Death Threats, The Gran Paradiso Firefox and Vista and Human Nature, Web 2.0 and My Concession – Rounded Corners

Death Threat

Hmmmm, this is a first for me. Yea, I’ve had people threaten me before. Both online and off. Yea, maybe some has said they’d kill me once or twice, but that’s just people being dumb and usually isn’t serious. But I’ve never had anyone e-mail me telling me that a friend hired someone to kill me, over some un-named offense I did to them.

Sure, it’s spam or crap or something (though I didn’t find any references to it anywhere as yet), probably fishing for people who reply (irately) so they can harvest the valid e-mail addresses.

But it still makes you stop and think, in general. Is there anyone in your life, present or past, who would actually pay someone to have you killed?

Nah, I don’t think so. Me neither.

There’s been a few fanatical religious nuts over the years that I’ve pissed off – those people are wackos. A few really bad fights, some physical (though I gave up that idiocy long, long ago when I was but a youn’in). And lots of people on the Internet who I’ve royally pissed off (usually people who don’t realize the difference between real life and the Internet). But nothing anyone would hire someone to kill me for.

It would be nice to think that maybe I’m important enough, or pissed someone off enough, for someone to maybe hire someone else to kill me. Heh heh.

I sent it along to the abuse resolution of the e-mail service it came from, examined the header info for anything (not relayed), and put it out of my mind. Doesn’t seem important enough to call the cops or FBI over. Though I do have my personal ‘abuse resolution’ method close at hand…


(The is blog entry below is no longer relevant)



Adding Stuff to Blogger

Anyway… is great. Sure; there’s a lot of free blog sites, free webspace you can install your own blog software on, etc. But Blogger is probably the most popular and there’s so many options and customizability to it that it’s hard to beat. If you install your own blog software then you have to maintain it, add plugins yourself, submit it to search engines, etc. Other services might not be as popular and have fewer features.

I wanted to add a custom random quote to this blog (see above). I couldn’t find a free add-on or plugin that served up quotes in quite the right way to fit what I wanted. For example – no limit to the number of quotes I wanted to add, no ads or extraneous stuff like graphics. So I used a little script that I had that I had previously done a little mod to for using on local webboards. (Interesting side note – it’s a little PHP script that converts text to graphics. Good for circumventing the stripping of more advanced HTML code when posting on a webboard. Makes you wonder what an enterprising hacker could do with the same method.)

There’s any number of ways to add a script fragment to Blogger. Either use the layout editing function and add some HTML code or to add it directly into the template (which I settled on because I liked it better visually).

Works well, and it serves up a random quote every time a visitor accesses the blog or an entry on my blog (try reloading and you’ll see).

Blogger‘s great, and gotta thank them and Google for providing this for free. And while I’m at it I’ll thank Wikipedia – while there’s some issues there it’s still a tremendous resource.

Gran Paradiso, Vista, and Humankind

Trying the newest Firefox, version 3 Alpha Gran Paradiso (named after a group of mountains in Italy). Looks about the same visually, so far not seeing much in the way of speed increases in the faster rendering engine. And iffy on whether it’s improving the memory leak problems. But I just started trying it, so I can’t give you a real review as yet…

Firefox – a great idea. Make something fast, compliant with WC3 standards, open source (an amazing idea), customizable as hell, and let it compete with Microsoft’s tired Internet Explorer. Netscape and Opera just never got the market share that Firefox is getting, for whatever reason; neither did the original Mozilla suite.

But unfortunately, as happens with so many human innovations, great ideas get out of whack.

Firefox has been heading toward the inevitable bloated, slow, leaky application. Same with Thunderbird.

They’re hard to beat, though. But some people see problems now. Though I think some of the memory leakage problems (at least from my testing) seem to be from bad addons (extensions for you old-school Firefox users, of course) or interactions between okay addons and Firefox or with other addons.

But it’s bloating, and there are alternatives based on the same rendering engines. Like K-Meleon (somewhat scaled down, faster, and a more tweaker-oriented version).

This is a direct parallel with the Windows platforms and it’s development over the years.

Someone had a great idea for a GUI operating system, and someone else took it (stole it some would say – I’ll leave that discussion to others) and improved greatly on it. Then turned around and made it a bloated, skewed, generally messed it up…, uhm, mess..

We, as human beings, tend to take great ideas and improve on them, then at some point screw them up.

But going back to the original idea of someone taking someone else’s good idea and improving on it – who’s the biggest innovator? The guy who has the initial good idea but can’t quite implement/distribute/boil it down/make it come together in the best way, or the guy who takes that person’s great idea and makes it workable and practical? I don’t know, probably both.

Personally, I’ve rarely been the original innovator of ideas; but I’m damn good at taking a good idea and making it better and improving on it. Usually in my case I then hand it off to someone else and they sin turn crew it up.

At some point Vista is going to be fixed and supported and accepted. But now there’s a lot of negativity. Could Firefox go this way for new versions?

I remember when Windows XP came out, some of the same concerns about it were voiced by experts and normal users alike that are being put out for Vista, but on a smaller scale. Now XP is a very stable operating systems and well-supported, for the most part. Vista’s getting there, yet with some major problems along the way and issues to resolve.

I still don’t have one computer system in my home office with it installed and, for the most part, I’m still recommending customers stick with XP unless they are buying a new computer (and even then in some cases not…).

I certainly didn’t wait impatiently for Vista like I did with XP.

Yea, maybe I’m kinda a geek but when your field of work is computers something like the release of XP tends to make a lot of changes in how things work in that particular field.

And, in an only-slightly related note and fairly tangential note- I’ve noticed that many of the ones who call me a geek are usually the very ones who can barely get away from their computers long enough to work or sleep because they have to get back on the local webboard to create gossip/read gossip, or whatever. Fill in the blank – you know the kind of people. People living in glass houses, etc.

I try to be a fairly well-rounded person with many, many interests. Usually the ones who tend to throw out the term “geek” are a “geek” themselves, maybe not in computers but in some narrow band of interest. Ah, human nature again.

A quick shot with the Canon. My first couple shots came out a weird textured pic, because the fog was so dense the flash reflected off them. I didn’t want to turn off the flash completely so I used the option to back it down a percentage – another nice feature.

Web 2.0 and My Concession – Rounded Corners

Argh. The whole Web 2.0concept. It’s basically a name for some Internet-related ideas that have been evolving for many years (many of the basic ideas of which have been around since the beginning). Many of the so-called concepts behind it have been things that a lot of us have been trying to do for years. For example – making websites less static and more interactive with the visitor.

I think a good symbol for naming something that’s just a natural evolution – is the Web 2.0 logo creator. This started out as a joke and a spoof of the whole thought behind Web 2.0, only to get used by a large number of people who actually are putting these logos on their websites (not that there’s anything wrong with how they look).

Funny, and again – goes back to human nature… We’re such strange and funny little pieces of meat, aren’t we?

Back to the point of my posting – my newest little concession to the whole Web 2.0 idea is on my Old Abandoned Buildings of Northern New York site. I converted all of the picture thumbnails from square thumbnailed pics to ones with rounded corners and drop-shadows. Looks nice, no matter what you call it.


Marc M

I am a web developer and fitness geek, but I have a heck of a lot of differing interests.  Biking, the Internet, technology, movies, fitness, running and walking and hiking, science fiction, photography, graphics, WordPress, flying and aircrafts, pets and animals, history, and much more.  I like to stay very fit but I don’t mind sitting at my computer for work and play either.  I live in upstate New York (that’s far from New York City) in a rural area, yet close to a small city, with my beautiful awesome wife, a bunch of beloved cats and dogs and chickens in a very old multi-century house.

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