March 2003 - Amidst a tangled web monthly blog archive

the agony of closing a credit card - 31 Mar 2003

Have you ever closed a credit card? Did their response make you feel like you were asking to drown a newborn kitten? I understand that they don’t want to lose my business, but resisting my direct request made me never want to deal with them again. The phone call starts out fine. You ask to […]

Categories: My Thoughts

there’s always a way to optimize - 30 Mar 2003

Test your site for optimization information and hints. If you want to see major optimization in action, view the source at google.com. Most of the newlines are stripped, the javascript code has one or two character variable and function names and comments are non-existent. The result? One of the fastest loading sites on the web.

Categories: Web design

a blog’s market value - 29 Mar 2003

Take a look at Blogshares, a fantasy stock market for blogs.

Categories: Blogging

directly linked images - 28 Mar 2003

Two sites were linking directly to photos of my motorcycle, so I swapped the image with one that said, “Please don’t link directly to my images. You’re stealing my bandwidth” I left it for a few days but they didn’t change it. I considered writing rude things about them, thinking it would be fun to […]

Categories: The site

dante’s curse - 28 Mar 2003

Dante said, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality.” On the issue of the war, I have sat myself firmly upon the fence. Dante’s statement sounds a bit harsh, partly because I have a reason for not taking sides. I have not been able […]

Categories: My Thoughts

BMW’s M12 - 27 Mar 2003

Before today, I never knew that BMW made an M12. I just checked their site and found no mention of it. I found out about when I was reviewing a site submission to the X Personal Homepages category and found some pictures (that he may have yanked from another site). Wow. That’s one mean-looking car.

Categories: DMOZ

javascript in nested tables - 27 Mar 2003

The ‘remember info’ checkbox on my comment pages didn’t work in Opera. I would type in my name and URL, check the ‘remember info’ box and when I returned, the information was gone. I surmised that Opera didn’t support the Javascript being used to store the cookies. Later, I discovered a web site using a […]

Categories: Blogging

animal grammar - 26 Mar 2003

If a group of crows is a murder, what is it called if you kill one? Come to think of it, why is a group of fish a school, a group of elephants a herd and a bunch of lions a pride? What about a group of people? Unsurprisingly, there is already a web site […]

Categories: Language

compression utility benchmarks on linux - 26 Mar 2003

In order to test the performance of linux compression utilities, I compressed and decompressed a 336MB directory. Here are the results. Compression Version Command Time Size (in MB) 1.4.1_01 jar cf 14m41.860s 206 0.93 fastjar cf 4m7.200s 206 2.3-12 zip -rq 3m43.058s 206 1.3.19 tar cf 0m42.199s 315 1.3.19 tar czf (gzip) 3m34.422s 162 1.3.19 […]

Categories: Linux

regular link checks - 24 Mar 2003

I found out that I had a broken link on the contact page of one of my web sites. It would have been nice if someone had let me know it was broken, but I’m ultimately responsible for maintaining the links. Thankfully, the World Wide Web Consortium has the W3C Link Checker to make my […]

Categories: Web design

julia’s story - 21 Mar 2003

Sometimes you read something that makes you forget about your surroundings because you are so entirely absorbed in the story. Julia has written such a story. Someday, when I grow up, I want to write like that.

Categories: Blogging

polluted britches - 20 Mar 2003

Mr. Burns had a hilarious line in episode 306 of The Simpsons. Homer made a list of things to improve at the factory in an effort to get a promotion. Burns took the list and retorted, “What do you expect me to do, smile and pollute my britches with delight?” That’s not the exact wording […]

Categories: Humor

opera 6.06 security update - 20 Mar 2003

Companies that listen to their customers deserve recognition. Opera had decided not to release a security fix to Opera 6.05 after fixing the issue in 7.03. When they found out that people were interested in updating their older version instead of going to 7.03, they released 6.06 (download) with the fix. (via webmaster world)

Categories: Web browsers

funny food - 19 Mar 2003

The Weight Watcher’s cards are good for a laugh, reminiscent of James Lilek’s Institute of Official Cheer.

Categories: Humor

misleading comments - 18 Mar 2003

Don’t get suckered in by the comments — they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. – Dave Storer Consider a developer named Chuck. To figure out how to use an algorithm, Chuck writes comments to describe each step. A few days later, he fixes a bug in his algorithm, but forgets to change the […]

Categories: Programming

opera 7.03 and CSS - 17 Mar 2003

I went to www.w3.org/Style/CSS using Opera 7.03 and it froze. I tried it again. It froze. One more time, just to be sure, and it still froze. I’m a fan of Opera, but it seems strange that the page which describes the standards Opera claims to adhere to so strictly doesn’t work. Of course, the […]

Categories: Web browsers

opera and mozilla - 14 Mar 2003

Opera released v7.03 for Windows today, addressing a long filename issue that could allow malicious web sites to gain full control of the users computer. Version 6.12 for Linux is also available. In addition, Mozilla 1.3 is out with more features.

Categories: Web browsers

the real reason google bought blogger - 13 Mar 2003

Ever since Google’s purchase of Blogger, hundreds of bloggers (as well as major news sites) have been speculating. I’ve read some ingenius ideas, and can’t help but wonder if the folks at Google are reading them too. Maybe, just maybe, Google bought Blogger on a whim. They’ve got the money, they like blogs, so why […]

Categories: Search engines

elizabeth smart found - 12 Mar 2003

Elizabeth Smart was found alive in Sandy today. I wonder if the Smart family’s criticism was a factor.

Categories: News

no more images - 11 Mar 2003

I have dispensed with all images that used to be on each page. There weren’t that many, but they didn’t add much value to the site. The page loads faster now, and the function of the images have been replaced by text. I realize that the images would have been cached in the browser after […]

Categories: The site

inner-city schools - 09 Mar 2003

How I Joined Teach for America and Got Sued for $20 Million tells the story of an idealistic new Yale grad who learned up close and personal just how bad inner-city schools can be, and why. It’s on the long side, but it held my interest because if things go as planned, I’ll have kids […]

Categories: News

world of ends - 08 Mar 2003

I might as well link to the world of ends site, along with over a hundred other bloggers (blogdex says 109). I have a small connection with the site now though. I found a typo, emailed Dave and Doc to let them know, and Dave emailed me back saying he’d fixed it. One thing I […]

Categories: Blogging

ping pong - 07 Mar 2003

A whole new ball game.

Categories: My Thoughts

email protector - 06 Mar 2003

In my logs I saw that I’m getting spidered by EmailSiphon and found a site mentioning it. Looking around that site I happened upon this imaginative little script which will feed 10,000 fake email addresses to a spider, and the correct email address to a browser. Stick it to the spider.

Categories: Technology

imitation, the sincerest form of flattery - 05 Mar 2003

Alltheweb.com has changed their design to look strikingly similar to another search engine which will remain nameless, but rhymes with ‘bugle.’

Categories: Search engines

1 2 3…not it! - 04 Mar 2003

Take a trip down memory lane at Games Kids Play. (via memepool) I never quite understood the point of red light / green light. It seemed like you could thwart the game by saying, “Green red” and spinning around quickly.

Categories: Games

mime types - 03 Mar 2003

While debugging some Javascript code in Mozilla’s handy Javascript console, I got this error whenever I loaded a page from my site. Warning: The stylesheet http://dan.hersam.com/css/white.css was loaded as CSS even though its MIME type, “text/plain”, is not “text/css”. Some research revealed that apache uses a mime.types file which defines all of the types it […]

Categories: Useful

inquiring searchers want to know - 03 Mar 2003

The questions below were gathered from search engine phrases that led to my site. In other words, someone typed in one of these questions and came to this site looking for an answer. I thought it might be useful to provide direct answers to their questions, since many of them probably left in frustration. I’m […]

Categories: Web stats

tv guide online - 02 Mar 2003

Is everyone but me already aware of tvguide.com? I used it to find out when Smallville aired on Sunday (4pm) and found the site quite useful. So useful in fact that I would no longer be willing to pay for the magazine.

Categories: Useful

the sinister blimp - 01 Mar 2003

Did you ever wonder how a $15 blimp could terrorize a family? Now you know.

Categories: Entertaining

20 questions - 01 Mar 2003

Pick a random object and the AI will try to guess what it is in twenty questions or less. (via mefi) It’s surprisingly accurate.

Categories: Entertaining

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