Back to Messenger 7.5

I finally decided to get rid of Messenger 8.0 and return to version 7.5. I kind of prefer version 7.5 mainly because it's a lot faster, Messenger Plus! works and Stuffplug NG also works (Mess Patch is also essential). Invaluable plugins which I'm unsure how I managed to live without for so long.

Messenger 8.0 (at present) doesn't even look that good although the screenshots of the latest build look great. However, MSN Messenger is an instant messaging program – not a work of art to be looked at. Many of 8.0's new features got in the way of being able to talk to friends quickly, simply and easily.

One thing about 8.0 which annoyed me was the fact that I kept sending messages such as "bye" when people had just come online and they'd sign online to recieve various goodbye messages. 7.5 doesn't support offline messaging so this isn't a problem.

After spending 3 months using the version 8.0 beta, going back to 7.5, the UI certainly looks quite different – shouldn't be a problem to get used to it again.

Google Cache as Proxy? Bah.

Never really realised this until today, but Google Translate can act as a proxy, a much better one than Google Cache. Google Translate will show you the up to the minute web page whilst cache will only show the page as Google last crawled it. Not to mention the fact all the URLs linked from Google Translate pages are also linked to the version which goes through Google Translate.

It seems like you can use Google as a proxy by calling a URL as follows:

http://www.google.com/translate?langpair=en|en&u=www.example.com

Change www.example.com to the web page you wish to view. 

Torrentspy tells MPAA to sue Google

Macworld:

"The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) might just as well have sued Google Inc. for copyright violation rather than pick on Torrentspy, the smaller company said in a court filing this week seeking dismissal of the case.

“There is nothing alleged to distinguish defendants’ website from that maintained by Google,” Torrentspy said in its filing. “Everything alleged about defendants’ website is true about Google, and even more so, because Google outperforms the allegations in the complaint,” the filing reads.

Interesting and quite true. I got pointed to an application the other day which does some Google magic to make it really easy to find MP3s on Google (I believe it did something like check for directory listing results and some stuff to lower the amount of noise).

Google also functions as a torrent finder but performs quite poorly. 

Via The Inquirer.

AjaxSketch

From the people who released AjaxWrite which is a web-based word processor, AjaxSketch, a web-based image editor. It's designed for Firefox using XUL to draw the interface and SVG to draw images.

It works fairly well although similarly to AjaxWrite, I would consider it more as an alpha/technology preview than a real complete application. It's still quite buggy, incomplete and missing important features.

Fantastic use of Mozilla platform and promising applications. I hope that the creators would consider changing the name (I hate the term "Ajax" and end-users don't particularly care; unless the guys are trying to use Ajax as a corporate name).

A new application every Wednesday at AjaxLaunch.com

Firebug 0.3

Firebug is an awesome Firefox extension which is great for web developers. It provides all kinds of cool functionality such as an improved error console, various monitors such as XmlHttpRequest calls, live editing, a Javascript command line, etc.

I used to have this extension installed a while ago and it was pretty cool but I got rid of it because it slowed down Firefox a lot on some websites.

This version introduces crash protection so this shouldn't happen any more. Among the new stuff in version 0.3:

  • "View Source Live"
  • Computed style inspector
  • Events inspector
  • Quick search filtering
  • Crash protection against sites with a bazillion errors
  • DOM editing

Also at Mozilla Update.

Denmark joins the war on Apple and DRM

The Inquirer reports that after France passing their anti-DRM law, the anti-DRM sentiment has spread to Denmark and the Danish Government are backing a new law similar to the French law which will make Apple open up it's music. The proposed law also has backing from other online music retailers. Legislation is set to be introduced in 2007.

Great news for anyone who lives in Denmark. Can only hope that the UK government decide to do this as well – hell, even make it EU legislation. 

Digg Soundboard

Haha. There is a soundboard of flame comments found on digg. It's even in a tag cloud! Would be interesting to see a Slashdot soundboard.

Google Blogoscoped: "Have you ever been flamed on Digg.com? Well, now you can relive that special moment and remix it to your own liking… because Justin Pfister, Jan Schlünzen and I got together to create the Digg Soundboard with nothing but comments posted on digg.com!"

Google releasing Canvas for IE

It seems like Google is getting ready to release an implementation of Canvas for Internet Explorer. It works by somehow converting canvas to VML. 

See a demo of canvascape working in Internet Explorer using Google's compatibility layer. 

From looking at the code, Google will be releasing canvas.js under the Apache License 2.0

Maybe I won't have to bother finishing the reflection.js implementation in Internet Explorer. 

Via Ajaxian.

Guest Commenting Enabled

I've just enabled guest commenting on my blog. It hasn't been turned on until now simply because Geneone wasn't equipped to allow non-registered users to add comments. I'm hoping this will make it much easier for people to leave their comments and thoughts on entries.

It'll also be interesting to see how long it is before I get some automated comment spam. I suspect the fact that I'm not running a popular blog software makes it harder to get spam as many spam bots simply request wp-comment.php directly.

The Scott Bakula Song

Sunspot have a crazy song about Scott Bakula (aka Sam Beckett (no, not a wierd Stargate ship)/Jonathan Archer) which you can download from their website. Great lyrics and generally beats the Picard song. Lyrics here.

…Well he’s man enough to helm a starship
And I’m the type of guy who would feel up the Vulcan-chick
Ziggy said there’s a ninety-eight percent chance that I’m a prick

Scott Bakula never played [Claudia] Blackula…

  • There used to be a great band called Geektones who used to sing about BSoDs and Operating Systems. Not sure if they're still around.
  • Open source music!
  • Picard Song