26 March 2009

Flash Cookies: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Live Without 'Em

Have you heard about them? I learned about these a while back, and nearly kicked myself -- I take great lengths to always get rid of tracking cookies, but had never even known about these (though, now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense that Flash would have its own system for managing stored information).

Want to see what I'm talking about? Go here, and take a look at what it's showing: http://www.macromedia.com/support/.../settings_manager07.html

I'm betting there's a list of almost every single site you've browsed (if it was using some sort of reasonably advanced flash, or flash ads) in probably the past, oh, year or so, right?

That's where Flash stores its own, internal cookies.

Well, you have to take extra steps to get rid of these cookies from your computer -- you can delete them en masse, using that Flash app on Macromedia's site, but they'll keep coming back (yes, even if you set it to "never store this information").

A much easier way is to create you up a few batch files, with either of the following two lines inside them (works pretty much the same on either Windows or Linux):


// Ubuntu Linux
rm -rfv ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects
rm -rfv ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys

// Windows XP
rmdir /Q /S "%APPDATA%/Macromedia/Flash Player/macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/sys"
rmdir /Q /S "%APPDATA%/Macromedia/Flash Player/#SharedObjects"


And set them to run either when you start your computer up or when you shut it down.

Mozilla's Ubiquity

I know I said it before about JSON and regretted it (though it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship).

However, I just don't seem to get Mozilla's Ubiquity project, and I've even watched their whole video, and have seen and read stuff about Ubiquity for almost a year now.

I mean -- is including a link in an email really that cumbersome and terrible? :\ Is having to use an extension to process things with tinyurl.com so horrible you want to be able to do it through text commands?

But, like I said, I've said this kinda stuff before -- knowing me, I'll be designing with Ubiquity in a couple of months! :P

12 March 2009

Two Things I Learned Today

Well, three.

1) If you're planning on being sick, make sure it's not on a day where you have a big exercise and you're running the IT.

2) There's a reason why the JSON spec says to always always use double quotes, and always quotify your keys:


// LIKE THIS:

{
"success": true,
"data": {
"RescPhone": "334-555-5555",
"RescStatus": "Available",
"RescComments": "Test%20test%20test."
},
"unid": "AABEF75B28304F008625755A007303D3",
"isEditable": true
}

//NOT THIS:

{
success: true,
data: {
RescPhone: '334-555-5555',
RescStatus: 'Available',
RescComments: 'Test%20test%20test.'
},
unid: 'AABEF75B28304F008625755A007303D3',
isEditable: true
}


If you haven't yet discovered why, don't worry, you one day will.

3) When using the Domino formula language "@Transform" function, always specify your variable (as the second parameter) with quotes around it. I bashed my head against a wall for hours trying to figure this out.

It's a variable, not a string, right? Why do you need to declare it like a string? Because it's not a variable yet, dummy. :P

10 March 2009

Pattie Maes demos the Sixth Sense

Pattie Maes demos the Sixth Sense | Video on TED.com

I love hearing and reading about what goes on at the yearly TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conference -- it's like a big symposium where people demo new technologies and products. You'll see stuff demonstrated here 5 years or more before it possibly comes to the market (which it nearly always does). This is where I saw a technology strangely similiar to "Microsoft Surface" demonstrated years before Microsoft announced it (I still think they either stole it or bought the technology).

The video I linked here, while just a prototype, is what I keep telling people to look for in the next "big thing" -- ubiquitous, nearly omnipotent meta-information, though more than likely in its end form, only the user will be able to see what he/she is manipulating (think video glasses).

09 March 2009

My Bookmarked Links from the week of March 2 2009

HTML Emails The Easy Way | Article | CodeStore
http://www.codestore.org/store.nsf/unid/FISR-6MQSWV?OpenDocument

The SSD Project | EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Project
https://ssd.eff.org/

Prosecutors drop Fort Lauderdale case after beating videos emerge -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/sfl-bn-0304video,0,1616907.story

06 March 2009

Nine Browsers of Today and Tomorrow Compared

Browser Battle: Nine Browsers of Today and Tomorrow Compared - Maximum PC:

ie8 window example

Also notice that only newegg.com appears in black in the address bar, while the rest of the URL is grayed out. This is by design and intended to make it easier to identify what domain you're visiting. This also serves to help end users from being fleeced by spoof sites.

Okay, I've got to admit that's very nice. As long as users start to notice, this tiny little thing could go a long way towards helping users avoid phishing attempts. Microsoft gets something right!

Make sure and check out the rest of that article too -- it's a halfway decent comparison of major browsers today.

05 March 2009

My Bookmarked Links from the Week of Feb 23, 2009

(Going to try and start doing this each week -- you don't have to read the whole thing, but I find lots of neat stuff on the web during my lunch breaks, and just thought I'd like to share the links I often bookmark.)

Tracking the Remains of Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 | Orbiting Frog

http://orbitingfrog.com/blog/2009/02/19/tracking-the-remains-of-iridium-33-and-cosmos-2251/

The Teenager Audio Test - Can you hear this sound?
http://trainhorns.net/sound/

Microsoft files patent suit against TomTom
http://www.physorg.com/news154812245.html

Atlanta police look to restore trust after drug raid killing | ajc.com
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2009/02/23/johnston_sentencing.html

Manfred, a Pngquant GUI » xhtml | css | Design
http://jedisthlm.com/2006/03/16/manfred-a-pngquant-gui/

RaphaĆ«l—JavaScript Library
http://raphaeljs.com/

Search less, understand more - Evri
http://www.evri.com/

Pogoplug — Access your external hard drive from anywhere on the Internet
http://www.pogoplug.com/

Merrill Lynch CEO: "Nothing Happened In The World Or The Economy" That Would Justify Suspending
http://consumerist.com/5159060/merrill-lynch-ceo-nothing-happened-in-the-world-or-the-economy-that-would-justify-suspending-bonuses

Dream(sheep++): A developer's introduction to Google Android - Ars Technica
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/reviews/2009/02/an-introduction-to-google-android-for-developers.ars/4

Marvell unveils $99 wall-wart Linux PC - The Tech Report
http://techreport.com/discussions.x/16466

Cellphones: Windows 3.1 Runs On a Nokia N95, Creating Dangerous Ripple in Space-Time
http://i.gizmodo.com/5159221/windows-31-runs-on-a-nokia-n95-creating-dangerous-ripple-in-space+time

Downloads: Enigma Desktop 2.0 Released, Adds Installer, Widget Manager, and Templates
http://lifehacker.com/5158878/enigma-desktop-20-released-adds-installer-widget-manager-and-templates

Fox News "war games" the coming civil war - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/22/militias/index.html

innovative verve . com - things i've done
http://www.innovativeverve.com/work_conduit1.html

04 March 2009

New Blog Code Displaying via SyntaxHighter

See it below? Isn't it just the neatest?

I had been displaying my code blocks on here with a bit of custom CSS that I had made, but I had always seen these really neat formatters for code displaying on blogs (with the syntax highlighting and the line numbers and all that). So, after reading someone's blog one day and seeing one of these displayed yet again, I finally decided to get my own.

Thankfully, the blog in question was using a syntax highlighter that had a handy "About" link on each one (nothing wrong with an author taking credit), and I decided to adopt the very nice SyntaxHighlighter JavaScript package from http://alexgorbatchev.com/.

Alex even offers support for Blogger.com blogs (he even offers rudimentary hosting for this!). About the only thing you need to do is set the "Blogger.com" flag manually, as you'll see below. Just include these files on your own web page and then start using "pre" tags to surround your code blocks (which you can take directly from your code editors -- tabbing and spacing is preserved!).


<link href='http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/2.0.296/styles/shCore.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'/>
<link href='http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/2.0.296/styles/shThemeMidnight.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'/>
<script src='http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/2.0.296/scripts/shCore.js' type='text/javascript'/></script>
<script src='http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/2.0.296/scripts/shBrushJScript.js' type='text/javascript'/></script>
<script src='http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/2.0.296/scripts/shBrushXml.js' type='text/javascript'/></script>
<script src='http://alexgorbatchev.com/pub/sh/2.0.296/scripts/shBrushCss.js' type='text/javascript'/></script>
<script type='text/javascript'>
SyntaxHighlighter.config.bloggerMode = true;
SyntaxHighlighter.all();
</script>

02 March 2009

Yahoo Fined By Belgian Court For Refusing To Give Up E-Mail Account Info

Yahoo Fined By Belgian Court For Refusing To Give Up E-Mail Account Info

Yahoo got fined for its unwillingness to cooperate in a cyber-criminal investigation which prompted Belgian authorities to subpoena detailed account data for a number of e-mail addresses used by a gang of alleged internet cons. Yahoo’s defense was that it would only respond to requests from American authorities, while the Belgian investigators claim it should turn over the data at their request too because the company operates its services in Belgium. Also worth noting is that the judge is being quoted as saying that this procedure for requesting data “poses absolutely no problem with Google and Microsoft”.

...well isn't that just special.

Google and Microsoft regularly give your personal information to governments -- all the time, without discussion. Just remember that the next time you search for something on the internet.