Today was the last day at Mozilla for Alex Polvi, web ninja and one of my favorite colleagues at the OSU Open Source Lab and later at Mozilla.

But it wouldn't be our Alex if he didn't leave with a bang, so he made a "Hampster Dance" style website named "Foxkeh Dance", featuring the cute Japanese Firefox mascot "Foxkeh" and celebrating 10 years of Mozilla along with 10 years of Hampster Dance:

I just warn you, if you're like me, you'll have trouble getting that catchy tune out of your head for the rest of the day -- much like the first time when you looked at Hampster dance back in the 90s.

Take care, Alex, and I hope our paths will cross again sooner rather than later!

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Uhm, no, thanks.

(Update: A few people have wondered if I did not install Silverlight merely because it is produced by Microsoft. This is not the case, as you can read in more detail in the discussions in the comments to this article. Thanks.)

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I was just checking out a website with JavaScript disabled, then surfed over to facebook (accidentally) without switching JS back on, where I was welcomed with the following page (click on it to see it in its full beauty):

I love how gracefully they degrade to... an empty page...

Relying on JavaScript completely and just not returning a page at all if you don't have it is a no-go in web development. At the very least, you should display a page stating why your services can't be used without a particular technology, and provide hints on how to fix that.

Probably, the empty page only occurs because I logged in with JS enabled, then returned to the page with it disabled, but still it's not a great user experience either way.

Depending on the software architecture, it is even relatively easy to provide a working page for "no script" users while keeping fancy JavaScript elements.

At AMO, we make an effort to keep all public parts of the website accessible to non-JS users as well so that the site can be used by the widest audience possible, and the development effort is far smaller than I imagined, due to language constructs like <noscript> that allow displaying buttons etc. that wouldn't be needed in the "AJAXy" version of the page.

When I look at this, I hope facebook was not infected by its evil German stepchild "StudiVz", as far as code quality is concerned. That apparent facebook clone, when it was first introduced, was infamous for its numerous, severe shortcomings in such minor regards as security, privacy, user experience, and probably a number of other important buzzwords as well (also stated by Facebook themselves in the context of their intellectual property lawsuit against StudiVZ: "As with any counterfeit product, Studivz's uncontrolled quality standards for service, features and privacy negatively impact the genuine article.", but I am digressing...)

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From the "announcements" section of Bank of America's online banking:

Firefox is now supported by Online Banking.(New) Experienced Firefox users and customers interested in using Firefox can conduct Online Banking activities knowing that the browser is fully supported. For information about settings that will help you get the best possible Online Banking experience with Firefox, visit our Browser Help and Tips.

Glad to hear!

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Since I filled up my Netflix queue on the weekend and they only ship DVDs on weekdays, my Netflix queue said

We'll send your first available movie on Monday.

all weekend long.

Now I just looked at the queue to see if it shipped, and now it says:

Uhm, Netflix, what's going on? I've heard rumors before that you stretch out DVD shippings in order to reduce the amount of DVDs per month and customer, but do you need to do so with a new customer and his first DVD?

Then again, maybe they haven't survived their huge shipping issues from last week quite yet, in spite of my entire queue saying "Availability: Now".

It depends on your individual definition of "now", after all.

Update: Interesting, Netflix sent me an email apologizing about the bad start of my membership, extending my free trial for a week. Well then.

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When I went to Giant Eagle earlier this week, I got a two DVDs from the Redbox DVD rental machine in front of the store, as I felt like watching a movie and they only charge 1 dollar plus tax a day, which is really cheap. Sadly, one of the DVDs was so badly scratched that my drive wouldn't even read it: After a few unsuccessful tries at spinning up the disc, it spit it right back out -- though my DVD player isn't even usually that picky about what it eats (I'll spare you the reference to Americans and their fast food).

Sure enough, I called customer service (1-800-REDBOX3, in case you were wondering) and they apologized, marked the disc as "to be removed from circulation" and gave me two codes for free rentals in return.

So I took back the discs, and got two new ones -- only to notice that one of them was, yet again, looking like somebody had used it as a coaster:

Though they gave me another replacement code, I decided to try something different to satisfy my urge for movies and TV shows: I signed up for Netflix.

The idea of finding a new movie in the mail box when I come home from work sounded appealing to me. So I already put 20 discs into the queue which, considering I have the 1-DVD-at-a-time-plan, will probably take ages to go through, but we'll see how it goes. Another cool feature is their "watch instantly" collection, but I may blog about that some other time.

I wonder what my readers use to get to their movies? Let me know in the comments.

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After I came back from Whistler, BC, I stopped by in Oregon, where I had the pleasure to be a groomsman at one of my best friends' wedding: Justin married his Karen.

It was a lot of fun, though I didn't imagine it being so complicated to get married in this country that you need to rehearse the day before. ;)

Of course, the other guys wanted to set me up to catch the garter, but I got miraculously saved. Needless to say, this is the 21st century, so it's on youtube:

From my "exchange student" point of view, I have to say, this gave me much deeper insight into American society than any other event I attended here (and I've been in the US for a while). It is sad most exchange students have to miss out on this.

PS: I've officially worn enough pink that day to last me well through my twenties!

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Al Billings has a picture of the blown transformer that caused Thursday's power outage. That laundry truck must have ran into it really bad, considering it ripped it off its base:

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What the heck? This morning, a laundry truck ran into the hotel's power transformer, leaving the entire hotel out of power.

Now it's (barely) running on emergency power (needless to say the Wifi is on that emergency power as well), while we are waiting for a replacement generator. Chances are though that due to the fantastic rock slide, it has to take the long route so that could take a while.

Good times.

Update: Since 2:30pm, the power's back on. Yay.

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I dig the Mozilla Summit Poster:


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