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maresia

Tuesday,  11/18/08  08:29 PM

at the beach...Each culture has unique words that describe concepts important in the culture, and so it is with Brazil; and upon landing in Rio de Janeiro I was vividly introduced to maresia.  This word, loosely translated as "sea air", or "smell of the sea", refers to that warm relaxed comfortable feeling you get when you're at the seashore.  It is partly the physical; the sand, the warmth, the humidity, indeed the smell of the sea, but also includes the mental; the feeling of relaxation and lessening of tension.  Picture yourself at the beach on a summer's day, with nothing to do but read a book and drink some beer.  That's maresia.  (Just typing these words brings a smile ;)

 

 

instructions

Tuesday,  11/18/08  08:41 PM

instructions for DummiesHow many times have you flown, in your life?  And how many times have you heard the flight crew explain the safety instructions, the oxygen mask and the life jackets and the flotation cushions and all the rest?  If there were really an emergency, would you know what to do?  Yeah, me neither.  We don't really pay attention to instructions until we need them. 

A key problem in all user interfaces... 

This is why affordability is so crucial.  People have to be able to figure out what things are for and how they work "on the fly".  I'm guessing I would be able to use an oxygen mask, or inflate a life jacket, or use a flotation cushion without instructions, because of their inherent affordability. 

Would my customers be able to use my software without instructions?  I'm guessing yes :)

 

 

Tuesday,  11/18/08  11:43 PM

Whew, today was a  l o n g  day; I spent the day working in Vista, meetings and discussions from dawn to dark, and didn't escape for a ride until 9:30 (!); I just got back.  Glad I got it in though, I was in a first class funk, and rode it off somewhat.  Still there may be an edge left, sorry in advance :)

putting the air back inThe Economist on Putting the Air Back In.  A great explanation of the current financial crisis and the options available to governments to address it...

the money holeThe Onion wonders: Should the government stop dumping all our money in a giant hole?  Classic.

Apropos: Obama's Car Puzzle.  "Even as GM teeters toward bankruptcy and wheedles for billions in public aid, its forthcoming plug-in hybrid continues to absorb a big chunk of the company's product development budget. This is a car that, by GM's own admission, won't make money. It's a car that can't possibly provide a buyer with value commensurate with the resources and labor needed to build it. It's a car that will be unsalable without multiple handouts from government."  Are you getting this?  GM is spending all it's money building a car that won't make money, while asking you and I to pay for their ridiculous union worker's wages and retirement plans.  No thanks.

So Malcom Gladwell has a new book out, Outliers.  The early reviews are a bit, well, negative; consider this one in the NYTimes:  "Much of what Mr. Gladwell has to say about superstars is little more than common sense: that talent alone is not enough to ensure success, that opportunity, hard work, timing and luck play important roles as well. The problem is that he then tries to extrapolate these observations into broader hypotheses about success."  Joel Spolsky does not like anecdotes as proof of anything, although he himself engages in the same thing :)

I think this book suffers from something different; some of Gladwell's observations are more fundamental than others; Tipping Point, for example, was more insightful than Blink.  This seems more derivative than either...

Fomalhaut BWow, real pictures of exo-planets; the first is FomalHaut B.  Sounds like the name of a "B" movie :)  These planets are all really big, Jupiter-like gaseous giants, but at some point I'm sure we'll find another Earth...  how cool will that be?

Sailing Anarchy has an innerview with Dennis Connor!  (Entitled "hell freezes over" :)  A lot of DC's observations are pretty dead on, IMHO:  "In just a few years we went from all-amateur teams at the very top echelon of the sport, to teams of paid professionals earning something comparable to what they might be making at home as a plumber or carpenter or painter or whatever."  I've seen this myself; when I was a kid, all sailors were amateurs, even the best, now, at nearly every level they're pro.  Check it out.

the Winding RoadYay, Winding Road is available as a downloadable PDF again.  We win!  (In case you don't know, this online 'zine was formerly a PDF, then turned into this weird must-be-online-to-view thing.  Through it all the content remained excellent, but I missed the simple download and view model, and now it's back...)

I continue to love my Kindle; Slashdot looks at the economics of the Kindle...  This is all very interesting, but nobody buys a Kindle to save money on books, any more than they buy an iPod to save money on music.  The key in both cases is the ability to easily carry way more content around with you.  It is fundamentally better.  That it also costs less is a bonus :)

 

 
 

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