Jack Valenti’s battle trophies

I just noticed something odd on the MPAA site: under “Protecting Copyright and Creativity” they have a list of all the companies they’ve successfully sued into bankruptcy. That’s quaint, isn’t it? I imagine the halls leading to Valenti’s office are adorned like the Lord of the Flies, with the severed heads of Napster, Scour, and the others all sitting on spikes.

After seeing it I also couldn’t help but think of Krusty the Clown:

Krusty: I’ve had plenty of guys come after me, and I’ve buried them all. Sea Captain. Joey Bishop.

Pennycandy: Don’t forget the Special Olympics.

Krusty: [wistfully] Oh, yeah… I slaughtered the Special Olympics!
— “Krusty Gets Kancelled

The state unfair

Adam Kalsey takes the California State Fair webmaster to school, covering every bug, display problem, and user experience issue during the process. The level of detail is great, I often find myself stuck in similar forms and situations but can never muster the energy to write down everything that is wrong with the site.

These exercises are useful for every developer and designer working on similar sites. This critque, combined with sites like Design Not Found are loaded with lessons on what not to do. Those that don’t learn from mistakes are destined to repeat them.

Victory declared in the battle of SSH

I’m a bit of a linux newbie, so it took me a couple days of trying to hook Homesite up to a staging server that only offers SSH 2 connections, but I’m glad to say I did it.

Thanks to a free java package called mindterm and these instructions I finally did it, and now instead of downloading the staging site to my local disk, then editing and uploading every changed file by hand, I can do everything directly from Homesite by just clicking on a filename, editing then pushing save.

I don’t even want to know how much time I wasted over the past year and a half doing this by hand, pulling files down, navigating directories in WinSCP and uploading again (then having to login to use CVS to commit them).

Hey world, be more like TiVo, now!

While checking for updates using my blo.gs sidepanel (I’ve used blogtracker and blogrolling before too, though weblogs.com seems to be less reliable than normal lately), I noticed its keen resemblence to my TiVo’s “Now Playing” list.

But I realized the weblog tools are missing an important feature when I read sippey.com this morning. He started republishing new stuff on Stating the Obvious, which he runs, but I had to read it on his site to know that.

With the advent of features like this at Technorati to tie multiple weblogs to a person, and tools like this to find similar weblogs, why can’t these tools say “you may also enjoy these 5 weblogs” whenever I check for updates? If I like them, I can keep them, or next update they’re gone. In this case, hopefully Sippey’s other site would pop up and I’d be able to add it with a click.

Finding Nemo’s FICO score

There this game called Fishy that is fairly simple and highly addictive. You start out a tiny goldfish, and you have to eat things smaller than you while avoiding things bigger than you. With much patience and practice you begin amassing enough small fish to grow larger and eventually you’re bigger than everything else. It takes forever to win and you can lose in a heatbeat (it took me two days to beat the game, after losing 20-30 times).

I’ve been shopping for my first home lately and for some reason the game feels like a metaphor for the average american’s financial life. You are born broke, and told to save your pennies for decades (by the way, whatever happened to my childhood savings account with 50 bucks in it?) until one day you can own that perfect million dollar place. But one tiny missed student loan payment, one forgotten video rental at Blockbuster, or one too many credit card bills and your chances of getting that perfect place go poof, just like ol’ Fishy.

Music in 15 hours or less

I’ve been a fan of Scott Andrew‘s music for a couple years now, and I know it takes him anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to create a new song. When he said he was going to go from idea to song in 24 hours with Shannon Campbell, I wasn’t sure if they could pull it off, it seems like so much pressure to force a creative output like that.

As of 8:30PM tonight, The song is almost complete and sounds amazing. They’ve even working on a new song to fill the remaining time.

R$$ Feeds at AMZN

Nice! Amazon developer Alan Taylor notes they’ve added RSS via the link tag to many product category and search pages. Here’s amazon’s announcement about it, and here’s an example RSS feed I got on a book search for “weblog”.

This could be one of the first good examples of RSS making a company real money, by letting people watch a product area they are interested in and buying products as soon as they are notified of it.

update: whoa, pb drops science on exactly how this works and how to personalize it for your own associates ID.

Progress in the land of DOS

While searching around for boot disks tonight, I realized my PC’s floppy drive was dead. Eventually I found Bart’s bootable CDROM that allowed me to create an ISO that booted right into DOS once burned and loaded.

It seems like something that should have been devised years ago, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of it.