Sunday, December 25, 2005

Recent history

I really feel badly about not posting in a while, so this will be the first of a couple of posts. I'll start with the easy stuff.

Old news [to some/but hopefully not all] that I thought was interesting:
  • AOL committed to continue using Google Search in return for one billion dollars from Google. The biggest bonus is the committment by AOL to interoperate with Google Talk. With Yahoo and MSN Messenger agreeing to compound their user bases, I couldn't be happier that the two protocols I don't use are going together into their own corner (what arrogance!). [probably first saw this on BetaNews | DAMN Ars Technica I started this post early afternoon]
  • Yahoo introduced something approaching the concept of using the search bar as a command line. You can enter commands by starting with the !. For example, !compose would bring up Yahoo! Mail and start a message addressed to Terry Semel. [probably first saw this on the Unofficial Yahoo Weblog]
  • Microsoft releases something very similar to the Web Developer Extension for IE called the Internet Explorer Developer Bar. It's not as nice or customizable as IE simply doesn't lend itself to be customized. [probably first saw this via BetaNews]
  • I love Yahoo! Widgets . I liked Konfabulator, but Yahoo has integrated the widget concept [small eye-candyish applications that you can access with a configurable hot-key] very nicely with its own services like Yahoo! Notepad, Yahoo! Calendar, Y! Contacts, Y! Maps, Y! Search, etc. So much potential.
  • Kathae told me about Pandora. It's like last.FM, but free and download free. You also have to seed the station by typing in artists instead of playing 100+ tracks.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Upon reading the post on Slashdot about Microsoft's IE7 RSS team settling on using the orange RSS icon used by Firefox, I considered how awkward the situation must be for them. Here they are years behind Mozilla on features like RSS, tabs, security, standards implementations/compliance, usability/extensibility, etc. Do they look at the source or not? If they do, then would they feel guilty of cheating? What level of innovation would they be satisfied at attaining to be able to say, we peeked, but now ours is better. If they don't look, are they wasting their time reinventing the wheel?

I would be quite stuck deciding on whether or not to look at the source. Now, if you've heard the story about MS studying the Macintosh source to "make Word better" before releasing Windows, you'll know that some at Microsoft have absolutely no problem with standing on the shoulders of giants. Isn't progress what the open source community is all about? Let's see if they release the source of IE7.

That was all just a really long introduction to the big question that today paralyzed me with indecision: how do you dispose of those pesky envelopes with see-through windows? Everybody likes to use them! Everytime I go home, I find my credit card statements and donation solicitations in a corrogated cardboard box, but I look through them and procrastinate against their disposal. I'm not sure what regular people do, but I find it hard to just throw them away in either the trash or the recycling bin. If you throw them away, they'll just be piled into some landfill. If you recycle them as is, would they be rejected because of the little window?

Now, ripping out the window is surprisingly difficult as the plastic tears like tissue paper. The only alternative I have is to carefully remove the window along with parts of the envelope the glued to the plastic. This results in UNRECYCLED PAPER that gets added to the landfill. On one hand, I can leave the junk mail to pile up in our personal landfill, their fate undecided. On the other hand, I can guarantee that some of them get recycled, but consign the others (at the cost of my tedium) to the same fate as the plastic.

If you can help me, please go to Yahoo! Answers and answer my question!