Archive for May, 2006

friends don’t let friends use

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

stock photography on their Web sites.

So, sorry, I was reviewing a not well done Web site earlier today, and it could have done without a few of the image types shown above.

Also related: Are secure site seals needed? This article suggests so, although personally (and what I’ve heard from other Web designers), I am not a fan of them at all.

[tags] Web design, Marketing [/tags]

dear popular news provider

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

If you’re going to provide video on the Web, would it be a problem to provide a text summary or transcript of your video offerings? Some unnamed news providers offer video, however, one in particular features video only stories so the content is then trapped.
While I like the Web, and I like video on the Web, sometimes I just don’t want to click on video.

[tags]Web, Web content, Web video, Web news[/tags]

Yahoo User Interface blog

Monday, May 29th, 2006

A few weeks ago I mentioned how I liked the beta Yahoo front page. Well, as it turns out, the developers behind the redesigned page and other Web projects at Yahoo are writing a new Yahoo User Interface or yuiblog.

Now, this blog isn’t merely about Web design or use of CSS, rather, they’re taking design to the next conceptual level discussing User Interface problems and real life solutions. Issues that I’ve been thinking about the past few months. A definite must read for those of us interested in not only appearance but utilization.

[tags]Yahoo, Web design, User Interface[/tags]

trackbacking - site info

Monday, May 29th, 2006

It looks like someone was trying to trackback me on the music geekery post, but it doesn’t seem like it worked. Dear anonymous blogger, if you’re willing to troubleshoot, drop me an email.

[tags]site info, blogging[/tags]

Some Web design and Web marketing ideas from the NY Times

Monday, May 29th, 2006

When I’m clicking around online, I’m always on the lookout as to how other sites utilize Web design and Web marketing techniques. One of the more interesting sites these days is the NY Times, which underwent a recent redesign. It seems that the site is still getting tweaked, and although I wish they’d do away with the Georgia/Times font for their headlines, the site manages to capture my attention.

Taking a look through the page source, I found out that they’re using a DOCTYPE Transitional with a hybrid table and CSS layout. Their CSS page is damn large, but it seems like they’re accomodating all browsers with their design.

On the marketing side of things, I was intrigued to notice the recent push for logged in readers to subscribe to NY Times related email newsletters. Rather than merely have a “sign up for newsletters” box on their side menu, the folks at the Times decided to pre-fill the box with your email address, so all that you’d need to do is press the Sign Up button. (But hey, could they make the Sign Up button a little more noticeable?)
NY Times email box

[tags]Web design, CSS, Web marketing[/tags]

Music Geekery

Monday, May 29th, 2006

One of my accomplishments this weekend was installing an AirPort Express module on my wireless network. Let me tell you, my life has significantly improved because of this development. Now I can listen to music from my PowerBook on my stereo system. To boot, I’ve even snagged an optical cable to connect the AirPort Express to my reciever. Oooh digital music enjoyment - and my neighbors definitely are aware of this development.

I shall note, however, that the initial AirPort Express install wasn’t completely enjoyable, mainly because I hadn’t thought to download the latest and greatest software update before attempting install and I spent a good half an hour messing around with old software. But after grabbing the update, everything went smoothly. For the moment the AirPort Express is set up as a client on my network.

Oh, and I do have one suggestion for the technical writers of the AirPort Express manual - it might be a good idea to note in the instruction book that the unit takes a good couple of minutes to boot up and finally get to a solid green indicator light. One of the frustrating things about the initial install process was the fact I was unsure if the AirPort Express was just taking a long time to boot or if I had not installed it correctly.

To celebrate this newfound musical playback capability, I just had to update my music collection. My latest acquisitions include:

-Death Cab for Cutie: Forbidden Love EP, iTunes Originals - Death Cab for Cutie, You Can Play These Songs With Chords, This Temporary Life from The Future Soundtrack for America

-The Postal Service: Assorted singles from The District Sleeps Alone Tonight - EP and We Will Become Silhouettes - EP

-Dntel: Life Is Full of Possibilities, Your Hill from (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan

-Iron & Wine: The Creek Drank The Cradle, Our Endless Numbered Days, The Trapeze Swinger - Single

-Broken Social Scene: Broken Social Scene

-School of Fish: School of Fish

Out of the latest additions, I’m most definitely enjoying the Iron & Wine. Most perfect for a laid back afternoon.

[tags] Music, Music Geek, iTunes, AirPort Express, Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service, Dntel, Iron & Wine, Broken Social Scene, School of Fish, indie, alternative [/tags]

This is a lifestyle post

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

How happy am I that this weekend is a three day weekend for those of us in the United States? Oh so very happy. Not only have temps finally risen to the low 80s with low humidity, but this is my first three day weekend since New Year’s. I’m greatly looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning.

NY Times - Where’s the Petite Department? Going the Way of the Petticoat

The premise: That department stores are discontinuing their petite clothing lines for women because department store petite shoppers are really old and stodgy.

My take: These petite lines are getting discontinued because American women are getting fatter and there aren’t as many petite women to cater to any more. Let me say you’d think that being petite (technically I’m an inch and a half taller than a traditional 5′4″ petite woman) would be easy to shop for, but it’s not. For professional clothing, I can either fit in a size 2 or a petite - depending on the manufacturer. Like for example, at Ann Taylor, I’m a regular size 2 in pants, while fitting into an extra-small shirt size. If I go into a department store, I usually have better luck in the petite department, especially for dresses. However, it seems that if I was a larger size shopping would be easier for me. So there you go.

Update: A messageboard thread about petite sized women trying to find clothes. In addition, a Boston Globe article about 0 being the new 8.

Awe inducing weather imagery from the Midwest.

Finally, a Washington Post article to reflect on during this somber holiday, Marriages tested by scars of war.

[tags]Memorial Day, links [/tags]

MacBook Pro Love

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

We’ve just been full of Apple articles lately, so how about some shots of a MacBook Pro lovingly unpacked and booted up for the very first time.

The one thing I noticed is that the box is about half the size of the box that came with my PowerBook.

[tags]Apple, MacBook Pro[/tags]

Nike+iPod, cool but…

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

I’ve asked a triathlete about the new Nike+iPod Sport Kit and the response was that the idea was cool but why couldn’t there be a New Balance kit?

[tags]Apple, iPod Nano, Nike, gadget, athletics [/tags]

Comcast

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Something is going on with Comcast today as I am having intermittent latency issues getting to Web sites, connecting to IM services and pulling down email.

I don’t think it’s a DNS issue as I tried 3rd party DNS servers and the situation hasn’t improved. I’m getting 408s (server timeouts) when attempting to access Web sites. I dunno, it feels like it has something to do with bandwidth.

Take a lookee here…

PING comcast.net (216.148.227.202): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=0 ttl=47 time=97.994 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=1 ttl=47 time=84.802 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=2 ttl=47 time=80.569 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=3 ttl=47 time=86.192 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=4 ttl=47 time=76.811 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=5 ttl=47 time=76.987 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=6 ttl=47 time=86.273 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=7 ttl=47 time=88.413 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=8 ttl=47 time=87.754 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=9 ttl=47 time=77.124 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=10 ttl=47 time=83.144 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=11 ttl=47 time=94.869 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=12 ttl=47 time=99.985 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=13 ttl=47 time=80.372 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=14 ttl=47 time=93.088 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=15 ttl=47 time=82.616 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=16 ttl=47 time=79.789 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=17 ttl=47 time=80.506 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=18 ttl=47 time=81.784 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=19 ttl=47 time=93.168 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=20 ttl=47 time=97.12 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=21 ttl=47 time=90.595 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=22 ttl=47 time=90.841 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=23 ttl=47 time=78.547 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=24 ttl=47 time=95.618 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=25 ttl=47 time=78.533 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=26 ttl=47 time=79.975 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=27 ttl=47 time=92.663 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=28 ttl=47 time=76.845 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=29 ttl=47 time=79.667 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=30 ttl=47 time=92.518 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=31 ttl=47 time=78.212 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=32 ttl=47 time=77.335 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=33 ttl=47 time=79.327 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=34 ttl=47 time=78.226 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=35 ttl=47 time=79.048 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=36 ttl=47 time=78.725 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=38 ttl=47 time=77.937 ms
64 bytes from 216.148.227.202: icmp_seq=39 ttl=47 time=77.151 ms

— comcast.net ping statistics —
40 packets transmitted, 39 packets received, 2% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 76.811/84.387/99.985 ms

I will call tech support tomorrow if the situation doesn’t improve in the meantime. I don’t have the patience to deal with it at this time. Intermittent means at least I can get to sites and services if I can reload.

Update: Apparently, I’m not the only one complaining about this. See the Broadband Reports thread. Also this morning 5/24, I could get to cnn.com, yahoo.com, etc. but not to cleverhack for the longest time.

Update 2: The issue seems to have been resolved as of the afternoon of 5/24. Also, interestingly enough, my longstanding IP address happened to change too.
[tags]Comcast, routing, broadband, ISP [/tags]

Apple Store Fifth Avenue Grand Opening Roundup

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

My dear loyal readers, here’s my official Apple Store Fifth Avenue Grand Opening Roundup. Just because some of you were asking for it.

First things first, the official Quicktime slideshow can be found by clicking on the image below.

Fifth Ave Apple Store logo
The images begin when my accomplice and I emerge from the 59th Street Subway station just before 9pm, walk around the cube in awe (notice the backwards Apple logo), try to find the end of the line going into the store and literally refused to believe that the line stretched from the store entrance, past the south side of FAO Schwartz all the way around the block to 59th and Madison. The hired security guards couldn’t believe that the line stretched that far, and we overheard one guard exclaiming to another at 59th & Madison. “It ends here?!?”

We then decided to walk around the neighborhood to find a deli or something like that rather than brave the line since getting a t-shirt was out of the question. After our walk, we traveled back to the Apple Store and found that the line was only halfway down the block, so we decided to get in line at about 10:20pm. We really were only in line for maybe 40 minutes (it seemed faster, the weather was nice and people were friendly and yes, we are in the time lapse video) until we actually got inside the store. You can see our progression in the pics. Also check out the Apple Store employees cheering folks going in and out of the store. As we walked in, one employee called out, “Welcome to Apple!”

The store, as I wrote before, was a madhouse as you can see in the pictures. We stayed for about an hour and forty five minutes and aside from seeing celebrities (see the Quicktime for Chappelle), I got to talk to a few Mac-owning folks, tried out a MacBook Pro and a MacBook (check out the MacBook pic) and oh yes went up on the elevator when we were leaving. While I managed to get an Airport Express, I did dissuade the accomplice from getting a MacBook Pro that night, if anything because of the premium of the NYC sales tax and the need for a cab ride back to the 33rd Street PATH Station.

Anyway, one very tired and fun filled evening. Didn’t get back home until 5:30am.

[tags]Apple, Apple Store, Cult of Mac, All the cool kids, black plastic framed glasses[/tags]

Inside the 5th Ave Apple store

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Sorry about the page widening non-images. I can’t apparently send images from my phone. But all is well now.

It is a mad house inside, but people are great. I’ve had a number of people come up and just start talking to me. Currently typing this on a lunchtray - 17 inch MacBook Pro.

Have a great rest of the night kids.

[tags]Apple, Apple Store, Cult of Mac, black plastic framed glasses [/tags]