Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Flash (FLASH PARTY)!

In celebration of Flash’s 10th anniversary, FlashinTO (the Toronto Flash User Group) is holding a Flash PARTY tonight at Resistor Gallery! While Shawn Pucknell (who is also the director of FITC) has already gone ahead and made all the plans, I’ve also devised some unofficial “rules” (you can think of them as some unwritten guidelines for tonight’s festivities):

  • only Flash photography will be allowed
  • Music selection will be limited to the musical works of Grandmaster Flash, Flash. Bat, and Flash (particularly tracks featured of the album "In the Can"), and any other artist who has the word “flash” in his name
  • Clips from the old “Flash Gordon” serial will be projected on the main screen
  • Anyone who admits to having seen the 1997 film Flash and liked it will get a prize
  • somebody will incidentally flash someone
  • all Flash Lite-enabled cell phones will be illuminated with a flashlight
  • There will be copies of the Flash comic book available for reading at your leisure
  • A flash mob will spontaneously gather outside Resistor Gallery at 08:30:06 PM tonight (Aug. 30, 2006) and experience/discuss flashbacks
  • Flash memory will be the only type of digital storage media allowed in the vicinity. If someone has a digital storage device that does not use flash memory, the item must be publicly identified as such and held out
  • there will be a karaoke showdown to see who is able to sing the 1980 song “Flash” by Queen the best
  • At least two people will spend half the night competing for the title of the ultimate master of Flash Flash Revolution

Those of you coming out tonight, I'm looking forward to seeing you there. Those who are not: come on, it'll be a Blast (radius)! (as in Blast Radius' Brendan Lynch, as well as Tom Green, and Kevin Towes. You're also not gonna want to miss the 10pm Retro Flash Showcase that's going down!)

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

That was when I used to like JavaScript

There was a time, not too long ago, when I used to adore JavaScript. I would use it superfluously in web application development, from the fun transitional effects of Rico and jQuery, to the powerful and seamless abilities of XMLHTTPRequest. But then, people discovered that JavaScript could be used for evil. Router ports could be opened and closed, firewalls disabled; network security was essentially compromised.

Because of this, more and more people are disabling javascript in their browsers, which means that they can't use many of the rich features that web apps offer, even in some cases rendering the sites completely useless (which really shouldn't happen, because we should be designing with accessibility in mind, right developers?). That number has now grown to over 10% of all internet users, according to the W3C, which is a real shame because most people use JavaScript in their sites to enhance the user experience, but if your users' browsers don't meet your site's requirements to view it properly, then they can't really get the most out of your site.

When did JavaScript become so malicious? Can't we go back to a time when none of this extra blather was added and just have a simple client-side programming language? Is that really too much to ask for?

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Sacha!

I believe I am the first in the blogosphere to wish Sacha Chua a very happy birthday. She is 23 years old as of 23 minutes ago. And later today at around 3 o'clock I will be meeting her and 23 of her friends (myself included) for a Merienda to celebrate.

Sacha, being the classic, sort of old-fashioned way that she is (writing things down on paper (in her database of a Moleskine), using a fountain pen, etc.), asked that, instead of bringing her gifts, wants a letter. Nothing more than a simple handwritten letter, with the following as suggested topics:

  • Something you wish you knew when you were 23 (or for the young ones, something you hope to have figured out)
  • Something you like about me (the spiritual equivalent of the chocolate stash I keep for emergencies.)
  • A story that shows me something about you that I didn't know =)

And Sacha, i wouldn't mind you CCing my letter (I recommend by-nc-sa/2.5/canada). In fact I advocate it. I think everything (well, almost everything was CC). That would make me very happy :).

So, I guess I've got to get to writing that letter then. I wonder if I have any parchment paper left over...

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Good times, and not so good times (to put put it lightly)

Last night, thanks to an invitation from Sacha Chua, I had a great time at Simon Ditner's potluck party. I met a ton of interesting people, and had a ton of interesting conversations. One of the topics that came up was pivotal moments in our lives. Everyone had a story to share, except me, as I claimed I was "too young" to have a pivotal story, trying to get out of telling a story. I promised I'd make it up for next time with a better story, but it seems that "next time" came sooner than expected, as recounted in this text message to Sacha:

Hi Sacha. Great time tonight. Speaking of near death experiences, I just had one. It's 5:19 am [it was actually more like 5:15 when this happened] on sat morning. i'm at yonge & steeles, just got off the blue night yonge bus going home. Standing at the SE corner of the intersection, where the 53 stop usually is. I check the map, and it shows the Steeles blue night stop is actually a little bit east of where i was standing. I begin to walk over there. Not 30 seconds from leaving, I hear a loud noise behind me [actually a series of two loud noises]. I turn around and duck, thinking it may be a gunshot. next all i see is a white van smashing into the bus shelter I had been right next to, even in at one point, almost exactly like someone knocking out the two pillar cards in a three-card house of cards with one swift blow, the shelter roof gliding off onto the road, and dragging to a halt in the middle of the east side of the intersection, its front side completely totaled from the crash, not 30 20 feet away from me. 'Fuck!', I thought to myself (excuse the language). Had I still been standing in that spot (which I would have been had the TTC not chosen to have a different end stop for their night buses as their days buses), I very well may have been dead. Wow...

I would have taken a picture of it but I was too stunned to do so.

I see the 353 Bus arrive, so i scurry over to there, not knowing what else to do. I board the bus and take a seat, and then once settled [I] begin composing this text message to you. I guess this is what I meant when i said (or meant to say), 'my story is yet to come'. How's that for a life-altering story? Hope you got home more safely than i did. Have a good weekend :) -g

That is harsh. I think part of City Optical got messed up as well, judging from the sounds of the crash (I don't know for sure, I didn't stick around). I mean, something like this can seriously affect someone's life. For the remainder of my commute home, I was very wary, even paranoid, about even walking on the sidewalks down Warden Avenue. I kept looking around at the cars on the road, making sure they weren't too close to me. I was relieved when I got home, knowing that I was indoors where no off-trajectory vehicles were likely to crash into me, even then still a bit nerve-wracked about the whole thing. I'm just glad I was able to get home in one piece. I still can't believe what happened...

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Does it count as Web 2.0?

I've been doing a bit of thinking, and I was wondering, is it still Web 2.0 if a web app doesn't use Ajax or Rails or XmlHTTPRequests? I mean, Goowy is entirely flash-based, and it's still considered Web 2.0, right? So what's the big deal about making a "Web 2.0" app that's built on a different platform? If I were to build a web app made entirely with flash, but still had the underlying principles of Web 2.0 (social aspects, tagging, etc.), is still classified as Web 2.0 even though technically it isn't? Kevin Kynch says Flash in your friend in web 2.0, but it seems he refers to when it's integrated as elements of web pages (like in Flickr and MeasureMap) as opposed to being used exclusively. It's things like this that boggle the mind. Have we developed a Web 2.0 prejudice, where we only accept apps as Web 2.0 that use cool Ajaxy effects.

Or, maybe, I'm just imagining all this and it only exists in my head.

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