IE broken as ever

One downside of Internet Explorer no longer being updated is that its bugs will stick around for some time. A new one I discovered yesterday was that IE’s handling of images as form buttons is broken when used as a submit button.

I found a horrible hack was change back to a normal submit type, then set background-image of the button to the graphic, with the appropriate heights and widths, and a border of none. Unfortunately, this would only look exactly the same if I cleared the value out (so text wasn’t on top of the graphic), making the buttons appear blank on non-CSS aware browsers.

But it works in IE. Bad IE!

Recently overheard

“Having a teenaged daughter is tough. When I was young, I had go-go boots and miniskirts, but my daughter who just turned 14 is wearing those low riding jeans. Worse yet, some of her friends wear their jeans so low their ass sticks out of the top.”

(nods all around from the woman’s friends)

“All I want to know is, what comes after ass crack? Where do we go from that?!”

buy buy buy, consume consume consume

I wish I had the energy necessary to run a site like Kevin Kelly’s Recomendo, but here’s a short list of recent things (mostly media purchases) that I’ve been loving every bit of:

And for no reason, a list of things I am lusting after (all for the new house — pathetic what I’ve become, no?):

Signs I’m getting older (aside from the above list — my 31st birthday is coming up in a couple weeks): five years ago, when I hung out with friends all we talked about was new music and art house movies (and the web). Now all we talk about are mortgage rates and who is trying to conceive (and the web, but just a little).

Grand Central Flash

Macromedia’s Central went into beta today, and although I’ve seen some pretty cool demos at conferences, the beta is fairly crippled. It looks like it has a lot of potential for delivering paid flash content, but it does suffer from the same usability problems that most flash apps do.

Case in point: in the movie demo app, if you put in your zip and select a single theater from the list, then click on a movie title to find out times, when you hit Central’s back button, you lose your place and are stuck back on the main theater list. This is the same way macromedia’s exchange section works, making their search engine almost useless for going through more than one result at a time (because using the back button clears your place and/or search).


The author of gangstories has decided to shut down the site, just a few weeks into it. I can understand how painful it must be to bring stories back from your youth and have to relive them in public. After reading a few of them, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen when someone featured in a story would someday find it.

It’s certainly rough stuff to read and I can’t imagine what it’s like to write, so I guess I can see why raw, disturbing stories like these are so rare.

Kill the locals

The downside of TiVo is that it relies on pre-published, nationwide data as input, but actual programming is often up to the whims of local affiliates for the big networks. Sunday I was twice disappointed by my local networks.

Instead of showing the defending world champion US women’s soccer team play their (winning) opening game, my local ABC station played 2.5 hours of skin care infomercials that got recorded. Yep, instead of playing a worldwide sporting event, “shows” that normally occupy the 2am-6am slot were played on a Sunday morning. I don’t understand the reasoning for this, the station can’t possibly make much money from infomercials, and the national feed of the game was like three hours of free content ready to go. In the afternoon, instead of seeing the NBC X games knockoff Gravity Games, my local affiliate played NASCAR. I can see the reasons behind this one, as the locals here would definitely go for NASCAR over skateboarding, but it was still disappointing to sit down for an exciting evening of TiVo’d sporting events and end up empty handed.

I can’t wait to lose the local cable and go back to DirecTV’s national stations.

At least there is a rebroadcast

I contacted my local affiliate about yesterday’s oversight and they sent back a kind reply. The game will be rebroadcast Tuesday night during some dead time.

A few people emailed to say that for local affliates, nationwide feeds usually carry national ad space and cause local channels to lose money, which is probably the case here, though I still think it was a very poor decision. I first called the station, and the switch operator sounded like I was just one of many that called to complain about the game not being on. With the women’s soccer league on the brink of shutdown, and Title 9 laws under constant attack, women’s sports have a tough go of it in this country, so it’s good to hear people still care about the games.

Andy just launched his new collaborative event site I’ve been playing around with it for the last 15 minutes or so and I’m amazed at the possibilities there. The site is pretty sparse, even if you have an account, but I can see the potential and I’m really excited about it. Andy’s written one of the first second-generation social software apps I’ve seen.

What do I mean by second generation? Well, I’ve been known to bash the hype around social software (even though I’ve arguably been running a social software application for the past four years), but it was only because I was waiting for the substance that lived up to the hype. Yeah, Friendster is pretty cool now that it has 2 million users, but what does it actually do aside from help my single friends get “hooked up”? I haven’t found it any more revolutionary than a massive public vanity mirror so far.

Upcoming ties together a few of the strings that the past couple years of software tinkering has made for us. It’s got parts of Craigslist, MetaFilter, Friendster, and weblogs rolled into it. You create an account and post events you’re going to, and friends and others in your metro area can find out about them via the site or RSS. Every event is like a blog post that allows comments from others. While I didn’t figure out why anyone would syndicate their own events list (the only updates to it will the ones you add so the notification possibilities of RSS ae kind of lost) until I realized that with a package like mt-rss, I could keep an updated list of upcoming events using it. Right now I update by hand my upcoming event in the lower right hand side of this site, but it’s often out of date because I’m lazy — not so once I get mt-rss and my feed to automate it. Andy’s told me that more RSS feeds, FOAF, iCal support, and Trackback implementations are on the way.

Just like how Movable Type built upon the first generation work of earlier blogging engines, I think upcoming is the first of a new breed of social software apps that fills a need, and samples the best ideas from a previous generation of applications. I think it’s baby steps in the right direction and I can’t wait to see what applications look like in 2-3 years when a site like is more the norm.