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October 29, 2003

Three Chears For The W3C

Just when I was worried the battle was really lost, the cavalry rides to the rescue.

World Wide Web Consortium Presents the US Patent Office with Evidence Invalidating Eolas Patent

Could this be an end to the madness? Let's hope so.

--via LordAlex

October 28, 2003

AS2 Particle Class from Bit-101

Keith Peters dazzles again with the bit-101 Particle class

Check out the examples. Source code and documentation all right there, in AS2, for your benefit.

October 27, 2003

Flash Happy Hour Today

It's time for another happy hour! Today!

If you're in San Franciso, and want to talk about Flash, join us:

  • Bliss Bar (on 24th street, between Noe and Castro)
  • Today (Monday, October 27th)
  • 6pm

October 25, 2003

I'm an actionScript Hero!

Just got a cool email:

"We are very pleased to announce that you have been selected as [an] actionScript Super Hero"

Hall of Justhese Flash Aggregator

October 23, 2003

Happy MovableType/Flash Discovery

In Movable Type, I've set up a blog for project announcements, with each project as a category and it's own feed. The feeds are listed in an XML file, and pulled dynamically into Vera's Flash blog reader. So, when we go the a project page, we see the blog for that project, as well as other dynamics for that project.

Now, the happy discovery happened when I tried something on a whim...with happy results.

I wanted to put the same message on all the category feeds, but didn't want to make 20 posts. So, I added all the categories as secondary in Movable Type...and Voila! We have an instant broadcast system in our project blogs.

October 21, 2003

Current Status of upgrade to webMathematica 2.0

Here's the current standing of our upgrade to webMathematica 2.0:

We have two major problems to overcome:

1. Version 2.0 is not completely backward-compatible with version 1.0. As soon as the new version is installed, all current webMathematica applications on the server may cease to function.

2. The installation is tricky, and doesn't indicate there is a problem until the end of the installation process. The first attempt to upgrade failed, and we reverted to the original installation.

What we're going to do:

1. Rent a temporary server to install Version 2.0

2. Get it up and running, and modify our applications to function on the new architecture

3. Swap servers.

This approach will minimize downtime, and give us room to breath and learn the new version of webMathematica while we make the transition.

Update: Things may not be so bad, when it comes to backward compatibility. We'll find out how many changes we'll need to make to ur applications once the installation is done. Keeping my fingers crossed.

MathML 2.0 Announced

The W3C Math Working Group announced MathML 2.0 (second edition) as a W3C recommendation, today.

October 20, 2003

Eolas Case Should Be A Mistrial?

This whole Eolas vs Microsoft case has had me on edge, all along. At GalaxyGoo, we use Flash extensively. But this case doesn't affect just Flash, all plugins are affected!

Recently, my sympathies....now, don't flame me for taking a different perspective...have been with Eolas. It seems to me, that Microsoft actually benefits by eliminating third party software from their version of the internet.

However, it looks like there's more than one rat on this ship.

According to this page, Michael Doyle knew about a browser called Viola and that it used embedded objects, and failed to mention this when filing for a patent. Additionally, the developer of Viola was not allowed to reveal this information during the Eolas/Microsoft court case.

~link, via comment on actionscript.com

Powers of 10

Has anyone seen this? Powers of 10 is from Optical Microscopy at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University. I just thought it was a pretty cool way to tie it all together.

October 16, 2003

Thank you gift, for donors.

As a modest thank you gift, for donations over $25 (US), we're sending out CD's with all of the award winning GalaxyGoo Blogathon 2003 project experiments.

Because GalaxyGoo is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, your donation may be tax deductible (minus $5 for materials and shipping).

October 15, 2003

Require Registration for Comments?

We're thinking about requiring registration for comments on the blog. Most of our visitors, who post comments, are already registered members of GalaxyGoo. This could also be a tool to help strengthen our small community: members could have links to their comments on their profile pages.

I'm opening up comments on this thread. Share your thoughts.

Chair-ity for Children

Getting your hands dirty with glue and paint is good. Especially if you spend most of your creative energy through a keyboard. So, when a local charity announced that they were asking artists to decorate children's chairs for a fundraising auction, I couldn't resist. In fact I asked for two chairs, instead of just one.

The day they arrived (in a flat box), ideas ran through my head. I've always loved Japanese printed rice paper (washi), so I decided to make washi chairs. With many different patterns and colors to choose from, I covered each part of the chairs in a different one. The whole process took about a two months of evenings. It was very relaxing, very Zen, and I think they turned out nicely.

If you're going to be in San Francisco this Saturday, come see my chairs, and those of over 55 other artists, at the art show and silent auction. Saturday, October 18th, 2003 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
At LIMN Gallery (292 Townsend Street). Tickets for the show are $25.

Their website says "more than 50 children's chairs", but the last I count I got was over 80. I can't wait to see how they "hang" this art show!

Chair-ity for Children 2003

The canvases for their last benefit art show were plaster casts of pregnant bellies. There's a flash slide show of some of the works. "The Lioness" and "go fish" are wonderful!

October 14, 2003

Blog Spam Blitz Is Giving Me The Blues

After this weekend's spam blitz, I was hoping that I'd have some time to breathe. No such luck. A whole new batch of distasteful spam...yes, that's a bit redundant...anyway, a whole new batch was waiting for me to delete it first thing this morning.

So, I've turned off the comments for now. In a few days, I may turn them back on again.

Since the spam seems to occur mostly late at night, I'm thinking of keeping comments open during the day and putting them to bed at night. That could be a problem too. I'm looking into keeping the comments open, but moderated.

I've started a thread in our forums, for discussion.

October 06, 2003

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003 was awarded today to Paul C. Lauterbur (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) and Sir Peter Mansfield (University of Nottingham, UK) for their discoveries concerning "magnetic resonance imaging."

I find it interesting that this prize in physiology and medicine was given to a chemist (Lauterbur) and a physicist (Mansfield) for their pioneering work in the development of MRI. It's especially interesting as work in NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy, the basis of MRI, has already resulted in two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry (to Kurt Wurtrich in 2002 and to Richard R. Ernst in 1991).

In the 1970s, Lauterbur discovered that, by introducing variations in magnetic fields in NMR, one could create a two-dimensional picture. Working independently, Mansfield showed how the signals generated from the atoms in these gradients could be mathematically analyzed. Combining that with his development of techniques to allow very fast imaging to be done made it possible to develop a MRI as a useful imaging technique in the 1980s. According to published statistics, over 60 million MRI procedures are now done each year worldwide.

So, what's the next big thing? What molecular technique that we now are developing will be the next Nobel Prize, or the one in 2020?