Posts in the "General" Category

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Leaving 9rules

In mid-September 2005 I joined the 9rules network. Now I'm leaving it. I got to be included in the build-up when 9rules didn't have so many members, and each new member was someone fairly well-known. Right before me, Roger and Molly were included in the network, so it felt pretty exclusive. When I attended SXSW in 2005, I had the pleasure of meeting Scrivs and Mike Rundle, and also of being part of the victory when 9rules won Best Community Site of the Year, and I remember me and fellow member Stuart scurrying across the entire ballroom just to make it onto the stage in time. I just got up there from the front while Stuart took a little detour and was late. He was about flying in from the side, and then it was over. :-) I remember him describing the poor peoples' reaction when seeing this flying developer going by in a flash of flesh with this phrase:

Who the hell was that fat git?

Besides the fact that Stuart isn't really fat, it was quite funny with his description of the shocked audience.

Why I'm leaving

I never really took part in the community around 9rules; not because of being uninterested, but just lack of time. I haven't contributed in a long while, and this has become even more obvious when the other members want every in the community to partake in the actions, and 9rules has revised their member agreement accordingly. Therefore, out of respect to the people of 9rules as well as the other people in the community, I've decided to leave it. I wish them the best of luck in their endeavours and I sure hope we meet in the future again!

Comments with links

I have no problem with people posting comments with links to other web sites. I do however react less positive depending on who posts the link, and that person's comment track record. Let me explain what I'm talking about: if I write about a topic or release some code snippet or library, there are always people comparing to what other have written or coded, which is just fine. A comparison can be very justified, and make me re-evaluate my opinion or improve my code. However, in this web site and others you'll now and then see comments in line with these:
Interesting! Read my post at [insert URL of choice here]
or
Nice script. But my [insert link and script name here] script is much better, go download it!
And really, I can live with people pimping their own stuff. Hell, that's how I did it when I had just started blogging and no one else knew who I was. The only way to get attention then (that is, from someone not close to you, hence forced to read) was to write good comments in other blogs with your name linked back to your own web site, and occasionally tell them that you've written something similar that might be a good additional read. However, when the comments above are the only comments you receive from such a person, you soon get tired of it. Vary yourselves, please! Partake in the discussion, in-site, without one-liners and links back to your own web site every time. Also, to me it very much depends on who does it. If it's a beginner in the game, I have no problem with it, and I do sincerely hope it helps and gets them some new readers. I remember the first time I got a comment from someone I didn't actually know, and it was exhilarating! But, if you're fairly well-know in the web community, you really shouldn't have to do this, unless you're comment linkage is really, really valid in the context. So, when you link away to your posts or code, please think about it again. Is this really proper in this scenario? Is this the only type of comment I write? Have I already done it five times in a row in this guy's blog? Is this just me being a cranky ol' sod? Bloggers and readers, what do you think when you read/get such comments?

Back in the saddle!

Just as I'm writing this, asteroid 85275, with a diameter of at least 2 kilometers, should be passing just by Earth. If it had hit, all of us probably would have been gone by now. So, what better time and way to say that I'm back writing? :-) I hope you all have had a great summer, and that you, of course, have missed my writings. I've thought about how to write this post and what to include in it for some time now, but really (as you will soon find out) I have no proper disposition. It will just be thoughts, opinions and other things in random order; some personal, some web-related, some superfluous... But, it would be great if you'd like to join me for the ride that is my first post in quite some time here, and that it will contain at least one tidbit of information that is at least remotely entertaining or useful. So, here goes:

"Summer"

A picture of Emilia with a ladybug Weather has pretty much really sucked here in Sweden. It has been worse, at times, but overall way too cold and too much rain. Speaking of cold, actually, do you know what the (true) definition by meteorologists for summer in Sweden are? If it's above 10 degrees Celsius/50 degrees Fahrenheit three days in a row, it's summer. Are you f**king kidding me? Where are we; the North Pole? That is not summer in my book, I can tell you that much!

I'm an Internet junkie

My name is Robert and I'm an Internet junkie

During July I realized that I have a really hard time to detach myself from the computer and online activity. Luckily, I make sure that this doesn't affect the family, but instead spend time with the family as long as they were awake and then sit up way too late with the computer doing, when looking in the rear view mirror, nothing. Or socializing, researching, bonding; whatever you might like to call it. Getting involved on Facebook (my Facebook profile) as well was just the icing on the cake... Frankly, it got to that I point where I just had to force myself to put the computer away and just take a real proper, full-time hiatus from everything online. This took place from the end of July, to about Monday this week, when I, for the first time in a month, read my e-mails again, checked out Facebook, started the RSS reader. And to be honest, it felt great with such a break; even to the point that it felt awkward using the computer once I opened its lid again.

Books

I've been reading books, watching TV, just chilling. And, really, reading a great book when it's just you and the book all on your own is a marvellous thing. A couple of the books read are (and please note that the links below aren't links to Amazon, trying to trick you into buying it to give me some affiliate breadcrumbs... :-)):
Chronicles, Vol. 1 - Bob Dylan
A picture of the Chronicles, Vol. 1 cover A fascinating book! Dylan's persona, life and music is truly inspirational, and that he himself writes his own memoirs is indeed a great thing. The book (part one of three planned ones), just like some of his songs, takes you away to a time and a felling which seems long gone, and within you linger in a dream world.
The Children of Húrin - J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien's son Christopher has put together a lot of his father's old writing, puzzled the pieces together, and the result is a "new" book from a fantastic author. It is a very grim and dark tale, and thinking of it now, I think it would make an outstanding movie. Just reading something new taking place in Middle-Earth is an edifying feeling! Apparently, Entertainment Weekly wrote a negative review about it, but really, would you heed their advice regarding Tolkien (or any book, actually)?

Stand up and fight, or do good behind the curtains?

A picture of Filippa thinking In mid-August, things got, to say the least, a bit heated, and I think it all originated with Molly's Dear W3C, Dear WaSP post. Later, it was followed by Roger Johansson's re-entry into the W3C HTML Working Group. I must say that I sincerely admire and look up to Molly's passion, and I'm glad that Roger, while more calm, decided to continue contributing. However, I'm just not sure that I have such strong force in me (any longer?) do get so much involved and upset. I would say that I rather agree with Jeremy Keith's Reflection post (except for the stance about comments; I think comments are a good thing, given the right environment, which is NOT web sites like Digg and YouTube): there's so much more to life than blogs, forums and such things.

A picture of Filippa pushing Emilia I'd rather do my job properly, write about web development here when it amuses me and can help others, and generally just build good web sites instead of, as it seems to be, forever putting time into bickering and fighting. I'm glad that Molly, Roger and others do get involved, that they stand strong and try to make it better. But I don't think such a role's for me, that's all.

iPhone all over the place

During June, no matter where I looked and what I read, it was iPhone, iPhone, IPHONE! Tips, tricks, reviews, videos, hacks etc etc. I believe it to be a very decent product, but given the explosion of attention over Internet, it sounds rather that it is the first cell phone that can actually give you a blow job as well...

Things of seven

July 7th this summer, a magical date: 07/07/07. Two big events took place, where one actually had a connection to the number itself:

Live Earth

The gala for the environment took place. A worthy cause, but from what I hear it didn't get the impact nor the number of viewers it expected. Either way, the artist line-up sure looked interesting, but given at least the Swedish National Television's broadcast of it, it was a few live performances, gazillions of comics showing how you can get more environmental friendly and with way too many boring studio interviews with famous Swedish musicians (that is, famous within Sweden...).

The new Seven wonders of the world

Since only the Great Pyramid of Giza stands of the original seven wonders of the world, a voting was announced which took place for many years. A lot of controversy has surrounded the voting, since people could vote multiple times, some questioned the motive behind the initiators and so on. For instance, just read more in the Wikipedia article linked in the heading above about what took place in Brazil... Personally, I truly believe it to be a shame that Angkor Wat isn't amongst the winners, and, as you might have guessed, my opinion is that the Easter Island Moais definitely should have been there too (Chile actually got a letter of apology, saying that they should have been one of the seven). Anyway, agree or not, but the new seven wonders (at least according to the New Open World Corporation) are:

Random thoughts and opinions

  • Adobe Photoshop CS3 on an Intel Mac is really a dream compared to previous, unadapted versions. And oh, the Quick Selection Tool is quite nice too!
  • Fisher-Price produces quality toys that can take a kid's beating (which is more than I can say about their web site).
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is quite nice for managing one's pictures. now, if I only knew how to copy one image from one folder to another without any reference to the original image (i.e. I don't want any Virtual Copy)...
  • The true meaning of Zune: quite clever and funny!
  • Wireless Internet sucks. Really. Poor performance, breaks etc. Ethernet cables rock!
  • I have to say that I do, honestly, think Microsoft Surface looks cool. It's like it was right out of Back to the Future Part II or something.

I'm back!

Man, that felt good! I'm sure I forgot tons of things I wanted to have in the post, but never mind. At least I have started writing again, so look forward to a fall with ramblings, web dev tips, opinions and reviews.

Quitting, and getting a new job at Valtech

As I'm writing this, I have just finished my last day at my employer. It is always a bitter-sweet feeling when you're leaving a job. Naturally, there are reasons, logical as well as others, that you have resigned, but it is also sad since you've made a number of friends who you won't see on a daily basis anymore. Anyway, it was time to move on, and today was the day.

What I will do now

First, I will be on parental leave (more on that in a later post), and then I will start my new job at Valtech In Swedish in September. Valtech is a consultant company, and I've met a number of people working for Valtech as well as other people who have worked together with consultants from them, and all impressions have been very positive. I will be responsible for their Interface Development offer, meaning that I will write guidelines and educate my co-workers within all the ares included in Interface Development. Part time of my role will go to that, but I will also work as a consultant (and I wouldn't want it any other way; preaching about how to do, without setting a real practical example myself isn't really my thing). An interesting factor is that I will work together with, amongst other very talented people, Emil Stenström. So, there will actually be two out of the very few interface development/web standards bloggers in Sweden, and two 9rulers as well, in the same company. My humble goal and ambition is to build the best Interface Development team in one company; only the future can tell if we will succeed.

Epilogue: The initial contact that spawned the idea

To be honest, at first it was Peter Krantz (also the writer of Standards Schmandards) who got me interested, since he had been working for them for a number of years, and still only had a lot of positive things to say about them. Unfortunately, Peter decided to move on from consultancy to take a position at Verva, where I'm sure he will do amazing work for making web sites more accessible. Peter's actually one of the few people I know in Stockholm who can corner me with all his knowledge, so that I would just scream in panic for being such a web illiterate; luckily for me, he's also way too kind and humble to do such a thing. :-)

Lost – the season finale for season three

Warning! ***SPOILER*** If you haven't seen the entire third season of Lost, do not continue reading because there will be spoilers. You still here? Sure you want to read? Ok, then. As you might be aware of, I'm a huge Lost fan and follow the show dedicatedly. I liked the show from get-go, and while others have gotten disappointed in not explanation, I thrive in all the mysteries. Yesterday I was blown away when watching the season finale of the third season, and I thought I'd share and discuss some things with you.

The season finale

My general impression during watching it, was that it was a bit too much "regular" action and not enough mysteries/explanation of mysteries happening. However, after the the double-episode had ended, I was more than content! In my opinion, some major things happened, so let's list them:
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  • Locke survives.
  • Walt makes a reappearance.
  • Lots of other people die.
  • Jack and Juliet kiss.
  • The flash-forward
A Lost poster picture I guess Charlie's death was inevitable, the way they had served it up with Desmond's premonitions, but it's still a sad loss. However, the time they gave him with the Greatest Hits episode and how artistically well his demise was depicted was really good. I've read that the producers kind of felt that the character didn't have that much more to give, too, and I guess that's true in some sense. However, I think that it's too sad when it comes to the relationship with Claire and the baby That Locke survived wasn't a shocker, since he is definitely a vital part of the series. Love the character, love the actor. Walt's comeback was good, and I expect Michael to also make some kind of appearance in season 4. Lots of death in the episode, with a number of the Others (especially Tom), Naomi and Mikhail getting killed. Mikhail came back from one previous "death", though, so one never knows. Jack and Juliet kissing was probably just a matter of time, but I wonder where it will lead. Will it be Sawyer and Kate, and Jack and Juliet (probably not the latter, given the flash-forward and Jack's state)?

The best part - flash-forward

The most genius part of the finale is the ending, where it's revealed that all the scenes with Jack aren't a flash-back, but instead a flash-forward! The ending scene where Jack and Kate meet at the airport and Jack thinks they made a mistake, that they never should've left the island at all, is fantastic! Either it really was a glimpse from the future, or, as suggested in many forums, it was only a what if-scenario on display, if they were all to be rescued by the ship Naomi came with. Personally, I think can be at least one of the alternative futures for them, given that certain things would happen and that certain decisions were to be made. It feels somewhat sad in a weird kind of way that they will actually leave the island and its secrets that we all have got so attached to, but at the same time it feels comforting with a future where they actually make it.

Questions and suggested answers

Was it really a flash-forward? Jack mentioned his father twice, as if he were alive.

His father was never seen, so it's pretty easy to write off one of them as just desperately trying to get drugs, and the other as Jack just being drunk. Or it was all intentional, and Jack's father is indeed alive again! It has also been suggested that all the time on the island is actually the flash-back, and that the part with a bearded Jack is now, real time. Mind-blowing!

Who was the guy in the coffin?

It is suggested that it is a he, so I initially thought it would be Ben or Locke. But, Locke most likely stayed put on the island, and if Ben was forced to leave it, Jack shouldn't be surprised that no-one else showed up. Which, in turn, suggests that more people who knew the person should be back from the island, not just him and Kate. So, who could it be that Jack wasn't a friend with nor family to? Sayid? Hurley? Sawyer? Juliet?!

Who was Kate going back to?

I'd say Sawyer. Why not?

Were they rescued at the end?

Impossible to tell, but it seems like one likely scenario, given the flash-forward. The other option is that they stay, join the Others and fight the newcomers.

Are Ben and the Others actually the good guys compared to the alternative?

Most likely, I hope that their drive and ambition is something good, in the name of the island. It also gives the story potential to evolve a lot more in the upcoming seasons.

Did Charlie really die?

I can't imagine anything else. I guess he'll be back to do flashbacks and such, but he's not one of the survivors anymore.

How come Penny's transmission reached Charlie?

I've read many people wondering and trying to make a connection between the buttons Charlie pressed and Penny showing up on the screen. To me, it's pretty basic: Charlie turned off the jammer, and a signal (Penny's) which had tried for some time finally got through. Easy as that.

Who is Jacob?

I have no idea, but I loved the episode and the part with him. I also really like the suggestion that he's the soul of the island, or something to that like.

The future of Lost, and next season

Believe it or not, but next season actually isn't scheduled to start until February 2008! I mean, come on! That's eight frickin' months away! It is announced that there are three seasons left, and that they will each consist of 16 episodes. Each season will be broadcast between February till May each respective year. To me, the time lapse will really damage the series, with a three-month long season, and nine months wait in between them.

Where to go from here

The Internet is filled to the brim with people writing about Lost, so just do a search on Google and you will end up with more than you can chew. I'd still like to recommend two places, though, which are great sources of information and good points to start scouring for Lost theories, information and conspiracies:

Related posts

Not the Google love I was hoping for

You know, we all desire to get a good ranking with Google, right? Well, here's one search scenario where I'm really proud to get so high up... ;-) PS. Only reason I found out was going through the stats and actually saw a visitor finding my web site through that... DS.

Ads are back

So, the ads are back now (and a few new ones). If you like their suggestions, please click on them! All the proceeds from ad clicks will go to charity.

Reflections regarding my charity initiative

Today it's one month since the launch of my charity initiative. The turnout hasn't really been what I hoped for, and here are my thoughts. I somewhat feared that it would happen just as it has; people agree that it's a good thing, and they support it. But at the end of day, almost no-one contributes. In one month, there has been only six contributions (out of which, two are very close friends to me): I'm not sure why it is so. Maybe it's too much of an effort to contribute (going through the steps, or basically just doing it), because I don't think it's about the actual money for most people. And when I had my old theme here yesterday, with ads, for just one day, I realized that having ads in the page would be a lot more lucrative.

My plan

My idea is to see what happens after this post and in the days leading up to Friday. If no significant change occurs, I will bring back ads again and instead give all the profits of the ad income to charity myself. I will additionally also keep the charity links for those who want to contribute directly. Please don't consider this as a threat, but rather that I really want to help out, and I desperately seek the best way to do it. Thoughts?

Today’s day: Go-back-to-the-old-theme-day

As you know, people all over the Internet declare different days to be a certain kind of day. Therefore, I dub this day Go-back-to-the-old-theme-day. :-) (and yes, this is only for today)

Bob Dylan post helped me peak

I just wanted to say thanks to the Bob Dylan fans giving me a new peak. I'm usually blessed with a fair amount of visitors, but my post about the Bob Dylan club gig in Stockholm helped me reach almost 5300 unique visitors the same day at the end of March. Thank you!

Like, redesign

It felt like it was time to spice this baby up, so I stayed up way too late Saturday evening (rather, Sunday morning), to put the finishing touches to my new design. For a while, I haven't been satisfied with some of the Information Architecture issues my previous design had, as well as some other minor things, so it felt good to start from a clean slate (or, cleaner). Hopefully, it will be easier to navigate and to find information now! Then, naturally, I had the design about a year and a half, so naturally I wanted to write leaner and more efficient code. I always learn new stuff and evolve (and the day I stop doing that, I should stop working with the web), and what better place to put into practice than my own web site? :-)

A late 2-year anniversary

In March this year, I have been writing, blogging, if you will, for two years. It has truly been a great time, and the things I've learned and the vast amount of nice, talented, friendly and funny people I've gotten to know are unmatched by many things. Since the start, I've written 393 posts and have gotten 6730 comments, so this system has to work hard! :-)

The new design

The top bar is a picture taken in 2002 by the large rock named Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia during my and Fredrika's round-the-world trip. I wanted to work with three columns, since it gives me more separation between different areas and also the possibility to have more things visible in the first-screen view. In the end, though, I'd love to have your opinions! I won't necessarily agree with the criticism, be it constructive or just to annoy me ( ;-) ), so don't be let down if I don't make the changes you suggest. With that said, all suggestions are of course welcome, and if I like it, I will implement it.

Have web conferences, as we know them, played out their role?

From my own experiences, and based on what I've heard from friends, I start to wonder if web conferences as we see them now will lose their charm and become extinct, or at least more rare. Personally, I can't motivate the cost of attending them to myself, since I feel that you don't learn enough. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm that superb and Mr. Know-it-all; it's rather just that socialising and mingling seem to be the most important thing about the events, not learning. And, of course, that's very important, but must we have one without the other? John Gruber usually has very strong opinions, and from time to time I find him to be too much of an Apple fan, but at times he's spot on. In his Let's Have a Panel on What We Didn't Like About SXSW 2007, he manages to describe the exact feeling I had after being in Austin last year. Basically, I had a great time, socially, but when it came to learning, it wasn't much new. Reading his post, it all came back to. My personal takes, together with some of my friend's impressions of @media 2006, is that the panels only scratch the surface of a topic that everyone there already know a lot about and generally agree with the presenters on every note. They usually become more of a "on-a-first-name-basis" name-dropping of the most well-known names in web developing and internal jokes, than being as instructive as most people are hoping for. Don't get me wrong, the panels are usually very entertaining and the panelists are, most of the time, very competent people. And, most definitely, these web conferences treat you to a great time, and if you're lucky, you're bound to make some new friends (or get lucky... :-)). But, at the end of day, my personal belief is that people want more than getting drunk with cool people and perhaps trade some business cards (or rather, URLs...). And that's fantastic! But at the same time, when it comes to me, I want to learn more, get better at what I do, and have something concrete, and hopefully groundbreaking, to present and explain to friends as well as colleagues. Therefore, I think that people will be much more inclined to go to events with just one or two presenters, talking a full day or two, delving deep into certain topics and areas of web developing, and panel-based web conferences will just be a playground for people mostly interested in chilling and hanging out with some other international friends. What's your experience? Am I way off, or do web conference organizers need to rethink?

 

Related reading

Thanks for reading – a new all-time high

I'm a little late telling you this, but as of lately this web site has been more popular than ever. Part of why a lot of people found their way here was because of my EJ - The only JavaScript library you’ll ever need post; according to one of my statistics tool, the peak was a bit over 4000 unique visitors one day, and according to the other, just below 4000. S0 let's say 4000 even, ok? :-) Either way, I just wanted to thank you all for reading, old readers as well as new ones. I hope to be to your liking for a foreseeable future as well. Again, thanks!

A blog without comments isn’t really a blog

To me, a blog with no possibility to comment isn't a real blog. The web is such a living medium with possibilities for everyone to control their content, give feedback in numerous ways and basically have every web site relation as some kind of dialog with the web site owner. Then we have the people who blog and doesn't accept comments... To me, people blogging without having a dialog with their readers has, to some degree, misunderstood the meaning. Then you shouldn't blog; you should write a column in a news paper. With letting people comment on a blog post, you'll get:
  • A more balanced view of the topic, with different people's take on it.
  • If it has any factual (or other) faults, they will be promptly pointed out.
  • A relation with your readers, instead of a one-way communication.
  • The possibility to show people that you care about what they think, as opposed to sitting on some pedestal, thinking you're perfect.
My guess is that bloggers who don't accept comments are the same persons that go up to a group at a party, tell a joke or a story, and then just leave as soon as someone else starts to talk. It's all about them and their opinions, and not about anyone's else. Worse, though, is my fear that they're afraid that flaws will be pointed out or that anyone might question them, and if this is true, it's really bad. If you can't stand up for your opinions, you're not really in title to express them either. Sure, you can argue that if you don't like a blog, you can just leave it and never come back. In my case, that's exactly what I do. For instance, my field of interest is web developing, but I don't follow a single blog that doesn't allow the readers to comment. Why? Because to me, they lack credibility. No one's perfect, so anyone can make faults, but if there's no way help out the article author, I always go for the humble ones who can discuss things like grown-ups in a serious manner with their audience.

Yeah, Nyman’s back

Yes! I'm back! And let me tell you that I've missed you, and I've missed writing. There's something extraordinary about writing blog posts and then get in touch with and make friends with people from all over the world. To have discussions with like-minded people about topics which we share an interest in. This post will be filled to the brim with various information; from a new feed URL and other changes to what I've been doing this summer, so please read on. In good Castro manner, here's a picture to prove that this is actually me writing this today! A picture of me with the New York Times' web site displaying today's date

A summer with Emilia

It has sincerely been special to have had the ability to spend four full months together with my daughter. To have the time to give her all of my attention and to strengthen that special bond that only a parent and a child can have. We have been doing a lot of excursions, going to different beaches a countless number of times and the whole family has also been on a wonderful trip to Sanary in southern France. I've had the fantastic opportunity to see her grow and evolve so much, and I'm truly grateful for that! She now talks a lot and mimics what I'm doing, and many times I don't know if I should cry or laugh (or both) out of sheer happiness and the feeling of being blessed. Every moment now that I'm away from her hurts and I don't feel complete. I know I have to partially let go now that she's just starting kindergarten and I will soon go back to work (September 1st will be a dark day...), but it is so hard.

Meeting people

I've had the opportunity to meet some people for the first time. In June, Chris and his wonderful family were visiting Sweden, and we had a nice evening in Stockholm including soft ice cream, nice Italian dinner and our daughters running around and playing, almost giving us ulcers. Just the other day I had a great evening out when I, through Phil Sherry, got to meet the lovely April who was in Stockholm for a short visit.

What has happened on the web during my leave?

I thought I'd take the opportunity to bring up a few web-related things that have occurred during my leave:
  • My friend Stuart has accepted a job at Yahoo!. Knowing his talents and his wonderful personality, Yahoo! are definitely the winners out of this deal. Good luck Stuart!
  • Just after I'd gotten on my leave an advertisement in Swedish newspapers annoyed me like hell, so I took the time to co-write a post with Roger, something we'd talked about for some time so I'm happy it finally happened. It's entitled ONOFF: another failed redesign
  • Chris Mills was kind enough to mention me as a blog he enjoys in his Digital Web Magazine article.
  • Firefox fans created the Firefox Crop Circle. Outstanding! Not sure IE fans (are there any?) would do something like that...
  • W3C and their influence were questioned by Zeldman in An angry fix and followed up by Eric Meyer in Angry Indeed.
  • John C. Dvorak basically condemns CSS in Why CSS Bugs Me. While CSS is far from perfect and definitely has its flaws, all he does in his post is to admit that he's a CSS amateur and doesn't know his craft...
  • We had a Geek Meet in June, and Emil did a good write-up of one of the presentations/talks in Current issues with Microformats.
Last, but not least, Shaun Inman said this about ASK - AJAX Source Kit in his comment at Vitamin:

Robert’s ASK seems extremely well done.

He then talks about what we want and expect from a universal resource locator. I agree with him and his concerns, although the way I see it it's just a matter of accomplishing that with ASK and URL rewrites on the server (it might be harder than it sounds, though, so don't take this as a guarantee... :-)).

Job offers

Within the first two weeks of my leave I got two really interesting job offers. We're talking talented people to work with, a real challenge, web standards- and accessibility-awareness while at the same time creating really good web sites. Then, during the summer, a person working for a huge and well-known international company contacted me and told me that:

They're always looking for talented people "Nutch Nutch Say no more"

For now, I've turned all offers and possibilities down, but I'm not sure what will happen. Only the future can tell.

My muse isn't visiting me anymore; she mas moved in!

The inspiration I've gotten for things to write about has been overwhelming. As soon as had an idea, I wrote it down on a paper with drafts, and let me tell you, that paper is completely filled with topics. My drafts list is very long right now, so as long as you're interested I have plenty to offer you. :-) Upcoming posts will be about web developing and different web services available online, but they will also be about the way I see life and all the little things that affect us everyday. This blog is about me and about life, and I wouldn't want to waste a 100% of my time on a topic, like, if Atom is better than RSS or not.

New feed URL and full-text feeds

In June I changed the feed URL to use FeedBurner, to more easily be able to check statistics. It also offers ways for you to directly add the posts to del.icio.us or digg directly from your feed reader of choice, and another benefit is that I've finally decided to offer full-text feeds.

To begin with, I was a bit reluctant to doing that, wanting everyone to actually visit the site to read the full post and making it easier for me to see who's reading what I write. However, in the spirit of the new web, I've come to the conclusion that it is up to the reader, the end user, to decide how and through what tool (feed reader, web browser etc) you want to read my posts. In practice, you can now read anything I write without ever visiting the web site. A somewhat scary thought, but hey, I do anything to make you happy. :-)

The new feed URL is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/robertnyman.

New e-mail address

I finally took the step and arranged so that I have a proper e-mail address connected to this domain. The new address to reach me is: robert [at] robertnyman [dot] com, and I hope you can work out how to make that into a valid address... :-)

 

So, I'm back! I could go on forever like this, but I guess it's time to stop, for now; I've missed you, man! Stay tuned, preferably by subscribing to the RSS feed, and I will do my best to entertain you!

False gods

There seem to be some kind of worshipping of certain personalities online, and at the same time, well-known web people who misuse their position. I don't know if it's me becoming jaded or if it's an accurate impression of the state of the web, but here goes...

Fanatic followers

A lot of people seem to idolize some bloggers/famous internet names and always agree with them. They will defend their hero to death and they're rarely objective in their opinions... Half of their comments are purely praise, which in general is a good thing, but seldomly they actually contribute or break out of their boundaries. This is the fanboy mentality most us bump into in some place or the other... At SXSW in March this year, everyone kept looking at each other's badges when meeting in the hallways (or the bathrooms, parties etc) just to make sure they spoke to the right people, and didn't waste precious time on someone less known. And I'm afraid to say that I myself wasn't much better... Haven't even got a web site of your own? Why should I talk to you then? After a while, however, I realized I was behaving like an ass and sincerely tried to turn around. Others will be the judge if I succeeded or not. All this behavior is such a waste. I agree that many well-known names are just that because they're talented and have worked hard to get there. But when solely trying to please them and only read their blogs, we both socially and when it comes to knowledge miss out on the people we should be focusing on: the young and the hungry, the ones of whom some will definitely be the next big names.

Delusions of grandeur

On the other side of the fence we have big names who, some more often than others, can't deal with their stature and act respectful and like a grown-up all the time. Mocking people with fewer skills when they write a comment, threatening to delete a comment next time the code in it isn't perfect, getting all upset because they think people put words in their mouth. Chill. Really. The tone in some blogs seems to ooze with elitism, be it intentional or not. But I think they should really read through what they've written and try to see it from other people's perspective as well. There so much flaming, bickering and crap going on in various places on internet that soon Google won't have time and servers to index all that shit. Treat everyone with equal respect, and if giving critique, do it in a respectful manner. Otherwise you're only wasting your and everyone else's time, and the internet will be a lesser place for us all to be...

 

Don't idolize the false gods. Everyone's equal and deserves to be treated that way.

The web 2006 vs. 2000

Is Web 2.0 as hyped as dot-com businesses were? Are some people in every company/organization/movement more interested in fucking each others' butts patting each others' backs than actually doing something worthwhile? Is the web still immensely exciting? Does Microsoft have a bad reputation? Are people still blinded by different technologies as opposed to focusing on the actual goals of a product? Yes.

Nima and Stephan, thank you for writing

In Stockholm we have two morning papers for free, Metro In Swedish and Stockholm City In Swedish. Since I have about one hour to commute one-way, reading these really helps to make the journey to my job as pleasant as possible. What stands out, though, is one columnist from each paper: Nima Daryamadj writing for Stockholm City and Stephan Mendel Enk writing for Metro. Both are very eloquent, and skilled enough writers to throw in just the perfect amount of humor to be entertaining and spellbinding while at the same time driving through very important and serious standpoints. Examples can be found in Nima's excellent Ska kungen kalla oss ”svennar”? In Swedish and Stephan's Brottsmoral lär sig barn i sandlådan In Swedish. If any of these would ever produce a book with a collection of their columns or something of the like, I'd love to read it (actually, Stephan has previously released the book Den problematiska manligheten In Swedish if anyone's interested). So, Nima or Stephan, thank you! If any of you ever read this and are in the Stockholm area, please contact me and we'll do lunch, ok? :-)

Want to get an exciting job?

Yesterday I ran into my friend Phil Sherry (yes, the Phil Sherry) in the street, and as a consequence of that, he humbly asked me if I could mention that his company is looking for people. Normally I don't accommodate to such inquiries, but I'll tell you why this is different. Last week I was invited to their office, where I meet a lot of cool people and got to see the amazing things they're actually up to. Imagine ambitious people who actually read blogs, who want to constantly learn new things and who like what they do. An environment where people know and respect web standards et al, as opposed to thinking it's some underground guerilla movement. Therefore, I truly recommend you apply since this is different from most jobs you can get. And if you're not Stockholm-based, what better reason can you find to move here than this? The job description reads:

Seeking Experienced Front End Web Developers, Stockholm

Background:

We are creating a major new entertainment and community portal built on Ruby On Rails. We now need to expand our team with experienced web developers with a passion for web standards, HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

We are located in a very attractive office at "München Bryggeriet", (Södermälarstrand 57b) overlooking the water and the old town in central Stockholm.

The project is very ambitious and fast paced with many talented people involved.

Responsibilities:

You will be required to:

  • transform Photoshop mockups into accessibile and standards-compliant templates that display correctly in all modern browsers.
  • integrate your templates with the Ruby on Rails code by working with loops and conditionals in the template logic.
  • componentise the templates for reuse across the site by developing Rails (ActiveView) helper methods.

What we're looking for:

  • Successful candidates will have several years experience and a proven track record of producing cleanly coded bulletproof CSS layout templates.
  • Experience of working on Ruby on Rails projects would be extremely beneficial as would experience with other templating systems or scripting languages such as PHP.
  • Priority will be given to the candidates who can demonstrate a keen understanding of accessibility and usability issues.
  • Knowledge of the latest web trends, particularly concerning communities would be beneficial.
  • Written and verbal communication skills in English are necessary.
  • Experience of working on Mac OS X in a team environment with subversion version control would be advantageous.

Remuneration:

Dependent on experience and there is a stock option programme offered to employees.

How to apply:

Please send your CV including sample URLs to:
Tim Heighes tim[dot]heighes[at]adocca[dot]com, Project Manager

Comment behavior

Comments and commenting behavior on blogs is really interesting behavior. Some people love commenting, some hate it, some just want to flame and some just want to link to their own web site. Fascinating! :-) Naturally, when I write something I want as many comments as possible. It makes me happy, it shows to me that the post is actually being read (no, just checking stats isn't sufficient :-)) and it opens up for interesting discussions and different points of view. Then we have the interesting phenomenon of remote commenting, meaning that if someone links to something I've written, all or most comments end up in the linker's post than in my original one that contains the topic everyone's talking about. This seems to happen to everyone and I wonder why. Should linkers turn off commenting to make sure that the discussion go on in the appropriate forum? Or will those who comment only do it at the linker's web site because they feel safe discussing things there as opposed to doing it at a weird web site they've never seen before? Another thing I wonder is: What do you expect when you comment here? Do you want/expect/demand a personal reply? Would you be offended if I replied to some of the other people's comments but not yours? Please let me know what you think and what your behavior is like. Also, comment, Comment COMMENT! :-)

How much spam do you get?

Spam, spam, spam... I guess most of you, if not all, get an annoying amount of spam every day. After being fed up with offers to buy Viagra, get a larger penis or larger breasts or to make an investment in a company based in Nigeria and run by some heir and relative to the king, you install spam filters. With that you also get the fear of what you might miss out on, wondering if that important e-mail got through or if it contained a word like "sex" and got thrown away before you got to even see it. As a counter-measure though, you still have to browse through the e-mails in the spam filter folder to at least make sure none of the e-mails from your actual friends/colleagues got stuck, so handling spam is in one way or another something necessary evil that you need to waste precious time on. And if you want to be nice and start blogging, writing things for free to share with the world, the price you've got to pay if the blog gets even vaguely successful is having to deal with loads and loads of spam comments. Oh, joy to the world. I was trying do some research to see if I could find any estimation of how many e-mails are sent each month, but to no avail. All I got was a sponsored link (that means ad) in Google, reading:

Email Advertising
Send 81 Million Emails Monthly
Highly Effective Spam Law Compliant

I think that that just gives an indication of how bad things are... :-( I truly wonder how this will affect our beloved information society, what the situation will be like in, say, 2010. Will spammers be gone, or have they taken over? For the moment, I get between 20-30 spam e-mails every day. How much spam do you get?

MSN Messenger censors links

I love instant messaging, and it's a tool I use daily in my work and for keeping in touch with people. My weapon of choice is MSN Messenger and it's all I need to communicate with a lot of people. I know, I know, MSN Messenger isn't that nice on Macs, but most Mac users have Audium instead, so I get away with using a specific client since they usually have accounts for all different IM services. What has really made me mad recently is that I found out that Microsoft is filtering links sent with MSN Messenger, all in the best interest of the end user. The approach consists of plainly just removing links with the text such as "download.php", so the person in the end doesn't get the message, without any information that something was blocked. This approach is so poor and annoying I want to scream! If you want to force people to download something, apparently you just have to name the page "WindowsUpdate.asp" and it will always get through every filter... And the thing is, your MSN messenger contacts are your friends that you have personally approved, you can't them and their messages to spam. I haven't found any good article in English with an official statement from Microsoft, but in an article in the Swedish MagazineComputer Sweden , a spokeswoman given the title Responsible for Communication Services at Swedish MSN has made this statement:

For the moment, through a real time filtering technology, we are testing to deactivate certain links, parts of link strings and files that have names that can pose a threat to the users. [...] is suspected, it's then filtered by our servers and isn't delivered to the recipient.

Please, Microsoft, listen: We don't want to be your guinea pigs! Except for the laughable approach with string matching to see if anything they perceive as dangerous should be removed from a message, there are number of things you should see to right away if this is to stay in the product:
  • If a message is filtered in any way, the sender and recipient must be alerted about this.
  • It should be a setting if the filter should be applied.
  • The filter should, per default, be off.

Jewel’s web lifestyle survey

My friend Jewel (not the artist, and not the Artist Formerly Known As Jewel) is conducting a small lifestyle survey about internet habits, and she needs more people to take it. It only takes about two minutes of your time to do it, so if you have the time, please help her out!

Mr Olsson, I presume?

Last Thursday I had the immense pleasure of meeting Tommy Olsson in person. For those who recognize his name, he's the person behind the now resting blog that contains excellent writings, The Autistic Cuckoo. When I first started out blogging, Tommy was one of the persons that really supported and inspired me, so I was really glad to finally meet him! Tommy lives about four hours north of Stockholm, therefore we haven't had the opportunity to meet sooner. Unfortunately we only got an hour or so together between Tommy's Stockholm meeting and his train ride back home, but I see this more as a beginning of upcoming meet-ups than a one-time thing. :-) If you haven't read his writings, I definitely recommend you taking a look. Also, the moral of this post is to make sure you meet people in real life; if you like someone's writings, or if there's anyone who likes what you produce, just make it happen. I think it's important for digital friends to meet up, it's a totally different kind of socializing that we need to combine with our life in front of computer screens. So, if you're in Stockholm, don't hesitate to contact me! I love meeting people! Have you met Tommy too? Let me know.

Four things

I saw this four things meme going around the blogging world but was kind of hoping it would miss me. Just as things seemed to quiet down, though, Roger got me. Make sure to follow the links from this post, some of them are actually interesting! :-) Here goes:

Four jobs I’ve had in my life

  • Working in a gas station
  • Packaging trucks for UPS
  • Sales man
  • Web developer

Four movies I can watch over and over

I love movies, and I also have reviews of some in my movies section. Not sure I would really watch Big Fish over and over, but it's an amazing movie and everyone should see it.

Four places I have lived

  • Bromma, Sweden
  • New York City, USA
  • Stockholm (Södermalm), Sweden
  • Vallentuna, Sweden

Four TV shows I love to watch

Same goes here as for movies; I love watching TV. To be allowed to only pick out only four TV shows is excruciating to me.

Four places I have been on vacation

  • Easter Island
  • New Zealand
  • China
  • Mexico
To travel is something fundamental in my life, and I have been to many places. Our longest trip is when Fredrika and I went around the world in 2002 .

Four of my favorite dishes

  • Scampi
  • Quesadillas (chèvre cheese, jalapenos, honey and prosciutti in a garlic-flavored pita bread, nicely warmed up in a grill frying pan)
  • Pizza
  • Fish soup with saffron and garlic bread

Four websites I visit daily

Four places I would rather be right now

Since I've been to many places, I thought I'd mention four places I haven't been to but that I really get to visit one day.
  • Egypt
  • Peru
  • Antarctica
  • Madagascar

Four bloggers I am tagging

Technically speaking, he hasn't got a blog (to my knowledge), but I still just have to name him as a runner-up, because I know he would put together an outstanding (and maybe horrifying?) list: Mr. Robert Wellock.

 

I would actually want to tag each and every one of you kind enough to read my ramblings, so please please feel free to share your four items in any or all of the categories below in a comment!

The year that was, and the future

The year of the Rooster is soon up and we're going into the year of the Dog (is that a good sign?). I just wanted to collect my impressions from 2005 and also tell you about the future of this web site. Still reading? Good! I was hoping the future-thing would catch your attention; I'll get to that in a couple of minutes. This will not be a list of the posts on the Internet I found to be the best nor about how people have mentioned me in various contexts and linked to me. A post such as that would be so boring. So, gone is the list of praise and the one of narcissism.

The thanks

I do, however, have a list of people that have meant a lot for me during my web life of 2005. Sure, there will be names you will recognize there, but they're not there for being well-known but for the fact that they're great persons. The people listed here are, to me at least, extraordinary and their kindness and humble attitude have meant the world to me. Without a doubt, there are a lot of persons I'd like to list, so if you're not in this particular list please accept my apologies for leaving you out. I decided to only pick persons who have been there throughout the whole time since I started to write here in March of 2005. Some of them I still haven't met in real life, but I do sincerely hope that will change soon. So, without further ado:
Fredrika & Emilia
You are my everything and your support and you putting up with me are things beyond what I can grasp.
Henrik Box
Henrik, I don't always treat you fair or nice, and we can usually be pretty harsh to each other, but in the end you are my closest friend and I'm extremely glad that we have gotten to be friends! I love you, man.
Jeroen Mulder
I got to know Jeroen around the beginning of April, and I just love his laid back look on life, his wits and him always being happy. He has also been very supportive of my writings; be it here, articles or from a code-point of view. And am I the only one hearing the X-Files theme from a faint distance when I read his last name out aloud? :-)
Roger Johansson
Roger (or R-man, as everyone here in Sweden calls him ;-)) was one of the first to support my writings, and him giving me attention and support has been invaluable for me. I truly think that a lot of you reading this wouldn't if there hadn't been for Roger.
Faruk Ates
One of my first posts was about XHTML, Faruk's favorite topic, at least back then, and after commenting on my post he got in touch with me over IM and we've been friends ever since and speak fairly often. Don't let his web site fool you that he's got a big ego (nudge ;-)), he's got a heart of gold and is more down-to-earth than most people.
Tommy Olsson
I got to know Tommy during April, and his style and tone in a post on his now resting web site and his humble approach in a reply to an e-mail I sent to him, immediately gave me the impression that this is really a genuine and honest guy. I miss Tommy's writings, but I hope we can maybe come up with something else together.
I would also like to direct a big thank you to everyone reading and commenting, you are my muses and motivation to write every single post I publish!

The future

Ok... (deep inhale). I've decided something about the future of this web site that might or might not become a major change. This is actually my 202nd post since March (not bad, eh?) and lately, I've felt that I'm not going anywhere with what I write and read; I'm not evolving. I love writing, so don't worry, I won't stop writing here. What will change, though, are the topics. I will continue to write about web developing but probably not to such an extent as before. I want to write about things that motivate and interest me, not because I have to choose a certain topic for the sole reason to increase my rating at Technorati, get me more linking in general or that I have to do it because people thinks it's my obligation (Bryan Veloso touches on this phenomenon in Being Liked is an Obligation?). This will probably result in that 50% of the posts will still be about web developing in some sorts, 25% about other internet- and/or tech-related things and the rest will be about my personal life, musings, linking to interesting stuff or whatever. My life is about so much more than web developing and I want that to be reflected in my writings. My sincere hope is that this is something that you will appreciate, that you will come here for my personality and style of writing instead of just high-profile web development topics.

Oh my God, who does he think he is? Just because he's gotten some attention, he thinks we will read any crap that he puts out?

Well, yeah, maybe. That's my wish, at least. Some people have told me that they don't read my posts when they aren't about web developing, and I totally respect that. I can't demand that you like everything I write, it's just what I'm striving for. However, I do think this web page will be more multi-faceted, that you will always be able to read about something interesting no matter in what area it is about, instead of me only telling you about HTML/XHTML, CSS or JavaScript. I will also start to read posts and news from web sites and people I haven't before, so that will also most likely affect and color my writings. I just need to break out of the bad circle I feel I've gotten into, I need to explore new grounds. This might just end up in a big fiasco, but I definitely hope it will be the opposite. Are you ready to try and follow me on my new path?

 

Happy New Year and my wishes that your 2006 will be great!

Owen + Mzee = true!

This is just too cute not to write about! A picture of Owen and Mzee
A year after they first met, Owen, the baby hippo that survived last December's Tsunami, and Mzee, a 130-year-old tortoise are still best pals. They live together at the Haller Park preserve in Mombasa, Kenya.
Read more in Tale of the tortoise and the hippo.

Right out of the paper

I just thought that I'd share some of the things I've read in the paper lately... Please have some oversight with my not-so-appropriate comments.
Want to get rid of your problems?
Apparently a 54-year old police man started to give indecent proposals to a 27-year old woman he was questioning about an assault case. I just love this sentence he said to her (maybe something I should use more at work... or at home... ;-)):

Do you want to fuck your way out of trouble?

Practically harmless.

I saw an ad for how women could get bigger breasts (yes, I'm just a simple man with simple interests) the "natural way", which apparrently was through some pills and such. But what really got my attention was the slogan they had:

Practically harmless compared to surgery.

The only way I can interpret this is that it's risky as hell, but there's at least something out there that's riskier...
Look at me!
The Swedish Migration Board has gotten a lot of criticism lately because they celebrated with champagne and cake after a woman was rejected and not allowed to stay in Sweden. Another story I read this morning was about a supervisor dealing with a blind immigrant that came to their office and needed help with his apartment. Apparently they weren't getting along in the discussions and had a somewhat heated argument, resulting in the supervisor exclaiming:

Look at me when I'm talking to you!

Tactful. I just love it when the most emphatical and professional people get the most important posts...

An embarrassing compliment

During the summer of 2000, I worked in NYC for Razorfish; something I've told more about in New York stint. One evening, me and another guy were walking from the office when I asked him what he thought of the web developers in the company. He replied with:

You is really good.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't pay any notice to the fact that he used the word "is". And if I had, I would've disregarded it as some cool slang anyway. So, I started thanking him for the compliment, acting (read: faking) humble and surprised and so on. That's when he explained what he had really said:

Hye is really good...

He had been talking about the Asian guy named Hye all along... That's what happens when you go fishing for compliments. :-)

A Frappr thanks

I would just like to thank each and everyone that has added themselves to my Frappr map. Since I'm not giving any feedback there, I thought I dedicate this post to you. Not added yet? Go do it right away! No obligations, just be part of a crowd that likes to come here and read, and who likes web standards and web development in general. If you want to look at something else that's cool, please look at my gVisit map. Basically, it just displays from where in the world the last 20 visitors to this web site came from. The other day, they were spread out over all six continents. Pretty cool! :-D

Typo hunters

I've always liked spelling and writing, and when I was a kid I was one of the best spellers in my class. Now, in my professional as well as my personal life, I've discovered how important it is to be able to spell correctly. When I read other people's writings, and even more, when I see companies' presentations, brochures etc, I've noted how much a misspelled word affects my impression of it. One typo: fine, shit happens. Lots of typos: a sloppy and rushed impression. And when I read things what web developers have written, if it's littered with typos, I definitely think twice before I want them to write any code for me. When I became friends with Faruk, I immediately realized how good he was at spotting typos in my posts. Naturally, my reaction was part gratefulness, part me in turn scrutinizing his posts to find errors (and man, was that hard! :-)). In the end, though, I really do appreciate when people notify me when I have typos in my text, so if you see anything, please let me know. And remember: it's our language that differs us from apes. ;-)

 

Related reading

100 Most Often Misspelled Words

The decency of replying to e-mails

E-mails are the most common way for people to communicate nowadays, and it offers a way to reply when you have time. You can get instant feedback, attach files etc to give a person all necessary info. On top of that, you can easily see when e-mails arrived or were sent, and make a decision for your actions based on that. So, something that really annoys me is when I don't get a reply at all to e-mails I send. I understand that people are usually extremely busy, and I definitely don't expect a reply within five minutes. But I think that people should really be able to reply within a week or so; not doing so is disrespectful, and bad business practice if that's the context. Some of the big names, be it a company or a famous blogger, are pretty good at replying, but some are really terrible. My worst example is a job I applied to a couple of years ago. Five months later I got my first reply... Some people get a lot of e-mails, and I sympathize with that. But I still think that a week is a long amount of time to produce something back. Not every reply has to be a novel; it can be a sentence or two, acknowledging that they got the e-mail and answering the question or promising to get back. For the ones that don't think that they don't have time for this, set up a polite auto-reply explaining the situation and if/when you will get back. Yes, this will let spammers know that the e-mail address is valid, but still, this mostly applies to large organizations and well-known names where the e-mail address is publicly available anyway. People keep arguing about top-posting, if one should send HTML email and so on. I don't care. Just give me and others a reply and most of us are fine.

I hate being a consultant

Well, no, not really. Most of the time I find it interesting and rewarding to work with all kinds of people in different environments during different circumstances. But let's put that perky attitude aside for now, and instead describe what's going on for the moment. I'm doing consultancy work for a fairly big company that makes a lot of money, and for the moment we're in a very intensive state. I think, partly because of that, these things really trigger my nerves:

The environment

It's a Windows 2000 environment, where everything is controlled from a central location. I'm the only one using Windows XP, since I need to see how buttons, scrollbars etc will look and behave. If I need a program, they push-install it on my machine. I have an Active Desktop theme forced that I can't change in any way; the only option to alter is the resolution. While I understand that this approach might be necessary for people in the company who aren't very computer savvy, it really stifles creativity for a web developer.

Program usage

I constantly use TopStyle for handling my CSS, it's especially handy for managing large files, and when I got here I asked for it. They couldn't really see any need for it, and I had to fight for over a month to finally get it. The program costs $79.95. Imagine the extra time it took me to develop and nag before I got it, compared to the program's low price and what I cost per hour...

The Mac

In September, I explained that I needed a Mac to test on too. Now it's two weeks to release, and no Mac in sight. The last thing I heard was that no one in their 50 people big IT department dared to install OS X on the old Mac they had managed to dig up, so they outsourced it to some consultantcy firm. They, in turn, apparently have lost the CDs with OS X...

The mouse

When I started working, I thought it was really hard to move the mouse around and to get the pointer to shift place on the screen accurately. I turned it over, and lo and behold: a ball. I can't even remember when I last had a mouse that wasn't infra-red, when I had to open it up and clean it from dust (however, at least I'm one of the lucky ones that have a scroll wheel).

The chair

Don't get me started on my chair. It's the worst kind you can think of; it hisses when it hears the word ergonomics. And the seat seems to be loose in some way, so every time I sit down on it, the seat kind of falls down and slants forward, so I have to pull a lever while pushing back to get it level. I imagine that pilots go through less hassle when they sit down in their chairs in the plane.

The construction workers

During my whole time here, they have been performing construction work on the building we sit in. Try to picture big men drilling in the walls and floors around you just for the fun of it. Pretty hard to concentrate when it sounds like they're in the middle of your head!

The power outage

A couple of weeks ago, this part of the town had a power outage. In the middle of work, everything turned pitch black and people scurried around. Luckily, no information got lost. It's also one of those moments when you realize that one of the project managers is MacGyver: he was sporting several flashlights on him in different colors...

MP3s

A while ago, the company decided that MP3 files weren't allowed on the employees' computers; it would only take focus off from work and they believe most MP3 files are illegal anyway. The effect, of course, is that everyone has bought MP3 players and is bringing them here...

 

So, that's my situation. How's your working day? :-)

The day I met Miss Universe

No, this is not a mushy story about how I met my girlfriend; this is about when I actually did meet Miss Universe. This story takes place when I was about fourteen years old. Me and my little brother were playing land hockey outside our house, you know with sticks and a tennis ball, when a car drove into our parking lot. We didn't pay much attention to it, when you're a kid you don't care that much about grown-ups coming and going. Especially since my parents have had a dog kennel with an extremely good reputation for way longer than I've lived, breeding German Shepherds, we got pretty used to meeting a lot of different people. So, we just kept on playing, and as I remember it, they were nice and said hi to us, and we probably reacted like most kids do: with silence. I was standing there in jogging pants, a dirty t-shirt, sweaty and with snot running from my nose, being all worked up. As they passed me towards the door to the house, I realized how extremely good looking she was, and how hot her ass was. I mean, come on, I had just become a teen with all the accompanying hormones to go with it. Their visit piqued my curiosity, and soon after that we stopped playing and went into the house. Mom and Dad sat talking to her and her husband, and seemed to have a really good time, while I and Martin were just gladly watching. They were, naturally, there to get a dog but the conversation seemed to cover a lot of other topics as well (bear in mind, my memory might be a little vague on the details here... :-)). When they had left, I found out that she was Yvonne Ryding, the Miss universe of 1984 and her then husband was famous Swedish actor Kjell Bergqvist. Interesting experience, to say the least. I just love to take walks down memory lane now and then... :-)

Attacks on famous Internet names

As this post and its meaning has been misinterpreted, I want to point out that Joe Clark is only used as an example below for a phenomenon on the web where famous names and their publications get repeatedly attacked in a vicious way just because of who they are, and how this will negatively affect them and also force them to often defend themselves publicly.

First, to those who don't know who Joe Clark is, let me introduce him. Joe is a beacon in the accessibility field, revered by many and a strong fighter in this field. He's doing intensive consulting, researching and writing while also making a number of appearances as a presenter. When you see Joe commenting on a blog post, it's usually in a very stern and sometimes provocative and feisty manner; he's defending stances while arguing in an intense way. This has led to my pondering: why does Joe Clark write angry comments? I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him in real life (although I really hope it will happen one day) but people who have say that he's really friendly and helpful, generally a great guy altogether. However, I guess this isn't really about Joe, but about a state that many successful bloggers/standardistas/accessibility fighters seem to end up in. They appear to become jaded with a lot of people, instead of showing them the respect that they as well as beginners should always be met with, question everything they say and do their outmost to find flaws in what they do. They get tired of it all and now and then one of them just stops sharing their thoughts and findings for free, and instead become a recluse from the web limelight. Or, I might be totally off-key here and it's only Joe's style and image. :-)

 

PS. I do hope that Joe reads this and if he does, that he writes a nice happy comment about just being in a good mood. :-) DS.

Visitors, oh my

Lately I've been blessed with a lot of visitors, with a peak of 2700 unique ones on Monday two days ago. I just wanted to say thanks for reading, and don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions, feedback and its like!

Why some people become big names

Attitude. Being humble and have enough self-distance to react to criticism in a constructive way. Yesterday I contacted a very well-known blogger since I didn't like a certain part of his web site. I tend to be very open and direct (some people would call it blunt), so the first thing I did was to compare his web site to another really lousy one when it comes to this aspect. I really didn't know how he would react and how offended he would be, so imagine my surprise when his initial reply was laughing about my comparison. After that we had a discussion about it, I expressed my opinions and he his, and he was totally open about it. And that, my friends, is what separates a big name from a nobody.

 

PS. "Mr X", if you're reading this, feel free to reveal yourself if you feel like it. I thought it fair to let you be anonymous if you wanted to. DS.

BitTorrent verdict

Recently, a man in Hong Kong was convicted for illegally sharing movies through BitTorrent, and it is probably the first case where BitTorrent technology is involved. I only have two things to say about this:
The movies he shared
If someone is sharing movies like Daredevil and Miss Congeniality, I guess you need to be punished in some way...
Newspaper reports
Why are most newspapers referring to BitTorrent as a program all the time, while it's actually a technology? Is it because there's a client named BitTorrent as well, and it takes too much research to be able to tell them apart?

Want to be part of something great?

Almost two months ago, I joined the 9rules Network. It is a mixture of very talented and interesting people in different categories (and then there's me :-)), and I find it intriguing to have all of those persons in the same network. Amongst those in the network, I regularly stay in touch with Roger, Jonathan and Molly (well, I try to with Molly, but she's a busy gal), and I love Particletree's publications. And now, the Network that will maybe/probably/[insert appropriate word here] become a vital part of the Internet and have an, to say the least, interesting future ahead, is now accepting submissions for Round 3. Think you're up for it? Think that this might be your big break? Don't hesitate; always seize the opportunity! Good luck!

Visitors through the roof!

A very nice thing happened last week! Due to my article about HTML or XHTML?, I got a lot of attention, and especially Thursday and Friday were busy days, peaking on Friday with 1689 visitors. I also got some linking at http://del.icio.us/ with 149 links (and counting) :-). What felt extra good about this, is that I got this attention when writing a constructive post instead of just ranting. Maybe there is hope, after all! :-)

Who actually subscribes to comment feeds?

Most blogs offer a feed for comments on their posts as well as different feeds for the posts themselves. Naturally, I subscribe to the comments feed for this web site, to instantly see when someone has added a comment. But who else subscribes to the comments feed? I sure don't do it on any blogs; if any particular discussion is that important so I want to stay in the loop, I just make sure to re-visit the page a day later or so. Do any of you subscribe to any comments feeds?

Frappr – A group map

First, I like it for its name; probably because it reminds me of frappuccino. Frappr is a way to share group photos and locations. Please, please add your location and an image of choice at the robertnyman map! :-) Thanks to Asterisk for pointing me to this. Update: You don't have to add an image, but please just enter where you live and a shoutout!

OS X (look and feel) on Windows

You've always liked the design of the Mac OS X interface, but still want to/have to stay on Windows? I'm one of those persons, but something recently just got to my attention that can change that; it's name is Flyakite OS X. From their web site:
FlyakiteOSX is a transformation pack. It will transform the look of an ordinary Windows XP+ system to resemble the look of Mac OS X.
I've tried it for a coule of days, and I really like it! Previously, since I'm a geek, I've played around with WindowBlinds, but never really fell for it. The only gripe I have so far about Flyakite OS X is that you can't disable it, you have to uninstall it. Otherwise, it looks really good! Hat off to Shaun Andrews, in whose blog I found the link. Maybe something Faruk should've known about before he ran off and bought his Powerbook... ;-) If you also want to mimic the Dashboard functionaliy, I recommend trying out Konfabulator. Happy customizing!