blog rant social media

Chocolate Oranges, Permanency, Ireland, Terms and Conditions.

The following paragraphs are connected.

Ronan gave me a Terry’s Chocolate Orange for Easter. I could choose simply to eat this tasty spherical snack, but given my tendency to tweet the ephemera I’m more likely to tell my small corner of the interworld.

While giving the package a gently crack on the desk (that’s what you do) to split the segments, I came across this paragraph in a sample Terms & Conditions document that a client had been customising for their website:

Those wishing to place a link to this Website on other sites may do so only to the home page of the site (www.WEBSITE.COM) without prior permission.  Deep linking (i.e. links to specific pages within the site) requires the express permission of COMPANY.  To find out more please contact us by email  person@WEBSITE.COM

blog rant Uncategorized

Twitter and The Great Unwashed: how “normal” people ruined The Internet for the rest of us.

This article originally appeared in the Lawkit #4. Read more at

Once upon a time, everything was simpler.

A friendship was a construct based on shared memories and experience. The web was one of many, and it hung between idle walls. A tablet was something that came in a packet of 16 and the internet was the demesne of nuclear scientists and the military.

blog giants rant

Edinburgh #1 – Outbound

So ferries are ok.
Busses are crampt, smell like on-bus toilets, and take far longer to get places than they should.
Ayr is dull and a very wet place.
Ayrshire, similarly, is rather dull full of sheep and precipitation of a cold variety.
I hope it snows in Edinburgh tonight.
And we haven’t reached Glasgow yet.


Information Overload

There comes a time when you can be given too much information.

97 of your friends have updated their profile pictures…

7 of your friends wrote on X’s wall

What use is that to anybody?

America 2008 apple blog brands meaningful labor rant

One thing… (aka. The joys of rendering)

There is one thing that would put me off the notion of working semi-professionally in the video field. That thing is Rendering. Rendering is when you take some source videos, audio and whatever processing you wish to apply to them and prepare an exportable video format (putting many into one).

Just like when Jessica was learning the song.. every time she asked “what chord comes after ‘angels’?” the answer is ‘C.’ Every time.

When something goes wrong with a video project, what is the problem? Rendering. RENDERING.

The problem is not just waiting for the render to take place, that has become a non-issue in the last year or so, I’m used to it. But what really bugs is when there are two folders


  • Have only one render folder selected for A and V
  • If you have any problems go into the “/[Audio ]Render files/Project Name” folder and trash it all (clear trash)
  • And force re-render after re-starting Final Cut.
  • THEN re-encode the DVD  :|


And on another note, WHY does the FOX tv channel always, perputally broadcast distorted audio? I was channel flicking a few nights ago and had to turn it off it was annoying me so much (so unlike me), and in any case it was pre-season NFLstuff.  Not that interesting, lots of football-nerd talk (c.f. above).


PS I think this one qualifies for RANT status, though it should probably be filed under the SCHOOLBOY ERROR column as well.

brands rant

Making Rubbish Modems Work Better

When the question is “How Do I Make My Really Rubbish ADSL Modem Work Better” the obvious answer is the tenuous, similarly answer requiring “Have you tried upgrading your firmware?”

Response? It depends. Especially whenever your modem-router is made by a company that doesn’t advertise it anywhere. Don’t ask me why this modem lives in our house, it just was the only thing available on the day, at the time. Some people just give the impression of being shysters too.

Stupid colour, stupid products. AVOID.
When you make peripherals which are actually that colour, you really should be aware…

What’s my point – the modem/router might be a piece of junk which refuses to answer 1/20 http requests (that is, web surfing) while a single torrent (lets say, BBC iPlayer downloading) with five connections is running. Explaination? No idea, but it’s next to useless.

And you can get a firmware upgrade for your Addon GS8100 AKA ARM8200 AKA Pegasus/Vulcan ART25GSU here.

Rubbish peripherals are nearly as bad as bad websites.

Okay, rant over, and in much better news they’re talking about bringing down some of the peace walls.

Edit: twenty minutes into using this new firmware while using a LAN connection is seems to be performing quite nicely. Will jack up the active connections later and report back on whether it nails the beige brick again or not.

Update: one day on, speeds are better, stability is better, good stuff.

accessibility learning rant xhtml

Getting around QOL (aka JavaScript execution in Safari)

QOL is Queen’s University Belfast’s student intranet system which allows centralised delivery of lecture content and course material to enrolled students. Unsurprisingly it doesn’t work properly in Safari as it relies heavily on (old school) JavaScript to build page content (not just modify its appearance in a delightfully DOM manner)

node_1 = node.addItem(new TreeNode('node_1','doc.gif','doc.gif','',false,true));
element = node_1.addElement(new elemHyperLink('Student Handbook-2007-08.doc','JavaScript:downloadResource(289314);','','','Student Handbook'));

element = node_1.addElement(new elemText('(92.50 KB)',''));
element = node_1.addElement(new elemImageLink('Download Times', '../images/clock.gif','',0,'top','JavaScript:showDownloadTimes(94720,289314)'));

Yuck. From the image below you can see the Lectures folder has been clicked to fold it out, but due to the JavaScript issue it does not.Queen's Online has some accessibility issues with javascriptYou can see there is an element: JavaScript:downloadResource(289314); in the code which is the type of link behind any given resource. I’ve never noticed this before, but if you extract that link from the page source (Cmd+Alt+U in Safari, Cmd+U in Firefox) and enter it into the Page Address bar, click enter, it will execute the JavaScript right there and download the file to your default location.