Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

File Under: Browsers, Humor, Visual Design

It’s the End of the ‘Blink’ Tag as We Know It

The end is nigh. Image: Almita Ayon/Flickr.

Mozilla developers are currently debating how to drop support for the much-maligned <blink> tag.

With Opera moving to Google’s new Blink rendering engine, which, despite the name, does not support the blink tag, Mozilla finds itself in the strange position of having the only rendering engine that does in fact parse and display blinking text like it’s 1996.

Originally conceived (and implemented) as a drunken joke, blinking text isn’t just bad usability — usability guru Jakob Nielsen famously called <blink>simply evil” — it can potentially induce seizures. Even if you aren’t prone to seizures, blinking text is downright annoying.

But while few may mourn the passing of the <blink> scourge, really, where would we be without it? Despite never being part of any HTML specification the blink tag managed to take the early web by storm, driven especially by the design prowess of early Geocities homepage creators.

Indeed without <blink> would there have been a Geocities? And without Geocities would there have been a MySpace? And without MySpace would there have been, well, let’s stop there.

Sadly, the end of the blink tag will not mean the end of blinking text on the web. It will ruin this fabulous Twitter Bootstrap theme we’ve had our eye on, but there are still plenty ways to get text to blink — CSS and JavaScript are both, regrettably, up to the task.

So far there’s been little protest about removing <blink> support from Firefox. There’s been some debate as to where or not the CSS 2.1 text-decoration: blink; rule should go with it (yes!), but the tag itself is most likely headed for the dustbin of web history.

File Under: Humor

‘The Useless Web’ Catalogs Time-Wasting Greatness

Look deeply into the mango… Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey.

Somewhere in parallel universe the web consists entirely of totally useful, boring applications and websites. Fortunately we don’t live in that universe, which is why we have The Useless Web (potentially NSFW), a collection of the web’s most useless pages.

The Useless Web is the work of developer Tim Holman, who has curated a nice list of useless websites. Some of these sites will no doubt be familiar to veteran time wasters, but there were quite a few I’d never seen before, including my new favorite — hypnotic those mangoes.

Holman’s list is hardly complete — is it even possible to have a complete list of useless websites? — if you’ve got a favorite useless site, be sure to submit it to The Useless Web. If you’d like to see the complete list of sites currently in The Useless Web’s repertoire, have a look at the JavaScript file.

File Under: Browsers, Humor

Internet Explorer: The Browser You Still Love to Hate

Internet Explorer just can’t get no respect. The browser that every web developer loves to hate really doesn’t deserve that hate anymore. IE 10 bests the competition in quite a few benchmark tests and offers support for HTML5

and other web standards.

Still, hating on IE is well ingrained in web developer culture, ingrained enough that even Microsoft has developed a sense of humor about it. The company has released another video for its ongoing The Browser You Loved to Hate promotional campaign, this time showcasing something Webmonkey is very familiar with — the IE troll. In fact, Webmonkey is so familiar with the IE troll that the site is featured in the video.

There’s also an Easter Egg in the video; Microsoft really did create a mock “Karaoke Standard” site, which has another short video featuring the IE troll.

File Under: Humor

Easter Egg: Google Connects the Dots for ‘Bacon Number’ Search

The center of the Bacon Number universe. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

Google has added a new Easter Egg to its web search — the Bacon Number.

Disappointingly not related to actual bacon, the Bacon Number in this case refers to the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, specifically the number of degrees of separation a person has from actor Kevin Bacon.

Google Search now understands the Bacon Number. Type, for example, “Bacon Number Obama” to learn that President Obama has a Bacon number of 2 (connected by Tom Hanks). Google can even handle the reflexive “Bacon Number Kevin Bacon.” Of course not every search returns a Bacon Number, not even some you would think should — try to find the Bacon Number of nerd favorite Joss Whedon and Google comes up empty — but for more generally popular celebrities Google now has yet another bit of trivia stored.

It’s not quite as nerdtastic as other Google Easter Eggs like “Do a Barrel Roll, but the Bacon Number search shows Google does still have a sense of humor at times.

Homepage photo: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

File Under: Humor

Google Easter Egg: The ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ Button Branches Out

“I’m Feeling Puzzled” will take you to Google’s puzzle a day project. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey.

Google Instant Search eliminates not just the need for, but the opportunity to even press the venerable “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. With Instant Search, results appear the minute you start typing, without pressing any buttons. That might help explain why Google appears to be phasing out “I’m Feeling Lucky” with some whimsical Easter Eggs instead.

Head to the Google homepage and hover your mouse over “I’m Feeling Lucky” and you’ll see it spin like a slot machine, landing on things like “I’m Feeling Stellar,” which searches for various nebula and other stellar objects, or “I’m Feeling Wonderful,” which takes you to random pages on the World Wonders Project.

Alex Chitu over at Google Operating System points out that there are currently eight different options that the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button will morph into, which is at least somewhat in keeping with the random spirit of the original.