Netscape Desktop Navigator

As mentioned all around the web, Netscape is creating an ISP. In hopes of turing into an ISP/content based brand Netscape the other day released a beta of it’s Netscape Desktop Navigator program. So I decided to give it a quick wirl….

Overall Impressions

I found it to be quite useful, but not exactly perfect for my needs. For example, I’ll never use it to search the web, but that’s the focal point of the app. Nor will I shop, or look at personals. IMHO they can be removed.

Very useful is the weather features. Weather in the System Tray, and the app itself remembers my zip code. Very nice to have. Another useful feature is the Movie Showtimes. It’s now one click to see where a movie is playing, and what time. Also very convient is maps and white pages. TV guide is somewhat easy, though remembering I have cable, and what network I use would be nice, so I can see all my cable listings right in there.

News was a little disapointing. To little news to make it useful, still find it easier to use google’s news feed, than this app. To brief IMHO.

Also wanted is some customization. Let me remove what I don’t want to have. For example search, I’ll never use it, but it’s valuable space. Wouldn’t mind having more headlines there. Perhaps add sports and stocks? I would love to have those.

Hopefully they keep it ad free.

I’ll keep it on my computer, I find it rather useful. Provided it doesn’t become adware. It’s a smooth little app, that saves me a few clicks, and puts things at my reach. It works rather well.

Would be nicer if it used Gecko and XUL… but then again, this is AOL were talking about. They sold their soul to the devil (quite literally).

Web Development

Favorite XHTML/CSS Book

So a question to all… what’s your favorite XHTML/CSS reference book/website?


What’s on Netscape Today

It’s just wrong isn’t it?

IE on Netscape

From approx. 10:30 PM EST


vLIB rules

If your a PHP developer, and you don’t know about it yet, check out vLIB. I’ve worked quite a bit with templating for a few years now. I think this is the best library for implementing templates in a PHP application I’ve seen. It’s got a good amount of flexibility, and it’s easy to implement. Not to mention is’s nice and fast.

I’ve written several very crummy templating systems for my own stuff over the years. And they stink compared to this. Honestly. I’ve decided to throw them out and port over to vLIB.

I hate PHP Apps with HTML all over. Eventually they are doomed to become impossible to maintain. At least with templating, it’s easy.

Google Security Tech (General)

Why people shouldn’t be afraid of Gmail

There has been a ton of buzz lately about Gmail, Google’s free email service. 1000 megabytes of free storage, Google Search Technology, and of course all sorts of Google usability improvements. I’m sure Google has stuff still in the labs to enhance it at some point in the future as well, I could see searching attachments, viewing Word, and Acrobat files as HTML, all in the works.

How will they pay for this quite amazing offer? “relevant text ads”. I think most already know what I’m talking about when I say, this, if not check out which has Google’s text ad service on the homepage.

What is it?

Here’s a really simple summary. Google sells a ton of advertising. And I mean a ton, they sell for their own website, as well as many others. To make sure the ads are effective, they like to “target” the ads. This is similar on other forms of media. For example, on TV, you will find sports and fitness related ads on ESPN, while the Food Network may not necessarily carry the same ads. Why? Because the audience on ESPN is most likely into sports, and fitness. The ads are most effective when people interested in the products. Makes sense right?

Well, Google does the same thing. When it sells ads on a Macintosh Website like, it targets them towards Mac users, hence you see ads like “Expert Macintosh service”, “Macintosh Support”, “Mac Service & Support”. Because those ads will do good on a Mac website, rather than a PC website. These ads are now worth more to the advertiser, who will pay more to Google, who will in turn payout more to Google does the same on it’s own search engine (the right hand side), relevant ads are worth quite a bit, since it’s perfect real estate for advertisers

How do they know what to show?

Google hasn’t disclosed the technology in real detail, but one could assume, their technology assigns keywords to the ad campaign. It then looks at the text of the page that needs an advertisement. If the examines that page for relevant keywords, and places the highest ranking advertisement that fits the page.

So what’s the deal about privacy?

That’s the question of the day. Google’s system is undoubtedly automated. It would be impossible to hire enough employees to screen all data and figure out relevant ads. Your mail is technically handled by many systems that process/analyze it anyway. From virus scans, spam filters, to your mail client just figuring out if it should make certain text bold, underlined, or italics. Or how to process an inline image. Lots of software looks at your mail.

Personally, I don’t see the difference between Google, and Yahoo, Hotmail, or any other mail provider’s technology, except that Google is being smart, and providing a superior service, by selling relevant ads. How is this any more invasive? All Google did was put things together.

Personally, I think some people worry to much about privacy, and not enough about security. Instead of crying because a company put ads on a free service that you choose to use… Why not apply some patches to your buggy Windows computer so a hackers/spammer isn’t using it to flood my email with spam. To me, that’s much more invasive.

Just my $0.02.


PHP Class to prevent automated signups

If anyone knows of a good PHP class (must be open source license) that will display one of those CAPTCHA images with text that must be entred to deter bots (like what Network Solutions does for whois), I’d greatly appreciate it.

Accettura Media

Some big changes

I think some big changes are coming to my web properties this summer… stay tuned.

Details not worked out completely, but I think it will be a ton of work, but a great return.

P.S.: Happy Easter.

Politics Software Tech (General)

The Pure Software Act of 2006

A must read article on all the bad software, and how to help users stay away from it.

I really hope it goes to the Feds, and we get a law about this. All websites with downloads must be labeled appropriately, and all downloads must warn before such actions take place. Even commercial software should note right on the box.

We have warnings on everything. I’ve seen markers that say “do not insert in anus”. Why not warnings to protect peoples property (computer), intellectual property (data), and protect the users themselves from fraud?

A well thought out solution to a problem that has pestered everyone. I think it’s a worthwhile thing to make law. This is perhaps one of the best plans presented in quite some time to combat a problem with technology.


Another week done

My goals for the weekend:

Catch up on email/IM’s, bugs I missed while sick (almost done)
See how far away from getting a few blocking problems resolved with relaunch
Follow up on some forum threads I fell behind on
Revise term paper on technology waste
Securita research (most likely no code)
Reserch for Biology Presentation (anyone have some good info on wolf reintroduction?)
Project Aquarius

Also wouldn’t mind working out, sleeping, and of course watching some TV 😀 .