Blog for May 2006

Responsible Asynchronous Scripting

Shaun Inman writes a feature article on Vitamin titled Responsible Asynchronous Scripting. It's a short note that AJAX should not be used willy-nilly across the board, despite the Web 2.0 fad blowing about.

I remember when AJAX really picked up speed, and a couple really smart and respected people completely reinvented their websites to use AJAX and DOM scripting everywhere they could... only to dial it back to a reasonable level a couple weeks later.

I've been sitting on the sidelines, avoiding AJAX as I watch it being applied for purposes that did not, in my opinion, require it. There's a difference between making something easier to use and reinventing the wheel. However, I'm lately seeing less "How to use AJAX to do..." tutorials and more "When NOT to use AJAX and why..." articles. With documentation being drafted in that mentality, I think I will finally take a look.

An Inconvenient Truth

The new movie about Al Gore’s crusade to show the truth about global warming was released to the world on May 24. This is a must see for those of us who look at today’s world and see the climate practically changing before our eyes. Inconveniently here in Winnipeg we won’t get to see the movie until June 16.

Begin the Regime

Stephen Harper, Canada's Conservative party leader and prime-minister, has given Canada a nice international black-eye with his first move towards pulling us from the Kyoto accord. You can read the full story over here, but the crux of it is the claim that Canada should be given a break due to the fact that we are a world energy exporter. What? Given a break? Are you serious? Canada's carbon foot print is atrocious as is and we need a break because we export fossil fuels to the US and abroad?

You know what, how about we level even harsher controls on ourselves as a world exporter? Let's try and exceed Kyoto in every aspect. Create jobs where some will be lost. Turn those jobs into world leadership areas and export Canadian knowledge to combat global warming. Why not lead the race towards a cleaner future? Why not position Canada and Canadians to lead the world in reduction?

Obviously, money talks and vision is a thing of the past in modern governments.

Ghost Rider Trailer

There’s a new trailer for the upcoming Ghost Rider movie. Yes, this movie is written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson (he did the Daredevil move), and yes, it stars Nicholas Cage... to many, not glowing endorsements. I’m not to fond of that combination either, but damn, the effects on the trailer look great. Be sure to see not only the western Ghost Rider on his flaming skeletal horse, but the modern day Ghost Rider riding up a building. Sweet!

Pay Internet? I don't think so!

At an international world wide web convention in Scotland this week, the inventor of the internet came down on the side of free access and against a multi-tier internet. That’s right keep the internet the way it is. Free access to content. The consumer pays for access to the internet in general. Access is free to any and all consumers. Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said that building a two tier internet (which has been suggested by some US telecom companies) would turn the internet into a very boring place for those who could not afford access to the second tier.

This article on the BBC does a much better job at explaining this than I ever could. Suffice to say that Sir Tim hasn’t sold out and stands behind the ideals of his invention. I am all for any system that does not discriminate against the poor. Viva la revolution!

An Idea Undone

If you have been reading our site over the last while, you know that we take the environment very seriously. Hybrid cars, less consumption and other methods of reducing your carbon foot print are essential to our continued survival on this planet.

Well, if you recall, back in the mid to late 90s, there was a big buzz going on about electric cars. They run on electricity. You plugged them in, charged them and went. They produced next to no emissions and were almost ideal for city commuting in large urban areas. By the end of the 90s, they were history.

Recently there has been some buzz about them again, largely due to the "Who Killed Electric Cars" documentary that is about to come out. General Motors choose to follow the path of least resistance and stick with the internal combustion engine. They also brought out the Hummer, but that is another post all to itself at some point.

Watch the trailer over here. Get out and see it.

Ars Technica Reviews the MacBooks

Wil, Ross, this ones for you guys ... read the detailed review at Ars Technica.

Katelin Brooke Arrives

We would like to introduce Katelin Brooke Moffatt to the world. She was born at 8:21pm, on Friday, May 19, 2006.

Teri started labour at 2 am with contractions steady at 10 minutes apart. We tried to get some more sleep, but that went poorly and Teri ended up getting out of bed, doing some stairs and laundry. She took a break to watch a recording of Thursdays ER and then got back to laundry at about 6:30 am.

By then, contractions where getting to be more frequent and stronger. She woke her sleeping husband at 7 and told him that her contractions where 6-7 minutes apart. He looked at her and said, "67 minutes? That's pretty good. What are you waking me up for?" ... This resulted in some physical clarification with a poke to the forehead ... 6-7 minutes. Yeah. That's getting close to check-in time he agreed.

After some phone calls to the grandparents, grammy Sharon was off for the day and on her way over to take care of little miss Kyleigh for however long was needed. The McAuley grandparents where called out at the cottage, and according to Bruce, he had to pull Linda out of the car in order to get her out of her pjamas and dressed before heading towards town.

We checked into the hospital at 10 AM and were in our room by 1 PM. Contractions are now up to 3-4 minutes apart and Teri is having a glorious back-labour. Without any complaining she agrees to and epideral. By 8 PM, we were in complete delivery mode and waiting for the Doc to arrive. She walked in, baby arrived. Amazing timing on her part.

Teri did magnificently well through all of this. Calm at home. Calm at the hospital. Calm during the delivery. Calm afterwards. Dad on the other hand, not so calm. Not only was his mental state out of zen, his lame attempts at humour to lighten the situation sucked.

Anyhow, enough of my yapping. Please meet Katelin Brooke Moffatt who weighed in at 7 lbs 12.5 oz and 20.5 inches long. 9 | 9 on the apgar scoring (if you wanted to know) and was feeding by 15 minutes of arrival.

There are more photos over here at Flickr.

Now to get some rest. Thanks for all the kind wishes everyone. We look forward to many years of joy and mischief from out latest addition. Based on her arrival, her little smirk and her older sister, they will be a force to be reckoned with by the time they are 7 and 5 ... look out boys.

Launch #5 in 10 days -

Merit Motion Pictures, a Canadian production company with Gemini Award winning shows, has relaunched their website! The site went through a few designs before settling on the current iteration. The site uses a set of flash navigations along with a database, to provide the viewer with detailed information about productions that Merit Motion Pictures has been involved with, as well as productions that are in the works.

Design for the site was provided by Spacecadet Design while the Content Management System and database were built with the talents of Visual Lizard (that’s us). Have a look at Merit Motion Pictures, you’ll probably recognize a few of the shows they have been involved with. We are glad and proud to have released this one into the wilds of the internet. If you like what you see don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

More Apple Love

the new macbook, in black, from apple

Apple announced the new MacBook line of laptops. They come in 13" black or white shells and house the core duo Intel processors found in the MacBook Pro line. Oh, did I mention they start at $1249 (canadian)?

While definately not a chic as the Pro line, these little guys should be just the ticket for Apple to forge even further into University classrooms and lecture halls, as well as making them perfect for any developers who already have smoking desktops but want something to take on the road. Get your Apple stock now!

Yahoo! Relaunch... failure

Considered by some to be the world’s most popular online destination, Yahoo relaunched it’s site today. The look and feel are much nicer than the old late 90s look that had followed it around for way too long.

Apparently new look doesn’t mean new standardized code. Being web developers here, we decided to take a look at the coding behind the new look, and boy are we disappointed. One of the things we pride ourselves on is creating our code to follow web standards. We are a small company who take the time to build properly. I would have hoped that the big guys (like Yahoo!) who are such a huge presence on the internet would have taken the effort to promote the high standards that the web development community is trying to bring to the world. Apparently that was too much for which to hope.

Al Gore Opens SNL Last Week

Al Gore, the former elected president of the United States, opens Saturday Night Live last week. The skit is a very funny look at the parallel universe that "could" have been. Video over at here at