:Archive Of February 2003:

Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 4:40 PM -

Minor maintenance: the domain for Jeremy's Raccoon got hosed, so this is the new URL.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 7:58 PM -

I wish I'd saved a screen of the old version. BBC News has had a makeover and it's pretty disappointing. The prior version had done a very commendable job of delivering the news attractively, quickly, and without clutter despite its fixed 600px width. The new version is still fixed, just bumped to 800px. It also shows that they've bought into a highly questionable 'above the fold' argument. Plus they've broken the index page's center column into two, eliminating utility of the increased width, they've reduced (!) the number of headings you get a blurb & pic with, and they have a rather bad mix of text sizes and colours that makes the thing a jumble of articles rather than the repeating pic/heading/blurb pattern of before that made scanning the headlines such a breeze.


It looks for all the world like some wank in a suit said, 'make it look like CNN'. Damn shame. The old design was not fluid but it was a great example of how to deliver a lot of changing information in a small space.

Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 1:07 AM -

So when will we reach the point where translation software becomes accurate and pervasive enough that the results begin to be trusted? There will likely be a long grey area, not a clean snap into this. Inside of it some interesting things may come up. There's a lot of non-fluent multilinguals in the world; will their referencing of translation software create word combination 'accents', since much of learning word usage is based on the contexts it has been received in? Will any of these usages permeate the greater language?

I'm looking forward to solid translators so we can at least read the vibrant millions of asia. (Today, you can get a gist of Japanese. Korean is impossible.) When will it be good enough that we can communicate in email? And will these communiques produce a distinct step of clarity in phrasing, as I already have when I speak to strangers vs. when I speak to those who share my contexts?

Meanwhile yeah, I did notice babelfish translates the below to 'Cages, cages, ...and still cages.' That's okay. Deconstructionists, knock yourselves out.

Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 8:12 PM -

"Gabbie, gabbie... e ancora gabbie." The book is in Italian now.

Saturday, February 8, 2003 - 9:14 PM -

We are so screwed. This is the clear and comprehensive overview of the Annual Report of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada by the commissioner himself, George Radwanski.

Note that he pulls one punch. He does not point out that the proposed thorough destruction of our privacy rights leaves everyone wide open to abuse by corrupt officials and police officers.

This is key. We have well developed and strong law enforcement legislation co-existing with well developed and strong privacy protection because to impinge on anyone's privacy an official or officer must bring legal cause before a court of law. This way no citizen (or official, or officer) can be fingered and squeezed by a rogue. It's a basic safeguard where humans deal with humans.

And once it is removed, no, you never will get it back. And yes, corruption will run amok, because there will be nothing to restrain it.

Monday, February 3, 2003 - 6:42 PM -

Remember the 264 happy little screenshots? Here's more.

Monday, February 3, 2003 - 1:55 AM -

Required reading.

Saturday, February 1, 2003 - 10:56 PM -

Did I mention Radio Wallah? How could I not mention Radio Wallah. Design-design.

- 1:00 AM -

You're only going to notice it if you look too hard at book design, but then you'd also be the sort of person who'd buy this book.. in Reinventing the Wheel, Jessica Helfand has a brief commentary to go with each gorgeous one-page scan, and each commentary precisely fits the full seven lines allocated. Ninety-three times for ninety-three paper wheel charts. Nice example of unannounced wordsmith bravado.

And while we're swimming in geek trivial, take a look at these great sliderule scans. Yowza.

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