Monday, April 25, 2005

Blogger reveals juicy Disney tidbits

Blogger Jim Hill has been blogging about Disney for years at Although Disney is his favorite subject, Mickey and his friends probably were not terribly happy with everything Jim had to say about the Disney corporate world on his site. Things got a bit nasty when Jim blogged on the the well-known dispute over management:

Hill butted heads with the multimedia giant once before, at the 2004 shareholders' meeting in Philadelphia. Hill, who had been covering the leadership battle between Disney chief executive Michael Eisner and Roy Disney, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article accompanied by a sketch of him. When he arrived at the meeting, Hill said company officials pulled his credentials. The incident happened in front of the press corps and he was on cable news the next day. Then as now, Hill's blog saw a Space Mountain-size spike in hits. Chicago Sun-Times

Hill ran into problems more recently because of an unofficial Disneyland tour he was arranging through his blog.

Once again, this demonstrates that it pays to find your blogging niche if you want to develop a large following.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Serendipity .8 released

One of the best and most overlooked blogging platforms out there was upgraded on April 15.

Finally, after about 8 months of hard development and 6 beta releases the Serendipity Team is proud to finally release version 0.8 of Serendipity.

Many new and important features have been introduced, the core code has been made much more flexible, our code is polished up and many bugs and security issues were addressed.

Serendipity is one of my top five blog software programs. Take a look HERE for a list of the many features and then download a copy for yourself. It's free and it's good.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Is your blog PC?

Politically correct, that is.

Do you have an obligation to make your blog accessible to the handicapped? What if a blind person wants to read your blog. Do you have a way to reasonably accommodate your blind readers? It isn't as far-fetched as you might think. Southwest Airlines has already been sued because they have not made their Website accessible to the blind.

This isn't the first lawsuit alleging that the ADA applies to the Internet. In 1999, the National Federation of the Blind sued AOL alleging that its service was inaccessible to blind users. Earlier this year, Access Now sued Barnes & Noble and Claire's Stores alleging that both websites violated the ADA. Both cases settled out of court. WiredNews

But here's the question I've not been able to get answered after looking at these pending lawsuits: how exactly do you make a site accessible to the blind? I mean, come on, what technology are we expected to employ?

Apparently, all you have to do to be able to sue is make the claim that a site discriminates simply by virtue of the fact that the visually impaired cannot see it. So what suggestions are made for ways to make the Internet accessible to those who cannot see it? None that I can find. I suppose if you required all Web site to have streaming audio for everything that is displayed, including audio descriptions of all graphics, maybe that could work. Of course, it could also put the Web pretty much out of business as ways to handle the bandwidth demands and the expense are dealt with.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

"Blogger sucks" gets 6,500 Google hits

Despite some claims that searching on "blogger sucks" (with the quote marks) will get 700,000 hits, the point is still well taken. The fact that Blogger is getting so much bad press should prompt the Blogger/Google folks to take some action.

It's getting a little nasty out there.

In a post called "Blogger Stinks," Ryan McReynolds, who shares his views on life, God, intimacy, politics and media philosophy, wrote: "I'm getting really tired of all the glitches and hiccups of Blogger. You may have noticed double posts at times on this blog. That's because you never know whether clicking something on Blogger will actually accomplish what is intended. Lately it seems like clicking does nothing but bring up a 'document contains no data.' Maddening." --WiredNews

Friday, April 08, 2005

Fake Windows update circulating

There is apparently an email campaign going on to infect your computer with a new virus.

The legitimate looking email seems to come from Microsoft and invites the reader to go to the Microsoft update site to get access to the latest security updates. The site seems to be a good copy of Microsoft's Web site and lures the visitor into downloading a Windows security patch.

But should unsuspecting users download the bogus patches, they will infect their computers with the Troj/DSNX-05 Trojan horse, according to Sophos. That, in turn, will let the attackers remotely take control of the infected PC. ZDNet

Microsoft is quick to point out that they never contact users by email for security updates.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Gmail goes to 2 gigs

Google announced recently that the one gigabyte storage limit for Gmail will be increased to two gigabytes.

Of course, the big question is "When is Gmail going to be public?"

Makes you wonder why they keep improving the service, but make people beg to get invitations to use the service. Wouldn't it make more sense to move out of the "beta" stage before doubling the storage? Google will not discuss when, or even if, Gmail will be public.

Asked whether access to Gmail accounts would ever be totally open, Harik declined to answer. "We keep looking for ways to make it more broadly available to people who want to use it," he said. --PCWorld Australia