Sunday, May 22, 2011

Firefox 5 beta

There isn't much new in this release.
There is the new channel switcher and better support for CSS animations, but none of the hoped-for features are yet included. This is in contrast to the nightly build, where one other change has occurred: the URL bar now acts like Internet Explorer 8's, graying out everything but the actual domain name.
Chances are, you won't notice any of the differences, as the channel switcher effectively works in the background (only people who want to change channels regularly will be affected. Personally, I have the Nightly, Aurora, Beta, and Release versions installed separately). One problem that I have with the channel switcher is that there is no way to switch to the nightly builds from the channel switcher, and you can't switch from the Nightly to any other channel. While this may not seem a big deal, it can make a difference when testing (one of these days, I'm going to have time to participate in one of Mozilla's bugdays, but that may be a while) since each confirmed bug in Aurora is supposed to be checked in the Nightly build.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Finished IB testing...After I graduated

For some reason, IB testing doesn't finish before the end of the senior school year. Maybe that's because IB wants everyone suffer painfully.

Also, IB Math HL is the hardest test that I took--If I don't get the IB diploma, it is probable that it is math that does it.

Update on new format for site:
Still working on it (I have to learn XML programming--background colors were easy--and I have to figure out why it isn't behaving as expected)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Troy Rising Series--Looking back after the third release

I am trying to keep this very general. This means that only one name is mentioned, and that is a character first introduced in Live Free or Die along with the primary method for bootstrapping earth into a galactic power. I am going to avoid most of the technology, with a few exceptions, and give a very broad overview. I don't want to ruin the series for other people after all...

The first book was good. There were some explosions, an explanation on how humans got out of the gravity well, and the repercussions of being unable to defend ourselves. It even had some science that did sound somewhat possible (and is possible, like the SAPL) with a lot more work here on earth.

The second book expanded upon the first, and did not focus so much on Tyler Vernon, but more upon a new arrival to space. Since this book focused more on the nitty-gritty of surviving in space, it was also very realistic (except the gates...and the reaction-less drives), especially when talking about the dangers of a vacuum and orbital kinetic strikes on earth.

The third book wrapped up the entire series (unfortunately), and again it focuses upon the people who would enable earth to win a fight against aliens--in other words, the pilots, the welders, and the manufacturers--except the main character is thrown in with some horribly ineffective people.

I personally wish that there was going to be a fourth book (there is some potential there, what with the mediators being very territorial).
EDIT: According to there is Word of God  from Ringo that he will be continuing the series.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Why do AP students have only one test per subject and IB students have multiple tests?

Personally, I think that AP doesn't like students, since the students have only one chance to pass or fail their exams, whereas IB wants students to pass--as evidenced by the multiple tests that students are able to take, and the students ability to talk with classmates after the test about what they did not know.

On the other hand, the AP get through the suffering faster, while the IB students have to suffer through at least two tests per course (with a few exceptions).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Firefox Nightly (6.0a1 2011-04-25)

I have been using the Nightly browser for some time now, and I have found it to be very stable (no significant crashes anyway). As such, I am very pleased with Mozilla's ability to keep their most unstable browser working 98% of the time. Since there are no user interface changes at this time, I am going to give a quick rundown on my feelings for the nightly browser, and what a HTML5 test has told me.

It has more support for the HTML5 specification--I'm just tested Firefox 4.0 on the website, and got 240 +11 bonus points which is the same for Firefox 5.0a2 and 6.0a1.

This is better than Firefox 3.6, which obtained a score of 155 +4 bonus points.

However, even that is far beyond IE 8, which got a score of 32 +0 bonus points. I am not going to test anything before IE 8 due to the poor performance of IE 8. I also cannot test IE9 since I do not have a copy of Vista that I can use.

On the other hand, Chromium got a score of 273 +13 bonus points--which is higher than the latest Firefox's score by 33 +2 bonus points. Therefore, overall Chromium is the best choice for HTML5 support.

However, none of the browsers have the extensive environment for addons like Firefox, and that is where Firefox shines. Also, there is now no significant difference between the speeds of the browsers to the average person, and now it is features and not speed that browser vendors will have to compete for.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04, "Natty Narwhal"

I have been beta testing Natty Narwhal for the past month, and so far I have been pleased with it. It did upgrade some key packages, but due to the graphics limitations on that PC that I have been testing it on, I have been unable to see what the new Unity interface looks like.

The replacement music player for Natty Narwhal is Banshee, and I like it better than RhythmBox, which was not as powerful. Ubuntu has also upgraded the python language that all of the programs built into Ubuntu have to 2.7 (it used to be 2.6 until recently).

Ubuntu still doesn't support programs written specifically for MS Windows, but WINE has been changing that for the past 10 years (at a slow rate however), and WINE is now into its 1.3 development stage.

I personally look forward to Natty Narwhal's release since it will mean that Ubuntu has consolidated the Netbook and Desktop editions, thus allowing me to use only one installation disk for two different computer types.

When Ubuntu 11.04 comes out, I would recommend that you upgrade to it if you use one of the earlier distributions of Ubuntu-stick with MS Windows for now if you have any software that will not run under Linux or WINE.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Modifying the blog's look

I have been modifying the look of the entire blog, in order to do three things.
  1. Load the page faster on slow connections--the picture of the planet was large and took long times to load on slow connections
  2. Make some of the text more readable (I noticed that the link in the sidebar was the same color as the background)
  3. Modify everything else so that it looks better (i.e., gives feeling of depressed button when hovering over the navigation bar, which is proving to be difficult with Blogger)
There will be some more changes, which may take awhile becuase Blogger won't let me upload my own code (specifically my CSS and modifying the underlying HTML so that my CSS works with it).

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    President Obama and whether or not he was born in the U.S.

    If the allegations that President Obama is not a natural born citizen, as some people believe or suspect, the consequences could be disastrous for both the country and the constitution.

    If President Obama is not a natural born citizen, then what happens?

    According to the U.S. constitution, he never could have been president, under Article II, Section 1. As such, what would happen to the laws that were signed, vetoed, or not vetoed or signed within 10 days (Article I, Section 7)? I suspect that every bill passed by congress since 2008 would become law, since President Obama could not have been president during that time period. It would have been Vice-President Biden, who never signed or vetoed a single bill during his Vice-Presidency. The constitution does not specifically state that there has to be a sitting president when a bill is signed; it just gives the president 10 days to sign.

    On the other hand , President Obama could not have run for the presidency in the first place, potentially putting the Republican party or other third parties into the presidency. We would still have the bills passed by congress during that time put into law, since they would not have been returned or signed by the president. The constitution did not foresee the potential for someone not naturally born in the U.S. or its territories becoming president. However, there are already amendments to the constitution which specify whom becomes president if the president should become unable to discharge his duties, which means that Vice-President Joe Biden would take over--regardless of whether or not he wanted to or anyone else wanted him to.

    So, we have to ask ourselves, how would the Supreme Court rule a lawsuit against President Obama in all likelihood, again if it could be conclusively proven that he was not a natural born citizen?

    It is my belief that the Supreme Court will have a ruling on party lines, with a 5-4 ruling saying that President Obama could not have been president if sufficient evidence is gathered. What happens to the bills and positions that President Obama passed or created while in office, and what happens to the bills that he vetoed is uncertain.

    If it is decided that all bills that were vetoed while President Obama was president are de-facto law due to the 10 day clause, then all bills that were passed by congress during that time period are also law.

    Post your comments on what you think would happen if President Obama was not a natural born citizen.