Word Press 1.5 A first look

I decided I needed some geeky play time this evening, so I downloaded the latest cvs build of WordPress (yes they skipped numbers) and ran it in a dev environment, just for me to look, poke, and play. I’m floored. A rundown of what I see/like:

  • Themes – Makes sense, needed to happen. I love this feature a lot already, and I don’t actually have it yet, as the production blog is in 1.2.
  • Static Posting – This is another thing I’m digging. I need this as well.
  • Much Better UI – The User interface is so much better in WP 1.5 it’s amazing. Small changes but they make the app feel much more complete.

There’s no indication of a target release date. I’m hoping it’s sooner than later. Projects go on forever. Eventually one has to stop collecting new features and decide to start fixing bugs and getting things release worthy. Hopefully it will be out soon.

I’d like to use it a bit more professionally for more than just blogging, but I need things to be stable and release worthy. These are big features I could use.

$350 Mil in Aid

About freaking time. It’s depressing it took so long.

Amazing how bias some of the media has been. $350 is the largest donation so far cash wise, but quite a few nations have cleared the effected countries debt’s away. That means the money those countries would have to pay can now be used for rebuilding. That’s substantial funds that don’t get accounted for. That’s millions of dollars of money saved. As the saying goes “a penny saved is a penny earned”. Those debts that have been erased will be very important as these countries try and rebuild their now destroyed tourism industries and get people back to work. This is going to take decades, not days, weeks, months or even years. This is decades worth of damage.

If tiny countries can give over 10 mil, I think the US can easily swing it. Were already funding Bush’s family feud with Saddam.

Kind of ironic how Bush needed hard evidence that the Tsunami actually happened before he could pledge this money (as if the world was pulling a prank). The US had to send personnel in to “evaluate” the situation first. Why didn’t that happen in Iraq? Instead we trusted faulty decade old intelligence. Even knowing that the intelligence was rather worthless, and conflicted with the findings of other nations also monitoring the situation.

I’m curious if the president will ever explain why the decision making process took so much effort for this disaster than it did to go into Iraq. Wasted time is costing lives.

A plan for worms?

According to Slashdot, a new variant of the Sanity worm is out, except this one patches to prevent it. Even good hacking isn’t a good thing. It’s still illegal and shouldn’t be done.

But government agencies should really start looking into such a thing. It’s obviously possible. There’s enough exploits in most software that a similar task could be accomplished. US-CERT among others should be researching the possibility of such tactics. A well designed worm can actually counter the effects of a very harmful one.

Even firemen have learned that fire is not only their enemy, but their friend. Fire is often used to put out fires… when strategically placed they can be a very effective tool against forest fires.

Online Memorials, Fundraising

In the wake of this weeks events, I decided to spend several minutes browsing the home pages of the world’s largest companies, just to see how many made an alteration either as a memorial or to raise funds for disaster relief… I easily hit all the big brands here in the US, odds are I tackled most of the top 100 companies in the United States. Here were my findings:

Amazon.com
Apple
Google 1
Google 2
Marriott

Apple cleared the entire homepage. Amazon as usual took advantage of it’s ability to quickly collect payments. Google has a huge audience, and put a link to a page containing help info. Marriott did as well. eBay has setup a few things as well.

I was surprised how many have no indication of such events. During 9/11 several websites completely redid their corporate homepage. This isn’t anywhere near a US trend, as I checked many international companies as well. IBM, Intel, Microsoft, all have no mention or indication.

Speaking of doomsday…

Just read this interesting article on CNN regarding the Quake from the other day.

“It causes the planet to wobble a little bit, but it’s not going to turn Earth upside down”

Now if that doesn’t just send a chill down your spine… nothing will.

The power of mother nature is just beyond comprehension. Every time we think we have an idea of what earth can do, it decides to teach us a lesson.

In other news… it now appears the asteroid won’t hit us.

Reporter Status Update

Well, they aren’t done yet, but I thought I’d share some new reporter screenshots. As you can see quite a few refinements. Still a little rough, but I think it illustrates how simple the process is. There’s some obvious UI uglies still in there. It can take well under 30 seconds to submit a report.

Privacy Statement

Form

All done!

We automate the collection of just about all the important data, so we can make sure we get a pretty accurate rundown of what is included.

Still missing is collecting some buildconfig info. So if anyone knows why the following code doesn’t work, let me know:

function getBuildConfig() {
 
  var ioservice =
     Components.classes["@mozilla.org/network/io-service;1"].
       getService(Components.interfaces.nsIIOService);
  var channel = ioservice.newChannel("chrome://global/content/buildconfig.html",
                                     null, null);
  var stream = channel.open();
  var parser = new DOMParser();
  var buildconfig = parser.parseFromStream(stream, "UTF-8", stream.available(),
                                   "application/xhtml+xml");
  return buildconfig.documentElement.firstChild.textContent;
}
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Happy Festivus!

A Festivus for the Rest of Us

At least some people are in the holiday spirit. I’m celebrating this year (minus the pole I have yet to get).

Here’s how it works:

Festivus Pole – tall, metal heavy, most often aluminum (fence post for a chain link fence makes a great Festivus Pole). This is similar to the “Christmas Tree”. theres no decorations or anything, especially no Tinsel, since “it’s distracting”.

Airing of Grievances – Normally performed before dinner. This is a time where you get to tell everyone attending how they have disappointed you. This is a time when they all have to sit there and here about the crap you have been putting up with. The time period in which you may complain about is the year since the last Festivus.

The Feats of Strength – This is an active part of the tradition where a family member selected by the head of the family must tackle and pin the head of the family. The holiday does not conclude until the patriarch / matriarch is pinned to the ground. In the event the selected individual has something to do, they may decline. In that situation the head will then choose another member to participate.

You can find more information here, and here (NY Times).

So happy Festivus to you and your family!