There is hope for KDE 4

Here is the story about openSUSE 11 with KDE 4.0.4 in  Do you want to know what I thought was so special about it?  I’ll tell you.  It features screenshots of the KDE desktop with some icons.  Yes, this is the first bunch of KDE 4 screenshots with desktop icons that I saw.

Sounds surprising?  Well… imagine how surprised I was, when after seeing dozens upon dozens of KDE 4 screen shots and then trying it out myself I realized that one part of it that was totally unusable was the desktop and its icons.  After I tried it, I was trying to remember any screenshots that had icons on the desktop, and I could not.  There was everything from the “amazing” new menu and lighter file browser to configuration tools and updated tools.  But there were no desktop icons.  And now they are there.  So, I guess, there is still hope for KDE 4.

Longer video? Maybe.

Scobleizer believes in longer videos:

Advertisers also will pay a lot higher rates for those long-form ads.


Because someone who’ll watch a 30-minute video is HIGHLY ENGAGED. They are far more likely to become a customer than someone who just watches a two-minute entertaining video.

I think that “video” is too broad for this topic.  To consider only educational and entertainment videos, I see a huge difference.  I don’t believe that entertainment videos will become longer.   Entertainment is a sort of thing that doesn’t have to go either deep or long.  Thus it doesn’t need large chunks of time.  Educational video is a totally other story.  While there are many “howto” type of videos, many topics require more than 5 minutes to explain.  Take Google Tech Talks for example.  They are pretty popular and each one takes about an hour.

There is also this factor of production costs.  It’s much harder to create 60 minutes of high quality (and I don’t mean pixels or bytes) video material, than 10 minutes.  Or 5.  Filmmakers know that.  And the audience knows that.   While less and less filmmakers will risk it, and more and more of those who do risk it will produce crapy long videos, the audience will learn the benefit of a short video and will be more inclined into choosing shorter formats.

However, since I am not at all involved in any video production or distrubtion, I might be totally wrong on this.  Judging purely from my own experience.  And my own experience mostly comes from YouTube and Google Video.

Nuke the fridge

I’ve recently enjoyed the “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” movie.  However there was one particular scene which sticks out.  It was the moment when Indiana yet again avoided his certain death, this time by hiding in the kitchen fridge.  He was supposed to die of a nuclear explosion, but the fridge saved his hat.

Impossible?  Of course.  But there was something more to this.  Something that bothered me for the last few days.  Something that I could not find the words to express.

It turns out, I am not the only one.  There was a hot discussion at IMDB forums, and at other places that have crowds of movie watchers and reviews.  And apparently, a new term was born – “nuke the fridge“.

This is also a nice example to illustrate how the world changes with the Internet.  Lots and lots of people talk about lots and lots of things.  24×7.  Non-stop.  That generates lots of ideas, sub-cultures, products, and services.  And, in tern, lots and lots of money for people who dig it.  Nice.

Fixing Firefox with safe mode

Here is something useful I learned today.  Until recently I’ve been using Firefox 3 beta 5.  It was working fine for me after I found all replacements and upgrades for all the extensions that I need.  One of those extensions was CompactMenu (not giving a link for now).  This extension replaces the whole main menu (File, Edit, View, etc) with a single icon.  You can place this icon anywhere on your toolbars and when you click it, you’ll get a drop down with your main menu items.  Huge space saver.

Yesterday, I upgraded my Firefox to the latest and greatest stable version 3.  The update came as an official package from Fedora updates.  However, once I fired up the new Firefox, it notified me that CompactMenu was not compatible with this version and so it was disabled.  Can you guess where I ended up?

Exactly.  No menu and no way to get to the menu.  I tried uninstalling the extension, intalling another version of it, unintalling it again, cleaning up options in about:config, customizing the toolbars, and so on and so forth.  Nothing worked.  And so I Googled.

It turns out that Firefox has something called a “safe mode“.  All you need to do to get to it is start firefox with “–safe-mode” parameter.  Once it comes up, you’ll see the window as on the screenshot above.  One of the optios is “Reset toolbars and controls“.  It works wonders.  I got all the toolbars to their default state, and with View -> Toolbars -> Customize I could easily get them to the state I want.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I’ve heard a few negative reviews of the “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull“, so I wasn’t particularly rushing to see it.  I have the box set DVD collection of all previous Indy films and I’ve seen them a few times by now – they are good, but the age shows.  I like them, but you can’t call me a fan yet.  With that, I went to the movies today.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the film.  It was in exactly the same style as previous ones, but a bit refreshed.  I think it feels exactly like the other ones felt back when they were just released.  However if this film was shown 20 years ago, it would have blown the minds of a much wider audience.

In short, the film has everything it should have had – Spielberg’s directing, Ford’s acting, tonnes of action, a quest for something cool, much greater scale than anybody can imagine, and a few jokes here and there.  Good value for money and not a time waster.

One thing that I particularly liked, how it was done for the PG-13 rating.  There is a lot of action and a lot of people get killed in a lot of different ways, but there is no focus on that.  There is not much blood or suffering.  The scariest of the dead bodies are in bones, all over catacombs full of treasure – something you can’t take away from an adventure movie.  Family-friendly and kids-recommended.

Overall, quality entertainment.  8 out of 10.