July 16, 2009

Control your web-pages’ typography with @font-face

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 11:47 pm

One of the most common mistakes a n00b web-designer makes — and one that took me a long time to figure out back when I started — is to assume that the way their shiny web-pages look in the WYSIWYG editors is actually the way how they’ll be presented to all variety of end-users. That crazy gothic font can totally get you hawt on FrontPage, but to say that it would look crippled on most of your visitors’ screens would probably be an understatement.

The CSS @font-face feature debuted a little while ago to rectify the font mess. To put it simply, it allows authors to “embed” fonts on their web-pages. And I’m a bit late on this, but it has found its way into the newest release of Firefox as well. The example rendered perfectly on version 3.5 using the new font, raising a few points in my head:

  • The rule certainly has considerable space for abuse. But then, which technology on web doesn’t?
  • For the paranoid, Firefox does provide the gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled in about:config to turn the feature off.
  • Out of curiosity, I checked out IE’s status on @font-face support. Turns out that it also supports font-embedding, albeit using an obscure format called EOT which is basically what one would label as “DRM for fonts“. How surprising.
  • Prior to downloading the new fonts, the demo page gracefully degraded to stock ones.

In a nutshell, intriguing at worst and exciting at best. Also, it’s nice to see that IE 6’s death is prompting a steady progress in CSS and HTML. About time as well.

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May 20, 2007

Inspirated in PlayStation Portable web browser

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 12:58 pm

Although I was aware of PSP and PS3 web browsers to be operating on a NetFront back-end, it never really occurred to have my blog checked on either of them. Nevertheless, today I received some screenshots of Inspirated being rendered in a PSP web browser. The interesting bit that immediately grabbed my attention was the breaking word-wrap in the left sidebar. This was something which I had been intentionally doing for some time through IE hacks; but as it turned out, the PSP web browser automatically breaks overflowing words in dimensionally restricted blocks in order to avoid the expanding box problem.

Inspirated in PSP Web Browser
Images disabled Images enabled
Screenshot #1 with images disabled Screenshot #1 with images enabled
Screenshot #2 with images disabled Screenshot #2 with images enabled
Screenshot #3 with images disabled Screenshot #3 with images enabled
Screenshot #4 with images disabled Screenshot #4 with images enabled
Screenshot #5 with images disabled Screenshot #5 with images enabled

Thanks goes to Angeousa Quicksilver for providing the screenshots.

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January 31, 2007

Blu-ray busted

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 6:05 am

At last, there’s some good news for PS3 fans like me. A hacker known as muslix64 has uploaded the BackupBluRay program. The software is still in its initial stages but at least things have now moved a step forward. Reportedly, people have been able to bypass AACS and play high definition movies in open source media players. According to muslix64, there are even few people who have burned successfully a Blu-ray HD movie to a HDDVD and vice versa.

This turn of events isn’t much surprising though, as content decryption for HD video was bound to happen sooner or later. Now we have to just wait and see the further counter actions that AACS folks are going to take against customers who demand fair-use. Things will supposedly get difficult for people who want to use the likes of BackupBluRay once the BD+ discs are widely adopted. However, that’s still not likely to dent the enthusiasm of the curious hacker community in any way. To know more about the current situation of HD discs’ copy protection, read this interview of muslix64 on

The whole thing has lifted my hopes once more. I can now look forward to buying pirated Blu-ray discs this summer when I buy a PS3. I have also noticed that the industry’s response to these attacks isn’t as aggressive as it was for CSS decryption, and there can only be two possible reasons for that. Either (more likely) they’re putting their hopes in BD+ and volume unique keys or (less likely) they have now accepted the harsh truth that piracy sells related hardware and most importantly, consoles :P .

Edit: It just came to my knowledge that the first Blu-ray rip has appeared on Bit Torrent network. The tracker is currently an invite-only site though and the movie size is about 22 GB!

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January 29, 2007

Tragedy of the masses

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 2:55 am

As much as I hate Internet Explorer, it’s just not possible for me (or any other web-designer) to completely ignore it. Inspirated used to render perfectly in Firefox and passed W3C’s XHTML & CSS validators without any errors or warnings. However, one of my MSN contacts pointed out that the layout was badly broken in Internet Explorer. After Googling for the cause of a problem, I discovered that IE 6 couldn’t properly handle floated divs without some CSS hacks. Consequentially, peculiar display errors were present on my site e.g. a page showing everything nicely until it was scrolled, making all the boxes disappear.

After editing the style sheet and making few other changes in the page layout, the site is now rendered in IE as expected. Though I still can’t get over the fact that I wasted two whole hours on fixing something that wasn’t broken in the first place. Even worse, I had to do it only because something that I dearly despise is quite popular among the masses.

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