# Wednesday, 03 September 2008

Google's webbrowser, called Google Chrome has just been released in Beta form. It's a browser based on the webkit engine (used in Safari, iPhones) so luckily it means that I don't have to do *much* additional testing to see if our web sites work with it.

Among the various interesting features is what Google calls 'Applications Shortcuts' which allows you to save a URL to an icon on your desktop and then you can basically double click and run it as if you were running an application. This along with the built in support for Google gears is meant to help developers bear more powerful web applications that can integrate and work as well as native applications, check out the illustration in their introduction comic here on Page 34 ~ 35.

Wow.. making web applications that can have access to native resources, and pretty much grant the best of both web and native app worlds. Such a GREAT idea! Microsoft introduced HTML Applications waaaay back in IE5, it was meant to allow the development of web applications that when run on the client machine would have the capabilities and power of a native app. But for some reason it never took off, maybe it was because the idea was introduced by Microsoft and to many people native app meant Windows app and thus they didn't pay much attention to it.

Wonder how well people would receive Google's idea then?

Wednesday, 03 September 2008 14:32:23 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 01 September 2008

August 31st is Malaysia's independence day, and for some reason I decided to stop and take a closer look at my grandfather's World War 2 medals.

The descriptions you see in the slide show above came from medals.org.uk, I realize that it's very hard to manual focus on such fine details, not getting a perfect picture on the left most medal.

The medals aren't for any special acts of bravery or anything like that. It just shows that my grandfather, fought protecting his family and adopted homeland for much of his life. According to my mother he was severly wounded and almost got thrown out with the garbage on one occasion.

It's a pity while he was around I did not realize what he had gone through, I guess I'm embarassed that I never even asked about his past. It was only after he passed away and the medals were taken out of his drawers that I found out that he fought in the war.

He was an immigrant to this country, but he put his life on the line to fight for his family, and for his adopted home.

Monday, 01 September 2008 15:20:57 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 30 August 2008

100% Synthy!!! Means no pictures where wasted, you can check out my games collection, inspect Haruhi and Yuki, and look at my Xbox 360 (the tape is to stop WZ from pressing the power button!)

I showed my wife this and she repeated the same question "Why would anyone go through all this trouble normally?" Correction, one person would not be able to get enough pictures to stitch together a proper synth. But, let's see you were part of a tour group, and at the end of the trip you collect everyone's digital cameras and put all the pictures together, you might get some unexpected results.

After I mention that to her I came across this blog post from the Photosynth team that explains how to best nab a scenario like this.. wedding photography! It short it recommends that you get one person to take pictures that are meant to be thrown into photosynth and then add photos of every other camera and mix it in the synth to get the best results.

Saturday, 30 August 2008 21:46:16 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 29 August 2008

If you're the type of person that likes to test out Beta web browsers, IE8 Beta 2 has been launched and this they're asking users, not just developers to try it out as well. But of course it's still a Beta so please only download and install on a machine that you can sacrifice if necessary.

One Very Important Note!

There is one very important change in IE8, IE8 now displays web pages in a heavy handed standards compliance mode now (like what Firefox does) which while a good idea when you talk to people about it (we're standards compliant! :P) it means that for all the pages out there that had code that was tailor made to handle IE's quirks will now not display correctly like say... thestar.com.my


Note how the drop menus aren't showing properly.. But don't fret, you don't have to go screaming at the developer of your favorite websites to fix the problem, or even scream at Microsoft for 'breaking' the site. Just remember to click THIS BUTTON when you see weird stuff happening on sites that were ok in IE7.


That's the compatibility button which will tell IE8 to display and process the site the way IE7 does. So after pushing the button...


Everything works just the way they did previously, so do remember about the compatibility button when you're using IE8.

For developers, info on this compatibility switch can be found here.

Update please read this blog post from the IE team before installing this beta. Also please also read the release notes about known issues and such

Friday, 29 August 2008 10:37:20 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 25 August 2008

A while back something popped out of MS Research called Photosynth. It was a neat thing but I didn't pay too much attention to it. Mainly because it was more like a research topic then, and not much use for me.

That has changed... NOW EVERYONE can use it! Download it now!

What is Photosynth? The most easiest definition is that it takes photos and stitches them together to allow to viewer to move through an area if you have enough pics, sort of like stitching a panorama picture but in 3D.

Just check out the site for examples, I'll try and make one of my lair room tonight.

Update.. here it is.. Marauderz Room

Frankly I thought I would have gotten a better connection, but the fluttering curtain threw off the stitcher. I'll try again once I get a replacement tripod to better steady the camera for the high up shots. And I also realized I didn't take enough shots, I took the photos by standing in the center of the room. But it is recommended that to get a good coverage you should take shots from the corners as well.

As I showed the wife some samples, such as the sphinx and the Taj Mahal she says "Why the heck would a normal person take so many pictures from so many angles to reconstruct the scene?" I explain to her that it's not about perfectly rebuilding a scene (Though I guess there are geek points involved in getting 100% synth photos!) But rather it gives a physical context to the pictures that you take, when going on vacation you'd typically snap a WHOLE LOAD of pictures from one location, the idea is that when you throw them into Photosynth it'll create a nice layout of where the pictures are and how they relate between each other.

But ok.. it's really unlikely that a normal person would go through all the hard work to get a 100% synth when he goes on a vacation.... but he can TRY TO NOW!

Monday, 25 August 2008 18:25:06 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |