Firefox 3 – 2 days, 4 tabs, 1gb+ RAM in use

I don’t normally restart my work box that often. Its a pain to wait for all of the services to get up and running (apache(php), tomcat(java), Ecliplse, 4 browsers, etc). I usually have to kill Firefox towards the end of the day and restart it to make it speedy again. I didn’t restart it for the last 2 days and thought I would document the first time I’ve ever seen FF3 use over 1gb of RAM with only 4 tabs open. Hopefully the next v3.1 update will help fix some of the apparent memory leaks.

firefox 3 using over 1gb of ram
firefox 3 using over 1gb of ram

Tried Using ChaCha? Me Neither.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I found out my younger sister “works” for ChaCha. She showed me the interface and told me about how it works.

The site only started getting over 500k monthly visitors since August, according to
She can usually sit there for up to 2 hours waiting on a question to come through from a user. The problem isn’t scalability, its finding customers who actually want to use the darn thing.

She made a little over $20 for the entire month of November. Their internal message boards are filled to the brim with hundreds of other workers who complain about never getting questions. The reason ChaCha stopped accepting new workers a few months ago seems to be that they outstripped the supply of people asking questions.

An important policy that seriously restricts the usefulness of ChaCha’s answers is that its workers are restricted to the sites they get their answers from. They are not allowed to use 3rd party search engines, such as Google or Yahoo. They are also restricted from using Wikipedia and almost any kind of message board.

ChaCha has an internal directory of human-categorized approved links across a number of directories, ala Yahoo’s early attempts to create a categorized view of the web by employing librarians to index sites. That was the 1st gen business model that pretty much failed for Yahoo.

I ran a series of questions by her and the answers she could find were a combination of inaccurate, incomplete, or occasionally right.

After having seen ChaCha from the inside, more or less, I can’t say there’s anything there that shows me it has any value to the user. Go hit Google, Yahoo, or even You’ll get better results.

Fix for "The Adobe UI font could not be loaded"

If you encounter this error message when opening Adobe Photoshop CS2 in Windows XP, “The Adobe UI font could not be loaded” here’s a quick fix that worked for me. CS2 was doing this for months to me.

Search your system for a file called ADMUI3.fon. Copy this file into the Required folder in CS2. For example, “C:Program FilesAdobeAdobe Photoshop CS2Required folder”.

Restart Photoshop and there’s a good chance it’ll be fixed.

11 Places to Get Started with iPhone App Development

The goal of this list is to provide a starting point for people looking to get involved with iPhone application development. I’ve tried putting the most recent, pertinent, and/or useful towards the top of the list.

The Apple iPhone Dev Center, but you have to sign up to enter:

iPhone Developer Central. Lots of tutorials:

Forums @ iPhone Developer Central. Very active community:

A thorough, step-by-step tutorial to make an RSS reader:

How to setup your dev environment on your Mac:

Slide your view around when editing UITextFields so that they never get trapped under the onscreen keyboard:

Glassy Scrolling with UITableView:

Using frameworks in iPhone applications:

A very short and older quick-guide to the Interface Builder:

Older tutorial to making a simple Hello World touch app:

Another older tut written with a beta-build of the SDK, still thorough and useful:

If you're in the Coast Guard, you're using Internet Explorer 6

coast guard boat

Over at , Dmitry Fadeyev posted a brief but good writeup about why we should drop support for IE6 in order to give people a reason to upgrade. Based on a recent experience I had at a focus group on a Coast Guard base here in California, that may be harder in large organizations than regular run-of-the-mill users. If you’re in the Coast Guard, you might not have any other choice. (more…)

I'm dying and I want to know it.

My friend and I were watching the season finale of the tv show House tonight and we started talking about whether or not we would want to know if we were going to die in a few hours. The topic came up as the character Amber lay in the hospital unconscious, death inevitable, with the last opportunity for her friends to reawaken her for a few more hours.

Most people, given this question, say they wouldn’t want to be woken up. What’s the point? This is what my friend believes. He didn’t understand at first why I answered different, that I would want to be woken back up if even for only such a short amount of time.

To me, we are special in all of the known universe in that we are conscious. There are other conscious species on our own world, but they are few and far between. Only a handful can even arguably be said to be as self-aware and experience emotions as we do. Cetaceans, some of the great apes, and elephants. As conscious animals, we are collectively few and far between. This makes us all special.

For me, the chance to be aware of the world is more important than nearly anything else. If I only had one more chance to be awake, I want those last few hours to be able to breathe, think, and be able to remember. When my body gives out and the remarkable chemistry of my brain that has given me the ability to be me fails, there’s no mythical place that my consciousness goes. I am a product of the physical world that created me, and when those physical processes no longer work I am gone. The last few hours and minutes of life should be cherished for the special moments that they are.

No, I’m not dying. But our conversation was something that made me think, and I think it was worth sharing.

Twitter is Where the News Happens

Twitter continues to be a source for breaking news. As of 4pm PST, there are a lot of people on Twitter talking about a massive explosion at a propane facility in Toronto that occurred around 4am this morning. This news has yet to filter into the mainstream news websites like CNN and MSNBC. The CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Company, finally picked up the story around 5pm their time.

Meanwhile, various people have been spreading the news via Twitter and home-made videos posted on Youtube. The following amazing video was submitted to YouTube at around 5:00am EST, shortly after the explosion happened. As of this posting, over 164,000 people have viewed just this video.

This is probably one of the biggest examples yet of how outdated and antiquated traditional news services are.

Why doesn't Google just buy Viacom?

I have been seriously concerned for the last 10 years or so about the amazingly out of proportion influence the media/entertainment industry has been having over the legal system here in the United States.

We have seen the collective entertainment industry having a huge amount of power as “copyright holders” that is disproportionate to their economic contributions to society overall. The information technology industry, loosely including everyone from hardware vendors to software development to web services, is vastly larger than the media and entertainment companies in terms of their economic footprint.


Fear Doubt

Fear DoubtA lot of people have great ideas, myself included. We think about them, write and plan them out, and search around for competitors. We see other people that have already implemented similar ideas and we start doubting. We talk to our friends, families, coworkers, and strangers. Some of these people are encouraging us to put words into action. But others say “hasn’t that already been done?” or “that doesn’t seem very valuable.”

The old saying goes, “Stick to your day job.”

For whatever reason, we listen to the naysayers because it reinforces our own doubt. We shelve our ideas, or start procrastinating because doubt is telling us we have other more important things to do at the moment. The moments turn into days, then weeks, months, and before long we’ve lost the initial drive we had when we were inspired at the start.

Fear doubt. Be afraid of it. If you start doubting, start thinking about the thing that scares you the most. Spiders? Imagine shoving your hand into a bucket filled with thousands of the squirming, hairy, eight-eyes things with huge fangs. Make your brain start getting the same association with Doubt that it does with whatever makes you squirm.

Lets use Fear as a tool to succeed.