Internet Explorer 10: Platform Preview 2 now available

  • June 29, 2011
  • James Skemp
Released earlier today, Internet Explorer 10: Platform Preview 2 is now available for download. Just the other day at work I had fired up IE10PP1 to see if a new version was available, so I'll just go ahead and assume Microsoft was zeroing in on my brainwaves with this. I definitely like the direction they've gone with these platform previews, so I hope to see that continue. And that's about all I have to say about that.

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On Web sites that feature Facebook Comments

  • June 24, 2011
  • James Skemp
Over the past few months a number of sites have switched over to Facebook-powered comments. For the most part those sites are ones that I've never commented one, nor will comment on. However, I recently discovered that a former co-worker, Rob Lumley, switched his site over to Facebook, and recently wrote an article about it titled Add Facebook Comments to WordPress. Since I don't use Facebook comments, I figured I'd post the response I had written and tried to post anonymously, here instead.

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Well done, Amazon (re: Amazon Cloud)

  • March 29, 2011
  • James Skemp
Well done, Amazon. They've been saying for quite a while that music was heading towards the 'cloud,' and while it seemed for a while that everyone was betting on Apple doing it first, you've trumped them, with what seems like a very consumer-friendly service. 5 GB for everyone? Check. Free upgrade to 20 GB if you buy an Amazon MP3 album? Check. Amazon MP3s purchased and stored to the cloud (seemingly at purchase) don't count against your limit?

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Interesting feature with parsing XML with jQuery on Safari

  • March 27, 2011
  • James Skemp
I've been playing around with HTML5 quite a bit recently, in particular with offline Web applications. My second experiment (my first is on pause) was with making my video games available, so that I can access the listing when I'm out shopping at used game stores. It's still in progress, but you can see my offline listing of video games now. My main intention is to make this available on my iPod Touch, so I was a bit dismayed when I found that the listing didn't display the title of the game.

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On the case of weird image results for 'Dan Conderman'

  • February 28, 2011
  • James Skemp
If you've done an image search for Dan Conderman lately you may have found an interesting search result for your Dan Conderman image search (on Google). I'm not exactly sure why Dan Conderman is showing this image, but since Dan Conderman likes Lady Gaga, and Dan Conderman has been known to ski in the snow ... Are the script kiddies playing a trick on Dan Conderman? Will we see sites 'hacked' with footer links to Dan Conderman's newest image search result?

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Convert online image to base64 with C#

  • December 12, 2010
  • James Skemp
The following code will convert an online image to a base64 string. The code was specifically written for use in LINQPad, hence the use of Dump(). String url = "http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MVXV3QQ6L._SL500_SS150_.jpg"; Uri uri = new Uri(url); WebClient client = new WebClient(); byte[] imageBytes = client.DownloadData(uri); string base64String = Convert.ToBase64String(imageBytes); base64String.Dump(); base64String.Length.Dump(); ("<img src='data:image/jpg;base64," + "' />").Length.Dump(); client.Dispose(); The length dumps are given to get an idea of what size would be added to a file if added inline.

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Review: Beginning ASP.NET 4 In C# and VB

  • March 28, 2010
  • James Skemp
The following book review is for Imar Spaanjaars’ Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB. While I’ve already read Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 by Imar Spaanjaars and moved rather far beyond it, when I had the opportunity to recieve his new book on ASP.NET 4 for review, I took it. Would I still feel strongly about recommending his work as the #1 choice for those new (or relatively new) to ASP.

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What I'd like to see in 201X in regard to browsers

  • December 9, 2009
  • James Skemp
Situation 1: WebKit Microsoft drops all active development on Internet Explorer 9. Instead, they throw their full support (development team) behind WebKit. Apple, with Safari, and Google, with Chrome, are already behind WebKit. Apple’s implementation on Windows, via Safari for Windows, is shoddy at best, and Google’s Chrome is a completely slimmed down version. By getting Microsoft’s support behind the engine you have an experienced team that has already developed for Windows.

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Twitter hashtag - #walkingmusic

  • April 24, 2009
  • James Skemp
In the spirit of Rob Lumley (rmlumley), who created #cubemusic, and after a great walk today, I've created an original hashtag: #walkingmusic. For all those days I go for a walk (which I hope to be every Friday afternoon, at least), I'll be noting afterwards what music I listened to on my walk. It's very similar to #cubemusic, but not as likely to get you in trouble (even though I would assume there would be more than that to it).

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Passing the time online, reading the news

  • April 22, 2009
  • James Skemp
Often times, like this morning, I've got anywhere between 5 to 60 minutes of time to kill. It doesn't make sense to do anything truly productive, so I end up visiting a number of sites. techmeme.com, dailyrotation.com, news.google.com, etcetera. Then I get desperate and visit weather.gov. However, once I've visited these, I run low on ideas of other sites, like these, that I can visit. Any recommendations on sites that combine news, from a number of different sources, that is also interesting?

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The Wastelands are big ...

  • January 6, 2009
  • James Skemp
... so save yourself some time and checkout this very handy map of the Fallout 3 world. Of course, the map isn't required, by any means, but it was actually a really big help on getting to 100% understanding of the in-game 'compass.'  The rest of the wiki is also packed with information, even though, unlike a true wiki, members don't seem to be able to edit items.

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If Firefox recommends ad blocking software ...

  • December 24, 2008
  • James Skemp
The other day I installed YSlow on my home machine. When I did so I noticed that they were recommending the major ad blocking add-on, but I didn't think too much of it. I was reading an article that questioned again (id est, old news) whether Chrome would strain the Google/Mozilla relationship. Since the ad blocking add-on blocks Google ads, I wonder if instead of Chrome, it's these recommended add-ons that are causing the strain.

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Current, major, browsers

  • November 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
Do users know that they're not using the current version of their browser? While many browsers will check for updated versions (Firefox, for example), some do not. Anywho, I've decided, looking at the numbers, that I would start adding a check on my sites to alert users if there browser is out of date, and tell them where they can get an updated version. Note that I refer to the desktop version of these browsers, and mention only the major browsers.

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Browser environments for testing

  • November 20, 2008
  • James Skemp
In a previous post I mentioned using virtual machines for testing. Here's the three virtual machines that I feel cover the most options for browser testing (on Windows):  Current versions Looking at the top 10 browsers for this site, using data from Google Analytics, we have; Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, Opera, Playstation 3, Konqueror, SeaMonkey, and Camino. Of those, Internet Explorer and Firefox, obviously, account for the largest amount of traffic, at about 86% of all visits.

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Wowsa - what happened to Google Analytics? (November 2008 edition)

  • November 11, 2008
  • James Skemp
Google has done it again. Logging in this evening, I immediately noticed the change to Google Analytics. Now you can see, when you first log in, the visits, average time, bounce rate, completed goals, and % change (default visits) for your sites. It's weird in that it shows a number of rows, and not sites (which effectively means half as many sites as I expect, as each of my sites has two rows), but it's very interesting.

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LogParserPlus.com - Updates for 2008.11.04

  • November 5, 2008
  • James Skemp
Log Parser Plus was updated last night, during the election coverage, with the following changes: All functions now have descriptions (pulled almost completely from the included help file). Expressions have been added. Visit LogParserPlus.com for all of this information, and more, as it becomes available. (Next addition will be samples for the functions, and the start of a fleshed-out queries listing.

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.NET DataSet dump (C#)

  • October 18, 2008
  • James Skemp
One thing that I really like about ColdFusion is the powerful cfdump. Use the cfdump tag to get the elements, variables, and values of most kinds of ColdFusion objects. Useful for debugging. You can display the contents of simple and complex variables, objects, components, user-defined functions, and other elements.  Of all the tags in ColdFusion, cfoutput is probably the only tag that I use more. Unfortunately, most other languages, JavaScript and .

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Netflix charges more for Blu-ray? No more Blu-ray I guess

  • October 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
Granted, it's only a dollar more, but in this economy ... Dear James, As you may know, Blu-ray movies are more expensive than standard definition movies. As a result, we're going to start charging $1 a month (plus applicable taxes), in addition to your monthly membership charge, for unlimited access to Blu-ray movies. The additional charge for unlimited Blu-ray access will be automatically added to your next billing statement on or after November 5th, 2008 and will be referenced in your Membership Terms and Details.

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LogParserPlus.com launched

  • September 26, 2008
  • James Skemp
Since I now have actual content, there can be more visitors to Log Parser Plus, outside of the government. In additon to posting the articles here, I'll be posting a number of articles to Log Parser Plus in an attempt to make Microsoft's Log Parser utility that much easier. The initial focus will be on IIS-related queries, but who knows where it'll end up.

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Why does Google Chrome hate Flash?

  • September 21, 2008
  • James Skemp
For the last couple of days I've tried opening a Flash video within Google Chrome. By doing so, I've effectively killed not just Google Chrome, but also my OS while Chrome attempts to cope. I noticed from the beginning that Chrome's task manager listed the Flash plug-in as a separate 'page,' and thought it might cause issues, but this is pretty sad. I already forced an upgrade once, and and upgrading from 0.

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First Stack Overflow question

  • September 20, 2008
  • James Skemp
I asked my first Stack Overflow question today. The one thing I didn't care for was that I couldn't figure out how to search by multitple tags, even though the site suggests that I can (using a space) ... I also don't care much for the number of subjective questions (but at least there's a tag for it). Now if only I could figure out how to exclude those that are community-building topics, versus those that are not .

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I like the Gates/Seinfeld ads

  • September 12, 2008
  • James Skemp
Maybe that makes me out of it, but I like the Microsoft commercials. No, they don't really tell me anything without digging, but they're just fun, and sometimes even funny. Granted, they don't bash anyone like the "I'm a Mac" commercials, but ... Keep doing them, and I'll keep watching 'em.

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James Skemp's BlogEngine.NET themes

  • August 31, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following is a list of links to posts regarding themes I have worked on for BlogEngine.NET, and that are available for use. (Themes I've worked on for others are not included here.) Listed alphabetically. MWRT-002 Download for BE.NET 1.4.5.0. Swan Dive Download for BE.NET 1.4.5.0. As I'm not a designer, I typically use open source designs, such as those from Open Source Web Design, Open Design Community, Open Web Design (please post a link if you know of more).

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Review: Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB

  • July 11, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following is a book review of Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB, written by Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman, and Devin Rader. Having read Imar Spaanjaar's Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB (review), I was expecting a number of good things from this book. Imar's book is really great in that he shows you how to build a Web application with ASP.NET 3.5. However, with Professional ASP.

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Wrox feedback - July 11 2008

  • July 11, 2008
  • James Skemp
I never heard from them on my last batch of feedback for the Professional version, and they still aren't posted, but Imar confirmed the one errata I pointed out on his book. Additional errata for Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB: Page 579, last sentence: Welcome.html should be Welcome.htm Page 581, first paragraph: Welcome.html should be Welcome.htm (x2) and Start.html should be Start.htm Page 628: Figure 13-1 is the incorrect image.

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Wrox feedback - June 29 2008

  • June 29, 2008
  • James Skemp
Read my review of Beginning ASP.NET 3.5: In C# and VB. Some errata for 978-0-470-18757-9, Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB: pg 247, second to last sentence on the page: <h3> should be <h1>. pg 253: Figure 5-13 is incorrect. pg 487: Figure 9-12 is incorrect. pg 527, second to last sentence on the page: Listing 10-13 contains no highlighted text. I was expecting more errata to be listed.

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Review: Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB

  • June 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following book review is for Imar Spaanjaars’ Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB. Update July 11 2008: Review of Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB. Update March 28 2010: Review of Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB.  I’ve picked up copies of Beginning ASP.NET 2.0; Build Your Own ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site Using C# & VB; Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 E-Commerce in C# 2005 From Novice to Professional; and Microsoft ASP.

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Review: Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Step by Step

  • June 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following book review is for George Shepherd's Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Step by Step. Based upon the title, 'Step by Step,' you might think that Shepherd's book will actually cover ASP.NET 3.5 in detail, piece by piece. While it's true that he does this, he does it to very little detail. He also makes numerous assumptions throughout the text, which may have you scratching your head more than you usually would, picking up a new language.

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Directories to parameters with IIS 6 and wildcard redirection

  • May 29, 2008
  • James Skemp
Some parameters have been changed to protect the innocent.  This could be old news, and since I'm talking about IIS 6, I know it is. But, I just discovered the other day how to pass parameters to a file using IIS 6, a virtual directory, and a URL that contains directories below the virtual directory. So, at work I had a horrible URL like the following (ignore the invalid space): /filename.

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Dynamic user-controlled layout in a CMS

  • May 25, 2008
  • James Skemp
This article is meant to hold some of the thoughts that I've been having about allowing a user to control the layout of a page, in particular for use within a content management system (CMS). The system would need to be able to support a user creating templates easily, but hopefully without the use of tables. In the CSS Advanced Layout Module, there is a draft specification for Template-based positioning.

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Charter's 'no domain' hijacking

  • May 18, 2008
  • James Skemp
It should be pretty self-explanatory … Obviously, something is up with their contact form's timestamp, or the service's.  Sent: May 19, 2008 8:13:48 AM Subject: Other Internet Inquiries I understand that Charter is trying to help by providing a search page if we type a domain in incorrectly, but the redirection that occurs is out of control. Even though I've opted out via the cookie, I'm still redirected to http://www11.

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Jeff Atwood's post on MVC brings up a great philosophical question ...

  • May 14, 2008
  • James Skemp
I forgot to comment on this the other day, when I first read the post. Jeff Atwood, of Coding Horror, wrote a piece titled "Understanding Model-View-Controller" which brought forth this response from Shmork (I wish he would have posted a site): I have to admit, as someone with more philosophical inclinations, I wonder whether the stated goal of totally separating content from representation is even a good idea. Certainly no graphic designer would sign on to that theory of the world, much less a philosophically inclined graphic designer.

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Suggestion to Netflix

  • April 20, 2008
  • James Skemp
Hello. FYI, I'm using IE 7, and it can be somewhat difficult to update my queue. Specifically, to change the format of the movie I would like to receive. When I attempt to change the format, I will either trigger the move 'action' instead of the drop-down, while other times I can trigger the drop-down, but can't select/change to Blu-ray format. This also happens when I try to click on a title to view more details, or perhaps play instantly.

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An answer to a question about Jing Project

  • April 13, 2008
  • James Skemp
I hadn't heard of Jing Project until I was asked. Here's my response: I've not seen this before, but TechSmith is pretty well known, as far as the Morae/Camtasia (?) products, which basically allow you to record videos on your computer for demo or testing purposes. It sounds like they don't even know what they want to do with Jing, but it sorta sounds like they'd want it to compete against other photo-sharing sites, like Flickr.

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Are the Adobe Photoshop Express terms too tough to work with?

  • March 27, 2008
  • James Skemp
Recently the much anticipated Photoshop Express was released. However, crawling through the general terms of use there's a rather troublesome paragraph. Using the terms that are effective 3/1/2008, at http://www.photoshop.com/express/terms.html, we have the following at 8.a.: Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

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Congrats Apple - you've gotten away with it

  • March 22, 2008
  • James Skemp
Congrats Apple - you've gotten away with it. Media 2.0 has pulled out their banners, and is waving them proudly, all the while talking talking about how Safari 3.1 is now a part of Apple Update on Windows. I'm sure what you're more excited about is that nobody is talking about ... the fact that the size of your updates is as large as the initial installer. That's right, you've gotten away with it.

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How to install Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 on Windows Vista Home Premium

  • March 21, 2008
  • James Skemp
This guide covers Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, and may differ for other versions. I'll also only be covering the basic, default, installation. A guide covering the addition of additional features, like .NET capabilities, may be released as well. While limited, Windows Vista Home Premium allows Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 to be installed with little fuss, using the Control Panel interface. First, select Start > Control Panel.

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Test your machine in previous versions of Internet Explorer (for Windows)

  • March 15, 2008
  • James Skemp
In the past I believe I discussed Browsershots as a great way to see what your site will look like in various browsers. However, I was looking for a quicker way to see a particular page in IE 6. After a bit of searching, I found IE NetRenderer. It only does Internet Explorer, but it does it extremely quick.

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Social networks = cults?

  • March 10, 2008
  • James Skemp
Social networks = cults? From Answers.com: n. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. The followers of such a religion or sect. A system or community of religious worship and ritual. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.

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Quick and dirty conversions to FLV (Flash Video)

  • February 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
I purchased a Casio EX-Z1200 a bit ago, which I've been playing around with. Overall, I've been very happy with it, however, it outputs movies to the MOV format. While this seemed great for Apple, it wasn't the best for me. After testing out QuickTime Pro (7. something) and Ulead Movie Wizard 3.2 SE VCD (which came with the camera), I was about to settle for less than I hoped for.

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Determining memory, and more, with Ubuntu

  • February 17, 2008
  • James Skemp
Unfortunately, Crucial's system scanner tool doesn't work on Linux. While unfortunate, it turns out that there's an easy way to determine how much memory you've currently got, and how much you can increase that to, using a simple comand. sudo lshw That's all there is to it. This gives not only an overview of how much you've got, and how much you can have, but also what banks are in use with what, and other system-related 'stuff.

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Cisco Cache Cleaner and IE 7 on Windows XP Home

  • February 17, 2008
  • James Skemp
If you have the pleasure of running Cisco's Cache Cleaner on your home computer, you may run into an issue with your settings being set to something other than you'd prefer. While it may appear that Cache Cleaner clears out your data, it in fact only appears to turn auto-complete off. In Internet Explorer 7, go to Tools > Internet Options > Content > AutoComplete > Settings and turn the settings you want back on.

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Netscape to finally be put out of its misery

  • December 29, 2007
  • James Skemp
Unfortunately, the 'Internet portal' will continue to be around, but the browser is finally being put to rest. That's the news out of AOL, on the official blog yesterday. Personally, I'm really happy to hear this, since Netscape as a browser really isn't going anywhere. Currently, it just displays content using IE or Firefox/Mozilla. Happy news indeed, and not at all unexpected. Hopefully this means that freed talent and time will be invested wisely.

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Who really wins when ads are added to free content?

  • December 22, 2007
  • James Skemp
Ramblings at this point. I probably won't clean them up, but I might.  Ars technica has a post, Microsoft patent could force downloaders to view commercials, regarding advertising before the playing and/or downloading of online content. Microsoft's patent application, titled Enforcing Advertising Playback For Downloaded Media Content, describes systems that are based both on tokens and DRM which would prohibit playing a media file unless its accompanying advertising is viewed.

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Gavin Schmitt: Questions and Answers 1

  • October 31, 2007
  • James Skemp
In January and March of 2005, I asked Gavin Schmitt, of The Framing Business and Gavin War Journal, a number of questions. Those questions, and the respective answers, have been posted below. Since his answers may have changed since early 2005, I'll be adding any additional comments he may have to the answers below. 1) I'm about to read your writings - why should I? In all honesty, you probably shouldn't.

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The Daily Show is now available online

  • October 19, 2007
  • James Skemp
One of the view things I miss about cable is The Daily Show. Thankfully, I can now get my fix, as well as catch up on older shows, online, legally. The archives are available from the Show's Videos area. Among the gems is this one on the recent healthcare veto: Headlines - Kids' Healthcare Veto. The short commercial at the beginning and end are fairly non-obtrusive, save when they cut into the end abruptly.

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Review of Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think: 2nd Edition (with notes)

  • September 28, 2007
  • James Skemp
As it promises, Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think: 2nd Edition, is a quick, but extremely usable, guide to Web usability and design. The book took me less than a day to read (less than 3 hours total over the days of September 26 and 27, of 2007), but has become, in my mind, a requirement for even beginners (like myself) of Web design. Since everyone who develops for the Web should have some idea of design and usability, this book should really be a mandatory requirement for said work.

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Horrible interaction: The Names Database signup form

  • August 5, 2007
  • James Skemp
Gavin sent me an invitation way back in June to join The Names Database. This morning, having received the final reminder email, I decided to signup. However, it seems that I have to invite 5 people (5 people who have never been told about this service) before I can join. Don't know 5 people?  Sorry. You can try adding fake people, but chances are someone already tried those ([email protected]

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If you're not in Google, you're probably dead

  • July 29, 2007
  • James Skemp
A few weeks ago, I believe, a coworker and I were talking about Google, in particular, how he happens to search for people, he once knew, online. Of course, I don't think I know anyone who hasn't at least done this once (even if that individual they searched for happened to be themselves). The question is, is it true that, if someone can't find a record of you online, that you're dead?

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Still having problems adding a photo to my gravatar account

  • July 27, 2007
  • James Skemp
While I've been able to create an account, and upload an image to that account, I can't seem to be able to associate that image with my Gravatar account. Somewhat troubling, especially since support doesn't seem to want to get back to me ... A couple of days ago I decided to sign up, but if this is what I can expect, I'm glad it's a) free and b) that I've turned it off for my site.

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Safari, now available for Windows

  • June 12, 2007
  • James Skemp

Thanks to Dan Conderman (of MadisonHotSpots) I found out this morning that Safari is now available for Windows users, as part of the Safari 3 Public Beta.

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The State of the Web - A Trailer

  • April 22, 2007
  • James Skemp

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Search engine spamming sites: Bloobee.com, swicki, and eurekster?

  • March 14, 2007
  • James Skemp

I've got Google alerting me to a number of search words of relevance to me; my domain names, my name, etcetera. Unfortunately, as has happened before, a site using pieces of my content showed up in Google's results for one of my phrases.

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Updated DST happens - nothing else

  • March 11, 2007
  • James Skemp

From the looks of the various sites I've checked, it doesn't appear that much happened, on a large scale, with the recent change of DST.

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The Wiki

  • March 6, 2007
  • James Skemp

There's an excellent article over at The Reg - well worth a read. Farewell, Wikipedia?.

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Online backups?

  • February 23, 2007
  • James Skemp

I was reading an article the other day, which was discussing a companies backup plan. It's suicidal for companies, in this day and age, not to have some kind of backup plan in place (and, most importantly, tested). Yet, for home users, especially those with important documents on their computers, it's almost approaching suicidal.

There's ways to do these backups by burning to CD or DVD, of course, and even Windows seems to have something built in (or at least my HP computer with a DVD-burner does), but you actually have to run the utility, and put a disc in the drive.

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Google shortening it's name in AdSense?

  • February 11, 2007
  • James Skemp

After making a post a short time ago (this post moved to rest before it), I ran into an interesting site; in place of 'Google' in the AdSense banner text "Ads by Google", there was the small Google image, used in the address bar or tab, for those browsers that support it.

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Two reasons I'm not a Republican, and why the Digg effect isn't always that bad

  • January 27, 2007
  • James Skemp

Since neither by themselves would make a full post, two items in one.

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Browser support for different versions of JavaScript

  • January 19, 2007
  • James Skemp

After a number of Google searches, I've been unable to find a listing of what browsers support what versions of JavaScript. The few sites I did find were AnyBrowser.com and Mozilla.org. Unfortunately, the information they provide is pretty focused. In this article I'll be going over this information, and trying to dig up more.

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"Open" is to "close" as "start" is to:

  • January 15, 2007
  • James Skemp

Q. "Open" is to "close" as "start" is to:

(a) "stop"
(b) "end"
(c) "finish"

What's the answer, or the best choice?

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Algorithms or human judgement? Give me logic

  • December 23, 2006
  • James Skemp
Earlier today, it was noted in the news that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is working with Amazon on a search engine.  This new engine supposedly will use human judgement to weight results.  Naturally, sources are saying that this engine's competition is Google.  While Web 2.0 has some good things going for it, this is one of the silliest ideas I've heard of in a long time. First, DMOZ anyone?

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UW Madison map - Ruby?

  • December 2, 2006
  • James Skemp
There's a very cool interactive map for the University of Wisconsin Madison campus. You can see it at map.wisc.edu. In other news, hopefully I'll have some photos of my new car, a 2007 VW Rabbit that was built just for me.  My previous car was a 1987 VW Golf, which makes my new car 20 years newer.  Not too bad for my second car. With just a little luck (not very much at all), the Rabbit should last 20 years as well.

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Three reasons Microsoft Firefox is a hoax

  • November 14, 2006
  • James Skemp
Three reasons Microsoft Firefox is a hoax, in order of when I spotted them. 1) "it's better now ... like seriously ..." 2) Site Ground banner in the bottom left corner. 3) Create a better video, eh? Microsoft doesn't need to reuse the same video they used elsewhere. 4) Free email address?  How 90s/early 00s ... The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/14/ms_firefox/ Microsoft(R) Firefox | We've Made it Better

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My first video to Google Video?

  • September 25, 2006
  • James Skemp

Yesterday, I did multiple takes for a video on how to create snippets in Dreamweaver 8. The video ended up being pretty good, I think, albeit the video size was a bit large, and the resolution was a bit small (640x480 is what Google recommends).

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Lynx for Win32

  • September 5, 2006
  • James Skemp

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How Charter Madison stacks up - Speedtest.net

  • August 15, 2006
  • James Skemp
On CNET this morning I ran across Speedtest.net.  Like sites and tools that have come before it, it's meant to test connection speeds between one computer and another.  Unlike previous ones, however, the UI is much more attactive (i.e., more Web 2.0-like). If you haven't tried it out yet, I recommend you do so.  My results from Charter, in Madison WI, are below. It'll be interesting to see just how long this stays up.

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Four working browsers (at least)

  • August 10, 2006
  • James Skemp

There's just something about having four different browsers on your computer, to say the least. I do believe I've Lynx installed as well, but it's hardly used these days ... for better or worse.

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July '06: Month end stat thoughts

  • August 6, 2006
  • James Skemp

I've been moving the last couple of weeks, hence no posts.

I just figured out a problem I was having connecting to the Internet yesterday, so today it's been browsing browsing browsing.

I also just grabbed last month's stats (from AWStats) for my site, and hooked up Google Analytics (having grabbed an invite from the Digital Point forums - to quote Gavin, "woot"). Looking at browser stats in particular (from AWStats - Analytics won't be functional until tomorrow), I noticed a couple of things.

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Google Videos - How social networking can work

  • July 27, 2006
  • James Skemp

I was trying to pass some time, and came upon Adventures in Linux - Episode I, on Google Video. While the top 100 is full of material of little lasting value, it's nice to see the 1-2% of content that actually serves a purpose.

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How will they deal without Gates?

  • June 15, 2006
  • James Skemp

Wired News reports that Bill Gates has that he will "transition out of a day-to-day role at the company he co-founded to spend more time on global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation". The question after reading this is, what will they do?

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1,000 spam caught by Akismet!

  • May 26, 2006
  • James Skemp

As of this morning, exactly 1,000 spam have been caught by Akismet for this site. Not too shabby. Unfortunately, I don't know when this started, but it was before I got really hit.

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Akismet stats now available online

  • May 23, 2006
  • James Skemp

Akismet, one great WordPress plugin if you'll be accepting public comments, now has made available global stats on http://akismet.com/stats/. What's scary is the amount of spam per 'ham' (non-spam).

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AdSense on the spammer sites

  • May 15, 2006
  • James Skemp

It's about time one of the heavy hitters realizes what some of us smaller hitters have realized a long time ago; cut out a spammer's revenue, you hit the spammer the only place they care about - their wallets.

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The Earth: Blue Marble

  • May 15, 2006
  • James Skemp

A couple of weeks ago I was alerted to NASA's Earth photography. Really, it's amazing work. visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_set.php?categoryID=2363

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Holidays and birthdays

  • May 14, 2006
  • James Skemp

My birthday happens to be today, and when I started checking my email this morning, I was presented with 4 different birthday greetings, from 4 different forums. I'm aware that forums have been doing this for a long time, so what struck me is the forums I signed up for, but don't remember doing so :D (That's also a little security-scary1, but I know I'm signed up with many more that don't appear to be sending birthday greetings.)

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Root /Vault

  • April 24, 2006
  • James Skemp
Thanks to some great service yesterday, I've successfully logged into my Vault again, and am seeing actual data. I have a day and a half of data, but I'm already quite impressed with the user interface. I'm also extremely impressed by the feedback I've received from individuals involved in the project. This is definitely something that I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops in the near future. They've definitely hit on something big.

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Status update on logging into my Root /Vault

  • April 22, 2006
  • James Skemp
Thanks to some great support, I'm now able to log in to my Vault.  Now that I'm in, I'll be bouncing around items a bit more.  There's also some great articles that I'd like to comment on, that revolve around the project, so that'll end up meaning new philosophy-related posts (instead of just the porting-over of old ones. Hooray!

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AttentionTrust and problems with /ROOT

  • April 19, 2006
  • James Skemp
If my last post got you interested in the AttentionTrust project, and you downloaded the extension, are using it now, and are reading this on StrivingLife.net (whew, lot's of 'if's), then you may have noticed that StrivingLife.net is now a certified member.  What does that mean for you? First, that I agree with four principles that the AttentionTrust organization puts forward; 1. Property : You own your attention and can store it wherever you wish.

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Attention: Where do you put it?

  • April 18, 2006
  • James Skemp

In some way, I found AttentionTrust.org. Basically, AttentionTrust operates under the principle that your attention is both yours, and of worth.

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On Yahoo! Slurp, Googlebot, and msnbot

  • April 16, 2006
  • James Skemp

Being able to look at the statistics for a couple of different sites, with very different audiences, I've found one common thread, which is quite alarming. Before you go any further, it has to do with bots and search engines, so if you're not interested in either, you can probably safely skip this post.

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Google Calendar access?

  • April 14, 2006
  • James Skemp
For the last 10 minutes, while downloading the latest Microsoft patches from Tuesday, I've been trying to access Google Calendar. I'm prompted to login, after a long wait, and then I wait some more, only to be sent to my Google Account page. So, are they limiting access to the Calendar now as well? I like Google - it's the only search engine I use (and it's the engine most people use - for better or worse) - but they need to make sure they can handle the heavy demand's that their launches bring.

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Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics

  • March 29, 2006
  • James Skemp

Here's an interesting article out of the Googleplex: Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics.

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Found: 40 free HTML/CSS templates

  • March 24, 2006
  • James Skemp
Alessandro Fulciniti, along with an unnamed number of people, have create 40 CSS-based templates, free for download, available at http://blog.html.it/layoutgala/. They've got near every possible layout that I can think of, along with a number more. Stick on a stylesheet, and you're golden. The only real problem I see is that navigation items should, according to some sources, come before the main content area. After all if the CSS disappears, then you'll still want navigation to come first.

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Upgrading (our local install of) WordPress

  • March 11, 2006
  • James Skemp

In a previous guide, we walked through installing WordPress on a local machine. This time, we'll be upgrading WordPress. For this guide, we'll be upgrading from WordPress 2.0.1 to 2.0.2. Note that this guide will work equally well for upgrading to 2.0.3, 2.0.4 or 2.0.5.

Downloading WordPress

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'All Marketers are Liars' - Seth Godin speaks at Google

  • March 6, 2006
  • James Skemp

If you have the bandwidth, there's a great little video available from Google - Seth Godin's speech at Google.

"All Marketers are Liars" - Seth Godin speaks at Google

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RIAA wants CD ripping to be illegal?

  • February 16, 2006
  • James Skemp
It's true, at least from news stories currently coming in. RIAA et al. says CD ripping, backups not fair use and RIAA now says ripping is illegal. I think we're finally getting down to the basic point now.  Is file-sharing bad?  No (again, as I've stressed elsewhere, p2p networks allow the sharing of more than just copyrighted material).  Is the RIAA losing money bad?  Looks like it. Yeesh.

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Gmail accounts - and Gmail-Talk interaction thoughts

  • February 15, 2006
  • James Skemp

First off, Gmail accounts are basically a dime-a-dozen these days, but if you're still looking to pick up an account, I have a number of invites I'd be willing to shed.

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Yes, I do like the Internet Explorer 7 ad

  • February 10, 2006
  • James Skemp

Bink.nu has a link to a WMV file of the IE 7 teaser video. To say the least, it's cute - in a very good way.

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The Internet - critical mass?

  • February 9, 2006
  • James Skemp

Having moved from items written in January of 2006, to items written in late-2005, then to 2001, and then back to mid-2005, I have realized for myself what many have already realized. There's a problem with the Internet.

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OpenOffice is still a processing hog

  • February 7, 2006
  • James Skemp

Get OpenOffice.org I like OpenOffice, I do. I think that OpenOffice is where things are heading in the future.

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ColdFusion MX 7 - Developer's Edition

  • January 27, 2006
  • James Skemp

So. I took the next step and downloaded, and installed, ColdFusion MX 7.01, Developer's Edition, on my home computer. (I also picked up another 512 MB of memory from Crucial.com, but that's another story.)

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Without a Net

  • January 25, 2006
  • James Skemp

Without a Net - The Internet is vulnerable to viruses so lethal that they could gravely damage the online world — unless we upgrade law and technology now. By Jonathan Zittrain

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Web 2.0 and overload

  • October 22, 2005
  • James Skemp

I've been reading a good deal today, before and after my excursion around Madison (on Homecoming game-day, even). There are three that really stick out:

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AdSense and smaller sites

  • October 8, 2005
  • James Skemp
Yesterday I talked about site/network popularity. My closing thoughts were that I believe my site is growing and think it is 'popular' for some fields, but that it could probably be more so. With that said, how can a smaller site attract advertisers who will, hopefully, pay (some of) the costs of creating and updating a site? In the old days, advertising on a small site meant banner networks, or exchanges.

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StrivingLife.net network popularity

  • October 7, 2005
  • James Skemp

As I said this morning, site popularity can be determined by how many people are viewing the content, and how many people are using the content.

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Can we blame hosts for their poor HTML editors?

  • April 30, 2005
  • James Skemp

Description: A short article on HTML editors provided by Web site hosts.

Created: April 30th 2005

Modified: n/a

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Getting the Most of Your InboxDollar$.com Account

  • February 9, 2005
  • James Skemp
A while ago, I wrote an article regarding InboxDollars.com (also known as, InboxDollar$.com). That article, On InboxDollar$.com, and similar programs, discussed some of the good things about this site and it’s program. However, I feel as though some additional information could be given. Specifically, I feel as though people are afraid to enter into these kinds of sites for a couple of reasons, which I detail, and hopefully dispel, below.

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Linking to documents online: the good and bad

  • February 1, 2005
  • James Skemp
Linking to documents that are found online is almost always a troublesome issue. Unlike print documents, that one could purchase online, read in the library, or read in a bookstore – for those that don’t like to purchase books – online documents are fairly fluid. This is because one major reason, as well as a few other reasons. This article will discuss that main reason, as well as whether it’s beneficial to link to documents online, and if it is, how to best do it.

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Does 'Clown Shoes' Refer to Something Other Than Shoes?

  • January 7, 2005
  • James Skemp
Listen to Does 'Clown Shoes' Refer to Something Other Than Shoes? (MP3 format) If you’re like me, and I’ll be assuming that you are during this article, then you’ve probably seen a lot more use of ‘clown shoes’ on the Internet. For whatever reason, this is not occurring simply on sites in the industry of ‘all things clown’, but is also occurring on some of the larger, and more popular, web communities.

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On InboxDollar$.com, and similar programs

  • November 13, 2004
  • James Skemp
There’s a lot of hoopla about making money online for doing very little. I can remember, when I first got onto the Internet for extended amounts of time, during my early college years, when my roommate, Jeremy Peterson, would find something online and share it with me. Sometimes these things ended up being busts, but sometimes they would end up fairly big. Napster, for example, was probably introduced to me by him, which was a great thing until it went down.

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On the Difference Between Business and Personal Sites on the Internet

  • March 31, 2004
  • James Skemp
The Internet consists of a couple different kinds of sites. In the first place, we have educational sites, such as universities, libraries, and working groups. We also have business sites, which include sites that sell products online, as well as those that offer technical support through their site. Personal sites, another category, take up another chunk of the Internet. Personal sites can vary between a journal of an individual, to a compilation of multiple individuals (either in design or content).

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Does AOL.com offer anything of value to someone not on AOL?

  • January 19, 2003
  • James Skemp
First of all, I would like to share a screen capture from one of my visits to AOL.com on December 8th, 2002. Screen capture from 2002.12.08 Basically, and I’m afraid it’s not as clear as one would like, I visited http://www.aol.com/ and received this message. After reading the message, I pulled up the information on my browser (Help -> About Internet Explorer) and took a snapshot (using XnView). Imagine my surprise - well, not really - when I found that the browser I was using was the browser that they wanted me to use, if I wasn't going to use their browser of course.

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Downloading Stuff From Other People Using WinMX

  • November 11, 2002
  • James Skemp

This is meant to help people understand the various things that you see when you download something off of someone else. If you have any questions, ask :)

Note: I no longer support WinMX. I merely post this in the hope that it's still of some benefit. Remember, P2P sharing is not, in itself, wrong - it's all about how you use it. Be responsible.

Thumbnails will open up images captured on my screen (1024x768) with irrelevant stuff cut out.

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