johnk's blog

Learning the Facebook API

For the past few months I've been working on web apps. The first was a mobile site based on jQuery Mobile. While it was "cool", it quickly dawned on me that it wouldn't get any significant usership. For one, it was like a clone of 4square and Scvngr - and who really uses that? I'd peer into the lists of checkins, and it wasn't looking too encouraging. People use it when they're bored and alone, and my scenario didn't involve either of those situations.

Javascript Module Pattern

Javascript Module Pattern In Depth at Adequately Good is a very good article about how to make JS modules that don't pollute the global namespace.

A Million Monkeys, a Million Typewriters, Could Create the Works of Shakespeare

If you had 100 trillion monkeys, sitting at the controls of very simple machines, networked together, and could take input from the real world, they could eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.

That network would be called "William Shakespeare." The monkeys would be cells, and the cell walls would be the simple machines; electrochemical signals would be the network. The input from the real world would be light, chemicals, temperature, touch, and sound.

Technologically speaking, the internet is nearly 2 billion people. So we're 1/500th the way toward being like a single human being. The entire population of Earth will have died several times over by the time that moment is realized.

Broadband Constituency: Seniors?

I know the Net Neutrality people on either side don't consider older folks part of the information revolution (despite the fact that all the early inventors of it are now of retirement age), but seniors are directly impacted by high prices for wireless, landlines, and DSL. A bits-is-bits model would help make telecom cheaper for seniors. With these cuts to Medicare and Social Security the Republicans want...

One of the Best Bits in Tron (1982)

This is one of my favorite parts of Tron, when Ram and Flynn are in jail and talking about their past lives before they were turned into computer-world gladiators.

Type and Social Context (Eric Gill's "Gill Sans")

I just read a long ass post about why graphic artists shouldn't stretch type or slant a face. "no duh" as we used to say in school.

Arial vs. Helvetica Test

Ironic Sans has a fun quiz where you try to identify which font is Arial, and which one is Helvetica.

http://www.ironicsans.com/helvarialquiz/

MS Access to KML Data Dump

Here's a script that helps to export KML files for Google Earth from Access tables. The idea is that you create a query with columns named "Latitude" and "Longitude" and any other columns you need. Open that query, and pass the recordset to this dumper. You also specify a file name, and a list of columns to use for the name and definition fields.

Drupal Updated (and a few bugs)

What a pain in the ass. Drupal updates look so slick when they work, but when they fail, it's a nightmare. I ended up reverting to a backup and doing it by the book (which seems to matter a lot), and lost a few posts. Oh well. They were mostly programming posts so the code's around somewhere, and probably slightly improved, and may end up on here again.

libdvdcss decss

This is dvd decoding software.

Amazon Associates Political BS

So I'm an inactive Amazon Associate (that's the term for their affiliate program) and I get this email from Amazon.

OMFG - the future of software, in Javascript, Xopus

Xopus is an XML editor, written in Javascript and HTML5. It's not just JS, but it's licensed software for your desktop. I'm blown away. This is Google Docs, Angry Birds, Yahoo Pipes level blown away. Check it out.

PHP Runs an Old Version of PCRE Causing Problems with Drupal and MediaWiki

This seems to happen a lot - and it took several searches and many pages of reading to find the solution. This page will try to even the odds a little more.

Undermining the Cache (Sharepoint?)

I was on the Ralphs website, and found some image URLs that looked like this:

SpinRite 6.0 on a Dell e6410

After reading some of the documentation and the website page about SATA, I got the software working by doing the following.

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