Skype, Mac OS and firewalls
August 25th, 2008 by ravi

Skype logoIf you use Skype and are unfortunate enough to sit behind a firewall (such as at work), but have some means to use a SOCKS proxy (such as if outgoing SSH is permitted through your firewall), then you have probably already set things up so you can reach some of your external services (like chat, IMAP for mail, etc) to use the SOCKS proxy. While the Interwebs are littered with various pages that discuss Skype settings for SOCKS, the sad truth (as confirmed from the horse’s mouth) is that Skype for Mac does not currently support SOCKS (either as a Skype Preference, or via the system wide proxy settings). You can join me in holding your breath and waiting… the Skype engineer I communicated with indicated that this is one of their top priorities. I should trust him on that, yes?

Mozilla Explorer?
August 19th, 2008 by ravi

How cool is this?

Mozilla drags IE into the future with Canvas element plugin

Most browser implementors are quick to adopt emerging Internet technologies, but Microsoft can’t or won’t make Internet Explorer a modern web browser. Despite some positive steps in the right direction, Internet Explorer still lacks many important features. Its mediocrity has arguably hampered the evolution of the web and forced many site designers to depend on suboptimal proprietary solutions.

IE’s shortcomings won’t hold back the Internet for much longer, however, because Mozilla plans to drag IE into the next generation of open web technologies without Microsoft’s help. One of the first steps towards achieving this goal is a new experimental plugin that adapts Mozilla’s implementation of the HTML5 Canvas element so that it can be used in Internet Explorer.

Fun with Google search suggestions
August 19th, 2008 by ravi

Nokia helps port Firefox to Qt
August 18th, 2008 by ravi

Via Ars, a bit of news that Nokia and Mozilla Foundation (or whatever they are called now!) have ported Firefox to use the Qt GUI toolkit:

Nokia helps port Firefox to Qt

The Firefox web browser has been ported to the Qt widget toolkit through a collaborative development effort by Nokia and Mozilla. This port will facilitate much stronger visual integration between Firefox and KDE-based Linux environments and will also simplify the process of bringing Firefox to mobile platforms that support Qt.

Next up for Nokia: figure out a way to reserve 200MB of memory for Firefox. ;-)

Firefox memory usage

[ Link ]

reCAPTCHAs — the background story
August 15th, 2008 by ravi

I’ll admit I didn’t have a clue what reCAPTCHAs were about, and turn out its a very neat idea:

CAPTCHAs work—for digitizing old, damaged texts, manuscripts

Over the course of history, humanity has suffered some horrifying damage to our collective cultural legacy in the form of books and other text lost to accident or neglect. The digitalization of text holds out the promise of permanently preserving the written word in an archive that can be distributed widely and kept safe from accidental damage. This presents archivists with a challenge: the works that are most in need of preservation are likely to already be damaged or distorted, making the use of automated scanning and text processing less likely to succeed. Researchers are now reporting on a successful way to identify the words that computers can’t handle: turn them into CAPTCHAs, and get people to do the work.

[ Link ]

Olympics 2008 Beijing competition schedule
August 7th, 2008 by ravi

If like me you were seeking a iCalendar schedule of the entire 2008 Beijing Olympics you can find it at iCalShare: Olympics 2008 Beijing competition schedule. Be warned that it will visually overwhelm you with the number of entries! ;-)

[ Link ]

Olympics v6!
August 7th, 2008 by ravi

From the Beijing 2008 website, a front page link points you to the IPv6 version of the site:


You are about to visit the IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) version of the official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Now how cool is that? Especially in comparison to the dudes at home whose only answer to IPv6 is NAT! ;-)

[ Link ]

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