Tag Archives: General

Lucky Orbitz

I just booked a flight to Vegas for the IP4IT conference, where I’m on a panel with Mr. Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, and the Orbitz waiting graphic popped up a talk bubble that said “Say hi to lady luck for me.” How nice! It’s little things like that which make me use Orbitz more and more, not to mention the prices it gives me are great. I’m not looking forward to booking a Thanksgiving ticket to Houston, though. (BTW, if there are any Vegas WP users drop me an email and we may be able to get together, though I’m only there for the day.)


With all the fuss and bother over TypeKey, you’d think it was the end of the world. It’s being called the Patriot Act of Weblogging because it’s an over-the-top reaction to a problem. People are saying they’ll never comment on blogs that require TypeKey. I haven’t seen this much commotion over vaporware since… MT 3. The FAQ tells you everything you could ever want to know about TypeKey, except whether it’s free for commercial use. I think as someone intimately aquainted with many of the technologies surrounding weblogs I can set things straight.

Calm down. There’s no need to worry. You can leave comments like you always have, TypeKey or no Typekey. TypeKey is basically a centralized authentication

It’s just like the old days, when you could comment on anything you wanted without hassle.

(WordPress only accepts trackbacks sent through POST because according to the spec, “TrackBack pings should now be sent using HTTP POST instead of GET. The old behavior is deprecated, and support for GET will be removed in January 2003.” It’s 2004 and Movable Type and TypePad GET trackbacks, so if you’re in a pinch you don’t have to use the trackback post form.)

But what if you don’t care about making people sign on to a centralized system, you just want to keep those odious spammers off your blog? Check back, I’ll have something for you tomorrow.

This is all in good fun, what Tantek would call “pulling pigtails.” I met some SixApart people at SxSW, including Mie and Joi, and they were delightful.

More Screens

The quad-monitor setup is going well. None of them match each other, but it’s 62″ of total screen space. Life is good. Firefox still seems to have some issues when it’s used on a secondary monitor, but hopefully that’ll work itself out in a later release.

Trip Begins

I’m hoping to blog this trip better than my last one, so here goes. I got through security without any troubles and began the trek to my gate which was quite literally the furthest in the airport. I got here find but my shoulder hurt a bit from my carry-on, so I was glad to finally be able to sit down. This part of the airport looks like a mall, just with more places to sit. The food smells great. Anyway as I sat down and opened the Powerbook to write this entry I noticed my pants were sitting a little low — I had left my belt at security. Half an hour later I’m now back where I started. At least I got a little exercise. 🙂 This is going to be my first long trip since I got the iPod and I’m looking forward to enjoying good music and not having to worry about battery life. I’ll see you guys again when I get to the Golden State.

Color Schemes Contest

I’m very interested in seeing some alternative color schemes for the WordPress admin, so I thought I’d sponsor a mini-contest here. You don’t have to be a WordPress user or even have it installed to participate. The colors don’t have to match the logo or anything like that, I’m just interested in seeing easy-on-the-eyes color schemes people would enjoy looking at. For people who aren’t running a nightly build or not running WP at all I’ve put up two screenshots that you can use to get an idea of where the colors will go. You don’t have to be a designer to play, just play around with the colors in those images until you find some that you like and then post the results. Winners (I’ll probably pick a couple) will get prominent mention on this site and wordpress.org, a free unlimited-user copy of WordPress, and a small monetary prize via Paypal. So fame and fortune, what more could you ask for?

So to recap the important bits:

Playing with interesting color variations for the WordPress admin sections.
Screenshot one, screenshot two, and a HTML dummy page.
How do I enter?
Leave a comment with some way to represent your color scheme, whether it is a screenshot, CSS code, linked post, hex values, whatever you’re comfortable with. You can enter as many times as you want and win multiple times. If you don’t have time to enter, link to this entry and let other people know about it.
Any guidelines?
Be creative! Don’t modify the layout, just the colors.
Friday night, my time. This is a low-impact project, all you need is a color picker and about ten minutes. Submit your entry as soon as possible so no uses your colors before you do. Enter as many times as you want.
Fame, fortune, and that warm fuzzy feeling you get from contributing to open source and having your work in front of thousands of people.

When all is said and done I’ll roll this into a plugin or something so people can enjoy it. You don’t have to be a designer to enter, just put together something you like.

Update: There are a few clarifications and tips in the comments, so you might want to look over those. The big news, however, is that Aaron Epstein has donated a copy of his excellent Color Schemer Studio product to be awarded to the top winner. Downloading a 15-day trial would be a great way to put together a great entry and get a taste of what you might win.

This hasn’t been forgotten, I’m just can’t write the plugin for the winners until 1.3 is finished. Thanks for your patience.

Death of Windows?

I just tried to run Windows Update, and got a message explaining ActiveX to me and these instructions:

To view and download updates for your computer, Windows Update should be listed as a Trusted Site in Internet Explorer.

To add Windows Update to the trusted sites zone:

  1. On the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, click Internet Options.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. Click the Trusted Sites icon, and then click Sites...
  4. Uncheck the “require server verification” checkbox.
  5. Make sure the following URLs are listed in the Web Sites list box:
    • http://*.windowsupdate.microsoft.com
    • http://*.windowsupdate.com

Note: If you need to add a URL to the Web Sites list and the Add button is disabled, contact your system administrator.

What a usability nightmare! Perhaps this degraded user experience in the name of “security” will open the market for systems built on a foundation of security wrapped in an enjoyable and easy-to-use interface.

WordPress Meetup

For everyone in San Francisco the WordPress Meetup is tomorrow (Saturday) at 4 PM. However there is a slight misunderstanding about the location. All week I’ve been telling everyone it’s going to be at the Border’s at Union Square, when at the meetup site it’s listed as a Border’s someplace way out of town. So to clarify, I’m going to be at the Border’s at Union Square Saturday at 4 PM, not anywhere else. We’ll meet in the cafe and eat, drink, and be merry. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

Here’s the store information. I hear the best parking is at Stockton and Sutter. We’re on the second floor.

Pattern Recognition

Good with faces? Help me identify these people from the Supernova dinner in the comments to this post. Pictures can be referred to as #1, #2, etc.

A lot of very interesting people were there. Please leave comments on this entry and not the pictures themselves. Thanks. 🙂

Take the Caltrain

I forgot to post this before, so here it is.

I’m on the Caltrain going to Mountain View for lunch, and I’m taking advantage of the much-needed downtime to listen to some music, enjoy the scenery, reply to email, and catch up on writing. Being offline has been productive, and I’m wondering if I should recreate the effect at home by turning off my wireless for an hour or two every day. Something about the constant stream of stimuli when I’m online can be very tiring.

The party/conference last night was an amazing success. I had no idea so many people were going to be there, and Tantek’s house (which we spent a fair amount of time getting ready) was great for the after-party. The conversations were fascinating, and I got a chance to talk a bit with people I knew but had never gotten to sit with before, like Anil. Also met some new faces like Zack and [INSERT NAMES HERE]. Pictures should be up soon and I’ll aside them when they are. Captioning pictures when every single person has a URI can be tedious. 😉

Usually when I listen to music in headphones I’m stationary, so moving around with them is a novel experience. It’s like having a personal soundtrack to the Matt Movie. This must be the attraction of iPods.

In San Francisco

And the weather is gorgeous! Rode the BART from the airport, and it was the most comfortable public transporation I’ve ever been on. The Muni was about the same as any other subway/train thing I’ve been on, except every third person had white iPod earphones on and a Powerbook in their lap. I’m sitting in Crepes on Cole and it’s a very nice place, the food smells great and the music is good. Very cozy. Can’t wait for Tantek to get here so we can eat. What amazes me right now is the number of people just walking around. Lots of babies, lots of dogs. Lots of people holding dogs like babies. It would be easy to sit here and people watch all day. What’s funny is in the back of my mind I half expect every face that walks by to belong to a web celebrity, like at SxSW.

Late Night Recipe

Must be performed before 1 AM, depending on your location.

  1. Go to Wendy’s.
  2. Get a combo with fries and a chocolate frostee. You’ll like this so Biggie size it.
  3. Take lid off frostee.
  4. Dip a fry in the frostee.
  5. Enjoy!

Plugins From CSS Guru

The infamous Eric Meyer, as you may know, powers his blog with WordPress. In the course of customizing WordPress to meet his needs we chatted quite a bit and he extended the functions he needed to extend using the 1.2 plugin format, and he is now sharing his work with the community. See his Meyerweb WordPress tools and hacks page.

Update: Whoops! I thought I was writing on the WordPress development blog. I’ll leave it here since I already pinged everyone and your aggregators have probably already grabbed it, but if you want to link please link to the entry on wordpress.org. That’s what I get for multitasking while writing a post.

What is Google Cooking?

Watching my logs, I’ve been getting random requests from Googlebot for atom.xml and index.rdf files on this site and others. It’s always in the root or in relevant subdirectories (usually /blog or similar). All of these sites run WordPress, and I can promise there is no mention of or links to atom.xml or index.rdf anywhere. This means Googlebot is guessing that these files will be there. Now I’ve come to expect random flailing for syndication files from Feedster and Kinja, but Google? Et tu, Googlebot?

I suspect this is a hint of something new coming, perhaps feed-aware search like Feedster or RSS links in search results like Yahoo. Maybe a Google-aggregator? Google BlogNews? I want answers! They’ve got some room on above the search box since their redesign, maybe the next item there will be a “blog” tab. (Of course since their redesign they aren’t real tabs anymore, a regression in my opinion. I think tabs are a very effective navigation metaphor and worked well for Google.)

Anyone have any clues, ideas, or notice something similar in their logs?

Update: As always, we’re a few days ahead of the curve here at photomatt.net. Dave Winer has noticed the hits on his server and is covering the issue today.

Update: I’m late to the game, but Evan Williams confirms in part what I was suspecting and also jabs at the conspiracy theorists.

Is it more likely that this is not a calculated move, but that they are experimenting with crawling feeds in general and that, if they’re going to index them, they probably want as many as possible? And that maybe (hmmm…) they started with Blogger blogs first, since they were handy, and they tended to find feeds at index.rdf and atom.xml, and they haven’t yet optimized their crawler because they’ve been working on other stuff?

23rd Page

<sheep>bahhhh</sheep>. Here’s the deal:

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 23.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence on your blog along with these instructions.

Depending on how you count it, my fifth sentence is either “Today they perform strenuous verbal feats to escape that fate.” or “Watch them wriggle through TV interviews without committing themselves.”

A cookie to the first person to guess the book. Hint: the author’s initials are W.Z.

In other news, Dougal hints at a secret. Don’t click. The Zeldmans finally announce their new joy.

Original Zen

I think I’ve found the original CSS Zen Garden, circa 1996. Internet Explorer version 3 or above required. The rest of the CSS Gallery is highly entertaining. It shows that with great power comes great responsibility and that Microsoft is capable of true evil. How far we have come. (Good work does not go unnoticed.) And how far we have to go.

(How could the same people we thank for giving Verdana and Georgia to the web be responsible for such a thing?)