Redesign: x + 3 v2

I’ve been remiss in calling attention to the redesign launched here a few months ago. May thanks to Stephanie for helping with the design.

There’s still a fair amount of tweaking to be done (isn’t there always?), and I can’t promise universal browser support.

I’m experimenting with a few newer CSS features. Notably:

  • Headers use the Republikaps font, loaded using @font-face
  • A fair number of drop-shadows are scattered throughout
  • The border of the main content area is a combination of two rounded-corner boxes, the inner with a drop-shadow, the outer with an inset drop-shadow (note that due to a bug in WebKit, Safari and Chrome users may see a square outer border)

Much of the above won’t be visible to the 6% of my readers still on Internet Explorer. Frankly, I’m alright with that. In the past month, Opera’s 1.69% among visits to this site outranks IE6 and IE7 combined.

Let me know what you think, or call my attention to any bugs you might notice.

Comcast Is Up to Its Lying Ways Again

Like everyone else, I’m fed up with Comcast again. In the latest insult, my bill has gone up 35% without notice, and the CSR tells me I’m stupid for not anticipating it.

Here’s a letter I received last fall:

A reasonable person would read that letter to say that my rate is changing to $42.95. And it did, for the next six months. But today, my bill said I owed $57.95. I think I’m not alone in recognizing that $42.95 and $57.95 are not the same number.

So I called Comcast. Amy, one of the most unhelpful CSRs I’ve ever spoken with, insisted over and over that I had signed up with a promotional rate in November, that the promotion was now ending, and that Comcast had been clear and upfront about the price all along.

Well, Amy, you’re wrong. That letter clearly states “we will be reducing your price to $42.95 per month”. Amy tells me that I’m an idiot. The letter didn’t explicitly state that this was a permanent rate, so I should have known that it was a temporary, 6-month promotion (Amy, apparently, has incredible psychic powers not available to mere mortals like me). And I should be happy, anyway, because $57.95 is a great, competitive rate for the service I’m getting.

Thanks for lying to me Comcast. Thanks for insulting me. And thanks for buying out a company with better CSRs and replacing them with Amy.

Anyone at Comcast want to fix this?

Wish List: Mobile Clipboard Sharing

A feature I’d like to have on my Droid (or any smart phone, or computer in general): a shared clipboard. I’d like to be able to copy a link, or text, or whatever it is I’m copying on my desktop, and paste it on my phone, and vice versa.

How might this work?

  1. I copy something on my desktop
  2. I click on an icon that will send the contents of my clipboard to a web service
  3. Said web service notifies my phone that it has new content (or my phone polls regularly for new content; I’m not sure how that might work)
  4. My phone grabs the new content and saves it to its local clipboard
  5. I paste the content in a appropriate location on my phone

It doesn’t seem horribly complicated at first glance. Is there anything out there that does this?

Book Review: Learning jQuery 1.3

As a web developer, I swear by jQuery. The library has done wonders to make JavaScript both fun and usable, two words that I never thought I’d use to describe it when I was first learning to use JS. My approach to learning jQuery has always been somewhat haphazard, though, learning the little bits I need here and there to do what I need to do at the time.

That’s no way to live as a professional web developer, though, so when Packt Publishing asked me to review their new jQuery book, it seemed like the right time to receive a more thorough education in the library.

Learning jQuery 1.3: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques, by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg, aims to provide a thorough introduction to jQuery. It walks the reader through techniques for DOM traversal and manipulation, event-handling, animations, and Ajax. After several chapters of detailed examples, the book concludes with an introduction to using and writing jQuery plugins.
Continue reading “Book Review: Learning jQuery 1.3”