24 September 2007

The Wild, Wacky World of YJL Technology co.,ltd

YJL Technology co.,ltd

You've gotta see this site to believe it. This Chinese company's complete line or products seems to be almost nothing but direct and very obvious copies of existing American (and in Nokia's case, Finnish) devices.

I mean, we've all seen cheap Chinese copies of things before, but this level of brazenness is unheard of to me!

...not that I blame them, of course. I wouldn't doubt that this company also either makes the "real" iPods for Apple or many of the parts for them. If they're wanting to make a little bit of money on the side by using Apple's schematics, more power to 'em. I heard it's how America got it's leg up in the world back in the 19th century, anyway. (Not that two wrongs make a right of course, but at least we can now relate.)

Most, if not all, small electronic devices are made in China these days, and that gets philosophical types like myself thinking -- given that this cheap copy shares most, if not all, of the real parts of an iPod, how much of a "clone" is it really?

When do these cheap clones stop being clones and start being the real thing, eh?

Correction: it seems as if this company does have a unique product of their own:

Cross MP3 player

Hoo boy. Make of that what you will.

There's even a surreal little video with great American voice over on their "About Us" page -- hey, turns out they're "ISPO9001" certified, whatever the hell that is!!! Get your credit cards ready, folks!

OLPC announces $399 "Give 1 Get 1" holiday XO promo - Engadget

XO Laptop
OLPC announces $399 "Give 1 Get 1" holiday XO promo - Engadget

Ugh. At $399, forget about it. I was willing to pay twice the price for this (as well as were a lot of people) back when it cost $100, but at $400, no thanks.

I still love the project and the idea behind it -- some of the innovation that's come out of this project is simply amazing, like the wireless "meshing" technology that can connect many computers in a network even when no internet access is available, and the dual-mode LCD screen that lets you continue using it even when the laptop's CPU is powered down.

I understand that costs have gone up and that the $100 price is no longer possible, but why? I haven't seen much explanation other than that "initial costs have been greater than expected" -- how?

Show me how, OLPC foundation, and I'll reconsider.

21 September 2007

Maani.US XML/SWF Charts with Notes/Domino

XML/SWF Charts > Introduction

Just spent the last hour trying to get these to work on a Notes/Domino server, but no matter what, I couldn't get the Flash file to load when it was passed variables.

Turns out, you have to pass an extra parameter to let the Domino server know that you're trying to operate on the file.

Now, I've got neat graphs that look great. Huzzah.

20 September 2007


In case you were wondering, there's apparently a difference between string.split("/t")and string.split(/\t/) in Internet Explorer 6.0 (they both return the same thing in Firefox).

Basically, if you've got a tab-delimited list with empty values, IE will strip those empty values if you use the regex object to split with. Why, I don't know, but maybe I'm missing something.

Newegg.com - AMD Opteron 2347 Barcelona 1.9GHz

Barcelona core image
Newegg.com - AMD Opteron 2347 Barcelona 1.9GHz Quad Core Processor

Well, after nearly a year of waiting, AMD's answer to the 65-nm Core 2 Duo is out.

This is the server inception, of course (that's why it's nearly $800).

Now, here's hoping it can deliver.

19 September 2007

Continuing with Field Bugs

Ugh -- I forgot about this bug.

When you're trying to hide a field (or row of fields) so that it's only shown in edit mode, remember to put a single space before that field on its line in the Domino Editor.

Trust me -- otherwise it doesn't work, and you're sitting there for half an hour wondering why your field is still popping up in read mode (like I did.)

17 September 2007

jQuery UI: Widgets, Components, and Interactions

jQuery UI: Widgets, Components, and Interactions

The jQuery team released their UI package today, and I've got to tell you, it's slick. The animations are really smooth, for one, and the whole theme package looks great.

While I'm solidly using Ext now for my web applications, I'd definitely use this for my personal projects!

14 September 2007

ipodminusitunes: Apple cuts us off

ipodminusitunes: Apple cuts us off

"So, it's finally happened. Unhappy with other media players being better than iTunes, Apple have apparently decided to stop them from working with the new range of iPods.

This affects Linux users - there's no iTunes for Linux, so popular Linux iPod management tools like gtkpod and Rockbox will not work with the new range of iPods.

Yeah... it's basically Apple saying to all Linux users who own iPods, "Okay, we never given you any help with compatibility in the past, but at least we never got in your way. No more of that. Now, you have to use iTunes if you want access to your iPod, and since there's no Linux version, sorry?"

By the way -- it also affects any Windows users who hated iTunes (and there are a lot) and tried to use another program to manage their iPod.

12 September 2007

Well, that's that.

Well, I just did it -- I published my first page in a web application using the Domino framework that doesn't let Domino automatically set the DOCTYPE (I'm using XHTML 1.0 Strict, by the way). Here's to good things to come!

Only taken me a year to get here (mostly because, with a framework of this size, I had to be absolutely sure that this kind of thing would work).

Well, fark that -- I'm using a DOCTYPE, but it's got to be HTML 4.01 Transitional. Apparently, anything higher than that and IE starts having little fits here and there while it's trying to render things. Figures.

07 September 2007

Government backs Trust on iPlayer

BBC NEWS | Technology | Government backs Trust on iPlayer

How the iPlayer even got started as a Windows-only project is beyond me. The BBC is a government entity -- it's not a regular TV station. For it to discriminate in this fashion is almost unforgivable. (I actually participated in this petition, what with me being an expatriate and all.)

If you ask me, this agreement to get the technology to work on all platforms will more than likely lead to the program being scrapped completely. The Windows-only DRM that they planned on using for the iPlayer is so incompatible with Linux it'd need a major technological breakthrough to get it to work.

Well, either they'll just scrap the whole thing, or they'll finally just broadcast it in some DRM-free way to Macs and Linux machines (just accepting the tiny loss of control) -- but that's a lot less likely to happen.

05 September 2007

Microsoft and Apple

Today, I found myself both defending Microsoft over the "Linux name blocking" scandal on XBox Live and simultaneously drooling over Apple's new products they released today.

I think I'm starting to lose my cynical edge.

04 September 2007

Dirty Secret: Green Cars Automakers Won't Sell You - MSN Autos

Accord Image
Dirty Secret: Green Cars Automakers Won't Sell You - MSN Autos

"On a recent run from Boston to Cape Cod, I test drove the 2008 Honda Accord, the latest version of this family favorite. The new Accord boasts an environmental first: a six-cylinder gasoline engine that's cleaner than many hybrid systems.

There's only one catch: You can't actually buy this ultra-green Accord, or the four-cylinder version that also produces near-zero pollution. That is, unless you live in California, New York or six other northeast states that follow California's tougher pollution rules. Only there can you buy this Accord, or the roughly two dozen other models that meet so-called Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle standards, PZEV for short.


Groklaw - The results of the ISO voting: Office Open XML is Disapproved

Groklaw - The results of the ISO voting: Office Open XML is Disapproved

Disapproved... for now.

This whole thing makes me more sad that anything else -- Microsoft singlehandedly destroyed any hopes of a standardized World Wide Web back in the 90's (it's part of the reason why my job as a web designer can be so difficult today), and now they're doing the same thing with information storage. I weep for future civilizations trying to open OOXML files. -_-'

You've just got to see Microsoft's PR Release on the subject -- talk about making lemonade out of lemons, eh? Notice in the title how they've just started calling it "Open XML," too, to make things even more confusing for people.

Additionally -- several times in that PR release it's mentioned about how OOXML is being adopted "for use on a variety of platforms - including Linux."

Excuse me?

Linux? What, is Microsoft planning a Linux version of Office 2007 now? Somehow, I don't think so.

(And don't give me that crap about how other applications for Linux might try and implement OOXML -- please tell me how you're going to implement an internal OOXML specification like "renderLeftMarginLikeWordOnWindows95" on Linux? What, no answer?)