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Monthly Archives: May 2007

anatomy of a Firefox bug

A long-term annoyance for me in Firefox is the bug that truncates text in an ALT tag. This is most noticable in web comics which like to put commentary in the image tags, though some news and forum software also uses the ALT tags to preview links. As a result, what should look like this:

ends up looking like this:

The great thing about open source is that it’s transparent: this was first logged as Mozilla Bug 45375 in 2000 (!), and the comment logs are on the web. And like sausages and laws, if you like open source, you probably don’t want to see how it’s made.

For the first few years, you can see the occasional complaint about how long the bug has been opened, usually dealt with in the standard open source response of “we’re doing this for free, fix it yourself”. When frustrated web companies affected by the bug offered money and programmers to fix it, the Firefox developers threatened to block any patches they submitted, because they didn’t like the “tone” of the offer.

After seven years, there is supposedly a fix that will go into Firefox 3.0. The punchline? There is no official release date for Firefox 3.0.

buying bunnyhug

So I’ve been thinking about putting together a web-based side project of some sort or another, and in a shout-out to my homies back in the Skatch, I decided to check out A little investigation revealed was taken by a Chicago band that apparently played a couple of gigs a few years ago and evaporated. If there ever was a web site at, is ain’t there now. So I emailed, thinking maybe they would sell.

They want sixty thousand dollars.

Now, maybe I’m naive, but I can’t think of any scenario where is worth sixty large to anyone. I can’t even imagine, in this age of search engines, it being worth $6000. I mean, it’s really not a great name unless you’re from Saskatchewan, and even then “great” is, let’s be honest, quite a stretch.

I’m not faulting them for wanting to keep the name. That’s cool. I wasn’t really expecting them to sell. Maybe they’re going to make a comeback or they’re working on an album or something and not having a web site is part of the plan. But I can’t help but wonder, is there still this kind of market for domain names? Are they really saying that if I only had $40,000 to offer, they wouldn’t sell? I dunno, but I snapped up You can have it for the discount price of $30,000.

another brilliant xkcd comic

Conspiracy Theories

I couldn’t agree more.

I think it’s safe to say that nobody ever looked into 9/11 conspiracy theories or creationism undecided and came out in favour. There’s not really any point in arguing with these people — while they like to surround their arguments with fact-like substances, that serves a psychological, not rational purpose. At the end of the day, they’ve chosen to live in a fantasy world where the facts meet their preconceptions.

Not that conspiracy theorists and creationists are irredeemable — just reason-proof. They need to change the way they think before they can change their minds.

Explosions in the Sky, live

Eits-Cloud-Snip“This totally fucking destroys!”

According to indie-rock folklore, that’s the four-word review by American Analog Set that got Explosions in the Sky signed to their label. And fucking destroy, it does. Even live. Especially live.

I wrote about these Austin post-rock instrumentalists a few months ago. In their live show, they came out, introduced themselves, and launched into a ninety-minute, unbroken soundscape of ringing guitars and majestic noise. By the end, people in the crowd were pumping their fists in the air, or spazz-dancing, or lying or sitting on the floor letting the music wash over them. The fact that it was in the Croatian Cultural Center, which has all the charm of a Croatian high school gym, only made it better. If they had been selling tee-shirts, I totally would have bought one. (Note to EitS: seriously, dudes, no tees?)

I didn’t have my camera, but this is what it was like, only with less jerky camera work.

  • Link (EitS Live in Austin)

I must eat ninja food

Ninja-Cave-SnipOver izakaya last night, my lab mate Kenji told me about a restaurant in Tokyo. This isn’t just any restaurant, or even just any wacky Japanese restaurant. This is a ninja restaurant.

No, wait, it gets better (I know!). It’s located in a secret ninja cave. That’s right: a secret ninja cave restaurant. And you get served by ninjas. Trained, I’m assured, in the ancient art of shinobi table service. Also, I’m assuming the place is filled with exotic death-traps — these are fucking Japanese ninjas we’re talking about, gaijin. They know a hundred ways to kill you, and in a few of those ways, you don’t even know you’re dead until the bill is paid.

And if that’s not the coolest thing Japan has to offer, I don’t know what is. I hereby swear by my sensei‘s grave to one day dine at Ninja Akasaka.