M.I.A. — Maya Arulpragasam

M.I.A. -- Maya ArulpragasamI think the best thing about the M.I.A. buzz is this MeFi thread where she has lit a great flame war between the ones that love it and hate it. A mix somewhere between hip-hop, electronica, Nintendo cartridges, and reggae a lot of people feel it’s supposed to be retro while others, including my self, really see it as an ultra-current hip hop type music. Another interesting argument is if the group her father was involved in actually was a terrorist group. Tamil Tigers have also been called freedom fighters for a part of northeast Sri Lanka. I can’t say with much authority which is closer to the truth but through interviews Maya seems like a really cool girl with a really unique perspective on the world. I’ve been wanting to try and get my self in to more music from south Asia ever since the wonderful Deborah Hutton showed me the magic of the sub-continent.

You can see the Galang video here, it’s Quicktime, and her website has a version of sunshowers in Real Player format.

Why I hate Firefox

Okay, so I like Firefox but I feel like I’ve had what was definitely a bad user experience. If I wasn’t as computer literate as I am I might even have run back to IE. I’ve always had a problem with pop ups and trying to let certain ones through while keeping the block pop option on. I’ve also had problems with slow performance while using the options menu. Recently I also noticed a large memory leak that kept the Firefox process very bloated. The thing that finally put me over the edge was how JavaScript was not opening the new windows it was supposed to.

Finally I decided to reinstall Firefox in hope it would fix whatever had broken. I uninstalled 1.0.1 and reinstalled the only version I had on hand which was 1.0PR. Rule number 1: don’t install old Firefox versions. The problem was now it worked even worse then before. The window opened and did nothing, acted like it was frozen, but said it was running in the task manager.

Looking on the Firefox knowledge base I found the browser will not start article. Not exactly what I want but close enough. That’s where I learned about the profile folder that holds all the options for different profiles that use Firefox. I’m the only one who uses my computer and just had it set as the default user. It turns out this is also where your extensions are saved. I had an idea that it might have been an extension but could not figure out which extension was which, so I just deleted all of them; downloaded 1.0.1 with IE and it ran perfectly.

Going back and reinstalling extensions some would not download due to incompatibility. It’s nice that they keep them from being installed but there needs to be more flexibility once the extension is installed. We’re never going to get people to use Firefox and keep it updated if it ends up messing up the browser.

Gmail, the world awaits

Google has a great post out about how they never release anything from beta. Okay it’s really about how they are releasing Google desktop. But with google desktop out of the labs it brings my thoughts back to Gmail. They sure seem to be taking their time getting that out of beta. I can’t imagine what features they are waiting to implement but as soon as they gave 50 invites to a large number of their older users it seemed like it was ready to come out of the bag.

Why am I so anxious for it to come out? I mean with 50 invites and no one to give them out too it seems like everyone has one who wants one. Yet once it goes public it should do for email what hotmail did long ago, building a popular free email. Gmail should be the next wave of web mail and no matter how many invites I have it’s still limited to my friend. Come on Google, let the rest of the world have a chance.

We seem to be famous (or infamous) for never taking our products out of beta -- the software equivalent of commitment issues, perhaps. But in one case, at least, we're taking the plunge: Google Desktop Search has been kicked out of the Google Labs nest, and is officially 1.0. Nikhil Bhatla

NYPL Digital Gallery

The New York Public Library has been taking notes from goggle. They have made illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, and illustrated books available for free online. Most seems to be in the public domain and the library is only asking for some sort of fee for high-resolution version of the images, though I can’t find out how much.

As a poor graphic artist new to the field I’m always happy to find new places to get stock photography. Hopefully this is a sign that this digitizing of the past is not just a trend and will really take off. The more power at the tip of my fingers the happier I am.

Damn you UCB

Ever since I saw Demetri on comedy central I’ve wanted him to come to TCNJ. A very unassuming little kid, his downplayed sarcastic humor really makes it even better in my book.

I was sad to see he was going to be in the UCB theater mere days before I was going to UCB. Keri and I were going to go after we did the audio tour of The MoMA, because everything is better with an audio tour.

UCB is always cheep but when the Gothamist pointed out the $8 tickets on sale to see him tonight it showed there is still plenty of time bring him to TCNJ. Hopefully I can put the lean on the board to bring his greatness to light.