Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Quick Update to Simple Twitter

A lot of people use my Simple Twitter Feed written in JavaScript (for some
reason).  Well, today I pushed out a quick update that should fix all the woes users have given me
in the past.

The code should now be valid XHTML strict, and I know longer use innerHTML
for each list element.  Instead, I’ve moved from adding the list elements via innerHTML to DOM
Manipulation (appendChild).  I’m not sure exactly what the benefits of this are, but I’m sure they

As the previous HTML code seems to have been broken, this may cause some rendering
errors for a few websites, but all in all it should work better than it has previously.

not writing out a whole changelog, I’m just going ahead and saying that some changes were made – and
hopefully Simple Twitter should work a lot easier for everyone using it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Webkit JavaScript Notifications API

Something I learned about recently by following the updates being issued to
Chrome, is that with today’s release they also pushed out the Webkit Notifications API to Chrome Stable
(v4).  Surprisingly, this is actually the first I’ve heard of it’s existence.  I took a
look and played around with it a bit, and it is qué cool.

Visit href="http://sandbox.gtaero.net/chrome/notifications.php">my Sandbox to see the code in action,
or continue reading for some code excerpts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Mysterious 50500

Last Night I was working on a job site, and I had checked into it using
Foursquare (twice, the first time a typo).  I was wondering if there was a way to undo a check-in,
or something similar.  So, of course, I texted “help” to 50500 (the US Shortcode for Foursquare)
and I got back the following message:

2 Vicinite alerts/wk,
tones/video clips: $0.49-$9.99/mth+ msg&data rates may aply.  Visit
vicinite.com/index2.html or 8666443345. STOP 2quit.

Wait, what? 
That has nothing to do with Foursquare at all.  What is going on here?  So, I decided to
google the shortcode for more information, and found out its ALSO used for Contxts, another service I used. 
Just to make sure, I texted “David” to 50500 and what do I know?  His business card was texted
right back to me, with the sender labeled as “Foursquare” due to me having set the number as Foursquare’s in
my address book.

This is kind of fishy, in my opinion.  How,
and Why do these three services share the same
shortcode number?  They seem to have nothing to do with each other, either.

then… how do they pull it off?

Another Blog?

Well, congratulations me.  I think?  I guess?  Saa. 
Either way, I’m now going to be a contributor for MacDavid Pro
(which will be renamed, just nobody knows to what yet.)

Which is all well and good,
except I don’t write much of anything ever, and the few times I do I have trouble including media and
pictures and formatting it the way I want to.  Bleh.

Well, lets hope I do better
as a contributor to that blog than I have been doing for this one, eh?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Windows 7 Steam Goodness

This is just a small update to the whole Steam on Windows 7 thing. 
Looks like they’re embracing more Windows 7 features than I saw previously.  Discovered this while
downloading Zero Gear today:

style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px"
title="image" border="0" alt="image" src="http://tech.gtaero.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/image3.png"
width="81" height="59" />

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Never Again (External JavaScript in the Body)

This is probably simply a personal taste, but I hate putting External
JavaScript tags in the body of a web page.  It feels and looks very unsightly to me.  But as I learn more
and more JavaScript, and really start to get a feel for the small language, I’ve realized that I don’t have
to.  That it’d be just as easy to place them directly into the header after the page is ready, by
manipulating the DOM.  Here is an excerpt from the beta turled website.

lang="javascript"]$(document).ready(function() {
// Google Analytics
var gaJsHost =
(("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
var script =
script.src = gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js";

script.type = "text/javascript";

var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("CENSORED");

} catch(err) { /* Do Nothing. */ }

Facebook Share
var script = document.createElement("script");
script.src =
script.type = "text/javascript";


you can see, I wait until the document is loaded using jQuery’s ready method, and then create elements for
both Google Analytics and Facebook Share, before appending them directly to the <head> of the
website.  Keeping the code clean, reducing bandwidth usage for non-JavaScript users, and even making
Google’s code cleaner.  (By changing Google Analytic’s default code from document.write to DOM Manipulation.

Never again will I feel the need to insert external script tags at the bottom of the <body>
just so that the rest of the page loads before them.

If you’re not using jQuery, document.onload = function() { /* Code */ } works just as well, I promise.

Monday, January 11, 2010

How Google Could Change The Industry (And Take Over Your Life)

So, the one thing that you’ll find on any and all news websites who are of any
quality at all would be the brand new Google Phone, the Nexus One – the one
device that’s making me cringe and go “WHY DIDNT I CREATE A YOUTUBE SHOW BEFORE NOW?” Since, you know, just
about every single YouTube partner has gotten a free Nexus One.  FEEL MY ENVY, YOUTUBERS.

But, there is definitely one thing that could be different.  One thing that they could
change the entire industry with.  And all they’d have to do is partner up with cell phone
providers, and convince them to let you get an account without a phone number.

What?  What’s that Navarr?  You’re absolutely INSANE!  You can’t get a
cell phone without a cell phone number?  Why would you want to?  What possible use could
that be?  What would you do??

Well, if you really are asking all those
questions, than shut the hell up and think for a moment.  What two things does Google own that
would allow them to do something so spectacularly crazy?

Google Voice, and Gizmo5. 
Gizmo5 would only be necessary if they decided to do Voice over Data, which I personally am not sure the
cell phone backend is ready for – but could you imagine purchasing a Nexus One,
signing in with your Google (apps?) Account, and
then if you already have Google Voice it simply works?  And if you
don’t it gets you started on creating an account, including choosing your own phone number
(for life, although changeable).

Google would store your basic account numbers and
information, and if you ever wanted a new android phone, you would simply log in
It’d automatically use your phone number and all your other details, too.

Maybe though,
just maybe Google could do this – and make actual cellular calling free, with
the only thing you’re paying for being data.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Steam on Windows 7 Disappoints Me

This actually isn’t a post against Windows 7.  In fact, you will find
very few of those among this blog, if any at all.  This is actually a
post voicing my disappointment with the very popular Social Network Gaming Software, href="http://www.steampowered.com/">Steam.

href="http://tech.gtaero.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/image.png">image src="http://tech.gtaero.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/image_thumb.png" width="470" height="320" />

One of the first things quickly and easily noticed is that it uses its own Window customization. 
This really isn’t such a big deal for me.  Sure, it’d be nice if it could do the whole aero thing
and fall back on this, but this looks pretty cool, so I’m not really going to fault them for this.

style="border-right-width: 0px; display: inline; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px;
border-left-width: 0px" title="image" border="0" alt="image"
src="http://tech.gtaero.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/image_thumb1.png" width="253" height="450" />

Next is actually mostly a good thing.  Steam has this very nice jumplist for
Windows 7, something not a lot of other programs have really taken the time to integrate just yet. 
You can see video games I have recently (attempted to anyway) launched from Steam, their own quick links to
important parts of their client, and an optional (disabled by default) ability to change your current status
from the jumplist.

The one problem I have with this jump list is that the tasks have no
icons.  You could easily find some sort of icon for each of their little tasks.  A
shopping cart for Store, a generic user-like figure for community, etc etc but there is nothing there.

style="border-right-width: 0px; display: inline; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px;
border-left-width: 0px" title="image" border="0" alt="image"
src="http://tech.gtaero.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/image_thumb2.png" width="470" height="404" />

Then of course, there is my ultimate pickle with Steam.  As
I’m sure you can tell from the above screenshot – Steam has NO PRESENCE in the Windows Games Explorer. 
This is awful!  The Games Explorer has been around since Vista, and yet Steam has yet to embrace

There could (and should) be (at the very least) a high resolution steam icon under
Game Providers.  It’s not very difficult to make, and the “News” feed you see from Games for
Windows LIVE is a simple RSS feed.  They could either populate this with the news from their site,
or just a list of new releases, creating a steam:// URI (if it doesn’t already exist) to open up links in
their own client.  Instead, they don’t even touch this.

As for games, I don’t
know if they show up in the Explorer or not.  I don’t have any spare cash lying around, so I
haven’t been able to check for myself – but somehow I doubt that the games appear there (though, I could be
wrong – can anyone vouch for this?).

Hopefully, these issues will be addressed in a
future version of Steam, and embraced by Rival companies. (I’m looking at you On Live.  Yes, I
expect this from you as well).

What are your thoughts on the matter,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Making Windows 7 Blue Screen [How To]

The most difficult problem I’ve encountered with Windows 7 is making it Blue
Screen on me.  You’d think after so many different versions, Microsoft would’ve made it much easier
to crash your computer – but it seems like they’re doing just the contrary!  What do these fools
think they’re up to?

Either way, I’ve made my Windows 7 (RC) box Blue Screen on me twice
– so I’ll share with you how I did it.  Make sure to leave your own Blue Screen of Death stories in
the comments below.

BSoD #1 – ATI TV Wonder

first BSoD is brought to you by the rel="nofollow">ATI TV Wonder HD 600 USB PC TV Tuner, and yes – it is a very long name for a
product.  Aren’t you thankful I didn’t put “Diamond” in front of it?

Over all,
this was an excellent product that I’m VERY happy I purchased from woot.com at
a price far below its stock value.  It was pretty much plug-and-play (I didn’t run the CD at first
because, well, my Sony DVD drive has crapped out on my Laptop and will only read DVDs now.  What
the hell, Sony?)  What was interesting about this device (and ultimately lead to the BSoD) was that
Skype recognized it as a video source (read: Webcam) and decided I might want to use it.  I thought
that was fairly cool, but didn’t dabble any more into it (until later, right before my crash).  So,
while I had this thing plugged in and made Windows Media Center scan for channels, I decided “Well, I’m
bored – I wonder what happens if I open this thing up in Skype too?  I got my answer with some
weird looking static, and then a Blue Screen.  Congrats,  Navarr!  This was your
first ever Blue Screen with Windows 7 (RC even!).  And that was the last of that.

#2 – rel="nofollow">Lexar 4GB ExpressCard SSD

This is another
small device I found for cheap on the internet, and purchased immediately because – well, it could be used
with the Windows 7 ReadyBoost and I wasn’t using my Express Card slot on my laptop – I didn’t have any use
for it. 

It normally works pretty well.  I’m not sure if the problem
I’ve been encountering is Windows, My Computer, the Card, or it simply becoming loose but every now and then
it will unmount and remount – so it may just be loose.

Either way, this happening over
and over again while the device was dedicated to ReadyBoost has, of course, damaged the file system. 
After doing this enough times, eventually my computer Blue Screened on me – once.  It hasn’t seemed
to happen again.  I’ve since repaired the file system and got it working again, but I’m not sure
how long it’ll stay.


So those are
my BSoD Horror Stories for Windows 7.  Do you have any of your own?  Has Windows 7 ever
crashed for you?  Tell me all about it in the comments!