New Yahoo7 site

Yahoo7 HomepageYahoo and the Seven Network have combined to create a new ninemsn clone: Yahoo7. They’ve done well and created a site that is a CSS-based layout (ie no tables except for tabular data). It looks nice too, nicer I would say, than ninemsn. I think this site may actually manage to pull my homepage away from Google Personal Homepage. Y7 doesn’t compete for customisation, but it’s got more personality, and personality goes a long way. There’s some good use of DHTML/AJAX, not overwhelming and showy, just used as it should be, i.e. to make things easier to use. I particularly like the little scrollable news box (but just swiped from the news.com.au site) and the customisable local weather widget.

All very nice, but can someone please tell me why, after all the effort of creating a great CSS-based site, you would go ahead and not specify a content-type and put the DOCTYPE tag in wrong?

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Oprah's million little complaints

After the revelations published by The Smoking Gun about A Million Little Pieces, James Frey has remained on the defensive, continuing to claim that his book is factual, despite it seeming that every week brings news that a new piece of information in it was a lie.

When he went on the Larry King show, Oprah Winfrey called up to defend him, say effectively that the truth didn’t matter, it was the ‘overall reading experience’ that mattered. Sort of another fake but accurate defence. It would seem that since then quite a number of people have called her on the logical, if not moral, inconsistency of her defence of James Frey. The Stephen Dubner, of Freakanomics fame, put up the idea that she was just trying to defend her next, possibly fantastical biographical book. It would seem though that she has actually listened to the criticisms and has realised that the guy is a liar and she said so in her most recent show.

Oprah: You went to the dentist. What’s true about the dentist?

James: I mean, I went to the dentist. I had my front four teeth repaired …as I remember it.

Oprah: With Novocain?

James: I honestly have no idea.

Oprah: Well then why did you say you didn’t have Novocain? Because, you know, the last time I went to the dentist, my dentist said that could not have happened. And I said, ‘Oh no. It happened. He told me it happened.’ …So, why did you do that?

James: I mean, once I talked to the person at the facility about it, you know, the book had been out for nine months. We’d already done a lot of interviews about it. … Since that time I’ve struggled with the idea of it…”

Oprah: No, the lie of it. That’s a lie. It’s not an idea, James. That’s a lie.

As Steven Levitt on the Freakanomics blog said:

She more than redeemed herself on her show today with James Frey as her guest. Unlike Larry King, who tossed softball after softball to Frey, she repeatedly asked the hard questions. And it became increasingly clear that just about everything interesting in his memoirs is made up.

I admire someone who can change their mind and admit a mistake like Oprah did today. It is even harder to do so in front of millions of people.

Meanwhile it’s good to see that James Frey’s creativity has inspired a new generation of writers.

Oblivion Collectors Edition

Oblivion Cellectors Edition BoxNote: I want this. The collectors editon of Oblivion will include, along with the game, manual & map, a bonus making-of DVD, a replica ‘Septim‘ (the currency of the Empire) and a ‘Pocket guide to the Empire

I’m torn as to whether I want it on the PC or the Xbox. My PC isn’t really good enough to appreciate the graphics, but the Xbox version won’t have the TES Construction Set. Decisions, decisions…

Either way, bring on March 21st

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Glenmore Park Anglican Church Podcast

We’ve started recording and podcasting the sermons at my church for the 5:00PM & 7:00PM services. We chose these services because of the 4 services, the 8:30, 10:15 & 5:00PM services all (usually) have the same sermon, while the 7:00PM one is often different (the 7:00PM service is a youth service).

The recording is done using a great program that Darren wrote that takes the audio from the mixing desk and records and converts to MP3. It even writes out the ID3 tag data.

The podcast feed is here if you want to subscribe to it, or you can just browse the site and download the MP3 files manually. We haven’t integrated the podcast into the church’s website because we’re just testing this at this stage, but that will hopefully happen in the not-too-distant-future.

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WordPress Feed Locations Plugin

New plugin time!

I’ve been wanting to be able to set the location of my RSS/Atom feeds without having to change the template files, so that if/when I change templates I don’t have to always update the files. I use feedburner for my feeds, so I need to have the links point there rather than the default locations.

So I’ve written a small plugin that will allow the admin to set the urls for the different feed locations when bloginfo(‘rss_url’); is called. You can get it from here. You can use it to change the locatons of these feeds:

  • rss_url (RSS .92)
  • rdf_url (RDF, RSS 1.0)
  • rss2_url (RSS 2.0)
  • atom_url (Atom 0.3)
  • comments_rss2 (Comments RSS2.0 feed)

Please leave any questions / comments on the plugin’s page

Google Local now has the same high-res shots as Google Earth

Official Google Blog: New year, new imagery

We’re always trying to improve the imagery in Google Earth and Google Local, but our latest update is bigger than usual. Not only have we added extensive 6-inch imagery for many parts of the U.K., but we’ve updated the Google Local database to match the coverage we have in Google Earth, and (drum roll, please) … we’ve added two more zoom levels in Google Local’s Satellite mode! Now for many areas around the world you can see a lot more detail than you could before.

Take a look at people standing at the gates of Buckingham Palace in London, or jump over the pond and see the Statue of Liberty in New York, and then maybe drop down to the southern hemisphere and check out the boats sailing past the Sydney Opera House.

This means that most of the Greater Sydney area is now in high-res on Google Earth and Google Local.

Goosesteppin'

Goosestep HomepageLiquorice has just put live the re-design of David Campese’s e-commerce website Goosestep. Named after his trademark acceleration technique that fooled opponents into thinking he was slowing down when in fact he was speeding up, Goosestep supplies great coffee, Campo’s own line of clothing and rugby memorabilia. If you’re ever in the Rocks, Sydney, drop in for a Campo-chino. Otherwise you can visit Goosestep.com.au and browse and buy to your heart’s content. The Goosestep site runs the custom-built LiquoriceCMS.

This has been a public service announcement for Liquorice Asia Pacific. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.