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29 July, 2003

Bad Site, Good Music

Every once in a while, I'll encounter a web site that is so poorly designed that it drives me crazy.

Steve Lawson is a bass player, who I discovered on Whole Wheat Radio. I liked his music, so I checked out his web site. I was greeted by a poorly-done graphic that shows only text (what's the point?).  If scripting is disabled, nothing happens when you click it. If scripting is enabled, clicking the graphic opens a new window, with pre-defined dimensions, no status bar, and no menu bar! Why no menu bar? I can't think of a single reason. And why clutter up a user's screen with an extra window? Again, no reason.

Steve, you're a great bass player. But have you ever considered the fact that people who visit your site might like to have a small bit of control over what happens? And here's a secret tip: JavaScript is not required for a good web site!

But there is a bright side. His music is superb. Here's a direct link to his music download area. Start with the "steve and theo travis" track -- a sax/bass duet.

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Getting A Refund For Windows

From the Linux Journal: Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court

Thanks to good records and a Small Claims judge, Steve Oualline got a $199 refund for his unused copy of Microsoft Windows XP. One Linux user's story shows how to establish a good refund case.

Posted on 29 July, 2003

No More Ads In a Blog

Man, am I ever influential!

This morning I complained about the Amazon ads that cluttered up the Off On a Tangent blog. And now, based in large part to my comments, Steve has removed the ads. Good move, Steve. The small amount of money you would have made just isn't worth the clutter.

Now, on to my next crusade to improve the world of blogging... Let's see if I can get Glenn to lose the audio blog posts at his Hi. I'm Black! blog. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't see the point. People come to a blog to read. It takes me about 1.5 seconds to determine if a blog item is worth reading. But with an audio blog post, I actually have to listen to it. Even if it is interesting, it takes about ten times as long to listen to it, rather than read it. And besides, I almost always have music playing in the background.

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Three Stooges Tattoos

Like most red-blooded American males, I'm a Three Stooges fan. But if I were going to get my body covered with tattoos, I don't think I'd choose a Three Stooges theme.

But this guy did. Perhaps not coincidentally, he goes by the name of Curly.

Curly, not your ordinary stand up comic, is very different from any other stand up comic you've ever seen. He is not a comic clone, he's the next big thing in stand up comedy. He is setting a new trend for the world of comedy. Every so often someone comes along who is so different they change everything, that someone is Curly.

(via Side Salad)

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Making Over Mona

Change the look of Mona Lisa.

It's a nicely-done Flash app, but it turns out that it's just a viral marketing effort by some skin care company.

Posted on 29 July, 2003

More On BuyMusic

It seems that BuyMusic, the latest online music download service, is rapidly getting a very bad reputation.

Here's an amusing BuyMusic parody.

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Stereo Images By Animating

There are a few different ways to view stereo images. Jim Gasperini is working on a new method.

Experimenting here with a way to present stereo images on the screen by simply putting the right and left images in an animated .gif

The image shown here is a small version. Go to Jim's site and view the full-sized images.

And it works. You can really perceive the depth in these images. But, of course, the animation is very distracting.

(via Attu)

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Pet Rock Stars

On 26 July, Shannon Campbell and Scott Andrew spent 24 hours writing and recording original music to raise money for the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation. It was part of Blogathon 2003.

You can download and listen to the result here. Impressive!

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Fighting Terrorism

From MSNBC: Air marshals pulled from key flights.

Despite renewed warnings about possible airline hijackings, the Transportation Security Administration has alerted federal air marshals that as of Friday they will no longer be covering cross-country or international flights, MSNBC.com has learned. The decision to drop coverage on flights that many experts consider to be at the highest risk of attack apparently stems from a policy decision to rework schedules so that air marshals don't have to incur the expense of staying overnight in hotels.

Huh?

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Earth and Moon Viewer

The Earth and Moon Viewer site has lots of viewing options.

You can view either a map of the Earth showing the day and night regions at this moment, or view the Earth from the Sun, the Moon, the night side of the Earth, above any location on the planet specified by latitude, longitude and altitude, from a satellite in Earth orbit, or above various cities around the globe.

In addition to the Earth, you can also view the Moon from the Earth, Sun, night side, above named formations on the lunar surface. or as a map showing day and night.

Posted on 29 July, 2003

PETA or PETA?

Sometimes acronyms can be confusing. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) or PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals).

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Polygamy

Learn all about polygamy.

The purpose of this site is to provide a resource for people who wish to move beyond present day monogamy and to promote plural marriage by encouraging honorable individuals wishing to pursue polygamy as the marriage structure for their Family and to support those individuals living plural marriage with integrity.

They even have a Personals section, which has a list of families that are looking for additional wives. For example, here's the ad for the Maltz family:

Me and My 5 wives have 32 children. We want one more wife to come and live with us so we can have more. We love God and the outdoors. We have 3 ferretts and 4 dogs. Please respond, Jessica, Kathy, Megan, Lindsy, Rebecca and Kieth Maltz

(via Stiletto Philosophy)

Posted on 29 July, 2003

The Insult Monger

Need an insult? Try the Insult Monger.

Our mission is to raise the standard of insult to an art form. Insultmonger.com was the first insult site on the Internet, and is the biggest and best compendium of insulting humor with more than twenty thousand great insults for all occasions. Our insults have permeated all realms of popular culture, and can be seen and heard everywhere.

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Hummerdinger

Hummerdinger is an anti-Hummer site, sponsored by the Sierra Club. And they have a sense of humor.

"We want people to see that the Hummer H2 is the perfect vehicle, whether you're a teenager heading down to the soda shoppe, a father taking the family on one of those leisurely Sunday drives, or a mom shopping in the downtown business district," continued Clenndennen. "Just like today's music," he continued, "you can take the Hummer wherever you go."

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Film Sizes

This is interesting: One Hundred Years of Film Sizes.

Whereas film equipment has undergone drastic changes in the course of a century it is a little miracle that 35mm has remained the universally accepted film size. If film had followed the same course as video, with its continuing change of systems, the development might have been delayed considerably.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 29 July, 2003

Ads in a Blog

I'm a regular reader of Steve Garfield's Off On a Tangent blog. More accurately, I used to be a regular reader of that blog. It is now so bogged down with "context sensitive" Amazon ads that it's not worth the effort anymore.

Good luck Steve. I'm barraged with enough advertising every day, and I don't care to see it when I read blogs.

Posted on 29 July, 2003