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Bill Clinton Suggests Internet Fact Agency

roadsider Re:FANTASTIC idea! (336 comments)

Double plus good!!

more than 3 years ago

LimeWire Settles For $105 Million

roadsider Re:A legal double standard (167 comments)

Perhaps, but the point remains that rampant "piracy" occurred in that period, and the music industry grew by leaps and bounds. Further proves that it ain't the piracy that's killing them. It's clearly their own mismanagement.

more than 3 years ago

LimeWire Settles For $105 Million

roadsider A legal double standard (167 comments)

I acquired more music using Maxell cassette tapes than I ever did with any p2p software. In any given college dorm pre-internet era, you spent a good chunk of your available time taping floor-mate's records. After all, why else would you buy a 90 minute chromium oxide cassette if not to record two 43-minute LPs? On the equipment I used at the time, you couldn't tell the difference in quality, so why doesn't/didn't the RIAA go after Maxell, TDK, Memorex and the other manufacturers of high quality cassettes?

Limewire didn't kill the music industry. The music industry killed the music industry.

more than 3 years ago

Do Gadgets Degrade Our Common Sense?

roadsider Re:Death by GPS (311 comments)

GPS takes you out of the context. I'm very good at reading maps and have a very good sense of direction, and it's only lately that I've begun to use GPS. When I use it in unfamiliar territory, I find that I don't get -- for lack of a better term -- a good sense of where I am in relation to everything else. I'm not absorbing the landmarks and reading the development patterns as I would otherwise, and GPS hinders my own intuition when looking for my destination. In other words, some of the challenge and fun is taken out of the travel, especially when I'm doing it more or less for leisure. Bottom line, I'm learning less about my surroundings.

That said, I can relate once instance where I didn't believe the GPS and got horribly thrown off course. I got a good sense of what happens to pilots when they lose the horizon and stop believing their instruments.

For me, GPS is most valuable as a tool to detect traffic problems up ahead. When accurate, they're a real time saver, but as one who truly enjoys just driving around and looking at stuff, GPS is a real mixed bag.

more than 3 years ago

Japan Raises Nuclear Plant Crisis Severity To 7

roadsider Tsunami bait (673 comments)

From all the accounts that I read, the powerplant pretty much survived the quake. It was the tsunami that knocked out the cooling systems. So, why has no one asked the most obvious question: Why are they building these plants facing the open ocean in an area well-known for its tsunamis? Is there some reason why they couldn't instead build them on the other side of a comparatively narrow island? Or could a tsunami form in the Sea of Japan?

more than 3 years ago

US Contemplating 'Vehicle Miles Traveled' Tax

roadsider Re:Double dipping? (1306 comments)

I live in an older suburb north of Philly in a small house on a quarter acre. My town has a mix of small houses, big houses, townhouses, row houses, and a few apartment buildings and condos. We have ready access to a very good transit system. We can walk to our town. We have choices. THAT is what everyone should have. Why the car and suburban sprawl lobby calls these type of developments some kind of commie/socialist plot is beyond me. What is wrong with living in a place where you can walk to something besides your mailbox?

Secondly, we do pay a "usage tax" for walking and biking. It's called the property tax. And actually, in Pennsylvania, beyond the property tax, we also have to pay separately for maintenance on our sidewalks.

Finally, I have a friend who runs his car on French fry oil. He pays nothing into the Highway trust fun when he runs that car. So, what would be wrong with paying for what you use? It's either this proposal or they put up toll booths on the entire highway system OR sell it off to a private entity (who will do the same).

Bottom line: We use cars too much. It's killing us.

more than 3 years ago

In-Depth Look At HTML5

roadsider Re:I used to laugh at "web programmers" (150 comments)

As a web designer who started as a print designer before the web was invented and even before the advent of desktop publishing, this whole meshing of coding and designing represents a kind of repudiation of the concept of WYSIWYG.

I took to the web design relatively easily, but only because HTML looked very similar to the same code used by the old digital phototypesetting machines made by Compugraphic, but early on, we all seemed to hope for that "killer app" that would finally get us away from the code. To me, designing a page in HTML was like doing a page layout working in Postscript. When GoLive and Dreamweaver finally appeared, that looked possible and some cases doable, but not with the advent of CMS. (Adobe destroyed GoLive and Dreamweaver is so complex, only a coder can figure it out, and a coder doesn't need it). Not really.

And now, I look at HTML5 and I see WYSIWYG threatened even more. Seems like the technology is advancing faster than left-brain types like myself can ever keep up, or the design software industry (read Adobe) can accommodate them.

I've never met a coder who knows a damn thing about design. I learned how to tinker with code just to stay employed, but the thought of designing in it makes my eyes glaze over.

more than 3 years ago

Joomla! 1.5 Beginner's Guide

roadsider Re:I thoroughly enjoy the Joomla (74 comments)

I learned a CMS framework like Joomla for the same reason I learned how to use InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Filemaker, etc. Because it is -- for me -- yet another piece of software that once mastered, allows me to do my work for clients without having to constantly crack open the hood to play and tweak.

Besides, I could hire a developer to build something for me, but who's to say that what he/she builds is any more secure than Joomla? Have you ever had to hire someone to do such work? I can tell you that in my experience it's often a hit-or-miss proposition. You're lucky if the developer responds to you in a timely fashion if you have questions or concerns, and what happens if the whole thing somehow breaks and your developer is nowhere to be found? Sorry, your options for me don't really paint a particularly rosy scenario.

I don't want to code. For me, and thousands of other designers, that's a completely different career direction where I doubt I'd get a lot of personal satisfaction.

The Joomla framework allows me to deploy sites for clients without the need for additional developer help. So far at my current position, we've deployed about a dozen Joomla sites and so far we've been pretty satisfied as have the clients. Yes, problems crop up here and there, but it's nothing I can't handle myself.

No, Joomla is far from perfect, and yes, I suppose some developers who sniff at the idea of using an out-of-the-can software solution have issues with it, but it serves a purpose for people like me and given the alternatives, I'm extremely grateful for its existence.

more than 4 years ago

Joomla! 1.5 Beginner's Guide

roadsider Re:I thoroughly enjoy the Joomla (74 comments)


Listen, Mr. High N. Mighty PHP developer, I struggled for months and months to fully understand HTML and then CSS. I come from a print design background who understood the need to get into the the whole interactive/web arena. To me, the whole thing of designing in HTML is akin to designing in Postscript. If you have to know the code, then what's the point of trying to be a designer? You might as well become a coder.

The problem is -- in my experience -- coding and design is a left brain right brain kind of thing. People good in one don't do so well in the other, and my experience bears this out. I want to set up a fully capable site that can do lots of things and I DON'T want to learn yet another computer language to get this done, and I usually don't have the budget to hire another developer to deploy this thing from scratch.

The whole appeal of something like Joomla is that you can do that with almost no coding experience. In fact, if you buy from the myriad of available templates, you don't even need to know html or css.

You can debate until the cows come home about the security issues of something like Joomla, but we already do the same thing with IE vs. Firefox, Mac vs. PC, etc. Are you saying that before I connect my computer to the internet, I should hire a developer to build me my own browser or OS?

What's easy for you ain't so much for others.

more than 4 years ago

The Parking Meter Turns 75 Today

roadsider Re:I don't mind parking meteres. (126 comments)

Yes. And for the chronically late we should rip down whole blocks of historic urban architecure to make room for more parking.

more than 4 years ago

The Parking Meter Turns 75 Today

roadsider Re:I don't mind parking meteres. (126 comments)

I truly hate parking meters only when I see them in front of a whole streets worth of empty storefronts. Parking costs almost can't be high enough in big, bustling cities because automobiles tend to destroy the urban environment. Take transit. Or, park it in a garage and walk. Or just walk. Driving isn't a right. Owning a car isn't a right. And parking it where ever you damn well please isn't a right.

Parking is only a problem for those too lazy to walk.

more than 4 years ago

Joomla! 1.5 Development Cookbook

roadsider Re:update soon? (32 comments)

We've deployed sites using both Wordpress and Joomla, with all of the Joomla sites going out after I came on board. Since that point, I've also had to deal with all the Wordpress sites done by my predecessors, and there's nothing about those that I consider "better" than the ones we've done with Joomla. In fact, on at least one site, we really need to hire a developer to properly incorporate a feature we could easily do by installing a free Joomla extension.

Joomla is not a great system if all you want is a blog, but if you really want to manage content, Wordpress has come up short big time in my mind.

more than 4 years ago

Less Than Free

roadsider Re:Horseshit. (330 comments)

One thing in which Bing surpasses Google is with their aerial views. Bing's image quality is vastly superior and the birdseye view is in many ways much more useful than Google's Streetview. More amazing is that I see almost nothing written on Bing's birdseye view, and if you use it for just a little while, it'll blow you way. I'd hardly call Bing "a joke." I'm no Microsloth fan, but Bing has its merits.

more than 4 years ago

Old Operating Systems Never Die

roadsider Re:ME (875 comments)

I had WindowsME on a laptop back in 2000. Never had a problem with it, amazingly. Used it mainly for writing and surfing.

about 5 years ago

iPhone Straining AT&T Network

roadsider Re:slow data (551 comments)

I'm in the Philadelphia area, and my service is excellent. It helps that I have an AT&T tower right behind my house, but when I travel through the area, my service is pretty solid.

In the past I've had Verizon and Sprint, which was no more or less reliable than what I have now.

Yes, I think it all has to do with where you are and who happens to have the most towers in that area.

about 5 years ago

Joomla! 1.5: A User's Guide, 2nd Edition

roadsider Re:Joomla is so simplistic (69 comments)

I taught myself just about every software package that I use, and as a graphic and interactive designer, I've used a lot of them. Learning one made it easier to learn the next, and I've always had little patience for tutorials and manuals. Hell, I've even installed a Microsoft Small Business Server and I primarily use Macs. I usually referred to a manual only when I got stuck. Yes, I'm one of those types of end users.

When I made the decision to steer my shop to using and deploying Joomla, I embarked on a six month slog trying to master its structure and schema. Nothing frustrated me more than hearing remarks like yours that "Joomla is simple to use!" Bullshit. Joomla was built on pretzel logic that's fine once you get the hang of it, but I'm also faced with the problem of training clients on how to use it. I can't tell you how many blank stares and glazed over eyeballs I've seen in trying to describe the Section/Category/Article structure -- and that's the EASY part.

What's REALLY mind bending about Joomla is its menuing system. I emphasize to clients over and over that in Joomla, menus don't just take you to another page, they dictate what that page will look like when you get there. That's a key part of how Joomla works.

It gets worse when you throw in the concept of modules and positions and all the other special tags and codes you absolutely need to know when building a Joomla site.

And here's the biggest frustration for me as a designer: Since I first took to designing for the web, I've waited a long time for the first killer web design app that would free me of having to delve into HTML code. Designing in HTML and CSS for the web is like designing in Postscript for print! When GoLive comes along, I'm thinking "Finally! Just what I needed." Then Adobe trashes GoLive and pushes Dreamweaver. Fine, I spend another two months learning Dreamweaver. Then I learn all about CMS, and it's back to square one.

Joomla IS easy -- after about six months of intense use of it. Intuitive? Not by a million miles.

about 5 years ago

Special Effects Lessons From JJ Abrams' Star Trek

roadsider Re:The better choice was made (461 comments)

Abrams by no means had to be faithful to the Trek cannon. It would have been nice, however, had he not made a movie that was a mish-mash of a half-dozen other science fictions movies and maybe one that had a plot not riddled with cliches and all-too-convenient coincidences. Strip it of its special effects, and it was a HORRIBLE movie. Bad story. Boring characters. Undecipherable plot. Scientific gaffs galore. Oh, but because the effects were cool, it made it thoroughly worth the $13 admission. What really sucks is that I'll probably still go to the sequel.

more than 5 years ago

Seinfeld-Windows TV Ad Anything But 'Delicious'

roadsider Re:Its Marketing ... no information required (893 comments)

Excuse me, but you must have forgotten the original Infiniti ads that rolled out back way back when to introduce Nissan's new luxury line. Everyone talked about the ads. No one bought the cars. Lexus, which launched about the same time, trounced Infiniti. Complaint? No mention of the cars. No pictures of the cars. No product. In fact, the ads were all about associations -- associations with peace, tranquility, happiness. Wha...? The follow up to this better get busy with product, or else Microsloth will have made a whole lot of ad executives richer and a whole lot of stockholders pissed.

about 6 years ago


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