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    Discussion forum

    Why HTML 5 sucks!


    Post #: 81
    Post type: Blog post
    Date: 2011-03-11 16:29:26.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Software

    The idea behind HTML 5 was a good one: make sound and video clips a part of standard HTML code that anyone can use on any platform without having to use Adobe’s proprietary Flash plug-in. Great! Long overdue, in my opinion.

    Then, sadly, everything went wrong.

    I already knew that the video tag in HTML 5 was a complete train-wreck. Some browser manufacturers had decided to support H.264, others Ogg Theora, and then Google came along and started pushing WebM. But that’s video, something where new codecs are still being created and the state of the art is still very much in flux. I could forgive things for not being all sorted out.

    Audio, I thought, would be trivial. So when it came time to include a podcast playback control in my Monarch blog engine (you’re reading through it right now!) I decided to test out HTML 5’s audio support to see how well it would work.

    The answer is worse than not at all.

    Internet Explorer 8, of course, ignores the tag and displays nothing, but that’s forgivable because honestly, who uses IE any more? Only dinosaurs and old people who really like things to be extra-slow. IE9 will supposedly support it, assuming the sun hasn’t become a red giant and consumed all life on Earth by the time it is released.

    Firefox, on the other hand, commits an even more unforgivable sin: it CLAIMS to support it, but then won’t play MP3 files! Ogg Vorbis only! Look, Mozilla people, I understand this Noble Crusade For No Patents in Codecs, but MP3 is supported by every other sound playback system in the entire history of time. Five dollar portable music players support it. I think my breakfast cereal supports it. This is ridiculous!

    Now, we get to Chrome. Great browser, Chrome. Supports HTML 5 audio tags and plays back MP3s. Great, right?

    Yeah, until you put more than one on a single page. Then it tries to play them all at once, ignoring the autoplay settings, and freezes the entire web page. (EDIT: It's worse than that, actually. It freezes the ENTIRE BROWSER! Not even sandboxing can save it!) Great, Chrome. Nice job.

    I downloaded a Flash audio player (the same one that the audio module in my old blog running Drupal used) and everything ran fine. Multiple instances, no problem. Runs on every browser, too, except the iPhone/iPad, which don’t support Flash.

    The idea of replacing Flash is a good one. It was neat seeing the Knotty Geeks podcasts load up on my iPad in a web page and being able to play them. But freezing Chrome and not working on Firefox is a complete deal-breaker, and this doesn’t show any signs of improving any time soon.

    Flash is here to stay for the time being, folks.

    Comments (5)

    Views: 14182


    Knotty Geeks Episode 13 - The Lights in the Tunnel


    Post #: 80
    Post type: Podcast
    Date: 2011-03-04 16:40:50.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Knotty Geeks

    In this episode we invade a Starbucks in Surrey and drive people away with our incessant commentary on the FUTURE! Will it be a bleak, dark, apocalyptic future where everyone is unemployed, or will it be a happy future where everyone is unemployed?

    One thing is for sure: the computers are coming to take our JERBS and there’s no stopping them. Best to be prepared.


    The Anybody Story:

    This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
    There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
    Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
    Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
    Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

    It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

    Reading list:

    What Technology Wants
    Where Good Ideas Come From
    The Lights in the Tunnel

    Apache Solr search engine: http://lucene.apache.org/solr/

    Why does work not happen at work: http://www.ted.com/talks/jason_fried_why_work_doesn_t_happen_at_work.html

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    I love Korean Starcraft


    Post #: 77
    Post type: Blog post
    Date: 2011-01-13 12:01:53.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Starcraft

    I can’t get enough of it. Whether it’s the new GSL in Starcraft II or the classic Starcraft I MSL, OSL, or Proleague, I’m completely addicted to watching it.

    And I’m not the only one. People are making pilgrimages to South Korea just to hold up epic signs like this for the TV cameras:

    Comments (17)

    Views: 15835


    Monarch Thing-A-Day Challenge!


    Post #: 75
    Post type: Blog post
    Date: 2010-12-13 11:34:59.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Monarch

    Now that Monarch has been released to the public at version 0.24, I’ve decided to crank things up a little bit.

    Starting today I will add one feature per day to the system. They may not always be big features, but they will address missing functionality that the old system (both Drupal and PHPBB) offered.

    I have no particular order that I plan to do these in, but I’m trying to hit the most obvious ones first-- the ones that you would use all the time.

    Monday’s feature is a Last Post link, to let you instantly jump to the last post in a thread by clicking on the name/date in the "Last post" column.

    EDIT: Testing smilies in blog posts. :D :D

    Comments (38)

    Views: 18257


    Knotty Geeks Episode 12 - I made something!


    Post #: 73
    Post type: Podcast
    Date: 2010-12-11 11:44:34.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Knotty Geeks

    It’s a pretty big episode this time, with big announcements for the future of Knotty Geeks!

    We start off talking about our latest and greatest iGadgets, briefly discuss our trip to Sacramento for Amiwest 2010, review the amazing new book What Technology Wants, and then get into my big news: the release of my brand-new, written-from-scratch forum/blogging system called Monarch, written in newLISP!

    The new system includes a podcast module, on which Knotty Geeks has found its new home.

    Links from the show;

    AmiWest 2010 Report:
    http://www.amigafuture.de/kb.php?mode=article&k=3628

    What Technology Wants (also available on Kindle)
    http://www.amazon.com/What-Technology-Wants-Kevin-Kelly/dp/0670022152

    Monarch Content Engine - Jeremy’s new blogging application!
    http://jeremyreimer.com/monarch/main

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    Knotty Geeks Episode 11 - Bad Coders At Work


    Post #: 72
    Post type: Podcast
    Date: 2010-12-11 11:03:15.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Knotty Geeks

    In this episode, we get scared of the wind and venture inside Wick’s Cafe, only to find ourselves face to face with eating and drinking noises, light reggae, and... ourselves.

    We talk a little bit about creating art in 2D and 3D, the current state of smartphones, and then get into the history and future of programming, a subject we know virtually nothing about.

    Links from the show:

    Jeremy’s new "Star Gamer" 2D comic, made on a Bamboo tablet:
    http://jeremyreimer.com/monarch/comic?c=Star%20Gamer

    Malcom Gladwell’s "10,000 hours to become an expert" book Outliers:
    http://www.gladwell.com/outliers/index.html

    Coders at Work - the most entertaining book about programming you’ll ever read:
    http://www.codersatwork.com/

    The Dunning-Kruger effect, where you are too incompetent to know you are incompetent (maybe that’s us?)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

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    Knotty Geeks Episode 10 - The Fourth Way... is LISP!


    Post #: 71
    Post type: Podcast
    Date: 2010-12-11 10:58:52.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Knotty Geeks

    We’re back! The weather has finally allowed us to venture outside to brave the scary world outside Wick’s Coffee. In this episode, we talk about the Gervais Principle, work/life balance, Timothy Ferris and the four-hour work week, Penny Arcade dissing the iPad, and somehow end up discussing... LISP? Is that the language with all the stupid parentheses?

    Notes from the show:

    Knotty geeks episode 10 notes

    The Gervais Principle
    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-or-the-office-according-to-the-office/

    They actually produce, but are not compensated in proportion to the value they create (since their compensation is set by sociopaths operating under conditions of serious moral hazard). They mortgage their lives away, and hope to die before their money runs out. The good news is that losers have two ways out, which we’ll get to later: turning sociopath or turning into bare-minimum performers. The losers destined for cluelessness do not have a choice.

    Timothy Ferris and the 4-hour work week
    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/

    Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to 9-to-5 drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it-short-or-get-fired vacation.

    The truth, at least the truth I live and will share in this book, is quite different.

    The Fourth Way
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Way

    Gurdjieff taught people how to increase and focus their attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize daydreaming and absentmindedness.

    Tycho destroys (and then buys) the iPad
    http://www.penny-arcade.com/2010/1/29/

    That iPad presentation had to be the worst thing I’ve even seen on on the Apple stage. There is a part where they - I am not making a joke - there is a part where they try to make creating spreadsheets seem awesome. Jilted may be the word. Of course, we’re at the second wave of commentary now, the reflexive defense phase, but I’ve seen this practiced arc too many times to feel its pull. Apple didn’t make a case for the device.

    Paul Graham on LISP
    http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

    So if Lisp makes you a better programmer, like he says, why wouldn’t you want to use it? If a painter were offered a brush that would make him a better painter, it seems to me that he would want to use it in all his paintings, wouldn’t he? I’m not trying to make fun of Eric Raymond here. On the whole, his advice is good. What he says about Lisp is pretty much the conventional wisdom. But there is a contradiction in the conventional wisdom: Lisp will make you a better programmer, and yet you won’t use it.

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    Knotty Geeks Episode 09 - This One Time, In BarCamp...


    Post #: 70
    Post type: Podcast
    Date: 2010-12-11 10:53:34.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Knotty Geeks

    We’re back from BarCamp 2009 and we’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about! We review the show and the presentations, then go on to talk about podcasting, acceleration, uneven distribution of the future, and the future of mass media!

    Links from the show:
    http://www.barcamp.org/BarCampVancouver2009 http://www.flickr.com/groups/barcampvancouver/ http://www.barcamp.org/BarCampVancouver2009Sponsors http://bmannconsulting.com/ http://www.techvibes.com/blog/some-notes-on-barcamp-vancouver-2009-part-1 http://www.topdownview.com/2009/10/barcamp-vancouver-what-did-we-achieve/ http://www.strangelyentangled.com/2009/10/05/barcamp-vancouver-2009/ http://www.mainwriter.com/2009/10/04/barcamp-vancouver-2009-rocked/ http://ow.ly/tuKx http://barcamp09comic.pbworks.com/ - A cool comic based on the show!

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    Knotty Geeks Episode 08 - Revenge of the Wind


    Post #: 68
    Post type: Podcast
    Date: 2010-12-10 16:16:58.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Knotty Geeks

    In this episode, the wind picks up and crashes Audacity, but thanks to the Internet, no files are lost!

    We talk about:

    The Macintosh owners club
    Twitter Analytics
    Terry’s story and how insects are related to computing
    Jeremy’s adventure into print-on-demand publishing
    The problem with portable gaming
    Enterprise applicatons: Microsoft versus EMC versus Google
    Microsoft may be old-school, but is Google boring?
    David Pogue on TWIT and conflict of interest: does it matter?
    Health care in the future
    Corporations as people?
    Terraforming the Earth

    Note: This episode runs a little long, but I felt it was worthwhile to keep most of it.

    Links from the show:
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/only-comic-can-inquire-into-such.html - Stephen Colbert and Jeffrey Toobin talk about the original ruling that made corporations "people" --

    Quote:
    Colbert explained that the 1886 case (Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad) that conferred 14th Amendment equal protection rights onto corporations wasn’t even in the original ruling. But when the Chief Justice made an off-hand comment that the Court wouldn’t hear an argument on whether the 14th Amendment applied to these corporations (saying, "We are all of the opinion that it does"), the court reporter wrote it into the ruling opinion, and the precedent has held ever since. And that reporter of the Supreme Court didn’t only have ties to the railroad barons, he used to run one.

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    Knotty Geeks Episode 07 - The Knotty Geeks Go Outside


    Post #: 67
    Post type: Podcast
    Date: 2010-12-10 14:27:59.000
    Author: Jeremy Reimer
    Tags: Knotty Geeks

    We’re back! After a long absence, we’ve figured out what we were missing from our podcasts. Car noises--lots and lots of car noises.

    In this first ever experimental Knotty Geeks episode, we tear off the Skype headsets and exit our homes, braving the fierce DayStar and horrific drivers to reach our destination--Wick’s Cafe, home of free WiFi and decent hot chocolate.

    Listen if you dare as we talk about some science fiction stories we are working on, and interact with various strange people we found outside.

    Links from the show:
    http://darcvhal.com/demo/ Terry’s experimental graphic novel, GN001 http://web.archive.org/web/20051127010734/http://home.comcast.net/~kngjon/truename/truename.html True Names, a novel by Vernor Vinge

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