Thursday, December 16, 2004

Road Runner

After 4 years of reviewing web sites, it's a relief to come across one that blows me away. Time Warner's Road Runner site does that. It's not easy to get to the good stuff unless you have a direct link, but it's worth a visit.

It has real-time video from CNN and the Weather Channel. They've incorporated videos from my daughter's favorite site, Brainpop, and has video reviews of the latest and greatest console video games. That's just for starters. Now if they'd let regular people have accounts to the site, and not just their ISP customers they might have the next Google.

While I'm on the subject of great websites, I've been getting more and more press releases from design organizations and companies that are launching new sites, design competitions, and web-based services. I think must be listed somewhere as a place worthy of receiving stuff like that. It's good to know that our work is appreciated, but since the site wasn't designed to handle this kind of "appreciation", the communications pretty much just stay in my inbox. It looks like that'll be another section I'll have to keep in mind for the next version.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Those Crafty Police

On occasion, I'll go hiking with Shab at a looped trail at Oakland's Redwood Regional Park. It has lots of creeks and trees and the trails are pretty lightly travelled. Mostly dog owners. Every time I go, I bring my Kali sticks and practice twirling, defenses, and strikes. I've been doing it for about a year. Once, we even passed some park rangers riding on horseback while I was practicing while walking with Shab. They seemed pretty cool.

Today, after the 40 minute hike, when I get back to my car, there's a police truck parked behind my car. I didn't think much of it, so I packed my sticks and Shab and I got in. One of the officers then gets out and tells me that my registration appears to be expired. I show him my temporary certificate, proof of insurance, and receipt of payment and tell him that I'm waiting for my sticker to arrive. Then, he asks me what's in my bag, and I tell him that I practice martial arts, and I use my sticks on the trail. What's funny is that Gura accidentally smacked me in the eye on Thursday so I had a scar and a black eye while I'm explaining this to the officer. Anyway, he asks for my license and politely tells me that he's giving me a warning, as opposed to a citation for having the sticks.

Apparently the officer knew that I was there and knew which car was mine, so I'm thinking it's pretty safe to assume that someone felt threatened, or irritated enough by my "trail practice" to call the cops. It's not like I can't pick up a stick while I'm on the trail and do the exact same thing, so why would someone even bother to have them waste their time telling me to not have a stick on a trail. Then Shab brought something up to me that I hadn't noticed. I was the only black person there. It kind of put things in perspective.

Oh well, another day, another brush with an officer. It used to be a more regular occurence, until the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a front page article on Officer's harrassing mixed race couples a couple of years ago. Then it stopped. Oddly enough, that article came out a few weeks after I explained my fourth incident at Moluv. Maybe that site is still good for something other than cool web sites.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I've been using this new browser, made by the folks that invented the browser, and it is waaaay better than Internet Explorer. Faster. Less buggy. Faster. More features. Faster. It has a bunch of fast installing extensions that makes it even more useful. Oh, and it's both faster to start up and it loads web pages faster than Internet Explorer.

t has a built-in pop-up blocker, very small and unobtrusive Google search field, and is compatible with Macromedia Flash. I thought Microsoft had the browser thing all sewn up, but little did I know. You can install it by going to the Firefox web site. Once installed, you can get the great ( and many ) extensions at the Firefox Help: Extensions page.

I've already commanded my daughter to never use IE again, because she has a certain knack for downloading malicious code that can take advantage of the many built-in Microsoft security loopholes. After using it for a month, I see no reason to go back.