To tag or not to tag
Oct 31st, 2008 by Ken Hagler

I’m trying out the “tags” feature of WordPress as an experiment.

Texting via Gmail not ready for prime time
Oct 31st, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Almost new in Labs: SMS Text Messaging for chat.

Oh snap. Last night, we started rolling out a new feature to Gmail Labs that lets you send SMS text messages right from Gmail. It combines the best parts of IM and texting: you chat from your computer and reach your friends no matter where they are. Your friends who are away from their computers get your messages as texts and can peck out replies on their little keyboards. It was pretty cool for a few minutes last night when we were sitting around texting each other.

Then we found a glitch. When you’d try to turn it on, it wouldn’t fully enable. We thought about keeping it out there — bugs and all — but the experience wasn’t that great. So, in the spirit of Labs, we’ve pulled SMS chat back to fix it, and we’ll get it back out to you as soon as it’s ready — probably within 2 weeks, so stay tuned. [Official Gmail Blog]

I guess that answers the question of whether it works better than AIM.

PGP Whole Disk Encryption review
Oct 31st, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Securing Your Disks with PGP Whole Disk Encryption [TidBITS: Mac News for the Rest of Us]

A generally good review of the new PGP disk encryption software, but I do see a couple of problems. First, the author only hints at how it works with Time Machine, which is an area of interest to me. In theory it should be fine (although obviously you’d need to encrypt Time Machine’s backup volume too), but when it comes to software compatibility theory and practice often diverge.

Second, the author says that it’s a “limitation” that PGP Whole Disk Encryption only secures your data when the computer is off, and not just while it’s asleep. I consider that a necessary function, not a limitation. Because it’s entirely possible to recover sensitive data (such as the passphrase for the hard drive) from a “sleeping” computer’s memory, claiming to encrypt when a computer is put to sleep would only be providing a false sense of security.

I’m interested in this product for my own use, but given PGP, Inc.’s rather spotty record to date (they’ve managed to render their main PGP product unusable in the name of usability improvements), I’m waiting for a while to be sure that there aren’t any hidden problems.

Orange Road redesign
Oct 31st, 2008 by Ken Hagler

I finally got around to updating the design of my website, something which was long overdue. The old design dated back to the days when CSS was new and very poorly supported by web browsers, so it used lots of little tables scattered around for page organization.

There is one more aspect of the redesign that’s not yet in place. Support for font downloading is starting to appear, with Safari supporting it now and Firefox 3.1 to gain the ability, so I’m looking into using something other than one of the standard (ugly) web fonts.

Finished the redesign!
Oct 31st, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Finished the redesign!

Texting via Gmail
Oct 30th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

OMG! Gmail Adds SMS Chat. Gmail added mobile SMS messaging to its embedded chat Thursday evening. When turned on, the feature allows you to text your contacts from your desktop to their mobile phones and back, provided they can afford the texts under their mobile provider’s plan. SMS is yet another extensible feature Gmail has added through its Labs section in the last couple weeks. [Wired News]

This is already possible via AIM, but replies from a phone to AIM are somewhat unreliable. Hopefully the Gmail version will work better.

City of Heroes on Mac
Oct 30th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

City of Heroes superhero MMO comes to Mac. NCsoft is opening one of its massively multiplayer online (MMO) game franchises, City of Heroes, to the Mac. The company has used TransGaming’s Cider engine, which enables the subscription-based game to operate on Intel-based Macs. Beta testing is expected to get underway this week…. [The Macintosh News Network]

I’ve been playing this game on the PC since about a month after it came out. It still has the ubiquitous class-and-level system, but between the wide variety of power combinations and the excellent costume creator (which is almost worth the price all by itself) the problem of cookie cutter characters common to such systems is not present.

The curtains have gone missing…
Oct 29th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

The curtains have gone missing at Room 5.

Wi-Fi for iPhones, but not iPod Touches
Oct 29th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Free AT&T Wi-Fi for iPhones.

Includes Starbucks stores. Instructions seem like a bit of a pain in the ass, but otherwise they’d have to give free access to everyone who knows how to spoof a user-agent string. The horror.

[Daring Fireball]

The instructions involve entering an AT&T phone number, which rules out those of us who have an iPod Touch but don’t have (or want) an iPhone.

I’m finally updating my web si…
Oct 29th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

I’m finally updating my web site design, after leaving it untouched for years.

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