Wednesday, January 16, 2002

When I think about just walking

I get bored when I have to re-do something that was done right once, but was "improved" by someone else - which is what I'm doing today. One of those days when I wish I could win just enough in a lottery to quit for a year or two or three. At least quit working for someone else other than my own company (which I don't get to spend as much time on as I would like). But, when I get really frustrated, I take a look at Netslaves or head on here: Ghost Sites. I guess it could be worse - I could be stuck churning out endless PowerPoint presentations for some moron of an executive-something-or-other.
posted by lee on 01/16/02 at 07:35 PM

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Top Websites - what they have in common

An interesting article, well worth reading. WDVL: Ten Top Sites Compared

The top ten web properties:
AOL Time Warner
Walt Disney Internet Group

Questions: WHY are these the top ten sites? Does it really have to do with the design and layout, or is it because of the content? Would people still head to these sites even if they were hard to use?
posted by lee on 01/16/02 at 03:07 PM

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DevX has a decent DHTML reference section: Get Help with DHTML. Some handy quick links to a standard bag of javascripts, code.
posted by lee on 01/16/02 at 02:45 PM

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Tuesday, January 15, 2002

7-11 milk experiment

A 7-11 Milk Experiment is a usability study, sort of:

The idea is that if we gave you a person with a poured bowl of cereal and no milk and you went to that personӒs house, picked them up, drove them to a 7-Eleven, gave them enough money to buy milk, and sent them into the 7-Eleven, 100 percent of the time, that person would successfully buy milk, explained Jared M. Spool, UIEԒs founding principal. We tried something similar with Web sites.Ӕ

They gave users some money and some web sites to go to and a task to buy a specific item sold on those sites and found the success rate to be just 30%. What it means is even if your site loads fast and looks great, if the navigation sucks, it doesn't matter because you won't sell much because users won't be able to find it (or won't be able to figure out how to check out - or just won't bother). The article is Usability and organization are key to site-visitor satisfaction on Tech Republic. You may have to log in - it doesn't cost anything to register and the article is well worth reading.

Jared Spool's site is User Interface Engineering. You can buy the whole study there for about $25.
posted by lee on 01/15/02 at 07:37 PM

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Monday, January 14, 2002

More Homeland Stupidity

Dearborn to adopt antiterror program. Right now, Dearborn, MI has two claims to fame. First, it's the birthplace of and headquarters of Ford Motor Company. Second, there is a huge Arab-American population in this city (where I was born - but only because that's where the hospital was). A third of Dearborn's 97,000 residents, and 58% of its students, are Arab Americans. It also has a long, sordid history of racism. The racist tendencies of the old-line, very blue collar, non-Arab population seem to be remerging as they plan to spend a quarter of a million dollars on homeland security.

For what? To protect Ford's Rouge plant from being bombed? Ford has quite effectively crippled itself. To protect Dearborn's Arab-Americans? You've gotta be kidding. To set up a spy network among the Arab-American community? That wouldn't surprise me. What would surprise me is if they actually did anything meaningful with their boondoggle. Especially since there is nothing meaningful to do. Maybe mount anti-aircraft guns along the banks of the Rouge.
posted by lee on 01/14/02 at 06:29 PM

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very weird

Via Mark Morford (Morning Fix) comes news of this Flash, um, movie? Irrational Exuberance.
posted by lee on 01/14/02 at 06:06 PM

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Sunday, January 13, 2002

I’m God

You know all and see all, but that doesn't prevent you from having a child-like innocence and a playful sense of humor. You obviously think very highly of yourself, but that's okay, everyone does. Told ya God was a woman!!

Take The "Which Kevin Smith Female Are You?" Quiz!!
posted by lee on 01/13/02 at 10:53 PM

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my palm reading

Idle surfing, came upon Yahoo's palm reading thingie. The following is what mine said, though I have a sneaking suspicion they all say the same thing. A suspicion, but not the patience to click through several times to see if I'm right.

You are intelligent and practical, very likely to have a good memory and the ability to make and follow plans. Leadership skills are among your useful traits. Just be careful not to go to extremes and become a dictator.

You may have trouble concentrating or focusing your attention, especially under stress.

You are a warm hearted person, with much love to give. You probably like children, and exhibit many playful characteristics.

There may be times in your life when you give in to feelings of sadness or depression.

You are likely to make decisions based on intuition or feelings rather than intellect.

You may suffer from low energy, allergies, or some kind of chronic health problem.

No matter what other factors influence your personality, there is an under lying sense of practicality that you can draw on if you wish.
posted by lee on 01/13/02 at 10:24 PM

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Center of the world - review

We watched Center of the World last night. What a snore.

This is how Center of the World is billed:
"... an erotic drama about a young computer wizard (Peter Sarsgaard) whose immersion in the digital world has left him unaccustomed to normal social interaction. When he persuades a beautiful stripper (Molly Parker) to spend three days with him in Las Vegas, their arrangement becomes a journey into the dark secrets of their sexuality."

The billing is bullshit. Directed by Wayne Wang, with weird camera techniques that I guess he used to distinguish flashbacks or fantasies from the right-now, it spent most of the time boring viewers with details in the lives of three people one couldn't give a rat's ass about. The rich computer geek was just that, a rich computer geek with nothing of substance to say, having some sort of existential crisis because his work, and therefore his life, is meaningless. Florence, the self-righteous stripper and erstwhile drummer in some band, was mysterious about who she really is becuase she really isn't anyone. And her friend Jerri, a hooker, is in the movie so Wang can entice geekboys with a shot of her cleavage. Carla Gugino's heaving cleavage was the only erotic part of the movie. Mostly it was shallow and slooooooowww. It was a geekboy dotcom millionaire living out his fantasy because he has the bucks to pay for it. After 96 minutes (more if you watch the two alternative endings, which are really just re-sequenced versions of the ending but with the unrealistic addition of Florence refunding Richard's money), all I really wanted to do was smack that annoying smirk off Florence's face and smack Richard a hard one and tell him to grow up.

I guess it wouldn't have annoyed me so much if it had actually been erotic. Or had some depth. But it was neither erotic nor thought-provoking. My recommendation: don't waste your time.
posted by lee on 01/13/02 at 08:23 PM

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Not only is he stupid - he’s a liar

Check out Dubya's lies re: Enron via the Jan. 13 blog entry on Puppet Press Journal. THIS is a man Americans trust with the lives of their sons in the military? THIS is the man with the astronomical approval rating? Why would anyone be stupid enough to lie about something so easily checked unless, of course, he or she is a pathological liar. No, make that a stupid pathological liar.

Meanwhile, check out Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan.

The whole War on Terrorism thing is such a travesty. The braindeadening of America.
posted by lee on 01/13/02 at 07:43 PM

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