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We work on the Internet and are constantly consuming information. There's a lot of it out there. We'd forget it if we didn't write it down someplace…

Visual Lizard's blog covers everything from web standards to the muppets, from php to comic books to music, just about anything we find interesting

Opening for Infected Mushroom

Promoted by Groove204, Infected Mushroom, the most prominant live trance act in the world will be playing April 14th, 2006. Doug has been asked to open for them as one of the DJ's added to the bill. A sellout crowd is expected and this is one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year.

Toronto And Back Again

Just got back from Toronto business trip. I never used to go on business trips. I always imagined them to be a luxury plane trip to a distance vacation spot, two hours of actual work and glad-handing, and then a couple days expense account relaxation.

Wrong wrong wrong.

A late afternoon plane trip from Winnipeg to Toronto, landing tired and hungry. We checked into our hotel, dropped off our baggage in our rooms, and asked a hotel staff member for any good places to eat in the immediate vicinity. He suggested a few, but as we followed his directions, we realized we should have been more specific in our inquiries... it was 11:00pm and all of the places were closed! Luckily, a nearby pub was still open, and had generous food portion. Had a very good philly melt!

Then came work! Up before the sun, and eight to ten hour meetings in a room full of very smart people, organizing, discussing, planning, etc. Taking notes, crossing out notes, writing on white boards, writing on pads of paper... it doesn't sound difficult until you have to do it for a long stretch and with such intensity. By the time we'd break for lunch or for the day, you're hungry, tired, and your head is exploding with new ideas!

We cabbed directly to the hotel from the airport. The pub (which we thought was so nice we ate there twice) was half a block from the hotel. The meetings were held in the same hotel. We broke from the last meeting and jumped immediately into a cab to the airport for a flight back to Winnipeg. Apart from a short stroll down Yonge St, I'd almost believed Toronto was only a movie studio backdrop outside my hotel window.

And, honestly, I prefer it that way. I didn't go out on an expense account to fool around. I went to meet smart people and trade ideas. Even the flights consisted of a laptop and project planning. Work work work. Not what I imagined, and I'm all the better for the experience! :)

Ultraviolet

AAARRRGH! MY EYES! MY EYES!

What horrible madness! What happened? What terrible dimension did this unknowable, undescribable, unadjectiveable thing spawn from?!?

The first fifteen minutes of the movie was like the most boring intro movie to a bargin bin Playstation video game I've ever experienced! And at least I could skip those!

Worse yet, two-thirds of the way through the movie, it seemed the main character was not only relieved to have died before the film was over, not only filled with deperate despair at being revived, but was considering suicide directly afterwards to escape!

I like cheesy movies. I enjoyed League of Extrodinary Gentlemen! But this was the only movie I almost walked out of.

Almost.

The only thing that saved our sanity was that I went with friends and we played Mystery Science Theatre 3000 throughout the show. Its a testament to the film that the other audience members around us not only did not shush us, but were appreciative of having something entertaining to listen to!

Luckily, I got home and found a new GTP podcast awaiting in iTunes. Ahhh... so cleansed!

PS: Were those hay bales? WTF?!?

Th-is-th-is-th-is-is-sticky Situation...

The full new releases list was finally available to the Canadian iTunes Music Store and, despite the store being nearly unusable due to heavy traffic, I was able to get Danko Jones’s new album, Sleep Is The Enemy.

Some people who are really into music and have better developed hearing than I would compare the discs to older discs, or compare the music to other acts. I am not one of those people. To tell the truth, I had never really heard of Danko Jones before today except in passing. I will say this, though: I love this entire album. The best, kick-ass rock album I’ve heard since Jet.

Ten bucks Canadian on the iTunes Music Store. I highly recommend it!

US Patent Awarded for "Rich Internet Applications"

Well, this is fun news for everyone that has been building web applications (most web sites would actually fall under the scope of this patent) for the last .. oh, lets say .. the last decade. from this article at InformationWeek

All I can hope is that this gets sold to someone who actually cares about making the internet a better, more useful, experience for users and not someone who is looking to put a stranglehold on the entire show.

Conversely, can anyone get a patent for anything these days? It's as if the US patent clerks have never even used the internet if they feel that this patent application is fair and has merit for approval. Maybe I'll run out and try to patent driving. Not the cars people drive, but just the act of driving. Then I can sell the patent for the act of driving to a major car manufacturer and they can enforce a fee every time someone gets into a car, starts it and moves it. Sounds reasonable to me.

Underworld: Evolution

I saw Underworld: Evolution yesterday evening in the relatively cheap comfort of the Towne 8. To summarize, if you enjoyed the first one, you’ll like the sequel. It’s more of the same, only even more-so!

The movie picks up right where the last one left off, at the tail end of a secret war between vampires and werewolves. Our protagonist, played by the scrumptious Kate Beckinsale, has betrayed her kind, killed her group's leader and her father figure, and run away to elope with a freaky werewolf-vampire-abomination fellow she just recently met.

From there, comic book action ensues. The story is as popcorn fluff as the original. Don’t expect Shakespeare here. In fact, before hitting the theatre, me and some friends re-watched the original and went all Mystery Science Theatre 3000 on it. By mocking the original and lowering our expectations, we steeled ourselves against disappointment.

One thing I'll say about this movie, however, is that where other flicks would fade to black and leave something to the imagination, this one goes the whole balls-to-the-wall way! It's like the director thought "We never get to see this sort of stuff. I want to see this stuff. This is my movie. I want to see it!

I can't blame him too much. The hyper violence was offically thumbs-up cool, and Beckinsale gets peeled out of that latex and corset outfit. Final tally, it’s a fanboy movie, made by a fanboy, for the fanboy. If you like the cheese, you'll like the movie!

Free Music...

I've been paying attention to the mercedes-benz web site for awhile now. Why? Not because I have any intention of buying a new car from them, or because I find it well done from a design stand point, but because they actually offer a really cool service, go. Enjoy!

OS X Utility - Autopairs

If you use OS X and Auto Pairs, a preference pane install that does this for you.

Once you install it, you can set the applications you want it to actually work for. I've set it for "most applications". It does take a little getting used to, but once you realize that all your "" and {} and < > only require 1 key stroke instead of two (and if you don\'t write code ... you have no idea) it sure is a time saver! Enjoy!