Friday, March 04, 2011

a brief metablog update

Just a quick update on the ongoing renovations here at this humblest of humble blogs.
  • In a step I've been alternately promising and wringing my hands about for a few years now, I've updated the Map tab here so now it does basically the right thing in almost the right way. Previously you would have seen a couple of mostly broken embedded maps, plus a few paragraphs of me griping about what was wrong with them. Now it's all different. The embedded map was created directly from an exported copy of this blog, converted to KML and then imported into Google Maps. The Map page describes the procedure in more detail and explains why it still isn't the 100% solution -- but despite the process issues this is a big improvement. You can now browse for blog posts on a map, or you can even download the KML file from the Maps page and follow my, uh, excellent adventures in Google Earth. Which looks really cool, but also points out that I really ought to get out there and travel a bit more.

  • I believe I've finally upsized all the photos here to a properly modern size, 640x427 instead of clunky old 500x333. If you see a spot I missed, drop me a line or post a comment and let me know, ok?

  • In the same vein, I also upsized the handful of crappy video clips I've posted here over the years. And, I dunno, a few of them look a little better now that they aren't postage stamp-sized anymore. Oh, and there's a link to my pathetic YouTube channel in the navigation bar now if anyone wants to go endure the whole schmear at once.

  • I actually made a second pass through after upsizing several videos in order to move everything to YouTube's shiny new-ish IFrame-based player. The controls look slightly different, but the big advantage here is that it's not tied to Flash anymore, and iOS (i.e. iPad, iPhone, etc.) users can now enjoy the crappiness along with everyone else. So sure, I'll probably have to make a third pass through and change everything again once everyone starts using the new <video> tag in HTML 5, but that probably isn't going to happen for a while yet.

  • In a similar but not quite the same vein, I thought I'd freshen up my movie posts by embedding trailers from YouTube where possible. In a number of cases it was possible to take it a step further and embed the whole movie, so I've done that in cases where it appeared that the movie had been uploaded legally by someone entitled to do so. I'm aided in this by the fact that many of the best crappy B movies were made prior to the advent of modern US copyright law in 1976, and it was quite easy for films to lapse into the public domain if the paperwork wasn't quite in order. And as this was prior to the home video era, it was generally assumed that your film's productive life was over the moment it left the theaters, so taking care of long term copyright protection was not the high priority it is now. In short, there's now a small motley assortment of cheesy movies you can watch without leaving the confines of this blog, should you care to do that.

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