Thursday, January 17, 2002

X-Files Finally ending

Well, I guess its official: Fox to close ``X-Files'' in May.

It Jumped the Shark about four seasons ago, anyway, when Fox started taking himself way too seriously. It tripped over the shark when Dana was abducted ... this show was really starting to get on my nerves. I LIKE Robert Patrick as a replacement for Duchovny, a lot, but the show has taken itself way too seriously for too long now. Time to wrap it all up and enjoy those residuals.
posted by lee on 01/17/02 at 05:35 PM

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enron & ebay

Hopefully these people are employees making at least something to make up for their trashed pension plans ... Enron items garner high bids on eBay - Tech News -
posted by lee on 01/17/02 at 02:49 PM

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Powell continues to suck up

What Mark Morford (SF Gate Morning Fix) wrote: "Secretary of State Colin Powell has agreed to participate in a global forum sponsored by MTV where he will answer pre-planned, safe, softball questions from pre-selected and entirely unthreatening young people around the world, so long as they don't ask him why he's become such a weak-kneed castrated namby-pamby Cheney sycophant who at one point seemed to have some mildly unique opinions and moderate intellectual stances but who has since been drained of all potential political nuance and now tows the GOP line like a good party lackey and speaks only in vague broad annoying platitudes. "General Powell, why is it the US as a global power feel it necessary to ramrod our puppet democratic frameworks and thinly veiled capitalist paradigms down the throats of poor bombed-out nations under the guise of egalitarian nations-building efforts, when in fact most everyone knows we're merely desperate to keep the billions flowing from the Saudi oil fields no matter the cost in human lives or socioeconomic instability?" said some kid named Tommy, 15, from Pasadena. "Oh sorry. I mean, what's it like being a neat-o general?" "

Which is about a thousand times more relevant/accurate than the actual story: Secretary of State Powell to participate in MTV global forum.

I used to respect Powell. But I haven't seen any evidence since he was named Sec'y of State that there's any Powell there. Too bad - this is a man I would have voted for for president. Not any more.
posted by lee on 01/17/02 at 12:32 AM

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Wednesday, January 16, 2002


Plaque Meant To Honor Actor Insults Instead. Plaque meant for James Earl Jones has James Earl Ray engraved on it.
posted by lee on 01/16/02 at 10:00 PM

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NYT: The Enron Smoking Gun

Just read it. (If you need to log in to read this, just register with NYTimes - it costs nothing.) Text of Letter to Enron's Chairman After Departure of Chief Executive.

So I wonder why Sherron Watkins didn't resign as well?
posted by lee on 01/16/02 at 09:52 PM

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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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