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Just ordered my 2011 Holiday cards at Shutterfly

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I just ordered by 2011 holiday cards at Shutterfly … I think it came out great!

5×7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

What do you think?


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Solar Eclipse created by Saturn as viewed by Cassini

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Beautiful picture taken in 2006 by the Cassini spacecraft of a solar eclipse created by Saturn …

In the Shadow of Saturn

In the Shadow of Saturn

This was the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day on September 4th, 2011. Click on the picture to link to the NASA site for more details on this image and for larger versions of the image.


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Backyard wildlife

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Here are a couple of pictures of some wildlife enjoying the lake in my back yard.

Mother and baby ducks swimming in my backyard lake

Turtle swimming in my lake



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Baby ducks!

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Here’s a picture of a mother duck and her eleven babies hanging out in my yard.

Baby ducks and mother in my neighborhood

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


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iTunes web site and Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows – Part II

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Ok, my first attempt (see my previous post on this) at this was a little “programmy” and “hacky“. It also appears that Apple changed the itmsCheck.js JavaScript code and no longer set the iTunesPresent cookie as they did before.  Apple still doesn’t recognize Google Chrome as one of the browsers or platforms on which they will automatically attempt to load iTunes from web pages.  To overcome this issue I searched for a Google Chrome extension that could be configured to use a Safari Macintosh User-Agent string whenever browsing a web page in the Apple.com domain.  I found User-Agent Switcher for Chrome which did the trick!  Below is a screenshot of the configuration screen for User-Agent Switcher.  I added a setting telling the software to use the pre-configured Mac Safari user-agent string for any web page in the Apple.com domain.

I am now able to automatically have Chrome load iTunes whenever I click on iTunes Preview link such as the one below.


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iTunes web site and Google Chrome on Microsoft Windows

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Here’s proof that Apple’s iTunes web site doesn’t natively recognize Google Chrome for automatically launching the iTunes application from the iTunes web site.  Below is a screen capture of the source code used by the iTunes web site to detect the presence of the iTunes software on the PC accessing the iTunes web site.  The JavaScript function used to detect iTunes is called “iTunesDetected” and will only return TRUE if any of the following are true:

  • the browser’s user agent string contains the word “Macintosh”
  • the browser is Internet Explorer and the iTunes ActiveX component installed
  • the browser is Firefox and the iTunes Mozilla plugin is installed
  • an iTunes cookie named “iTunesPresent” set to true in the domain of the Apple web site visiting or in “.apple.com”

iTunes web site JavaScript that excludes Google Chrome

The $64 question now is what’s the best way to get the “iTunesPresent” cookie set in domain “.apple.com”.

My first thought was to configure Chrome to use a user agent string containing “Macintosh” and then launch iTunes from the iTunes web site once thereby setting the cookie.

Chrome using Macintosh/Safari User Agent String

I was perplexed when this didn’t work.  Using the built-in debugger in Chrome I proceeded to set a break point in the iTunesDetected function and then single stepped through the function to see what was happening.  Even thought I had set my user agent string to “Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_3; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.2.1 Safari/525.19″ using the Chrome command line switch “–user-agent=” debugging showed me that “navigator.agentString” was still set to the default Chrome UAS.

navigator.userAgent

At this point I decided to take the sledgehammer approach.  I navigated Chrome to the following url: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewTop?id=25204&popId=30 and after receiving the error that iTunes wasn’t installed I set a break-point in the JavaScript that tested whether iTunes was “installed”.

itmsCheck.js

I then reloaded the page and after the breakpoint triggered, I changed “iTunesDetected()” to “true” and began to single step  through the code.  Once I entered function “its.cookies.setUnescaped” I proceeded to change “if (domain)” to “if (true)” and hard-coded the setting of domainString to ” domain=.apple” (see lines 216 and 217 below).

How to force creation of iTunesPresent cookie in .apple.com domain

I then let the script continue by pressing the run pause-run buttonbutton.

My PC now contains the iTunesPresent cookie in the “.apple.com” domain which now allows me to automatically launch iTunes from web pages on the iTunes web site using Google Chrome.

iTunesPresent cookie

Why Apple doesn’t directly support Google Chrome remains a mystery to me.  I understand that Google Chrome is a competing product to Apple’s Safari browser, however, I am confident that Apple will make far more revenue from the iTunes store by making the user experience of iTunes best-in-class using any platform or browser.


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View of Biscayne Bay from the Rusty Pelican

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Pictures of Biscayne Bay taken from the Rusty Pelican restaurant on Virgina Key near Key Biscayne Florida.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


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Twitter tip: How to remove a saved search that returns no results

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If you have a saved search in Twitter that returns no results Twitter doesn’t allow you to remove or delete the saved search.  To resolve the problem, all you have to do is to send a new tweet that contains the item that the saved search is looking for.  If the saved search is for some hash tag that isn’t popular any more, just include that hash tag in a new tweet.  Give Twitter a few minutes after you send the tweet for them to update all of their indexes and when you rerun the search your new tweet should appear in the results and Twitter will then allow you to delete the saved search.

This worked for me today.  Here are the specifics of what I did.  I had three saved searches that I couldn’t remove.  I had the hash tag #amexgiftcard, the word “ch9live” and a search for all tweets to me “to:HeatFanJohn”  (I guess I not a very popular recipient of tweets!).  I therefore generated a tweet containing all of these items.  My new tweet was “@HeatFanJohn Test tweet with #amexgiftcard & ch9live to allow me to delete these saved searches & to:HeatFanJohn – this worked @support !”.

Below is a screenshot of running the saved search “to:HeatFanJohn” right after I sent the tweet.  As you can see Twitter hadn’t updated their indexes yet so my search returned no results and as a result Twitter didn’t include the link to remove the saved search.

After waiting a couple of minutes I reran the search and as you can see my new tweet showed up and I was then able to click on the link to remove the saved search.


Voilà!  After clicking on “Remove this saved search”, my saved search was deleted!


Again, this method worked for me.  I hope that it helps you.  Perhaps Twitter will correct this problem soon to eliminate the need for this easy workaround.

Happy Tweeting!


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This blog is carbon neutral - yours can be too!

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“My blog is carbon neutral” is an initiative started in Germany by the “Make it Green!” program.  By creating this post about the initiative and emailing them the link to this post, they will plant one tree in the Plumas National Forest in California.

carbon neutral coupons and shopping with kaufDA.de

The text below was copied from planet green, a Discovery Company web site.

On their website, Make It Green! explains that a study out of Harvard University shows that the average website is responsible for 0.02 grams of carbon dioxide emissions for every visitor. They then calculated that a blog with 15,000 visitors each month produces 8 pounds of emissions each year. Given that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change estimates a tree absorbs about 20 pounds of emissions each year — though it is important to note that fewer emissions are absorbed in the tree’s first few years of life — even a blog with thousands of visitors a month can be carbon neutral by planting just one tree.

To date, Make It Green! has helped the Arbor Day Foundation plant about 350 trees in Plumas National Forest, a 1-million-acre forest in northern California that was devastated by forest fires in 2007 (88,000 acres of the forest was destroyed). The 350 trees is a good start, but eco-conscious bloggers can do their part.

How to Take Your Blog Carbon Neutral

  1. Write a blog post about this initiative and insert one of the buttons from Make It Green! in the post.
  2. Email the post’s link to Make It Green! at co2-neutral@kaufda.de

That’s all it takes on your part. Once Make It Green! receives the link, they will plant a tree in Plumas National Park.

It’s important to note that Make It Green! will plant one tree for each domain. But if you’ve got a very popular blog with more than 15,000 viewers per month, you can e-mail Make It Green! to make sure your blog is indeed carbon neutral.

For more information on the project please visit the “What we do page” on Mach’s web site.

Who’s participating?

If you want to see which blogs we made carbon neutral you can browse through our participant list. Your blog is missing? Then let us know and we will make your blog carbon neutral too!

Who's participating?

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Shutterfly poster collage of my daughter Jordyn

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Here’s an 11×14 poster collage of my youngest daughter Jordyn that I just created and ordered on Shutterfly.  I hope that it gets here in time for Mother’s Day!

Jordyn Masseria