Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gadget Problems

I am facing a couple of strange problems with my gadgets - first of all my newly bought iPod Touch is refusing to update play counts of songs. A fix has been suggested, but I don't have the heart to reset all my settings just so that "Recently Played" can start working. Funny thing is, songs on the iPod show up with the correctl play time in iTunes (when I sync) but when I look at the same thing in the iPod, its off. Here's to hoping Apple fixes this in a firmware upgrade soon...

My second problem is with the PS3 - having finally found something worth buying on PSN, I promptly find that my money is not good enough for Sony - they refuse to take your credit card if you live outside the US. Earlier they used to take Entropay cards, but since they launched the movie store they have started blocking it... No way the MPAA is going to let a bunch of filthy non-Americans get their hands on their IP!

In all fairness, M$ also does this on their XBox store, but they actually have an Indian XBox online store so you can still buy games - currently as far Indians are concerned, Sony's PSN is as good as saying "Live in India? Bought a PS3? Ha Ha! Sucker!!" (Ya - me!) India has always sucked if you are a gamer, but this is the first time I have ever been made to feel a resident of a 3rd world country by a company - "No Sir! Your kind can't buy my goods - No way, no how!" Its OK Sony - lesson learnt; if you don't want my money, I am just going to spend it elsewhere...

There are still some options - buy a $20 PSN card for $25 on EBay for example and hope nothing goes wrong... Of course they may still start looking at the console region before letting you log in to PSN or use a PSN card... Sony has to think of their shareholders you see...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Youtube to get full length movies and TV episodes

A couple of nice announcements: Youtube is set to get free full length episodes of Star Trek (the original series) and full length movies from MGM (bulletproof monk anyone? anyone?)

Not sure if these will be region locked like just about every other online multimedia site that hosts licensed content - but hopefully, Google will be able to resist the MPAA/RIAA clowns... at least, Youtube still shows music videos to everyone...

There are some workarounds for that too of course :) (BTW, there's a rant coming on this related to my favorite consumer electronic goods company soon... I was just so angry last weekend that I am waiting to cool down a bit before I end up sounding like a raving lunatic)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

HTTPS Indicator in Firefox 3

A lot of people have complained about Firefox 3's address bar no longer being yellow when HTTPS is being used.

Some have even posted workarounds using GreaseMonkey or by modifying userChrome.css

I am sure you have noticed the brilliant green color which comes on when viewing certain HTTPS sites for one example see here. This is used to identify sites that have gone in for Extended Validation - i.e. someone has verified that the company which owns the site actually exists. Only companies/organizations can get this certification.

If you look carefully at the HTTPS version compared with a non-https site, you can see that the Favicon (the small icon next to the URL with the site's logo) has a blue border when compared with a non-https site. (Non-HTTPS below, see the first image for a HTTPS favicon)

This of course is not much of an indicator and indeed, can be easily spoofed. However, in typical Firefox fashion, there is a setting that can be enabled - browser.identity.ssl_domain_display, which will make Firefox show HTTPS based sites very differently.
With a value of 1, it will show the site's top level domain name ( out of highlighted.

With a value of 2, it will show the full domain name ( highlighted.

I feel the value of 2 takes up too much screen space. But with the value set to 1, this is absolutely awesome. Supposedly, it was not turned on in Firefox 3 by default as it looks to similar to EV (particularly to color blind people) but I still feel a visual indicator such as this is a must have...

Adding to my tweak guide too!