Collecting the Internet So You Don't Have To

We work on the Internet. As such, we are constantly consuming information. Believe me, there is a lot of it out there. Sometimes we even forget things unless we write them down. Our blog covers everything from web standards to the muppets, php to comic books, music and everything else that we find interesting. Leave us a note when you drop by.

District 9

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Studio: TriStar Pictures (Sony) 
Director: Neill Blomkamp 
Screenwriter: Neill BlomkampTerri Tatchell 
Starring: Sharlto CopleyDavid James 
Genre: Sci-Fi 
MPAA Rating: R (for bloody violence and pervasive language) 
Official Website: District9movie.com | MultiNationalUnited.com |MNUSpreadsLies.com | MathsFromOuterSpace.com 
Review: 9.5/10 rating | 7/10 rating 
DVD Review: Not Available 
DVD: Blu-ray Disc | DVD (2-Disc Edition) | DVD (Single-Disc) 
Movie Poster: One-Sheet | Teaser 
Production Stills: View here 

Plot Summary: 28 years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s "District 9" as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare – they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9. 

Family Guy Presents: Something Something Something Dark Side

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Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
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1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
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Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

The story of The Empire Strikes Back is retold. Darth Vader (Stewie) is hunting the rebel Luke Skywalker (Chris) and his troops relentlessly across the galaxy. On the ice planet Hoth, Luke has a vision of his late mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), telling him to go to the Dagobah system to learn the ways of the Force under Jedi Master Yoda (Carl). Meanwhile Princess Leia (Lois) finds herself taking a shine to the scruffy pilot Han Solo (Peter) and, against all odds, the two soon fall in love. But an encounter with Han’s old friend Lando Calrissian (Mort) lands them in the clutches of the Empire. Envisioning this, Luke chooses to forgo his Jedi training to save his friends. It all comes to a head in a climactic confrontation with Darth Vader himself…


The Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside  DVD is presented in full screen aspect ratio featuring English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Line 21, English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, English, Spanish, French, and Brazilian stereo and subtitles. Special features include: 
● Audio Commentary 
● Deleted Scenes 
● Behind-The-Scenes Featurette – “The Darkside of Poster Art” 
● Animatics 
● Pop-Up Video

Inglourious Basterds

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
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1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
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Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

Release Date: August 21, 2009
Studio: Universal Pictures, The Weinstein Company
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad PittDiane KrugerMelanie LaurentChristoph WaltzDaniel BruhlEli Roth,Samm LevineB.J. NovakTil SchweigerGedeon BurkhardPaul RustMichael Bacall,Omar DoomSylvester GrothJulie DreyfusJacky IdoAugust DiehlMartin Wuttke,Richard SammelChristian BerkelSonke MohringMichael FassbenderMike MyersRod TaylorDenis MenochetCloris LeachmanMaggie CheungSamuel L. Jackson
Genre: Action, Drama, War
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Official Website: InglouriousBasterds-movie.com
Review: Not Available
DVD Review: Not Available
DVD: Not Available
Movie Poster: Brad Pitt Poster | Diane Kruger Poster | Eli Roth Poster | Melanie Laurent Poster | Til Schweiger Poster | Poster 1 | Poster 2 | Poster 3 | Teaser
Production Stills: View here
Plot Summary: "Inglourious Basterds" (sic) begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as "The Basterds," Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own...

Christmas Party 2009 Wrap-Up

General
Julian Moffatt
Julian Moffatt CEO / Partner
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Julian Moffatt Purveyor of Good Times

Like our email invite to our party stated, these things are rare. Doug and I were trying to think back to the last time we had an all client party. To the best of our recollection it was 6 years ago in 2003. Way back when Pockets was open. We really should do these more often.

Parties like this are really two fold. We get to have fun while we clean the office from top down and then we get to have fun again when everyone drops by. So we wanted to say "Thank you!" to everyone for dropping by and saying hello. We hope you got enough food and had a chance to catch up with us.

As the final bit to wrap up the party, we have posted our pictures. They start on Thursday, December 3rd with our clean up and end late on December 5th as we turned out the lights. Check them out over at flickr or click the big thumbnail image below.

VL-christmas-party-thumnail-set-01

Winners From The Door Prize Draw Announced

Congratulations to:

They each took home a nice bottle of wine and one of our Visual Lizard promotional wine cases with tools. Hopefully they will come in handy over the holidays.

We still have our Christmas Jukebox at http://www.visuallizard.com/christmas/ - Enjoy it as much as you like and if you have any requests for next year, feel free to leave your song requests/suggestions in the comments below.

Happy Holidays and all the best in 2009!

Using the One True Layout

Design
Ross McDowall
Ross McDowall Senior Web Developer
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Ross McDowall Fearless Dwarven Warrior

The issue that we run across when trying to apply the One True Layout concept in design is that the browser compatibility isn’t quite at the same level of development. When I say browser compatibility I usually mean Internet Explorer. With Microsoft now into its 8th iteration of Internet Explorer, the compatibility is almost completely there. However with the majority of people making their way around the web, Internet Explorer 7 is still their primary browser, and it still has its quirks.

The One True Layout, which is one of the primary tenets of web development to completely separate content from design, looks at rendering the content before any other element in the code. The Internet, being a content driven media, is concerned with supplying content to the user first. To that end the content in the code should be rendered first. This enhances a site’s Search Engine placement and accessibility by rendering relevant information first rather than the other elements of the site.

So the rendering of the code to do the One True Layout would be roughly like this.

  1. Content renders first
  2. Header display renders
  3. Navigation renders
  4. Footer renders

Normally when building web pages we render elements in the order we want to see them appear in the browser. By using CSS and taking advantage of modern browsers we can shift the elements to where we need them to display while behind the scenes the order can be focused on providing the content first. This works perfectly with compliant browsers like Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer 8. The difficulty comes when we try to use Internet Explorer 7. One of the quirks of IE and rendering absolutely positioned block items is they seem to disappear. For instance the header renders after the content in the code, but the header needs to appear first. In IE 7 the header disappears using the standards compliant css.

To fix this, with some experimentation, I set the header style to display inline. This caused the header to reappear. Then by setting the absolute positioning of the header to top: 0; positioned the header at the top. Setting the left positioning to 0 brought the header to the correct spot aligning the header with the content area.

These adjustments work for a fixed width layout. I still have to do some experimentation with a flexible width layout, but generally the One True Layout works very well and allows for greater flexibility to site design while maintaining the focus on content.

These adjustments unfortunately do not cover IE 6, however as IE 6 is now a ten year old browser, the stylesheets that we are starting to provide for this browser are reflecting its obsolescence.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
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Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

The Potter franchise continues making money... and movies. Luckily, all the big screen adaptations have been excellent so far. Harry learns more of Lord Voldemort’s past in the second-to-last installment of the series.

Terminator Salvation

Event
Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
Visual Lizard
work
1 (204) 957-5520 ext:152
toll-free
1 (888) 237-9559
url
http://www.visuallizard.com
Wil Alambre Whiteboard Ninja

In the highly anticipated new installment of "The Terminator" film franchise, set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.