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David Bloomfield : Web design, web accessibility, CSS, HTML, XHTML, gadgets, music and other random stuff — David Bloomfield’s Blog
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new apple iphone predictions


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The new version of the iphone will be announced next week.

I reckon its a pretty safe bet what the new iphone will have but these are my predictions for the new model.

  • 3g capable
  • larger memory, 16gig and 32gig version
  • improved battery life
  • new organic lcd screen, which helps improve battery life
  • a white version
  • improved camera
  • ability to record video
  • GPS

We’ll see what happens next week.

Update:

Some other predictions

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Happy dachshund?


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14/03/2008

Originally uploaded by this-is-david™

My girlfriend went for a day at Crufts last weekend.

She bought our little fella Eric some new clothes including this snazzy little number.

I don’t think he was too impressed with his new get up, maybe I should get him some glow sticks and make him the first “New Rave” dachshund?

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Top 5 flickr photo feeds


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These are the top 5 flickr photo feeds, well the ones I follow anyway.

Dave Gorman
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgbalancesrocks

Wiki says,

He is an author, documentary comedian and humourist. He performs comedy shows on stage in which he tells stories of extreme adventures and presents the evidence to the audience in order to prove to them that, unlike in most other stage presentations, they are true stories. He is a former stand-up comedian.

I first heard of Dave Gorman when his TV programme Are you Dave Gorman? was shown on TV. More recently More4 aired his Dave Gorman In America Unchained film as part of their True Stories series.

His films are really funny and revealing. Dave Gorman In America Unchained shows a side to American people that dispelled a lot of myths/stereotypes. I mean can you imagine running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere in the UK, then phoning a garage to come to your rescue with a some petrol and only be charged for the petrol? Or a petrol station owner coming from home on a bank holiday to open up just so you can buy some petrol?

I really like Dave Gorman’s photos they make the ordinary look extra ordinary. A lot of them seem to be in and around london, I think that would be because he lives there. However, there are alot from his travels such as New York and other parts of America.

I particular like his graffiti and http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgbalancesrocks/sets/1336953/ sets.

Visit his website as well at www.davegorman.com

Soxiam
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soxiam/

This blokey works for Vimeo and posts his drawing, sketches, ideas and screenshots of his work for them. He also has some nice sets of interesting website interfaces and is useful resources when you’re designing and building new websites.

Factory Joe
http://www.flickr.com/photos/factoryjoe/

Factory Joe is kind of like Soxiam, more screenshots of websites and interfaces. He also has built up sets of user flows, design patterns and interfaces, which is also useful.

Flickr integration

Rebekka
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/

Rebekka takes stunning shots of Iceland. Have a look through her photos they are just amazing and beautiful. Iceland looks like another planet sometimes and Rebekka manages to capture it perfectly.

She has had a few problems with people stealing her images and selling them on as their own so her photo sizes are now limited. (Hope you dont mind me taking the screenshot below.)

A few links to her

© Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir

Coldmountain
http://www.flickr.com/photos/coldmountain/

If you’re a fan of HDR photos take a look at this blokeys work. It’s brilliant. It looks very dark at times as well.

I especially like the “Being Nick Watts” set.
Sunday Breakfast
This reminds me of the Midlake album cover.

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There Are “No” Tools Left In This Van Overnight


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There Are "No" Tools Left In This Van Overnight

Originally uploaded by this-is-david™

Saw this van at the traffic lights the other day with a sign on the back saying, “There Are "No" Tools Left In This Van Overnight”.

So there ARE tools left in the van???


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Is Apple Time Capsule the perfect NAS solution?


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I’ve been thinking about getting a NAS drive for a while now.

I have a PC upstairs and a Macbook downstairs. What I really want to be able to do is have my music stored in one central place so both computers can access it.

Also I want my Xbox 360 to connect to it so I can play films through the TV.

Apple are about to release their Time Capsule. It has stunning looks, like most apple products, and should sit quite nicely in the living room. I dont want a NAS drive that looks ugly and the time capsule is anything but.

Engadget have had a look at it, as have Gizmodo.

Engadget also have a nice Apple Time Capsule gallery of photos.

The Apple site have details on the Time Capsule and I’ve also been looking through the PDF manual for the Time Capsule.

It looks pretty perfect for want I need a NAS for. The only thing I’m not sure about is whether you can download torrents through it without having to use a computer. If it does that I think I’ll be whacking one on my credit card pretty soon.

Other solutions I’ve been are the D-Link 323 and the Freecom.

Does anyone know which I should get?

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Radiohead’s scotch mist


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Radiohead performed the whole of In Rainbows on the internet and on Current TV last night, new years eve.

I missed it when it went out but I found the video on the Current TV website.

Go watch Radiohead’s scotch mist now.

I preordered In Rainbows when Radiohead launched the album back in October and yes I did pay for it. I might actually buy the CD which is now out in the shops.

The version I really would like to get my hands on is the CD box set which has a booklet, vinyl and an extra CD on more new songs.

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New BBC homepage


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Found via Simon Dicksons blog

The BBC have redesigned their homepage and now have an advert on the current homepage asking you to try out the beta version.

It’s a AJAX, web 2.0, netvibes, google homepage fest.

I really like parts of it but I’m not completely sold on it yet.

Things I like about the new BBC homepage

  • I like how the colour scheme changes to match the large image in the main feature area.
  • The analogue clock is also nice and reminds me of the old BBC clock from my childhood.
  • It’s good to see the localisation is a feature on the homepage. I have the BBC news website set up to give me local news and use it everyday.
  • I like that they have gone for a 1024 browser width. Hopefully that will help lead the way to more websites leaving 800 by 600 behind. The site I work on still has around 10% viewing it in 800 by 600 so I’m not sure we’ll be leaving it just yet. Although we’ll have to sooner or later. The BBC should add more weight to the making the move.
  • The simple design

Thing I dont like about the new BBC homepage

  • I’m still not convinced by homepages that you can move sections around. Yes it gives users control over the layout giving them the power to place items that interest them most in more prominent areas of the page. However, if the website wants to promote sections of the website that the user may not have explored before I think it puts the content developers at a disadvantage.
  • The look is just a bit too web 2.0. I dont think it will age well.

New BBC iplayer

Theres also a new beta of the BBC iplayer which works on my macbook, yay. I briefly tried the BBC iplayer a few months ago on my PC. I never really used it because watching TV on my PC in the cold spare room isnt really as nice as sitting on my sofa in front of the big TV. Hopefully, I’ll get more use from this version. I’m quite looking forward to having a proper play with it.

If you want to read an indepth blog about the redesign have a look at “A lick of paint for the BBC homepage” by the Acting Head of User Experience, Richard Titus.

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Christmas tree, Norman the fourth


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Finally finished

Originally uploaded by this-is-david™

Got this bad boy up and decorated on saturday afternoon.

He has about 400 lights and about 30 - 40 bourbells (is that how you spell it).

We also bought some lights for the little tree at the top of our drive which looks pretty good.

Took ages to get everything set up, I’m not looking forward to taking it all down.

Still, I really like it. It’s makes the front room all cozy and nice.

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Accessible ways to open a new browser window


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Personally, I’m not keen on forcing a new browser window to open on the user. It takes away user control. Users should have the right to decide if they open a new window or not.

Most people now, especially with the rising popularity of Firefox and Internet Explorer 7, are familiar with tabbed browsing. If they want a new window or tab they’ll right click and open a new window or tab.

So what’s the problem?

Well, sometimes it is necessary to force the opening of a new window. For example, a third party application that “integrates” with your website may need a new window to be opened in order to preserve the user experience and aesthetic appeal.

This is a scenario local government websites and probably many legacy website face. A third party application is brought in and rolled out that looks nothing like the main website except the company logo that is placed in the header.

That’s the fully integrated web application as promised by your supplier.

This is a case where you would want to force a new window to open.

How to open a new window

Be nice, warn users that a new window is going to open.

It is only polite.

Using text such as “Opens in a new window” in the link text tells the user exactly what is going to happen.

Design

This does look very good though, does it?

Well, you could put “Opens in a new window” in the title attribute. However, this will not help visual users who use the keyboard to “tab” around the website. No modern browser displays the text in the title attribute as a user tabs through web page content with a keyboard.

HTML 4 doctype

If you are still using a HTML 4 doctype you could use the target attribute of the anchor tag.

target=”_blank”

Bish, bash, bosh and you’re done. No JavaScript needed. Perfectly valid for your doctype.

XHTML doctype

Most people now, I like to think, are using an XHTML doctype. The target attribute is no longer an option if you want your page to validate to W3C standards.

Using JavaScript to open a new browser window

There are several blog posts and forum discussions about using non-obtrusive JavaScript to open a new browser window.

These can be found at:

Reading through the various posts and discussions I favour Roger Johanssons method.

He shares a similar view about opening new browser windows.

“Opening new windows should almost always be avoided. There are very few exceptions to that rule. However, sometimes it is beyond your control as a Web developer to enforce that. You can normally choose which DOCTYPE to use though. I prefer using a strict DOCTYPE, which does not allow the target attribute. And that is why I created this script. It can also be argued that opening new windows is behaviour, and as such should be moved to the behaviour layer (JavaScript) anyway.” - Roger Johansson

It’s a piece of non-obtrusive JavaScript that kicks in when you specify

rel=”external”

on the anchor tag.

It adds text “opens in a new window” to the link text.

Then, not surprisingly, it opens the link in a new window.

What if JavaScript is not enabled?

If JavaScript is not enabled it just displays the standard link text and opens normally without opening the new window.

You might think that

target=”_blank”

is better as it doesn’t need JavaScript to work but it now deprecated, gone, left the building, dead.

In the words of Andy Clarke, “No one dies”.

Again, here is the link you’ll need

Opening new windows with JavaScript, version 1.2

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Jon Hicks launches a custom skin for Google Reader


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Found via a Flickr post it looks like Jon Hicks has launched a skin for Google Reader.

I’ve used his bloglines skin before but since Bloglines has been playing up for me, (maybe the new internet filters at work have something to do with it), I’ve been using Google Reader.

Go get it for yourself - Download the gskin css file

Installation - Taken from http://www.hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/os-x-skin-for-bloglines which I’m guessing can be applied much the same to the Google Reader skin

To use in Camino or Firefox, copy the contents of the mozilla version into your userContent.css file. Alternatively, place it in the same chrome directory and add an import link to it from userContent.css at the very top, like so:

@import url(bloglines-moz.css); 

Or, if you’re using the Stylish extension for Firefox, just copy and paste the rules into a new rule window.

To use in Safari (with SafariStand installed), place the css file in your /Library/Safari/Stand/UserStyleSheets folder. Then when you next visit bloglines, choose ‘site alteration’ from the Stand preferences, click add to add a rule for bloglines, and then select the css file from the ‘Alter UserStyleSheet location’. Make sure you tick the box next to alter as well.

To use in Omniweb 5.5, place the file wherever you like, and select if from the site preferences when you visit Bloglines. Nice and easy!

As for Opera, I’m not sure if it can load CSS per site. Can any Opera users enlighten me on this?

I think the most simple way to implement this has to the Stylish extension for Firefox.

Update:

Jon has an official post about this on his blog

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