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I hate Internet Explorer. Passionately.

Posted on : 10-21-2008 | By : Andy | In : tech, work

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There’s a bug in Internet Explorer that causes HTML elements to randomly “disappear.” Without going too much into detail, there’s two ways to make something not show up in a webpage using .css style. You can either: 1) set visibility: hidden; or 2) set display: none;

They’re slightly different, because if you set the visibility to hidden, it will still “take up space” on your page and push other elements out of its spot. If you set the display to none, everything kind of collapses around it.

I spent a TON of time debugging Javascript today (and in the past) trying to figure out what FireFox, Safari, and Opera showed 4 elements that had been set visibility: hidden; and then back to visibility: visible;, but in Internet Explorer 6 AND 7, only two of the four would reappear.

Agonizing frustration: am I breaking something minor that only shows in picky IE? Did I misspell a tag or function somewhere? Even worse, if I trigger the SAME FUNCTION in IE using a different control, the stupid elements show up!!!! Curse you, Bill Gates!

Finally, in desperation, I do another Google search.

They said to try using display: none; instead, because IE has a visibility bug. I do. It works. (*&#$ Microsoft, get your stuff together. I hope IE8 fixes all this crap, but I’m afraid my hopes aren’t set very high.

ESPN360.com on Comcast Cox or other unsupported network.

Posted on : 10-18-2008 | By : Andy | In : fun, pop culture, tech

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Update: Comcast now offers ESPN360. So, if your neighbor has Comcast and you don’t, they can also now provide the initial connection goodness you’ll need to get it running on a different provider (instructions below).

Update: Cox now offers ESPN360 as well!

Have Comcast (or Cox, or other non-participating internet provider) and hate them (yet, secretly love them) for not caving in to ESPN and paying licensing fees for ESPN360.com? (ESPN is the real villain here)

You have a few choices:
#1) Change providers. Lame, and in many cases impossible.
#2) Convince a friend who has a participating provider to set up Dynamic DNS, OpenSSH, and Port Forwarding, then set up Putty so you can tunnel your traffic over a Socks Proxy through their connection. (WAY too complicated, and puts a huge strain on their connection, if it’s even fast enough to handle it!)
#3) Load and switch.

Alex, I choose ‘Load and Switch’ for $800.

The idea is simple: ESPN360 only authenticates your network provider’s IP when loading their player. So as long as you boot up the service on a supported provider, you’re all set! There’s a few ways you can do this:

#1) Take your laptop to Starbucks (or some other AT&T hotspot), start the player in your browser, put your computer to sleep (browser still open) and go home.
#2) Get permission from your neighbor who has slow AT&T DSL to use his wireless connection to connect and load the player. Then switch back to your connection.
#3) Wardrive. (I do not recommend this one!)

I happen to live on a campus where I can use my school’s slow, highly-restricted network to connect, (all .edu or .mil providers get access!) and then toggle over to Comcast for the real streaming.

Now, combine that with Fullscreen viewing on Mac OS X and you’re all set!

How many KU Jayhawks games did I have to miss before I discovered all this? Far too many. :-( Thankfully, that problem has now been rectified. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Max OS X Streaming Video at Fullscreen – Finally!

Posted on : 10-18-2008 | By : Andy | In : fun, tech

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I finally got some satisfaction to a longstanding annoyance today. You see, with Firefox on Windows, you can view webpages in full screen–no taskbar, no chrome, just full view web. On a Mac? No dice. I’m serious, it’s just plain impossible to do…or it was. Some online video services make your browser magically take over the whole screen (like hulu.com), but many don’t. Today, the problem was ESPN360.com.

Given that Apple is totally lame in not giving Safari a fullscreen mode, and that Firefox still hasn’t implemented it yet, I went looking for other solutions. After all, I wanted to watch ESPN360.com on my TV, hooked up to my Mac Mini, and all that chrome was annoying as heck.

So I did some searching once before and found…nothing. Today, somehow I got the Google Query right, or found the right forum, and ended up with megazoomer. That’s right, no more lame zooming tricks (like this), although those are ok for sites that don’t offer a ‘fake’ fullscreen mode.

The only drawback is that this only works for Cocoa apps, so you’ll have to use Safari. :-( The plus is that it works for ANY Cocoa app! Wohoo, no more permanent, unmoveable, unhidable toolbar!

What are you waiting for? Go start watching free online TV in real fullscreen today!

If you have comcast, like me, and thus can’t watch ESPN360 at all…there is a way around it: watch ESPN360 on Comcast.

Irked again. Free will leads to…Joel Osteen?

Posted on : 10-07-2008 | By : Andy | In : Calvinism / Arminianism, pop culture, religion

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I got an email from Joel Osteen today, telling me I could pay $15 to come hear him tell me how much God wants me to get rich. Um, no thanks. But it did get me searching the Internet again to see if anyone else has caught on how much Joel Osteen really isn’t at all about the Gospel or the God of Scripture. And I found Nathan White commenting on Joel Osteen.

Unfortunately, while he starts out OK, he turns this into a plug for Calvinism? Where the heck did that come from!?!

“I must say that Arminianism, or an emphasis on free will, is certainly (emphasis mine) the root of this man-centered approach by Osteen. Sure, not all Arminians take their free will theology to his extreme, but most certainly he is only acting consistent with this foundational belief. When man is that captain of his own ship; when man gets to decide if he deems his Creator worth the time to submit to and worship; when man’s sinfulness is covered up to the point where he still has the innate goodness within to make the most important ‘decision’ in all of eternity; when God’s kingdom is more like a self-help club which members choose to enter into as they see fit, then these types of ministers and messages will only continue to flourish. This is precisely why we should proclaim God’s sovereignty in all situations, whenever possible.

This is certainly a gross exaggeration. Let me break it down: free will states that our will is capable of choosing between right and wrong, not that we get to decide God’s role, or make our own salvation. To claim that our ability to actually make choices somehow diminishes our need for (or the efficacy of) Grace is completely and utterly wrong. Arminianism != a self-help gospel.

Sure, it is certain that determinism doesn’t leave room for self-help theology, but that doesn’t mean that Joel Osteen’s bad doctrine is merely the result of him believing in free will. If you drink motor oil it will kill you, but if you put it in your car it will keep your engine running smoothly. In either case, reason demands that we attribute the outcome to you, not the oil. If you turn Arminianism into a self-help gospel, you’re to blame, not Arminianism.

Nevertheless, if you want me to proclaim God’s sovereignty whenever possible… “God’s sovereignty means that He is making Joel Osteen preach this health-and-wealth message,” so don’t complain when God’s will is being accomplished. Quit fighting against it! Why must you kick against the goads?!

Joel Osteen may be wrong and Arminian, but his being wrong is not the natural result of his being Arminian.