Importing Twitter Posts Soon

I’m working on some updates to the home page.  In the process I’m going to import all of my Twitter posts, so at some point in the near future you’ll see a blitz of new messages appear on the page and in the feed.

This update is partly to backup my Twitter posts, and partly to facilitate getting back to my original intent which was to broadcast to Twitter from my web page (not vice versa).  I’m still working toward an ultimate goal of using my home page as my central Internet communications hub.

Call of Duty: World at War

I finished the solo campaign of Call of Duty: World at War (PC version), which I picked up from Steam for half price last weekend.  It’s another excellent Call of Duty production, but gameplay-wise there was nothing innovative about it.  It’s just new stories and new locations.

Perhaps it was the juxtaposition of finishing the game on Memorial Day weekend, but I found the theatrics of this edition more powerful than any previous CoD title.  I actually got a little choked up at the end.  The music was especially good.  Normally I turn off the music in games but in this case it added nicely to the ambience.

Unfortunately, as always with the Call of Duty series, you are paying a lot of money for a very, very short solo game.  I don’t spend a lot of time gaming any more and I finished this thing over a span of 8 days.  Pretty sad that game developers think so little of consumers, and that consumers let game developers get away with it.

As for other drawbacks, I’ve talked about the scripted nature of Call of Duty before so I won’t harp on it again.  Suffice it to say it’s the same in World at War:  Get used to repeating the same action (and hearing the same voiceovers) over and over again.

The only significant new engine feature in World at War is “audio occlusion.”  I had no idea what it did until I finished the game and read the World at War Wikipedia page.  Somewhere along the way I turned that option off, hoping it would improve my frame rate.  It didn’t, and I also couldn’t detect the slightest bit of difference in the sound.  It’s not really something you’d notice in the thick of a firefight anyway.

In the positive category, I found the solo campaign a little easier than Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  I played it through on the Hardened setting, which I found challenging but not frustratingly impossible like Modern Warfare, where practically every enemy would kill you instantly with a head shot.

Overall I give the solo campaign a 3.5… out of 5.  (Extra half point given for honoring the sacrifices made by all World War II veterans.)

I’m not sure if I’m going to look at Multiplayer yet.  I found Modern Warfare multiplayer enjoyable but I don’t really want to go through dealing with all the dorks in public games again.  It’s almost mandatory that you play multiplayer, though, if you want to get your money’s worth out of this game.

Moving Complete

The switchover is complete.  If you are reading this, the IP address change has propagated to your neck of the woods and you are looking at the site on the new web host.  (If I’d known it was going to be this easy, I would have done this a long time ago.)

Moving In Progress

Tonight I hope to be moving the site to a new web host.  In theory, you won’t notice any change, except for what I hope will be a significant improvement in page rendering speed and availability.  All links will remain the same.

How To Fix IE8 Links Not Working

If you’re having trouble with Internet Explorer 8 not opening links in Vista, try running IE once as an Administrator.

I have my wife setup to run as a Standard User on her Vista SP1 laptop.  After installing IE8, first from a downloaded installer file and then later from Windows Update, she found that there were certain links that simply wouldn’t work.  That is, she’d click a link and nothing would happen, as if it were ignoring her.  There were no messages or indicators of any kind.

It turned out that the links in question opened up another browser window or popup of some kind.  If you held down CTRL while clicking the links, it would open a new tab but still never loaded the page.  I tried to disable the popup blocking and fully trusting the sites in question but neither of those things fixed it, nor any other option I could find.  Eventually I tried logging into the Administrator account to run IE8 from there, and everything suddenly worked as expected.

Now my wife reports that she is able to click links as before from her Standard User account.  Presumably some kind of one-time initialization needed to occur under a full Administrator account.

I logged in as an Administrator, but it may also work if you simply use the Run As Administrator menu.  Give it a try if you find that links don’t work for no apparent reason.

Just Say No To Patented Genes

The ACLU is often criticized (rightly, in some cases) for going overboard with their lawsuits, but this is one case where I fully support them:  ACLU: Human Gene Patents Infringe Speech.

I’m not sure what patented genes have to do with civil rights or free speech, but whatever the case, I’m glad somebody is trying to stop this.  It’s completely outrageous that anyone should get to “patent” a naturally occurring gene.

From the article:  “Women who fear they may be at an increased risk are barred from having anyone look at their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or interpret them except for the patent holder…”

Unbelievable!  You can’t look at the genes in your own body?

I can understand patenting a device for detecting the genes, but in no way should such a patent prevent someone else from inventing another method for detecting them, which sounds like it’s the case here.

Police GPS Trackers and Clean Water

I probably mentioned this before, but I’ve been listening to the No Agenda podcast a lot during my commute lately.  The show is not very polished and it goes off the rails quite a lot, but it’s still very refreshing to hear a perspective on current events that isn’t rooted entirely in Democratic or Republican talking points.  And hey, it’s free.

From podcast 96, I learned that Wisconsin police can install a GPS tracking device on your car without any kind of warrant or even suspecting you of a crime.  I have to admit that I’m starting to turn into one of those EFF Privacy Nutballs (to coin a phrase) that believes everything in technology is infringing on your right to privacy, so this news is pretty unsettling, to say the least.

I also learned about Sen. Feingold’s Clean Water Restoration Act (S. 787) from the podcast.  On the surface (no pun intended) the bill sounds like a good thing (don’t they all?), but the broad language covering almost every single drop of water from rivers and streams all the way down to the mud puddles in your driveway seems a little intrusive.  I don’t think it’s as bad as Adam Curry makes it out to be, but it’s something to think about.  He claimed it had “passed,” but the THOMAS Bill Tracker says it’s still in committee.  So much for show prep. 🙂

BasicState Uptime Graphs

The following graphs show why I need to move my home page to another web host.

Uptime

Average Response

Total Response

Oddly, other sites I have on the same host show no such problems.  Maybe there’s something about my home page code that is upsetting their server.

Short plug: These graphs came from a place called basicstate.com, which I recommend if you’re looking for a barebones remote uptime monitor.  It’s literally the only one I could find that had a tolerable set of features for free.

Amiga Web Browsers Still Not So Great

One of the reasons we all had to leave the Amiga behind as our main PC was the inability of the tiny Amiga developer community to keep up with the armies of Windows developers and consumer demand.

For example, we consumers found out that it was pretty cool to be able to browse Internet web pages with Netscape and Internet Explorer on our Windows machines.  So we turned back to our Amigas and tried to do the same thing, and this is what we got:

Krehbiel's Korner on AWeb

Uh, not quite as cool.  Let’s count the things it doesn’t support:  CSS, Javascript, AJAX, UTF-8 and anti-aliased fonts.  Pretty much all the things we take for granted on Windows and Mac and Linux.  At least it supports cookies and animated GIFs. 🙂

This is what it’s supposed to look like, in case you are reading this on an Amiga:

Krehbiel's Korner on Firefox 3

The above Amiga screenshot shows AWeb 3.4 (which is actually still under development) running on Cloanto’s Amiga Forever 2008 emulator.  The copyright date on the AWeb software is 2002.

Whatever happened to Voyager and IBrowse?  Ah, there they are.  They look to have a much better feature set but I see that they are also trying to make some money to support further development.  Good luck with that.

So yeah, not much change in the state of the Amiga web browser situation.  It looks pretty bleak for the Amiga being able to play in The Cloud.  But it’s good for testing whether your web design degrades gracefully.

Incorrect usage of SUBQUERY and feature is disabled

I just looked at my home page to find it reporting a database error.  “Incorrect usage of SUBQUERY and feature is disabled by allow_view_trigger_sp_subquery in /etc/my.cnf”.

The select query in question looked like this:

SELECT p.*,
(SELECT COUNT(*) FROM `$t1` WHERE ParentID=p.ID) AS `NumComments`,
(SELECT MAX(PublishedDate) FROM `$t1` WHERE ParentID=p.ID) AS `NewestCommentDate`
FROM `$t1` p

Looks like my web host disabled sub-queries for some inexplicable reason and naturally I don’t have the ability to turn it back on.  So it’s back to the drawing board.  Posts won’t show the number of comments until I resolve this (I know, it’ll be a big hardship).

(P.S. Red, I’ll be pulling out Eclipse again to fix this. 🙂