Amanda Congdon’s voice

Hum… I was watching rocketboom (link) today and I thought "Hum… if I’m ever doing a computer speech system, I’d definitely ask Amanda to give her voice profile."
 
Why?  Well watch this video (link) and go to frame 1587 (or time index 00:01:45.801) and listen to the way she says the phrase "No punctuation encoding necessary." – she actually kinda sounds like VIKI in iRobot…
 
(But I guess it’ll be a while before any speech synthesizer gets this good…)

lol, man I love this phrase (The Pirate Bay legal response)

lol, I just love this phrase towards the end of the legal reply (link):
 
"Consider this to be a letter that replies "fuck you" in an ironic yet subtle way…"
 
There are tonnes more of those letter in the legal section (just in case you don’t know):
 
 
Anakata really should create a RSS feed for that section  .

No more eye-candy for me…

If you are one of those people who is a bit annoyed about how slow your PC / Laptop is getting, you might want to try one thing – disable all those eye-candy applications you got running in the background.
 
I did, and the end result – my laptop now actually feels snappy and I save a few MB of RAM (about 17 MB).
 
However, the obvious downside is that I’ll miss all those pretty shadows underneath my windows and transparent menus…  But I think those things are worth sacrificing for a bit (alright, a lot) of performance gain (be it psychological or otherwise…).
 
Arh well…

Don’t put too much trust in your GPS navigation system!

lol, this is great, engadget reported people have been placing rather too much trust into their GPS navigation system and not actually reading what’s ahead of them.
 
And the result?  Well according to the story, people are getting a face full of water (in the village of Luckington) and in the village of Crackpot (lol, nice name!), people (almost) gets a face full of rock instead (read the story, you’ll get what I mean)!
 
Here’s the story:

Glass windows in Vista

I was reading one of Paul Thurrott’s recent review on Vista (link) and he mentioned Vista has a problem with its glass windows, where one will have difficulties figuring out which window is on top / focused, as illustrated below:
 
Vista topmost window test - click for full-res. version.
 
Maybe what is needed is Y’z Shadow – this is what my explorer windows look like with Y’z Shadow:
 
XP topmost window test - click for full-res. version.
 
If you just forget about the title bar for the minute – it is easier to spot a window surrounded by a blue "glow" then to pick out which window has the darkest shadow, as is the case with focused window in Vista.
 
I really hope someone will find a way to hack the Vista shadow so it shows the the focused window in a different color?  (Or, you can just use XP with Y’z Shadow  !)

Mozilla Firefox update -Ver 1.5.0.2-

Mozilla have released an update to Firefox, which mainly includes several security bug fixes.  And if you are a Mac user, Firefox can now run natively on your brand spanking new "Mactel" machine.
 
You can find the release notes from the following URL:
 
And you can download it from the Firefox’s homepage:

Another nail in the coffin for Internet Explorer (+ patent rant)

MSIE ActiveX control activation tooltip
 
One of the "fixes" from patch Tuesday was to alter the way IE handle ActiveX controls (after loosing the patent lawsuit that Eolas filed).  And now, every time we (by "we" I meant those idiots users who are still using IE) sees an ActiveX control such as Flash (as pictured above), the user must activate the control by left clicking on it.
 
Ok, so what’s the big problem?  Well first of all, isn’t this just plain annoying and stupid?  Take the example of the search box that’s created in Flash – the user now have to click on the area of the (ActiveX) control and then click again to place the cursor in the search box.  And no, you cannot argue this is a "security feature", as whatever is implemented in the control still execute – it just means now you’ll have to spend an extra click before you can interact with the control.  Again, the change is counter-intuitive to the end users.
 
Secondly, and more importantly, what will this mean (not literally, but philosophically)?  Now that Microsoft is forced to implement this change to such an obvious idea (the idea that a control is executed automatically whenever a page loads) patented by Eolas, does this mean sooner or later, all browsers will have to make such changes?  If so, does this mean we can now patent ideas as opposed to an invention?  Especially such a simple idea like this, which I’m sure a 5 year old kid from anywhere would have figured out.
 
I’m really disappointed.
 

What do you think?
Should Eolas be awarded the patent in the first place?
Should software be "patentable"?