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Winter Flower

Member Since 01 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active Mar 06 2008 07:15 PM

Topics I've Started

IE8 nowpls.

20 December 2007 - 10:48 AM

IE8 Passes Acid2 Test, Web Standards Project Dies of Shock

by Kevin Yank

Although he goes out of its way to downplay the significance of the event, there is no missing the sense of achievement in the words of Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitch on the IEBlog today:

I’m delighted to tell you that on Wednesday, December 12, Internet Explorer correctly rendered the Acid2 page in IE8 standards mode.

The Acid2 test was developed by the Web Standards Project (WaSP) as a challenge to browser developers. In a single page, the test makes use of a broad range of features from several different web standards that developers have wanted to have in browsers for some time, and it uses them to display a deceptively simple smiley face.

The first browser to support the Acid2 test was Safari 2.0.2, back in November 2005. Since then, iCab and Konqueror have announced their own support. The current beta of Firefox 3 comes close, but isn’t there just yet. With this announcement, it looks like Internet Explorer may actually beat it to the punch!

At the time this post was published, the Web Standards Project’s web server had collapsed under the strain of traffic generated by this announcement, but thanks to the Internet Archive I was able to collect this list of new features that we can now infer will be supported in IE8:

* displaying images with the <object> tag, which enables you to include richer alternate content than the <img> tag
* CSS tables, which let you use table-based layout techniques without misusing HTML table markup
* generated content, which lets you insert extra content before and after elements using CSS

These are all incredibly useful features that the other major browsers have supported for some time, but which have not been available for real-world use because of the lack of support for them in Internet Explorer. That’s all about to change. Support for CSS tables alone will be enough to drastically change real-world CSS page layout techniques, making them much easier to learn and use.

Microsoft is promising to release a beta of Internet Explorer 8 in the first half of 2008. The big question for web designers who will be hoping for swift adoption of the new browser: will it run on Windows XP, or require an upgrade to Vista?

As Dave Shea of the CSS Zen Garden put it, “Better bundle up, it’s a cold one in hell today.”

Microsoft has published a fascinating video record of the rendering of the Acid2 test in internal builds of IE8 over the past six months. The video also includes an in depth interview with Dean Hachamovitch and Chris Wilson. Recommended viewing with a few holiday warm-and-fuzzys from Microsoft.

from here

Today is a happy day in web dev land :3

Heroic daughter

18 December 2007 - 05:09 PM

Mom calls heroic daughter 'gift from God'
Norman Sinclair / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Selietha Parker knows it's not supposed to be this way.

She knows it's a mother's job to protect her daughter. And she's awestruck that her 7-year-old daughter, Alexis, had the courage to reverse the roles and step in front of an enraged gunman to shield her mother. Alexis took six 9-millimeter bullets in the attack.

"She saved my life," Parker, 30, said Monday. "She is a special gift from God."


Parker spoke Monday for the first time since the Dec. 2 shooting, recounting the horror of the night when, according to police, her ex-boyfriend opened fire, shooting Parker before Alexis stepped in the path of the barrage.

And she expressed profound gratitude to a community that has responded with an outpouring of concern and generosity.

Alexis will undergo her third surgery today at Children's Hospital to repair her eye, left temple, jaw, cheek, chin, chest and right arm. She has already lost an eye from the shooting and remains in critical condition. Alexis had a stroke as an infant and suffers from epilepsy.

Parker said just before the shooting started in an SUV parked at a gas station on East Seven Mile, Alexis pleaded for her mother's life. The gunman was pointing a gun at Parker and threatening to kill her.

"Don't shoot my mommy," Parker recalled her daughter saying.

Minutes earlier, according to police, Calvin Tillie had forced his way into the Ford Expedition driven by Parker's friend Aisha Ford when Ford drove up to Parker's home on Dwyer to pick up Parker and Alexis. Ford drove to a gas station to stall for time, but Tillie grew more agitated. A struggle began in the vehicle.

"I was trying to get the gun and trying to watch out for Alexis at the same time, but I didn't want to get shot in the back of the head if I turned around to her, so I just took him on to fight him for the gun," she said.

When the gunman opened fire, she said she lunged at him and wrestled for the gun.

"The first shot went across my head," she said, using her hand to trace the path of the bullet that grazed the top left side of her head. The second bullet hit her in the left arm, causing nerve damage. The bullet remains imbedded there. Parker was treated at a hospital and released.

She said everything happened so fast she did not have time to react to what was happening when Alexis threw herself between her and the gunman.

Tillie faces multiple assault and weapons charges. He is jailed and will have a competency hearing by order of a 36th District Court judge. Parker said she and her family are amazed and touched by the public's concern and generosity toward Alexis. She said she is unemployed and spends all her time with her daughter at the hospital, reading her cards and letters from well-wishers.

At a hearing Monday in Wayne County Probate Court, Judge Freddie G. Burton Jr. heard from John M. Crowley, a Comerica Bank vice president who said the Alexis Coggins Hero Fund, established through Campbell Elementary School -- where Alexis is a first-grader -- has taken in $21,500.

Burton scheduled a hearing at the request of Parker and her family to establish a court-ordered special needs fund into which the hero fund can be folded.

Because of her pre-existing health condition, Alexis is eligible for Medicaid assistance, but could lose those benefits because of the amount of donations.

Also at the hearing was Byron L. Goggins, Alexis' father. He told Judge Burton that although he and Parker never married, he pays his child support in a timely manner and has visited her regularly in the hospital.

Goggins said he did not want to contest anything about the fund, and he assured the judge he wanted only the best for his daughter.

Burton ordered the money in the hero fund frozen until terms of the special needs trust can be drawn up by a court-appointed representative acting on the child's behalf.

Burton also ordered that the current Alexis Goggins Hero fund at the Campbell Elementary School be transferred to the office of lawyer Thomas F. Campbell.

"Everyone is on the same page," Campbell said. "We've all got Alexis' best interest at heart, and together we will set up the mechanisms to protect and support this brave little girl and her mom."

Geez, almost sounds like a movie. I hope the girl recovers.

Yay go Opera

15 December 2007 - 12:28 PM

Opera Files Antitrust Complaint Against Microsoft with the EU

Håkon Wium Lie, CTO of Norway-based Web browser company Opera and a past AJAXWorld Conference & Expo speaker, spoke out yesterday as Opera ASA filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the EU.

"The browser is more important than ever for accessing all sorts of information for all sorts of people," Wium Lie told a reporter, "and we think that consumers should have a real choice amongst browsers, and it seems like that's very hard to achieve as long as Windows and IE are so tightly tied together."

"We are filing this complaint on behalf of all consumers who are tired of having a monopolist make choices for them," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera. "In addition to promoting the free choice of individual consumers, we are a champion of open Web standards and cross-platform innovation. We cannot rest until we've brought fair and equitable options to consumers worldwide."

The complaint filed with the European Commission yesterday is aimed at giving consumers a genuine choice of Web browsers, von Tetzchner said.

"The complaint describes how Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards. Opera has requested the Commission to take the necessary actions to compel Microsoft to give consumers a real choice and to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer," he continued.

"Our complaint is necessary to get Microsoft to amend its practices," said Jason Hoida, Deputy General Counsel, Opera."The European Court of First Instance confirmed in September that Microsoft has illegally tied Windows Media Player to Windows. We are simply asking the Commission to apply these same, clear principles to the Internet Explorer tie, a tie that has even more profound effects on consumers and innovation. We are confident that the Commission understands the significance of the Internet Explorer tie and will take the necessary actions to restore competition and consumer choice in the browser market."

Opera believes, Hoida added, that the remedies will help promote consumer rights worldwide and force Microsoft to begin competing with Opera and others on the merits of its browser.

I hope the web standards thing gets somewhere :3

Got scammed? Call the cops

20 November 2007 - 11:38 AM

A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from "rooms" in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website.

The 17-year-old is accused of stealing 4,000 euros (£2,840) worth of virtual furniture, bought with real money.

Five 15-year-olds have also been questioned by police, who were contacted by the website's owners.

The six teenagers are suspected of moving the stolen furniture into their own Habbo rooms.

A spokesman for Sulake, the company that operates Habbo Hotel, said: "The accused lured victims into handing over their Habbo passwords by creating fake Habbo websites.

"In Habbo, as in many other virtual worlds, scamming for other people's personal information such as user names has been problematic for quite a while.

"We have had much of this scamming going on in many countries but this is the first case where the police have taken legal action."

Habbo users can create their own characters, decorate their own rooms and play a number of games, paying with Habbo Credits, which they have to buy with real cash.

"It is a theft because the furniture is paid for with real money. But the only way to be a thief in Habbo is to get people's usernames and passwords and then log in and take the furniture.

"We got involved because of an increasing number of sites which are pretending to be Habbo. People might then try and log in and get their details stolen."

Six million people in more than 30 countries play Habbo Hotel each month.

Virtual theft is a growing issue in virtual worlds; in 2005 a Chinese gamer was stabbed to death in a row over a sword in a game.

Shanghai gamer Qiu Chengwei killed player Zhu Caoyuan when he discovered he had sold a "dragon sabre" he had been loaned.

from here

Scammers are finally being treated as criminals. I wonder how long before that becomes mainstream.

I read this in a blog talking about it:
The inevitable problem, as the Holland arrest shows, is how much this revenue stands or falls on deeply serious real world constraints that no system can architect against. As Jane Pinckard noted last week, kids in avatar-based spaces have their guard down, and are thus especially vulnerable and easily manipulable, while some kids (and adults pretending to be kids) are good at exploiting this weakness with “phishing” schemes and other social hacks. Major “heists” could undermine them, either through a PR disaster (picture cute kids crying about their stolen virtual pets on CNN) or a sudden devaluation of their virtual economy, or both.

Agree? Disagree? Discuss.

ROM uncovers dinosaur bones - in its basement

16 November 2007 - 09:09 PM

For the Royal Ontario Museum, the recent discovery of a massive Barosaurus skeleton is quite a find: It was inside the museum, and it's been there for 45 years.

In 1962, ROM curator Gordon Edmund brought the dinosaur skeleton to the museum in a trade with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. But the specimens were forgotten when Dr. Edmund retired from the museum in 1990; he has since died.

"Nobody at the museum knew about them, or what their significance was," said David Evans, the ROM's associate curator of vertebrate paleontology. ''Or that they belonged to a single animal. The curators here over the last 20 years didn't realize we had the specimen in the collection and didn't know what it was."

The ROM, preparing the new dinosaur exhibit for its Crystal addition, wanted a Barosaurus to complement the museum's existing T. Rex, Triceratops and Stegasaurus.

"I was trying to find a sauropod for the museum, because nobody here thought we had one," said Dr. Evans, 27.

He headed to Wyoming to take a look at a Barosaurus skeleton in the ground, but during the flight read a paper by expert Jack McIntosh that referred to a specimen number of a Barosaurus skeleton at the ROM.

Dr. Evans had never heard of it. It turned out the bones were not entered into ROM records, so they lay on the metal racks and in the wooden drawers of the museum's collections room for decades.

When he returned, Dr. Evans found a letter from Mr. McIntosh in the ROM archives and, along with information from the Carnegie Museum, began finding the pieces. Dr. Evans spent about two hours to bring the pieces together, and ended up with about 45% of the skeleton of the entire beast.

"It was pretty exciting," Dr. Evans said. "Definitely the best part of it was that first day when we started putting all the bones together and we realized just how much of the animal we had."

The Barosaurus skeleton, affectionately nicknamed "Gordo" after Dr. Edmund, will be the largest dinosaur skeleton on display in Canada, as well as the only Barosaurus skeleton on display in the world made mostly of real fossil bone. It lacks the original skull.

Barosaurus, including Apatosaurus (formerly known as Brontosaurus), Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus, lived in North America 150 million years ago, and were the largest animals to walk on land. Barosaurus weighed as much as 15,000 kilograms and measured 80 to 90 feet long.

As the centrepiece of the new James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs, opening on Dec. 15, the Barosaurus display will stretch along the east wall of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, and will be visible from Bloor Street.

What can possibly be cooler than finding a dinosaur in your basement? mush1a.gif

The nicest thing is that I'll be able to see it on my walk home from work. Yay!