Japan launches Internet satellite

Last week I was in a heated “debate” with my friend Chris about the availability of WiFi internet. I suggested that maybe the reason why we do not have WiFi internet available in any major city is because the big corporations lobby hard to suppress the building of such infrastructure.

Free WiFi internet would mean the end of Cable/DSL connections, translating to billions of lost revenue. It is not hard to believe that Comcast and ATT would spend millions of dollars shooting down the idea of free WiFi internet available to everyone.

A couple weeks prior to that, I was talking to Nghiem about why is it that we still rely on “undersea cables” to transmit internet/phone connections. In my mind, that is the technological equivalent to using a typewriter. Nghiem explained that “undersea cables” are the best option we currently have.

Today I read this article: Japan launches Internet satellite.

It really excites me because it is the answer I was looking for. Satellite internet will eliminate “undersea cables”, and satellite internet means affordable and fast internet connections for everyone!

Bravo Japan, Bravo.


Comcast customer support is stupid

Ok so let’s say your phone number is 415-555-1234, but you live in a 916 area code.

If you call 1800COMCAST, with your phone, they will automatically detect that your phone number is a 415 area code and transfer you to the 415 call center.

The computers at the 415 call center pulls up your account and realize you live in the 916 area code and tells you to call the 916 call center phone number, gives you the number, then hangs up on you.

You call that number, the 916 call center computer answers and detect that you are calling from a 415 area code phone.

They immediately tell you to call the 415 call center and proceeds to give you that number.

Now you are stuck in a Comcast customer service infinite loop.

They are a multi-billion dollar company and some how their programmer is too fucking retarded to realize this little conundrum?

I told them about this and they actually told me to block my caller ID before calling them so the computer won’t detect it. Then when it asks for a number, put in a random number with the correct area code.

Wtf? Why do I have become a spoofer just to get some customer service??


Why use CSS?

After reading through all the comments on a current digg submission regarding the rampant use of tables, I started to wonder why I even began coding in CSS.

Although I have built a fair number of CSS layouts for web apps (examples in my resume), I have NEVER actually built anything using TABLES. This fact makes it impossible for me to really experience the differences, benefits, and complications between the two methods. Most of my appreciation ( perhaps misleading ) for CSS came from my reading of other people’s experiences, and claims from sites such as csszengarden, a list apart, csscreator, etc…

The comments on this digg submission seems to be preaching the opposite. It made me realize that there are many people out there who do not think that CSS is beneficial when TABLES are much easier to control, and CSS requires a lot tweaking and hacking ( a fact I cannot deny ). They also pointed out that the inherent benefits of using CSS, such as: loading speed, cross-browser compatibility, and development time, are not worth all the troubles and inconsistencies involved with using CSS.

As someone who have a good amount of experience with CSS, I must admit, they are right. Even though CSS is great for building complex designs and DOM scripting with JavaScript, sometimes TABLES are just easier to use. There have been so many times in my professional experience when a client would ask for a simple alignment, and it would take me hours just to achieve the effect. For example, vertical alignment, equal height columns, and of course, like we all know, displaying tabular data.

So there, I admit it, TABLES are SOMETIMES useful and easier than CSS.

But in defense of CSS, I would like to offer some counter arguments. First, a lot of the people who complain about CSS, simply don’t know how to use CSS properly. This is just a fact of life: ignorance breeds prejudice. Just because you do understand “position: relative”, does not mean “position: relative” suck. You suck for not understanding it. Second, with CSS you can change styles easily and in one centralized place. And lastly, the teaching of CSS coincide directly with good SEO practices. When every bit of SERP counts for your company, this is one powerful tool in your arsenal.

In conclusion, CSS is the future and you should learn to embrace it. However, lets not be snobby about CSS because nothing is perfect. Sometimes, the old way just works better. ;) Oh btw, it took me a long time to write this entry because I had to concentrate on my grammar. :)


Javascript: disabled input field

This is true for jQuery, and maybe true for JavaScript in general.

If you have an input field that is disabled:

<input type="text" name="example" value="example" disabled="disabled">

You cannot attach / bind any events to it ( ie. onClick, onSumbit, etc.. ).

In order to work with those disabled fields, you have to make a separate trigger that is NOT disabled, to enable those fields before they are accessible.

If someone knows otherwise, please let me know.


Text Indent CSS Trick

Its 2am and I just discovered something abnormal in CSS.

If you are using the text-indent trick to hide text in your CSS, you must set the text-align value to LEFT.

If it is set to text-align: right it will not work.

It works in firefox, but not in IE or Opera. This is strange, but it works!

This info maybe useful to someone switching from the Fahrner Image Replacement, or simply having issues with text-indent in CSS and Internet Explorer.