Monthly Archives: June 2007

Add to Places Menu in Ubuntu

Here’s something I forget.

Adding a location to the ‘Places’ menu in Ubuntu. Browse to the location, say, /data, and then select Bookmark -> Add.

It’d be actually kind of helpful if there was an applet or right-click action within the Places menu itself that enabled a location to be set. I wonder if I’ll ever get time to work on that.

Books in Brazil

After writing sufficiently enough books, MySQL Bible, Linux Firewalls, Beginning Perl Web Development and contributing to other books and other articles, you start to get e-mails. Actually, after one book I was already getting e-mails for assistance. I’ve been contacted from all over the world by fine people who speak in their native language when corresponding. This has been great motivation for me to learn or at least pick up bits of several languages like German, French (ok, I had that since junior high), Spanish, and Portuguese.

If there is one country from which I receive the most e-mails it’s Brazil. I still receive e-mails from readers located in Brazil who are reading MySQL Bible which is now over five years old! That’s excellent. Just this week I received two e-mails from readers in Brazil in regards to the Linux Firewalls book. I enjoy these e-mails and I enjoy trying to help in any way I can. I hope to keep hearing from you, Brazil. Muito Obrigado!

Don’t Overuse AJAX

Sometimes, with web technology it’s better to just say no. I’m reluctant to point to the exact sites that I saw but there are enough examples that it doesn’t take long to find one. People need to lay off the AJAX a little.

I can’t say as though the misuse of AJAX (and whatever other web technology du jour) is the result of overzealous developers because many times it’s business users who want the cool looking widgets and blinky stuff more than the developers. Someone just needs to step back and say “does this widget really need to be done in AJAX or Flash or whatever or can it be done with some HTML and CSS and maybe a sprinkle of plain JavaScript?” Too often, we fall prey to the hot new thing. Anyone remember the blink tag?

What got me going on this is a new book that I’m working on. I’ll have some links to that when I get the thumbs up to do so from the publisher. But for now, please take a look at how you use the web technologies on your site, please!

Formula 1 on Fox

The much anticipated bad news was delivered during this morning’s F1 broadcast on Speed. Indeed, the next four Formula One races will not be broadcast on Speed but rather on Fox, one of the four major networks in the U.S. The news is bad enough but it doesn’t stop there. When one considers that the British and French Grands Prix will be tape delayed by several hours for U.S. viewers, the news becomes unbearable and, frankly, the races become unwatchable.

The past few years have seen select F1 races broadcast on CBS. They did a horrible job of race coverage. They missed too many key points in the race and too many of the subplots from the race weekends. Not to mention that the races were littered with commercials. I can’t imagine that the Fox coverage will be any better.

And then there’s the subject of tape delay. The British and French Grands Prix in July will be tape delayed by something like 5 or 6 hours, at least. The rest of the world will know the outcome well before we even get to see a warm-up lap in the U.S. This is unacceptable. Here’s a hint to Bernie Ecclestone and to sponsors who advertise on the Fox broadcasts: The F1 fans who watch the Speed broadcast live, who get up in the wee hours of the morning or stay up all hours of the night to watch the broadcast simply don’t tune in to the tape delayed broadcasts. Instead, when you delay the races we get our information from the Internet, either in real-time or after the race. What’s normally a dedicated viewership is virtually gone for the tape delayed broadcast. Sure, you’ll get others to watch by broadcasting during the afternoon and there will still be some people who might watch even though they already know the result. But the overall effect is to lose viewers and make the F1 fans less apt to watch races later in the year.

Here’s a thought: Let Speed cover the race as normal but then air the tape delayed broadcast on whatever network in the afternoon. This enables the F1 fans to still watch the race in real time but also gets you the casual sports viewer in that afternoon slot. By running the single tape delay broadcast you’re trading dedicated fans for casual viewers and this has to be a net loss.