Intermittent bursts of blogging

September 12th, 2006

as my creative energy will be rerouted to another project for the next few days.

[tags]site info[/tags]

Web site accessibility lawsuit filed against Target allowed to proceed

September 10th, 2006

From SFGate.com

Run by the nationwide Target stores chain, www.target.com is covered by federal and state laws that entitle people with disabilities to have equal access to business and government services, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled Wednesday in refusing to throw out a suit against the company. She rejected Target’s argument that the discrimination laws prohibit only physical barriers to a company’s stores or products.

“The purpose of the statute is broader than mere physical access” and includes the removal of all barriers to “a disabled person’s ‘full enjoyment’ of services or goods,” Patel said, quoting from the Americans With Disabilities Act.

She did not decide whether Target’s Web site is accessible to the blind, and denied an injunction that would have required the retailer to make immediate changes.

I’ve blogged about this lawsuit earlier, and noted then that part of the accessiblity problems were a lack of image alt tags and poorly implemented image maps. Let me just note here that I’ve seen poor implementation of image alt tags in some popular content management systems.

But really, what does this lawsuit mean to your friendly Web designer? Well, legally, we don’t know. There are no standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act that even address Web sites or Web site design. And while Section 508 has already been enacted, it’s standards only legally apply to US Federal Agencies. Looking to others, here are some guidelines for UK Government Web sites.

Honestly, I wonder what standard of Web accessibility will come from this lawsuit. This is key.

You may want to check if your Web site is Section 508 compliant and wait and see where this lawsuit will go. The W3C has a nifty list of Web Accessibility Tools including Section 508 checkers to make this easier.

[tags]Web, Web design, Web accessibility, Section 508 [/tags]

Fantasy Football - Week 1

September 10th, 2006

Here’s my starting lineup for my Fantasy Football team. I waited until this morning to make a decision on whether to sub in Westbrook, as his foot has been bothering him. For all intents and purposes from media reports, he’s playing. I expect Thomas Jones - RB CHI should do well too, but I am not sure if he will be better than Westbrook.

      QB T. Brady (NE-QB) BUF 1:00p
      RB B. Westbrook (PHI-RB) @HOU 1:00p
      RB L. Tomlinson (SD-RB) @OAK 10:15p
      WR L. Coles (NYJ-WR) @TEN 1:00p
      WR S. Moss (WAS-WR) MIN 7:00p
      TE A. Crumpler (ATL-TE) @CAR 1:00p
      K S. Graham (CIN-K) @KC 1:00p
      D/ST Seattle (SEA-D/ST) @DET 1:00p
      Bench J. Witten (DAL-TE) @JAC 4:15p
      Bench H. Ward (PIT-WR) MIA 17-28 F 5/53 ReYd, 1 ReTD(7)
      Bench T. Jones (CHI-RB) @GB 4:15p
      Bench T. Green (KC-QB) CIN 1:00p
      Bench A. Green (GB-RB) CHI 4:15p
      Bench M. Bell (DEN-RB) @STL 1:00p
      Bench A. Johnson (HOU-WR) PHI 1:00p
      Bench Denver (DEN-D/ST) @STL

Update: Won the matchup, probably won’t lead league.

[tags]Fantasy Football, Football, Sunday [/tags]

A beautiful Sunday Morning Web 2.0 review

September 10th, 2006

Ok, kids, it’s been a beautiful few days here in Southeast PA and today promises to be just as nice. So on that happy note, let’s talk about some Web 2.0 developments.

1) Crowdstorm has officially gone into public beta. Among the noted improvements, you can search the site even if you’re not a member and the UK centric shopping links are gone. The next step is for crowdstorm to attract, well, a crowd to make it all work.

2) Earlier this week, the founder of Webwag left a comment imploring for feedback on my earlier post about the (yet another) AJAX based start page. I’ve played around with Webwag this morning, and still a few things bother me about the design:

a)The initial page load time

b)Lack of clear instructions on all of the toggles on the start page. From a usability standpoint, the start page controls should either be intuitive (they’re not - I had to read the blog to figure out how to add a module to the start page) or have instructions. Maybe for new webwag users, there could be an instruction box showing on the start page in that upper right hand corner.

c)The gray text on the start page is too light and is hard for me to read.

3)Because it’s the first Sunday of football season, on a lark, I thought it would be amusing to try to find a Web 2.0 site about football…there aren’t many, but I did happen to find a previously unknown fantasy football site called fleaflicker. Aside from the gross-me-out name and mascot that only a 11 year old boy would love, the Web marketer in me cries because this is a site with about ZERO Search Engine Optimization or other Web marketing optimization. In it’s second season and truly a case of it’s built, but very few people know about it.

Thursday Night Football

September 7th, 2006

Well, it’s the season opener and the Steelers are playing the Dolphins. The pre-game, quite frankly, was boring and there’s been a number of video glitches. (Good job NBC.) The commercials are not all that impressive. The pre-game fireworks on top of the buildings and seeing Jerome Bettis was cool though.

I have to note that I’m a little chagrined that Hines Ward is playing tonight despite an earlier hamstring injury. I didn’t start him. My apartment neighbors just heard how chagrined I really am.

However, the Daunte Culpepper and the Dolphins already have the ball again after Charlie Batch couldn’t connect, so perhaps my gamble will pay off.

Update 1: They played an Apple commercial! See, Apple and football *can* go together. ;-)

Update 2: Hines Ward just got a touchdown. [censored] 6pts that I don’t have. Now, 10 pts.

Update 3: Hines Ward isn’t doing all that well.

Update 4: Another Apple commercial!

Update 5: What *was* that flag toss????

[tags]fantasy football[/tags]

PulpFiction

September 7th, 2006

It’s Thursday and that means yet another RSS reader. Today’s reader is PulpFiction, which is new to my logs. With a Mail.app like interface, PulpFiction runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later and will fetch, organize and display feeds from thousands of sources. Here’s the user agent:

Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/418.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) PulpFiction/1.2.2

[tags]RSS, RSS feeds, RSS reader, feed reader, RSS aggregator, PulpFiction [/tags]

no chacha love

September 6th, 2006

Has anyone actually tried out the latest and greatest in search engine debuts, chacha? The differentiation point is that chacha is supposed to be better in that real humans are guiding your search. Hasn’t this been done before?

Anyway, I tried searching for Mozilla Firefox in the ChaCha search section (I believe that is previously run searches) and got a big, fat…

Please wait while search results are retrieved …

However, the right hand side ads showed up just fine. Ads on an alpha deployment.

While I didn’t ask for a human to help in this case (that would be the Search With Guide option), I dunno, shouldn’t chacha be deploying with a depth of knowledge?

[tags]chacha, cha cha, human search, Web search, Web, search entrepreneurs [/tags]

Windows Live Alerts

September 5th, 2006

When I was writing about the RSS to IM services, I overlooked the still in beta Windows Live Alerts service. Windows Live Alerts allow users to opt in to receive very important cleverhack updates via desktop alert, email, PDA, and/or cell phone.

And face it, don’t you all want to know immediately that I just had most of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream?

Windows Live Alerts

[tags]Windows Live Alerts, RSS, RSS feeds, RSS to Desktop, RSS to IM, RSS to email, RSS to PDA, RSS to Phone [/tags]

Death Cab in Philly!

September 5th, 2006

Talk about giggling like a schoolgirl…Death Cab for Cutie is returning to the Philadelphia area on Thursday, October 26th.

Their Fall 2006 tour is taking them to smaller venues and in Philly, they’ll be playing the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA.

[tags]Death Cab for Cutie, dcfc, black framed glasses [/tags]

RSS to IM

September 4th, 2006

RSS to IM is a relatively unexplored area of development with two main contenders in the Web 2.0 horizon at the moment - Rasasa and Feed Crier.

Rasasa bills itself as a service which allows you to keep up with breaking news. By using Rasasa, you can have the newsfeeds you subscribe to delivered via IM, or to an email account or even to your mobile phone with their premium TXT service (although the premium TXT service would seemingly only benefit people in the Netherlands). Rasasa works with MSN, ICQ / AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk / Jabber instant messaging services.

Feed Crier comes out of the gate by being a more high end and the “free” plan only allows three feeds with advertising.

I would imagine you could get either of these services on your phone if you phone has IM functionality.

If one was just going to try out a service for the RSS to IM functionality, I’d try Rasasa first.

[tags] Web 2.0, Web, RSS to IM, RSS, IM, Rasasa, Feed Crier [/tags]

stuck red pixel

September 4th, 2006

My nearly three year old PowerBook has a newly developed stuck red pixel smack in the middle of the LCD. While this same PowerBook suffers from the known LCD white spot issue, this red pixel is much more distracting - especially when trying to view anything on a dark background.

I don’t know why the pixel became stuck now, the only cause I can think of is that it was moved around a bit more than usual this past week.

Of course, I searched for a fix for my stuck red pixel and this blog entry has some suggestions such as massaging the area [insert your favorite innuendo here] around the red pixel and running a video flash program to hopefully unstick the pixel.

[tags] hardware, LCD, monitor, dead pixel, PowerBook [/tags]

Hive Spy

September 4th, 2006

Ever want a real-time glimpse at what the big Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites are collecting, then Hive Spy should fit the bill.

Hive Spy basically collects feeds from digg, netscape and del.icio.us and presents them in a clever scrolling format.

What brought my attention to Hive Spy was viewing the following user agent in my logs. Hazarding a guess, I saw the user agent because a post of mine made it to Hive Spy. I don’t want to publish the IP address the user agent originated from, as it’s a residential Optonline and I’m betting it belongs to the Hive Spy creator.

Agent: yellowJacket/0.9 (Social Site Monitor HiveSpy.Com) AntFarm/1.000.1 HiveSpy.Com/1

[tags]Hive Spy, HiveSpy.com, social bookmarking, Web, Web 2.0, digg, netscape, del.cio.us, a neat idea [/tags]