firefox.png Warning: geeky stuff ahead. Sometimes I find myself getting prompted for a helper application when I click on weblog “subscribe” buttons. But I’m clicking because I want to look at the XML. Firefox’s dialog box doesn’t anticipate this, only giving me options to Open a helper application or to Save the XML to disk. There’s no “open here” or “view source”. Argh. Well, I found the trick: use Firefox itself as the helper application, and the XML opens up in a new tab. Bingo!

css.png Simon Buckle: “In summary: check how your feed looks in a news reader!” Update: here’s a quickly assembled plugin that does the job. This blog is running on it now.

I seem to be getting more comment spam lately. Spam that I have to manually intervene on to remove or moderate. Either the blog is more popular or spammers are gaining on WordPress/Akismet.

Tivo press release: “Guru Guide ™ recommendations will create a virtual television channel from each of these authorities.” Sounds like they’re embracing the shift, at least partly. Why not open up the programming function to anyone?

remote.jpg Eliot Van Buskirk writes on Wired Blogs that “the idea of carrying one versatile gadget rather than two more specialized ones seems to make sense, but not in the real world.” I tend to agree. I’d elaborate by saying that our brains aren’t built for the all-in-one-box vision of convergence. Some will disagree. There’s a simple experiment you can do to help think about the problem. Go to your living room and count up the number of remote controls you have. If the answer is one, you probably have a universal remote. These have been around for ages, long enough that we’d all be using them if all-in-one-box convergence was the one true path ™.

CSS in blog posts

I think I figured out how to deal with CSS in blog posts. Consider layout like the right-floated image in the previous post. If you View Source, you’ll see that the style declarations appear directly inline in the img tag. This is to ensure that the post renders correctly in news aggregators. This isn’t especially versatile because I can’t easily go back later and re-style the layout for all images, say if I want to change the padding or the border color. The usual way to handle this is assign a CSS class to the image and specify the class layout in a separate stylesheet. But this breaks newsreaders, which typically don’t download the extra style information. The solution? Use CSS classes for the web version but hardwire the style information when generating the RSS. I feel a WordPress plugin coming on…

quickly.jpg We just got a Quickly here in Alameda. It’s on Central, a few doors down from the Peet’s at the corner of Central and Park. I stopped by today for a strawberry snow with large tapioca. The tapioca thing, it’s a little different, but surprisingly pleasing. It reminds me of Starburst candy in a way, but with the flavor separated out into the surrounding liquid. Yum.