Howcast is a web service TechCrunch covered recently. It’s got some pretty cool tech, with a lot of structure built around professionally-made instructional videos. Sadly, I stumbled upon its ‘How to throw a frisbee’ entry, and I dispute its merit. No self-respecting frisbee player uses sub-Whammo sized disc straight out of a Honey Nut Cheerios box.
Via @nickgonzalez, I stumbled upon Google Maps ‘Terrain’ feature and it is pretty sweet. The new view is more like a traditional paper map, highlighting elevation, vegetation, and highways routes. It looks fantastic. Look for it be the norm, soon.
Gone is the ‘Hybrid’ view — it’s now implicit with the ‘Satellite’ view (though you can toggle the streets names out).
Just in case you missed it, here’s my TechCrunch moment of fame:
From the BBC:
The US military has decided to keep the headquarters of its new Africa Command in Germany, after only one African nation, Liberia, offered to host it.
Most African countries have been wary of plans to base the command, Africom, on the continent.
Africom’s commander, Gen William Ward, said there were no plans to create large US garrisons on the continent.
The US can always rely on Liberia.
Great post by Coda Hale on simplifying posts to Twitter: doing it via Quicksilver.
Had to follow a comment from Michael Janssen:
I had to change:
set twitter_key to first Internet key of current keychain whose server is "twitter.com"
set twitter_key to first generic key of current keychain whose name is "Twitterrific"
in order to get it to work, because my twitter key is just a regular aplication password.
UPDATE:: Thanks to Ted Leung, now working with Growl. Make sure to apply the code above again if you have the same issues as me.
Hey. I want to say something. Happy Thanksgiving. This is a great holiday. This year, it was a lot better than last, when I ate turkey sandwiches in my lonely apartment in Maine. Don’t blame my poor parents — it was my fault. Anyways, this year was great! Was with the Loomis Family (aka the Loominati) and it was swell.
Except from RailsSpace:
It may seem like we’re cheating a bit here; after all, the refactored function is so much more compact only because we brushed the code complexity dust under an abstraction layer rug. This practice doesn’t necessarily result in less total code, so does it really do us any good? Absolutely — even when they don’t save us any lines of code, abstraction layers reduce the mental overhead of programming by allowing us to ignore irrelevant details and focus on higher-level constructs. Of course, by eliminating or preventing code duplication, abstraction layers nearly always result in fewer lines of code as well.
Here’s a simple design issue that I see done wrong again and again. You know what I’m talking about: picture galleries and the ‘next’ buttons. So you’re looking photos of something cool. Like this one. You don’t want to spend so much time on each one, and you’d like to be able to maximize the number that you see in hopes of seeing one that catches your eye. Sure, it’s rapid-fire, but don’t blame me. I like clicking things.
But if the pictures are variable-sized, and the ‘next’ button is at the bottom of the image, then clicking through the gallery is hard. I have to move my mouse. Why do I have to move my mouse? Is it to better appreciate each photo? No, it isn’t, because the time spent is just wasted on moving my mouse, not on the photo. Putting the ‘next’ button on top of the image (or both ends) is so logical: no moving the mouse. Just clicking.
So there will be seven of us going to Diznee Wurld in December, marking our second pilgrimage. A lot of people question our faith to the mouse kingdom. It’s a good question and I hope to figure it out someday. There’s a fine line between fandom and obsession, however, and what I always say to people is that if you think I’m obsessed with Disney, I’d like for you to meet some people on the internet. Within the last year I’ve discovered the Disney online community, and man, let me tell you, are they from the internet.
So this year we’re trying something new. Last year on the last night we all wore Santa hats to pledge our solidarity with each other, Disney, German biergartens, consumerism, and looking weird. I must say that despite my best efforts at maintaining a cool, indy edge about the whole thing, I was just embarrassed (but later rallied). Solidarity this year will come in the form of a group t-shirt. This is a difficult thing to accomplish. We have high comedic standards but low creative juice. My dad’s very snarky, and occasionally I will be too, and my sister just sent out some great potential graphics for the shirt. Here’s to making neon orange family vacation Walt Disney World t-shirts with style.