Recently, I learned about the origin of the word “keynote”, often used to describe talks at a conference or other event. Wikipedia says the following.
The term key note comes from the practice of a cappella, often barbershop singers, playing a note before singing. The note played determines the key in which the song will be performed.
I thought this made a lot of sense. A keynote address is a talk at the beginning of the event that (figuratively) sets the tone. This however also means that:
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The one feature I’ve always wanted to add to WP-Cumulus is true unicode support. Flash player 9 made this impossible because it needed to have the font characters embedded into the movie, and unicode fonts are simply too big for that. But with Flash 10, Adobe has introduced new ways of handling text, and those now allow for non-embedded text to be animated quite smoothly. There’s also no longer any need to specify an exact font name, you can simply tell the player to get a sans-serif font. Flash player 10 is on over 93% of computers now, so it starts to make sense to use it to finally add this long-awaited feature to WP-Cumulus.
More Help me test WP-Cumulus unicode support
My father-in-law just stopped by because his new computer was giving him trouble. He was about to return his brand new Vista laptop because he found himself unable to configure his email accounts. The problem? He couldn’t type an ‘@’. It turned out he was running into the same issue that kept my own dad from succesfully typing in his WPA key when he bought a new notebook. The same issue that my wife’s laptop unboxing a frustrating one too. Windows was expecting a Dutch keyboard.
More Windows Dutch keyboard trouble
I guess anyone who runs a WordPress blog will have noticed the recent flood of Russian comment spam. Like a lot of English spam, the comments appear to be hand-written, and can almost pass as regular comments. The problem therefore is how to figure out whether or not a message is spam.
Something similar has happened on Gmail, where my spam box is usually full of Chinese characters. Gmail’s spam filter is incredibly accurate, so I usually simply delete everything in my spam folder. With blog comments however, things are a little more tricky.
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One of the major shortcomings of Flash (imho) is the way it handles text. If you want to animate text, change its transparency or do any of the other things that Flash is so good at, you need to embed font characters into your movie. This is usually not so bad, if you know the target language your movie will be used to display.
My WP-Cumulus WordPress plugin however can be used to display tags in any language. Embedding all available characters would render the plugin unusable, as even the relatively simple Latin character set adds almost 30 kilobytes to the movie’s file size. This is why in order to use the plugin for other languages, you’ll need to add the appropriate characters yourself (or find someone who already has). Here’s how. It’s really quite easy.
More How to add more characters to WP-Cumulus