buster.js released

April 5th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve made available my initial release of buster.js, a frame-buster-buster script.

A frame-buster-buster busts frame-busters. In other words, some sites (vimeo.com is a good example) include scripts to keep their pages from being displayed in frames – instead they pop out of the frame and take window focus. This is for good reasons, mostly to protect intellectual property and be sure their content is represented as their own, not as someone else’s.

buster.js is intended to bust these scripts, or prevent them from popping out of the frame. To be clear, this is not intended to be used to misrepresent the owner of any content. This is intended for use on sites/pages where you want to take the user to an external site for some reason, but want to keep a bar at the top to bring them back to your site once they’re finished (or something to that effect).

buster.js is provided as a free script and I take no responsibility for how it is used outside of my control.

Read more at Projects > buster.js

Download at Github: https://github.com/spoontwisted/busterjs

My Letter to Hulu

January 2nd, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

I’ve had Hulu for a year now, and overall I prefer it to regular cable television. I’ve recently found myself a little upset at some changes in their advertising strategy, and decided to write them about it. Here is my letter: “This is likely a request you’ve gotten a lot in the past, but I’ll throw my name on the list of people who want it. I like Hulu Plus a lot. So much, in fact, that I dropped my cable television service (Time Warner) and now stream video exclusively using Hulu and Netflix. “One thing that has changed in the 12 months since I subscribed is the quantity of Ads. When I subscribed, I would get an ad at the beginning of a show and an ad at each commercial break. Now, I get 3 ads at each commercial break. Additionally, the option to vote down ads that aren’t relevant to me appears on fewer ads every day, which means that I have to watch ads I don’t like or that don’t apply to me. “I understand that Hulu needs to make money, and I’m not totally against ads. After all, I came from regular cable subscription service where there are generally 3-5 ads for each commercial break. If Hulu were to offer a higher grade plan for Hulu Plus, say a Premium service, that allowed me to watch shows with fewer or no ads, I would definitely pay more. I’ve read that Hulu did some market research to this effect and found that many consumers preferred the cheaper option, but I think it’s important to acknowledge the part of the user base that would simply prefer to pay more for a better experience. “My request is this; Offer a Premium service at a higher price, say $19.99 or $24.99 (I already pay this amount for Netflix), that offered one of the following options: – An ad-free watching experience – An ad only at the beginning of the video “I would happily upgrade my service for this kind of experience, and I know I’m not the only one. Please consider my request with this in mind. “Thank you for your time. I’d be happy to talk with someone at Hulu to explain my experience further. Additionally, if this is not the proper channel for this type of request, please let me know where I should send it. “Richard Ford”

Bicycle Safety – How You Can Help

August 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

As some of you may know, a co-worker and close friend of mine was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle in April of this year. This has been a devastating and eye-opening experience for myself and many of those close to me. While he wasn’t wearing a helmet, he did have front and rear lights and was riding fully within the law. This horrific event has brought to my attention the state of bicycle safety in the world today. Working with my employer, Bazaarvoice, and some co-workers and friends, we’ve set out to try and improve the situation.

We wanted to find a way to improve not only the safety of cyclists already on the road, but the general perception of them by motorists. We’ve teamed up with two non-profit organizations and are helping them raise money for their efforts.

Please Be Kind to Cyclists
Please Be Kind to Cyclists is an organization based on Austin, TX whose goal is to spread awareness of bicycle traffic and safety to motorists and cyclists alike – not only in Austin, or Texas, but globally. They work to educate motorists and cyclists, and even have efforts in place to get bicycle awareness built into state drivers education courses – a measure that will no doubt improve conditions. We are hoping to help them expand their campaign to a national level in support of their goal.

BikeTexas is an advocacy group also based in Austin, TX that works to not only educate cyclists young and old, but also to influence legislation for more bicycle friendly transportation options. We hope to help fund their giveaway programs – lights and helmets to children and others who ride bicycles – and their educational programs which include working with school teachers to integrate bicycle safety into existing education.

When you consider the benefits of riding your bike when compared to driving – exercise, efficiency, environment, etc.. – it’s a no-brainer that we should encourage this as a lifestyle choice, and protect those that already do it. We should work to not only educate, but to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians on local, state, national and global levels.

Please drop by the Safe Lanes site and throw in a donation to help these organizations. Our goal is $50,000, but even $10 helps. Please also share this site with your friends, relatives and co-workers. This issue is a serious one, around 700 cyclists are killed each year in the US in traffic accidents. Let’s help these campaigns to spread knowledge and work to improve roads and transportation for everyone.



June 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and that’s primarily because I’m lazy, but also because a few months ago, I started in a position at Bazaarvoice here in Austin as an Implementation Engineer. Bazaarvoice is a start-up in Austin whose primary product/service is to provide the ratings and reviews software that runs on many popular retailer websites (Best Buy, Walmart, Home Depot, etc.).

In my time here, I’ve quickly come to appreciate the values of the company, as well as the people within it. Observing the way this company is run has given me a new outlook on small and medium business management, and confirmed my hopes that not all companies treat their employees like crap.

For anyone interested, Bazaarvoice is still hiring! You can find job listings here: http://www.bazaarvoice.com/about/jobs.

Oh wow

April 1st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

So… I don’t really have many words for this. Just a screenshot and a link.