Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Step Closer to Doctor Horrible! posted the new "Teaser" promo for Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:

Teaser from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog on Vimeo.

For those that missed out on this story:
During the writer's strike, Joss Whedon, his brothers, and a bunch of friends got together to create a fun little show that would be released on the web.
The result is Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Starring Nate Fillion (Firefly, Buffy) as Captain Hammer, Felicia Day (Cheeto's, The Guild) as Penny, and Neil Freaking Patrick Harris as Doctor Horrible!

Joss fans are freaking out in anticipation.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Sad, but true.
Despite working my ass off for him, my new boss at {name witheld to protect the guilty} showed up and told me close the office.

I smothered him with kindness and ran for the door.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Time to lose iLike

I love iLike's Facebook app.
But today it was unusable due to horizontal roll-up ads.
Reaching for normal navigation opened the ad.
CLOSING the add opened the ad!
I went to complain...
Of course, no place for feedback.
The closest I can find is, but that just leads to the FAQ.

iTunes track names to Skype

Last week, I noticed that someone on my Skype contacts list had music titles appearing in their Skype "mood" status.
I believe that was accomplished with a Windows program, but it seemed like it shouldn't be a big deal to accomplish this with Applescript on the Mac.

global latest_song, moodprefix, qChar
on run
set moodprefix to ""

set latest_song to ""
set qChar to ASCII character 34

end run
on idle

set aplist to my running_apps()
if aplist contains "iTunes" and aplist contains "Skype" then

tell application "iTunes"
if player state is playing then
set current_tracks_name to moodprefix & qChar & the name of the current track & qChar & " by " & the artist of the current track as string
set current_tracks_name to ""
end if

if (current_tracks_name is not latest_song) then
copy current_tracks_name to latest_song
tell application "Skype"
send command "SET PROFILE MOOD_TEXT " & latest_song script name "iTunes2Skype"
end tell
end if
end tell
end if
return 10
end idle
on reopen
tell me to run
end reopen
on running_apps()
tell application "System Events"
return (get name of every process)
end tell
end running_apps

The above script runs in a "stay open" Applescript application.
Every 10 seconds it checks to see if the iTunes currently playing track has changed. If it has, it sets a new MOOD for Skype.

Download it here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Creating a Firefox Extension: Part 2

The tutorial went smoothly up until the description of the browser.xul file.
The browser is implemented in a XUL file called browser.xul ($FIREFOX_INSTALL_DIR/chrome/browser.jar contains content/browser/browser.xul).
I completely misunderstood this and trying to figure out where I was supposed to create my browser.xul file. They are just saying the the browser itself is an xul file.

Next hiccup was in creating the link in the extensions directory.
One line text file. The content is the path to your addon (including trailing /), and the name is the email-like identifier.
I missunderstood and put the identifier in the content. Let's just say you shouldn't do this. :)
Confused my Mac a great deal.

Finished working through the tutorial and successfully created a barebones Extension!

Creating a Firefox Extension: Part 1

A serious problem when using ad networks is that we don't have a quick way to determine who sold a malware ad. Firefox 3 seems to have pretty thorough logging going on with the new Places API, so I'm jumping in. Wish me luck!

Step 1 - set up a dev environment
Created a separate user profile for my dev environment called devprofile.

I created the following shell script file:
$FIREFOX_DIR/firefox-bin -P devprofile -no-remote
where FIREFOX_DIR is the path to your Firefox application.

I installed a "dark" theme on the dev profile, so I can easily tell which instance of Firefox I'm in.

Set some Firefox options:

Step 2 - find a current tutorial on the basic of extension structure
After a surprising amount of digging, I found
Not really a FF3 thing, but as close as I've found.

Sex and the City: the Movie

Really? This is going to be successful?
Sex and the City is a guilty pleasure I engaged in in the privacy of my own home.
As a straight guy, I don't think I'll see it a theater.
The girls want to see it with other girls, so I'll see it on DVD if at all.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Solution to the Democrat's Delegate Allocation

Everyone expects the rules committee to just give the Florida and Michigan delegates 1/2 vote each, and to assign the uncommitted Michigan delegates to Obama.

The Clinton campaign decries the reduction of the voters' voice.

The DNC obviously needs to punish the states that jumped the gun.

Here's my completely politically unacceptable solution:
Give the nominated delegates a full vote, but deny all Super Delegates from those states.
Since Super Delegates are party insiders, this would definitely bring the pain, and let those folks personally know that there are consequences for breaking the rules.

The outcome would largely the same, and every cast vote would count.

But of course, those insiders would scream bloody murder, so that won't happen.