A new year is breathing new life into Social Media Club’s Charleston chapter, as it is set to relaunch with a meetup at Liberty Tap Room in Mt. Pleasant on January 19. The new leadership team in town includes Jeff Webster (who originally founded SMC Charleston in 2008), Cheryl Smithem, Ashley Thiesen Caldwell, Jennie Fiechtl, Adam Burke, Heather Mueller, Hunter Boone, Jessica Turner, Nicholas Daigle, and Amy Lesseig. Given the team assembled (most of which I’ve met, but a few I’ve not), I suspect there will be plenty of energy and enthusiasm for the chapter in the next year and I wish them the best of luck going forward.
Web developers, please take note: Unless a piece of video or audio is the centerpiece of the entire page, with no surrounding content and an expectation that the media should start playing immediately, autoplay is not acceptable. I seriously question if the people at large companies who decide autoplay videos are a good thing actually have ever, you know, actually used the Internet. I kicked my autoplay habit when I was 15 years old; certainly the grownups in charge of some of the biggest sites on the Web can do the same.
I’m writing this within Firefox 4, Beta 9. So far, so good — Firefox does seem significantly faster over the 3.x versions, and has already withstood a Flash crash without dumping the entire browser, indicating that the sandboxing work Mozilla has done is performing well. The UI has had quite a makeover, drawing a lot of inspiration from Chrome (including pinned app tabs, tabs on top, etc.). Interestingly, there is no status bar anymore — everything seems to happen in the address bar (including showing the target of the link you’re hovering over). Yes, the RSS indicator is gone by default, but it can be added back by customizing the toolbar (though having a dead button there is not as elegant as the previous solution). Overall, so far so good for Firefox 4. Big caveat: Most extensions aren’t working yet. If you want to try it, go for it, but be aware that you won’t have your extensions until they are updated (including Firebug for the moment, though support is coming in the next beta). I’m not sure yet if this latest Firefox is enough to pry me away from Chrome, but it has come together really well, and kudos to Mozilla for that.
I’m young enough to have only had one floppy drive on my computers (in fact, I had floppies on every machine until the MacBook Pro). This question on Super User makes me feel a lot, lot older.
Given lots of Twitter chatter and the likelihood of asteroids on approach, it is very likely that a meteor hit the Earth tonight in Mississippi, reportedly even creating a new crater. According to meteorologist James Spann, the flash of light associated with the meteor was seen from Oklahoma to North Carolina. Expect to hear a lot more about this overnight into tomorrow.
This winter just gets weirder every day, it seems. Monday brought on a fairly significant icing event in the Charleston area that, for a change, did not involve Smirnoff. Roads were closed, schools were closed and delayed even today, and black ice is still a possibility for the inland counties. (For the record, we were shut out of winter weather for the most part on Hilton Head Island, though there was a report of ice just west of here in Bluffton.) Temperatures will remain well below normal for the rest of the week before moderating this weekend in advance of another frontal system. Personally, I’ll be glad to get back to severe weather season, though this winter has given me an excellent hands-on education in winter weather.
As a Chargers fan, I hate to see him go. But as a Panthers fan, I’m very pleased to see Ron Rivera become the team’s next head coach. He’s consistently impressed me over the years with the work he did with the Bears and later the Chargers. In San Diego, he inherited and kept a 3-4 defense (Rivera coached a 4-3 in Chicago and will again in Carolina) and then got it to #1 in the NFL at one point this season, demonstrating an intelligent and flexible approach to the game. Now, Rivera needs to go and get a good offensive coordinator and perhaps a quarterback.
Echofon’s run as my go-to Mac-native streaming Twitter client may end tomorrow, if this report is legit: Tweetie 2 for Mac, which appears to have been renamed “Twitter for Mac,” will be free with the launch of the Mac App Store tomorrow, according to RazorianFly. Based on the admittedly low-resolution screenshot, it’s a looker, and as long as it figures out how to mark direct messages read and keep them marked read, then it’s a keeper. We’ll know for sure when the store launches sometime tomorrow.
I’m renewing my commitment to reading the Lowcountry Blogs feed this year. It’s fascinating to see who in the area, after nearly five years, are still full-tilt blogging, how the blogs have evolved, who have gone silent and who have taken entirely to Twitter in lieu of blogging.