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:


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).

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


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”