Problems with style in blog posts

I got this blog post in my aggregator (Radio) a while back and have
been meaning to post about it.  It mirrors a problem that I have
been experiencing as I have been hacking on Radio to add some new
capabilities.  This is a post from Phil Windley’s blog … and it
shows where some of the use of CSS, Classes, and Styles breakdown.

As you can see below, when I viewed the post in my aggregator it appeared like this:

Geek Dinner Tonight.

I’ll be speaking on microformats at the <a class=”hcal”
0, 20)”
id=”link_blogtools:0.9-a7369493d8a334254d358837dd47669d”>geek dinner
tonight. See you there.

What the heck?  I’m guessing that the tags and attributes are
being exposed due to some sort of issue in rendering the post, without
having something from the base web page?  I ran into something
like this when I was working to embed pictures and photos in my
posts.  I wanted to hack a simple “image inserter” button into
Radio … and when I added some really cool Javascript it worked
wonderful … until you got my post in your aggregator.

I’m working on tweaking my code so that it will work fine without the
base page … but it was taking long enough that I delayed the
project.  I’ll work on it more in the future.  It was
interesting to see that other people have the same issues with their

The weird part?  When I included Phil’s post in my post … it turned out like below!  It’s appears to be ok …

Geek Dinner Tonight.

I’ll be speaking on microformats at the geek dinner tonight. See you there.

[Phil Windley’s Technometria]

Utah Geek Dinner

November 30, 2005 @ 18:00

– 20:00

Los Hermanos, Lindon, Utah
Come and learn about microformats and meet interesting techies from around Utah.

Download to Calendar‘)
// –>

Converting DVDs and Videos for the Video iPod

I have to admit that it has been harder than I thought to find a free
solution for converting DVDs and various other digital movies into the
right format for the iPod … on Windows.  Yes, yes … I know …
if I was using a Mac then it would just be there.  But I’m not …
yet.  (NOTE:  I’m seriously interested in buying a iBook,
PowerBook, MacBook at some point soon … and I will.)  For now,
my primary laptop is running Windows, with Linux in Virtual PC. 
My Tablet PC is also running Windows.  So I want a Windows
solution.  There are a number of commercial application that look
good … but I wanted to see what I could find for free.

I bought an iPod Video a while back, and have been doing most of my
experimenting and research on the audio side of things.  I moved
from the music and smart playlists into podcasts.  I’ve learned a
lot, and see some very interesting ways that this platform can be
leveraged into new businesses and business models.  So what about

I’ve had a long experience with video and video editing … starting
with 3/4″ tape decks in the late 70’s … and all the way up to my
current digital video editing set-up.  I wanted to know how to
easily take a DVD, or existing digital video content, and get it
converted to MPEG4 format and moved into my iPod.  Here’s what I
found that seems to work:

  1. For doing the conversion of content I’m pleased with Videora and their Videora iPod Converter.  Based on the Open Source FFmpeg
    project, this is a clean – and free! – application.  It installed,
    and was easy to figure out and use.  Once you install it, you can
    do “One Click” conversions, or create a queue of conversions and just
    allow your machine to run all night.  Videora has an insteresting
    add-on that I might look at which is their automatic downloading tool –
    Videora.  So that is the solution for converting video to the proper format.
  2. For grabbing video from a DVD, I found the Open Source DVDx
    project at SourceForge.  I’m going to test this tonight, however
    the claim is that it will rip a DVD to various digital video formats
    … which I can then feed into my Videora iPod Converter.  It
    appears to work easy enough, and there are other people using this tool
    for this same purpose.

So I’m about to jump into really using my Video iPod and seeing what
might be interesting to take on the road.  In my initial test, I’m
impressed by the size and video image … I’ll have to watch a few
videos to really see if I like it or not.  In either case, I now
have two key tools to be able to get content into the right formats for
the iPod!

Phil Windley’s CTO Breakfast

This morning was the November/December CTO Breakfast that Phil Windley
together. The breakfast started with a question about hiring good
talent. One of the employees from Canyon Bridge
said they have been looking to hire some good engineers, and have been
finding that few can answer some very simple questions. The
example that they gave was about reversing the order of a linked list.

There was a lot of talk about how to alter the hiring process, and also what types of questions people ask: What do you do outside of work? What Open Source projects do you work on?
There was also a lot of talk about how to gather names. Examples
were leverage your existing employees to get the names of “known good”
co-workers. The problem with this approach is that you can
quickly run out of references.

The conversation went on for a long time before it finally went over to the CP80
issue. CP80 is the “Clean Port 80” initiative to create laws
which forbid certain types of content to be delivered over port 80 …
the standard port used by web browsers. It again becomes an
interesting way to attempt to legislate morality. In the end, it
will not be technically possible, but could give lawyers a way to go
after the producers of “unacceptable” content. Yeah …
“unacceptable” to who? ([tags: ])

The conversation at one point moved to downloading content from the
Internet, and the subject of Digital Rights Management (DRM). 
Several sites were mentioned where you could get free content –  Pandora (which is a very cool streaming site – part of the Music Genome Project), and one of my favorites Epitonic. ([tags: ])

There was a brief exploration of the whole area of Wikis and the
inability of the “average” user to use “yet another markup
language”.  I have to admit that it truly aggrevates me that the
various Wiki platforms have subtle differences … and most do not
provide WYSIWYG editors.  and we spent some time discussing the
fact that there is a not a really good – Open Source – AJAX/WYSIWYG
editor.  I mentioned the fact that my parents can use Microsoft
Word, but that having to learn a whole symbology wasn’t going to
happen.  It reminded me of a great Podcast by Robert Lefkowitz @ OSCON 2005 … I’ll have to blog about that one!  ([tags: ])

Phil Burnes through out comments about Flock … a very cool Mozilla-based project, I brought up a very cool article that a friend sent me from Make
… it was about Mologogo
… which is a very cool mash-up of Cellular phones with GPS and Google
Maps giving you a very cheap “real-time” geopositioning/geolocation
system.  We wrapped up on one of my favorite subjects … wearable
computers.  We didn’t spend a lot of time on it … I’ll have to
bring some of my toys to one of the next breakfasts!  ([tags: ])

On the way out, Phil brought up a good point.  His gatherings
bring together an incredible group of people with diverse interests and
experience.  It is the level of experience of some of the people
that really brings a great spin to the whole conversation.  We
ended up going almost 2.5 hours … and it was a great conversation the
whole time … and we could have gone longer!  I’ll look forward
to January!

The Gigapxl Project

I just listened to a great podcast from ITConversations that was a
presentation at Pop!Tech 2005.  It was a wonderful talk by Graham
Flint about the Gigapxl Project
This is some amazing work where they are now taking pictures at extreme
resolutions – close to 4 Gigapixels!  That is close to 4000
Megapixels … a LOT more than the digital cameras that you can buy
today.  They are using some highly custom cameras to be able to
take pictures with incredible resolutions, built out of old U2 spy
plane parts.  These are still “film” cameras, but he also
discusses the work on fully digital versions of these cameras being

In his talk he mentions some interesting things that they find when
they are able to zoom in on these extremely detailed images.  He
talks about this image of paragliders
on the coast of California.  When his wife was reviewing the
image, she found people watching with binoculars and telescopes … but
they were looking down
… not up!  When they followed the track of the people’s vision,
they found that below the paragliders was a nudist beach!  When
they put this particular image in a museum, the resolution was so good
that they had to mask the faces and heads of the nudists!  This
opens a whole new conversation about privacy … and continues to beg
the question “Is there such thing as privacy?”

The site has got a lot of very cool images, and examples of the
abilitty to zoom.  They even had a cityscape of my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I’ll have to check which podcast had the Q&A, however they did
bring up the questions of privacy.  In this image of  PETCO Park
he talks about the fact that they have detailed images of ~15,000
people … and how would you ever get a release from all of these
people?  As a friend and I talked about this, it means that a
single photo of a demonstration or rally might give details images of
the people attending.  Uh … what are you doing in that hotel room on the 15th floor?

It is truly some amazing work, and the podcast was a great
listen.  I’ve attached the link to this post … we’ll see if it
works for you!

iPod is an experience, not a product!

I now own an iPod … and I can now understand a lot of the buzz about
them. It really is amazing. Not the product, but the experience
that Apple has created. I have to admit that I underestimated
what Apple has created. I kept thinking “Yeah … another MP3
player, but a little cooler looking.” But after having it and
using it for one week I am thoroughly impressed.

I’m working on ways to integrate the iPod with our product, and so I
got one to begin to do the research. I wasn’t sure if I would use
it much or not, but I am now hooked. It is so well thought
through … again, not the iPod device,
but the entire solution of iTunes and the iPod. I am now using
both of these on a daily basis, and the synergy between the two
products is well thought out and polished. Apple has done a lot
of thinking about all of the details.

I do have a few complaints … but they are very few. What I did
like is that I can now add iCal and vCard objects to my iPod and they
are accessible via the UI. I found a lot of information from this link about iPod synchronization sent to me by a friend.

Anyhow … expect me to post more about my iPod experience … so far it’s amazing!

Head Mounted Displays

I haven’t really been tracking the Wearable Computer market as much
lately.  It’s not that I don’t want to … it’s just that the
high-tech crash really crushed a lot of the innovators and stopped the
progress cold.

One area that was getting so close to delivering was in Head Mounted
Displays (HMDs).  I recently found that some vendors are again
stepping into this space.  I’m not sure that I saw Icuiti before, however I have to admit that I am pleased to see their progress!

Check out the monocular HMD, and binocular HMD … these are pretty good, and the price is not too high.  I might have to pick one up to check them out …