Microsoft fires employee for a posting on personal blog

Microsoft fired an employee for a posting on his personal blog and showing a picture of a truck unloading a palet or Macintosh G5s into the Redmond Campus PrintShop loading dock. There are a couple of things amiss here. One: Be careful of what you blog and what you write, it might come back and bite you. I dont want to debate how ethical it is for Microsoft to beat down an employee taking pictures of their campus and posting them or talking about Microsoft buying G5s. Two: Microsoft if actually buying G5s for their graphics production work. What does this say about the power and the prowess of Macs in graphics based applications?

I am using the FeedDemon WordPress hack wayyy too often!

:mrgreen: I use a program FeedDemon RC2 which is an RSS Aggregator and lets me browse through and read hundreds of blogs without having to download all the graphics and the overhead associated with blogsites. I read about a feature request on the WordPress Support sites asking for a way to post a news article directly from FeedDemon into WordPress and I put a hack together for it. The last few posts you see on here are from that hack. It makes adding entries to my blog a breeze and I can get a lot of information in there with VERY little effort. I do believe that this makes for poor content as I am simply recycling and not creating anything interesting of my own. It still has its own merits and this feature will be used often by me to gather relevant information.
On another note, Wal Mart opened its doors here in Toledo yesterday. The opening day was dismal with little to no good deals and the store looked very much like Kmart in my opinion. My parents had wanted to know whether it was a Super Wal Mart or not, and I am sad to report that the one on Central Avenue is NOT a Super WalMart.

Comment spam notes

There’s been more talk about comment spammers around the net lately. And there’s especially been some traffic around Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist plugin for MovableType. We’re going to be doing some similar things for WordPress.
I’ve commented in a few discussions about an idea that I have that would be more of a deterrent (hopefully) than a blocking mechanism. It would work by encoding URLs in submitted comments, randomly replacing characters with their numeric entity equivalents. This change is invisible to browsers, but the idea is that Google would index the URL differently every time it was posted in a blog’s comments. Which would bust the ranking for that link. The downside is that it would also bust Google ranking for non-spammers. I plan to run some experiments later to verify whether Google automaticly decodes the entities before indexing links.
If this technique does bust the ranking, we might still be able to use it without punishing regular users too much. We could use a scoring technique to attempt to decide whether a comment is spam or not. Ones that we can decide are definitely spam get blocked completely. Ones that definitely are not spam go through unchanged. Comments that score in a gray area would be encoded, but the admin would be able to retroactively whitelist them.

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Smoking ban victim: Ragtime Rick’s

(story) – So says the owner. “Ragtime Rick’s on Glendale Ave. will close at the end of the business day on Monday %5BNov 3%5D. Owner Rick Grafing says he’s lost about 40 percent of his business due to the smoking ban, and he can no longer afford to do business in Toledo. Grafing says he’s hoping to relocate his business to Maumee or someplace outside the Toledo city limits.” How many lesser-known establishments will tank that we won’t hear about? Toledo, Ohio, a small business-friendly environment. Makes me think of the Toledo sign design shot down earlier this year called: ToledOH!. Own a bar in Toledo? DOH! Should have kept that design. It’s more appropriate. Homer Simpson, Toledo City Council, I can see the resemblence. Maybe Rick will move to The Town Center at Levis Commons or The Shops at Gateway Crossings. – (29-Oct-2003 6:34 P.M.)
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10 Tips on Writing the Living Web

Your information architecture is as smooth, clear, and inviting as a lake. Your design rocks. Your code works. But what keeps readers coming back is compelling writing that’s continually fresh and new. Updating daily content can challenge the most dedicated scribe or site owner. Mark Bernstein’s ten tips will help you keep the good words (and readers) coming.
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Emmission testing for vehicles over 4-5 years old should be mandatory

I am sick and tired :evil::shock: of getting behind old vans and broken down trucks that spew out copious amounts of carbon monoxide as they meander along lethargically in rush hour traffic! I remember my younger days in Calcutta, India (before the auto-emissions regulations) when I used to feel like I could not breathe (and got noticeably darker) when a public bus drove by my car. All of that has changed. India has very strong emission regulations now. I believe and strongly advocate mandatory emission certification of automobiles before a registration can be renewed. 😉 Thoughts?

CSS Template changes on the fly

Found some really interesting articles at A List Apart dot com about dynamic stylsheet changes using a simple javascript and storing the information as cookies. I was really itching to try it out with all the talk at WordPress Forums about retro stylesheets for WordPress and my 3 column stylesheets. So here are the results. On the top right hand side of the menu you will see the themes I have installed for my version of WordPress with a few modifications to suit my second menu column. Feel free to play around and see which one you like best. If you would like to impliment this on your site ( no matter which CMS you use, this will work for you ) simply visit the List Apart link above and download the javascript and follow the instructions. If you are confused, feel free to email me and I will try to help.
PS: once you choose a templte/style, a cookie is set on your computer which remembers your choice for the next time 🙂 The themes break in Mozilla (for now) and do not degrade well, but thats not the point of this exercise

Clouds on the way to work

When you leave the house in the morning and see a cloud like this on your way to work – it’s probably not going to be a good day. 🙂
PS: I did not take the picture, it was from an email forwarded to me. Yes Jason, I know. 😉


Templates for WordPress

I have re-written a couple of the templates for WordPress. The first is the three column floating one which you see here and can download the template at otaku42’s Blog The other template is a rework of the old b2 theme which so many people seemed to be missing a lot. You can find that as a rework of the Mindful Musings blog, getting the same information from the server, but spitting it out differently. This should be available for download soon through otaku42’s blog.
Happy Blogging!

Regular Expressions Tutorial

I got really tired of looking through a hundred websites to find a good tutorial for regular expressions. I found really interesting bits of information on many sites and decided to put it all together in one place along with some nice links to other sites with good reference and reading material. Some of the work on this website is my own, some of it is a replica of information found elsewhere (with their origin very well documented and their author credited). Here is the link to my Regular Expressions Tutorial and Reference for PHP

Sharing legal music with Cable TV

MIT is going to unveil its new music sharing product using Cable TV and laws that govern broadcast of library based music. This research project is funded by Micro$oft and can be introduced into any cable network at a cost of about $10,000. Read more in this NY Times article (dont need to log in) The idea behind all of this, which Im sure is about to be challenged in court, is the reduced amount of restrictions imposed by the music industry on analog medi distributions such as cable TV and broadcast radio (non-internet). I will be very interested to see what the music industrys’ lawyers think of all of this and how widely this is accepted in the industry. I love the fact that these kids (that actually developed this) will be shot to fame because of all of this!