Don’t know what you want for Christmas (Hanukkah, Quanza, Winter Solstice, Festivus, Ramadan) yet? Maybe these gift guides will help you find something.
Fortune Magazine “Best Products of the Year: Electronics” (thanks Kevin)
Wired “Gifts to Sate Your Technolust “
Wired “Wired Tools 2004”
Engadget “Gadget Gift Guide Round Up 2004” (a huge list!)
What technology gifts do you want this year?
I have followed Netscape, and the browser as we know it since NCSA released the very first version of Mosaic in 1993. I watched as Netscape was born from some of the original Mosaic developers. I can honestly say that I have downloaded every version of the Netscape browser since its birth in 1994. I’ve followed Netscape through the browser wars with Microsoft and its eventual victory with Internet Explorer. I watched in 1998 as Netscape was sold to AOL and wondered if that was the best thing. Would AOL finally have the money and power to unseat IE as the browser champ? That didn’t quite end up happening. In January of 1998 Netscape decided to open source their browser code. This was the beginning of the Mozilla project. I kept an eye on Mozilla and would download test builds here and there. Ultimately this project would create the Mozilla browser suite, which Netscape would build their version 6.x (extremely buggy) & 7.x browsers from. In June of 2002 the Mozilla Project released version 1.0 which was a clean standards compliant browser that ran on all platforms. Throughout this entire run, which included the dot-com bubble burst AOL took some hits, and in July of 2003, they shut down their browser division. This gave birth to the Mozilla Foundation, a self-contained non-profit organization that continued to carry the Mozilla torch since there was no longer any funding coming from AOL (after a $2 million seeding donation). The Foundation has continued to develop the Mozilla platform which includes the suite, and Firefox, which I have mentioned here several times.
Well, enough with the Netscape history lesson. Given the above, Netscape is no longer a browser. It is no longer a browser company. Netscape is simply a brand owned by AOL. Yesterday, a new Netscape browser was released by AOL, which is odd since they closed their browser division last July. This new browser is based on the Mozilla Firefox, but as you’ll see if far from it. I was able to download a prototype release of this browser and have to tell you that it looks to me like AOL took Firefox and then threw up on it. The clean Firefox user interface, which in my opinion is where it shines, is utterly filled to the brim with junk. It looks like they took the entire Netscape homepage (which is pretty busy by itself) and stuffed it into control bar of the browser. The first thing you notice outside of the 20 things blinking at you competing for your attention, is the green color and texture which makes text very hard to read. If I were to sit down and try to purposely make the poorest user interface possible, I would be hard pressed to come up with something worse than this. The standard drop-down menus (file, edit, etc.) which are in practically ever program (at least that I use) were moved to the right side of the window. I have NEVER seen a Windows program (this product is only available for Windows) where they were not in the standard top left. This is just poor UI design. I should have turned back when I was installing it, and it asked me for my zip code so that it can display the weather. By default the browser has two news scrollers, weather information, AIM, your standard Netscape links, the kitchen sink, and a partridge and a pear tree all in the top navigation area of the browser in addition to the urlbar and forward/back/reload/home buttons. The interface is an absolute mess.
Taking a look at the large picture, I guess it’s a good thing that there will be more people out there using an alternative to the buggy pop-up ridden, virus-prone Internet Explorer, but get this, you can have pages open using the IE engine inside this browser. So, if you miss the security vulnerabilities and pop-up from IE (which is one of the reasons you’d switch in the first place) now you can have them in an utterly disgusting green package. Why are you using an alternative browser in the first place? If you can’t tell, I won’t be using this browser. I think I’ll stick with Firefox. As usual, AOL’s antics are fun to watch.
Who knew that there was a Mentos scene in Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London? (probably anyone that wasted 100 min. of their life watching it!) I have never seen this movie, nor do I want to, but the fact that there is a Mentos scene makes it instantly good (at least for 30 seconds). I’m guessing the other 99 minutes and 30 seconds suck.
View the scene
I ran across this article about how an entire generation of people also do tech support while visiting home for the holidays.
The Tech-Support Generation via MSNBC
Next week, millions of college students and young professionals will head home for the Thanksgiving holidays. Weâ€™ll sit with our families in warm, candle-lit dining rooms eating stuffed turkey, reminiscing over old photographs, preparing holiday shopping lists and â€¦ Please. Letâ€™s be frank. We are going home to fix our parents’ computers.
Engadget also has a quick blurb on this – including links to helpful programs to load onto your usb flash drive before heading home.
Want to get a Christmas present from a total stranger for Christmas this year? All you need is an Amazon wish list and to sign up for Secret Santa 2004. You enter your name, e-mail, a little information about yourself (a website if you have one), and a link to you Amazon wish list into the site. Your name then goes into the big internet hat and is drawn and e-mailed to someone who will buy you a Secret Santa gift. You also get a name and a wish list to buy a present for someone else. They do request that there are a few items on your wish list under $15.
They draw for names on Dec. 10th to allow time to get your anonymous shopping done before Christmas. Sign up… maybe you’ll get my name. If you do, I want the Audi TT Roadster (it’s just a little more than $15)!
With the winter season and the holidays fast approaching, I decided to make a winter theme for Techory. You can change the theme (like always) by clicking on the colored swatches in the upper right corner of the page (the one on the end with the snowflake is the winter theme… obviously). So roast some chestnuts on an open fire sip some hot cider and snuggle up to the new winter-themed Techory.
Yes, another ebay post…
Some guy is selling a 10 year old sandwich with an image of the Virgin Mary on it. That in itself is interesting (or odd), but look at the price!!! This is kind of old news, but my mouth fell open when I a saw how much it was going for.
You are viewing an extroidinary out of this world item!! I made this sandwich 10 years ago, when I took a bite out of it, I saw a face looking up at me, It was Virgin Mary starring back at me, I was in total shock, I would like to point out there is no mold or disingration, The item has not been preserved or anything, It has been keep in a plastic case, not a special one that seals out air or potiental mold or bacteria, it is like a miracle, It has just preserved itself which in itself I consider a miracle, people ask me if I have had blessings since she has been in my home, I do feel I have, I have won $70,000 (total) on different occasions at the casino near by my house, I can show the recipts to the high bidder if they are interested, I would like all people to know that I do believe that this is the Virgin Mary Mother Of God, That is my solem belief, but you are free to believe that she is whomever you like, I am not scamming anyone, I would like all potinetal bidders to know that this has gained alot of attention from media personell around the country…
The sandwich sold for $28,000.00!!! The online casino goldenplace.com purchased it saying it was a piece of pop culture that needed to be put on display. They’ve done a few other weird things for publicity in the past.
Citroën Get Your Funk On Video (mpg)
I guess that’s what I get for buying a Honda Civic instead of a Citroën C4.
“More than meets the eye!”
The Jumbotron from Kinnick Stadium (excuse me… HISTORIC Kinnick Stadium) is up for sale on ebay.
LARGE FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD WITH JUMBOTRON
This large scoreboard is available on 22 Nov 2004. It has recorded some of the most memorable victories in football history. Contact seller for information.
Starting bid: $10,000.00
According to this article at BetaNews, Nullsoft, the company that created Winamp is no more. The final developer from the original Winamp team has left. After Justin Frankel, the founder of Nullsoft left last January (right after the release of Winamp 5), it was just a matter of time before AOL finally killed it off for good. Winamp is still available, but there won’t be any more major updates. It’s a sad day when the only media player I’ve ever used (as my primary player) is no more. Winamp was the program I used to play my first mp3 file back in 1996. AOL purchased Nullsoft from Frankel in 1999 for around $100 million and it looks like we can chalk up another company that they’ve successfully run into the ground.
Another good article here…
Homestar Runner has just released a 3 DVD set of the first 100 Strongbad e-mails. It is available at their yahoo store.
P.S. I don’t want this for Christmas. There is such thing as too much Strongbad.
Mozilla.org has just released Firefox 1.0. The download is available at ftp.mozilla.org, or www.getfirefox.com. This is their first major product release since the Mozilla suite’s 1.0 release in June of 2002. Also, sometime in the next few weeks there will be a full page Firefox ad in the New York Times from a grassroots effort to raise $250,000 for the project. So if you’ve never given Firefox a try… now is a great time to download it and try it out. If you’re already a firefox user, update your version today by downloading 1.0.
- New options for controlling where links from other applications open.
- New experimental options for controlling where links in web pages open. To make these experimental options appear, set browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs to true in about:config.
- Firefox is now available in 14 languages.
- “Sort by ame” in Bookmarks should sort siblings, not children.
- Information bar (blocked popup, missing plugin, etc) should be closeable.
- View Source should use Find Toolbar.
- Find toolbar loses content when new tab clicked.
- Disable sites reloading onresize. (Many sites reload onresize to work around bugs in Netscape 4. This caused problems in Firefox due to tabs, the Find bar, and information bars.)
And much more…
The trailer for the third and final installment of the Star Wars prequel is now online. Maybe this will be the one where they finally kill off JarJar!
Star Wars Eposode III: Revenge of the Sith
This trailer is also run before the new Pixar movie, “The Incredibles,” which I was able to see over the weekend. Pixar does it again, I give it two thumbs up!
All of a sudden the past few weeks I’ve been getting loads of Rolex spam. It even seems to be outnumbering the junk mail that I receive for Vi#gr@ and body part enlargement. I wonder why all of a sudden spam from fly-by-night companies selling fake Rolex watches has increased so much. Maybe all the spammers got together and decided their fake meds and sex weren’t selling so they decided to peddle fake watches instead.
Dremel has released a pumpkin carving tool. I imagine that if you were to use this tool there’d be alot of orange goo thrown everywhere. I sure wish I’d see this sooner or I would have carved a pumpkin this year. Maybe I’ll carve a Thanksgiving pumpkin instead with a nice turkey on it.