Archive for January, 2007

Links for 2007-01-15

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-14

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-13

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-12

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-11

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-10

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Elephant seals!

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

Elephant seal

Wow, I went on an amazing tour on Sunday to the Año Nuevo State Reserve on the coast. Elephant seals only come on land twice a year and for not too long so you can’t just go to the coast and expect to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures. The weather was absolutely gorgeous adding to the experience.

I think the photos may convey it all best. I recommend the slideshow view for this, you can adjust timing (say, to 2s) on the top for a quicker move through the album.

I also have a video compilation up at YouTube. It starts out a bit slowly, but at .50 you can see a bit of male fighting then at 1:15 you have a male approaching a female and at 1:25 there’s some very cool movement by two males. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really capture the sounds they were making due to the wind.

You’ll notice a bit of sand throwing. They do this to keep cool. They don’t eat at all while on land so they have a ton of fat stored away, which works well when hundreds (if not thousands) of feet deep in cold water, but not so well on a sunny beach.

The importance of deep linking

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

Flash can be a great tool, but not as the basis for an entire Web site. There are various reasons for this (e.g. requirement of special software just to view the basics), but the one I thought I’d mention today is deep linking, or lack thereof on a flash-based Web site.

For those not familiar with the terminology, deep linking means that when you link to something online, you link to it directly. That is, say I want to point people to a research article on my site. Instead of simply saying “go to” and making them do all the work in finding the specific page of interest, I point them to the exact location of the page, e.g.

In fact, a big pet-peeve of mine is when people “help” you out in response to a query by sending you to a Web site that contains hundreds if not thousands of pages without pointing you to the specific location of the document of interest. That is hardly help, it is more like sending someone on a wild goose chase.

Unfortunately, on flash-based sites deep linking is not an option. So for example, there are some interesting videos on the Kompost Productions Web site at, but I can’t just point you to them, I have to give you additional instructions: click on Work then click on Doodle. How silly is that? Frankly, more often than not, I just don’t bother bookmarking such finds and certainly do not pass them along. In the end, it seems this would hurt the site in lost traffic.

Cite Bite takes the concept of deep linking to a next level by allowing you to link to a specific position on a Web page. Unfortunately, Cite Bite seems to be down as I write, which relates to a point I’ll be making in another post sometime.

Links for 2007-01-09

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

UPDATE: Check out the comments for a response from the company’s founder.

Links for 2007-01-08

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-07

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-06

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-05

Friday, January 5th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-04

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Links for 2007-01-03

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Backfence in my backyard

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

This one doesn’t qualify as a random thought, this is just random period. Alternative, I’m missing something very obvious.

Backfence is a host for neighborhood Web sites. Of all the places in the US they seem to operate in thirteen towns for now:

Notice anything interesting about that list? At least interesting if you were me?


I’ll give you a moment. (This will only work for people who know me somewhat.)




Both Evanston, IL and Palo Alto, CA are on the list. What are the chances?

Links for 2007-01-02

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Paint some music

Monday, January 1st, 2007

Cool Web site: Visual Acoustics.

Careful, the site resizes your browser, which has always been annoying, but is especially annoying in the age of browser tabs. You can get your window back in its original size, the site still works just fine.


Which superhero are you?

Monday, January 1st, 2007

A new year, an old trend: taking somewhat meaningless yet nonetheless amusing online “quizes”. Scott is Superman, but would prefer to be Batman. I came out as Spider-Man. I don’t even know half of the characters on that list so I can’t say I have a preference (but yes, I felt compelled to take the quiz regardless).

More importantly, is there a quiz about which of the X-Men/Women you are or which X-Men/Women powers you might have? NBC could do a bit of PR for its Heroes series with a quiz of that sort.

My results:
You are Spider-Man

Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz


Monday, January 1st, 2007

As we say in Hungarian:


or see an English variant here for some geeky map goodness to start off this New Year.