- Those early Priuses are still going strong, ten years later.
- Never put critical private information online unless you are certain it’s protected. Your tax documents could show up in search results.
- Optimizing a Screen for Mobile Use (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)
- Why bad science reporting matters: Churn The Other Cheek
- Homeopathy vs. Science: A Metaphor
Recent Links: Comic Strips, Moon, Hotspot Safety, Flash Forward and More
- SMBC: Where does the time go when you play online games?
- XKCD: Server Attention Span
- The Joy of Tech: The Internet is running out of tubes. (via @brionv)
- Classic Spamusement: They hold a whole lot of it. I had no idea….
- Bizarro on Facebook slacktivism (at Failblog).
Sci-fi and fantasy:
- Keeping Up With the Cardassians. For months, this is what I heard every time someone mentioned the Kardashians. (What can I say? My brain is more attuned to Star Trek than to reality TV.)
- Author Robert J. Sawyer answers pointed questions about Flashforward and the TV adaptation, including what went wrong. I have to agree that it was really hurt by focusing too heavily on the conspiracy arc.
- Discovery spacewalk seen from the ground (Thierry Legault, of course!)
- Majestic Snow Batman towers over Vermont
- Ultra hi-res moon. The full-sized image is 24,000 x 24,000 pixels and half a gigabyte!
- Flash Coffee is a product tie-in just waiting to happen! (That F’ing Monkey). It would fit right in with the Central City Track Team shirt.
- Gmail accidentally reset thousands of accounts last month. (They got it back — this is Google after all.) I’ve come to rely heavily on Gmail, but I still keep a local copy of all my email in case something like this happens. (Engadget, via @pobox)
- 6 ways to use public Wi-Fi hot spots safely (C|NET).
- Mobile Content Is Twice as Difficult (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox)
- Map of smartphone marketshare by OS & manufacturer [dead link]. It’s a 3-way split between iPhone, Android and Blackberry. iPhone & Blackberry are of course each one manufacturer, while Android is divided mainly among HTC, Samsung and Motorola. (via @androidandme)
- Things Real People Don’t Say About Your App or website (via @brionv)
Firefox 4 Beta: The Missing Status Bar
If you’ve been following the Firefox 4 betas, you’ve probably noticed that they’re dumping the status bar. OK, a lot of people didn’t use it, but here’s the thing:
When you hover over a link, the status bar tells you where it will take you.
This is important (especially for security) — important enough that they’ve moved the functionality elsewhere…but in a broken manner. They’ve put it into the location bar — you know, the field where you type in a URL, or look to see where you are.
The problem is that there isn’t room in the location bar to show the full URL of a hovered link except for very short links. The status bar has the entire width of the browser. The location bar has to share that space with the navigation buttons, the search box, the feedback button (during the beta), any custom toolbar buttons, the site name on secure websites, etc.
Just about every link I hover over ends up with critical information cut off in the “…” between the start of the hostname and the parameters at the end. That’s almost useless. (Almost, because at least the hostname is visibla, but it would help to see the page name as well.)
Displaying the target URL in some way is core functionality for a web browser, and you shouldn’t remove or break core functionality. In some ways this is worse than the proposal a few years ago to remove “View Source,” because that at least isn’t core functionality for a browser (though it is core functionality for the web, because it encourages people to explore and tinker and learn how to make their own websites — which is exactly why that was put back in). It’s crazy that I need to install an add-on to get back something as basic as a working preview for links.
If This Were a Real Emergency, You’d Be Dead By Now
I suppose I can understand putting one of those “If this is an emergency, please hang up and call 911” messages on a health insurance phone menu. But if you’re going to have one, shouldn’t you put it before the five-minute member identification/sign-in process, not after?
Admittedly, the process only took that long because their voice recognition system wasn’t getting along with my voice, but still, isn’t the point to route people to the fastest response in an emergency?
Links! Alarms, Ghosts of History, Firefly Trek, WW2 Star Wars & More
Serious stuff (news, usability, history, etc.):
- Too many alarms can be as bad as none, if people learn to ignore them. Aesop knew it, but modern society keeps forgetting. (NY Times via NN Group)
- Then and now: Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov blends World War II photos with images of the same locations today. I’m a member of a Flickr group that does this with more general timeframes, Looking Into the Past, though I’ve only contributed one myself. It blends the 1997 and 2007 views of the UCI Student Center.
- The Internet Storm Center offers tips on protecting computers from lightning.
- CNN asks: Why are food allergies on the rise? Short answer: we still don’t know. (To preserve your sanity, don’t read the comments.)
And not so serious:
- Fantastic image: Firefly crew as the Enterprise crew. Classic Star Trek, of course. One thing that really struck me was the reminder that there’s really only one woman among the regular classic Trek cast: Uhura. Nurse Chapel and Yeoman Rand are there, but neither of them would really have had the kind of focus that Kaylee, Zoe, Inara and River have here.
- Incredible custom action figure maker Sillof collaborated with Glorbes on a Star Wars in World War II series.
- The webcomic SMBC presents: The Logogeneplex! I’m pretty sure I’ve read stuff that this was used on. (Warning: archives are NSFW.)