Category Archives: Tech

Congress, Camera, Click

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A new bill introduced by New York representative Peter King (Republican, you guessed it), will require all camera cell phones to make a clicking noise when they take a picture. Nobody seems to think that we need this bill. And there seem to be a number of flaws with it. Firstly, cameras can still take pictures without making a noise and from great distances. Secondly, nobody is behind it, the bill doesn’t even have a cosponsor. Apart from the obvious uselessness of this bill, it got me thinking about the last time I was in Japan. Not only do all their cameras have to make that noise, but they have special subway times where only women can ride to avoid groping. Is it possible that we have a less-perverted society than some others? When I was in Japan I remember everyone being so courteous and helpful, way beyond our American culture, so I feel bad even asking the question.

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Dynamic Fading Menu Post Redux

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Looks like the post that I wrote back in January is becoming more popular lately:

Saw some examples here:

and here:

I hope that as ui programmers move forward with these new effects, there is an effort to keep these effects clean. I always like to avoid the carnival look whenever possible.

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iPhone in Vermont

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It is ridiculous that the iPhone is still not here. Verizon bought Unicel for $2.67 billion and a major part of the deal was a swap between AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Yet the Vermont Lawmakers say that this deal would exclude Windsor, Windham, and Bennington. AT&T could now potentially walk away from the deal all together. The Vermont legislature needs to wake up and let AT&T in, all of VT suffers if AT&T walks on this.

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jQuery 1.5 Beta

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As I continue to try to keep my systems up to date with the new features of jQuery 1.2.3, the jQuery team is hard at work releasing jQuery 1.5 beta. Looks like there is quite a bit more support for the sortables, drag and drop, and my particular favorite the slider. I hope to have some time to tinker with the slider because those can make a UI feel nice, or feel clunky depending on how the code turns out.

They mention a large performance boost as well, I know we got a nice boost on one of the previous iterations.

Now if only my jQuery reference widget could keep up with releases:

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Dynamic Fading Mouse Overs

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Mouse overs are fun and help indicate available actions but, is there any way to spruce them up? Transitions really help add polish to an application or site. One idea is a fading mouse over, so that the button gradually reaches a pressed state. I set this menu up accordingly to create this.

The menu uses a standard <li> setup and builds the rest from JS and CSS. Here is the markup:

<ul class=”topnav”>
<li class=”navLeft” hoveritem=”#sngLiHover0″></li>
<li hoveritem=”#sngLiHover1″> <a href=”#”>Home</a></li>
<li hoveritem=”#sngLiHover2″> <a href=”#”>Account</a></li>
<li hoveritem=”#sngLiHover3″> <a href=”#”>Cart</a></li>
<li hoveritem=”#sngLiHover4″> <a href=”#”>Help & Info</a></li>
<li hoveritem=”#sngLiHover5″> <a href=”#”>Contact Us</a></li>
<li class=”navRight”></li>

The script then attaches the needed information:

//SNG popup and nav
//navigation fader
/* Written by Scott Gale (c) */
/* Requires jquery1.2.1 */

(function($) {

window.SNG = window.SNG || {};

    $("#cwdusacontainer .topnav li").not(".search").not(".navRight").each(function(count){
        var width = (parseInt($(this).width(),10)+24)+"px";
        var height = $(this).height();
        var div = document.createElement("div");
        div.className = "liHover"; = "sngLiHover"+count;

    $("#cwdusacontainer .topnav li").not(".navRight").not(".search").not(".navLeft").hover(
        function() {

        function() {
        document.location = $(this).find("a").attr("href");

    $(".search input").click(function() {
        if(this.value == "Quick Search") {
            this.value = "";
    }).blur(function() {
        if(this.value == "") {
            this.value = "Quick Search";

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