All posts by snowdeal

are you good with doing a lot with a little? then there’s a contest for you.

“The idea behind the contest is that the rigid constraints of designing for the web are what force us to get truly creative. Between servers and bandwidth, clients and users, HTML and the DOM, browsers and platforms, our conscience and our ego, we’re left in a very small space to find highly optimal solutions. Since the space we have to explore is so small, we have to look harder, get more creative; and that’s what makes it all interesting. Just celebrating that is all.”

need help? the look here, here and here.

ten points for guessing who “he” is. don’t peek.

“Well, I think he’s completely wrong. And he’s completely wrong because of who he is. First of all, his books are terrific. But they’re the books of an analytic historian. He is not a graphic designer. He is not an information architect. He doesn’t have any ideas about graphics and what’s going to happen in the future.”

[via xplane]

bonus points for guessing who has an honorary drinking game in which:

“Every time he quotes statistics from an unrelated study to prove a
point about Web usability, take one drink.”

[via rc3]

is that your final answer? are you sure?

question: ever wondered how long can you leave a stock redhat box on the network before some starts sniffing? it’s only a sample size of one, but here’s one answer. i suspect Bad Things when you mix the proliferation of cable modems, dsl lines, linux and the general human tendancy to not read manuals on implementing security procedures.

[via genehack]

thesis 12:

there are no secrets. the networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

well – reaction to the amazon patent has been [predictably] swift. i suppose this is what happens when a company that has never turned a profit attempts to satisfy shareholders. while i don’t normally bother to attribute links, for some reason i’ll give credit where credit due this time around – namely the following links are pilfered from Scripting News and Hack the Planet.

it seems that usability guru Jacob Nielson has predicted this kind of behavior:

“Many patents on fundamental e-commerce business models and Web user interface improvements will finally issue in 1999. It seems to take 3-4 years for most Internet patent
applications to wind their way through the Patent Office, and since the years 1995 and 1996 were fertile ground for Web inventions we should start seeing many more Web
patents issue soon.

With the Web, futurism has ceased being a luxury: regular visioneering projects are a necessary defense mechanism for anybody who wants to thrive in the network
economy where your fundamental business and customer service become automated and thus patentable. Companies that don’t claim their stake in the future will wake up in
five years and discover that their competitors own all the patents they need to be on the Web.

not suprisingly – he has been taking his own advice – with some very innovative patents to boot:

“Nielsen, J.: Method and system for efficient organization of selectable elements on a graphical user interface, U.S. Patent 6,005,567 (1999)”

not that it’s going to make a big impact on amazon, but i became the 44th person to join the nowebpatents boycott”

“Marketplaces pay a very high cost to grant patents — patents inhibit open markets and stifle competition. Patents should only be issued in cases where someone can copy an innovation for a
drastically lower cost than the innovator’s original investment.

In this case, the patents cover the general mechanism behind one-click shopping and affiliate programs. However, any good programmer will tell you that the general mechanism is easy to design. It’s the actual implementation, the programs themselves, that’s difficult to produce.’s implementation, which accounts for the bulk of their investment in these technologies, is already protected by copyright law, and doesn’t need the addition of a patent.”

the .bookshelf links have also been changed to point to fatbrain [although it will take me some time to change all the archived links].

finally – a parting cheapshot directed towards people who are probably asked to do too much with too little:

“USPTO Employment Application

1. Name ______________ 2. Date _______________
3. DOB _______________ 4. SSN ________________

5. I.Q. (check one)
( ) Moron
( ) Idiot
( ) Dim-wit
( ) Liberal Arts Flunkee

(Y or N) Have you ever been affiliated with a terrorist organization or
received a grade D or or better on an engineering examination?

(Y or N) Can you be trained to operate a rubber stamp within a period
of 16 weeks?

(Y or N) Are you able to employ a method and process for inducing
condensation upon a reflecting surface?

(Y or N) Do you agree that you deserve a patent for the above?

(Y or N) Were you alive when Al Gore invented the Internet?

(Y or N) Do you agree he deserves a patent for that?