Advent Calendar is here again

Filed under:Crazee Aftermoon — posted by Svein Kåre on 1 December 2006 @ 16:00

Some like to call it the Christmas Calendar, but it’s still here waiting for you. Go have a look each day and enjoy what’s hiding behind the presents.


Rendered beautiful or accessed effectively?

Filed under:Browsers,Web development — posted by Svein Kåre on 7 September 2006 @ 00:26

I just stumbled upon a post about Operas PR-manager Eskil Sivertsen’s comments on Nokias S60 browser — where he basically agrees with the review in the Register. Not everyone agrees with him, of course, and think his words were harsh. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course, and our tastes vary, but one of the comments made me stop up and think a bit:

Concerning Opera mini – I really don’t like the way the browser changes the layout of full HTML pages to fit the viewing platform, as it means the designers lose control of how their pages look. I much prefer the S60 browser’s solution to viewing large pages on a small screen.

If I want pages optimized for a small screen I’ll use WAP. I personally believe that the responsibility of a proper page layout/viewing rests with the page designer and not the browser app.

My thoughts are spinning around this question: How important is the original layout, as the designer meant the site to be seen?

One point to consider here is the purpose of the design. Is it meant to make the site look pretty and inviting only? To enhance the readability of the text? To guide where you’re viewing to the most interesting links and pages on the site? Is the design important to the content, that the design itself provides part of the content? A second point is about the content itself: Is it meant to be read? Or just viewed, or what?

I think it will be safe to claim that for most sites, the point is for the content to be read. Maybe commented on and be discussed, but definitely read. In this case, how important is it that the design is preserved, in every case? It would be nice when it’s logical, but are the cases when it’s not that logical to preserve the original design?

Sites are usually designed to be viewed on a large screen, and the designs are based on this situation. Few sites are designed for smaller screens (or other media) even though there’s a lot of talk about accessing the web with mobile phones these days. What shall the browser on these phones do, if there are no stylesheets for them to tell how the design is supposed to be on small screens? After all — doesn’t this mean “sorry, no design for you”?

The phone browsers do handle it differently. Some pretend to have big screens, and zoom in on parts of it to make it possible to read. Other browsers reformat the whole thing and present a long, narrow page. (Are there more than Opera that does this?) Which of these approaces respect the designer’s wishes? Which are correct? And which are best?

The browsers that pretend to have big screens may be said to respect the designer — if the designer meant that all devices should behave like a big screen. However, if the designer meant “I don’t know what’s the best design for this device — present the content as you wish” then any rendering is OK. The correct way to render would be to follow the specified style sheet for small screens, if presents, and render without styles if not. (At least to my understanding — you may disagree.) The best way?

The best way would be to render the page so that the content is accessed effectively, i.e. easy to read, and that it’s quick and easy to navigate. If it’s hard to read what’s on the page, and navigation is complicated, then something’s wrong. It doesn’t harm that the browser is fast either, and have effective use of available memory.

So, which browser is best? You decide.

Steal This Film

Filed under:Music/MP3 — posted by Svein Kåre on 24 August 2006 @ 12:34

Weird Al Yankovic may have written a song about filesharing (which you can download) but what about a whole film about the same topic? You can get that, too.

Steal This Film is a documentary about the peer-to-peer organisation and the filesharing movement. As they write about the documentary (part 1) on their website:

There have been a few documentaries by ‘old-media’ crews who don’t understand the net and see peer-to-peer organisation as a threat to their livelyhoods. They have no reason to represent the filesharing movement positively, and no capacity to represent it lucidly.

We wanted to make a film that would explore this huge popular movemet in a way that excited us, engaged us, and most importantly, focused on what we know to be the positive and optimistic vision that many filesharers and artists (they are often one) hva for the future of creativity.

The film is possible to download in several formats. I’ve done it now, and am going to burn it to DVD and watch it.

Don’t download this song

Filed under:Music/MP3 — posted by Svein Kåre on @ 12:09

What do you do with a song that in the title of the song itself specifically ask you not to download it? Well – you download it, of course… Weird Al has written and performs a song about file sharing, how you’d not want to mess with the R-I-double-A, because they’d treat you like the hardened, evil criminal you are, no matter what age. And so on. So head over to — and download it.

Free 4GB iPod Nano?

Filed under:Random Thoughts — posted by Svein Kåre on 18 August 2006 @ 03:19

I got a little begging mail from a friend myself, to visit a site and fill in what it said, and we’d both get a free iPod Nano. Well – I thought I should bite this time and try, after all what did I have to lose?

Well – it turned out it was a bit more for me to do to achieve the prize: I have to refer five more people myself that will have to register and take up one offer themselves. How? Well – I could send them an email, or by instand messaging, or even post a link to my blog. As you suspect, I’m writing this entry to post the link – those of you who want to give it a shot and try to get a free iPod Nano yourself may want to try it.

Get a FREE iPod Nano! (Offer is for all countries, but it seems Americans — or should that be USers? 😉 — will have an easier time at the moment…)

I will update the post (or write in the comments) if it works. As long as I actually refer 5 people who go the line out, that is… (What is there to lose?)

Aliens prefer Firefox

Filed under:Browsers,Humour — posted by Svein Kåre on 17 August 2006 @ 21:51

I have it from respectable sources that the various crop circles are proof that aliens exist, because many of the geometrical patterns that are made are too complicated for humans to make in such a short time span as is used it many cases. Logically, it follows that aliens prefer Firefox.

They probably havent discovered Opera yet, or the Opera logo is too simple to make a crop circle of – who would it impress? 😉

Greatest widget?

Filed under:Browsers — posted by Svein Kåre on 14 August 2006 @ 23:55

Artist's SketchbookIf you use Opera, you may use many of its features on a daily basis. If you research stuff, you may use the built in notebook to jot down information you find (or copy it directly from the pages), or maybe write down ideas for some creative writing. But if you’re an artist and get ideas for drawings or paintings while you’re browsing, what do you do? Put the computer aside and find a sketchbook? Fire up Photoshop? Well – here comes widgets to the rescue!

The author of Artist’s Sketchbook recently won a MacBook in the competition in the Oera Community – and well deserved. This widget is – as the name suggests – a sketchbook. You get an idea while browsing? Just open the widget and start drawing and painting with different tools and brushes, while the idea is fresh. When finished, just export and save your mastepiece, and continue surfing the web, ready for any new idea at any time.

Now that’s one widget I’ll keep installed!

On Piracy

Filed under:DRM and stuff,Music/MP3 — posted by Svein Kåre on 10 August 2006 @ 02:37

Whew. I just finished watching a documentary, On Piracy, about DRM, music, Walmart and stuff. A very interesting 1 hour 44 minutes, with interviews with several people in the Canadian music industry and its consumers, and it brought forward the different views on what it’s all about.

There are known information in the film, and things I didn’t know. There are stuff I find horrific and silly – the standard claim that making a copy of something so that two persons have their own copy is the same as stealing something so that one person lose it while the other get it is there. But no matter who you agree with and what view you have, this is a balanced documentary. Go see it on Google video.

If you want – you can also download it – this prerelease is released under Creative Commons.

Girls in bra pics

Filed under:Random Thoughts — posted by Svein Kåre on 4 July 2006 @ 01:33

Girl in bra, seen from behindGirls are fascinating for many of us, and they are very often nice to rest our eyes on. If I should make an educated guess, I would think many like to see these beautiful creatures without too much garments obscuring their shapes. I guess seeing the tiny garment called a brassiere — or bra for short — in use is something many can appreciate. I understand that. One thing puzzles me, though.

For several weeks now, one particular search term have been at the top or near the top in the stats for my site, for what visitors look for when they arrive at my site. The search term is (as you may have guessed) “girls in bra pics”. A few have searched for “girls bra” or something like that, but those disappear in comparision with the other term. Now, I can understand that people search for such pictures, but how come that exact search phrase is so popular? I’ll probably never know.

I wonder if those who arrive after that search are disappointed? Because the only page (I think) that mention that delicate garment — up until now — is one about a test I took once: What kind of bra are you? It does have a picture of a bra, though.

Bittorrent and Opera 9

Filed under:Browsers — posted by Svein Kåre on 3 July 2006 @ 02:02

Opera LogoI see from my server logs that many visitors come here after searching for Opera 9 and bittorrent. It could mean that bittorrent is a popular feature in Opera — had it not been for an additional word in many of the searches: Disable. While some want to know more about how bittorrent is used, quite a few (of my visitors) want to know how to disable the feature. Quick answer: Type opera:config in the address bar, find the bittorrent section, uncheck enable.

Does this mean that the inclusion of bittorrent in Opera is a failure? Oh no, far from it. While it’s easy to get started with bittorrent this way, without needing to learn something new to start using it, the bittorrent client in Opera is a simple client. People who already are using bittorrent will most likely want to use the client they’re already using, as it may have more features or they’re just used to it. New users on the other hand may appreciate it a lot.

Not everyone knows how bittorrent works, and how to get started. Downloading a .torrent-file, then open it in their bittorent client? For some that don’t know how this work and how to set it up, this is an obstacle they can’t pass, and thus give up. The way Opera solves this problem is to make the process very simple: Click a link, and choose where to download the file. Just like you download any other file. The only difference is a couple extra messages from Opera during the process, one in the beginning and one when the download has finished, to explain what is happening. But you don’t have to learn anything new to get started.

Maybe those who get started with bittorrent on Opera will continue to use it, or maybe they will prefer other clients later on. In any case, Opera will be a nice and easy introduction to bittorrent for many.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace