Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How to Stop Terrorism - Fool Proof!

I can't take credit for this idea, it came to me from a good friend, but it is brilliant! Ok, here's how it works: Many terrorists are operating under the principle that if they die as a martyr they will be rewarded in the afterlife. Most of these terrorists also have a law forbidding them to take pork into their body, as it is an unclean animal. So, the solution is to dip all of the United States (and allies) bullets in pork grease. They would not dare approach a situation where they might be shot with a pork bullet, because this would certainly prevent them from reaching paradise after this life. Problem solved. I have come up with my own addendum to this plan: Fill the walls of all passenger aircraft with pork grease so that in the event of an explosion the shrapnel would embed pork into the bodies of all on the plane.

Perhaps this is a suitable use for packaged weight watchers pork rines.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Google Notebook

I just ran into a new (for me) Google service. Google Notebook

I've made one already, and it's an awesome concept. To get started you just need to install a small extension to your internet browser which gives you a new option in your right-click menu. Then when you find something on the web that you want to remember, or "jot down" in your notebook, you select whatever it is, right click and select 'Note This'. Whatever you selected is then added as an entry in your notebook with a link back to the site you grabbed it from - perfect for lazy researchers.

It's still in Beta, so there are still some quirks and problems.
  • It's really hard to move, add or delete images. I would like to host images off my own server, but this is impossible right now. If I add a note from scratch, there is no way to add a picture that I've found
  • In general, the text is hard to edit, it should be as easy as blogger!
  • Actually, it would be cool if it let you edit the html as well.
  • One of my pet peeves is a page with various font types and font sizes. I would LOVE it if GoogleNotebook had an option to set all the font faces and sizes to the same thing when you add a new note. That way they would look consistent.
  • It would be profitable, but perhaps unethical, to have optional google ads on the public view page. I say unethical, because you are farming other people's work and earning money off of it... but, someone researching a topic would much rather stumble across your notebook full of the information they need, than spend the time scouring the web for the same pages.
  • I wish I could change the look *just a little* .. maybe integrate the Google web page Template idea into it... *shrug*
  • One more heading type would be really good. Something to split the sections up a little.
  • Oh! Unicode support! pretty please?
  • A list of notebooks by topic or something would be cool, and a place for notebook authors to list a topic (or three), obviously.
  • Move the items in the 'Actions' drop down box into a toolbar type deal.
Despite that long list, Google Notebook is actually very usable right now, as is ... it just needs a little polishing.

Ketchup Nazis

Every time I order one of those delicious cherry pies at McDonalds, I think about why the Cherry comes in a brown box, and the Apple in a red box. Everyone knows that when you slice open a hot Apple pie it is brown, and a Cherry pie is red. They may have some strange logic involving certain apple's skins being colored red, and Brown being designated as "special" for some reason. It is whack. This makes no sense. It is like a bad decision that has stuck with the company for decades now, and is being upheld by the current regime of Ketchup Nazis. Why must it persist?

Fruit Loops

Have you ever thought about taking fruit loops, and separating them into separate bowls based on color. Purple, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange. Then eat them blindfolded and see if you can really tell the flavors apart? (Raspberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Lime, Lemon, and Orange)

Are they distinctly flavored? Or are they all flavored with the same mix, and the colors only indicitive of the contents in general?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Working on what will most benefit...

We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google. This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner. For example, AdSense for content and Google News were both prototyped in “20% time.” Most risky projects fizzle, often teaching us something. Others succeed and become attractive businesses.
--Larry Page
Larry Page was co-founder of Google with Sergey Brin. I like this little 20% time idea. I think more companies could make use of such philosophies. How often does the worker know exactly what would improve efficiency, but is never given the opportunity to implement it? I've seen this happen everywhere, and I think it's pretty much ethically wrong to not act in such a case to improve the company.

Have you heard of anyone with similar policies? What benefits have these companies gained from this attitude?

Replace Ampersands

This Regex attempts to replace all ampersands that are not part of a character entity with the & character entity.

&((([^;]|\z){6})|.{0,5} )

$result = ereg_replace('&((([^;]|\\z){6})|.{0,5} )', '&\\1', $subject);
$result = preg_replace('/&((([^;]|\\z){6})|.{0,5} )/', '&\\1', $subject);

And a disclaimer - If you don't know what this means, then you don't need to know this. ;-)