Recently in Opinion Category

Many ad-driven sites have photo galleries. They're great because they garner easy impressions because the uses must advance (click) through to each next photo, turning one visit into 10 (or more) impressions.

I was logged into my "my.yahoo.com" home-page-portal-thing (in which I encountered another misfortune/bug I can blog about later) where I followed a link to a "Bit Kit" photo gallery showing off various cases for carrying and storing drill bits.

The slide show navigation did a wonderful job of setting the expectation that there would be 10 related photos in this gallery. I clicked and clicked my way through the gallery, each click confirmed the expectation... "Slide 1 of 10", -CLICK- , "Slide 2 of 10", ect...

For me, the final photo in a photo gallery is particularly fun to anticipate as sometimes It's the climax of the gallery and I'm often disappointed when it isn't. The concluding photo in this photo gallery was an anti-climax if anything. It was a freaking Advertisement.

IMHO, a site's objective from a usability perspective is to give the user a predictable experience. You build up expectations through consistent design and functionality and then with every new page and every user interaction the site confirms the expectation, the product being a predictable site.

It is dishonest to build that expectation that with each next click a new photo in the gallery will appear and then, on the final photo, rub the user's nose in the fact that they (the user) just put a few advertiser dollars in the site owner's pockets.

The slippery slope

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Whilst checking my hotmail I see a featured Microsoft article titled, "10 things every single girl must own". The title got my attention, and curiously I clicked.

10 things every single girl must own

  1. A fabulous photo of yourself
  2. A pretty pair of heels
  3. An Eminem CD
  4. A great pickup line... and a way to blow 'em off
  5. A six-pack of good bottled beer
  6. Bathroom reading
  7. A business card
  8. Earplugs
  9. A straight male friend on your speed-dial
  10. A condom
* T H U D*

That was my jaw hitting my desk after reading the subscripts to each suggested must own items in the list.

Is this the advice we are giving to girls these days?

How sad.

My suggested title:

10 things every deceiving, unimaginative, girl with no self worth must own.

Read the article

Dear MasterCard

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'This is a blatant display of judicial arrogance where a non-elected federal judge has shown a total disregard for what 70% of Nebraska voters state.'

-Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

I don't get it. Ok, I do get it. These damn judges think they know what's best for us -- and they don't. They're playing god and they don't think we care. I get so peeved every time some judge pulls some crap like this.

They don't care about what the people want, they care about when their next paycheck will come from and from what special interest group it will come from.

Ahhh. I'm gonna take a breather.

Yahoo! Story

Google News

Personal Data

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44678.gif I found this comic somewhere on Yahoo's Finance page. Hey, if you wanna pay my bills please send me an email and I'll set up.

What's scary is the breach over at LexisNexis. Everyone's personal information in the world (ok, maybe not everyone, but let's assume) is on a computer somewhere open on the internet. Sure it's under lock and key, but didn't these people that swiped 300,000 people's info from LexisNexis simply pose as a business that claimed to have a justification to snoop around in our personal records? So our info is open to anyone at a bank, lender, or any business in the finance world that has access to these databases.

Now what really scares me is what will happen if EVERYONE'S identity got stolen? Is it too far fetched to think that someone with the right access could hack say every united states citizen's info?

Imagine that. EVERYONE'S info. Then nobody would have an identity. Umm, how would I buy gas? Umm, and how would I keep the fridge full? Just use cash, right? Okay, I have a buck in my pocket and maybe Five in change at home. I don't carry cash, why when McDonald's takes credit.

And what would the banks do? Unless your teller knows you personally do you think they'll let any money out of that bank?

It's all too creepy for me to think about. There is no such thing as security on the web. Security is just a belief anyway, it's not concrete because you're only secure until it's too late.

What a dooms-day post right? Well, okay, maybe. If you need me I'll be filling my mattress up with greenbacks and stocking up on food and ammo :)

Software is too expensive

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This article explains how Microsoft's efforts at delivering a lower-priced, slimed-down version of XP isn't doing so well in bootleg-saturated areas of Asia.

How does a price cut help if you're removing features? It doesn't, we want our software and we want it cheap. If it's not cheap most people will find a way to get it for free.

Now I believe that if all of these companies would price their software at reasonable prices more people would actually buy them. For instance, *most* people have a real problem paying the ~$300 for once license of Windows XP. ( amazon.com )
The same goes for Macromedia's and Adobe's products. Macromedia Studio MX 2004 is going for around $1,000 dollars and Adobe's Creative Suite is over $1,000 dollars.

I could see paying $100 for windows and $300 for Macromedia's and Adobe's Development Suites. Then it would be worth it. I think these software companies are loosing out on serious revenues to so many people that want to do the right thing, but can't afford it. But I'm sure some bean counter in all these companies work out some fancy numbers to find the right balance with the maximum return.

I just had to get that off of my chest.

President George W. Bush for 4 more years

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Kerry Concides.

George W. Bush, President gets a call from Sen. John Kerry

One thing I like about Bush is that he takes a stand - I don't think America wanted a president that wouldn't take a stand. Here are some clips of interviews from ESPN that help illustrate my point.

You may have to save these files locally to view them.

What pisses me off is T.V. and news anchors will have you believe one thing, that Kerry is winning. But the truth is otherwise! See for yourself!

http://news.yahoo.com/electionresults

National Results

Not yet called = State not yet called Republican = State called for Bush Democrat = State called for Kerry

I cast my vote today!

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2004 Astros: End of an incredible run.

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The Astros were beat 5-2 last night by the St. Louis Cardinals. { Game Recap }

This picture sums up what I think all Astros fans are feeling at the moment.

Jose Vizcaino sits alone in dugout after 5-2 loss to Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS

Feelings of disappointment, sorrow, mixed with awe that this bunch even made it so far. I know we were chosen before the season started, but after our mid-season drought who would have imagined we would have made it so far? All we can do now is ponder what could have happened in games 6 and 7 if Phil Garner would have done this-or-that as opposed to how he did decide to manage the games.

I also leave this season with some hope for the next. Now that we've made it so far this season makes the WS even more realistic to us.

I just really hope Carlos Beltran stays in Houston. I know all kinds of teams will have interest in him. What worries me are those teams that sling money aroud like its nothing. When considering whether to sign with the Astros, Beltran said he would like the club to make a commitment to keeping the team's young nucleus together, including pitcher Roy Oswalt, outfielder Lance Berkman and shortstop Adam Everett.

Phil Garner and Carlos Beltran.

It is important," Beltran said. "I played for years in Kansas City, and they would tell me they were going to build around me and around my swing, and they never did it.

"I experienced being on a team where they don't do anything to help the ballclub. One of my priorities if I stay with this ballclub will be keeping the young guys, Berkman, Everett, Oswalt. Our young players have potential to be real good."

Well, at the end of the day I'm left a bit dissapointed, but my 'stros really made a good effort this post season. My hat's off to them.

beltran tips hat to croud




Related Stories:
Despite loss, Astros 'did some great things'

Beltran to explore options in offseason

Disappointed Clemens looks back at great ride

John Kerry Campaign Ad

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This John Kerry campaign ad is hilarious.

Download it - Spread it!
File Type: MP3
File Size: 2MB

Team USA Basketball

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Well, our USA Men's Basket Ball team hasing been playing too well in Greece. We could get a medal, but I'm not seeing it with this group. Anyway, I like the suggestion from ESPN.

Watch the video. [ Size: 4MB | Type: WMV ]

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