Entries Tagged as 'Web'

Google Music – Beta

Google has launched their cloud based streaming music service as a beta; you can request an invitation (using a Gmail account) via the link below.

What does it get you?

Well, up to 20,000 songs in your cloud storage; play back support on most Android devices; play back support from a browser; and an upload program that will sync your library to the cloud.

Not bad for free.

Apple provides a similar service for $25 per year; there’s no limit to the amount of music you can store.  The main differences being that there’s no Android support (basically devices iTunes supports is supported), and Apple actually finger prints the files and serves their iTune version of the music rather than your copy (likely at a higher bit rate — they, of course, don’t incur the storage overhead).

Amazon provides a similar service for $20 per year (you also get some storage for other files); and there’s no limit to the amount of music you can store, but you might find their uploader is a little less friendly to use (OK — to be fair it’s been updated since I tested it — so maybe not).

You can play with the free 5GB version of the Amazon service and decide if you like it, and it’s worth the $20 (I was hoping they’d just bundle it into Prime — but if they’re serious about Hulu they really need to start Al-a-cart charges for services, or Prime is going to have to go up).

Anyway, if you have an Android device, I highly recommend you go ahead and request an invite to the Google Music Beta — you can try the Amazon out as well… if you have an iOS device, you’re probably stuck with the Apple solution (but you’re an Apple customer, so you’re used to having to shell out money for everything).

Also, the Amazon tablets will reportedly ship with a free Prime subscription, possibly a free year of cloud storage might be thrown in as well (that’s speculation on my part).

http://music.google.com/about/

Originally posted 2011-09-10 02:00:28.

HTML5

Both Apple (in an essay by Steve Jobs) and Microsoft (from the general manager of IE) have put a stake in the ground — the future of the web is in HTML5 and Adobe Flash is nothing more than a transitional technology that had no place in the future… of course with that, Microsoft has also indicated the IE9 won’t be supported by Windows XP, so it too obviously will have no place (in their minds) in the future.

I would agree that Flash has no place in the future; of course, I felt it had no place in the past either… but the glut of mediocre web designers and the masses need for eye candy seemed to give Flash a leg up in the past, and my bet is will continue to keep it alive long into the future.

Additionally, my guess is Windows XP will do just fine — after all, you can run Operate, FireFox, Chrome, and Safari today on that platform, and all of those will likely continue to develop for and support Windows XP in the future.  All of those are far better browsers than IE is today, and I suspect that’s a pretty safe bet for tomorrow.

In fact, Chrome, Opera, and Safari all support HTML5 today (and score 100/100 in the ACID3 tests)…

Apple on HTML5

Microsoft on HTML5

Originally posted 2010-05-05 02:00:07.

Craigslist

Craigslist has bowed to the pressures from forty state attorney general’s who’ve expressed concern over prostitution related advertising on the web site by removing adult related services (for pay).

I’m always a little concerned when Christian beliefs and morals are used as the basis for legal prosecution and pressure.

Craigslist is used to advertise a number of legal, illegal, and questionable activities — but because Craigslist fell center stage a few years ago state attorney generals wanting to make sure that their bible thumping voter base was appeased went on a witch hunt… and today they extracted their pound of flesh.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech; but when the Christian right fears what might be said they are quick to pervert the constitution and the laws to suit their own needs.

When the freedoms of one person or one class suffers, it diminishes us all.


NOTE: It appears that several sites have stepped up to take over where Criaglist has fallen short (inclusion of any site in this post is not an endorsement).

backpage.com

adultsearch.com

Originally posted 2010-09-04 02:00:16.

Internet Service Provider Mail Servers

This is a listing of server names for various internet service providers and hosting companies I’ve complied.  Use your browser (page text) search feature to locate the one you’re interested or browse them alphabetically (this is a lengthy post).

1&1

  • pop3:  pop.1and1.com
    port 110; 995 ssl
  • imap4: imap.1and1.com
    port 143; 993 ssl
  • smtp: smtp.1and1.com
    port 25; 587 ssl

Adelphia Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.adelphia.net
  • smtp: mail.adelphia.net

AT&T Internet Service

  • pop3: postoffice.worldnet.att.net
  • smtp: mailhost.worldnet.att.net
  • nntp: netnews.att.net (dial)
  • nntp: netnews.worldnet.att.net (dial)
  • nntp: inetnews.worldnet.att.net (broadband

AOL Internet Service

  • imap4: imap.aol.com
  • smtp: smtp.aol.com

Bell Altantic Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.bellatlantic.net
  • smtp: gtei.bellatlantic.net

BellSouth Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.bellsouth.net
  • smtp: mail.bellsouth.net
  • nntp: newsgroups.bellsouth.net

BlueLight Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.bluelight.net
  • smtp: mail.bluelight.net

Brainstorm Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.gobrainstorm.net
  • smtp: mail.gobrainstorm.net

Cableone Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.cableone.net
  • smtp: authmail.cableone.net

Charter Communications

  • pop3: pop.charter.net
  • smtp: smtp.charter.net

Comcast Communications

  • pop3: mail.comcast.net
  • smtp: smtp.comcast.net
  • nntp: newsgroups.comcast.net

Compaq Internet Service

  • pop3: pop3.compaq.net
  • smtp: smtp.compaq.net
  • nntp: news.compaq.net

Compuserve Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.compuserve.com
  • smtp: smtp.compuserve.com
  • nntp: news.compuserve.com

Concentric Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.concentric.net
  • smtp: smtp.concentric.net
  • nntp: news.concentric.net

Cox Communications

  • East
    • pop3: pop.east.cox.net
    • smtp: smtp.east.cox.net
    • nntp: news.east.cox.net
  • Central
    • pop3: pop.central.cox.net
    • smtp: smtp.central.cox.net
    • nntp: newscentral.cox.net
  • West
    • pop3: pop.west.cox.net
    • smtp: smtp.west.cox.net
    • nntp: news.west.cox.net

Cypress Communications

  • pop3: pop.cypress communications.net
  • smtp: smtp.cypress communications.net

DirectNIC Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.directnic.com
  • smtp: smtp.directnic.com

Dotster

  • pop3: pop.registerapi.com
  • smtp: smtpauth.registerapi.com

Earthlink Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.earthlink.net
  • smtp: ssmtpauth.earthlink.net
  • nntp: news.east.earthlink.net
  • nntp: news.west.earthlink.net
  • ftp: ftp-www.earthlink.net

EasyCGI

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain]
  • smtp: smtp.[yourdomain]

FrontierNet Internet Service

  • pop3: pop3.frontiernet.net
  • smtp: smtp.frontiernet.net
  • nntp: news.frontiernet.net

GoDaddy

  • pop3: mail.godaddy.com
  • smtp: [none]

Google Mail

  • pop3: pop.gmail.com
    port 995 ssl
  • imap4: imap.gmail.com
    port 993 ssl
  • smtp: smtp.gmail.com
    port 465, 587 ssl/starttls

HughesNet Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.hughes.net
  • smtp: smtp.hughes.net

Internet America Internet Service

  • pop3: pop3.airmail.net
  • smtp: mail.airmail.net

iPage

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain]
  • smtp: mail.[yourdomain]

IX Web Hosting

  • pop3: pop.ix.netcom.com
  • smtp: smtp.ix.netcom.com

Juno Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.juno.com
  • smtp: smtp.juno.com

JustHost

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain] port 110; 995 ssl
  • imap4: mail.[yourdomain] port 143; 993 ssl
  • smtp: mail.[yourdomain] port 25, 2626; 465, 587 ssl

Lycos

  • pop3: pop.mail.lycos.com
  • smtp: smtp.mail.lycos.com

Mac

  • pop3: mail.mac.com
  • smtp: smtp.mac.com

Mail.com

  • pop3: pop1.mail.com
  • smtp: smtp1.mail.com
  • nntp: news.mail.com

MegaPath Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.megapathdsl.net
  • smtp: mail.megapathdsl.net
  • nntp: news.megapath.net

Mediacom Online Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.mchsi.com
  • smtp: mail.mchsi.com
  • nntp: netnews.mchsi.com

Mindspring Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.mindspring.com
  • smtp: smtp.mindspring.com

Mpower Communications

  • pop3: pop.mpowercom.net
  • smtp: smtp.mpowercom.net
  • nntp: news.mpowercom.net

MSN Internet Service Provider

  • pop3: pop3.email.msn.com
  • smtp: smtp.email.msn.com
  • nntp: netnews.msn.com

Netscape

  • pop3: pop3.isp.netscape.com
  • smtp: smtp.isp.netscape.com
  • nntp: news.netscape.com

Network Solutions

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain]
  • smtp: smtp.[yourdomain]

NetZero Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.netzero.net
  • smtp: smtp.netzero.net
  • nntp: news.netzero.net

onehost worx Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.emailworx.net
  • smtp: smtpsecure.emailworx.net

Pacifier Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.pacifier.com
  • smtp: smtp.pacifier.com

PeoplePC Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.peoplepc.com
  • smtp: smtpauth.peoplepc.com
  • nntp: news.peoplepc.com

Pipeline Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.pipeline.com
  • smtp: smtp.pipeline.com

Rediff Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.rediffmailpro.com
  • smtp: smtp.rediffmailpro.com
  • nntp: news.rediff.com

SBC Yahoo!

  • Ameritech
    • pop3: pop.ameritech.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.ameritech.yahoo.com
  • NVBell
    • pop3: pop.nvbell.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.nvbell.yahoo.com
  • PacBell
    • pop3: pop.pacbell.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.pacbell.yahoo.com
  • SNet
    • pop3: pop.snet.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.snet.yahoo.com
  • SWBell
    • pop3: pop.swbell.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.swbell.yahoo.com

  • Flash
    • pop3: pop.flash.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.flash.yahoo.com
  • Prodigy
    • pop3: pop.sbcglobal.net
    • smtp: smtpauth.prodigy.net
  • Wans
    • pop3: pop.wans.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.wans.yahoo.com
  • – Other –
    • pop3: pop.sbcglobal.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.sbcglobal.yahoo.com

Seanet Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.seanet.com
  • smtp: mx.seanet.com
  • nntp: news.seanet.com

Sonic.net Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.sonic.net
  • smtp: mail.sonic.net
  • nntp: news.sonic.net

Speakeasy Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.speakeasy.net
  • smtp: mail.speakeasy.net
  • nntp: news.speakeasy.net

SprintPCS

  • pop3: pop.sprintpcs.com
  • smtp: smtp.sprintpcs.com

Sprynet Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.sprynet.com
  • smtp: smtp.sprynet.com

Starpower Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.starpower.net
  • smtp: smtp.starpower.net
  • nntp: news.starpower.net

Time Warner

  • Alabama (Birmingham)
    • pop3: pop-server.bham.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.bham.rr.com
  • Alabama (Dothan)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Alabama (Eufaula)
    • pop3: pop-server.eufaula.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.eufaula.rr.com
  • California (Bakersfield)
    • pop3: pop-server.bak.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.bak.rr.com
  • California (San Diego)
    • pop3: pop-server.san.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.san.rr.com
  • California (Southern / Los Angeles)
    • pop3: pop-server.socal.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.socal.rr.com
  • California (Desert Cities)
    • pop3: pop-server.dc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.dc.rr.com
  • Florida (Cantonment)
    • pop3: pop-server.panhandle.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.panhandle.rr.com
  • Florida (Central Florida, Orlando)
    • pop3: pop-server.clf.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.clf.rr.com
  • Florida (Cape Coral / Naples)
    • pop3: pop-server.swfla.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.swfla.rr.com
  • Florida (Lake City / Live Oak)
    • pop3: pop-server.se.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.se.rr.com
  • Florida (Palatka)
    • pop3: pop-server.se.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.se.rr.com
  • Florida (St Augustine)
    • pop3: pop-server.se.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.se.rr.com
  • Florida (Tampa Bay)
    • pop3: pop-server.tampabay.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.tampabay.rr.com
  • Georgia (Ft. Benning)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Indiana (Indianapolis)
    • pop3: pop-server.indy.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.indy.rr.com
  • Indiana (Terre Haute)
    • pop3: pop-server.ma.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ma.rr.com
  • Kansas (Kansas City)
    • pop3: pop-server.kc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.kc.rr.com
  • Kansas (Colby)
    • pop3: pop-server.we.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.we.rr.com
  • Louisiana (Houma)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Louisiana (La Place)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Louisiana (Monroe)
    • pop3: pop-server.jam.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.jam.rr.com
  • Louisiana (Shreveport)
    • pop3: pop-server.sport.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sport.rr.com
  • Maine (Southeast Maine, Portland)
    • pop3: pop-server.maine.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.maine.rr.com
  • Massachusettes (Athol)
    • pop3: pop-server.mass.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.mass.rr.com
  • Massachusettes (Berkshire County)
    • pop3: pop-server.berkshire.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.berkshire.rr.com
  • Michigan (Detroit)
    • pop3: pop-server.twmi.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.twmi.rr.com
  • Minnesota (Minneapolis)
    • pop3: pop-server.mn.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.mn.rr.com
  • Mississippi (Jackson)
    • pop3: pop-server.jam.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.jam.rr.com
  • Missouri (Kansas City)
    • pop3: pop-server.kc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.kc.rr.com
  • Nebraska (Lincoln)
    • pop3: pop-server.neb.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.neb.rr.com
  • New Hampshire (Keene)
    • pop3: pop-server.ne.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ne.rr.com
  • New Jersey (Bergen)
    • pop3: pop-server.nj.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nj.rr.com
  • New York (Albany)
    • pop3: pop-server.nycap.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nycap.rr.com
  • New York (Central Northern)
    • pop3: pop-server.twcny.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.twcny.rr.com
  • New York (Hudson Valley, Catskills)
    • pop3: pop-server.hvc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.hvc.rr.com
  • New York (New York City, Manhattan)
    • pop3: pop-server.nyc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nyc.rr.com
  • New York (Rochester)
    • pop3: pop-server.rochester.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.rochester.rr.com
  • New York (Binghamton, Vestal, Johnson City)
    • pop3: pop-server.stny.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.stny.rr.com
  • New York (Staten Island)
    • pop3: pop-server.si.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.si.rr.com
  • North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, RTP)
    • pop3: pop-server.nc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nc.rr.com
  • North Carolina (East Carolina, Wilmington)
    • pop3: pop-server.ec.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ec.rr.com
  • North Carolina (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High-Point)
    • pop3: pop-server.triad.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.triad.rr.com
  • North Carolina (Charlotte Metro)
    • pop3: pop-server.carolina.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.carolina.rr.com
  • Ohio (Cincinatti)
    • pop3: pop-server.cinci.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.cinci.rr.com
  • Ohio (Columbus)
    • pop3: pop-server.columbus.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.columbus.rr.com
  • Ohio (North East)
    • pop3: pop-server.neo.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.neo.rr.com
  • Ohio (Western)
    • pop3: pop-server.woh.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.woh.rr.com
  • Pennsylvania (Erie)
    • pop3: pop-server.ma.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ma.rr.com
  • Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
    • pop3: pop-server.ucwphilly.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ucwphilly.rr.com
  • South Carolina (Columbia)
    • pop3: pop-server.carolina.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.carolina.rr.com
  • Tennessee (Memphis)
    • pop3: pop-server.midsouth.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.midsouth.rr.com
  • Texas (Austin)
    • pop3: pop-server.austin.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.austin.rr.com
  • Texas (El Paso)
    • pop3: pop-server.elp.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.elp.rr.com
  • Texas (Houston)
    • pop3: pop-server.houston.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.houston.rr.com
  • Texas (Rio Grande Valley)
    • pop3: pop-server.rgv.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.rgv.rr.com
  • Texas (San Antonio)
    • pop3: pop-server.satx.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.satx.rr.com
  • Texas (Heart of Texax – Waco, Temple, etc.)
    • pop3: pop-server.hot.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.hot.rr.com
  • Texas (Greater Texas, Beaumont)
    • pop3: pop-server.gt.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.gt.rr.com
  • Texas (Corpus Christi, Eagle Pass, Kerrville, Laredo)
    • pop3: pop-server.stx.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.stx.rr.com
  • Texas (Witchita Falls)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • West Virginia (Clarksburg)
    • pop3: pop-server.ma.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ma.rr.com
  • Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
    • pop3: pop-server.wi.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.wi.rr.com
  • Wisconsin (North East Wisconsin, Green Bay)
    • pop3: pop-server.new.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.new.rr.com

Verizon Internet Service

  • pop3: incoming.verizon.net
  • smtp: outgoing.verizon.net
  • nntp: news.verizon.net

Verizon Wireless

  • pop3: pop.vzwmail.net
  • smtp: smtp.vzwmail.net

WildBlue Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.wildblue.net
  • smtp: mail.wildblue.net
  • nntp: news.wildblue.net

Windstream Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.windstream.net
  • smtp: smtp.windstream.net
  • nntp: news.windstream.net

Yahoo! Mail

  • pop3: pop.mail.yahoo.com
  • smtp: smtp.mail.yahoo.com
  • nntp: news.news.yahoo.com

Legend:

  • ftp: File Transfer Protocol
  • pop3: Post Office Protocol (incoming mail)
  • imap4: Internet Message Access Protocol (incoming mail)
  • nntp: Network News Transfer Protocol (news)
  • smtp: Simple Mail Transport Protocol (outgoing mail)

Notes:

Unfortunately, I cannot confirm the accuracy of most of this information; however, should you notice an error (or oversight) please contact me and I will correct it.

As I determine the encryption and ports for each provider I’ll add them as well.

Originally posted 2010-10-29 02:00:41.

Google TV — Post Notes

Just a follow up to my Google TV post… the Logitech Revue Google TV box’s price has been slashed to $99, and it will be updated to run Honeycomb and support a host of new apps.

While the current version isn’t compelling, the new price just might be — at least when Honeycomb actually ships on the Revue and you can do something useful (like run Google Music perhaps).

 

Google TV

Originally posted 2011-08-12 02:00:00.

Web Servers

For several years I’ve used a combination of Microsoft IIS and Apache, which fits in with my belief that you choose the best tool for the job (and rarely does one tool work best across the board).

About a month ago I “needed” to do some maintenance on my personal web server, and I started to notice the number of things that had been installed on it… like two versions of Microsoft SQL Server (why a Microsoft product felt the need to install the compact edition when I already had the full blown edition is beyond me).

As I started to peel  away layer upon layer of unnecessary software I realized that my dependency on IIS was one very simple ASP dot Net script I’d written for a client of mine and adapted for my own use (you could also say I’d written it for my use and adapted it for them).

I started thinking, and realized it would take me about ten minutes to re-write that script in PHP and in doing that I could totally eliminate my personal dependency on IIS and somewhat simplify my life.

In about half an hour (I had to test the script and there was more to uninstall) I had a very clean machine with about 8GB more of disk space, and no IIS… and the exact same functionality (well — I would argue increased functionality since there was far less software that I would have to update and maintain on the machine).

Sure, there are cases where ASP dot Net is a good solution (though honestly I absolutely cannot stand it or the development environment, it seems to me like an environment targeted at mediocre programmers who have no understanding of what they’re doing and an incredible opportunity for security flaws and bugs)… but many times PHP works far better, and for very complex solutions a JSP (Java Servlet / JavaServer Pages) solution would likely work better.

My advice, think through what your (technical) requirements are and consider the options before locking into proprietary solutions.

Originally posted 2010-03-24 02:00:33.

No Flash

I’ll start by saying that my view of Flash is that it’s total garbage – completely unnecessary – and a huge security hole.  Before I dive too deep, here’s what Adobe says about flash on their product page:

Adobe® Flash® Player is a cross-platform browser-based application runtime that delivers uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across screens and browsers. Flash Player 10.1 is optimized for high performance on mobile screens and designed to take advantage of native device capabilities, enabling richer and more immersive user experiences.

What the hell is “richer more immersize user  experiences” supposed to mean?  Is that the way to say that the vast majority of sites that use flash on their first page are done by idiots who don’t know how to build a standards based web page and think that annoying glitz is all that people care about?  I dunno — but the whole spiel reeks of a load of crap to me.

No one has ever (successfully) explained to me why they feel they need to use Flash.  Does it actually do anything that can’t be done in a standards based way that doesn’t require that you update a crappy plug-in almost as often as you change your underwear?  Any one got an explanation as to why Adobe feels that they need to us a download manager and update manager that further pollute your machine?  Wait, maybe it’s because Adobe engineers are nearly as clueless as their target audience.  I dunno — seem like more crap from Adobe.

Flash is just crap — and it’s from a crappy company that lives in the past and tries to sell over-prices products to clueless individuals who don’t understand what they’re doing.  I dunno — maybe Adobe should just be used as a synonym for “crap”.  It would fit; some Adobe huts look a little like a huge pile of dung; and Adobe and it’s software share more than a slight resemblance to a huge pile of crap!

I have (on several occasions) republished a Flash video by embedding it in a post – but I certainly would rather provide a link to a h.264 or MPEG4 video in a standard container that didn’t require individuals to install any proprietary trash on their computer to view or hear it.

Join me in moving forward to make the web a “NO FLASH” place… just say no to flash.

FLASH

NOTE: One of my good friends tells me that I shouldn’t just rant on how horrible Flash is without presenting a solid argument.  I don’t, in fact, have to substantiate my opinion — my feeling is that Flash is such a huge pile of crap that it wreaks such that anyone who’d understand the argument already realizes it’s crap — and those who are clueless are hopeless… but, I’ll present a link to Wikipedia which describes what Flash is, and I’ll emphasize that anything legitimate that can be done in Flash can be done using open standards (that require no browser plug-ins) in HTML4 with JavaScript (ECMAScript) with some work, and allegedly they can be done much more simply in HTML5.  And for those with only a basic understanding of JavaScript you can find free and open source JavaScript foundations and widgets to help you build a web site that works on virtually any browser (or degrades nicely) and doesn’t require a huge stinking pile of crap from Adobe.

Flash (aka ActionScript) on Wikipedia

Originally posted 2010-10-21 02:00:39.

Just Host – Just A Dependable Hosting Company

It isn’t often that I get to praise companies over and over — and honestly this time I’m writing about Just Host again not because they’ve done something great, but because they’ve continued to do what they’ve done since day one — work.

When I originated my multi-year hosting contract with Just Host I was expecting that I’d be canceling it and taking advantage of the money back guarantee… while we’re no where near the end of the term of my contract yet, I’m beginning to believe that the likelihood of canceling the hosting is far lower than renewing the contract.

Now if you need 99.99% uptime (high availability) and you’re running a web site that makes you millions of dollars every day this isn’t for you… but if you have a business or personal site that isn’t mission critical, but could still be very important to you — this might be for you.

I don’t know much about the internals of Just Host, and I’m glad that I haven’t needed to figure all that out… when things work, I’m perfectly happy just using the service.

At the moment I’m hosting my forty plus domains; sites for several of my friends and relatives; and a number of sites for clients of mine (for the most part I designed and manage the sites — and they’re nothing lavish, just basic sites that provide these business a presence on the web).

If you’re looking for a solution to your needs for hosting, click the ad below (or the one I put in my sidebar long ago) and try a reliable, reasonably prices solution that seems to just keep working.





Originally posted 2010-10-19 02:00:31.

Browser Wars – The Empire Strikes Back

So you all have the new version of Internet Explorer and Firefox right?

I know, it’s hard to tell them apart now — they all look like Chrome… and I’m not convinced that usability has been improved; seems to me more of a “me too” change than any real move forward.

Of course, under the hood, IE9 does a much better job of actually rendering web sites correctly (how could it do a worse job).  And of course all of them now support HTML5 (well, at lest sort of support HTML5).

Personally I don’t understand why the user interface to the browser needs to keep changing… after all, it’s the web sites the browser presents that most people care about using, not the browser itself.

Sure, for the most part you can set the options in the browsers to look like the older interface — but maybe during the install the question should be ask if you want the new look or not (because it is the default).

The bottom line; it’s different… not better — and I personally am getting tired of senseless changes that really accomplish nothing much more than “putting lipstick on a pig” — and we know how well that works out.

And in closing — could someone please explain to me why in version nine of Internet Explorer it still doesn’t have spell check built in?  That certainly would be a feature worth upgrading for.

Originally posted 2011-03-25 02:00:12.

So you want to build a web site

I have a broad base of friends; from those who could explain how the universe was formed (in minute detail) to those that could build you a boat to those that have trouble starting a car… and many of them (from many different backgrounds) have asked me for help or guidance building a web site.

First, let me be clear — I’m not a graphics designer; and I’m much more autistic than artistic… but I understand how the web works (from the nuts and bolts — so to speak; on up)… and that gives me a unique perspective on how to explain to people about building a web site.

One of the first things I tell them is start small; you can grow later, but you need to get a handle on the basics and understand the dos and don’ts inside out.

My generally recommendation is something along the lines of a three page web site — and opening page, an about page, and a contact page… sure lots of sites need more, but almost all need at least those — so starting there will always get you closer to where you want to go.

I also recommend to most people that they start with a pencil and paper, and draw out roughly how they want their site to look — and then look for other sites that have the look that they’re interested in.

After that, they simply need to learn the basics of how you describe your site to a browser — HTML; and probably some JavaScript.

JavaScript???  That’s for programmers!!!

Well yes and no; there’s quite a bit a person can do with JavaScript that just understands the very basics of programming, much of the work are done by people who know JavaScript inside out, and have published a foundation and widgets… so it comes down to almost cut-and-paste (sure you need to understand a little; but if you can learn HTML, you can learn JavaScript).

Along with building a web site you really need to learn a little about search engines, how they work, and what they expect to find when they visit a site… because if a search engine isn’t kind to you, then people just won’t find your site — and there’s a limit to how many people you’re going to point out your site to…

You need to learn more about HTML, particularly META TAGS, you also need to learn about some of the conventions of the web; a file called robots.txt that will tell crawlers and spiders what to do, and what’s refereed to as a site map (that makes it easier for a search engine to do it’s job — thus it’s more likely to index your site).

But just having a site map isn’t enough,you’ve got to make it easy for the search engine to digest all the information on your site; which means you need to learn to avoid Flash, images without ALT TAGS, pages that use AJAX XHR methods to load content on demand (search engines don’t run the JavaScript on a page — so they never see delay loaded content); pages that have JSON data sets used to populate page elements (again search engines don’t run the JavaScript on a page), pages that are broken, and pages that are huge (search engines have limits to how much content they’ll crawl on a single page).

I know, it seems like a bottomless pit of things to learn and keep in mind as you do it — and it’s certainly not made any easier by the fact that like most “professions”, web developers like to exclude as many people as they can by coming up with totally nonsensical jargon to hide how trivial most of this is.

Well, it is trivial (for the most part).

But my advice is, if you want to build a web site — start with the basics, and get the mechanics dead on before you go off the deep end with a “look” that defines your site.

Form is easier to add to function than vice-versa.

Over the next few months I’ll write a few posts on some of the specifics that make building a functional web page easier — and I’ll also share some advice on JavaScript frameworks.

Originally posted 2010-11-16 02:00:41.