Refreshing legalese

I hate legalese. It’s far too complicated for the average person, and frankly, I think far too complicated even for the people who are supposed to be completely on top of it.
Figures that a technology firm would race to the rescue. Red Hat, distributors of Linux, decided to make their SLA more service-oriented, by reducing it to plain ordinary English.
Now that’s refreshing. Thanks, Red Hat!

Renovations, Part 1: Demolition

It is said that it is easier to destroy than it is to create. However, it is not said that it is also more fun. I wonder why?
This morning, we started the first part of our house renovation: tearing apart the crap that’s in the basement. As you’ve seen in pictures already posted (see [[Ugh. Moving again.]]), the basement was a renovation gone wrong.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Today, I found out it was several renovations gone wrong.
Continue reading “Renovations, Part 1: Demolition”

Riding the Trans Siberian in luxury

Not quite two years ago, I had the pleasure of riding trains from St. Petersburg, Russia all the way to Hong Kong. Quite the experience, let me tell you.
One part of it was riding the Trans Siberian Railway from Moscow to Ulan Ude, where the Trans Siberian effectively becomes the Trans Mongolian, as we cut through Mongolia to Beijing. The trains (as there are many that ply the line) vary from relatively nice (the one from Krasnoyarsk to Urkutsk was pretty nice) to pretty cruddy (Urkutsk to Ulan Ude), with various points in between.
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The patent process is now officially broken

I’ve ranted about [[Reform the US Patent Office!|this topic before]]. I’m loathe to see that nothing’s changed, and it’s only getting worse.
Back in the old days, a patent meant something. It meant you’d spent time, money, and a lot of effort to innovate. To discover something (be it an object or process) that gave you an edge of your competitors. You patented it so you might be able to make your investment back, and be able to block competitors from using your idea for a certain period of time.
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Take the Web Design Survey!

A List Apart, one of my fav industry mags (even if it is only on the web) has put together a pretty neat little survey, to try and figure out what our goofy little industry looks like. And to hopefully garner a bit more respect for it, too.
It’s not just for the artistically-minded, it’s also for programmers, project managers, even the geeks-gone-wrong like me who’ve ended up in “leadership” positions.
If you make websites for a living, take the time to fill out the survey. Make your mark!

Basement floor plan, first draft

A few measurements, pencil, copy of Visio (on the company laptop, admittedly), tape measure, and a lot of time and patience leads to something moderately useful.
We’ve got a first draft at a floor plan. For the basement, that is. The upstairs is another issue which we’ll deal with later. For now, we’ve got our first fish to fry. It’s not perfect, though — there’s a few things we have to take into account. Continue reading “Basement floor plan, first draft”

Gearing up for renovations

We’re almost completely moved into the house, and while it’s still cluttered, we’re already looking to renovating the basement.
We have to renovate, really. The [[Ugh. Moving again.|basement isn’t set up for what Alex and I need]]. We want another full bathroom, and a spare bedroom (yes, we have three already, but when you’re thinking of having two kids…). Plus an office. And heated floors.
Then factor in the fun stuff: 1950s plumbing, wiring, and heating. The stuff is ancient, inefficient, and insufficient.
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Is Blinkx Remote the end of TV?

The big networks are panicking about their content appearing on YouTube and Google Video. Lawsuits abound. But the content keeps coming.
The effect of all this content is interesting — users are actually dropping their long-loved cable and satellite connections in favour of downloading only what they want from the internet and viewing it at their leisure.
Oddly enough, I’ve heard no panic about that. Yet. Enter Blinkx Remote.
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Using captcha instead of usernames and passwords

So in all the mayhem that is/was the first three months of the year, we apparently completely missed news about the Web 2.0 Expo. Well, either that or we completely dismissed it based on the name alone.
Either way, it appears to be a loss to us, given what I’m reading on Andre’s blog about the sessions he’s been to. One of them in particular caught my eye: Vidoop.
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Bon Voyage Jim and Mia

I remember when Jim and Mia started with Critical Mass.
Mia was an import, from our sister/spin-off company Large Medium in Stockholm, Sweden. Back then we were doing
exchanges with Large Medium as a form of cross-training. (Web Development was the only group never included in that exchange — I’d have loved to have gone.) We definitely got the better end of the deal. Not only did we get our people back, but we got to keep Mia.
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Updates to the Rolex Website

Almost since we launched the new website back at the end January (see [[The new Rolex website is live]]), we’ve been working on more updates.
First off are four additional languages with which to learn all there is about Rolex: Spanish, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and for the first time on Rolex’s website, French. These are the “international” versions of the languages, so you won’t find Quebecois, Latin American Spanish, or Satsuma-ben. That’s not to say it won’t ever happen, but you have to start somewhere, right?
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