Blog

The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

The State of Firefox?

Firefox & ChromeThere's been a few articles rolling around the internet recently on the state of the Firefox web-browser. I've made no secret that since 2004, Firefox has been my browser of choice.

However in recent years, Firefox has been losing ground rather than gaining. Most commentators point to the rise of Google's own Chrome browser, and a lot of people I know have converted over from Firefox to Chrome for various reasons. A lot have been for social reasons, i.e. because it's 'cool' (something that was previously a Firefox drawcard over Internet Explorer), and other reasons people cite are practical: … Read more →

The Increasing Nicheness of Web Development

HTML5 CSS3 modern web designIn the past month or so I've done a little bit of web development. In addition to totally redesigning this very website, I have also recently put together a new website for my brother-in-law's cabinetry business.

Before now, it had been at least a few years since i've done a fully-fledged new design for a website, and it really struck me how things have evolved and progressed in terms of 'modern' web design and development.

Back when I first did my website in 2004 (blog post, site archive page), pretty much anybody who knew the … Read more →

Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut – My Thoughts

Mass Effect 3 Extended CutFirstly, this post will probably contain a lot of Mass Effect spoilers, so you are forewarned.

A while ago I posted my opinion on Mass Effect 3 shortly after it was released and I played through it. To paraphrase: epic game for the first 95%, but the ending to the game almost ruined the whole series for me. Since then, in reaction to the outcry over the lack of closure, illogicality, and plot inconsistencies, EA/Bioware announced that they'll be releasing an 'Extended Cut' of the ending which will add extra cut-scenes and dialogue to more fully explain it.

My attitude … Read more →

Media back-step: The Rise of the Paywall

paywallThe past few days has seen the start of a massive shake-up in the Australian media industry. Both Fairfax and News Ltd have announced drastic cut-backs in staff, and more eye-catchingly for me, also announced their intentions to set up paywalls around some of their major news sites.

The paywall has been an increasingly popular option for media companies, especially those which have traditionally had popular newspapers, as they attempt to replace the revenue that has and is being lost by people ditching physical newspapers in favour of online-based news websites.

In the past, a website for a newspaper was … Read more →

Goal-Line Technology

Ukraine disallowed goalEvery morning for the better part of the last two weeks I have been awake at insane hours watching the European Football Championships. The Euros are probably my favourite international football tournament, as in my opinion the quality of football is of a higher degree than even the World Cup can offer.

It's now at the end of the Group Stage for the tournament, and the ridiculous situation of determining whether the ball has crossed the goal-line has reared its stupid unnecessary head once again.

FIFA (the global governing Football body) and UEFA (the European governing body) have for years … Read more →

Iron Sky & Final Day of the EPL Season

Iron Sky posterLast night was a fairly eventful night. We started off by going to Southbank to see Iron Sky, which strangely enough, Des really wanted to see after hearing good things about it.

For the unaware, the premise is this: in 1945 Nazis went to the moon and set up a civilisation there to eventually come back and retake the Earth. It's a comedy, and whilst it dragged in portions, it was a very good laugh, but a lot of the jokes will probably only be understood by geek/nerd culture enthusiasts.

The special effects, including a pretty significant space battle, … Read more →

Mass Effect 3: Epic Gaming, Epic Ending Disappointments

Mass Effect 3 CoverI've just finished playing through Mass Effect 3, and I really enjoyed 90% of it. But like almost of the entire internet, the ending was just abysmal. Abysmal writing, abysmal plot, abysmal closure. The ending was such an epic disappointment, and like many others have mentioned, it's mostly counter to what the 2.9 games leading up to it were all about. I'll attempt to write this entry devoid of any big spoilers to the ME3 endings, but no promises if you are spoiler allergic!

I belatedly got into Mass Effect at the start of last year. At the … Read more →

Windows 8 Beta: Upcoming MS Disaster

As I've done with Windows 7 and Vista previously, I like to get my hands on the public betas or release candidates of upcoming Windows releases to have a bit of a play.

Right now I'm having a play of Windows 8, and to be frank I'm still trying to comprehend what's sitting in front of me. Some would say this beta is a revolution in Windows interface design, others would say it's a catastrophe. I'm more inclined to the latter. But before I get into it, here's the obligatory screenshots.

Win 8 logon screen Win 8 Start Screen Win 8 task manager

With Windows 8, Microsoft is attempting to develop an … Read more →

Google’s New Look of Doom & On Virgin

Google has been busy rolling out it's new look, and even after using it on a few products for a while now, it isn't getting any better for me. As i've ranted about before, the grey-washing of colours across it's services (most eye-soringly in Blogger entries) is truly perplexing.

But I can live with bland and unlively colour changes; what is bugging me the most is basic usability impediments. Google used to be really good at this type of thing, making highly usable and accessible services. Just to use the new Reader look again as an example:

Google Reader snapshot

Other than the … Read more →

Terrible Reader Updates & NAS, Media Player Gadgetry

A few months ago I criticised Google's upcoming interface design for Gmail as being bland and not user friendly. It seems in the past week that in rolling out this design across all their products Google has taken the remodelling knife to my beloved Google Reader.

I've loved using Google Reader for over five years as my main web and RSS aggregator, but their recent update has really irked me. I was expecting the colour-washed interface (which is still terrible btw), but to the point of making link colours the same as normal text, terrible text-size scaling, and the … Read more →