Good reason to call jQuery.width() and not jQuery.css('width')

I've been experimenting with Chrys Bader's AutoGrow plugin for jQuery. Great stuff and I used the principal (dummy div to read textarea's height) in Free Range Feedback.

I found a minor bug relating to the use of .css('width') instead of .width(). I filed a bug report if you'd like a more detailed explanation of why to use the latter over the former.

Cool things

Here's a fairly random collection of cool, and sometimes silly things I've seen online recently.

A 3D coke can rendered entirely in CSS.

Automated 'solutions' are changing the social media landscape

When it becomes possible to automatically build a Twitter profile with 100,000 followers, is the value of the medium compromised?

I would suggest no, but perhaps we will stop putting sway in the number of followers a person has and instead assess them by the quality of their tweets. The instant you introduce a metric to measure the impact of anything, be it a web page's importance (PageRank) or a Twitter's relevance (Followers), people will subvert the system to their advantage.

More troubles with NOD32 AV4

I haven't had a great experience of NOD32 with Windows 7. This antivirus software performed great Windows XP, meeting all my expectations (lightweight, fast, inexpensive, updated frequently and kept me virus free).

This week I've been getting Security Exceptions in Firefox and Dropbox hasn't been able to connect to its server. The cause? NOD32 protecting SSL channels (e.g. HTTPS). In the end I went to 'Advanced settings' and disabled:

  • Enable Antivirus and antispyware protection
  • Enable Anti-Stealth technology
  • Enable Self-Protection

Discovered my profile online at c&binet

Whilst trying to find the URL for my Flickr profile, I came across myself. I had the chance to speak at C&binet Forum last year and they did a profile of me.

Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPC-HC) built from source on Windows 7

I've just checked out (using SVN) and built the latest source of Media Player Classic Home Cinema using Visual Studio 2008. The instructions were good, but I had to make a few modifications.

I followed instructions at:

Part A.3
Didn't explicitly install ATL update. I suspect it was covered in Windows Update (by 30/12/2009).

Part B
Installed in-a-box version of MinGW from:

First steps towards iPhone contact app

I followed an excellent tutorial to first learn Objective C, then create an iPhone app that accesses the Address Book. Very simple stuff, but beautifully presented by Cocoa Dev Central and Apple's Developer Network. I've made available my code for other newbies.

Techcrunch/Blippy invites exhausted in 3 minutes

Very excited about Blippy. Saw their tweet today, but within 3 minutes the invites had gone. When I arrived on the register page there were 4 left. By the time I entered my details, they'd gone.

Did you know series update

The social media update is brilliant, but for me the original is still the best.

Windows 7 features animated icons in task switcher

Just noticed a really cool Windows 7 feature. If you're running a video application, such as Media Player or WinTV, the icon that shows in the task switcher is animated. You can watch mini-TV while flicking between programs. This is of course almost completely useless, but very cool! The image below shows Terratec Home Cinema screening the Muppets Christmas Carol.

Alex Stanhope is a Technology consultant to the UK Creative Industries and Venture Catalyst. This is my personal website.
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