Archive for November 2006

New Year’s Resolution: Jabber

30 November 2006 | 0

I realize that I still have about a month before I’m officially allowed to start making New Year’s Resolutions, but with this one I want to make sure I give people sufficient warning. As many of you out there know, I’m a big advocate of open source, and an even bigger advocate of open standards. It’s because of open standards we have things like the Internet, the Web and email. Well, in an effort to support open standards, as of the first of the year I am moving over to Jabber exclusively for my instant messaging needs.

At this point, you probably have one or more of the following questions:

  • “What is Jabber? And, other than wanting to talk to you, why should I use it?”
  • “How do I get Jabber?”
  • “What is your new address?”

If you’ve never heard of Jabber, Jabber (known formally as XMPP), is an instant messaging protocol, just like AIM, Yahoo Messenger or MSN. The biggest difference is that Jabber is open and decentralized. For example, if you want to talk to someone who uses AIM, you need to go through AOL’s servers. If you want to talk to someone using MSN, you need to go through Microsoft’s servers. Jabber is actually more like email: you can talk to people on different servers, as long as their server speaks the Jabber protocol. These include servers run by companies such as Google (via Gmail), LiveJournal and Earthlink. In fact, because it’s open, anyone can run their own server, which is what I’m doing now via my new web host.

In addition to openness and decentralization, Jabber has many other noteworthy qualities, including a much better security model than email (no spam!) and the flexibility to add custom functionality on top of the core protocol.

If you think this sounds good, and want to get in on the action, grab a client that supports Jabber. There are tons, but the ones recommended by the Jabber Software Foundation are at the top of this list. Oh, and you’ll also need a Jabber ID. If you have a Gmail account, you already have a Jabber ID: it’s the same as your email address. If you don’t have a Gmail account, there are tons of other servers offering free accounts. Here is a handy guide for getting an account on the jabber.org server.

So if you’ve ever enjoyed my witty one-liners and masterful use of emoticons, and would like to continue to enjoy them from 2007 on, hook yourself up with a Jabber ID and Jabber client and hit me up!

Moose

29 November 2006 | 0

It looks like Jeremy Tregunna is leaving behind his work on Io to start his own small, beautiful, dynamic language (suitable for embedding), called Moose. I’m really excited to see what he ends up with, as I’ve been looking for something exactly like this to use for my own nefarious purposes.

The Fountain

29 November 2006 | 1

The Fountain

Sooooo pretty. I just went and saw it tonight, and I have to say it was well worth it… but if you see it, make sure you see it on the big screen, as it is overwhelmingly visually stunning.

See the site.

Watch the trailer.

Email Down

29 November 2006 | 0

My email will probably be down for a couple of days, since I’m changing hosts. If you send an email and it bounces back, try me at:

jesseross |DOT| com |AT| gmail |DOT| com.

You can use the real one again now.

Changing Hosts

29 November 2006 | 0

My site will probably break for a couple of days… sorry.

Seems to be fully transferred over now.

Will you?

28 November 2006 | 1

Will you stay
if I promise you
eggs
and glue
and guns
and birds
and bread?

Will you stay
if I promise you
wings
and things
and yes
and yes
and yes?

Hat In The Wind, themselves

I have no idea what Doseone was thinking when he wrote this, but it might just be genius if you analyze what each of those items might represent in the context of a relationship: eggs as children, glue as sex, guns as protection, birds as entertainment, bread as food, wings as future. Again, I have no idea… but it might just be genius.

Cyclic

28 November 2006 | 0

My life is pretty cyclic. Oh, that could be a can of worms… let’s rephrase:

My hobbies are pretty cyclic.

I find that I get really obsessed with one thing, go crazy on it for a month or two, then jump to something else. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

It’s a pretty consistent cycle, though, so I can probalby start to anticipate when I’m getting bored and start picking up the next thing… let’s see:

Comic Books > Illustration > Interface Design > Operating Systems > Dynamic Languages > Real Time Communications (Instant Messaging) > Web Design > Movies > Comic Books

Now, I could have started with anything, but comics seemed like as good a place as any. And, speaking of comics, buy Demo. It’s simply amazing. It’s hands-down one of the best new-ish comics I read in a few years. (Oh, and Heroes totally ripped off the Demo story “Emmy” with this comic… jerks.)

MN.swf

28 November 2006 | 0

Anyone even remotely connected to Flash and the Twin Cities will probably already know about this, but what the hell:

MN.swf is a:

Minneapolis-based group dedicated to the professional development and collaboration of advanced Flash/Flex programmers.

Looks to be a good time. I’d go, but I have both class and Ali-duty that night, so I’m gonna be a no-show. If you are one of the rare souls that reads my blog, and you go, tell me how it is… maybe I’ll make it in 2007.

eMusic

14 November 2006 | 0

eMusic is great. Really, really great. You should subscribe with them. First of all, they have DRM-free music that you can play anywhere: any MP3 player (including iPods), any operating system (including Linux and the BSDs). Secondly, they actually have really great music. This weekend, I picked up some great tracks from the likes of Atmosphere, Eagles of Death Metal, Har Mar Superstar, Haley Bonar and Jeff Hanson. I cannot recommend this site enough — tracks end up being around 25¢ a piece (40 tracks per month for $9.99 a month), and they’re all high-quality MP3s, with full ID3 tag info. If you ask me, all in all, it’s a much better place to get music from than the iTunes Store.

If you sign up using this URL, you even get 50 free tracks. How sweet a deal is that?

Oh, and for the cynics, they didn’t pay me nor bribe me. This is a company that actually “gets it”, and I want to give them props because of that.

Perceiving Skillz and Perceiving Time

10 November 2006 | 3

Two fun learnings:

One, almost all Flash designers think their coding skills are “at an intermediate level” — that includes people way better than me, and people way worse than me… and I’m at an intermediate level.

Two, Ali thinks that everything happened yesterday. Or, as she says it “etserdee”.