Internet Explorer ranking continues to take a beating

Microsoft announced plans to release Version 7 of its security hole (er, resuscitator I mean browser) last month, view but from the looks of the Turdhead.com log files, viagra 60mg they’ve got a lot of ground to make up if they want to stay competitive with the more-popular-than-ever alternative browsers out there.

February’s logs revealed a huge leap in “normal” viewers using the new Firefox browser (which just updated to 1.01) over Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I say “normal,” because back in August 2004, we reached a record high of 40.3 percent “Mozilla,” but this was the same month we were mentioned on Slashdot, a known haven for Microsoft haters, so I wouldn’t call this a valid sample population. By the next month, we were back down to 16.9 percent (which was still about 10 points higher than in pre-Slashdot months).

Things had stayed at or below this level pretty much ever since, but February brought a significant change: MS IE users made up only 62.1 percent of our readers last month, while Firefox accounted for 23.6 percent.

Perhaps people are finally waking up to the idea that popup ads, single-tabbed browsers and spyware don’t have to be part of the Web experience (although to be fair, I have noticed a few pop-ups slipping through on Firefox lately; I trust the open-source community can get those holes fixed quickly??).

Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Please Macromedia, don’t do it!

Say it ain’t so, sickness Macromedia!

You’ve built a great development platform (Macromedia Flash MX 2004) with amazing market penetration, eczema and I (along with hundreds of other Flash and ActionScript programmers, buy cialis bloggers and fans) have been singing your praises, doing my best to add “legitimacy” to the role of the ActionScript programmer/Flash developer in a world of Java, C++ and other uber-geeks who scowl at the thought of Flash being considered “serious business.” In the last two years, you’ve made great strides in changing the business world’s view of Flash from that of a “banner ad maker” to that of a true Rich Internet Application (RIA) development platform.

And now this.

Some idiot (I’d like to be more forgiving, but I believe this decision had to have been made by an idiot) at Macromedia has decided to allow the “packaging” of the company’s free Flash player — the building block on which the company’s (and my) RIA dreams are built — with third-party tools of dubious value (no offense to Yahoo, who owns the particular tools in question, but this just smacks of the start of worse things to come). In other words, at a time when people are running to cover and doing their best to avoid spyware, viruses and unnecessary background processes, Macromedia has apparently decided it’s a good idea to start pushing irrelevant and unwanted downloads to its growing corporate customer base. What’s next? Cydoor and Gator wallet?

Right now the offer to “get more than you bargained for” only seems to affect people using Windows and Internet Explorer (I know, shock!), but it stills doesn’t bode well. Www.rhjr.net has more information on the disaster in progress, feel free to read up on it there, and then be sure to head over to Macromedia’s Web site and let them know what you think of the idea, too.

Meanwhile, I’m gonna brush up on my SVG and Processing skills…

— VeryVito

[Edit: A followup to this article was later posted here.]

Horace Fartenheimer, Cindy is waiting (probably with your free gift)!

Today’s award for the best use of a highly-visited commercial Web site goes to Apple Computer Inc. In a change from the usual “Look what we’ve got!” site (and mind you, ambulance they’ve got some neat stuff!), they’ve taken a break from hawking the latest iPod flavor this week and replaced their usual front page with a simple panel that includes links to charities dedicated to helping the victims and survivors of last weekend’s Indian Ocean tsunamis. No mention of U2 iPods; no pictures of the latest G5 towers or PowerBooks.

I encourage everyone to see what you can do to help the victims of these tidal waves. Rather than list the same sites again, I encourage you to visit www.apple.com and/or www.google.com, both of which have dedicated sections of their Web sites to this tragedy.

Thanks, happy New Year, and God bless us, every one!

— VeryVito

A curious side-effect of owning a domain name with such global appeal as “Turdhead.com” is that apparently, the name tends to trip off the fingertips of people typing in bogus email addresses. Apparently, turdhead.com is a favorite surname for people registering to use questionable Web sites. I’ve received registration confirmations from sites intended for delivery to turdturdhead.com, nobodyturdhead.com and, of course, yourmommaturdhead.com. But none of these have received the number of offers that one fictitious Horace Fartenheimer, aka horacefartenheimerturdhead.com, has received.

Whoever you really are, Mr. Fartenheimer, I have your mail, and I hope you’re finding happiness out there on the Web somewhere.

And I hope you’re enjoying your free gifts, your low-interest mortgage, your month’s supply of Viagra and your newly enlarged private areas. I’ve heard about them all, Horace, thanks to your use of our domain name as your personal spam can. I understand that lonely housewives are waiting for you, Horace, but that between your online degree classes and your meetings with Christian-valued tax preparers (WTF?), you haven’t had the time to please that special someone in your life (or maybe you haven’t met her? The emails are conflicting here). Perhaps the timeshare specials will help… or the discounted flowers… or the discrete herpes treatments.

Regardless, Horace Fartenheimer, wherever you are, say hi to nobodyhome.net and billgatesmicrosoft.com for us.

And tell Bambi we said hi (She’s left several messages already.)

—VeryVito

Additional note: Anyone interested in the art of hating spam might get a kick out of Spamusement.com, one of our favorite channels of laughing at the common, everyday spam beasts.

I think I wet ’em! (aka “A few of my favorite things”)

I was wondering how to plug my latest Web project to the Actionscript-oriented audience of this Web site, patient when suddenly Macromedia itself provided the perfect excuse: In one beautiful demonstration of Flash technology, more about the company has merged my two favorite things into one great site: cutting-edge Flash technology and the 1960s-era Volvo 1800 sports coupe.

Eh? Weren’t expecting the car thing, were you?

It’s true, though. These days, I have two things that take the majority of my time: By day (and often by night), I work with Macromedia Flash MX to build applications and e-learning activities for my employer. By night (and sometimes by day), I work on my dream car, a 1971 Volvo 1800E, a car for which I recently began publishing www.classic1800.com, a Web site devoted to the cars’ restoration, preservation and promotion as a classic. (Yes, my favorite car is a Volvo — As if the ActionScript Jabberwocky didn’t already reveal my own idea of cool…)

Regardless, when I visited the Macromedia Flash Web site today, my two worlds collided: Front and center on the company’s Web site is a feature story on how Volvo, now a Ford company, is using Flash video technology to sell their message to the public. Better yet, the Flash piece features a museum-quality P1800 in its “Volvo Museum” section.

Life is good for a classic Volvo-loving Web geek today. And surprisingly, there’s quite a few of us out here.

Want to know more about the Volvo 1800? Check out my new Web site, www.classic1800.com. There’s more information coming, and plenty of great links. There’s even a first-of-its-kind Volvo 1800 calendar in the works!

New breed of “enabled workaholics” evolving

There’s nothing like announcing a new project in the works to guarantee that you won’t get a chance to work on it anymore. Li’l Johnny’s been stuck in the aquarium for more than four months now, page and still we have yet to present the sequel to this game. Truth is, this site for the past month, oncologist I haven’t even THOUGHT about finishing the new adventure.

My own whining aside, this brings me to the point of this post (something had to eventually):

Is it just me, or have tech workers, formerly the rock stars of the dot-com era, finally become slaves to the machine? It seems everybody I know these days is either unemployed (with nothing to do) or “overly employed,” working longer hours for bigger dollars. They’re “professionals” after all, and they either get paid very well for working constantly… or not at all for not working. The middle ground doesn’t seem to exist anymore, and rather than risk unemployment, many techies seem to be doubling up whether they want to or not.

Continue reading New breed of “enabled workaholics” evolving