Archive for April, 2008

Treating links as if they were footnotes?

30th April 2008

From a usability standpoint, well any standpoint for that matter, treating links as if they were footnotes makes absolutely no sense. It defeats the whole point.

The website for the Chicago Recycling Coalition uses this approach in full force:

Dates and locations for collections in the Chicago area can be found on the IEPA website link, under “web resources,” below. – ChicagoRecycling.org

It was hard enough finding that tiny bit of info on their website, let alone then having to sort through a list of links at the bottom of the page to find the collection dates. What could reasoning for not placing the link right there baffles me.

Making your website visitors work harder than they have to is moronic.

Dynamic Profiles for Mobile Phones

29th April 2008

I am pretty good at remembering to quiet my mobile whenever I go to a movie or any where else I need my phone silenced. What I am not good at is remembering to turn the ringer back on.

I’d love the profiles on my Blackberry to be more dynamic, so when I am switching between them, the BB could ask me how long I would like to stay on that profile for. Say, 2 hours for a movie. Then after those 2 hours are up, it switches back to the ‘Normal’ profile.

LoveFilm.com Quiz

Bad Luck Syndrome

28th April 2008

Something we all feel we’re plagued with at times…

“If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as ‘bad luck’ you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent. In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.”

Continued reading at Do you suffer from bad luck?

Authenticity

24th April 2008

Fantastic clip from Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares where chef Gordon Ramsay visits failing Indian restaurant, The Curry Lounge.

Why is it failing?

With 100+ pick-n-mix items on the menu, the owner is afraid he’ll not be able to please everyone. By offering something for everyone, even chips at an Indian restaurant, they end up with something mediocre.

They compromise their authenticity.

Just an FYI if you ever find yourself in Brighton, UK, my favorite Indian restaurant: Memories of India.

American Psycho: Business Card Scene

23rd April 2008

This has to be one of the greatest scenes in movie history…

Tremors in Chicago

18th April 2008

Tremors Movie Poster Um… Yeah… So early this morning, around 4-5am, I woke up feeling nausious, sick to my stomach, my hold body shaking. I thought it was me, symptoms of insomnia I’ve felt in the past.

Nope. Turns out an earthquake, 2nd largest in midwest history, struck downstate Illinois and the tremors spread up to Chicago. The tremors were even felt in southern Ontario, Canada.

Anyone else in the Chicagoland feel the tremors this morning?

Viewer Comments On Illinois Earthquake – Part 4

Quakes Strike Downstate, Tremors In Chicago

Google News: Illinois Earthquake

Some Random Photos from 1998 to 2000

18th April 2008

Wedged between books and other such things I found some old photos I had taken some time ago. Thought I’d scan and share.

Doyle jumping off our TV (1998)
doyle-tv-1998.jpg

View Camera test (similar to Toyo 45CX View Camera) (1998)
Skeleton 1998

(more…)

Give up 1 of your 5 senses to broaden your horizon

18th April 2008

Seth Godin’s post, George Clooney is not normal, hits on the idea of expectations in relation to the people we chose to surrounds ourselves with.

You can’t hire that guy because he’s not as good looking as George. And you can’t believe that speaker because he doesn’t present as well as George. And that guy? He’s short. Short? Well, shorter than George. And you can’t trust him to make good decisions because his skin is much darker than George’s.

This extends to most everything we come into contact with, from where we chose to eat, the music we listen to, to what clothes we wear. We let the wrong sense commandeer our decision process.

Mr. Godin continues:

I was talking to someone at the Federal Reserve this week. He explained that in our electronic age, his relationships often start on the phone or by email. And they usually go extremely well, moving things quickly toward a happy conclusion.

The “electronic age” lets us lose our literal sight to focus on what is important.

Every Business Should Switch to Mac OS X

16th April 2008

I truly believe this. I cannot think of a single good reason not to. And the CEO’s obsession with Microsoft Outlook does not count!

I have helped a few business move to Apple’s Mac OS X and I repeatedly receive praise for the encouragement.

So it was fantastic to hear the IBM is testing such a migration: IBM launches internal pilot program to test migration to Macs

Hack an RFID-enabled Credit Card for $8

15th April 2008

Via http://www.youtube.com/user/boingboingtv

I’ve never been scared of security or identity theft issues before, but this just seems way too easy.

I Support Ads On Twitter…

15th April 2008

…at least to see where they could lead.

Sure ads suck, but I think marketers will eventually come around and realize what a good ad can be and do for every party.

It is not about doing the same thing that has been done for 75+ years. Twitter offers some really unique advertisement opportunities that could benefit both the users and advertiser. Simple contextual ads would be boring and pointless, other than driving a bit of revenue for Twitter.

(Thought spawned by Twitter Testing Advertising In Twitter Streams)

Mobile Browsers, You Are Not Alone

15th April 2008

Russell Beattie announced the End of Mowser (mowser converted any website into a mobile friendly version) yesterday was not a huge shock. Russell said in his blog post that “growth has been flat or falling for the past couple months”, but it seemed more like an indicator to abandon the project than anything else.

Now the question you might be asking is why not stick with it a little longer? Get a contract or something and tough it out since it’s “only” been a year, and many companies have had to struggle for a lot longer than that before taking off. Beyond the fact that I’m irretrievably in debt, the general answer is that I don’t actually believe in the “Mobile Web” anymore, and therefore am less inclined to spend time and effort in a market I think is limited at best, and dying at worst. I’m talking specifically about sites that are geared 100% towards mobile phones and have little to no PC web presence. Two years ago I was convinced that the mobile web would continue to evolve in the West to mimic what was happening in countries like Japan and Korea, but it hasn’t happened, and now I’m sure it isn’t going to.

I’ve written about the importance of mobile Internet access before and I if people perceive hurdles incorrectly, they will not jump through them. There are some annoying hurdles in the mobile web space, many of them mental. When I am at Borders or Barnes & Noble I only sometimes remember I can compare prices at Amazon with my mobile. It is a tough mental shift.

Mobile browsing will not be a simple handoff.

Not a good example of the mobile web, but compare the mobile email usage stats of a blackberry user, versus a windows mobile user (using a non qwerty phone). The difference will be clear because one got mobile emailing right.

I love the mobile web, despite its faults and I think others will come around once they can wrap their heads around it and once the barrier to entry is eliminated.

Is the Mobile Web Dead? Some Mobile Entrepreneurs Say Yes – Marshall Kirkpatrick / April 14, 2008 5:29 PM

Dion Almaer makes a great point, The future of the Mobile Web is strong:

“But, just because he couldn’t find the right niche for Mowser, doesn’t mean the “mobile Web” is dead before born.”

Hmm… And if we look at what Russell Beattie said of Mowser’s traffic:

Easily 80% of Mowser’s traffic has been related to porn

I know zero about the porn industry itself, but this has to be a sign of something. A missed opportunity?

Mobile browsing will be huge.

Connect-ability Over All

14th April 2008

Imagine taking a snapshot with your camera phone, cropping it, tagging it, maybe even adding a bubble quote, then being able to send it to all your friends without using any built-in software or having to install a 3rd party app – Every piece of software you use can live elsewhere and you can jump around from tool to tool as you see fit.

This is an idea that I was getting at when I wrote The Browser is Dead. The browser is helping remove the need for software to live locally on our systems.

BXP makes a great point:

“The beauty of browsers, though, is that as the Web evolves, the interface stays the same. Remember when browsers were just HTTP viewers? Now browsers can run applications and display dynamic content.” – BXP (The Browser is Dead #comment-69)

It is not only that browsers have changed, but that web servers have changed. Connect-ability is more important than any specific technology or platform. What needs to happen in order for browsers to become better than an OS?

Easy Step 1-2-3 DIY Kits

12th April 2008

There are hundreds of little home DIY projects that homeowners need to tackle. Installing a new faucet, fixing holes in drywall, painting, the list goes on. The annoying part is not the the actual act of repair, but going to Home Depot or Menards and not knowing exactly what tools you need. Or the pain of running from corner to corner of the store trying to find what you need. Most of these jobs have a common set of tools, tools apartment dwellers often do not have.

Hardware stores could easily throw these common products into a single bag, slap on a label describing its purpose.

The Easy Step 1-2-3 Patch a Drywall Hole Kit

  • Spackling Paste
  • Self Adhesive Mesh Tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Putty Knives

Grab it and go.

EDGE Web Browsing Makes Me Methodical

11th April 2008

Browsing the internet on my blackberry via an EDGE network is slow. It’s damn slow. But I love it! It actually helps me get more done!

Because of the speed restrictions I think about and question every link I encounter. It is like the anti-stumbleupon. I am more considerate when reading articles and blogs, making them much more enjoyable.

In turn, I actually read more, gather more information in full as I am not skipping, guzzling information, hoarding it as fast as I forget it.

I just get in and get out.