Friday, June 30, 2006

IE7 Beta 3 available for download!

Microsoft just announced the availability of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3. Here's what you can expect in this release:

  • Tab Reordering!

  • New Icons

  • Authenticated FTP

  • Email button added back to toolbar

  • Magnify images with a simple magnifying glass icon

  • Refresh all feeds

  • Mark feeds as read

  • Keyboard shortcuts

  • Security fixes

  • Improved printing

Microsoft reccomends uninstalling any previous beta release of IE7 before installing this version.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Web 2.0 Watch: Create your own Social Web Apps with Ning

For many, Web 2.0 is based on community and sharing online. Ning provides a platform to create your own social Web application in minutes. Ning promises that you can create:

  • Your own photo or video sharing website (like Flickr, Shutterfly or YouTube)
  • Your own group or social network (for your friends or school)
  • Your own reviews site for anything (like Citysearch or IGN )
  • Your own ratings or voting site (like Hot-or-Not™)
  • Your own marketplace (like Craigslist for your own group)

All this can be achieved by cloning and modifying existing Ning apps, or, for the developers out there, delving deeper into writing some code.

I browsed around some apps on Ning, and although very compelling, they all looked virtually identical. Sure, the tools may be there to modify to your liking, but it doesn't seem to be the norm right now.

With maturity, Ning could become a great launching pad for some good social Web ideas, but they must first make it even more accessible for non-developers and provide easy to use customization tools to allow each app to stand on its own. This is one to keep an eye on.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Second Life's creator answers protesters

Philip Rosedale, Linden Lab CEO and creator of online virtual world Second Life, writes in his blog about SL's third birthday, the protesters, and the future. He makes some interesting points, which make me think he's either a true visionary, or a little bit on the crazy side. Probably a bit of both.

Second Life turns 3 today...amidst protests from residents

The online virtual world of Second Life turns 3 years old today. Unfortunately, in-world protesters promise to bring the festivities down a notch.

Recently, Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, changed their policy of requiring a credit card as age verification to sign up. Many residents are concerned that this is going to let in a rash of griefers and script kiddies that frequently cause problems by scamming people and causing grid crashes.

The protests today are designed to get Linden Lab to rethink their new "no credit card" policy to minimize the influx of teen sign ons. Linden Lab also runs a teen only grid for Second Life, and that's where the teens belong, according to the protesters.

To me, this is a case of art imitating real life. When large groups of people get together, there are always conflicts, and the vocal protest. In this case, they may just have a point, but I will not support the protests during SL's birthday. It's supposed to be a celebration. Let's make it one and save the whales another day.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

10,000 Miles!

My 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid just reached 10,000 miles! My average MPG since I bought the car is just under 50. Not bad!

Now I have to do something about that "maintenance required" light that came on. I'm thinking duct tape.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Low usability = high annoyance. Duh!

Sandra Rossi of Computerworld Today (Australia) mentions in her article, What Users Hate Most About Web Sites, that a web site that is hard to use causes people to get annoyed and leave the site.

So what do users hate? Ads, complexity, confusion, distractions, know, the things that everyone hates about anything. What I find interesting is that articles like this make good design principles seem like a revelation. It's not brain surgery, people. It's common sense. If you don't like a wordy, ad-filled web site, there's a good chance many others feel the same way.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flock browser beta launches...raises more dough

Flock is a Mozilla based browser with additional features, including photo integration with Flickr or photobucket, social bookmarking integration with or Shadows, a blogging tool, enhanced search and an RSS reader.

As a matter of fact, I am using the beta right now to write this post. Check it out

Blogged with Flock

Monday, June 12, 2006

My new design/usability web site

I figured it was about time to create a site dedicated to my work and professional life. Let's face it, if we don't promote ourselves, don't expect anyone else to!

With the launch of, I have managed to put together my philosophy of good design, which I call the R.A.I.D. Philosophy of Good Design. Visit the site to read what R.A.I.D. is all about.

The site is still very much under construction, so don't expect too much...yet.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Get your Windows Vista today!

Windows Vista, Microsoft's next operating system, is still in beta. But Microsoft just announced that it has opened the beta to the public with its Windows Vista Customer Preview Program (CPP). Are you brave enough to try it?