Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Great Design and Bad Programmers

I have tons to talk about today so I'm going to get right to it. Joel Splosky has put up his Introduction to Great Design, and it's a fun read, as all his articles are. It's not too long either, and it's an introduction to how important an intuitive UI really is. It's the first of many articles, and I can already tell that they're going to be good because he brings up the kinds of flaws in gadgets that people tend to brush off and live with, which is the wrong approach. Hacknot put up a list of 26 programmer personalities, which covers all the letters of the alphabet, and it's as humorous as it is true. My favorites are C++ Colin and Open Source Oliver, because I've witnessed both phenomenons. This is an especially good read for other CS majors because it's a precursor of what to expect out there in the real world. I think one of the worst stereotpes on that list is the Hacker Henry. I think there's a fine line between my coding world and my normal world. I sometimes consider problems posed in class when I'm bored (like just walking around), but I wouldn't use it as a panacea. Arrogance, unforunately, is one of the most common vices you'll discover among computer scientists. I almost consider it analogous to the tragic flaw you find in plays from Ancient Greece (and even a good amount of Shakespeare).

Google sadly broke its anti-evil campaign today by ceding to the Chinese government. Google China will now censor certain pages, and they will not offer Gmail or Blogger to them for fear of being subpoenaed for data by the government. I feel that they were cornered in that situation and I can see their concerns with staying adamant, but if everyone folds to the government's will, who will stand up for the people? Microsoft actually gave up a fight itself, but theirs was with the EU. They now have to license their source code to allow European developers to write software better compatible with Windows, which is actually a very good thing. I guess being a programmer my opinion in that situation is biased, but it is what it is. Apple has recently piloted a program called iTunes U to allow Universities to distribute audio and video content (mostly from lectures), and it has now begun to expand more after some successful starts at Stanford and Duke among others. The content offered is free, but I suspected that the colleges have to pay a fee (though I really don't know). It's a neat idea, and would be great for having audio tours right on your iPod. Lastly, the ESRB has decided to censor future E3s from having booth babes. This is a travesty because they were so hot! More importantly though, I think it's taking things too far. Honestly, how many kids go to E3? It's not meant for kids, but rather for journalists and other studios. It's not like they're naked or anything.

There's very little movie news (I sifted through all the crap already on your behalf), which is good because I still have to pack, prepare for tomorrow, and double check some homework. Suicide Girls got an interview with Wes Craven, who released a few interesting tidbits. For one thing, Feast, the Project Greenlight film, has apparently been pulled from its previous release date (which I believe was this month). It sounds like it's actually decent so that's sad to hear, but hopefully it'll make it to theaters. Craven said that he won't be involved with Scream 4 because he's tired of Miramax, which means that we can expect it to blow. IGN has some video interviews with actors and the director (who explains his reasons for doing it) from Annapolis, which I mention because I think that Justin Lin has the makings of a great director and I don't want to sell this movie short without seeing it. I hope it's something special, I really do. Lastly, JoBlo snagged a few new pictures from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which I thought I'd plug for my horror junkie readers.

Since there's no exciting picture to share today from the news, I thought I'd showcase this nicely phrased postcard from PostSecret:

Click to enlarge

Now for the Wednesday Mind Hump (though my mind has been humped to no end by today being so long):

1. How many pets do you have? What species? Ages?
None, my dad didn't allow pets.

2. Do you know anyone who has a creepy/odd pet, like a spider or a hog?
My old science teacher in the 7th grade had a pet snake and we'd watch it eat gerbils. You'd be surprised how many 7th graders that'll entertain.

3. What do pets mean to you?
They're good companions and very loyal. They're more reliable than most people, and they're easy to please so they're fun to have around. Plus, a lot of times they're your bodyguard. I guess that last one only applies to dogs, but oh well.

For the folks without pets . . .

4. Forget dressing your pets, let's talk about dressing yourself! What are your favorite items of clothing in your closet? What do you just HAVE to be wearing when you leave the house?
I love anything with "Banana Republic" on the label because I feel trendy and they really do make me look good. I always wear this wooden cross I got from my confirmation retreat back in high school because it marked a big paradigm shift in my life, I met someone who changed my life there, and I can always glance at it if I ever lose my way.

5. Think back when you were in high school. Are you proud of the way you dressed, or do you wish you could go back and change it all?
I'm not really all that proud of it, but I don't really care because it was high school. I don't care what those people thought of me then or now. I was overweight for half of high school so anything I wore pretty much looked bad on me.

There will be no post tomorrow whatsoever. I will not be here tomorrow night and won't return until Friday night. I will try to post on Saturday to compensate, but it may not be until Saturday evening. Sorry about all this, but this interview just kind of came out of nowhere and I have to pursue it or I'll regret it more than the classes I'll miss.


Russ said...

Thanks for humping!

[Mat] said...

Great card.

No more booth babes... well. I can understand that, I suppose.

Got an interview?
Good for you!

LizzieDaisy said...

Love the card too... and must say, I know WAY too many X-Files Xaviers. Bahaha. :)