I remember thinking that when the stories of people losing their domain names because they forgot to renew were being reported left and right. "Thankfully I'm not that dumb" Well, it appears I am that dumb.
My ultra-personal e-mail account, the one that only my close friends and family have, wasn't working when I tried it this morning. So I logged into my account manager to see what happened...ugh, all the accounts were gone. So I looked up when I had paid for the e-mail account, it was a year ago last week...and I had only paid for one year. So yes, my e-mail was turned off, though I do have an excuse. Since I moved around July, I had neglected to update my contact information with the company, so there really was no way for them to let me know my plan was about to expire. I even changed e-mail addresses around the same time, so I was cut off from any notification they might have tried to send.
It's all fine now, everything's up and running without and problems aside from a few hours of lost mail. But be warned: it could happen to you!
Well, to start, you make the Arizona Cardinals' logo look meaner, or at least that's what the horrid football team's management thinks. They say this is just the first in a series of changes for the Cardinals, who have been a really bad team for as long as I can remember.
What's funnier is the article on ESPN.com with quotes from the management and players about how tough this little red bird looks now. I'm sorry, but a cardinal is not a football mascot (neither is a "brown" or a "bill", but that's another story). Plus, the changes to the logo are so minute, I'm sure none of the fans will be all that impressed watching from 20 to 100 yards away or on TV (if they're playing a good team). Especially as the Cardinals keep losing.
Finally, someone is doing something about the phishing problem ravaging the Internet. Not surprisingly, it's Thunderbird, which has announced that it will be including anti-phishing measures in version 1.1 of the e-mail client.
The basic idea is simple: if a link in an e-mail has an IP address in it, or if the link text is a valid Web address and the
href attribute doesn't match it, Thunderbird will pop up a dialog warning the user of the possible phishing attempt. It seems like such a simple idea, it's a wonder no one else ever did it. Now we are really beginning to see the value of open source software is the fast response to the changing user experience.
For the record, there was never any doubt in the heads of New England fans. Why? Because we come to expect such things from the Patriots in the postseason. We expect Tom Brady to make brilliant plays and we expect the Patriots to outcouch their opponents. That's why there was never any doubt.
And really, we wouldn't have had it any other way. If the Patriots hadn't beaten the Steelers to get to the Super Bowl, then there would always have been questions, like there were in 1996 when Drew Bledsoe led the Patriots to the Super Bowl. That year, everyone felt that Denver was the best team in the AFC, and everyone (including Pats fans) thought that Denver would beat the Patriots in the playoffs. However, Jacksonville upset the Broncos in the second round of the playoffs, allowing the Patriots to move on by defeated the inexperienced Jaguars. This year, though, there is no question who should be representing the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The thing that impresses me the most is how the Patriots did it. First, they held the number one offense in the league to just three points. Then, yesterday, they scored 41 points on the league's best defense. Neither the Colts nor the Steelers had any chance once the game was under way. Is there any doubt that the same fate awaits the Philadelphia Eagles in two weeks? Can the best team in a horrible NFC have a chance against the best team in the AFC, and without a doubt, the best team in the league?
As the title suggests, it is aimed squarely at Web Developers, but thanks to a relaxed writing style, there is something for everyone in this book. If you are a professional Web Developer, there are a few new tricks in this book that will send you running to your text editor to try them out. For the novice, this is a book that will grow with you and give you new challenges to overcome as your skills improve.
Despite my abysmal record selecting the NFC games this weekend, the Patriots really proved to everyone (that's everyone at ESPN, everyone at CBS, everyone at FOX, and every other Manning-lover across the country) why the Patriots are the best team in football today.
I have to admit, I was thinking it would be a fairly high-scoring game somewhere around 30 points a piece. I never expected to hold the Colts to a single field goal the entire game. So much for talk of the Patriots' defense being weak. They showed the highest-scoring team in the league why they are the champs until they're not, and judging by Pittsburgh's dreadful performance on Saturday, the Pats are going to be the champions for at least another week.
The Patriots did everything right, they controlled the ball making long drives and scoring, and preventing Manning from getting any traction on offense. Especially nice was the interception in the last seconds to preserve the no-touchdown performance. I only wonder what rules the Colts will get changed next year to help them beat the Patriots...
Every once in a while you run across them. You know who they are. They're you're bosses, you're co-workers, and sometimes, your friends. They're non-technical people in complete denial over their lack of technical expertise. These are often found when dealing with Web design, since "anyone can do it." Here are some things I've heard non-technical people say:
"...use the alt tag..."
First off, alt is an attribute, not a tag. But this is usually in the context of providing tooltips for images, for which the alt tag isn't supposed to be used anyway!
"...use the title tag..."
Yes, there is a
<title/> tag, but that's not what they're talking about. They're talking about the title attribute...no wonder things get made incorrectly.
"...can you just use layers?"
Ah, the answer to all of design's problems: layers. If they knew what they were, they'd suggest "using an absolutely-positioned div" or some other intelligent suggestion.
"...how about an iframe?"
No, the answer is never to use an iframe. Period.
Just blowing off a little steam. Got some things you've heard from non-technical people, please let me know (leave a comment).
Well, at least I went two-for-four in my wildcard playoff picks. I was really shocked to see New York beat San Diego, especially after all the mistakes the made (only 10 players on the field for two straight plays). Of course, I was also hoping that Denver would put up more of a fight, but I don't think anyone had any delusions of an upset there. The unfortunate thing is that, for the next week, all we'll be hearing about is how the Colts will be able to beat the Patriots because Ty Law isn't going to be playing. People, the Patriots only lost one game since Ty Law went out, including games against Kansas City, New York, and St. Louis, all of which have excellent offenses. And never mind the job we did on Buffalo, who had been scoring over 30 points a game before ramming headfirst into the Patriots. Bottom line is that the Patriots are the champs until they're not, and until they're not, they have the Colts' number.
My picks from this point on:
- Vikings over Eagles - doesn't matter who the Eagles face, they're not getting past this round..
- Rams over Falcons - the Falcons are tough, but the Rams have more playoff experience and are playing really well.
- Patriots over Colts - even without Ty Law, no way the Colts can figure out the Pats' defense. I think we're looking at 35-24.
- Steelers over Jets - unless the Jets are able to hold it together and have the Steelers completely fall apart, there's no way the Jets can win.
- Vikings over Rams - yeah, the Vikings backed into the playoffs, but their performance against Green Bay makes me think that they could be the team to beat. Could the Rams pull it out? Yes, it all depends what happens in the next round.
- Patriots over Steelers - if the Pats make it past the Colts, then the Steelers will be easy.
- Patriots over Vikings - this would be a tough game, but the Patriots are better coached.
I've never done this before online, but here's my official picks for the NFL playoffs. Yeah, I'm a football junky, and I invite anyone to disagree with this, but as far as I'm concerned, here's how the playoffs shake out:
- Rams over Seahawks - the Seahawks are just plain bad. St. Louis isn't great, but they're not that bad.
- Packers over Vikings - the Vikings also are just plain bad. They don't know how to win a big game (or a game late in the season).
- Chargers over Jets - the Jets played better last week, but they'll be going into hostile territory against a very good team.
- Colts over Broncos - sorry Foo, the Broncos can't overcome a Manning onslaught.
- Rams over Eagles - without Terrell Owens, I foresee an early exit for the Eagles.
- Packers over Falcons - the Packers are the hottest team in the NFC right now, I just can't see the Falcons beating them.
- Patriots over Colts - common, if you didn't know by now, Peyton Manning can't beat the Patriots...period.
- Steelers over Chargers - don't get me wrong, I think the Chargers will keep this one close. And really, I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled it out, but I have to give the slight edge to the Steelers in this one.
- Packers over Rams - again, the hottest team in the NFC can't be denied.
- Patriots over Steelers- yes, this is my bias, but I really think the Patriots are the only team in football that can beat the Steelers.
- Patriots over Packers - in sweet revenge for the 1997 Super Bowl loss, the Patriots defeat Brett Favre for their third Super Bowl in four years.
And don't bother me with saying how I'm just a dumb New England fan. I'm also a realist. The two best teams in the AFC are the Steelers and the Patriots, and they each could beat any of the NFC teams. I just can't bet against Tom Brady in the playoffs.
Well, the book is just about complete, the final edits have been done. At this point, I feel the need to reflect on what it takes to be an author, in case anyone else out there decides to embark down the same path that I have.
The first thing you need is a strong sense of self-esteem. Sending your book proposal to publishers and getting turned down, sometimes quite rudely, is just part of the deal. You can't let it get you down. I was turned down by two publishers before I finally landed with Wrox (Wiley).
Even after you begin writing, you need to deal with some criticism of your work that can, at times, be downright harsh. Whether that be from publisher-provided technical editors or from outside reviewers, people can be pretty rude when they disagree with what you say. You really need to stay the course, make sure your work is well-researched, and in some cases, admit that you were wrong. To keep professional during all of this can be pretty trying, but it definitely serves you well.
Another thing you need is a hell of a lot of free time. Writing schedules for technical books can be quite aggressive, and if you don't plan your time accordingly (or have a full time job, or any hobbies whatsoever), you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed. This can often mean not going out on the weekends and missing your favorite TV shows (invest in a VCR or TiVo).
Along those lines, you'll need a very understanding and supportive spouse or significant other, because time with that person is going to suffer while you're writing. I was lucky enough to be with my wonderful girlfriend Emily throughout my writing this book, and there's no way I could've done it without her support. She was willing to give up our date nights to let me stay in and work...I'm sure I'll be making that up to her later this month.
The bottom line is that writing a book is a lot of work, a lot more than I realized initially, but in the end you really have something to be proud of.