Album of the Year?

While I was on my 5 hour drive back to St. Paul (MN) from Madison (WI) today, I was thinking about music in 2004. I concluded that I think the best album released this year is Talib Kweli’s The Beautiful Struggle, with Green Day’s American Idiot coming in an extremely close second. The Beautiful Struggle is a masterpiece – it’s skillfully crafted, tactful, inspirational, beautiful, and all-around amazing. Talib Kweli has incredible lyrics and impeccable style. Green Day, back from the dead, has really grown up since their last album. American Idiot is the album I always suspected Green Day was capable of but never expected them to actually make. The album is a rock opera, with insightful social commentary and an amazing, mature sound. Last year’s overwhelming winner according to me was Jay-Z’s The Black Album. What do you think is the best album of 2004?

12/24/04 Camino Progress Report

Camino-specific bugs fixed since last progress report on 11/27/04…

FIXED #232406 – correct caret behavior during IME input. This patch also apparently fixes bug 264515
FIXED #166694 – decode local file URLs before suggesting them in save panel
FIXED #271936 – add some file extensions to our bundle’s “I can handle that!” list
FIXED #188893 – explicitly open home page when selecting Go->Home so as to override “load home page in new windows” pref
FIXED [NO BUG #] – change File menu item text to Email Page Location
FIXED [NO BUG #] – first part of major preferences reorganization, includes new pref for download manager autoclose
FIXED #273087 – fix spelling mistake
FIXED #266831 – current download should have focus in download manager
FIXED #160348 – use link text instead of url for title when dragging link into bookmarks tab
FIXED #262815 – closing tab while bookmarks view is shown can lead to crash
FIXED #272117 – update “open in tabs” entires in bookmarks menu when adding or deleting items to containers w/out requiring a restart
FIXED [NO BUG #] – show security status in URL bar
FIXED [NO BUG #] – add “Empty Cache” item to camino menu that just empties the cache, nothing more.

In the next day or two I’ll try to write up something about what we have left to do before 0.9.

Post-Finals Camino Updates

After I finished finals I destressed with some Camino coding. I landed the first part of my prefs reorganization, moving download and tab prefs into their own panes. I also added a download manager autoclose pref. I fixed a few other bugs too, which I’ll write about in the next status update. Camino development is picking up again after a two week lull… I will be spending a ton of time on Camino during the rest of December, and if you’ve ever wanted to help out I’ll be in #camino and happy to help you get started. 0.9 is gonna rock.

Music I’ve Been Listening to Lately

Music is great, definitely one of my favorite things in life, and I feel like taking a break from writing a paper to make some listening suggestions.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Death Cab for Cutie. They are one of those bands that I always liked in general, but over time they consistently grow on me. Death Cab has some bad/boring/uncreative songs like any other group, but most of their stuff is really good. Its a lot like The Postal Service, but usually more interesting and lively. Not to say that they are better than The Postal Service in general, they are just better when you’re looking for something other than the soothing sound The Postal Service has. A couple favorite songs of mine are “A Movie Script Ending” and “Photobooth.”

I’ve also been listening to lots of Jay-Z, but then again I usually do. I’m not sure exactly why his stuff is so appealing to me, but it definitely has something to do with the often-refreshing perspective he has on himself and the subjects he raps about like the rap industry, identity, race, and America’s lower class. While the subjects are commonplace in rap, I feel like he’s more honest and insightful than most popular rappers and his messages seem to be less angry and confrontational – to the point of being really encouraging at times. In this regard, The Black Album is his masterpiece, and if you haven’t listened to Jay-Z much before, I recommend starting there. Some of his earlier stuff isn’t as mature (e.g. the album “Reasonable Doubt”) and didn’t appeal to me much until I got pretty into him.

And back to paper writing…