Friday, December 23, 2005

Quam diu redux  Here's what Bush's illegal wiretapping comes down to: "..[T]here is only black and white when it comes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a 1978 law that specifically requires warrants for any NSA wiretapping of U.S. citizens. "If you want to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens, you go to court. If you don't, you go to jail," Bamford says. "If you want to change the law, you go to Congress."
O tempora, o mores indeed.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Happy Holidays  Christina and Tom the Dancing Bug weigh in on this nonissue.
Ugh...  America's shame. Not defendable other than under the First Amendment. They have the right to hate....

Thursday, December 08, 2005

When Help Doesn't  Sometimes software ships with online help that doesn't help the user at all. Either the prose is turgid or it belabors the obvious...or it doesn't answer critical questions. Apparently the new ThinkPad has problems For example, "Teaching the laptop what your fingerprint looks like requires a good bit of effort, no thanks to the colorless prose of the online help screens" indicates that not only is the hardware design flawed, but the help doesn't. Too bad. I bet that when Lenovo bought the ThinkPad line, they didn't hire IBM's writers.
New Version of Windows  Now we're getting new windows for the house! O Frabjous day! Calooh! Callay! They are Milgard windows that Best Windows of Mechanicsville, Virginia, installed. Best is a local firm that has a good rep. I like the fact that we're helping out the local economy...not just paying some conglomerate to do it. The windows themselves come from Fredericksburg. Pictures soon....but right now, it's cold cold cold, what with no front windows & all.
Indeed, these are the only Windows I'll pay for ;)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tagging  No, it has nothing to do with graffiti. It also doesn't have anything to do with marking animals in the least not in the context I'm interested in. Instead, it's about adding markers to pieces of content to make them easier to retrieve.
Flickr probably does it best. Not only do they have an extraordinarily great user experience design, they enable individuals to create their own sense of meaning through tags to each photo. The approach is gaining acceptance and notice: Even Cnet has found out.
One key effect is that users don't have to depend on an info priesthood to dictate what terms and thesauri are available.