Working too hard

September 17, 2007

You know you've been working too hard when you start writing a piece for your personal website and find yourself routinely checking the clock so as to figure out how much time to bill. Ha!

Dear media application developers, are you deaf?

September 16, 2007

Can someone, anyone, please tell me why 99% of the media players out there start at maximum volume (this goes for both native1 and flash-based web players)? Surely the developers of these applications have started playing a song or video, been blasted out of their seats, and thought, "you know, maybe we should have the volume set to 50%, or less."

I can promise you that if I start a song/video and can't hear it well, I'll turn up the volume. Yeah, really, I'll just reach over and crank that bad boy up a bit. Trust me, your media won't go unheard because you don't initially blow my speakers.

Seriously, I'd love an answer from someone out there.


  1. Apple's QuickTime Player is notorious for this; there is no way (that I have found) to have it default to a volume level less than 100%. It's absurd.   

Eternal September 2.0#

I'm going to have to get a little meta here and echo Rui's comments on this one:

Precisely my view on all the noise being made by clueless iPhone newbies that don’t know the first thing about what has been going on for the last six years or so on the mobile web and start spurting out gibberish like it being some kind of “wild frontier” or a “hybrid” of design approaches.

The meaning of life#

It's a peculiar state of affairs -- biologists have learned more in the past decade about how living things work than we've learned collectively over the past several centuries -- and an intense debate has arisen over what to do about it. [...] Instead of trying to formulate a definition of life, we need to develop a theory of life -- an overarching explanation of nature that joins together a myriad of seemingly random phenomena.

Audioengine A2 desktop speakers#

If these are anything like Audioengine's flagship A5 bookshelf speakers, of which I own two pairs (and discuss briefly here), I'll probably buy them; I think their small size would suit my office much better than the A5s.

Dockables#

Dockables "provides you with one-click system event access right from the Dock in [Mac] OS X."

People still use the Dock?

Bloxorz#

Bloxorz is a very addictive game (seriously, don't click on the link).

CoScripter#

A Firefox extension [from IBM] "for recording, automating, and sharing processes performed in a web browser."

Brilliant. Be sure to watch the demo. I've been playing around with this for the last day or so and can't say enough about how well it works.

Why we need standards support in HTML email#

When it comes to e-mail, I'm definitely a plain-text elitist purist, but David makes some informed, if not obvious observations and recommendations regarding the broken state of HTML e-mail and the format's undeniable permanence.

The Timemachine#

A Firefox extension that "warps you back to the amateur web of 1996."

Funny add-on, but if you want to see what the web really looked like in 1996 (and earlier), check out MySpace.

Quicksilver: Universal Access and Action#

In this Google Tech Talk, Nicholas Jitkoff, developer of Quicksilver (arguably my favorite application ever, on any platform), "explore[s] the motivation behind Quicksilver, highlights of its implementation, lessons learned from its design, and the ways it might inform the future of navigation for the desktop and the web."

Google Reader, now with definite unread item counts

September 04, 2007

Update: It appears that the upper limit has simply been changed to 1000.

Unless my eyes are playing tricks on me, it seems Google Reader is finally displaying the actual unread item count next to feeds and folders, instead of defaulting to the arbitrary "100+" indicator. I was flipping back and forth between tabs a few minutes ago when my mind's eye happened to register the >100 item counts.

In the [mostly positive] Google Reader piece I put up a few weeks ago, I said the following: "‘100+' is meaningless. This probably burns me up more than anything else. How hard is it to say 43423 unread items? Hint: it's not hard at all." Mission accomplished.