General  

Firefox 3.1 Beta with Tab Tearing

Good news for Firefox users who have lusted over Chrome and Safari’s option that lets you “tear” away tabs from an open window. The latest build of 3.1 offers it as a standard feature–and it works marvelously.

As in Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari browsers you simply pull away a tab from the interface and it turns into its own window. Likewise you can drag it back into an already opened window, just like you’d do to re-order your existing tabs.

While not a ground-breaking feature, tab tearing is a large step forward in changing the way we interact with our browsers. It’s a cross between the idea of having multiple tabs and multiple windows, but does not relegate the user to being pigeonholed in either one permanently.

If you’re feeling brave you can download the latest development build of 3.1 here. This also comes with some nice JavaScript speed improvements and a new look for Windows Vista users.

Eight Wiccan Sabbats

The Sabbats

Samhain Oct. 31 Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Samana, Strega
Samhain is a time of remembrance of those who have passed into the next life.
It is a time when the veil that separates the seen from the unseen is at it’s thinnest.
During Samhain it is very easy to communicate with those “other” realms.
Divination comes easy at this time of year.
Yule Approx. Dec. 21 Winter Solstice
Yule is the celebration of the rebirth of the God who died at Lammas.
Yule is a dark time. During this time of the year we await the return of light.
Imbolc Feb. 1 or 2 Imbolg, Candlemas, Oimbolc, Brigantia, Imbolic
Imbolc is a happy time. It is the return of light to world as we leave the dark
winter. It is also a time to honour the goddess Brigid
(pronounced breed)
Ostara Approx. Mar. 20 Spring Equinox
Ostara marks the first true day of spring. The Goddess blankets the Earth with fertility,
bursting forth from her sleep, as the God stretches and grows to maturity. He walks
the greening fields and delights in the abundance of Nature.
Beltane May. 1 May Day, May Eve
Beltane is celebrating the union of the Goddess and God, and thus is also a
fertility festival. Also celebrates the returning sun (or Sun God).
Litha Approx. June. 20 Summer Solstice, Midsummer
Litha is when the time for play starts to wane and the time for study starts to wax.
At this time of year the Goddess enters her mother aspect.
Lughnasadh Aug 1 Lammas, Lughnasa
Lugnasadh Is a time of mourning because of the passing of the God.
It is a time of remembrance of all that the God has given you that year,
and it is the time of the first harvest.
Mabon Approx. Sept. 22 Fall Equinox, Autumn Equinox
Mabon is the time of the final harvest of crops. It is a time of rest and a time
of balance, because day and night are of equal length.

Barack Obama Has Vision

Barack Obama

And you should be listening to him and his vision.? Do not listen to the lies of John McCain.? Do not allow our country to go further into the downward spiral which would be perpetuated by John McCain and Sarah Palin.? He is broadcasting his speech to students in Denver at http://my.barackobama.com/ Please have a quick listen and remember to vote for Obama on November 4th.

Flash Photographs

60mm at f5.6

60mm at f5.6 should yield less depth of field but you can see more background

55mm at f4.5

55mm at f4.5 should have less depth of field but you can see more background

I wanted to do a follow up posting to the one about Depth of Field.? I forgot to mention that as I learned when I started taking indoor photos with flash, depth of field can be affected by using a flash too.? Let me post a few example photos so you can see what I mean.? In the two examples above, the differences are subtle.? For example, the drag queen clawing at you, the only blurry area is the lower part of her dress.? That is closest to the lens.? Everything in this background is clear.? Also in the photo with male acrobats notice the man’s face on lower portion is blurry while the other face and the equipment on the left are clear.? The clapping hands are blurred too.? This result for f4 should have given slightly less depth of field.? My intent was actually to just get the stilted guy on top in focus and have the rest blurred.? To do that, I would have needed f2 or f1 and would have needed a longer lens and to distance myself from the subject.? The other challenge was the fog machine.? In clubs with a fog machine that makes a fake smokey environment, the flash often can bounce.? And thus you get less light in the exposure.? I guess I could go on and on about flash photography variables since this has become my specialty now but just ask in comments if you are curious about a certain scenario.

USA Wifi Hotspot Options

There have been some recent changes to the big providers of wifi hotspots, those which are not free. So here is an update with all currently available wifi options in the USA. I currently use TMobile which provided hotspots at all Starbucks, Borders, Fed Ex Kinkos, and some hotels and airports. However Starbucks decided to cancel their contract and change to ATT. Also Fed Ex canceled their contract for service. You cannot access wifi any longer at Kinkos locations. All Starbucks locations now are ATT Wifi spots. Tmobile customers will always have roaming access but the login process needs improvement. ATT contracted wayport, a third party provider of network access points. Most of the Starbucks locations have been successfully transitioned. But there are a few of them which either do not allow login properly or simply are non-functional. TMobile currently charges 19.99 a month (if you have cell service with them, otherwise 29.99).? Another solution for paid wifi access from a laptop, PDA, or any 802.1x capable device, ATT Wifi offers several locations.? ATT charges 19.99 for people who do not have their DSL services at home. If you do, costs are 9.99 or free depending on the level of broadband you have at home. The drawback I found to this option was that most of their hotspot locations (McDonalds, Starbucks, Hotels) were implemented with only a DSL line. Therefore if more than one person was using the location, speeds sucked. Another paid option is called Boingo. They contract with other providers(like ATT) to offer access from almost any paid location. See list below for rates and location info. If you just refuse to pay, there are many free wifi hotspots in most cities. These are usually at independent coffee shops and other places. Sometimes they are much less reliable or may be down since you never pay for them. Many major cities do offer free service at local libraries. These are reliable and usually on a fast backbone. The only exception to that which I have found is in smaller towns where the backbone is saturated or not high speed.? One last thing to mention, cell companies provide wifi access over their cell networks too.? You need to purchase a special proprietary card which usually is PCMCIA compatible.? Besides that cost, you have to join a yearly plan with monthly costs varying from 49 to 89 dollars.? This is the most expensive option.? It is usually only used for business users and services are paid by the employer. For information on these services, visit Verizon, Sprint, ATT cellular websites.? So in quick sum, options:

  1. ATT Wifi
  2. T Mobile
  3. Boingo Wifi
  4. Free Hotspot Locator