Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Does presentation matter?

Ben Metcalfe asks a good question. Here's the best part:
Or does it go out of the window entirely? With RSS there is presentation. It’s just user-selected presentation – either explicitly through a custom stylesheet or implicitly through the choice of newsreader used (and it’s look and feel is uses to render the content). Either way, it’s no longer under the control of the content provider, so why bother?
User selected presentation is increasingly important. One of my favorite Firefox and Safari features is "ctrl +" to increase font size on certain pages to make them readable for me. Like RSS, it's all about control.

This also makes sense from a web services perspective. If you are writing a service, you presentation is an XML stream. If you are consuming that service via some sort of gadget or web part, then you can present that information in whichever way makes sense. The user of that gadget controls whether and where it is displayed in a portal interface. You might even give the user of your gadget the option to change how the information is displayed by the gadget.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Search tips

Liz is blogging the Internet Librarian conference, including Mary Ellen Bates' 30 search tips. BTW, I have a 20Q. It's fun, but easy enough to stump. That sort of technology migrating to search would be an interesting development.

The case for EVDO

The utter cluelessness that Liz documents here is shocking. In fact, it's so appalling that you have to wonder if it is a scam set up by someone other than the hotel. On the bright side, one trip a month justifies EVDO service.

Sports snark

It's not very nice of me, but I'm celebrating the Astros being down 2-0 in the Series and hoping for a 4-0 White Sox sweep. Yes, I'm bitter about the Cardinals loss, but I have never been a fan of the wild card. If you can't win your division, you don't belong in the post season. Period.

We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

CIO extinction?

Not really. Fewer are likely to report to the CEO, and more are likely to report to the CFO. Thank SarbOx for the change. Recommend my child go in to accounting? I think not.

Continuous partial attention and screen size

Jason Kottke points to this NYT article:
The researchers took 15 volunteers, sat each one in front of a regular-size 15-inch monitor and had them complete a variety of tasks designed to challenge their powers of concentration - like a Web search, some cutting and pasting and memorizing a seven-digit phone number. Then the volunteers repeated these same tasks, this time using a computer with a massive 42-inch screen, as big as a plasma TV.

The results? On the bigger screen, people completed the tasks at least 10 percent more quickly - and some as much as 44 percent more quickly. They were also more likely to remember the seven-digit number, which showed that the multitasking was clearly less taxing on their brains.
I'm going to submit my 42-inch plasma monitor request shortly.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Grab bag

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fat app futures

Spurred by Jonathan Schwartz's keynote, Tim Bray discusses desktop application futures:
Most ordinary database-backed business apps have migrated into the browser and they’re not coming back, no matter how great Windows Vista is. Given that, what kind of apps justify the irritation and inconvenience of having to download ’em and update ’em and back up the data and so on? Jonathan lists a few, including the browser itself, Skype, Google Earth, OpenOffice. But what’s the pattern behind that list? From right now in 2005, I see three families of desktop apps that are here for the long haul: First the browser itself, including variations like news readers and music finders, whether P2P or centralized. Second, realtime human-to-human communication, spanning the spectrum from text to voice to video. Third, content creation: PhotoShop, Excel, DreamWeaver, and whatever we’ll need for what we’re creating tomorrow.
I don't see much to argue with here. I use my browser far more than any other app (family 1). Next up is email (family 2). It's a big dropoff after that to Word, Powerpoint, and Excel (family 3).