computer browser version.

It does one thing and does it well.