April 1st, 2005


Stopping More Popups with Firefox

If you've noticed an occasional popup ad showing up when using Firefox 1.0, you've been hit by some of the newer techniques that evade the default popup blocker in Firefox. Fortunately, there's a patch which keeps these new-style popups away from your browser. Check out adot's blog post which talks about the problem and then install the Pop-ups Must Die Firefox .xpi extension. Note that it might break some wanted popup window functionality; the plugin is still being tested and refined, but once it's good, it looks like this will be a standard part of the next Firefox release.

Update: adot did an updated blocker, and he writes about it at http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/007903.html. Get that version instead.

Interesting Event Notifications: upcoming.org

I just got a pointer to http://upcoming.org a couple of days ago, and I think I'm hooked. This is a site that lets you post upcoming events, both public and private. Events are grouped by metro area. Austin is well represented. All of the upcoming events are exported as RSS feeds as well as iCal-format calendars, and you can subscribe to your own feeds, those of your friends, or those based on a metro area.

I've posted a few events, and I like the simplicity of the system. It doesn't try to lock in people and sell them a bunch of crap like Evite. You can setup private events as well, although I'm not sure how that's handled, since I assume anyone can read your RSS feed.

I do have concerns about scaling of the system and about privacy, but I'm enthusiastic enough about it that I'm going to continue to post information about film screenings and other cultural events that I find interesting. However, it looks like the developer is actively refining things and adding features, and this could turn out to be really, really cool before long.

USPS Invents Words

I just got directed to the US Postal Service website to track a package, and here's what it told me:
03/30/2005 20:43:00 Sortation Center Departure DALLAS, TX 
03/30/2005 08:00:00 Sortation Center Arrival DALLAS, TX 
03/29/2005 10:48:09 Sortation Center Departure GROVE CITY, OH 
03/28/2005 19:19:10 Sortation Center Arrival GROVE CITY, OH 
03/28/2005 15:17:00 Pickup LOUISVILLE, KY

What kind of word is "Sortation"? Is that anything like "Flotation", another word that always makes me think evil thoughts? Stop with the neologisms, just use "Sorting", and no one will get hurt, USPS.