Archive for General

The Utah Senator’s Stance on Homosexuality

Take Action: Stop Hateful Lies from Utah Lawmaker. No comments. They say it with more, er, diplomacy than me.

Early Gender Definitions

My 5-year-old nephew already knew that, when I was a kid, I loved playing with Tonka trucks. That was fine with him. He likes them so much, why wouldn’t I?

But I still have all my Barbie dolls and items. I sometimes take some out for his sister, although she’s still a bit young to be able to dress them up herself and whatnot. My nephew asked me whether I used to play with Barbies too when I was young. And, God forbid, I said yes.

Now it was quite a disturbance in his world. How could I like Barbies when I liked trucks?

Misleading Readers

Do I like this layout? I’m not so sure…It’s nice but I find a bit hard to read.

Anyway, this is not the topic of this entry.

The other day, I went with my brother in some shop that sells magazines and newspapers. There are very few magazines in the world that interest me, so I was quickly taking a look at what they had, when I saw one of those stupid eye-catching magazines that love to make a scandal out of everything. Can’t remember the name.

On the main page, as with every magazine, were a few images and some text concerning articles, meant to attract your attention. One of the titles was “Binge Drinking”, followed by the line “85% of people below 15 have already drunken alcohol” (my wording might be different, but the numbers were the same).

Now, there was no arrow pointing the title with the text saying “We are talking about binge drinking in this statistic”, but the laws of common sense dictate that a title must be related to what’s just below. And when your title is followed by statistics, the statistics must pertain to the title. In this particular case, it isn’t so at all!

Now, an average reader passing by will scan the magazine covers and go home exclaiming “OMG! I just read today that 85% of kids take part in binge drinking contests!” or whatever deformation they can come up with. But that’s really not what the statistic says.

“Drinking alcohol” doesn’t mean that they went to a rave to spend 4 days drunk and high on speeds. Before the age of 15, I had drunken alcohol. Like a good amount of people of that age, my parents had let me take a bit of wine at family dinners, like during the holidays.

So, when you want to give a statistic, don’t give it the title that is most likely to be remembered by people. Give it a title that makes sense.

I Need Glasses

I need new glasses. I ran out of contact lenses over a year ago, and the only pair of glasses I own is very old, which means it’s in a bad state, absolutely ugly, and not quite well adjusted to my eyesight. When I mentioned it to my mother, she offered to pay for them. I was pleasantly surprised, although admittedly ashamed that I can’t afford anything on my own. Today, perhaps to make me feel better about it, I had yet another reminder of how badly I need them.

When my mom came to pick me up before the holidays, she bought some eggs for her breakfast. (She had to come because I had furniture and whatnot to bring with me, else I’d have taken the bus) We put them in the small fridge, in the spots especially designed for that purpose.

I open the fridge today, and see the remaining eggs from my height (which is not very high). There are two, I think. And one of them is in a bad state which I can’t quite figure out. It’s like it would broken, but hard-boiled, since nothing is dripping…Then I bend over to put food into the fridge…and realize it’s actually a garlic bulb. So much for weird broken eggs. 😦

Things That Just Don’t Work On The Internet

I just need a bit of ranting.

  • Multi-colored capchtas. It’s already a pain in the butt trying to read an ordinary catpcha, with horizontal, same-sized letters, in shades of gray. When you make it multi-colored too (with a colored background and letters in different color), you’re making it harder for the average person. Also, you’re making it practically impossible to read for someone with an eye problem such as color blindness.
  • Close lettered captchas. I could list a million possible problems with captchas, but I’ll go only with the previous one and this one. It’s already hard to know if it’s a ‘zero’ (0) or an O, if the letter is uppercase or lowercase, if it’s a diagonal Z or a diagonal N, and you decide that the letters will be touching each others. Congratulations, now I just want to close the tab and move on to a different site.
  • SnapShot Page Previews. I can maybe perhaps do lots of efforts to try understanding the idea behind providing a preview of sites to your visitors. There are however problems with that. First, not every site in the world has a preview. Second, it is so damn slow. It’s been forever since I last used a slow phone connection, but I still can’t bear to wait for your stupid snapshots to load. When I put my mouse over a link, I’m expecting to see the hand cursor, with maybe a minor hover effect and a simple title, not have to wait for a preview to load. I just really don’t see the point in the end. “It makes visitors trust your site”. No, it doesn’t. It just tells me what the site I’m about to visit might look like, because it once did. In no way does it tell me how very awesome is the owner of the site I’m currently visiting.
  • Keywords power! Some time ago, meta tags were implemented. You could fill them with keywords and a description relating to your site, in an attempt to boost your search engine rank. However, with time, people have learned that search engines, notably Google, barely rely on these at all because of how people loved to boost them with irrelevant keywords to get hit. So what do people do now? They place keywords all over the fucking place. “Dream personal site personal about me Julie Canadian girl female Asperger Syndrome Asperger’s Asperger Autism autistic disease mental illness mental disease ocd obsessive compulsive disorder ocd oc disorder tutorials reviews movie reviews movies game reviews game gaming gamer gamers” would be the new text to display in my title bar. A good link to my site wouldn’t show in the title something like “Dream, Julie’s personal site”, but rather “Dream, Julie personal site” with a million more keywords afterwards. And that just bug me. A lot. We’re back to what I call cheap SEO ways. Why? Because they’re not frank, in my opinion, and worse of all, they are not practical. Usability and practicability are two very fun things I wish people wouldn’t forget about.

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