Easily fix problem with Facetime log in

Recently, Facetime on my work laptop stopped working properly. Even with the correct ID and password, the app would “verify” my account but then refuse to activate Facetime. Instead I would get this error:

The registering device does not have appropriate credentials

Thanks to this post:

http://porkrind.org/missives/imessage-on-mac-os-x-not-working/

I learned that a simple “killall imagent” command in the terminal would restore Facetime functionality!

Yay, internet.

Google Reader Beautification: Helvetireader

helvetireaderSo crisp and clean!

I have been a Google Reader for a good while now and I think it is a very fine web application. It does what I expect it to do and it does it well. It is utilitarian. It is useful. I use it daily.

But now, I find it even more enjoyable to use. Two greasemonkey scripts have turned my standard Reader interface into something beautiful and even more useable (imho).

Behold:
Helvetireader
+
Favicons for Google Reader

There are even instructions for using the scripts with Fluid. If you are not familiar with Fluid, it is a utility for creating site-specific browsers based on Safari (WebKit). Get familiar. You’ll like it.

So go, make your Reader prettier (and subscribe to this blog’s feed).

AA meltdown

battery leakage
Let this be a lesson to you. Do not store electronics with the battery inside.

My minidisc recorder had a battery leak and now it is broken.

If you plan on storing something for a while, remove the battery before placing in storage.

RTFM, my friends. RTFM. And, also, follow your own advice.

PNG-8 with alpha transparency

I learned a new web trick today.

Apparently, Photoshop’s inability to save PNG-8 with alpha transparency is not a limitation of PNG-8 but a limitation in Photoshop.

For years, I have been operating under the assumption that I need to use PNG-24 to achieve transparency effects in my web projects. This is usually a compromise in terms of file size and browser compatibility (requiring ie-specific hacks). But it doesn’t have to be…

[Enter Fireworks]

Fireworks to the rescue:

  • Open your big Photoshop-exported PNG-24 with nice alpha transparency in Fireworks.
  • Change the file format to PNG-8.
  • Change the transparency option to “alpha transparency”
  • Rebuild and export your PNG-8
  • Revel in the MUCH smaller file size

Bonus points for ie6 compatibility!

Learned this from Brenelz’s screencast which was linked on NetTuts

Kings of Leon?

Here’s another band who I successfully ignored for a long time. Now I can’t get this song out of my head…

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/gnhXHvRoUd0″]

Obama.

I am still trying to wrap my head around this amazing development. Through the numbing fog of cynicism and despite a generalized suspicion of politics, I was genuinely moved when Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech. It really does feel monumental and historic.

What happened in CA with Prop (h)8, though? Lame.

Why I closed my Facebook account

The NY Times has published a column in its Bits Blog that summarizes the evolution of Facebook’s Beacon advertising program.

I think that it is more revealing than focusing on the backlash or petitions to actually examine the program itself, along with the supposed improvements made by Facebook along the way. The column does a good job at pointing out the small tweaks that seem to address raised concerns, while essentially presenting the same thing again, but with more labels.

It becomes the user’s responsibility to be ever watchful for Facebook’s unorthodox info harvesting. A better approach would have been a way to opt-in instead of having to constantly opt-out. There is currently no way to globally say “no thanks” and be done with it, either.
Continue reading “Why I closed my Facebook account”