what i'm listening to – july 2009

July 22, 2009 under Music

July is the marriage month and I have two weddings to go to; I’m the best man in one of them and wife is the maid of honour in the other. Does this mean my tunes taste has turned to wistful songs of love and devotion?

Friendly FiresFriendly Fires
Funky and tuneful with a splash of shoegaze. Hip wedding receptions would play some tracks off this album to get people to kick off their shoes and spaz out on the dance floor; “On Board” (made famous by the original Wii Fit TV commercial) at the very least.

The HorrorsPrimary Colours
The Cure + Bauhaus + My Bloody Valentine = The Horror’s Primary Colours; that’s the best way for me to describe it.

The Most Serene Republic…And the Ever Expanding Universe
Grandiose songs for a hip romantic comedy. Too bad “hip” and “romantic comedy” are mutually exclusive. With love, from Milton, ON.

The Rural Alberta AdvantageHometowns
A friend of mine knows the folks in this band and gushed about them for so long, I gave in. Turns out, he’s right. Bedroom rock with big ambitions.

WilcoWilco (The Album)
Wilco, Wilco, Wilco will love you, baby. Need I say more?

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
comments: 0 » tags:

firefox 3.5 – an exercise in poor design

July 10, 2009 under Computers, Internet, Software

Lucifer is putting on a sweater – I’m posting something technical again!

Mozilla released Firefox 3.5 last week with loads of new features like the zippy TraceMonkey JavaScript engine. It also includes another feature that I don’t think I can ever warm up to – a revamped NSS module that causes ridiculously long launch times on Windows computers.

The NSS is responsible for handling encryption tasks via SSL, TLS, etc. When we’re talking about encryption, random numbers are par for the course. I’m not sure how they generated random numbers in previous NSS versions, but for 3.5, Mozilla decided that using various temporary files on people’s computers was a stellar way to calculate a seed for a random number generator. Generating truly random numbers on computers is hard. Hell, randomness itself is hard. Yet whatever Mozilla was doing before seemed to work well. Why they decided to use temp files now is anybody’s guess. Especially given the fact that typical computer users don’t even know of the existence of the various temporary folders on their systems, so we could be talking thousands of files that the NSS has to iterate over to generate a random number generator’s seed. Thankfully, this issue has been logged as a Priority 1 bug, so we (hopefully) can anticipate a speedy resolution. In the meantime, if you like Firefox 3.5 on Windows but its slow startup has you at your wits’ end (and you don’t want to revert to a 3.0.x version), keep the following folders on your computer as clean as possible until this is fixed in a point release:

Windows 2000, XP and 2003

  • C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\Temp\
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\Local Settings\Temp
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\My Recent Documents
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\Local Settings\History

Windows Vista, 2008 and 7

  • C:\Users\[user_name]\Temp\
  • C:\Users\[user_name]\AppData\Local\Temp
  • C:\Users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
  • C:\Users\[user_name]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
  • C:\Users\[user_name]\Local Settings\History
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
comments: 0 » tags: