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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Victory in my home

Tonight when I was trying Dean Edwards' noIE script, I discovered a new button in IE's toolbar. And if you care, the button had a label of SideFind. Don't ask me what it is as I didn't click on that.

WTF! I didn't install that. I immediate went to Add/Remove Programs and discovered 5 to 6 more spywares (including 180solutions, IST, Internet Optimizer, WebFldrs). One virus was also quarantined by NAV.

Again, the most likely cause is that my sister was using IE when I was not at home. Then when she read her Yahoo! mails, all those spywares and viruses just went wild...

I immediately tried to uninstall them. For one of the spywares (Internet Optimizer), I even need to kill the process with Task Manager before uninstalling it. Sign...

I feel unsafe. Therefore I told my sister not to use IE for browsing anymore. I even set Firefox as the default browser and hide the shortcuts to IE with Set Program Access and Defaults.

She agreed to use Firefox from now on.

My sister, like most of the innocent internet users, doesn't really care about what software to use. Also, like many people out there, she didn't know this little fox is a browser, even if I frequently use it. :-P

We really need to spread the words and let more (non-techical, non-geek) people to know about those alternative browsers (and why to switch).

Edited: WebFldrs is a Windows component, not a spyware. Sorry... :-P

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Not satisfy with Google?

Edit the results yourself. ;-)

This should be a Mozilla (Seamonkey) bug, not Firefox-specific.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The "Mummy" Returns

The former killer application, Netscape, will return next month. Shipping date for Netscape 7.2 CDs will be August 3 (should be 99.9% sure). Thanks god that AOL is keeping its promise.

The new Netscape will be probably based on Mozilla 1.7(.1?), with the additions of AOL stuffs (not surprisingly), e.g. AIM, RealPlayer and WinAMP.

Of course, Mozilla and Firefox are still (undoubtedly) the recommended browsers.

BTW, Netscape Store and Mozilla Store are running the same engine! Take a look of the copyright notice (at the bottom of the 2 sites):

Netscape Store powered by E-Flo. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2004 MozSource. All sales are final. All prices in US dollars.
Mozilla Store powered by MozSource. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2004 MozSource. All sales are final. All prices in US dollars.

Their layouts are also similar. :-P

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Cookies were delicious delicacies

Did you ever notice the Cookies option in Firefox? Cookies are delicious delicacies... LOL, I didn't notice that!

But this is the end of a legend. This sentence will be replaced by Cookies are pieces of information stored by web pages on your computer. They are used to remember login information and other data. Sniff... :-(

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Mozilla's undetectable document.all support

Next version of Mozilla/Firefox(/Thunderbird?) will support IE's proprietary collection document.all in a undetectable way, i.e. this will (still) not work:

if ( document.all )
    alert( document.all );

But this will work:

alert( document.all );

Stay cool, guys. It is NOT encouraging web developers to code in non-standard way, but just a way to support legacy Web sites that assume everyone use IE.

For web developers that care about standards, they always use document.getElementById (or others methods like getElementsByTagName or getElementsByName).

More about the news:

XML as a programming language

XML is for data storage and exchange only? No.

Now one can write an application with XML: o:XML. e.g. to generate a RSS feed:

<rss version="2.0">
    <title>Pleasant Pictures</title>
    <description>An o:XML example.</description>
    <o:import href="lib/io.oml"/>
    <o:set dir="io:File('.')"/>
    <o:for-each name="file" select="$dir.list('*.jpg')">
        <title><o:eval select="$file.name()"/></title>
        <link>file://<o:eval select="$file.path()"/></link>

I think it is quite convenience to code using o:XML for applications that are going to input/output lots of XMLs.

Remember, X is for eXtensibility.

Is Java nice?

Saying that Java is nice because it works on all OS's is like saying that anal sex is nice because it works on all genders... (QDB: Quote #338364)

P.S. I found that webpage from limaCAT's Weekly News, which has a link to this blog site.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

DIY your own web browser

Make your own web browser with M$ Visual C#! But hey... the UI is so much similar to the alternative browsers (e.g. tab bar, search bar, widget arrangements). So why bother to make your own while you have better browsers like Firefox and Safari? :-P

Monday, July 19, 2004

24M Broadband Service

ADSL2+ will be out soon. For instance, if you live within 2km of a central exchange you can have up to 24 megabits to your home.

I wonder what its upload bandwidth would be...

Sunday, July 18, 2004

More on Madlax Operating Systems

While Madlax is not a geek anime, here I'd like to introduce some of computers used in the anime.

The True Cluter super computer:

OK 這種事的話 就該True-Cluster出場了 True-Cluster? 上個月才啟動的新型機 用兩千三百台市面上的電腦構築起來的超級電腦 以262.4T FLOPS的速度進行運算 這個系統的速度相當於世界第四 而且還是個人所有

The desktop environment looks very much like GNOME. The operating system should be *nix because I found "/" used in the paths (not "\" used in Windows).

File manager:
File managers popping out:
It was hijacked:

In Madlax, people still uses keyboard. But they look much cooler (but not necessarily healthy to the hands). They are transparent and growing...

The Mac-style keyboard (notice the [Return] key):
The Win-style keyboard (notice the [Enter] key):

Saturday, July 17, 2004

New bugs (or features) in Blogger's new editor

I found that Blogger's new rich text editor will inserts newlines (which means <br>s) in regular interval.

I think that it is a bug, but maybe it is a feature to prevent a paragraph from spanning too wide... (hence preventing your head/eyes from moving horizontally). However, IMO, it should be controlled by CSS and template.

Another feature that I don't like is that it inserts <span>s with CSS, instead of using <strong>s and <em>s (like Mozilla Composer), which I don't like too...

Yet another bug/feature is that each paragraph is begun with an extra space. Although it doesn't affect how the document is rendered, but it is kidda weird to me.

Guess I'll stick with the old <textarea> editor. :-P

Safari, not Safari RSS

After reading the comment about my mistake, I visited Apple's Safari RSS site again to take a deeper look. OK, I was wrong. The application will still be called Safari, while Safari RSS is only one of the Tiger's new features.

By the way, the incremental search (similar to Find As You Type) feature is nice. Take a look of it in action (QuickTime Player or QuickTime Alternative required).

It's so Engrish!

Uh-oh, permission denyed. I gotta input a correct pass word!

PASS WORD - Permission denyed! Please enter your password.

Captured from Madlax episode 13 (覚鳴 -awake-).

P.S. Appearantly it is a Unix-like system, but with a Windows-like UI... @__@

Time to fool IE users

Firexplorer is a Firefox that looks and feels like an IE. The project is run by 2 Bradford students: Richard Kirkcaldy and Andy Rogers.

It is very suitable for any organization where most of the users don't know about any other browsers but IE. By doing so, your organization can get rid of all those security holes in IE and all of you can enjoy a better internet (e.g. tabbed browsing, popup blocking, enhanced security and privacy, etc).

Thanks Neil for the news!

Friday, July 16, 2004

More On Madlax

As a continuation of my previous post about Madlax, I've captured some more screenshots.

Bank of China (Hong Kong) [中國銀行(香港)]:

Hong Kong Island (香港島) viewed from Victoria Harbour (維多尼亞港):

What happened to Blogger.com?!

Blogger.com got a new editing interface. One can now change time & date of the post. But where is the formatting toolbar and preview button?!

Edited: I was just too lucky! The JavaScript file was changing when I encountered the problem. The change of is because of the new Rich Text Editor (similar to HTMLArea). It looks nice...:

First runner up in broadband penetration!

Anand had made an article about top 15 broadband economies worldwide in 2003. Hong Kong is the first runner up in broadband penetration! Wow!

Our IT infrastructure really rocks!

Mozilla 2.0 Wishlist

I thought the list is really Mozilla 2.0 Roadmap. But it seems that it is just a wishlist.

Anyway, I'm happy to see someone mentioned SVG and XForms there...

Thursday, July 15, 2004

PageRank Toolbar Widget For Macintosh

While Google PageRank can be viewed with Google Toolbar for IE and Google Pagerank Extension for Firefox, Mac is not alone (Konfabulator required).

Well, personally I think it is not as good as the 2 toolbars mentioned before: it is less integrated with the browser. Correct me if I'm wrong. :-P

Happy Birthday, Mozilla Foundation!

Mozilla Foundation is now 1 year old. People all around the world are now celebrating.

Keep up the good work! :-D

Mozilla 1.8 Alpha 2 is out

Mozilla 1.8 Alpha 2 is out. The biggest change is probably the initial support of the new Netscape Plugin API extensions announced earlier in this month.

Updated: It also features the roaming profile support, which makes your profile consistence among various workstations. This is very useful in shared environment, e.g. labs and offices.

Gmail Notifier 0.3

Gmail Notifier 0.3 is out and it rocks!

Besides auto-login, manual checking and right-click context menu, the coolest new feature is probably the sliding notification when new mail arrives:

You have new Gmail

I'm lovin' it.

"Safari effect" is gone

I should make more higher-quality posts:

Truly Google PageRank for Firefox

Cheah Chu Yeow, you are always such a good source for great stuffs... ;-)

Thanks for letting me know about the Google Pagerank extension for Firefox (on the right, the Gmail Notifier 0.2):

PageRank: 5/10

Unlike the Googlebar PageRank edition that I tried earlier, this extension is much more stable and accurate.

Some other interesting stuffs that I knew from Cheah Chu Yeow:

P.S. I'm now using Google Pagerank 0.4.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Perl is driving me crazy...

Recently I'm setting up Blosxom (pronounced "blossom", or "blogsome") as the blog platform for our department. It is an extremely simple Perl script that scans a directory (recursively) for .txt files and displays them accordingly as blog posts.

If you has been visiting here regularly, you should have known that I've learnt a little bit about PHP in the previous month. So now I finally know about one should declare a variable in PHP like $var1: that's how Perl does it.

However, Perl has so much difference from what I've learnt before. Now I'm almost a newbie (again). For example, one write else if (...) in C/C++/JavaScript and elseif (...) in PHP. But in Perl, you'll see something new: elsif (...)! Guess that the Perl inverter is too lazy to type an extra "e" and space... -__-|||

There are many more weird operators and syntax that I've never seen. But I won't list them here or the page would be toooooo long...

One thing that I don't like about Perl is the lack of pointers. Say I need to make changes to a variable with a very long reference chain (e.g. $hash->{'a'}->{'very'}->{'long'}->{'reference'}) many times in a sub (subroutine/function). What I want is to save this reference to a temporarily pointer, and then dereference it to assign new value to it. In JavaScript, reducing object chains can help improve performance. For example, instead of:

for ( var i = 0; i < window.document.forms[0].length; i++ )
    window.alert( window.document.forms[0].elements[i].value );

one should save the references with variables:

var myForm = window.document.forms[0];
for ( var i = 0, len = myForm.length; i < len; i++ )
    window.alert( myForm.elements[i].value );

or use for-in (not support in IE though):

var myForm = window.document.forms[0];
for ( var i in myForm )
    window.alert( myForm.elements[i].value );

I know there are something known as soft/hard references but I can't get it works. Maybe I typed it wrongly. By the way, tell me if you know how to do it.

Anyway, I'm ok with it. Just give me some time... I think I will soon write some very l33t Perl programs/modules (that no one will understand)!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A Few Firefox Stuffs...

Just 2 interesting articles about Firefox that I'd like to share:

Reasons to dump IE for dummies:
Firefox vs IE: Pictures say a thousand words.
A new UI for popup blocker:
Better UI for blocked popups in Firefox (however I don't think it is better).

Ubiquitous XML Feeds

I knew that Opera now has RSS support and the upcoming Safari will also have tight integration with RSS. Actually, RSS seems to be so important to Apple that the name of the browser will be renamed to "Safari RSS". Kinda stupid, isn't it? :-P

But what I didn't know an hour ago was that our beloved Ben Goodger had just added a cool feature called Livemarks to the nightlies since 2004-07-08.

If Firefox encounters webpages with <link>s to the XML feeds (both RSS and Atom), a small icon will be displayed on the status bar so that the feeds can be added to the Livemarks.

XML feeds added to the Livemarks are then shown in menus similar to that of bookmarks. You are encouraged to take a look of the screenshots taken by Cheah Chu Yeow if you are curious about this.

No more bloglines.com. No more Mozilla/Firefox extensions like Saga and RSS Reader Panel. No more external feed readers. Firefox will manage them all for you.

Go Go Firefox! You gotta take back the web!

Monday, July 12, 2004

PARKnSHOP World Domination

See what I've found in S.A.C. 2nd GIG episode 11 "affection" (草迷宮):

百佳超級市場 (PARKnSHOP)

Notice the text of "百佳超級市場" and its logo. You can compare it with the real stuff.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

A removed post from Dave Hyatt

I found a post that cannot be found in Dave Hyatt's Weblog in my bloglines.com cache. The post is rather negative. Perfers that's why he removed the post. I quote it here as I think the public is deserved to know this.

If anyone, especially Dave Hyatt, think that this post is improper, tell me and I will remove it.

Feedback on Proposal

Well, we are indeed a Web divided. I received feedback (most of it private, some of it public) that was rather astonishing in its variety. The various viewpoints:

(1) A browser is never allowed to innovate. No extensions, even proprietary ones that are properly namespaced, should be allowed on the Web at all.

(2) A browser is allowed to innovate, but extensions must always be properly namespaced using XML namespaces in real XML.

(3) Innovation is allowed, and a DOCTYPE can be used to allow the extensions in both XML and HTML.

(4) Innovation is allowed, and a pseudo-namespace hack is fine.

(5) Innovation is allowed, and these protesters are wasting your time with all this pedantic nonsense.

The two dominant opinions were (1) and (5), which should provide an indicator of how polarized people are on this subject.

It is quite clear to me that no matter what we (the Safari team) do, someone is going to be unhappy. This is a no-win situation. It's particularly frustrating to me to have tried to listen to the will of the community by even coding one of the suggested solutions. It's obvious to me now that on this particular point the Web community is aimless and doesn't have a single unified opinion.

Posted on: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 03:24 PM

Please extend the web correctly

Dave Hyatt is an open person who listens to comments. But unfortunately he seems to misunderstood the suggestions.

On his previous blog post, he mentioned 2 ways to extend the (X)HTML:

  • Namespace mechanism
  • New DOCTYPE declaration
He now proposes to use namespace mechanism in HTML, which is not correct.

There is no namespace in HTML. It is the X(HT)ML stuff. DOCTYPE is, however, available to both HTML and XHTML. Eric Meyer has made a very good example illustrating this. As you can see, the example is written using the old-school HTML.

Another benefit is that if the web browser doesn't support this DOCTYPE, it can choose not to render it at all (or handle it with special care). After all, those new elements and attritubes are used in the Dashboard only, isn't it? So webpage will those new stuffs are useless in other browsers anyway...

If the Dashboard is going to stick with HTML in its first release, it should use the HTML way of extending the web. Developers can add the (real) namespace mechanism later when Safari has better (and real) support of XHTML.

P.S. Lachlan Hunt made another cool suggestion: use the generic <object> element (wow, my favorite). This element might be new to you, but it exists in both HTML and XHTML. Let me modify Eric's example a little bit...

In blah.html:

<style type="text/css">
body {background: aquamarine;}
<script type="text/javascript">

function startup() {
  alert('Happy!  Joy!');
<body onload="startup();">
<object type="application/dashboard+xml" data="blah.dashboard">
  Your browser doesn't support dashboard...
<div class="main">
<p>So cool.</p>

<p>So fine.</p>
<img src="yar.gif" composite="punchout" alt="Yar!">
<p id="footer">copyleft nobody</p>

In blah.dashboard (an XML with content-type of "application/dashboard+xml"):

  <blah>A blah element/blah>

Browser that doesn't support the Dashboard object will then simply display "Your browser doesn't support dashboard...", while other (X)HTML contents are still visible.

Windows security fix in Mozilla products

Mozilla 1.7.1, Firefox 0.9.2 and Thunderbird 0.7.2 for Windows are out as security fix releases.

There is only one change: shell protocol handler is now disabled. This vulnerability is only found in Windows 2000/XP, where websites/users can access local files and launch local applications with shell:. For example, shell:windows would open C:\WINNT. This works in both IE and unpatched Mozilla products. Opera doesn't support this.

Browsers should never allowed webpages to access local directories and files, not to mention launching local applications, by any means. By using this vulnerability, DOS is possible by requesting non-existence directory repeatedly.

If you don't want to reinstall your Mozilla product, you can choose to install the ShellBlock extension which will also disable the shell protocol handler.

By the way, do you know that this vulnerability was discovered and fixed within 1 day? :-P

Friday, July 09, 2004

Gundam Seed Destiny

Gundam Seed Destiny, the sequel of Gundam Seed, will be out October this year! Can't wait!

Missing Comments

I noticed that several comments in my blog are missing. I got email notification of new comments. But when I hit my web, I can't find them. The comment counts are also wrong too. Oops... something wrong with blogger.com?

I'll re-post any missing comments as many as I could (if I know them by email).

Have you fully utilized Firefox?

Do you know you can...

  • Alt + Enter at the location bar to open that URL in a new tab.
  • Delete a particular location history by Shift + Del. (especially good if you frequently view those "forbidden" sites... LOL)
  • Middle-click at a link to open it in a new tab.
  • Double-click at the tab bar / Ctrl + T to create a new tab.
  • Middle-click on a tab to close it.
  • Incrementally find texts by typing "/" + text you want to find. There will be an UI for this nice feature (known as find as you type if don't know know) in Firefox 1.0 so hopefully more people will know this function.
  • Incrementally find links by typing "." + text you want to find.
  • Search the text you highlighted using the content menu.
  • View and edit many useful information in about:mozilla, about:plugins, and about:config (Mozilla can even use about:about which list all the "about"s).
  • View selection source (select some contents and right-click to see the option). The source is showing the live DOM tree so you can even see the contents generated from JavaScript.
  • View source of a page prepending "view-source:" to its URL (e.g. view-source:http://www.google.com).
  • Install the nice All-in-One Gestures extension that bring mouse gesture to Firefox? Mouse gesture allows you to perform some actions (e.g. close tab) by drawing a continuous line on the browser window (e.g. draw a letter "L").
  • [Append your personal best features of Firefox here]

Thanks Safari

It's generating lots of traffic here:

200-270 page views per day

Don't worry. I don't mind. (Actually I welcome this... LOL)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Firefox 0.9.2 and Thunderbird 0.7.2 Branch Created

mozilla.org is going to release Firefox 0.9.2 and Thunderbird 0.7.2 soon. It should be a (yet another) security fix. At this stage, the only changes appear to be to the useragent, and to disable the shell protocol handler by default.

Safari is polluting HTML

Dave Hyatt has just made a post explaining why they are "extending" HTML.

In short (and with my own words): "Yes. We are introducing new tags and attributes. Yes. We know this is not right. But we need this feature and we need this right now! You guys (web browser vendors) should follow us so that it becomes a standard." Please forgive me if you feel uneasy, but this is the truth.

Isn't that just like the evil M$ (and the old Netscape)? e.g. <iframe> invented by IE is now included in HTML 4.0 and XHTML 1.0 Transitional (but not included in XHTML 1.0 Strict or above, thanks god!).

Edited: Uh oh! My CSS doesn't work well with the quote tag (<q>). They are now replaced with a pair of double quotes...


My Windows (IIS) box was under worm attrack! The worm was Nimda and it had already generated about 215 hits.

Apparently it was trying to find my cmd.exe so as to take control of my Windows box. A few samples appeared in the Error 404 statistics:

  • /msadc/..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /exchange/check.bat/..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /_mem_bin/..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /_vti_bin/..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /exchange/..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /cgi/check.bat/..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /PBServer/check.bat/..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /cgi/..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe
  • /scripts/..%5c..%5cwinnt/system32/cmd.exe

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Safari the image editor?

Dave Hyatt (a Safari developer) has just made a post about Safari's addition to HTML - the canvas, and the extension of the img tag, which allows the changing of image content programmatically (using JavaScript?).

Well, sounds great. But is it a W3C standard? (I don't think so...)

By the way, the img should be deprecated and replaced with the generic object tag.

Monday, July 05, 2004

M$ Removal

Tonight I've replaced my M$ Office XP and M$ Visio 2002 with OpenOffice (aka OOo) and Dia respectively. I feel so much cooler~!

Now the only M$ stuffs left are the Windows Media Player 9 (WMP 6.4 can't play WMV smoothly), Internet Explorer (I don't use it anyway except Windows Update) and (of course) Windows 2000 Professional (still can't live without it).

The only problem is that my Visio documents cannot be opened anymore... Any non-M$ software that can read Visio files? -__-|||

Friday, July 02, 2004

Civil War in Hong Kong?

I've been watching Madlax recently. The story takes place in Gazth-Sonika (噶扎索尼卡), a mysterious country under civil war. "Madlax" is a young lady working as an underground special agent in Gazth-Sonika.

For people who are living in Hong Kong (or have been Hong Kong), you should undoubtedly be able to recognize these famous scenes in Hong Kong...

On your left, the famous circular over-bridge in Causeway bay (銅鑼灣):

On your right, Central Plaza (中環廣場), one of the skyscrapers in the Hong Kong Island:

Madlax surely knows where to live (what a great view!):

By the way, I found some episode guides of Madlax. Don't read it unnecessary you have watched the anime yourself. You are warned:

For me, I got the anime from Popgo's Anime Server #2.

Actually, there are many anime with scenes of Hong Kong. For example, Ghost In The Shell (攻殻機動隊) the Movie. You can see the Pottinger Street (石板街), banner of Sin Hua Bank (新華銀行) and the Tram (電車). The movie clip is available as QuickTime (49.3MB) or MPEG (120MB) format. Take a look. It worths!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Opera forgot its partners?

I thought Opera has just joined the alliance 1 day ago. But where is Mozilla, Apple and Sun?

Cached copy of Opera partner page:

Alliances and Partners

i3's business is to provide the technology needed for realising value-added services like content- on-demand and Internet browsing on a regular TV-set. The Opera embedded web browser is a vital component in our set-top box. Its excellent performance makes it the perfect tool for creating attractive user interfaces in various applications for digital TV.

Hans Holmberg, president, i3 micro technology.




mailto: -> left-click -> Gmail!

Jed has updated his GMailCompose to 0.3. Now one can write a Gmail using left-click of mailto: links.

Of course, this option can be turned off:

But I think most of the Gmail lovers would leave this enabled, right?

mailto: -> Gmail!

Thanks Cheah Chu Yeow! I found this useful Firefox extension (GMailCompose), which adds a "Compose GMail" option to the context menu for mailto: links and text addresses, from his post about Firefox BBCode extension.

Thanks man! Believe it or not, my friend Kwan actually asked me whether this extension exists on this Tuesday (i.e. 2 days ago).

Of course thanks to Jed Brown who wrote this little extension at the very same Tuesday (version 0.2.2 was released at 29 June 2004).

Big names join forces for better plugins

Mozilla, Opera, Apple, Macromedia and Sun have just announced that a series of changes will be made on the legacy plugin API known as Netscape Plugin Application Program Interface (NPAPI). The new scriptable plugin interface will allow web developers to offer richer web browsing experiences (more securely and efficiently), and helping to maintain innovation and standards on the web.

Announcements go here:

Other related articles:

Hey, surpringly Adobe is not there... Does that mean that it doesn't want to develope its own Adobe SVG Viewer anymore? I think so since the version 3 of the Adboe SVG Viewer plugin is way back to Nov 2001...

Let's hope that all the modern browsers will have native/plugin support of the W3C SVG (Mozilla's native SVG support is not enabled in any official builds).

Edited: Look like Adobe has joined the alliance as Mozilla's announcement is updated with the name "Adobe". So it should be true. Good to see that the "axis of evil" are not there? :-P