2011-06-25

Lulz Security Farewell Note

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/comp/lulzSec_goodbye_note.html

Lulz Security Farewell Note

Xah Lee, 2011-06-25

Lulz Security (a hacker group), today said goodbye.

. /$$                 /$$            /$$$$$$                    
.| $$                | $$           /$$__  $$                    
.| $$       /$$   /$$| $$ /$$$$$$$$| $$  \__/  /$$$$$$   /$$$$$$$
.| $$      | $$  | $$| $$|____ /$$/|  $$$$$$  /$$__  $$ /$$_____/
.| $$      | $$  | $$| $$   /$$$$/  \____  $$| $$$$$$$$| $$      
.| $$      | $$  | $$| $$  /$$__/   /$$  \ $$| $$_____/| $$      
.| $$$$$$$$|  $$$$$$/| $$ /$$$$$$$$|  $$$$$$/|  $$$$$$$|  $$$$$$.$
.|________/ \______/ |__/|________/ \______/  \_______/ \_______/
                          //Laughing at your security since 2011!

.--    .-""-.
.   ) (     )
.  (   )   (
.     /     )
.    (_    _)                     0_,-.__
.      (_  )_                     |_.-._/
.       (    )                    |lulz..\    
.        (__)                     |__--_/          
.     |''   ``\                   |
.     | [Lulz] \                  |      /b/
.     |         \  ,,,---===?A`\  |  ,==y'
.   ___,,,,,---==""\        |M] \ | ;|\ |>
.           _   _   \   ___,|H,,---==""""bno,
.    o  O  (_) (_)   \ /          _     AWAW/
.                     /         _(+)_  dMM/
.      \@_,,,,,,---=="   \      \\|//  MW/
.--''''"                         ===  d/
.                                    //   SET SAIL FOR FAIL!
.                                    ,'_________________________
.   \    \    \     \               ,/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
.                         _____    ,'  ~~~   .-""-.~~~~~~  .-""-.
.      .-""-.           ///==---   /`-._ ..-'      -.__..-'
.            `-.__..-' =====\\\\\\ V/  .---\.
.                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~, _',--/_.\  .-""-.
.                            .-""-.___` --  \|         -.__..-

Friends around the globe,

We are Lulz Security, and this is our final release, as today marks something meaningful to us. 50 days ago, we set sail with our humble ship on an uneasy and brutal ocean: the Internet. The hate machine, the love machine, the machine powered by many machines. We are all part of it, helping it grow, and helping it grow on us.

For the past 50 days we've been disrupting and exposing corporations, governments, often the general population itself, and quite possibly everything in between, just because we could. All to selflessly entertain others - vanity, fame, recognition, all of these things are shadowed by our desire for that which we all love. The raw, uninterrupted, chaotic thrill of entertainment and anarchy. It's what we all crave, even the seemingly lifeless politicians and emotionless, middle-aged self-titled failures. You are not failures. You have not blown away. You can get what you want and you are worth having it, believe in yourself.

While we are responsible for everything that The Lulz Boat is, we are not tied to this identity permanently. Behind this jolly visage of rainbows and top hats, we are people. People with a preference for music, a preference for food; we have varying taste in clothes and television, we are just like you. Even Hitler and Osama Bin Laden had these unique variations and style, and isn't that interesting to know? The mediocre painter turned supervillain liked cats more than we did.

Again, behind the mask, behind the insanity and mayhem, we truly believe in the AntiSec movement. We believe in it so strongly that we brought it back, much to the dismay of those looking for more anarchic lulz. We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us. The support we've gathered for it in such a short space of time is truly overwhelming, and not to mention humbling. Please don't stop. Together, united, we can stomp down our common oppressors and imbue ourselves with the power and freedom we deserve.

So with those last thoughts, it's time to say bon voyage. Our planned 50 day cruise has expired, and we must now sail into the distance, leaving behind - we hope - inspiration, fear, denial, happiness, approval, disapproval, mockery, embarrassment, thoughtfulness, jealousy, hate, even love. If anything, we hope we had a microscopic impact on someone, somewhere. Anywhere.

Thank you for sailing with us. The breeze is fresh and the sun is setting, so now we head for the horizon.

Let it flow...

Lulz Security - our crew of six wishes you a happy 2011, and a shout-out to all of our battlefleet members and supporters across the globe

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our mayhem: http://lulzsecurity.com/releases/
Our chaos: http://thepiratebay.org/user/LulzSec/
Our final release: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6495523/50_Days_of_Lulz

Please make mirrors of material on the website, because we're not renewing the hosting. Goodbye. <3

Notes from XahLee.org

Hurrah, and salute.

I don't particularly consider what they've done is right. i.e. breaking into computers. However, one must consider things in its context. In light of the recent wikileak event, US government actions, and state of affairs of current politics in the world, i think LulzSec is admirable.

For detail of LulzSec, see Wikipedia: LulzSec. For Wikileak, see also:

The highlighting of words are done by me, for those with a interest in english vocabulary. (See: Wordy English — the Making of Belles-Lettres.) Also note, that this farewell note is rather well written, in sharp contrast to hacker group's typical graffiti-like style of random-nothingness. You can see in this note proper dictions, a bit of history (that bit on Hitler and painting), a bit of human ethology or humanism point of view.

Xah's Emacs Tutorial Poll 2011-06-25

Do you like xah's emacs tutorial writing to be:

  • ① Just facts and tips, less or no personal stories or opinions, like text books.
  • ② Good tips and emacs info, plus some background intro or opinion to sweeten it up is nice, like tech magazines.
  • ③ I've read at least 10 of your articles. They are balanced as is.

Vote at: http://xahlee.blogspot.com/2011/06/xahs-emacs-tutorial-poll-2011-06-25.html. Result will be posted there in a week.

2011-07-03 Results:

  • 2 (15%) ① Just facts and tips, professional; less or no personal stories or opinions.
  • 6 (46%) ② Good tips and emacs info, plus some background intro, personal info or opinion, to sweeten it up is nice.
  • 6 (46%) ③ I've read at least 10 of your articles. They are balanced as is.

Total vote: 13. Each voter can make more than one choice.

Visual Art: Misc Watercolors

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/lacru/misc_watercolor.html

Visual Art: Misc Watercolors

Xah Lee, 2011-06-25

Some misc watercolors. I love watercolors. (actually probably none of the following are watercolors, but oh well.)

lokman ga 080924 l

“lokman ga 080924” (2008-09) By Lokman Lam. Source www.lokmanlam.com

Colorless by asuka111

“Colorless” By Patipat Asavasena (aka asuka111) (b1984) asuka111.net Source asuka111.deviantart.com

Gia by WarrenLouw

“Gia” by WarrenLouw. Done in Photoshop. Source warrenlouw.deviantart.com

James Jean, Sink

“Sink” (2006) By James Jean. (b1979) Source www.jamesjean.com

2011-06-25 thanks to Adolfo Benedetti for helping identify a artwork.

Born This Way (Lady Gaga & Weird Al)

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/funny/born_this_way.html

Born This Way (Lady Gaga & Weird Al)

Xah Lee, 2011-06-25

“Lady Gaga - Born This Way”

«Perform This Way (Parody of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga)»

2011-06-24

Diacritics: Trema, Umlaut, Macron, Circumflex, and All That

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/bangu/diacritics.html

Diacritics: Trema, Umlaut, Macron, Circumflex, and All That

Xah Lee, 2011-06-24

You know the accent mark of 2 dots above a char, like this ö? That is often called umlaut, but a more correct term to describe that accent mark is Trema. Accent mark itself is called Diacritic. I've always been fascinated by these symbols and their names, since teen.

Here's a list of common diacritics and their names:

  • acute ( ´ ). café, décor, déjà vu, résumé, risqué, Chopin's étude, fiancée, ingénue.
  • grave ( ` ). crème de la crème (see: One Night in Bangkok), ménage à trois (see: Art of Sexual Positions.), Perl's raison d'être.
  • breve ( ˘ ).
  • cedilla ( ¸ ). façade.
  • circumflex ( ˆ ). coup de grâce, mêlée (as in melee weapon in gaming.), my rôle.
  • macron ( ¯ ).
  • trema (diaeresis/umlaut) ( ¨ ). zoölogy, reënact, naïve, Chloë.

Note that some foreign char such as ñ in Spanish, is not considered as n with a accent mark. It is a distinct letter by itself.

Wikipedia has interesting historical note about trema. Quote:

The diacritical mark is itself commonly referred to as either a diaeresis or umlaut, depending on which role it is fulfilling. The two uses originated separately, with the diaeresis being considerably older. In modern computer systems using Unicode, umlaut and diaeresis are identical: ‹ä› represents both a-umlaut and a-diaeresis.

The diaeresis indicates that two adjoining letters that would normally form a digraph and be pronounced as one are instead to be read as separate, either as a diphthong or as two distinct vowels in two syllables. The diaeresis indicates that a vowel should be pronounced apart from the letter which precedes it. For example, in the spelling coöperate, the diaeresis reminds the reader that the word has four syllables co-op-er-ate, not three, *coop-er-ate. In English, this usage is becoming archaic[1] but languages such as Dutch, French and Spanish make regular use of the diaeresis. By extension, the diaeresis is also used to denote similar distinctions, such as marking the schwa ë in Albanian.

“Um”+“laut” is German for “around/changed”+“sound”. It refers to a historical sound shift in that language. In German, the umlaut diacritic is found as ä, ö and ü. The name is used in some other languages that share these symbols with German or where the Latin spelling was introduced in the 19th century, replacing marks that had been used previously. The phonological phenomenon of umlaut occurred historically in English as well (man ~ men; full ~ fill; goose ~ geese) in a way cognately parallel with German, but English orthography does not write the sound shift using the umlaut diacritic. Instead, a different letter is used.

Wikipedia has nice and complete explanations on other Diacritic.

rsync Windows to unix File Permissions

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/rsync_windows_unix_file_perm.html

rsync Windows to unix File Permissions

Xah Lee, 2011-06-24

File permission has always been a ass. I worked as a web server programer and sys admin. Often, when our system was deployed elsewhere by others, and something mysteriously doesn't work, chances are, it's file permissions. The unix file perm system is particularly fucked up. Here's some notes about using rsync between Windows and unix.

• In Windows 7 (ACL), to make a dir accessible to all, you need to add the “other” user, with this syntax: ‹comp name›\Users. For example, on my PC, it is h3-HP\Users. This corresponds to the unix's notion of “other”. (to change file perm, get properties on the dir, then “Security” tab. The GUI is rather confusing if you are not familiar with ACL.)

• When you rsync from Windows to unix, adding the “-p” for preserve permission does not seem to work. e.g. my source dir on Windows is readable by all users. On the unix web server, of course i want dir to be 755 and files to be 644. But rsync with “-p” won't work.

To make sure the uploaded files have the right perm with rsync, you can use the “chmod” option. Example:

rsync -z -r -v -t --chmod=Dugo+x --chmod=ugo+r ~/web/ xah@xahlee.org:~/ 

The --chmod=Dugo+x means: for all dir, add the execute bit, for all {user,group,other}. The --chmod=ugo+r means: for all files, add the read bit, for all {user,group,other}.

• The unix terms {user, group, other} and their abbrevs {u,g,o} always confused me. For example, “user” could mean all users. The “o” could mean “owner”. (The entire unix is the most incompetent shit possible.)

• In unix, for a file to be readable by anyone, the parent dir must have the execute bit (x) on. This is another major idiocy that often trip newbs. The reason it's like that because unix usually goes by crass implementation simplicity, as opposed to thinking on what things should be . Here, it sterm from the fact that a dir in unix is just a file. (See: The Nature of the Unix Philosophy.)

• For rsync to work its magic of being fast across a dir with 5 thousand files, you must have the “-t” (--times) option on, otherwise it is excruciatingly slow (even if both source and dest dir are local); it's probably doing a file by file comparison. This is a bit odd, because for all the acclaim you hear about rsync's syncing algorithm, you'd think it's something other than just comparing timestamps. If you rely on timestamp, than the problem of determining which file needs to be updated becomes rather trivial.

• rsync syncs only in one direction. I was a bit surprised when i first learned this. Because, you'd think that the word “sync” implies 2-way sync. If just one way, then it's rather trivial. (but remember, rsync is a tool invented in the 1990s. At the time, it was big deal, because otherwise you'll have to use just “rcp” that copies EVERY file across network and is not secure.) If you want 2-way sync, use “unison”. (See: How to Use Unison for Syncing Files (Unison tutorial).)

2011-06-23

Picasa Pains: Using Picasa Web as Backup; Sync All Folders

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/comp/picasa.html

Picasa Pains: Using Picasa Web as Backup; Sync All Folders

Does Picasa Modify Original Image?

Xah Lee, 2010-02-14, 2011-01-09, 2011-06-23

Started to use Google's Picasa for managing photos and images, and possibly later i'll also use Google's Picasa Web Albums.

Face Recognition for Easy Tagging

Google's software are quite the best among competitors. For example, Picasa features face recognition. This can let you easily organize your photos of family and friends. It is also integrated with Google's Blog and Google Earth. So, you can easily comment a photo and publish it on Bloggger or Google Earth. Face recognition is a very difficult problem. Such software are usually sold for tens of thousands of dollars in security industry. I'm not aware of any consumer level photo software that has face recognition feature. Google made it free!

Does Picasa Move or Modify My Original Photos?

Two of the things i really love about Picasa is that:

  • ① It does not store a extra copy of your images. It simply let you pick folders that you want Picasa to know about. (by default, this is your “My Pictures” folder) For each folder or your entire hard disk, you have the option of “scan once” or “keep up to date”. It means wherever your image files are, they are still there. You can also move your images as usual and Picasa will know where it is (unless you move it to a location that you've set to not be scanned by Picasa).
  • ② When you edit your images using Picasa, it does not modify the original image file. They are left intact. When you change a image in Picasa, such as {rotate, crop}, the edited version is stored in a file named “.picasa.ini” in the same folder as the original.

If you look at the content of “.picasa.ini”, it is like this:

[DSCN3137.JPG]
filters=tint=1,0.497076,ffffffff;
backuphash=16697
[DSCN3139.JPG]
text=1;138;17;Xah Lee;Arial;0.128993,0.146344,0.033333,0.000000;v1,4294967295,4278190080,128.000000,1.000000,0.000000,1.000000,400,0,49152;;
backuphash=34788
textactive=1

This is fantastic! This means, it doesn't actually store a edited version of your image, but just a tech description of the edit. This is really smart, and does not hog your disk space, and you don't have to deal with multiple versions of your images.

Picasa Pains: Using Picasa Web as a Backup; Sync All Folders

Xah Lee, 2011-06-23

Google Picasa app is a great photo management software. It is integrated with Google Picasa Web for easy upload and sync. Picasa Web has 1 G free storage for your photos or image files. One might think it's useful as a backup scheme. Not so. Here's few points:

  • If you want to use Picasa/web as a backup, make sure you set the sync to upload full-sized original, and no water-stamps. Also, you need to set “Privacy and Permissions” properly in Picasa Web.
  • When you have lots of photos and upload them as original, it sucks disk space quick. 1 G free space will quickly be used up. Though, you can buy 20 G space for just $5 a year.
  • Picasa doesn't really have a concept of subfolders. You cannot make a folder and all its subfolders to be synced in one shot. You have to activate sync for each and every folder (a manually intensive process.). This means, if you are the type who spend time to organize your photos into hierachy of subfolders, it won't work so well with Picasa. Going forward, you probably should avoid nesting folders as a organizing scheme, because it takes a lot time and one fixed hierachy is not flexible. Rather, use tags and annotation to organize instead. But if you start to use tags as your organization scheme, it means you'll be locked-in with Picasa. If someday you want to switch to another photo management app or OS {Windows, Mac, Linux}, all the time you spent with tags will probably be lost.
  • The sync works one way: from your PC to the web. Not both ways. If you delete a pic on your PC, the one the web is deleted too. But if you delete a pic from Picasa Web, the one on PC is not deleted.
  • In general, Picasa Web is not designed for backup purposes. Rather, more for publishing, like Flickr.

Picasa is not really intuitive. You have to spend quite some time to get used to the user interface. You'll also take a hour or two to get familiar with Picasa Web well. e.g. whether your photos can be seen by others, how to change them, etc.

Picasa Keyboard Shortcuts

Selecting Photos

  • Ctrl+a】 Select all
  • Ctrl+d】 Deselect
  • Ctrl+i】 Invert selection
  • Home first photo
  • End last photo
  • Ctrl+h】 Hold selected photos in Photo Tray
  • Ctrl+o】 Choose a file on your computer to display in Picasa.

Viewing Photos

  • Ctrl+1】 small thumbnails
  • Ctrl+2】 large thumbnails
  • F11 full-screen
  • Ctrl+4】 Start a slideshow
  • Ctrl+5】 View your timeline
  • Ctrl+Enter】 Show in Windows Explorer
  • Hover over a photo and use 【Ctrl+Alt】 Full-screen photo preview

Editing Photos

  • Ctrl+3】 Open an image in Edit Mode
  • Ctrl+r】 Rotate the image clockwise
  • Ctrl+Shift+r】 Rotate the image counter-clockwise
  • Ctrl+Shift+h】 Flip image horizontally
  • Ctrl+Shift+v】 Flip image vertically
  • Ctrl+Shift+b】 Add black and white effect
  • Ctrl+8】 Add a star

Watching Videos

  • / Play/Pause
  • , Rewind
  • . Fast forward

Misc

  • Ctrl+e】 Email selected photos
  • Ctrl+p】 Print selected images
  • Ctrl+Shift+p】 Print album contact sheet
  • Ctrl+t】 Add tags to your photos
  • Ctrl+n】 Create a new album
  • X Exclude a photo when importing
  • Ctrl-M Open the import room

Picasa Photo Viewer

  • Ctrl+u】 Single image upload
  • Ctrl+r】 Rotate the image clockwise
  • Ctrl+Shift+r】 Rotate the image counter-clockwise
  • Ctrl+8】 Toggle adding a star
  • Left and right arrow keys: Scroll through images

Reference: Picasa Keyboard shortcuts @ picasa.google.com.

Programing Language: Qi lisp, Mark Tarver, Marketing

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/qi_lang_marketing.html

Why Qi Lisp Fails and Clojure Succeeds

Xah Lee, 2011-06-17, 2011-10-19

I was just putting my rant on lisp's cons on my website, and in the process, i made a link to the logo for Qi lisp the language, and tried to revisit Qi's home page, then i discovered, for the nth time, how bad is Mark Tarver's marketing of Qi lang.

Qi logo mid
Qi Lisp Language Logo

Mark Tarver, a great computer scientist, inventor of the award-winning functional language Qi, is really the world's worst marketer. Of the few announcements he occasionally posted here (on comp.lang.lisp) about his project, often, the links are broken, or the video file of his lecture not playable.

While i was visiting Qi's home page today at lambdassociates.org, first thing is that the first link, and most important link, “The Shen Project”, is a broken link 〔http://www.lambdassociates.org/Shen/index.htm〕. C'mon, that's first link on the home page.

Here's some example how bad is Qi language's marketing. If you google “qilang”, you get this page at Google: 〔http://code.google.com/p/qilang/〕 that's some mirror site with dead activity! No explanation on current status neither. Second top result is 〔https://www.ohloh.net/p/qilang〕, it's another bad representation. It's not clear it's a mirror, or abandoned site, or whatnot. The rest links on the result page is unrelated. The Qi home page of 〔lambdassociates.org〕 is not on the first page of search results! (if you Google “qi lang” (2 separate words), the result is worse. The first page has nothing related to computer, except 1 old blog i wrote about qi.)

Compare, another new lisp derived lang Clojure. Check its home page at clojure.org or try web search it. You can see the huge difference.

I understand that we are all busy, that a academic are not expert webmasters, and sometimes a few broken link or page with outdated info are inevitable, but Qi's broken links and home page not found by Google indicates the worst of the worst of marketing skills.

It's not about marketing per se, but a minimum care-taking of presentation.

Qi really should have a dedicated domain name. qi, qilang, sheng (.org or .com). I understand that Dr Mark Tarver leads a very simple life, practices Taoism to some extreme. A dedicated domain is just $10 bucks a year. Web hosting is about $5 a month. Even if you live below poverty, these should be doable. The site design is really bad too. it's like 1990s personal home page, which it really actually is. Am curious at the moment, so i took a look at the source code: <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage Express 2.0"> LOL! That's a laymen's product for writing html, and has been obsolete for like, 10 years?

PS am more than happy to be a webmaster of whatever help i can do. At least fix up broken links. There are lots tools to check for dead links … and lots of SEO stuff one can easily do. At least you want the page to come up when people search for Qi, qilang, or “qi lang”

For those curious, Dr Mark Tarver has here a page describing Sheng the language, a next generation of Qi. See: A personal appeal for the Shen project by Dr Mark Tarver. @ Source www.lambdassociates.org if you are a programer with a day job, a small donation i think is proper.

Xah

2011-10-19 Qi now has a new homepage, at shenlanguage.org.

How To: Show Day of Week in Windows 7 Taskbar

How To: Show Day of Week in Windows 7 Taskbar

Go to “Control Panel”, “Region and Language”. Then, click the “Additional settings…” button. Click the “Date” tab. In the “Short date” field, put: yyyy-MM-dd,ddd. Then hit “Apply” button. This will make it look like “2011-06-23,Thu”.

Google Chrome Install Location

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/comp/blog.html

Google Chrome Installed Location: New Era of Software Install Structure?

It's odd that Chrome is no longer installed under “Program Files” on Windows.

  • On my Windows Vista, it was installed at 〔C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe〕.
  • On my Windows 7, today, it is installed at 〔C:\Users\xah\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe〕

Perhaps, due to Google Chrome's philosophy of frequent update, putting it under AppData gets around many admin privilege problems. If so, this may signify some movement about software install location structure.

Notice that the new location is in a personal directory. That means, each user each will have their own copy of Chrome. Thinking in a traditional way, this means less disk use efficiency. But note that Chrome also integrates its own Adobe Flash. If you think about it, disk space is today never used up, at least not for the storage of software. (it is used up by video files, which are few hundred times more each.) So, multiple copies of a software ok. Also, putting the software for each user avoids many complexities developed by OS over the past decades for managing that. (e.g. Windows Registry, and Mac uses Application bundle, and unix's ancient ways of {“/usr/bin”, “/usr/sbin”, “/usr/share”, “/lib”, “/usr/local/bin”, “/etc/man”, “/etc/share”, “~/bin”}.)

See also: Software Dependency Complexity.

Using Google Chrome Sync Feature and What Google Knows About You

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/js/google_chrome_sync_privacy.html

Using Google Chrome Sync Feature and What Google Knows About You

Xah Lee, 2011-06-22

A nice feature of Google Chrome. It has a sync feature. If you work in multiple computers (e.g. at work, home, laptop), you can use sync so that all your {bookmark, preferences, extensions (aka add-ons)} will be available without you having to find and install each of them.

As of today, the following items can be synced:

  • bookmark
  • autofill
  • passwords
  • preferences
  • apps
  • extensions
  • themes

You can also choose which to not be synced.

Turning On Sync Feature

To turn it on, click on the wrench icon on upper right then “Options▸Personal Stuff▸Sync”.

Google Chrome sync screen

Google Chrome sync screen

Suppose you turned on sync at work. Then, at home, just turn on sync and your Google Chrome will have the same setup as at work.

For each item you put a checkmark, it means Google will have that info on their server.

View Your Private Data Stored by Google

You can view all the data Google has about you. Go to google.com, login, then upper right click on your name, then “Account Settings”. Or, just click this: https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount.

Then, click “Dashboard, View data stored with this account”. Here's a screenshot:

google account dashboard screen

Google Account Dashboard screen

Note: even if you don't have any Google account, Google probably knows a ton about you. If you use Facebook, it's much worse. See: Facebook's Ethics.

2011-06-22

Turning off Windows7 Auto Snap Feature (Aero Snap)

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/mswin/Windows7_auto_snap_feature.html

Turning off Windows7 Auto Snap Feature (Aero Snap)

Xah Lee, 2011-06-22

In Windows 7, there's a window auto snap feature called Aero Snap. When you drag a window to any edge of the screen, it automatically snap and resize the window. Also, holding the Win key then press any of the arrow key also works. (See: Windows Logo Key Keyboard Shortcuts.)

You can turn this feature off.

To turn it off, just go to the Control Panel, “Ease of Access Center”, then the “Make the mouse easier to use”.

Note that this will also turn off the snap feature using keys. That's too bad, because i would like just the mouse activation off, but the key such as maximize by 【Win+】 and minimize by 【Win+】, and snap to side by 【Win+】 and max only vertically by 【Win+Shift+】 … etc are quite useful. Some of these you can do by 【Alt+Space】 then n or x but isn't as convenient.

Extra tip: 2 things i find greatly useful is: ① making opening file with a single click. I think double-clicking is from the 1990s and should be eliminated. ② Make the window automatically come to front (auto-raise) when mouse hovers over. This will take some used to. (you'll get into the habit of not to move the mouse pointer when you don't need to)

The above will save you many clicks, especially if you use computer all day and is risking RSI (repeated strain injury). For how, see: Windows Auto Raise & Single Click to Open File.

Another trick i must have is: Swap Mouse Buttons: Right-Click and Middle Click, while in web browsers.

Boxxy Does Drugs!

Boxxy Does Drugs

“Boxxy Does Drugs”

See: Magibon, Boxxy (4chan personality video).

HTML5, Validation, Doctype, and Why Do I Hate Hackers

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/js/html5_validation_doctype.html

HTML5 Doctype, Validation, X-UA-Compatible, and Why Do I Hate Hackers

Xah Lee, 2011-06-21

I'm giving up on html validation. Fuck the W3C. Fuck Google. Fuck Apple. Fuck Microsoft. Fuck Firefox.

In the past 10 years, i've been quite strict and stern about html validation. However, every little thing you do run into problems. In embedding YouTube videos, in adding Google search widgets, adding Comment System, in embedding Twitter or Facebook widgets, in adding ads, in mirroring documents from other sources (e.g. Emacs Lisp Manual.)…. Normally, it might take 5 min to do a job. But with concern about correct HTML, it takes n hours to research and find a solution that work across browsers yet still correct. See:

What's worse is that every elite programing idiot (aka “hacker”) will insist how validation is important while completely ignoring reality.

Worse is that supposedly the “good guys” big companies {Google, Apple} now peddle HTML5 because it would benefit THEMSELVES, while completely ignore anything about validation. They — in particular the “do no evil” Google — do not even pay lip service to validation.

(Google is trying to overtake the world and run over Microsoft with the web. They cannot do that unless web tech supports traditional desktop functionalities, that's why they need to push HTML5. Apple do it for the same reason for their iPad iPhone money-cow.)

What's HTML5? It's a flying-fuck-in-your-face against a decade of what W3C told us about what HTML should or should not be. HTML5 was started by mostly Google and Apple, and in the beginning was sneered by W3C, but W3C finally lost the power struggle and accepted HTML5.

You know? W3C is like United Nations. It was supposed to be this neutral standard body. But in fact it really is just a masked face of the powers. The distinction between good for the masses and the powers behind group, gets thin over the years.

The situation is not much different than the 1990s where the leading companies push new tech to gain market. (e.g. Netscape with <blink>, <font>, javascript, cookies, etc.)

The difference is that this time, the new stuff is sold as a “standard”, and the Tech Geekers went along smiling.

How to Make Your Site IE Compatible with X-UA-Compatible

What prompted me to write this rant on this topic AGAIN? Well, when i view my site with Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), it shows a little ugly icon of broken page in the url field. That broken page icon doesn't show for Google, Apple, or Microsoft sites. So i took a bit to investigate, which inevitably ends up several hours spent.

The matter is not simple as usual just like every html stuff. Basically, if your site doesn't include a “X-UA-Compatible” metatag such as <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9">, than that icon will show up, even if you use the “html5 doctype” <!doctype html> and all your page is valid and pretty simple and doesn't use any css/js/browser-sniffing/quirksmode or whatnot hack.

So my dilemma is, if my completely valid html4 site with extremely simple markup, do i need to cave-in to whatever some company is doing and add that “X-UA-Compatible” non-standard stupid extra little string just so that IE won't show that little ugly broken-page icon?

So i also took a little time to check what other big sites do.

Here's Apple.com:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en-US" lang="en-US">
<head>
        <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
        <meta name="Author" content="Apple Inc." />
        <meta name="viewport" content="width=1024" />
        <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7, IE=9" />
…

Here's google.com when served to IE9:

<!doctype html><html><head><meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8"><meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">…

Here's microsoft.com:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"><html dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:bi="urn:bi" xmlns:csp="urn:csp"><head><title></title><meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE8" /><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
…

Here's Wikipedia, which does not use the “X-UA-Compatible” and the broken-page icon shows:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html lang="en" dir="ltr" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title></title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta http-equiv="Content-Style-Type" content="text/css" />
…

Note, Wikipedia is one of the few most trafficked site that uses valid HTML/XHTML, in the few times i've checked since ~2005, but the few times i've checked in the past 2 years they seem to have slacked.

The “X-UA-Compatible” was introduced with IE8. (in contrast to typical tech geekers, i don't blame Microsoft for it) Here's Microsoft's official doc about it: Defining Document Compatibility (2011-04) @Source msdn.microsoft.com

Here's a very short summary. Use one of:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=8">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=7">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=5">

What's the difference between “IE=7” and “IE=EmulateIE7”?

It's not clear to me from scanning that long article, but then i found this Microsoft blog: Introducing IE=EmulateIE7 (2008-06-10) By Jefferson Fletcher (IE product manager) of ieblog. @ Source blogs.msdn.com. Quote:

Content ValueDetails
IE=7Display in IE7 Standards mode; Already supported in the IE8 Beta 1 release
IE=EmulateIE7Display standards DOCTYPEs in IE7 Standards mode; Display quirks DOCTYPEs in Quirks mode; Available through the IE June Security Update for IE8 Beta 1

Complexer and Complexer

There is a mantra, widely purveyed among web communities from unix idiots throughout 1990s and even early 2000s.

It's from Unix's RFC (aka Really Fucking Common) #793, under the section “Robustness Principle”: «be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others». Typically quoted as:

Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept. — Jon Postel

This quote was often appended as a pithy quote in sign-off signatures of online postings in web tech forums. It died off in early 2000.

If you ever wonder why web tech is so fucked up, you have to thank these idiots. (See: The Nature of the Unix Philosophy)

2011-06-21

ErgoEmacs and Windows VirtualStore

ErgoEmacs and Windows VirtualStore

In Windows 7, ErgoEmacs will recognize files in the VirtualStore location.

that means, if you want to modify some files in 〔c:/Program Files/〕 such as

C:/Program Files (x86)/ErgoEmacs/ergoemacs/init_load_packages.el

you can do so without having to edit the file as admin.

Windows 7 will create the virtual file at %homepath%/AppData/Local/VirtualStore/

and when ErgoEmacs is relaunched, it'll recognize the ones in virtualstore location.

am not sure if this is due to gnu emacs 23.x change or something changed from Windows Vista to 7. (if anyone know, it'd be greate to know for curiosity. Post! After 2 years, am still Windows newb. lol.)

See also: Windows Vista VirtualStore ProblemWindows Environment VariablesUsing PowerShell to Manage Environment Variables.

Windows Logo Key Keyboard Shortcuts

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/mswin/windows_key_shortcuts.html

Windows Logo Key Keyboard Shortcuts

Xah Lee, 2011-06-21

This page lists all Windows logo key shortcuts that works in Windows 7. if it doesn't work in Windows 7, it's not listed here.

In general, any key combo with the Win key is a global keyboard shortcut. Key combo that start with the Menu key (aka “Application key”) is supposed to be application specific, but that never caught on.

Introduced in Windows XP

  • Win+B】 Select the first icon in the Notification Area.
  • Win+D】 Show the desktop, or restore hidden programs when pressed a second time.
  • Win+E】 Open Windows Explorer (view folders).
  • Win+F】 Open Windows Search.
  • Win+Ctrl+F】 Open Search for Computers. Requires Active Directory Domain Services.
  • Win+F1】Open Windows Help.
  • Win+L】 Lock desktop or switch users.
  • Win+M】 Minimize all windows.
  • Win+Shift+M】 Restore windows that were minimized with 【Win+M】.
  • Win+R】 Open the Run dialog.
  • Win+U】 Run the Utility Manager, known as “Ease of Access” in later versions of Windows.
  • Win+Pause】 Open System Properties.

Introduced in Windows XP Media Center Edition

  • Win+Alt+Enter】 Start Windows Media Center interface.

Introduced in Windows Vista

  • Win+G】 Cycle Windows gadgets.
  • Win+Spacebar】 to show the Windows Sidebar. Replaced with Aero Peek in Windows 7, as the Windows Sidebar was discontinued.
  • Win+X】 Enter the Windows Mobility Center. Works only if portable computer features are installed.
  • Win+Tab】 Switch windows with Aero Flip 3D. (desktop composition must be turned on)
  • Win+Ctrl+Tab】 Switch windows using sticky Aero Flip 3D.
  • Win+1】, 【Win+2】, … 【Win+0】 Launch app on the Quicklaunch bar. In Windows 7, these runs the apps pinned to the taskbar.

Introduced in Windows 7

  • Win+Home】 Toggle hide all other windows.
  • Win+Spacebar】 View desktop. (activate Aero Peek).
  • Win+P】 Choose a presentation display mode (set screen to clone on 2nd monitor, etc.).
  • Win+】 Maximize current window.
  • Win+】 Restore current window's default window size.
  • Win+Shift+】 Maximize current window vertically.
  • Win+Shift+】 Restore current window vertically, or minimize window.
  • Win+】 or 【Win+】 Align the window to the side of the screen, maximizing it vertically.
  • Win+Shift+】 or 【Win+Shift+】 Move the window to the next or previous monitor, if multiple monitors are used
  • Win+T】 Iterate through items on the taskbar.
  • Win++】 Zoom-in screen. 【Win+-】 Zoom-out screen. 【Win+Esc】 Cancel magnification.
  • Win+1】, 【Win+2】, … 【Win+0】 to run or activate the corresponding programs in the taskbar.
  • Win+Shift+1】 … start a new instance of the app on taskbar.

Alphabetic List

  • Win+a】 ∅
  • Win+b】 Put focus on Notification Area.
  • Win+c】 ∅
  • Win+d】 Toggle show desktop.
  • Win+e】 Windows Explorer (view desktop)
  • Win+f】 Windows Search.
  • Win+g】 Desktop gadgets.
  • Win+h】 ∅
  • Win+i】 ∅
  • Win+j】 ∅
  • Win+k】 ∅
  • Win+l】 Lock desktop.
  • Win+m】 Minimize all windows.
  • Win+n】 ∅
  • Win+o】 ∅
  • Win+p】 display and projector toggle.
  • Win+q】 ∅
  • Win+r】 Run dialog.
  • Win+s】 ∅
  • Win+t】 Put focus on the Taskbar
  • Win+u】 Ease of Access
  • Win+v】 ∅
  • Win+w】 ∅
  • Win+x】 Windows Mobility Center.
  • Win+y】 ∅
  • Win+z】 ∅

Reference