At the Ref Desk (12/13/18): Last shift of the year. See you in 2019! [more...]
Subscribe to RSS - Leo Klein's blog

Leo Klein's blog

Podcast: David Platt on 'Why Software Sucks'

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/9/07 (11:44pm)

"It just works", repeats author David Platt almost as a mantra in this Podcast from IT Conversations. That's what software is supposed to do.

Users aren't interested in what goes on behind the scenes. All they want to do is accomplish their goals with the least amount of hassle.

Captcha of the Day

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/9/07 (7:40am)

Hoo Baby! I caught a live one! No less than 10 characters long that you have to input perfectly in order to create an account at Myspace.com!

Fear of the spambot creating too many accounts? Is that the problem? Not that I'm complaining -- this one's worth it. Hello, 'mhhh5h7D7J', nice to meet you! (Though naturally I blew it on the first try.)

Dear ScienceDirect,

This is my semi-annual message to you explaining how awful, frustrating and ultimately self-defeating your registration process is.

Topic: 

The Usability of Logging In

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 1/4/07 (12:17pm)

Emre Sokullu writes about the "big barrier" of logging in to a site and what companies do to make things easier:

Keep It Fields!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/3/07 (5:12pm)

As anyone familiar with Chicago knows, changing the name of "Marshall Fields" to "Macy's" by Federated Department Stores is a sore subject around here.

Now the Chicago Tribune reports:

Location: 

DRM Down the Drain?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/2/07 (1:49pm)

'DRM' stands for 'Digital Rights Management'. It's a way for content owners, particularly in the music industry, to control the way a product is used after it's been sold to the consumer.

Needless to say, for most consumers this really means 'Digital Restrictions Management' and most don't like it. Nevertheless, the music industry has seen fit to shove it down our throats no matter what. Apparently their approach isn't working:

Revenue from digital downloads and mobile content is expected to be flat or, in some cases, decline next year. If the digital market does in fact stall, alternatives to DRM will look much more attractive. (Reuters 1/2/07)

So what's the solution? Things are getting so bad for the music industry that they're actually thinking about dumping DRM and releasing their music as mp3's! Yes, the single most popular digital format on the planet and the recording industry is only thinking of embracing it now -- and then only as a form of market capitulation. Oh brave new world!

When Is TV Not TV? (When It's IPTV!)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 12/30/06 (1:16pm)

AT&T - Your world. Our Restrictions.In order to get its proposed merger with Bell South approved by the FCC, AT&T has agreed to abide by Net Neutrality at least for its DSL service. Initial reaction to this was largely positive echoing the conclusion of Tim Wu:

Institution: 

Person of the Year: Ms. Dewey (Janina Gavankar)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 12/27/06 (3:26pm)



After a pain-staking process of vetting countless candidates, I'm pleased to announce that this year's CL Person of the Year is none other than Ms. Dewey (aka Janina Gavankar).

Pages