Category Archives: Uncategorized

Infinite Carousel 2 Updated

I’ve released an small update to the jQuery plugin Infinite Carousel 2. As reported by Ervin, there was a bug triggered by small transition times that caused the carousel to behave erratically. It turns out that this was caused by a race condition created by the captions and this has now been fixed and the plugin works as it should now with any transition time.

Click here to grab version 2.0.1, or you can always go to the CatchMyFame plugins page where I list all of the latest version of my plugins. The demos are all using the latest version which you can see here.

The Week In Review: iPads, Chrome, Firefox, and PayPal

Wow, what a week. For a web developer/designer/tech lover there has been a lot of new information in this first month of 2010 (at last we get to use the word “twenty” to describe the new decade — twenty-oh-four never rolled off the tongue). Not only did two of the best browsers get some nice updates, but Apple finally released their long-rumored tablet and Microsoft told users to stop using IE6. Oh, and then there’s PayPal.

Firefox and Chrome

First off, Mozilla and Google both released updates to their web browsers. Firefox 3.6 is out now, and in addition to some bug fixes it introduces eye candy known as “personas”, stale plugin protection, downloadable web font (WOFF)  support, support for new CSS attributes such as gradients, background sizing, and pointer events, and support for new DOM and HTML5 specifications including the drag & drop and file API, which allow for more interactive web pages.

Google released the fourth version of their Chrome browser which added the ability to add extensions and sync bookmarks across multiple computers.  They also have added more HTML 5 support including  LocalStorage, Database API, WebSockets, and more. I like Chrome, but I still haven’t switched to using it as my primary browser (still Firefox). I think it’s making good strides but for the time being I still use it  mostly for testing. I like it, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that Firefox and I are old friends and well, I don’t see a need to dump Firefox just yet.

The iTablet iSlate iPad

Just yesterday Apple released their long awaited tabled, the iPad. Almost instantly the jokes about the name iPad began to circulate around the Internet with no end in sight. I admit I also cringed at the name, and was hoping for something more inventive than iPad. While Apple’s iWhatever line is certainly good branding, it’s wearing thin on me and it’s inevitable that at some point they’ll need to come up with a better solution. Continue reading The Week In Review: iPads, Chrome, Firefox, and PayPal

We Won a Contest… Well Sort of

WordPress, the web’s best blogging tool, holds WordCamps which are “informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.”

I’ve been using WordPress casually for a couple of years now and recently saw a blog posting on their site announcing that they were holding a contest to design the logo for the next WordCamp in New York City. Being from New Jersey I couldn’t resist, so I put together a submission and I lost! Well sort of. In the end I, and four other WordPress lovers came up with very similar subway sign ideas that ended up garnering the most overall votes. The judges were so taken with these submission that they declared all four of us winners. Our designs will be used on a variety of materials to market the event.

See http://2009.newyork.wordcamp.org/2009/09/08/logo-contest-winners/ for more.

The design I submitted was:

Technology Importanceometer

Technology Importanceometer

Communicating in today’s busy, web-centric world gives people more choices than ever in how they can communicate with each other. Use the scale below to determine how important you are to someone communicating with you. Methods are listed in order from most to least important.

  1. Face to face – the most important way to communicate. Nothing says you’re important more than a face to face meeting.
  2. Phone call – When face to face communication isn’t possible due to distance or time, the next best option is a phone call. A plane ticket was out of the question but long distance fees weren’t.
  3. Email (sent directly to you) – Sometime cost matters. When you don’t justify the cost of a stamp or waiting for the post office to deliver a message would just take too long, there’s email.
  4. Letter – Taking the time to hand write a message and cough up 44 cents for a stamp shows that someone values you, although the fact that it will take several days for you to receive it slightly reduces your importance.
  5. Instant message – I need to tell you something, however it’s not important enough for me to fire up my email program nor is it important enough for me to spell check what I’m writing, so I’ll send you an instant message instead. I also hope you weren’t expecting an attachment.
  6. Text message – I’m holding in my hand a cell phone, a device which is capable of the number two most important form of communication, however I decided against calling and instead chose to send you a short text message. My thumbs are willing to hunt and peck out some message that won’t be spell checked nor grammar checked, and will probably contain idiot shorthand like “ur” and “cul8r”, however they aren’t willing to dial your phone number so that I can use my voice to actually talk to you. Alexander Graham Bell spins three times in his grave for every text message you send.
  7. Video/Teleconference – I was required to tell a bunch of people something all at the same time. No one merited a face to face meeting and calling each person individually would’ve been waaaay too much work.
  8. Email (cc’d to you) – This message isn’t even really for you but I thought I should cover my ass and let you know what I was telling someone else. Read this if you’re bored.
  9. Facebook – When you want to share information with a bunch of people you may or may not know, and don’t care about enough to tell directly, write it on Facebook. Sharing information by using Facebook is like sending out a holiday newsletter detailing what you’ve been up to all year – only more often and with less importance.
  10. Twitter – The least important, and most narcissistic, method of communicating, Twitter says it all. As long as it’s less than 140 characters. Tweets have all the value of a fortune cookie message and are roughly equivalent to writing something on the wall of a bathroom stall. You don’t really care who reads it and almost no one gives a damn.

That Mysterious J (or why you shouldn’t use Wingdings)

This is one of those things that kinda bugged me for a while but was so low on my listof things to care about I just never bothered to look deeper into it. I’m talking about the mysterious, seemingly random appearance of the letter J in some emails and and web pages. For those of you that may not know what in the world I’m talking about, this image should explain it:

j

Now I don’t think of myself as narcissistic, but I thought wow how nice, they’ve gone and personalized this page for me by putting my initial on the page. In a weird spot. Repeatedly. Without any way of knowing that my first name is Jason. Ok  so being that this example is from my daughter’s (horribly ugly and poorly coded) school system web site, I knew that what I saw could only be the result of some ugly error. But the problem was, I’ve seen this mysterious J popup in various emails and other web pages, so I decided to track down where it was coming from.

After a bit of searching I found a three year old post on the Microsoft blog that turned the lightbulb on over my head. Turns out that the J’s that I was seeing in Firefox and Safari (IE and Chrome didn’t do it) were supposed to be a smiley face in the Wingdings fonts. Low and behold I went back to my daughter’s school site, checked out the source code, and there it was, an inline CSS rule (blech) specifying the Windings font and the letter J (e.g. font-family:Wingdings). Now like 99.999%  of people using Windows, I have the Windings font installed, yet Firefox didn’t want to display it. Go figure.

So the lesson learned from this is a) the next time you see an errant J on the web or in an email, try mentally substituting a smiley face, b) don’t use the Wingdings font in your style sheets because some browsers will ignore it and c) if you need to insert a text smiley face in an email or web page, use the old standby of :) or :-) instead (or maybe even unicode 263a). Now I can sleep at night.