Google Gears + WordPress

WordPress 2.6 first introduced the Turbo button I believe which allowed it to work with Google Gears. I never really thought much about it, but recently I had to modify a bunch of posts on my HD-Trailers.net blog and lets just say things weren’t as snappy as I’d like them to be. Updates took about 10-20 seconds. However I finally decide to try out the Turbo button and see where I could go from there.

Apparently what it does is that it downloads a bunch of static pages, so it doesn’t have to fetch them every time I load any of the editor/admin pages. And I do have to say things are now much snappier. It’s not lightning fast, but lets just say that post updates take less than 5 seconds. One would usually attribute these type of slowness to the webhost involved, but I’m seeing similar slowness on both Dreamhost and 1&1. However, after installing Google Gears and enabling it for both my blogs, things have been very smooth and I’m a much happier camper.

I also hate using my mouse to navigate the WordPress UI and wish they would implement some more keyboard shortcuts/hot keys. I did learn a new one. Apparently alt+shift+p publishes or updates a published post. For more WordPress keyboard shortcuts, take a look at The Ultimate List of WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts.

A few shortcuts I would really like are:

  • Save Draft
  • Preview
  • Jump to a specific section (i.e. Editor, Title, Tags, Categories, etc.)

Finally, I searched around to see what other stuff I use supported Google Gears. I couldn’t find anything officially posted by Google, but Wikipedia had this list:

There are a number of web applications that use Gears. These applications come from a variety of companies, including Google (Gmail, YouTube, Docs, Reader, Picasa for mobile, Calendar), MySpace (Mail Search), Zoho (Writer, Mail), Remember The Milk, and Buxfer. WordPress 2.6 added support for Gears, to speed up the administrative interface and reduce server hits.

The only things I use on that list other than WordPress are Google Reader and YouTube. Gears allows Reader to work offline, which is neat I guess, but half the stuff in my RSS feeds requires me to visit the site. For YouTube, I believe Gears support was only added to the uploader and <sarcasm>you know how big a video uploader I am on YouTube</sarcasm>.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-29

  • A hero can’t appear until the world needs one. #
  • @ryandjohnson You can set a manual recording on a specific channel for a specific time. Not sure if that’s the answer you were looking for. in reply to ryandjohnson #
  • RT @hungtruong RT @kathleenmarie “The purpose of this analysis is to determine the evolution of gravity in Mario …” http://is.gd/ocRU #
  • @hungtruong Try out some New Balance. They’re very comfortable. in reply to hungtruong #
  • How long do you think it’ll take Earth to unite? Or do you think we’d destroy each other completely before that happens? #
  • @TikiJ Have you thought about hibernating instead of shutting down. in reply to TikiJ #
  • @ellism I believe that’s just recommended, just like for your cell phone they recommend you charge a full night before turning it on. in reply to ellism #
  • Who leaves a recruiting message at your work voice mail? I’m also curious how they even got that number in the first place… #
  • It’s been a long week. First day I actually got off at a normal time, instead of working past 12am. TGIF ๐Ÿ™‚ #
  • Fact about deliveries: http://www.lefthandedtoons.com/450/ #

Quotes from The Kite Runner

So RayAlome and I were chatting yesterday. It started with Christian Bale and what he did to transform from his role in The Machinist (130lbs) to his role in Batman Begins (230lbs) in just 6 months. Anyway, the topic went onto Terminator Salvation and if we could program a simple rule into robots (i.e. to never kill), what would it be to avoid what happens in Terminator? The topic continued on to discuss good vs evil; right vs wrong; what are ethics and morals. I pointed out that ethics/morals are nothing more than a set of social contracts that society has deemed to be correct. Even something as simple as the 10 commandments could be easily interpreted differently and that’s just a problem inherent to any human language. And even with those rules, there’s always exceptions (i.e. are you allowed to kill the baby, in order to save the mother?).

This reminded me of a set of quotes from The Kite Runner I had wanted to blog about in a review, but just never got around to it. I have a lot of respect for the father character in this movie.

When Amir (his son) questions his father that drinking [alcohol] is a sin, the following reply was superb:

There is only one sin. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft.

When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to her husband, his children’s right to a father.

When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth.

There is no act more wretched than stealing.

RayAlome quickly pointed out that does this mean you are not allowed to steal to save your starving family, or to steal to save someone’s life? I responded by saying, it’s never been about to never sin. It has more to do with the degree of the sin. And the following quote gives a good example of when committing one sin is excusable to prevent a bigger sin from occurring:

When a Russian soldier demands to have sex from a woman (who also happens to be a wife and mother) for safe passage through the border, Amir’s father stands up and says (do note there is a translator here):

Father: I want you to ask this man something. Ask him where his shame is.

Russian Soldier: He says, there is no shame in war.

Father: Tell him he is wrong. War doesn’t neglect decency.

Russian Soldier: He says he’d enjoy putting a bullet in you, almost as much as he’d enjoy her.

Father: I’ll take a thousand of his bullets before I let his indecency take place.

Son: Baba, please, he’ll shoot you.

Father: Have I taught you nothing? (back to translator) Tell him he’d better kill me good with the first shot. Because if I don’t go down, I’m tearing him to pieces, goddamn his father!

Mamma Italia – Mixed Berry Gelato

Kirkland Signature Hawaiian Sweet Roll Did my regular Costco trip yesterday since there were new coupons which started earlier this week. I was sad to find out that they had sold out of their Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (from their bakery). Guess that’s what happens when you go during the last hour of when they’re opened. Those things are so soft and delicious. I usually pick one up whenever I go.

Mamma Italia Mixed Berry Gelato However, not all was lost. I found a different reward instead. Turns out Costco now carries Italian Gelato. I’ve been craving ice cream earlier this week and this was perfect. They only carry one brand/flavor: Mamma Italia – Mixed Berry Gelato. It is a bit more expensive than regular ice cream, costing $8 for 1.9 quart. However, compared to other gelato, this is a great deal!

The even cooler part is that the cute cashier was talking about how awesome it was but said some found it a bit too sweet. I said, that’s even better, I have a sweet tooth. Then it happened again at the receipt checker. He commented that the gelato was very delicious and I definitely was going to enjoy it. I just smiled in return. ๐Ÿ™‚

After trying it, I do have to say it was extremely yummy. The gelato was so soft and sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-03-22

Tolerant Society

Who knew the best remark about political correctness would be from Zero Punctuations:

A society where anyone can make jokes about anyone else and everyone laughs is a truly tolerant society. Political correctness charged censorship only serves to engender resentment and distance between social groups. – Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw

I had originally wanted to tweet this quote, but unfortunately it was 77 characters too long.

His whole spiel about racism and having to make a disclaimer about treading on dangerous territory are all things I agree with what’s wrong with how people believe racism should be fixed.

Oh yeah, he does eventually do a review on some game, but that part wasn’t too interesting.

New Credit Card Activation – Easy Phishing?

I’ve always found credit card activation through the phone system very insecure. I’m always afraid I might dial the wrong number by accident, so I always triple check the number I punch into my phone before I start entering any information. I mean consider the information they ask you during activation:

  • Full 16 digit credit card number
  • Last four digits of your social security number
  • 3 or 4 digit credit card code

If you reach a customer service, they might even ask for more information, like name and birthday. I mean if I misdial the number even by 1 digit, think of the potential identity fraud I could land myself in.

Several credit cards have implemented an online system to activate new cards, such as American Express, which I prefer to use instead of the phone.

Something I think that should be implemented is a 2-way verification. Meaning, they prove to me who they are, before I provide any of my real information. Something like a system where they include two x-digit numbers in the letter that accompanies your card or even on the sticker of new credit cards. You punch in the 1st number and the telephone system tells you the 2nd number. That way you can confirm the other side is really the bank that issued your credit card.

Of course, this doesn’t prevent random companies from sending you fake credit cards and stealing your information. However, you should never activate random credit cards, especially ones you don’t remember applying for.