February 2007 Archives

Image Gallery

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I've recently been writing an image gallery for my site. It's still in the prototype stage, but I thought I'd let you guys have a sneak peek. As far as I can tell, it works perfectly in FireFox and Opera, IE7 nearly gets it right and IE6 makes a total hash of it (these browsers were all tested in XP SP2). There's still quite a bit of work left for me to do before it becomes production code. I'm really against the idea of putting lots of "if IE, DoThis, else DoSomethingElse" type code in there, so I need to find generic solutions to the IE problems if possible. Comments and suggestions welcome, particularly from those using other browsers and operating systems. EDIT: Made both IE browsers work better without doing anything other than changing the CSS slightly (fixed it to work with IE's overflow: hidden + position: relative bug). IE7's only problem now is that it scrolls too far to the left which means style.offsetLeft is being interpreted differently to the other browsers. IE6 also does this and doesn't like the transparent background behind the arrows (displays as black). As IE6 doesn't support PNGs with alpha channels, I'll try to figure out how to make the background white instead.

Burning Ring of Fire

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I saw Walk the Line on Saturday, which Katherine bought on DVD after Christmas and we just got round to watching. It tells (some of) the tale of Johnny Cash, how he got his first record deal, how he met and fell in love with June Carter, got addicted to prescription drugs, sorted himself out and eventually persuaded June to marry him. Joaquin Phoenix put in a great performance and had the voice pretty much spot on from what I could tell (though I'm no Johnny Cash expert), though the whole film felt disjoint as it seemed massive chunks of the story were missing as though it had been sanitised to keep the Cash family estate happy. There were some great moments, like when playing to the prison audience, but the film ended leaving me feeling unsatisfied.

Hot Fuzz

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Saw Pegg and Frost's latest cinematic outing last night. It was simply superb. My high expectations from Shawn of the Dead were not misplaced. It was funny throughout, had a totally over the top plot (deliberately so), some pretty gory moments, and a cracking gunfight to round it off. I liked it all the more because a lot of Americans (whose action films it parodied) probably won't get it. As with their first film, the entire cast were well known British actors, which is good as it gives them something to do other than appear on Grumpy Old Men/Women. Definitely one to get on DVD when it comes out. Should be a great post pub film. Overall: Good enough to forgive them the ever lasting postponement of (the now legendary) Spaced Series 3.
It's P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-Pancake Day! This means I've agreed (or perhaps been lightly persuaded by Katherine) to give something up for Lent. Last year I attempted chocolate, and succeeded though found it really hard as I'm partial to a quick Mars Bar around mid afternoon. This year I've decided to try for no chocolate, crisps or cake for 40 days. Gawd 'elp me...

End of an EAra

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I've not posted for nearly two weeks, so I thought I'd better update people on what's been happening in my life. I resigned from EA last week.  I'm not going to state my reasons publicly as it isn't fair on the people still there (and I probably can't legally!).  I already have something else lined up, but for the same reasons I'm not going to state where it is until my start date. So, in the meantime I'm chilling out for a few weeks.  I'll get done all the niggly little jobs around the house we've been putting off for ages, I'll get rid of my old Mini that's been sitting in my mum's carport for years and I'll be blogging regularly again.
In the latest of their assertions from the high, high horse they inhabit, the RIAA have decided that CDs should be 3x more expensive. Even if successful in applying this poor logic, which I highly doubt, I can't see any online retailer making their wares more expensive to match. The only thing this is likely to achieve is more alienation from the industry (and more importantly the customers) it represents - eventually killing the CD market altogether. Perhaps however, there is another motive for this. The RIAA have been largely unsucessful is sueing people for pirating downloaded music, so this could be another attempt to restrict people's rights. If the CD market is killed and all (legal) music is DRM copy protected downloads, it means they can successfully sue people for playing music on more than one device (including your car stereo) because to do that people must (by their logic) be reverse engineering the DRM which is in conflict with the DMCA laws in the US. The only way to legally play it on all your kit would be to pay extra for it. This could spell the end of fair use laws on copying. This is a growing trend that big corporates are exploiting, not just in music, but in software, movies, etc. You no longer buy content, you simply pay for a restrictive license to use it.

Casino Royale

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I finally got round to seeing this film last night. I imagine most of my readers (all two of you) have already seen it, though I'm going to write my thoughts anyway. I'm pleasantly surprised to report the Casino Royale is a true return to form after the mediocre Die Another Day. Daniel Craig looks and sounds the part, the pacing and plot are excellent, even M (the only thing to survive the Pierce Brosnan era unscathed) got to do a bit more than just give Bond his mission briefing at the start. The theme tune was easy on the ears and nicely crafted to fit well with the Bond signature tune (unlike Madonna's annoying and shameful effort). However, I don't remember it ever getting any airplay - possibly because I was on the other side of the world at the time it came out. Only the corniest line ever, delivered by the Bond girl rather than the man himself, let the film down a little (though Bond's next lines recover it well). I won't spoil the surprise - for lack of a better word. It's up there with "I thought Christmas only comes once a year" in the cheesiness stakes. Overall - SUPERB!

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