Content-aware Image Resizing

I am guessing this would be a valuable addition to web browsers in the future. With this technique it is easy to target an image for viewing in multiple displays (e.g. a 4:3 screen or a 16:9 TV).

“Seam carving” allows an image to be resized non-uniformly, so you can change the height to width ratio in the image without cropping, but also without distorting important features in the image (such as faces).

The video shows some intresting results when using this method too much, but the overall result is very impressing.

Hackzine has more details.

MySpace Layouts and Markup Quality

I have received an increasing number of advertising inquiries from MySpace layout sites. Apparently the term “MySpace layouts” is a very popular search term these days. Looking at the default MySpace layouts one can unserstand why. I am confident that they didn’t hire a designer to create the default MySpace look and feel. Looking at the MySpace HTML, they certainly didn’t hire a GUI developer. The markup looks like it was ripped from a teenage fan site from the early nineties:

  • There is no doctype declaration. Not that it would have mattered anyway…
  • The markup starts out nicely with divs and spans and then freaks out with some classic table layout. I though that went away in the nineties…
  • Inline styles are used all over the place.
  • Headings start at level 5. And continues to level 4…
  • Images are missing an alt attribute.

This contributes to making MySpace an inaccessible mess. What does it prove? That you can be successful with a crappy site? Maybe the laugh is on me.

The iPhone cult and self criticism among followers…

Apple iphoneSo the iPhone is out and the Apple cult followers are going crazy all over the place. Unpacking porn and disassemblies are being posted.

When the iPhone was announced I had my doubts about the touch screen keyboard. I had been using a HTC phone for a while and did not really see how they would be able to make a decent touch keyboard. Especially not for us in the norhern hemisphere that use gloves during winter. TUAW is reviewing the touch keyboard and concurs that there is “nothing wrong with the keyboard”. The error seems to be the “meat mittens” of the user. How is that for self criticism? The user is to blame instead of the phone…

What happened to plain old HTTP redirects?

Broken redirect from bredbandbolaget.seSo, I was looking for an offer on IP telephony and thus decided to point my browser to one of the larger ISP:s. I get a blank page back (blank as in “all white”). A couple of years ago, this wasn’t uncommon if you were brave enough to use a non-mainstream browser. But today it is 2007.

A brief look at the HTML source gives:



…which safari doesn’t follow. Interestingly, search engines won’t be following that either. What happened to the plain old HTTP redirect header? There can’t be a single programming language for the web today that doesn’t support output of HTTP headers. Or are there still web developers that don’t know about HTTP? Apparently so.

Self-imposed RSS reading ban…

Am I alone having trouble staying away from the RSS reader? With the number of subscriptions I have there is always something interesting to read. This absolutely kills productivity when you try to use the 1 hour free time per day you have when you are on parental leave. Must. Stop. Reading.

And who cares about the recommended refresh rate property anyway? I want to update NOW! I need some sort of time lock on all things RSS.

Maybe I should stop writing pointless blog posts like this as well. Aaargh!

IKEA may start selling computers

Chief Executive Anders Dahlvig in an interview with Reuters said IKEA aimed to put a “bigger focus” on the living room in the next year, adding accessories for TV and videogames alongside new sofas and storage ranges.

When asked if that could lead to electricals being sold in its iconic blue and yellow stores, he replied:

Maybe. It depends on the stores. They are big, but they are still crowded; there are lots of products we would like to have in there.

Will we see an IKEA computer? It is an interesting idea and IKEA has a lot of good design people so why not? My suggestion is to call the first model “Bill”…

Blogs increasingly more popular among senior citizens

Via PR 2.0 (in swedish) I found the recently published TeliaSonera report on communication trends in Sweden (PDF in swedish). 10,000 people were interviewed about their online media use and expectations.

Most of their findings were not surprising; people expect wifi in hotel rooms, want to be able to watch TV on their cell phone and so on. One thing did stand out though:

25% of the population regularly reads one or more blogs. Among persons 26 and younger the figure goes up to 50% but for the group 60 or older it is still close to 25%.

This is very interesting.

Capture Full Web Page in OS X

If you need to capture an image of a full web page without having to do the scroll-cut-paste-repeat dance you should have a look at Paparazzi. Paparazzi uses the WebKit framework to create nice full length captures of web pages.

If you need to do this programmatically for a large number of sites there is a nice library called webkit2png by Paul Hammond. It is a Python script utilizing the PyObjC bridge

Update: There is also a cheap commercial alternative to Paparazzi called Red Snapper. For $8 you get a button directly in Safari to do a capture. Worth checking out if you don’t want an extra app on your system.

Staying Up-to-date With Technology During Parental Leave


So, after Christmas and New Year’s Eve I am on parental leave until October 2007. Nine months is a long time in the technology industry so I am planning some projects to keep up-to-date. My project list is getting longer every day but for some reason no-one is taking it seriously. My wife tells me I should be happy if I manage to read the morning paper while taking care of our son…
Continue reading

The Ideal VIM Keyboard

My colleague Niklas nagged me for not having disabled the caps lock key on my MacBook Pro. I was a bit disoriented at first but coming to think of it, I haven’t used the caps lock key since I got the MBP back in April.

This made me think about which keys I actually use. Being a recent VIM convert I wonder if Apple’s designers hate VIM. Efficient editing in VIM require you to use the escape key a lot. On the MBP the escape key is one of the smallest keys on the keyboard for some reason.

Am I whining about superfluous things? Maybe so. Maybe I should just shut up and remap my caps lock key to escape.

Give me larger keys!

The ideal VIM keyboard should have a large escape key. The colon is used a lot too. Maybe it could look something like this:

The ideal VIM keyboard