I’ve finally jumped on the band wagon and have gone and got myself a flickr account for storing images online. I have been thinking for a while about installing Gallery back on my server but I don’t have the time to configure and theme it. I have been using the IImageBrowser plugin for wordpress but its not the same as a gallery… so Flickr it is.
I have started out with uploading a couple of shots of my accident in Norway (I’ve got my bike back now and will post more info as soon as I get my money), and I’ve also created a photo set of desktop wallpapers that I’ve been using at work recently… so enjoy!
I just read about an interesting feature on Google in which you can get Google to “fill in the blanks”. You simply type in a sentance and put an asterisk where you want the blank filled in. I found this out from the Google blog and the example query they give is “The parachute was invented by *“.
SO I thought that I would give it a go and tried searching for “the motorcycle was invented by *“. As luck would have it this not only tells you who invented the motorcycle, it is also a perfect example of why information found on the internet should be taken with a pinch of salt. Apparently the motorcycle was invented by the following people:
- Gottlieb Daimler in Germany in 1885
- Sylvester H. Roper in 1869
- Howard Roper in 1867
This feature of Google is also pretty good for looking up jokes, such as “how many * does it take to change a light bulb“. However, I’m not sure how many people will find the second result very funny!
I’ve recently started playing around with Second Life the MMOVW. I don’t normally like playing games but this one is different… its programmable, from within the game itself!
One of the really neat features that first caught my eye was the ability to make XML-RPC calls. XML-RPC is a standardised to interact with objects and classes on the other side of the internet. Now some of you non-programming sorts may be wondering why this is such a wonderfull thing, well, its hard to explain whats so good about it but trust me when I say its great… especially in an environment such as Second Life.
Immediately I started thinking about some of the possibilities XML-RPC offered… RSS feeds, email checking, stock quotes, weather reports – all in game. You could take it further and start using Amazon and eBay to purchase real world goods, all without leaving the game.
So first things first I hit the Second Life scripting documentation. One of the first things that struck me about the XML-RPC documentation is that several of the function calls are marked as (Doesn’t actually work). This rather anoyed me as one of those functions was llSendRemoteData. So it seems that XML-RPC is a one way communication channel in Second Life… in-bound requests only.
The second thing that took my notice was the complete lack of any immediate high level explanation of how XML-RPC is implemented in Second Life. After digging around I finally discovered that in order to make a call into Second Life, you call needs to pass in a channel key. This channel key, however, can only be generated from within Second Life when an XML-RPC channel is created… so if you can’t initiate calls XML-RPC calls from within Second Life, how do you get the key out to your external objects????
I finally discovered that you are able to send emails from within Second Life, so this is the process for XML-RPC communication with Second Life:
- Create email account for transferring channel keys
- create XML-RPC channel within the game to obtain a channel key
- send email from inside game to above email account
- external object checks above email account to obtain channel key
- external object sedns XML-RPC call to in-game object
If you ask me this seems a bit of a farcical way of doing things and could be made a whole lot easier… if only they allowed in game objects to make external requests. Of course it has already been noted in the discussion wiki that allowing in game objects to make external XML-RPC calls opens up the possibility of using Second Life as a DoS engine but it should be possible to come up with some permissions structure to limit the chances of that happening.
My bell-ringing experience is continuing. I’m still ringing twice a week,, when sailing permits, and I feel that once again I am beginning to make progress. To date I am quite capable of ringing rounds, call changes and just recently I have also started ringing tennor behind or some doubles methods and I’ve also had a go at ringing Plain Hunt(ing?) on the trebble.
Several weeks ago I was getting rather annoyed because I didn’t seem to be making any progress, I was ringing call changes quite well but that was it. Now I seem to have come off that plateau and my skills are improving again… I wonder how long it will be until I hit that groove again and my improvement starts leveling off?
I’ve never really been a big fan of computer games. I find that you either need to be fast as f**k with the keyboard and mouse, or they’re just too restrictive and linear in their game play. Thats why I like programming, I can get the computer to do what I want, when I want, and at my own pace.
Now I may have found a game that offers everything that I like about programming but in an environment that I can interact with other online “players”. The game I’m talking about is “Second Life” the massively multi-player online game from Linden Lab.
Not only does the game offer a virtuality world in which you can interact with other players, by land, play mini in-game games. It also offers the possibility for players to extend the world with their own created objects such as buildings, vegitation, vehicles, weaponry. These user created objects can also be extended with scripts to allow them to interact and react with the world around them. For example, balls can be made to bounce, doors to open etc.
The scripting in Second Life is all done with Linden Labs’ own Linden Scripting Language (LSL) which structure is similar to C and Java, but has a few odities that I’m trying to get my head around — states being one of them. I was please, however to see in the Wiki (I think) that Linden Lab is planning on changing the scripting langauge to Mono (the open source version of Microsofts .Net framework). That should make my life a whole lot easier as I’m currently programming in VB.Net and C# at work.
One of the really neat features that I’ve got my eye on is the possibility of communicating with the outside world via email and XML-RPC… more about that later.
The Acid2 test is a page that has been set up by the Web Standards Project to check just how compliant browsers are to the CSS2 web page layout standards.
So, will IE pass the Acid2 test? In a nut shell… not in Beta 1 or Beta 2. A post appeared on the IEBlog outliens some of the layout bugs which have been identified with IE and which they are working towards fixing (probably in IE7 Beta 2). However, it says that the IE7 team is not specifically working towards passing the Acid2 test, as the person that wrote the post says that the Acid2 test is designed to test a “wish list” of CSS2 features not just the essential features.
Personally I’m taking this as a step forwards for Microsoft but that the IE7 team is being put under real pressure to get IE7 out of the door as soon as possible… maybe Firefox is scarring the bosses? If the IE7 team has to cut corners on the CSS2 front then I hope the CSS2 feautres that get the chop are left out completely rather than being badly implemented and requiring web developers to do nasty hacks and browser sniffing just to get their web pages working with IE7.
I’ve previously posted about this here and here.