Friday, March 30

Microsoft IE7 horrible UI layout changes. There has been a lot of complaints that Microsoft's upgrade from IE6 to IE7 included unnecessary layout changes of the menu and toolbar. For ten years, users have gotten used to how web browsers work, with the Home and Refresh buttons near the URL input control towards the left, and the pulldown menus across the top.

But for IE7, Microsoft appears to have made some "random" changes-- now moving the Home button to the bottom right, the refresh button to the top right, and the menus under some new buttons on the bottom right.

Why would Microsoft make such a dramatic change? It is as if Ford motor corporation suddenly decided to switch the position of the brake and gas pedals, and moved the stereo controls to the passenger door.

One theory has been that Microsoft did extensive usage analysis, and redid the UI to make the most common operations easier to get to. However, that would be a dumb idea given that every already has muscle memory for controls as they are today, and given that the new IE7 layout is *not* dramatically better.

Here's another evil theory:

We've all seen that Microsoft is bleeding market share to the free Firefox browser.

But while Microsoft still has leading share, maybe they are actually more clever (and evil) than we gave them credit for-- maybe Microsoft is trying to quickly (even if painfully) retrain its large market share to use control layout of IE7, so that when that mass-market first tries Firefox (and they will), they will find Firefox the one with the "odd layout", and thus be more likely to stay with IE7.
8:47 AM; digg

Wednesday, March 21

Corporate spam. One of the interesting types of spam I get is unsolicited bulk emails sent from some "legitimate" corporation to me. I'm going to create a public archive of some of these emails. I figure that since these senders believe in unsolicited bulk email, I can do them a favor by publishing their email addresses-- that way, the spam harvesting robots can more easily pick up the email addresses of these sales people to make sure they receive hundreds more unsolicited bulk emails every day.
11:40 AM; digg

Saturday, March 10

Barack Obama speech from 26 October 2002 (wow).

Delivered in Chicago at Federal Plaza at an anti Iraq war rally organized by the ANSWER coalition...

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

I don't oppose all wars.

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.

I don't oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

I don't oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income - to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear - I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president today. You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure that the UN inspectors can do their work, and that we vigorously enforce a non-proliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not - we will not - travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.
10:35 PM; digg

Monday, March 5

I've always wanted an undell utility which would remove all the crap that Dell installs on a new PC. I'm still configuring a new Windows PC I got a few weeks ago; I was trying to kill the stupid InstallShield Update Manager. Clever, those software companies, who use fear of broken PCs to get you to install their background software. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that all these applications try to upsell you from time to time. So given that InstallShield did not ship with any way to uninstall it, I asked The Google. Sure enough, there has been enough consumer backlash on this one to force the InstallShield folks to develop a separate application I need to download just to remove InstallShield!

When will software companies learn carrot vs. stick? Make decent software, provide excellent customer service, and build loyalty through the simplicity and utility of your software, not via tricks to force users to continue using your crappy software.

For more info about initial Windows setup, see my Windows setup page.
6:32 AM; digg

Saturday, March 3

Which Q&A community is the best? I just posted the same question (about Microsoft Exchange Distribution Lists) to LinkedIn and Yahoo Answers; let's see which one gets better answers...
9:41 AM; digg

Friday, March 2

God has mercy on my soil, even if I don't stick up for what the bible teacheas.

From: Jason Burdette
Date: Mar 2, 2007 9:54 PM

Praised Be Jesus Christ!


I hope God has mercy on your soil. The Catholic church sticks to its teachings,
you liberals have people have problem with it or any church sticks up for what
the bible teacheas. I will be praying for you.

God Bless
10:38 PM; digg


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