Category Archives: Red Ramblings

Rants, observations and general commentary about life not involving usability.

Apple + Netflix = Dear God NO

Below is an argument as to why Apple should buy Netflix. As a devoted user of Netflix (love me some historical dramatic series like “Borgias” and “Frontier”) I hope that this never happens. I ditched Apple with the iPhone 3 because it was so restricted and so… hipster. Please, leave my Netflix alone. Season 3 of “The Medici’s ” is starting soon.

In light of Apple’s announcement that it was working on “Planet of the Apps” series, in August 2016, I wrote about why I thought Apple should buy Netflix. It led to an enthusiastic exchange of arguments with my dear friend John Gruber. Fast forward to 2017, and suddenly everyone is talking about Apple buying Netflix.…

via Why Apple Should Buy Netflix…Again! — Om Malik

Everything old is new again…

Polaroid had a hit on its hands with the Snap. The device marked the perfect marriage between an iconic brand and new technologies, re-developing the once novel phenomenon of instant film for an early 21 century millennial crowd. According to a rep I spoke with, the brand can’t keep the thing on the shelves. Unveiled…

via Polaroid’s Pop returns the brand to its iconic instant format — TechCrunch

Happy Birthday… Not Really

Hello All,

Long time, no hear. Sorry for the lack of updates, but I’ve been slammed at my day job.

Well, that’s going to change.

I can’t say it was a 100% surprise, but I was given notice today. Yes, I was let go on my birthday and barely a month before Christmas. Sometimes life can really bite.

Positive side: this will let me focus on getting a couple of things around the house done.

Negative side: everything else.

Soooo, if any of you know of a company that can use a very experienced BA/Information Architect, please give me a shout.

Thanks-

Jay

Google’s Useless Homepage

Sometimes I think I have to be missing something here.

I click in the text box and as soon as I type the first letter the screen changes to the results view.

When do I get the chance to click that “I’m Feeling Lucky” button?

This has bugged me for a while, so if anybody knows about a setting I have or whatever then please let me know.

-J

Facebook Messenger finally adds diverse emojis! — TechCrunch

Facebook has started rolling out a more diverse set of emojis to its Messenger service on the web, iOS and Android. With the update, you’ll have access to over 1,500 new emojis — 100 of which were designed “to better reflect gender and skin tones” with gender-agnostic options and multi-colored emojis. “We’re diversifying the genders to…

via Facebook Messenger finally adds diverse emojis! — TechCrunch

The top several posts in my Reader are similar to the one above. I’m all for diversity and all that, but is Facebook pumping out new smileys  really that big a deal? Must be a slow news day.

Choke Point

There is a tactic that you’ve seen in every war or cop movie. The hero is surrounded by bad guys, ducks down an alley or hallway and sets up a position there, picking the evil-doers off as the funnel in after him.

In the military this hall or alley is referred to as a “choke point”. It’s an environmental feature which funnels the users into a single line.

This term has also been adopted in business. A perfect example is if five people are writing requirements documents at the same time but they all have to be blessed by one person. That means that five people can only work as fast as the one approver. Choke point.

The reason that this came to mind is my house. We have a lovely, fairly large home. Very open floor plan in the front of the house with the ability to block off the back of the house for privacy. For instance, if we have workman in the house we can close one door and they don’t have access to any of the bedrooms. Nice.

EXCEPT that this means that the entire back of the house is served by one narrow hallway. Excellent for security. Sucks for everything else. I can count at least three times where we’ve bought furniture for a back room and had to send it back because there was literally no physical way to get it into the desired room. It makes walking down the hallway impossible as well. If two people are coming from opposite directions there is that inevitable dance- “After you.” “No, come on.” etc etc.

The moral of the story is this: Usability is not only for the online or business world. I made a mistake 15 years ago and it has since impacted my family and I on an almost daily basis.

Would we still have bought the house had I noticed the issues with the hallway?  Probably, given my wife’s “Ohh’s” and “Ahh’s” over everything else about the place. It is a nice house. But maybe I could have shaved a few thousand off the price.

Could have used that money for skinnier furniture…

-J

Steven Seagal Points The Way

Hey Everybody!

Sorry for the long absence. Life happened and I forgot to duck.

What brings me back this time?

The sheer genius and acting ability of this man.

The film is “Under Siege”: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105690/

For most of us the only highlight of the movie at the time was Erika Eleniak coming out of that cake. However, I was watching it last night for the first time in more than 10 years and came to the scene where he smuggles this huge backpack into the little wooden rowboat which was for some BIZARRE reason hanging ON THE SIDE OF AN IRON BATTLESHIP!! What could possibly happen to that ship that would make the little wooden boat which MIGHT seat 6 the preferred option?

Anyway, that’s not what stopped me dead. It was when he unfurls this big antennae dish (which he promptly COVERS in the boat- different rant), does some vague button pushing and then goes back inside where a perkily dressed Erika is waiting for him. She sees the “phone” in the pic above and asks “What is that?” He gives her some techy crap about a “SEAL phone” and she goes “Oh, like a car phone.”

1- When was the last time you heard the phrase “car phone”?

2- How different would this movie have been if he had just whipped out a Galaxy S7 Edge and called the Admiral?

Now the scary part. This movie is from 1992. Yes, it’s “celebrating” it’s 25-year anniversary next year. The entire paradigm in communications has changed in less time than it take to mature a good bottle of Scotch.

What will it look like in 2041? Will my daughter just wave at the air and get a connection to her kids? The mind reels.

That’s it for now. I’ll try to be back here more often.

-J