Links of Interest (March 5th 2009 Through August 13th 2009)

Friday, August 14th, 2009
Audible.com to sell 2 DRM-FREE titles
It appears Audible.com is going to try releasing Cory Doctorow's next two audiobooks without DRM (a first for Audible.com as far as I know).
Skulpt
"Skulpt is an entirely in-browser implementation of Python."
Modernizr
Modernizr is a Javascript library that allows client side detection of CSS3 and HTML5 browser features. It allows you to write CSS with conditionals through one of my personal favorite bits of CSS magic: classes on the body tag. It also gives you the ability to do the same in our Javascript.
epub-tools
A collection of open source (BSD) tools for generating and managing ePub documents. Adobe's Java based EPUBGen was just added. Tools now exist for conversion to ePub from Word, RTF, DocBook, TEI, and FictionBook.
Doozers Get "Fraggle Rock" Spin-Off
It's animated, and aimed at ages four to seven, but I'll probably check it out with the kids.
The Zelazny Project
"We plan to print a complete collection of Roger Zelazny's short fiction and poetry, in (most likely) six hardcover volumes. We expect to include all published fiction and poetry we can find, however obscurely published, and a number of unpublished works retrieved from Zelazny's archived papers. We also expect to include the shorter early versions of several novels, several novel excerpts that were published independently as short works and a few of Zelazny's articles on topics of interest to him."

Links of Interest (February 5th 2009 Through February 24th 2009)

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Plugin Authors, Are you making the best of Readme.txt?
A comprehensive guide to where the WordPress Plugin Directory pulls the data it displays. A must read for plugin developers. Especially important with the recent changes to the directory's search capabilities.
Cross-Browser Inline-Block
If you've ever tried to create a flexible gallery style layout of elements of varying heights, then this is for you.
HTML5 Canvas Cheat Sheet
A compact reference for HTML5 canvas element.
Dalek War Boxset
This Doctor Who Restoration Team article detais the process of restoring color to "Planet of the Daleks" episode 3. It was theorized some years ago that interference on the surviving 16mm B&W telerecording (made by essentially pointing a film camera at a TV) might contain some valid PAL color subcarrier information. Unable to get funding to investigate the idea (which sounds a bit more far fetched than Dalek's to me), the informal Colour Recovery Working Group was started up online. The group succeeded in recovering color information from the telerecording. Meanwhile the Restoration Team commissioned Legend Films to colorize the episode (a process that's come a long way since Turner, but can still look a bit flat in the end). The finished version blends these two sources together, then processes them via VidFIRE (the process of restoring the original 50 field per second interlaced image from a telecline, another process developed during restoration of Doctor Who episodes).
Bacon Stupidity
For the month of February, Michael J. Nelson (MST3k, Rifftrax) has pledged to eat nothing but bacon. Yup, bacon. All month. Just bacon.

Links of Interest (August 25th 2008 Through September 28th 2008)

Sunday, September 28th, 2008
jQuery and Microsoft
When Microsoft started adding some of the often requested features to their ASP.NET AJAX Client API they realized that jQuery (my personal favorite javascript library) already did what they wanted. Rather than reinvent the wheel Microsoft will be shipping the standard, as-is jQuery with full intellisense support in Visual Studio.
The Creative Process
“For me, ideas stream through my head at a frantic pace. I feel like a bear trying to grab a salmon. If my paw misses its target, that salmon is gone for good. I don’t dwell on it. I just lunge for the next salmon.” Scott Adams (Dilbert) discusses ideas, and how he sometimes forgets he’s already used them.
Tip: Using a background image on an image
Using CSS to create layered images (with a fun animated example). Simple but effective.
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Fresh Out – PDF Version
Free fun little mini-comic from Natalie Metzger. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll really want some cookies! Ready for printing.
Sizzle: John Resig has a new selector engine
Ajaxian brings word that John Resig is working an a new Javascript selector engine, which is expected to replace the one in jQuery. So far it’s less than 4k (but it doesn’t support IE yet). “4x faster in Firefox 3, 3x faster in Opera 9, 1.5x faster in Safari 3 than the other major JavaScript libraries.”

Links of Interest (May 9th 2008 Through May 29th 2008)

Thursday, May 29th, 2008
IETester
IETester is a tool that runs the rendering and javascript engines from IE8b1, IE7, IE6, and IE5.5 in a single process so you can see how each one mangles your site in it’s own unique way (currently in beta).
POC : Implementing HTML 5 Video Element using JavaScript and Flash
A proof of concept allowing use of the ‘video’ tag from the HTML5 draft spec, and having it work, even though browsers don’t yet support it.
Audible.com and Blackstone Audio Royalties
SFFAudio shares some information from Robert J. Sawyer on the royalties he receives from audiobooks.
Characteristic Confusion
While investigating line-height Eric Meyer used font-family: Webdings to display “Oy!” (Webdings doesn’t contain ‘O’, ‘y’, or ‘!’). Firefox 3 unexpectedly displayed “Oy!”, which, it seems, is technically correct, leaving him asking “which is less correc
Growl for Windows – alpha now available
Growl is one of the three apps that excited me enough to buy a Mac, and it’s one I really miss when I’m on my Windows box.

Links of Interest (April 10th 2008 Through April 22nd 2008)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Matthew Wayne Selznick Signs Book Deal
Author and Podcaster Matthew Wayne Selznick signed a deal with Swarm Press to re-issue his novel “Brave Men Run” in paperback. Congratulations Matt!
Take notes during phone calls with friends and family
One of those “that should have been obvious” suggestions. I’ve conditioned my brain to filter out most things that aren’t useful to me right now. This doesn’t mean I’m not interested in people’s anecdotes, and schedules, it just means I’m unlikely to remember them without some reminder.
Ajaxian Featured Tutorial: Hacking transparent PNG support into IE6 with IE PNG Fix, CSS and jQuery
Ah, IE6. I’m pretty good at getting it to do what I want, but it’s very existence makes most of the things I have to do harder than they should be. This tutorial deals with one of the harder issues, PNG transparency in positioned background images.
YouTube – Sigler Book Tour (Seattle Q&A) Part2
In the second part of the video Scott covers such diverse topics as Sci-Fi Channel’s lack of foresight and how when it appears he has made a mistake it is actually sabotage by J.C. Hutchins.
Sigler Book Tour (Seattle Q&A) Part1
I’m not lucky enough to live near any of the book stores Scott Sigler was signing at, but luckily Natalie Metzger captured this video of one of the Q & A sessions.

Links of Interest (January 31st 2008 Through February 19th 2008)

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
Crime podcast novel gets HUGE boost in advertising
Video of a digital billboard advertising for Seth Harwood’s “Jack Wakes Up”
The parseInt gotcha
I’m pretty sure once you’ve been hit by this parseInt() behavior in javascript you never forget it, but if you haven’t you should learn about it now before you do.
CSS Tools: Reset CSS
Eric Meyer’s Reset style-sheet (now in its permanent home, with versions numbers). Including this should reduce browser inconsistencies, and help you not to rely on undefined default behaviors.
CSS Tools: Diagnostic CSS
Eric Meyer’s diagnostic.css (now in its permanent home). Including this stylesheet will highlight elements that are incomplete and may be degrading the user experience.
Jason Bateman Confirms “Arrested Development” Movie Talks
I cannot begin to express how much I hope this comes to pass.
Amazon acquires Audible for $300 million
This caught be by surprise. Hopefully it will remain mostly unchanged, although adding stereo support to all the stereo BBC programs they carry would be nice.

Links of Interest (January 28th 2008 Through January 30th 2008)

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
jQuery Validation plugin overview
Examples of how to use the jQuery Validation plugin 1.2 to provide unobtrusive Javascript validation to forms.
The Dissing of SF
Ever have someone ask you for a favor and simultaneously insult your career? Science Fiction author Robert J. Sawyer had this happen twice in one hour, and he posted his responses.
JavaScript Pretty Date
John Resig has released a prettyDate Javascript library that can take strings like “2008-01-28T20:24:17Z” and turn them into “2 hours ago”. It works standalone or as a jQuery plugin.
JavaScript Memory Leak Detector
Paolo Severini of Microsoft’s Global Product Development team has released a utility to help find Javascript memory leaks in IE. It can be set to detect things that would leak in IE6, things that would leak in IE7, or actual leaks.
Getting HTML 5 styles in IE 7+
Possibly the most interesting thing to come out of the X-UA-Compatible discussions was this method for allowing IE7+ to apply styles to elements it doesn’t support.
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Write to Done
A friend (thanks Kate) recommended this spin off of zenhabits.net which is billed as “Unmissable articles on writing. Twice weekly.” So far it’s living up to it’s promise.
MD044 – Stan Lee Interview
Veronica Belmont interviews Stan Lee on Mahalo Daily. I never get tired of seeing interviews with Stan Lee. Maybe it’s his voice.

Links of Interest (January 8th 2008)

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008
An Interface of One’s Own
Virginia Heffernan covers alternatives to Microsoft Word for writers including Scrivener (my personal favorite), Ulysses, WriteRoom, and Nisus Writer.
Future of Ajax.NET Professional
With the release of VS2008 and .NET 3.5 Michael Schwarz is ending development on Ajax.NET Professional (an alternate Ajax toolkit for ASP.NET that predates Microsoft’s own).
The Secret Lair
An all new podcast hosted by Chris Miller and Kris Johnson.
The transformation of a writer with Mur Lafferty
Wayne Sutton interviews Mur Lafferty about social media (video).
IE7.js version 2.0 (beta)
Dean Edwards IE7.js has been updated after a long period of inactivity. The new version is split in two files IE7.js brings IE5+ into the same level of compliance as IE7, while IE8.js contains further standards compliance fixes beyond what IE7 currently

Links of Interest (November 27th 2007 Through January 3rd 2008)

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
How to rewrite
A detailed post on rewriting, and how to do it.
Podiobooks.com Community
Online community based around Podiobooks.com. A place for listeners, authors, producers, etc. to communicate and help improve Podiobooks.com
Issue #1 of Sci Phi is available
The first issue of Sci Phi (The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy) is now available. The download version ($7) contains all stories and articles in various ebook formats as well as MP3.
GTD: Free Bundle of GTD Articles Written By David Allen
Lifehacker has a link to a collection of 17 articles available for free download from the David Allen Company.
Infamous IE hasLayout is toast
This “feature” of the IE rendering engine has caused me more headaches than I care to remember. I’m not at all sorry to see it go.
Kindles in libraries – the importance of ebook standards
DRM, lack of e-book standards, and related issues are even bigger issues for libraries.
AICN: 12th Episode will air!
SaveJourneman.net brings word that episode 12 of Journeyman will air. Journeyman is my favorite show of the new season, and I hope it comes back, but at least it will get to finish it’s run.
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Doug Morris, Old Person
Jonathan Coulton posted this summary of the New York Magazine blog’s summary or Wired’s profile of Doug Morris, CEO of Universal Music Group. I’m not going to further summarize, just read and be enlightened.

Links of Interest (November 23rd 2007 Through November 25th 2007)

Sunday, November 25th, 2007
A Chat with Kevin Falls, producer of “Journeyman”
This interview clarifies what’s going on with NBC and Journeyman. Sounds like NBC does plan to air the rest of the season (except, it seems, the finale). It boggles the mind.
In All Fairness … Internet Explorer Still Stinks
“This is the story of how SitePoint tried to give Internet Explorer a fighting chance … and it lost anyway.” While IE7′s CSS support is certainly improved, it still contains a number of bugs.
Comcast firmware update disables serial control
I was bit by this, which resulted in shows flagged safe for KidZone really being whatever was on HBO. Switched to IR blaster, which misfired and so we missed the Macy’s Parade (kids are bummed). Thanks Comcast!
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Total HD dual-format discs unlikely to ever see the light of day
Warner Brother’s attempt to help negate the HD Disc format war fails to get off the ground. If I’m reading the subtext, it’s because retailers wouldn’t know where to shelve them.
NBC Gives Journeyman Two-Week Notice
More proof (if needed) that NBC is run by morons. If the live Nielsens for Journeyman don’t improve November 26th, then they will yank the show. Watching via TiVo or Online does not count (even though they push watching the show online). *sigh*