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Colorado

Summer Concerts in Denver 2008

Ah, it's that time again. Time to plan for summer concerts. A quick review of all the craptastic concert calendar sites shows me too many artists coming to town this summer. Who should I see?

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Donate a Bike in Denver - Help Working Poor Without Feeding the Petro-Economy

Let's say that you live in Denver and you have an old bike that you're getting rid of. Or, let's say that you don't really like our petroleum-economy. Or, both! The solution is, frankly, quite simple: Derailer Bicycle Collective.

As you can read from their own website, the organization is based on the idea that

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Colorado / Denver Political Bloggers - Get Your Convention Blogging Credentials

This is awesome. The Democratic National Convention Committee has announced a credentialing process for bloggers so that bloggers can cover the event with permission and access that will help them get a scoop not unlike the old-school media. That blog post makes it clear that it will be in a separate "pool" which is a slight bummer, but giving bloggers the same access as old-school media is probably just forward leaning enough to make the old-school people pout. This is a great step for citizen media and freedom of speech.

Are You Cool Enough to Blog the Denver Democratic Convention?

The requirements they have for applying seem interesting.

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Green Building Supplies in Denver

One of the problems I have with a lot of "green" building ideas is that the products are so specialized you have to get them from across the country. At which point it's not so green anymore...

From elephant magazine I found Sutherlands Lumber which sells all sorts of building products in Boulder and Fort Collins. Not exactly convenient to Denver, but not bad.

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things to do when I get home

I'm currently traveling the Spanish speaking world but I'm still working. So...there are lots of things that I read about, or work on, and I wish that I had a place to talk with people about them. Those places exist locally, and I'm taking advantage of them but nothing beats face time with my favorite local user groups in the Denver/Boulder area.

So...I don't want to forget these things and am therefore creating this list:

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Death to the Blog Widgets! (Or at least some better performance)

You may have noticed that I killed third party javascript widget thingies on my site (maybe not, maybe you read only via RSS). Verious money making schemes are gone (most didn't work, but that's no my focus here). I killed my site widgets because they were slow and made my site appear to be slow as well.

What?

What are Widgets (Blog Widgets)

Widgets are the little things that people place in the sidebars and other low-value parts of their site. They do this to provide additional features, to show affiliation with something, to prove the value of their blog, to make money from their blog, basically they do it for a lot of reasons. Prominent examples include the MyBlogLog widget, Last.Fm widget, Adsense widget, Flickr photostream widget, the Google Analytics widget (hidden widget, but still a widget).

Even fast blog widgets are slow

Browsers are designed to download files from webservers. It used to be that a page was a page. You downloaded that one file and you were done. Then we got images, and css, and javascript. So your browser downloaded 4 or 5 files. Typically this was done serially (one after the other) which means that the page loads first, then the css and javascript, and finally you see the images loading into the page one after the other. Some browsers can doanload in parallel where they grab multiple files at the same time which speeds the process because it takes full advantage of your network link.

Each file that gets downloaded takes time because of the size of the file itself and also because of the additional request. Each file request has additional overhead associated with it. So, downloading 1 file that is 2MB will take less time than 2 files that are 1MB each.

Widgets add more files to your page. More files makes your page slower, even if they are served quickly. But what if they are served slowly or - ghasp - the widget server goes down.

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