Firefox is So 2005

October 30th, 2006

Firefox 2.0 has been out for many days now, but why bother? Honestly, it’s a nice improvement over 1.5, but ever since Opera removed the ads and started giving it away for free it’s going to be very hard to wrench me away.

Opera has been slowly and effectively perfected over time into the perfect experience for hardcore browsing that any major browser has to offer. It has lots of little seemingly annoying features that you can’t live without as you begin using them. Like sessions, the trashcan that stores the history of closed tabs, the detailed hovering status bar, the way Opera centers the mouse when you auto-scroll, paste & go, all of it starts to become a requirement in your browsing experience.

While it lacks Firefox’s biggest advantage, extensions, it makes up for it by not usually needing them. Unless it’s overly specific, Opera might have it already. Extensions are often poor and bulk up Firefox while Opera has many little bonuses already built in seamlessly.  Opera keeps things simple on the outside, and additional cool features (like email, bittorrent, and irc) are hidden just below the surface if you’d ever want them. For example, Opera even has its own Greasemonkey-like capabilities that are superior to Greasemonkey itself.

Except for the rare moron blocking you out because you use Opera (although you can hide that you’re using Opera anyway, another built-in feature) its hard to find a site that doesn’t work properly. I like Firefox, but it still has to catch up.

Runaway Brain

October 30th, 2006

Isn’t it just like Sam and Fuzzy to unlock some childhood memories of mine? I remember seeing commercials for a Mickey Mouse “movie” (it was actually a short played alongside some movies) that was surprisingly creepy. Basically, Mickey Mouse gets his brain swapped with an evil creature, who of course goes after Mickey’s girlfriend Minnie.  I spotted what I thought was some sort of shortened version a year or two later on TV and it was really bizzare for something as innocent as Mickey Mouse.

Anyway, years later I finally find out what the hell that was all about. I watched it again, and it has some pretty good animation, but I still can’t believe Disney actually made it. Go watch it here and be amazed.

Best. Controller. Ever.

October 22nd, 2006

I don’t really want to pimp anything here, but I’m enjoying this thing almost too much. One of my roommates has an Xbox 360, and I noticed the gamepads for those things are fantastic. My personal favorite had always been the Gamecube controller, although it needed more buttons. The Xbox 360 gamepad is slightly larger (not for Japanese hands maybe?), fitting better into my hands and it has just the right amount of buttons. So when I realized they worked for the PC, I bought one.

The coolest part about it is the fact that it has the right buttons for any of the past generations of console games. Four buttons on top (L and R) for the PS2, two of which are triggers like the Gamecube. The standard two analog joysticks and a directional pad for the last two generations of video games. And of course it works paticularly great for both Xboxes. The only thing I can think of is that it doesn’t have the Z button from the N64, but you can use the joystick buttons or one of the unused L and R buttons instead. That’s what I’ve been doing with it too, playing emulated games. Lots of them. It works fantastic with the N64.

My only issue (besides finding the drivers) is that not all PC games, even today, seem to properly handle gamepads. What kind of world do we live in where two analog joysticks aren’t fully compatible with Half-Life 2?

Website Patches

October 8th, 2006

Back in my Javascript days I realized bookmarks have no cross-site security issues. That is to say, if you click on a bookmark that is a javascript: URL, you can insert your own code into the site. I added a bunch of “features” to my browsing experience through special bookmarks, most of which are now standard in browsers these days (my favorite was the one that automatically reloaded the page every 30 seconds). I called them website patches.

Here’s a new website patch for you (bookmark it, it doesn’t work on this blog) from Digg. Try it on sites with lots of images, like Fark.

FLV Streaming Server (again)

October 8th, 2006

Here’s a guide on how to use Lighttpd and a few tools to create a video streaming server. Did this guy miss the memo on Red5? Ah well.

Law & Order: CSI

October 6th, 2006

They destroyed it! Argh! One of my favorite shows, Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been retooled. Not only did they cut out their old DA and Captain, but they’ve turned it into CSI! The first episode of the season actually has Eames being kidnapped in a cliched “complex” set of murders with a predictable surprise ending. There’s even gratuitous blood and torture. I know the show is doing badly but I’d rather it be canceled than bastardized (Simpsons anyone?). At least Chris Noth is still sticking around for this season, but he’s more likely to replace D’Onofrio than anything else. Man. A show that slick could never be sustainable could it?

Just had to put that out there.