Readability

WCAG 2.0 is at release candidate stage and if you're bored already you should probably skip this post! One of the big things about WCAG is that they are attempting to make everything automatically testable. The idea is that you should be able to apply a tool and get an accurate idea of your conformance level. WCAG 1 had too many guidelines that you had to do by hand. Quite a chore when your site has over 30 000 pages.

Channel Ten cheating on content?

How do you squeeze in more ads into a one-hour program? Channel Ten's found a cunning way.

I came across this phenomenon when watching Burn Notice for the first time on Ten a few nights ago. Something just didn't sound right -- everyone's voice was slightly higher. I played the US source against Channel Ten to make sure I wasn't going insane.

I was right. Everything was slightly higher. This is typically caused by the source being played faster, like when you hit the "2x" button on an audio tape and hear chipmunks.

What Top Gear has others don't

I was watching "The Car Show" on Win this afternoon, and it dawned on me how boring it was. I watched an episode of Top Gear afterwards to compare.

I reckon there's three key elements:

  • The presenters
  • The music
  • The Camera work

The presenter on "The car show" just don't have interesting voices. It feels like they're trying, but they're just not genuinely interesting. Maybe its because what they're saying isn't interesting...

Further exploring the FUI

Jeff Atwood recently wrote an entry about the Fake User Interface (FUI), and how spammers use it to install spyware on unsuspecting user's PCs.

Trawling through the comments, you get various suggestions as to how to combat the problem. But they won't work. Things like disabling javascript, banning javascript alert(), having a random window chrome, even educating users about spyware; all of them are doomed to failure, because of the two invariants:

The union, standing up for..them

So, you paid your $500-or-so to the union every year, expecting that they'll stand up for you, your working conditions, and your fellow union members, right?

Hate to break it to you, but all your hard-earned dollars are going towards is funding union propaganda.

The ACCC's certified agreement is due to expire at the end of November; and under the new workplace relations laws, is required to hold a ballot to decide whether employees wanted a union-negotiated agreement, or an employee-collective agreement. The union (the CPSU) lost, badly (313 to 151).

Web 2.0: Sorta like Windows 1.0

It struck me the other day that there's two things Web 2.0 just can't get right:

  • A consistent user interface, and
  • Cut and paste

How many UIs do you need to learn to use three web apps (say, GMail, Flickr and Facebook)? Yep, you got it, three.

There's no established place for putting things, no established interface for performing operations, and no standard established "look and feel".

New computers not fast anymore

Anything up to a few years ago, when you bought a new computer, there was always that thrill that the new machine just felt so much faster. I'd typically get a new CPU every 2 to 3 years. Upgrading from a 300Mhz Pentium 2 to a 866Mhz Pentium 3; then a 3Ghz Pentium 4. Every time, the machine was around three times faster (and certainly felt it!).