Critical Section


busy week

Thursday,  02/16/06  11:32 PM

Well, it was a busy week.  A good week but a busy week.  Let's review, shall we?

"gevoelig"Check out the work of this Dutch cartoonist.  Absolutely nails it, IMHO.  ("gevoelig" means "sensitive".)  [ via LGF ]

Andrew Sullivan on Cartoon Cowardice.  "You’d think, wouldn’t you, it might be helpful to view the actual cartoons so you can see what on earth this entire fuss is about.  But the British and American media have decided that it is not their job to help you understand this story."  I can see the point about not wanting to put your staff in danger, but...  Andrew is right.

Meanwhile Al Gore is not right, as Powerline notes in Al of Arabia.  I can't believe I voted for this guy.  I really think he's changed, hasn't he?  Reminds me of what Bill Whittle wrote right before the 2004 election: "People are telling you that Tuesday will be the most important election of your lives.  That is not true.  The most important election of your lives was held on Tuesday, November 7th, 2000.  You just didn't know it.  Neither did I."  He voted for Gore, and after 9/11 he was glad Gore didn't win.  Me too.  And it seems like every time Al opens his mouth these days, he makes me gladder.

Moxi GUISo I got my Adelphia Moxi box.  Digital HDTV and a PVR all in one.  Digital interface to my new plasma TV.  Does it get any better than this?  No.  Talk about awesome.  This is really cool.  Perfect for watching the Olympics.  Oh, and the Olympics happen to be taking place right now :)  It takes a lot to make me happy, but this makes me happy :)

I was afraid I would hate the Moxi GUI and pine for my Tivo.  Well, I have to say, it doesn't suck.  I'm not sure whether I'd say it is as nice as the Tivo - I guess maybe I would not say it is as nice as the Tivo - but it is eminently usable.  And it has some pluses besides the obvious one of handling HDTV, such as having two tuners, and it is quite a bit faster.

Matt Haughey reports on the status of the Tivo 3, due out later this year and currently in beta.  My interest in this device has diminished after realizing the Moxi UI is just fine.

I like this: Guy Kawasaki's 10-20-30 rule for PowerPoint presentations.

  1. 10 slides maximum.
  2. 20 minutes maximum.
  3. 30 point type minimum.

Pretty cool.  I seems just about anything should be presentable within these parameters, right?

Bill Burnham analyzes Edgeio.  "In many ways, Edgeio is kind of like an independent version of Google Base, only with a much easier way for owners to get listings into the site (they don’t have to lift a finger) and with a much more end-user friendly interface.  Rather than get bogged down in the numerous “hard” computer science issues that plague unstructured data management, Edgeio has instead tried to keep its whole architecture very lightweight and loose and to leverage as much of the existing web and blog infrastructure as possible."  Very interesting.  The first real disruptive threat to eBay, I think.

Clive Thompson: Blogonomics.  A fascinating investigation into how to get popular, and stay popular, and how to monetize being popular.  I've never managed to do any of these things :)

Brad Feld: These aren't the companies you're looking for.  When he's right, he's right, and in this case he's really right.  The idea that you start a company just to build a feature for a bigger company is just weird.  Read it all...

interactive touchscreen GUICheck out this GUI!  Wow.  Talk about interactive.  Almost seems faked.  Almost.  [ Thanks to Tom Wang for the link ]

So I can find them later - the Yahoo Slider Widgets.  Perfect JavaScript-only little controls.  Excellent.  Not to mention the color pickers, which are useless but awesome.

Speaking of GUIs, Jan Miksovsky discusses UI patterns for preventing accidental deletion.  "It's worth asking: exactly what is the concern with the user clicking a Delete button?"  Indeed.

In the same vein, Jeff Atwood wonders: Why do login dialog's have a "user" field?  What an excellent question!  "The more I think about this, the more I think username/password is simply a bad convention that nobody has sufficiently questioned."

One more GUI note: Bram Cohen on Configuration Proximity.  "One thing which has irritated me for a long time about configuration of software programs is that the configuration UI is always nowhere near the thing it's configuring."  Very true.  On the other hand, configuration is done rarely, so why clutter the UI with configuration controls?  This is a tough trade-off which falls in the category of design.

Josh Newman's paradox: 1) Equal pay for equal work. 2) The guy pays on the first date.  Conclusion: "Sorry, ladies; choose one."

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