The L.A. Times shows us how …

The L.A. Times shows us how easy it is to publish an article with extreme bias. [Note the author’s affiliation at the bottom.] Peter Merholz points out that a bias should be expected because this is written on the newspaper’s opinion page. Peter’s right. Several other readers have mentioned that a lot of the facts in this article are wrong and that any self-respecting newspaper would have checked them prior to publication.

The Web Bug FAQ.

Tara Calishain sent me this link to anti-leech.com.

I’m very disappointed in NewMedia.com’s new site design. While it’s a wonderful example of what DHTML can do, it’s also an excellent example of how far we have to go before cross-browser DTHML GUIs are acceptable. The little scroll arrows fail to work completely in Netscape/Mac 4.7. I’m guessing a pretty good chunk of their audience still uses Netscape on a Macintosh. The site also loads very slowly on a fast connection. I cringe to think of what this is like over a modem. Maybe they’ll change it back after they see a sudden drop in their traffic. Apparently, the site doesn’t work in IE/Mac either.

More on NewMedia.com: Their site (and their magazine) has always been about delivering great content for the new media development industry in an aesthetically-pleasing and no-nonsense format. I’m afraid their technology director or art director has become the latest victim to fall in love in with the technology (DHTML, etc.) and completely forget about their readers. This happens so often, I’m surprised no one hasn’t coined a term for it yet. I wouldn’t be so disappointed about their new site design if I could still get the print version of their magazine or if I could actually link to their content (and send them new readers). But the way they’ve implemented their new site deters me from visiting their site. It’s not that I don’t want to visit – I do. It’s just that they’re making it awfully hard for me to check in regularly. They’ve broken [one of] the cardinal rule[s] of web design: pervasive accessibility. Sigh…

Even more on NewMedia.com: I mean, if their goal was to deliver their content in a format and GUI that was tailored for Internet-enabled kiosks, then their new site would be a huge success. Their goal though, is to educate and inform new media developers. Despite what some people think, not everybody in the new media development field has an operating system/browser combo that can handle the technological complexity of the new design of NewMedia.com. As a content-oriented site, NewMedia.com has failed their secondary goal as well: to serve their content to the largest audience possible – something that cannnot be done if you decide to use a non-standard technology. In this instance, we’re talking about DHTML or the combination of HTML 4.0 and Javascript. This is a direct result of the poor implementation of DHTML in the mainstream 4.x browsers (both Communicator and IE). Perhaps this is just another case of a design/development team “using technology for technology’s sake” or perhaps the NewMedia.com team has strayed down the path that will lead to their extinction. From my perspective, they have failed in providing me with the content I want and need (which is their primary directive).

Receipts! [via Bradlands]

I just saw the local news do a really bad bit on “browser privacy.” I’m always amazed at how clueless the mainstream press is about computers and technology. It’s even worse when they try to explain what cookies are, or how to turn them off. I credit them for dumbing everything down for the technology-ignorant, but when they get even the most basic things wrong (cookies do not “control your privacy” in browsers), it’s frustrating. It reminds me of friends of mine who refuse to read USA Today because it’s written at a third-grade reading level. Ooh, pretty colors.

I’m starting to think more about the upcoming Presidential race here in the U.S. There are a few things that stick out in my mind about some of the potential candicates. John McCain, the war hero, knows what it’s like to serve his country. Being a POW for all that time has to have solidified his vision for America. Bill Bradley, the basketball star, knows what it’s like to work hard towards something and be rewarded for it. Imagine the hundreds of hours of practice and the dedication he must have had to become the superior basketball player he was. And then there’s Bush, the silver spoon. For his entire life, he’s been given everything he’s ever wanted. Having a famous father (and former President) with the same name seems to be working for him. Is our country stupid enough to vote this guy into office based on name recognition? The guy is an idiot. It’s time for our country to wake up and vote in somebody with integrity, somebody with good faith, and somebody who we can stand behind as the President of our country. I hope and pray that person doesn’t end up being G. W. Bush.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at January 31, 2000 04:33 PM