The Pretty Future (of Firefox)

Stephen Horlander over at Mozilla is doing great work on the visual appearance and functionality of future versions of Firefox. See his latest Windows Theme/UI Update.

Comparison of Firefox 3.5 and 4.0 interface mockup

Pixel nerds may remember Stephen from his significant contributions to Firefox 1.0 with the Winstripe and Pinstripe themes.


“Ska music is like a romantic comedy…”

Quoth George Stroumboulopoulos on The Strombo Show:

“Ska music is like a romantic comedy, unless it’s genius, it’s terrible.”

He goes on to say that “[a]verage, middle-of-the-road Ska is some of the worst music you’re ever going to hear in your life.”

The Strombo Show is George Snuffalupagus’ new 4-hour radio show on CBC Radio 2. A recent playlist included enough music from my own life (Radiohead, Catherine Wheel, the Doughboys, etc.) and classics (Neil Young, The Clash, the Ramones, etc.), to keep me listening to music I haven’t heard before (Sea Wolf, MIA, etc.).

Unfortunately, the show isn’t podcasted by the CBC due to music licensing issues. At least for now, though, Episode 5 (referenced here) is available online.


Search Stories

I’m just linking to an ad campaign (and I’m not sure why Google even has to advertise), but Google’s Search Stories ads are nicely done.


Naming Names

This 1999 article on corporate naming practices is a great read, even ten years later (thanks to Isaac for the link).

Disclosure: I preferred the name Cardinal over Firefox and I work for a company called silverorange.


Viewing PDF Files without Adobe Reader

I noticed an interesting feature at the end of the Google Chrome OS Demo video today. Apparently, you can pass the URL of any publicly available PDF file to Google Docs and it will act as a plugin-free PDF viewer right in the browser.

To view a PDF file without any plugins, append the URL of the file to the end of the address shown here in bold type:

For example, here is the viewer displaying a PDF copy of a NASA publication.

I don’t think this is a new feature, but it’s the first I’ve seen of it. Google appears to use it to preview some PDF documents in search results (example).


15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee


A Brief Guide to American Highway Fast Food

My friend and scotch-enthusiast, Ian Wiliams, has written a brief guide to American road-side fast-food for his fancy wife. Here are some highlights:

On Taco Bell:

“With a enough Medium™ sauce, pretty much everything remains vaguely interesting, even if the aftermath – especially in a closed car – can be somewhat Vesuvial.”

On Wendy’s (read the post for the footnote):

“[t]he quality control of this place has plummeted since owner Dave Thomas wriggled free of his mortal coil. Serves him right for shooting those kids at Kent State, huh?*”

On Subway:

“[i]t has always amazed me that Subway manages to make roast beef and lettuce taste exactly the same.”

On Burger King:

“[y]ou could stop at Burger King, but it better be an emergency.”

On Hardee’s:

“I have been starving, and not stopped at Hardee’s.”

It takes a special talent to make a Taco Bell / diarrhea joke actually funny. Extra points for using the term “Vesuvial”, which is even funnier when you read the definition.


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Font Beauty in Firefox

An exciting (to me) video walkthrough of the font control options coming Firefox 3.6 and/or 3.7:


Glaciers in Motion – the Extreme Ice Survey

The Extreme Ice Survey has been capturing time-lapse photos of the flow and retreat of glaciers over weeks, months, and years. I recommend taking fifteen minutes to watch the survey lead, James Balog present some of the remarkable image sequences at the TED conference.

If you only have two minutes to spare, skip into the 16:10 point of TED talk video. Here, Balog narrates video that shows 1 mile of ice, 3 miles wide, and 3/5-mile deep break up into the ocean in only 75 minutes.

The Extreme Ice Survey website has dozens of videos of the time-lapse photography. Highlights include a enormous collapse caught on video and the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland (video embedded below) as it flows like water. The scale is awesome.