johnk's blog

10 Passe Graphic Design Gimmicks

10. Drop shadows.

9. Crescent swoosh.

8. Gradient background.

7. Rounded corners.

6. 8-bit video game pixel nostalgia.

5. Glassy reflection on buttons.

Blu-Ray Market Share

Does BluRay matter yet? Beats me. I'm always paying attention to this because I need to know when to buy BluRay equipment for work.

Jennifer Lynn Aaker on Social Media (good talk)

This is a good 10 minute presentation about how to use social media. I got it from a podcast I listen to.

Takeaway points:


Having failed at using Unity, I decided to try the Gnome Shell.

Ugh. It's just as bad. And I just found out it's the future of Gnome.

Conclusion is that I've installed KDE, then ended up loading xubuntu on top of that. So it starts up with kdm, and logs me into xfce4. The themes are simple, and the design (or lack of) is restrained. They're not trying to copy Apple, or Microsoft. It looks like a cross between Mac OS 9 and Windows XP, without the obnoxious colors and toned-down gradients.

May 1st

Tomorrow is May Day! In Los Angeles, this means an annual Los Angeles May Day march for immigrant worker rights.

Bedrock, Google, and Patent 5893120

A story about Google losing a patent lawsuit against Bedrock, an East Texas "patent troll" has been making the media rounds, but I haven't yet seen an analysis of the patent. All I see is talk about Linux being at risk. If Linux is at risk, so is Windows, and so are the Apple OSs, because there's very little novel about the patent.

(Cheaper) Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader

I'm on a low-volume personal boycott against Adobe because of the Dimitry Sklyarov bust 10 years ago. See Wikipedia's entry. It was a long time ago, but, it remains an attack against the First Amendment. /soapbox

Aside from that, Acrobat is expensive. Mac and Linux users don't pay anything to produce PDFs because it's built-in to the printing system. Windows users have to pay.

Also, in 2010, they were pretty lax about dealing with some security issues that led to the proliferation of malware being delivered as PDF files.

The top PDF makers are:

Bytespeed Computers

I have been holding back on writing this post, but we just bought a bunch of Bytespeed brand computers at work. They're boring but nice. The boring part is the generic looking black case. The nice part is that they only use Intel motherboards, and they have a good return policy and warranty. Hopefully, they'll also be boring and not crash or break.

The other pluses are that it's put together in the US, and tech support is also domestic.

Iteration Safety

So I was reading the CRM114 documentation, and he notes that CRM is hard to DoS because iterators are designed not to use iteration indices. What an interesting thing to say.

Amazon Kindle Comment

I'm going to send this to Amazon regarding their Kindle, which I like.

Japanese Buildings : Amazing Engineering

Amidst the death and destruction from the earthquakes and aftershocks, it's important to note that they are experiencing 6.0 quakes in Tokyo and other cities. The buildings are nearly all standing.

The End of Passwords

So I read that they used a rainbow table of 8-char passwords of all lowercase and numerals. That's a rainbow table with 37^8 or 3.5 trillion entries.

That 70s Computer: The People's Computer Company

The first computer book I read was "Teach Yourself Basic" by Bob Albrecht. It wasn't a really good book - at least not for a child - but there it was. Mr.

Facebook isn't worth $51 bn.

There was a period around a year ago when I was on FB a lot. I'm still on it more than most other sites except Google search, but it's utility for me has declined significantly. There's too much ADD on there. I tried to get involved with a 'group' but the groupware features are too weak to support anything (traditional tools like message boards, email lists, chats, are better implemented by the old software that's just "out there" in the internet).

Quick Fix to Deal with URL SQL Injection Hacks

So I'm running some old web software that has possible vulnerabilities. Here's a log line with the hack attempt.

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