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Putting the Point in Pointless.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

SWFObject Is Not Defined

If you’re having trouble with SWFObject.js and getting a “n is not defined” error, you’re probably not alone.

The mistake I made was not creating a <div> tag with the id name specified in my SWF creation script.

I needed this…

<div id="flashcontent1">
</div>

For this to work

<script type="text/javascript">
    var so = new SWFObject("mslide_show.swf", "mymovie", "211", "319", "6", "#FFFFFF");
    so.addVariable("quality", "high"); 
    so.addVariable("menu", "false"); 
    so.addVariable("pluginurl", "http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer");
    so.write("flashcontent1");
</script>

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wordpress Safari Problem

I had a problem tonight with a Wordpress blog that was recently upgraded to version 2.6.2 hosted with MediaTemple.

Typically when upgrade issues occur I simply recommend clients clear their cookies and browser cache.  That wouldn't work with Safari.

The login page simply kept refreshing.

It turned out the fix that was needed was to go to into Safari > Preferences > Security and allow cookies from all sites.  Logging in worked once, and then I was able to reset the security settings to normal.

I believe this problem stemmed from MediaTemple's GridServer reporting a different cookie referrer.

Hope this helps someone out there.  Long live the long tail.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More On Why The Gas Tax Holiday Is A Bad Idea

The Freakonomics blog continues on the hunt for a reason why the gas tax holiday is a good idea.

Last week I posed a simple challenge: Try to find any coherent economist willing to support the gas tax holiday proposed by candidates McCain and Clinton.

The challenge remains unanswered, but here’s some interesting commentary collected during the week:

As I indicated before, there are plenty of ideas why it wouldn't help your wallet, but not many why.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Gas Tax Holiday is a Bad Idea

Hillary Clinton has come out in support of John McCain's gas tax holiday idea.

She is quoted as saying the following,

"All I hear about is gas prices. Gas and diesel, everywhere," Clinton said in Kinston, N.C. "Some people say we don't need to get a gas tax holiday at all, it's a gimmick ... I want the Congress to stand up and vote. Are they for the oil companies, or are they for you?"

Here's the problem with that statement.  First, removing the gas tax will benefit the oil companies by selling more gas and hurt the government (and construction workers) by stopping the flow of money into the fed's coffers to pay for road projects.

Second, removing the gas tax will hurt airlines, Amtrak, and bus companies by encouraging people to drive instead of take a mass-transit system.

So what could be a golden opportunity for the United States to reduce it's obsession with driving, is instead going to result in less than 20 cents being taken off the price of a gallon of gasoline in Clinton/McCain world.

The best part is the oil companies would probably raise their prices in the absence of the tax because consumers would be willing to accept it in lieu of the absence of the tax.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Janesville and Amtrak

A long, long time ago back in 2001 Janesville had an Amtrak route from Chicago. It didn't run frequently, it had a very poorly located station, and wasn't really promoted, so it didn't last long.

I managed to dig up a couple digital relics of the train online a couple days ago. First there are a bunch of pictures and a description of the terrible station.

Second, there is a detailed account of how one man took the Amtrak system across the country to get to Janesville. I bet he was sorely disappointed when he got to the end of the route.

Would the car culture of Janesville have used rail if there was a better located station and a mid-day run? I think so.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Want Deepfish!

I'm itching to get my hands on Microsoft's mobile browser Deepfish, but apparently they're not accepting new users at this point. 

It's been almost a year since they have updated their product blog.  Is this a sign that the technology preview is dead in the water?  Please tell me no Microsoft, I really wanted to try it on my AT&T Tilt.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

DrupalCampWI A Success!

DrupalCampWisconsin was a smashing success.  Held in the Milwaukee School of Engineering multipurpose room, DrupalCampWI was an all-day event on January 19th, 2008.  The event was an unconference centered around the popular, open-source content management system Drupal.

Being sick all week, I wasn't sure how the event would go from my perspective, but I got on antibiotics at just the right time.  I was feeling better and better as the event went on, albeit quite tired.

Anyway, my point in this post isn't to tell you everything that went on at the event, because Pete has that covered in a great write-up.  My aim is to tout the continued emergence of the web technology community in Milwaukee. 

A couple of years ago the notion of a BarCamp, a weekend conference where the attendees would present and share their passion for technology, seemed like a pie in the sky concept that would never happen in Milwaukee.  Then came the incredibly dedicated work of a few people, and the building of a critical mass of individuals and BarCampMilwaukee actually happened.

That snow balled into increased attendance at a monthly meetup group and Web414 was born.  A monthly gathering of those "who build the web", it kept getting bigger and bigger especially as BarCampMilwaukee2 got closer and closer.  After an extremely successful BarCampMilwaukee2, plans were made for DrupalCampWI.  DrupalCampWI came to pass, and as the title of this post exclaims, it also was very successful.

Sure the events have had their hitches, but it's getting easier and easier to throw bigger and bigger events.

While this community hasn't created any super successful technology startups yet, it's headed there.  The amount of knowledge exchanged and creativity channeled by the community is astounding.

There still is a number of untapped groups and individuals in Milwaukee, who have yet to be exposed to an unconference or Web414 meeting.  It's simply a matter of time before they're drawn in.

We pull-in a few new individuals at every event we as members of the community throw.

If you had told me there would be a technology scene like this in Milwaukee when I moved here three years ago, I would have laughed.  But through the determination of a handful of individuals and the participation of a large number of people it's emerged.  The future is written by those who show up and put in a small amount of work.  This theory has been proven true in Milwaukee.