Archive for April, 2006

Target.com being sued over lack of image alt tags

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Via Search Engine Journal

Target.com is being sued by the National Federation of the Blind and a college student for some alleged usability issues with the target.com Web site.

Among the problems:

• Lack of alt text [for images]

• Image maps that neither have alt text or a functional equivalent on the page

• requirement for a mouse to perform various functions on the site
The last part is interesting as old design of the target.com Web site only used non-alt-attributed image submit buttons (as many of us who design do) but they also required the submission of x,y coordinates to execute the form submission. The issue is that a keyboard only user could not submit a form (like, say from hitting the Enter key).

Apparently the form button issue has been fixed, but the lawsuit is still being pursued.

More info:Webstandards.org write up on the case

[tags]Web design, SEO, usability [/tags]

Boot Camp, some can’t go home again

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

While I haven’t blogged at all about Apple’s Boot Camp - while dual booting OS X and Windows XP is a cool idea, I can’t dual boot and yet another “me too” post isn’t going to help adoption anyway, I do have a nit to pick with the problems that some users are having. Namely, the idea that some people would be surprised to have problems with a program that partitions a hard drive.
Unfortunately, I learned the lesson to be very, very careful when I was first playing around with Red Hat 6.1 and Windows 98 back in the day. While a few advised me that I could partition and install using simple directions and dual boot just fine, I was paranoid enough to pony up for System Commander 2000 mainly because I heard that it worked.

The moral of the story? I don’t trust anything that partitions my hard drive since I have no idea how it will boot later. Oh, and I back up my data *before* partitioning.

Update: 04/15/06 - Triple Booting with OS X, Windows and Linux
[tags]OS X, Boot Camp, Windows XP, Old School[/tags]

Quotes like this make me giggle like a schoolgirl

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal’s Technology Reporter wrote the following in his Annual PC Buying Guide article [subscription required] today:

I believe every mainstream consumer doing typical tasks should consider the Mac. Its operating system already contains most of the key features promised for Vista. However, the Mac doesn’t really need a buyer’s guide. It has only two consumer desktop models — the gorgeous iMac and the low-end Mac Mini.

With friends like these, who needs Microsoft? ;-)

[tags]Apple, OS X, The Wall Street Journal, Technology, trolling[/tags]

new cell phone

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

My three year old cell phone began to restart itself intermittently a few weeks ago and I faced the fact that I probably needed a new cellphone. Since I was eligible for the “new for every two” program at VerizonWireless, I decided this past weekend to drop by the local store and see the phones for myself. Basically, I wanted to hold one before committing to it.

I managed to walk out of the store with the cheesy sounding the LG VX9800 - The V. Surprisingly enough, I thought I would walk out of the store with a Motorola phone, but I wasn’t impressed with the Razr or the 815E.

My initial thoughts about the LG is that I like the full keyboard, but I worry about the scratching the outside screen if I ever drop the phone. (My old Kyocera 2235 was built like a tank compared to this.) It feels a little bulky (although when I compared it to an older LG phone, the thickness was about the same) for my petite hands. I like the internal screen, the speakers and the lighted keyboard.

As for usability, I’m still getting used to the menus and specifically I’m still trying to figure out if I can set a one button shortcut to set the phone on vibrate. The vibrate mode is, uh, very attention getting. The Bluetooth feature did sync wonderfully with my PowerBook, although the phone’s OBEX profile (at least with OS X 10.3.9) only supports Address Book/Contact syncing and using the phone as a modem. No file transfer.

As for the other built-in features, I tried the 1.3mp camera at the concert I went to on Saturday night and I have about 35 1280 x 960 full size blurry pics of the stage from the second to last row in section 204 of the Tweeter Center. The phone does record 1 minute bits of sound, and while the sound from the stage wasn’t captured all that well, the phone picked up the chattering fo the audience members around me. I can get a MiniSD card to increase the phone’s memory if I want. Also, the Web browser on the phone doesn’t work with WordPress. Yes, I tried. :-P

I am not a fan of the Motorola made Bluetooth headset over the ear speaker/headset dealie I got with the phone though. It feels small and cheap.

Finally, kudos to the VerizonWireless salesguy who helped me. He didn’t try to upsell me on anything other than what I went in for.

technorati

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

I dunno if it’s something about my blog or whatnot, but when I go to ping Technorati (either via posting or manually), Technorati isn’t indexing my site.

There hasn’t been a Technorati user agent in my site logs in a very long time and this blog’s Technorati detail page is not correct.

I’m curious about the situation more than anything else.

Update 4/23/06: I’ve sent Technorati an email about the situation and now the Technorati bot Technoratibot/0.7 is visiting the site again. So now I can be seen on Technorati with my posts tagged, but my “Last Updated” date is still incorrect. I’ll keep an eye on it. It looks as if my blog data is being updated anyway.

Update 4/24/06: Recieved an email from customer support, my account has been reset so now my incoming link count is inaccurate (or just too recent, your pick) but now I’m seeing the technorati bot at least. Ah well, my curiosity is sated.

[tags]Technorati[/tags]

Ben Gibbard, can I have your baby?

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

Somehow I ended up with a Death Cab for Cutie tour t-shirt tonight.

I’m finally at home after seeing the The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand and Death Cab For Cutie at the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ.

I can’t really speak for the Cribs (who had the thankless job of opening) or for Franz Ferdinand, who did a great job live, even with their wanktastic group introduction. However, the Death Cab For Cutie part of the show was just awesome. They played mostly from the newest album,
Plans - with the notable exceptions of opening with The New Year and later playing The Sound of Settling from Transatlanticism. Also, We Laugh Indoors from The Photo Album. We sang along to Crooked Teeth, Soul Meets Body, and I Will Follow You Into The Dark (what a couples song). Unlike the sometimes moodiness of Plans, the show was surprisingly upbeat (no Brothers on a Hotel Bed or Someday You Will Be Loved)…and Death Cab left the stage with the mostly female audience wanting more and a promise to see us again in the fall. Hell, I’d follow them around the country if all of their shows weren’t sold out.

Should I just mention that the audience was mostly female–suburban artgirls with plastic rimmed glasses, wearing old navy and their feminist boyfriends?

Pics to follow later…

[tags] Death Cab For Cutie, dcfc, music, Seattle, alternative, black plastic framed glasses [/tags]

Don’t look at me, my hair is all messy!

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

I feel like the girl at the beauty salon who is in the middle of getting her hair colored and she’s got a smock on with coloring goop and foil in her hair.

Updated WordPress because of the security update and the fact the comment spammers are a little *too* aggressive. I’ve got a few thousand comment spams to moderate for this fancy Akismet system (you don’t see them, but up until now, all of my comments were getting emailed to me for moderation). No wonder why I’m running out of disk space.

The update wasn’t as bad as the last one, all I really need to do is edit the sidebar and create a theme.

A directory of RSS Aggregators

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

A directory of RSS Aggregators

There’s quite a few listed here that I’ve never heard of before. My favorite so far is the RSS Web-based aggregator netvibes, which has the easiest interface to use and works on Safari.

[tags]RSS, Web, Internet [/tags]

Yahoo click fraud analyzed

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Ben Edelman’s paper on Yahoo click fraud.

Interesting, I’ve heard from some of those “advertising” agencies in the past.

[tags]Yahoo, Web marketing, Web advertising[/tags]

Add to Google

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

Add to Google

[tags]Google, RSS[/tags]

Online marketing update 4/3/06

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Email marketing schadenfruede

The recently unveiled NY Times redesign works. The good: multicolumn layout and use of video. The images on the site are just dazzling. The bad: The CSS based tabs on the upper left fading too much into the background.

Update 04/05/06: Here’s the blog entry of the NYTimes Design Director on the redesign. There’s some interesting in-a-web-design-way debate in the blog’s comments.

Verizon email settlement, interesting as it’s creating case law concerning email that consumers *wanted* but Verizon blocked. According to the AP article, Verizon is apparently still denying they had any long-rumored geographic based email filters in place.

Google Product Search

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Hmmm…this is interesting, I have been using the experimental Google results page for the past week or so and as I was surprised to find the following product search box on my results page… Also I’ve checked and I’ve gotten the box while logged in and while not logged into my Google Account.

Is this Google Base related?

According to the SearchEngineWatch blog, this is a search box for Google Base results. I’ve been postulating for a while that Google is going to remove natural product search results from their index (think of it, Google wants to monetize product search results), and along with the development of Google Base this new search box looks to be the beginning of that away-from-natural-search migration.

[tags]Google, Web marketing, ecommerce, online retailing[/tags]