Contributed by Julian Moffatt over the course of February 29th…
These days were our actual working days, but even those were amazingly enjoyable! It was a bright and beautiful walk every morning to the Institute where we had to do our installations and presentations. We were able to cut around and through one of the Universities of Rome to get there, getting a good feel for school life in Italy. And best of all, we got a flavour for life in Rome outside the standard tourist routes.
Our nights were free to ourselves, which we used to do some shopping and/or more touring about the city... or other things :) I spent St Valentine’s night in an Irish pub, having fun with a group of people touring from Spain. And on our last night, we managed to find the best plate of spaghetti in the entire city!
The next day would be our last in Rome, and we were hopping onto a train to Cinque Terra to do some hiking. But we’d have all morning and most of the afternoon to do some looking around. And we were not going to ditch Rome without having a walk through the Sistine Chapel!
Contributed by Wil Alambre over the course of February 28th…
The latest Get Smart trailer!
Steve Carell is Maxwell Smart in a movie remake of one of my favourite TV shows ever!
Google Health, a first look
Interesting, though I remember working on similar concept almost four years ago. Curious to hear how well Google manages with it.
The Best Fortune Cookie Ever
I have to admit, if I cracked open my sugary treat and got a prediction like this, I'd share it with the world, too!
Extensible CSS Interface
Part one of Cameron Moll's series about markup, css, scripting, and more.
Andrew Huff has some fun with Photoshop, hex colors, and l33tspeak. :)
Iconfactory is pleased to announce the immediate release of the latest version of Twitterrific, thier Mac OS X application for reading and posting to the Twitter social network.
An alphabetical list of skills and talents that just are not as useful or common these days.
Contributed by Ross McDowall, Wil Alambre, and Julian Moffatt over the course of February 27th…
- âLatitudeâ Browser Concept
- Zero Punctuation: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Flock's excellent social network browser gets a couple fixes and updates, as we wait for the Firefox 3 version!
The Big Word Project
Nice little concept from a couple of guys in Ireland. We just bought visual and lizard.
Day four of my trip to Italy, and the last full day to run around before we had to hunker down and get to work. We decided to get up bright and early and take the Metro over to Vatican City, to visit St. Peters Basilica. As in the past posts, I’ve updated my Flickr account with a new photoset.
St Peters Basilica is awe inspiring, even if you do not share the religion. Just the amount of care and work that goes into every little thing is incredible. And the weight of time and history is apparent in every monument, altar, statue, and chapel. Though you can think of it as a single, large building with a single, cavernous room, the Basilica is actually divided into areas, with their own thematic sets of paintings, statues, and memorials.
Even early in the morning and even with the size of the Nave, it started to get pretty crowded a couple hours in. And yes, you can easily spend all day in there, going over every inch, and still not see everything. We went in by ourselves, without a guidebook and not part of a tour group, and still we were in there for four hours or so!
After going through, we popped back out and crossed the Piazza. There’s a long, straight street that leads almost from the river directly to the square, and we ran into a nun parade! It was obviously a scheduled event, celebrating some sort of nursing hospital nun order, but we certainly were not expecting it, and made for a nice surprise. I was able to snap a couple pictures and then then sit back and enjoy some cappuccinos as they went by :)
After our outing to St Peters, we split up and went touring Rome on our own. I shot across town on the Metro to Circus Maximus, checking out the Pyramid on the way. All that remains of the Circus is a long lush green field, a common place for picnics and joggers. Right beside it, though, are the ruins of the Roman Forums.
I arrived too late to be able to go down into it (most of the major monuments close to the public at about 4:30pm) but I was still able to go up and around, and find some great views. The sun was starting to set, and cast some amazing shadows. Though work would mean I wouldn’t be able to visit these ruins over the next couple days, I promised myself I would make time before I left Rome!
Contributed by Ross McDowall and Julian Moffatt over the course of February 25th…
- Microsoft to launch beta of Internet Explorer 8
- Why is movie popcorn so expensive? Because it subsidizes movie...
You learn something new every day
404.html file size issues?
- Jimmy Kimmel's Revenge Video!
- Adobe Releases AIR, Flex 3
- The Original Photoshop Icon
SendAlong - Send big files via email
The new kid on the block.
- Adium 1.2.3
- Designing for Disagreement
MacBook, MacBook Pro Keyboard Firmware Update 1.0
Seems to have addressed the first-letter-missing issue. If you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro, mae sure you don't miss this update.
- Blue in the Interface
- Blue in the Interface
Hello again! This is a continuation of my last posting, detailing my recent trip to Italy! This will cover all the stereotypical tourist things I did and went to see while jogging around Rome. Also, I’ve updated my Flickr account with a related photo set. Enjoy!
So, an early rise as Peter and Aaron and I went out and grabbed some fresh coffee and pastries for breakfast. A fact I was unaware of at the time: there is an extra charge at almost every cafe and restaurant if you decide to sit at a table to consume your purchase. So, if you stand at the counter and enjoy your cappuccino and bagel or whatever, that’s one price, but if you decide to sit at a table for the same meal, that’s usually a higher price. Now you know :)
Today was a full out hike all around Rome, hitting as many monuments and historical sites as we could manage. the tourist maps we purchased had the spots clearly indicated, so they weren’t hard to find. But rather than have a detailed, well executed plan, we decided to just go in the general direction and enjoy the city, only consulting the maps every half an hour or so to beeline to a nearby fountain or ruin.
The very middle of Rome has the Colosseum and National Monument. In and around this area are the ruins of the roman forums, with buildings, walls, and columns all over the place. The roads and currently occupied buildings are literally entrenched with these amazing examples of history and culture! We could even go in and wander about, but we saved that for a later day.
Wandering about, we hit awesome places like the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. Even in February, a "slow" tourist season, there were a gaggle of tourists and sightseers crowding around. I cannot imagine the mess Rome would be in August, it’s apparent peak! None-the-less, the scale of these buildings were incredible!
As before, we went looking around after dinner, revisiting all the spots again after dark. Almost every part of the central city is still awake, with cafes and bars open, theaters filling up and emptying, and crowds of tourists and locals wandering about. In the end, called it an early night though... tomorrow, we were going to hit Vatican City!
Contributed by Ross McDowall and Wil Alambre over the course of February 22nd…
Toy airport security machine to help kids grow up accepting invasions into their privacy
The Scan-It is a toy airport metal-detector to help your kids train to be productive members of the panopticon police state:
ESMS: Save Some Green!
A really innovative energy managment system.
Map of the world as a music sheet
Includes not only the graphic to view and the ability to buy the poster, but you can even listen to the composed music!
Hello! I am officially back from my trip to Italy! To answer a couple quick questions: yes it was beautiful, yes I took lots of pictures, and yes it is bastard ass cold now that I’m back in Winnipeg (I even got a bit of a cold). I took a day off after arriving, to recover from the jet lag, and am now back to work and in the swing of things.
Over the next couple of days, I hope to post my pics to Flickr, and accompany them with a blog post covering the same time periods. This is the first of those, detailing the first two days... which were, not surprisingly, comprised mostly of a long flight over the Atlantic :)
I took the trip with Aaron, lead developer for CTRNet. The total flight, including layovers, was fifteen hours. That’s including the eight plus hour flight from Toronto to Munich. It’s a long time to be stuck in a seat, I kid you not! Especially when the in-flight movies are crap like The Game Plan. :/
The advice I was given for long flights like these was "sleep going east, stay awake going west", which makes sense. We started the flight at 2PM Friday from Winnipeg and landed 11PM Saturday in Rome. So, if you managed to get some shut-eye on the oversea flight, you’re in business jet lag wise. I, however, did not manage, and was not in business... but some sugar ladened cappuccinos solved that problem! :P
Oh, and by the way, a one hour layover at any airport is not enough time to catch a connecting flight. Ever. Our flight was twenty minutes late arriving to Munich, so we missed our connecting flight to Rome. Nothing more frustrating than being in an airport you’re not familiar with trying to make yourself understood to people who speak a completely different language. Luckily, we explained the situation to the right representatives in the end, and not only got another flight a couple hours later, but even got a free lunch out of it. Turns out the Lufthansa airline had an airline passenger bill of rights that cover what we were entitled to based on how long we would be stuck. Neat!
Our first hotel, which we stayed only the night, was a block away from the Colosseum, so we obviously started looking around that area. Bought a map and tucked it in my back pocket; Rome is a beautiful city to just get lost and wander around in, but I want to be able to get where I’m going eventually. Luckily, Rome is not very big overall (you can probably walk across it in an hour if you wanted) and has both an excellent Metro and lots of bus service.
After the sun sets, Rome gets lit up with street lights and floods. All the ruins and monuments are illuminated, making it worth while to visit every spot at least twice. The only thing I recommend is that you get used to negotiating with Roman traffic during the day, as it becomes a live action version of Frogger during the night! There are very few traffic stops, as Italy uses roundabouts and the like instead, so cars rarely stop or slow down. Crossing the street is more like playing chicken with half a dozen little Renaults and motor scooters!
Anyway, not too much in the first day in Rome... we mainly just went around for the sake of actually being there at last, rather than confined to a seat for hours. Early crash at the hotel, as we were going for an all day run around the next day!
Contributed by Ross McDowall over the course of February 21st…
Contributed by Julian Moffatt over the course of February 14th…
- 10 golden rules for running an open source project
Having just discovered this site, I hooked. Oobject puts together lists of interesting items. Better late to the party than never. Check it out.
If you like to make your own desktop wallpapers from time to time, here's a fun little project for a few minutes one afternoon.
The Spies Who Love You!
Snugglie the Security Bear provides some perspective.
Contributed by Julian Moffatt over the course of February 12th…
Contributed by Julian Moffatt over the course of February 11th…
Contributed by Ross McDowall and Wil Alambre over the course of February 7th…
Contributed by Ross McDowall and Wil Alambre over the course of February 6th…
- Manitoban Wins the Literary Lottery
- Zero Punctuation: Call of Duty 4
Google Rewrites You Online
Googles Social Graph - Building critical mass
A clever looking PHP MySQL based CMS made by Alex Suraci. Nice clean interface with good demo and docs.
- Translation From PR-Speak to English of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang\'s Company-Wide Memo Regarding the Microsoft Takeover Bid
Contributed by Ross McDowall over the course of February 5th…
iPhone 16GB and iPod Touch 32GB Now Available
The iPhone 16GB and iPod Touch 32GB are now available for ordering at the Apple Store. Same specifications, no 3G, just more space so you can put double the music, double the images or double the non-authorized applications.
- Porshce Website - Behind the scenes photoshop
- Murakami takes graffitied Murakami billboard
- SuperDuper 2.5
Arcade Daze System
Arcade Daze style system replacement icons
I have several people I talk to through instant messages. Some of them exclusively, as they live in different cities and provinces (and in a handful of cases, countries). One thing I discovered was they all used different
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone you knew used one IM network? Or, barring that, there was one IM program that could connect to all these different networks? As a do-not-care-about-the-technology user, all we see is half a dozen programs that all do the same thing but refuse to co-operate.
Turns out, if you’re willing to sacrifice some of the more esoteric features in those IM programs, there is a solution!
I’m not going to going to go into the technologies behind them, or the fantastic open-source developers putting their time into building these programs. There are excellent "about" pages and developer "blogs" on each site that will tell everything you’re interested in knowing. The important thing they both do, however, is that they connect to multiple IM networks and combine all your IM contact lists into one manageable whole!
In both Pidgin and Adium, you fill in any and all your IM accounts (your logins to MSN, Yahoo, AOL, etc). The IM client will connect to each network and work exactly like any IM client you’ve ever used: a contact list window, chat windows, various alerts, etc. the difference is that you are running one IM client, all your contacts across multiple IM networks are in a single contact list.
Better yet, in both Pidgin and Adium, you can combine contacts that have multiple network accounts. If your friend Joe has a GTalk and a Yahoo account, by default, he will appear twice in your contact list (once for each network). In both programs, you can combine those two listings into a single Joe contact... so when he connects as either or both accounts, it will simply appear as "online". I personally have two or three contacts who log in and out of about four networks each, and I tell you, it’s nice not having to figure out which IM program they are using on any given day; as far as I care, they are either online or not. :)
There is a downside. Don’t expect the extra "flair" from the individual IM programs to appear in either Pidgin or Adium. MSN’s giant animated emotes (that knocking hello guy, for instance), live streaming video chat, etc. Personally, I never used those elements anyway. Some I even found annoying. If you’re like me, who just needed a contact list and a chat window with text in it, these will do you just fine.
So if you’re like I was, juggling contacts between more than one IM program, I recommend either Pidgin or Adium, depending on your
Contributed by Ross McDowall over the course of February 2nd…
Things that have always been true for the class of 2011
Beloit College has just published its 10th annual "Mindset List," detailing a list of significant things that have been true for the whole lives of the 1990-born Class of 2011. Here's my favorite skiffy/Christ-I'm-old bits:
The other day a giant 800 page PHP book managed to lure me in. I started flipping around and I found a chapter on the GD Library. The GD Library is an open source code library for the dynamic creation of images by programmers. For some time now I’ve been wanting to learn all about what this library has to offer and how we can find practical uses for it in our Content Management System Catalyst here at Visual Lizard.
I started off by creating little yellow Pacman characters randomly placed all over the board. Don’t forget to refresh page once its loaded.
View Result | View Source
I then created random number of circles and connected them from one to another.
View Result | View Source
While I may be no Joshua Davis or Eric Natzke, who both had incredible presentations at FITC Winnipeg last year, I managed to whip up some of my own randomly generated PHP art. What I did below is simply created a random number of polygons with random co-ordinates and colours:
My conclusion from this is that the GD library is an excellent method for creating graphicaly representations. When it comes to art... Well I’ll keep working on that.
Contributed by Ross McDowall over the course of February 1st…
- Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo! for $44 billion. This sounds...
Behind the scenes Nintendo Advanced Wars
Interesting. FI now has people in Korea?
Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! for $31 per Share
Transaction valued at approximately $44.6 billion in cash and stock.
- Sarah Silverman would like her boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel to know...well,...
- Geometry of the Mint logo
A Map of the World's Undersea Internet Cables
So you'll know where not to cut.