Saturday, February 11, 2006

IE7 on Blog

I am composing this blog entry in the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 (Preview Release) environment and browser. So far, the experience has been mixed. Right after the install, I did some IE7 preconfiguration before I testdrived the searching. Then I loaded in a tab (yes, IE7 has tab-browsing now), and guess what? IE7 crashed, which triggered Dr Watson. Well, this is why IE7 is still in Beta release. I will soldier on.

I have been on IE7 for the last 2 hours. Other than the initial crash, IE7 has been humming along, and I am enjoying testdriving some of the new features. What's new? Well, Microsoft's website has a tour on this, but I'll just summarise some of them here:

  1. Tab browsing - finally, it has caught-up with Firefox and the rest of the world.

  2. You can lay out all the various pages opened in the tabs into a page - ala Powerpoint style. This is great when you want to jump to a particular tab without having to guess which tab the content is in that you want to open.

  3. IE7 can monitor phishing sites. This is good news for those of us who do our banking online.

  4. There are more browsing 'real estate' because IE7 has re-arranged and compacted the top of the brower's menu bar.

  5. Browser zooming. You can now tell IE7 to zoom in to a page, so that you see more of the details in that page. This is great when you want to zoom into graphics and pictures.

  6. Automatic opening of all links in your Favourites folder just by clicking on the green arrow to the right of the Favourites entry. You want to be careful about this. If you have many links in a category, you're in for one looong wait.

On the whole, IE7 is interesting, if only because of the novelty factor.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Explosive media

BombIn the current controversy over the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, no newspaper, whether online or print media, dares to reprint any of the twelve caricatures of the prophet Mohammad published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September. This is sensible self-censorship.

But the story is quite different on the rest of the internet. There, it has been shown that you cannot censor anything. Just as sex, violence, hate, etc., you cannot take away views against a religion nor the cartoons depicting that religion in a way that is considered offensive to adherents of that religion. Ironically, it is the traditional mass media that cannot be free (lest they want their offices to be bombed or burnt).

Some of the digitized images of these 'Prophet cartoons' in question have made their way into personal blogs all over the blog community on the internet. Being digital, they can be copied and tranmitted without any restriction whatsoever, spreading the very cartoons that the Muslim community views as sacrilegious.

This demonstrates the unstoppable power of the internet media, and some would say, free speech. The more one does not want something to be shown or said, the more it will be shown and said. Suppose one had ignored those 12 cartoons in the first place, it wouldn't now be spreading throughout the internet for many more people to see. Unfortunately, the irony is lost on the people demonstrating, rampaging and destroying property in the name of Islam and their Prophet.

I hope that, at the end of the day, goodwill and good sense prevails. Otherwise, this might turn into a religous war - and I mean, a real war.