05 Mar 2006

he's not linking to myspace, is he?

ok, it pains me to do this, but i'm going to link to a myspace page. this is crazy, i know, but there is this really funny song called she's talking again by henry phillips that you must listen to. it starts of being really odd, but then it gets really funny!

should check out jenee's myspace faux profile for a hip-hop granny named bea-yatch!

(via jenee.net via jenee's myspace profile)

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04 Mar 2006

avocado, mangos and lobster

thats the combination of my three favourite foods! oh how i wish i had time/money.

 Media 2006 03 Lobster Salad

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04 Mar 2006

hurray for bullshit!

wired news has an interesting article about generating useful things from cow dung. they are able to extract gasoline out of cow dung, about 1% in volume. and then also extract ingredients to make fragrance in soap. next thing you'll know is you'll be washing yourself with what came out of a cow's ass. what a thought.

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04 Mar 2006

canvas on IE

while looking for implementations of javascript sliders, i came across webfx which seems to be a cool collection of neat little javascript toys. one thing that caught my eye was the canvas on ie project. i think i saw this a month ago but i forgot to follow up on that.

now that i have, i'm really glad i did. basically, they mapped some (not all) the canvas functions to the IE VML implementation through the cunning use of the msie behavior DHTML extension. the same crazy thinly documented hack that allows you to build in PNG alpha support for IE browsers.

more interestingly, the guys there have been working on a charting widget that is very similar to canvasgraph (or soon to be called plotkit). there are some cool things in there, especially with SVG support and IE support. i've got IE support working on the my version by using their behavior htc in a slightly different way.

you can check out a development version with the basic and sweet renderers (which is what i talked about in my last post about the office 12 style bar charts). they look a little different per browser because firefox does not have shadows and canvas on IE does not support alpha transparency. other caveats on IE is that it renders very slowly and clear() does not work (yet).

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04 Mar 2006

jobs 2.0

no, not steve jobs 2.0. i mean job search engines 2.0.

check out indeed and simplyhired. i think its great that they're simplifying job search. you really don't have to do much to beat monster, hotjobs and such websites. just give a nice big search box, add a bit of rating and tagging and rss feeds, and you're job search 2.0.



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04 Mar 2006

whoops! i blocked all web crawlers for a couple of days

i accidentally blocked all web crawlers from my site when i made some changes to my fastcgi server that serves liquidx.net.

i'm now considered Python TypeError according to google:

Liquidx Pythontypeerror

you'll also see i use google's search history tracking and i like clicking on people who mention me. :P how google crawls my site again soon.

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03 Mar 2006

location via tv signals

this is something i came across a while back but only today did i actually listen to it. it is a recording from the where 2.0 conference in 2005. the speaker is todd young, from rosum corporation.

basically, he is presenting their system which augments gps by using tv signals. the basis is that the device uses known location of tv towers and their multipath characteristics per channel to determine the distance. they claim they can get e911 standards. apparently, they are using the fact that the tv frequency was chosen deliberately back when broadcast tv was designed because it could penetrate walls. they use this as the motivation to use tv frequencies. anyway, if you do any location technologies, you should have a listen.

In this presentation, Todd Young describes a solution to this problem. He represents Rosum Corporation, a company that has developed a way to use unmodified broadcast TV signals for positioning in these places where GPS often fails. These signals penetrate buildings and are already available worldwide.

This critically useful technology is the result of work by Dr. James Spilker, the co-architect of GPS, and Dr. Matthew Rabinowitz, an expert in high-precision navigation systems. It has the potential to revolutionize location positioning and provide a base for the development of helpful new services.

a white paper about their technology is available. one final note, from the questions after the presentation, it is revealed that they are funded in in-q-tel (cia's commercial funding arm)

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02 Mar 2006

canvasgraph 0.8 preview

just like to update interested people on the progress of the next release of canvasgraph.

1. rewritten most of the rendering routines so that it is now broken out into a separate class. this means the most complex bit of the library, the layout engine, will be independent of the technology used to render the graphs. so that allows us to write an SVG, or even DIV/PNG renderer. i don't think the SVG renderer will be part of the next release, but will probably rear it's head later when people are familiar with the new rendering API.

2. i've added some basic mouse events. although the interface to these are not final yet, but basically it supports onclick, onmouseover, onmouseout and onmousemove on bar charts (every individual bar) and line charts (when inside the line chart). along with that, you get the x and y values of the dataset you are looking at, so it adds the possibility of doing some nice overlays.

3. as a result of breaking out the rendering engine, you can now customise the look and feel by not needing to know much of how the graph is laid out. this is an example of how a graph can be rendered in version 0.8


looks familiar doesn't it? this is the same style, right down to the colours as the microsoft office 12 graphs i blogged about previously. i loved those graphs so much that part of the goal in the redesign was to allow maximum flexibility with the renderers. these graphs look better in safari than firefox because firefox does not have support for shadows on the canvas (even though it is in the specification).

4. i'm considering a name change for the project from canvasgraph to PlotKit because it is now sufficiently different and the API will definitely be broken between 0.7 and 0.8. it isn't called GraphKit because there Apple has some frameworks called GraphKit that is used to do directed graphs. and actually, that is true because what i'm doing is not graphing, but plotting. just that when you were a kid, you used to call it graph paper and not plot paper, so i always had the idea that these are graphs. maybe someone can come up with a better suggestion for a name

5. once i have the name settled, then i'll setup a public project mailing list for interested people. right now it's only been me who's developing it because it allows more flexibility with rewriting stuff. but i think at this point i'm ready for the library to stablise.

6. i'll probably remove the phrase that implies opera 9 works, because it doesn't. i just tried opera 9 to draw some graphs, and its all wrong. things either don't draw or just drawn wrong: [UPDATE: it seems like opera 9.0 preview 2 is working with the canvas stuff properly again, or at least the latest one from their site.]


compared to safari:


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01 Mar 2006

google maps v google earth

for those of you who don't know, this is a aerial view of where i live. yeah i live right on the riverside, so if it floods -- well lets just hope it doesn't flood.

Google Cambridge

this post is to illustrate what google is keeping away from us. you see that in google earth (on the right), the zoom level is much higher than google maps (on the right). that silver car outside my door is twice as big.

note also that both pictures are the same, meaning that google is just not sharing that data via google maps but keeping it for google earth. not sure what explanation there is for that, i suppose maybe they don't have the street map data? although that argument falls flat if you consider that they have satellite data for places like hong kong.

to side track a bit, that picture was taken before we moved in because the near by retail park hadn't even been completed yet. according to press releases and such, that was around the middle of 2005, so around 6-8 months ago.

the neat google maps browser on the left, is my own evil creation. i'm still not that happy with it, but i'll probably release it for people to play with if there's any demand for it. it's much more fun browsing google maps using this than their website -- i must say, and the interface doesn't suck or slow down as much as google earth.

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01 Mar 2006

intel mac mini + ipod hi-fi = anticlimax

oh and don't forget about the ipod leather case for $99. who in their right mind would buy a leather case for $99. if i buy a leather case for $99, that leather case would have to come from a kobe cow who has been fed sake all his life and had awesome thai massages by cows of the opposite sex.

nothing much to say about mac mini core duo except .. i want one! not that i don't have an immediate use for it, but something will come up, i'm sure. but the ipod hi-fi is just weird. its like huge, but reportedly not as high quality as pro hi-fi's, yet apple are claiming it is going to start a home audio revolution. i suppose they should of bundled the airport express airtunes with it instead, maybe that would of been the smart move.

bah .. problem is that apple product announcements are so hyped up by blogs and the media. all apple did was send an invitation that had 8 words on it. man, 8 words. and then everyone and their dog ran to town crying everything from itablet to new video ipod to movie store and etc.

we pretty much know what they're going to release for the whole year in terms of macs. just the same mac but with intel inside and 20% markup (the cheapest mac mini bumped from $500 to $600). we're just hoping that apple will actually do something cool with those intel chips, but it seems more and more unlikely. not even an the intel mac ad can save them from being sucked into intel's boring vortex!

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