Kill all gurus

Guru. It's one of those words that gives me shivers. I recall 'Guru meditation' errors on my Amiga and somehow I think there is a relation between failure and those so called 'gurus'. Yes, this is a webdesign rant. Careful webdesign is about achiveing a balance between four elements: Style, Content, Time and Tech. Of course the first two depend on the Ultimate Law of Intention and might take the user through a unorthodox journey, but Time and Tech can't ever forget the end user. There are things that do depend on a certain technology, and carefully suggesting users they might try stop using Netscape 4.0 is a good thing, but to waste a user's time is a very serious offense. Time, of course, relates to bandwidth. It's okay to have a 2meg homepage if the target audience consists only of DSL users, but for 99% of the cases, the standard bandwidth will be that of a 56K modem. And that, is when having a 500K homepage gets serious. Flash is a technology that allows for much better time management, thanks to dynamic loading and streaming, and what do webdesigners do? They think they can get away with it, and will waste the users' time. In HTML, that is trickier, so if your homepage weights more than 60K, please make sure your users can at least start reading it before it finishes loading. And back to tech. Even though new computers come with state of the art GeForces, most people will be running at 800x600 on 15 inch monitors. And they should, unless they feel like wearing glasses soon. So, why the fuck do 'cutting-edge' websites require a gigantic window the size of my 17'' monitor, filled with ultra-tiny 8px fonts? Why? Has this generation that worships those accessibility gurus like Nielsen or Zeldman gone mad? Are we so concerned about the evils of <table> tags that completely forget the end user? Webdesigners ought to stop building websites for other designers. They ought to stop using the small print as normal print. They ought to spend some time on 5K and similar contests. Geez, they ought to learn that 100K are one hundred thousand bytes, that is as much information as in a small book! Gurus. Right. Bang!

Nasty. Indeed.

Massive Attack's latest single, I Against I, featuring Mos Def, is one helluva track, despite its appearance on the Blade II OST. But is it just me or a lot of British electronica acts jumping on the electro-revival bandwagon lead by Leftfield a couple of years ago? Anyway, the new track has a synth pad that send a chill down my spine. Good stuff.

Photos! More photos!

More generative stuff. Doovy, as they say somewhere.

What's this? The English Manager, your humble host and other guy on a movie poster? Relax, it's pure fiction.

My hoax is bigger than yours

After all this I oughta say: 'hoaxblog'. There, I coined that word. It's all mine.

And there are a few more on The Daily Linux Nerd: Linus Thorvalds retires, CPAN switches from Perl to Java, nVidia and AMD merge. There. and there's more, but I really don't care about subjects such as OS X, Debian or Blogger of the year/Star Trek, but those also do look like hoaxes to me.

Local TV channel SIC sets up a meteorite impact on a beach. Complete with a shaky 'amateur' video of the thing. And they used a dynamite explosion to attract the locals and get fake testimonials. Scary. Hm, I think this one really beats the crap out of the Google pigeons and the AOL-buys-blogs thing. Plus it gets the Zero-Ethics award too.

And pigeons do Google's page rankings.

Cats with short legs. Disgusting, actually. (via /dev/null)

Kuro5hin buys Metafilter. Hm — website jealousy in the shape of a lie, me thinks.

AOL buys weblogs. Ahah, this one is indeed a contender for the A01 Award.

Then, Slashdot has updated its advertising policy. Sorry guys, but the Cafeína hoax is just better.

From now on, Cafeina will be a subscription service that will cost €5 per month.

April Fools, right. So I guess this will be an April Fools special.

Kidding we go far

Here's something I posted quite a long time ago at the late tech-humour website Segfault.org: "The Bakers' Industry Association of America has sued Jesus Christ for illegally multiplying bread. This follows similar suits against Buddha and Mohammed for similar miracles. The International Wine Comitee has also previously sued Jesus, Saint Peter and other disciples for patent infringement, considering their miracle of turning water into wine illegal". How appropriate, isn't it?

Kill kill kill all invaders

Attention retro-gaming lovers from the Porto area: There's a new exhibition at the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum featuring a lot of old arcade machines, which you can play. That's right, a whole afternoon playing Defender, Space Invaders, Pong, Pole Position and the like for just a €2 entry fee for students.

I could bring my little ghettoblaster

The If Then Else lexicon: Parasite blogging: Running a weblog using a real weblog's comments system. Some people just don't know what a 'comment' is.

Fifteen nanosseconds of fame: There's a feature about Cafeína and the rest of the Asseptic.org network on local music magazine Raio-X, along with an interview of me, myself and I. Which is nice, so here's the full scoop, if you can read portuguese that is (if you click below a window of readable proportions will open).

One out of three bloggers are mad

PHP programming for neurotics, or, perhaps a better title, yet another attempt at teaching programming to people who don't have a clue. Right on. Today I offer you the source code for this website's stupid titleline generator.

  mt_srand(date("s")); #line 1

  $phra[1]='Free speech is a basic human right'; #line 3
  $phra[2]='Make no mistake';
  $phra[3]='Knowledge is power';
  $phra[4]='Which is nice';
  $phra[5]='Big issues. Small pleasures.';
  $phra[6]='No corporate webshite';
  $phra[7]='Always anti';
  $phra[8]='Hit reload for more random antics';
  $phra[9]='First among the last';
  $phra[10]='Work Buy Consume Fly';
  $phra[11]='Danger, danger! Leftist blog';
  $phra[12]='Spoiling your nice day'; #line 14

  $c=count($phra); #line 16
  $sorte = mt_rand(1,$c); #line 17

  $frasetitle=$phra[$sorte]; #line 19
  $fraselogo=strtolower($frasetitle); #line 20

  print "<TITLE>$fraselogo</TITLE>"; #line 22


What does all this crap mean? First of all, line 1 will seed the random number generator. You see, computers can't create random numbers at all, they have a list of 'random' numbers, so we need to provide the computer a criteria to get numbers from that list — in this case, the current time in seconds. Lines 2 to 14 will place a lot of different phrases in an array. An array? What's an array?, you say. Think of it as a box. A box named $phra, and a box with twelve compartiments, each with a piece of paper containing a phrase in it. Then, on a box with no compartiments called $c we will place a piece of paper with the number of compartiments the box $phra written in — that was line 16. Now, in line 17, we get a random integer between 1 and the number written on box $c, and we place that on $sorte. So far so good. Let's get to that $phra array, compartiment number $sorte. It has a phrase there, doesn't it? Lets make a copy of that phrase, and we write it down on $frasetitle. Done — line 19. And now, for fashion's sake, we make a lowercase copy of that phrase and we place it on $fraselogo — line 20.

Simple, wasn't it? Line 22 will print the lucky phrase as a boring HTML title tag, which means the entire thing will need to be placed inside the <HEAD> part of an HTML document, and between the <? and ?> tags or whatever you use for your .PHP scripts. Not that you do, else you had to know all this.

Double orchestra hit

Nah nah. IF THEN ELSE ranks 17th on a Google search for 'portuguese blog', and the first 16 aren't portuguese blogs at all. That does suck. Well, at least it ranks first at 'if then', which means lot of wannabe programmers will probably end up here.

Really. That new Sneaker Pimps album is approved. I've been humming to 'Sick' all day and feeling quite good about it.

Ed fucked up: It seems Bleep's radio media files were pointing to my own local server, which meant other people wouldn't listen to any radio, at all. And the scripts had that error since December — proof you can't trust people to report errors to you. Anyway, now it's fixed, and I programmed a playlist view thingy along the way. Have a go, although the site is in Portuguese you can click on the image that says 'radio' (obvious ain't it?) in the right side of the screen. All you need is Winamp.

And there's a bhangra version too

I found a backup of a lot of old e-mails on one of my Zip disks. Hm, embarrasing old crap. The problem is, it's an Internet Mail & News backup I am having trouble importing in OE6. Bummer. And I don't feel like booting up Linux and importing it into Netscape Mail. Hm. Perhaps those mails will be appearing in Google one of these days...

And I forgot to mention that searching for and downloading 'knight rider bhangra mix' on your favourite music piracy P2P tool is very very evil. And fun. (thanks to The Limey for the tip)

Right Knider

Spooky fashionable trends: The Knight Rider theme song. A few weeks ago, I heard it on a live set by local DJ superstars Muesli (it seems they done that more than once), now it appears in TPOLM's new website.