Entries from January 2006

Suing Politicians

This is a serious question:

A politician makes promises during an election campaign that are widely reported by the media and captured in advertisements and interviews. These promises form part of the platform that gets the politician elected.

Once in power, however, the politician either breaks their word or does something completely opposite what they’ve promised earlier.

Can the public then open class action suits against the politician (or the political party) for fraud or false advertising?

Fraud: A knowingly wrong act or deceitful representation.

false ad⋅ver⋅tis⋅ing n. The crime or tort of publishing, broadcasting, or otherwise publicly distributing an advertisement that contains an untrue, misleading, or deceptive representation or statement which was made knowingly or recklessly and with the intent to promote the sale of property, goods, or services to the public

I was thinking about this a lot recently. There’s no real accountability for broken campaign promises, but if the public could sue a politician for fraud or false advertising, that might make a politician think twice before opening their mouths…

What do you think?

A powdering of snow

Optimized Firefox 1.5 with Mac OS X form widgets

One of the biggest complaints that Mac OS X users have about Firefox is that the default form widgets look, well, terrible. Besides the fact that they look rather austere, it’s also a constant reminder that the application you’re using orginated on a different operating system.

Up until now, the option was either to grin and bear it, use a program called “Firefoxy” to apply prettier (but still not Mac-like) form widgets, or to use Camino, which uses Mac native form widgets but doesn’t support any of the great Firefox extensions. Firefox is supposed to get native form widgets at some point, but this looks like it won’t happen until Firefox 3.0.

Thanks to the efforts of a wily fellow named “Pu7o” in the Mozillazine forums, you can now enjoy the ultimate browser mashup: Firefox with the more native-looking form widgets from Camino. Here’s what they look like:

form widgets

Because these use the OS’s resources to draw the form widgets, even themes work. Here’s what they look like under Max Rudberg’s awesome Milk theme:

form widgets

In celebration of this geeky but momentous occasion, I’ve built a Firefox 1.5 G4-optimized build that incorporates this hack. Yes, it’s a hack, but from everything I can see it works just great. There are a few small alignment issues here and there, and I’ve seen a couple of places where the very edge of buttons are cut off, but it’s 100% usable and looks so, so much better.

Newer versions of these builds are now available, so the download links that were once here have been retired.

There are also G5-optimized Firefox versions built from the latest nightly code - cutting edge, potentially unstable, but with all of the latest changes and updates - that have the aqua form controls applied.

Path Finder 4 released

pf4.pngI normally don’t pimp work that I’ve done, but this is a bit different. I’ve been working with Steve at Cocoatech for nearly three years now, and this day has been a long time coming.

Late this afternoon I pushed up the new Path Finder release to the Cocoatech servers, as well as a bit of a design “touch-up” to the site. I wish I could say I’m incredibly proud of the site design, but to be honest I’ve been so freaking busy lately this was more of a quick tweak than a full-fledged redesign.

I’m much more proud of the actual application. I first started working with Steve because I was a big fan of Path Finder, but wasn’t too happy with the direction the Cocoatech web site was going. Frankly, it was a mess. A quick email and a short discussion later and I was working on design mockups for a brand new site.

From there my involvement in Path Finder and his company has grown to the point where I’m handling pretty much everything except for coding the application. The site design, marketing, tech support, writing documentation, doing some interface design, handling the alpha and beta testing - even though I haven’t touched a line of Path Finder’s code, this release has a lot of me in it.

Path Finder 4 is a massive update from the previous version. Steve basically ripped the application down to the basics and re-wrote over 80% of the code to make it more efficient and easier to update. Along the way we added a ton of customer-submitted feature requests, including tabs, a bookmark bar, and a whole bunch of other tasty stuff. Icon Master General Jon Hicks lent us some of his icon making magic and created Path Finder a swank new icon, too.

So check out the site and the application. Path Finder 4 was over 18 months in development and we worked our asses off on it. I’ve learned a ton and I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I’d like to take a selfish moment anyway and say that I’m pretty damn proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Update: Oh crap. (These were all received in the past 18 hour period). Where’s Merlin’s inbox-fu when I need it?


ISSN 1499-7894
Contact Archives Web Love Writing Photos FAQs Home