Fawlty Humour: The Limits of British Satire

“‘Monty Python’ was full of smart and funny bits, and ‘Life of Brian’ is no exception. But the film’s core assumption is that Christianity is a vast joke conceived and fostered by muddling dupes–a notion entirely at one with the group’s bemusedly contemptuous view of human life. The Pythons were cynics, not satirists, a band of comic Hamlets pondering the empty absurdity of life beside poor Yorick’s grave.” Brian Murray…

Despair, Inc. Secures Official Trademark Registration for ":-("

“In a move that has millions across the Internet community frowning, Despair, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had awarded them a registered trademark for the ‘frowny’ emoticon which serves as their logo. ” –Despair, Inc. Secures Official Trademark Registration for “:-(“Despair, Inc.) A good joke from 2001. They’re apparently serious about having registered a trademark for the logo, but they did it in order…

User-Centered URL Design

“But despite the universality of URLs, we often forget that they’re not just a handy way to address network resources. They’re also valuable communication tools. They help orient users in your architecture, and can suggest whether other options are available.” Jesse James Garrett –User-Centered URL DesignAdaptivePath.com) Ironic… the URL of this article is needlessly long: www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000058.php. Why not simply www.adaptivepath.com/essays/58.php or adaptivepath.com/essay58.php? I’m not really one to talk, since the…

Navel Gazing Wins an Ig Nobel

“An Australian study on bellybutton lint, a dog-to-person translation device and an inquiry into what arouses ostriches have been recognised with Ig Nobel prizes for dubious contributions to science. The Ig Nobels, awarded annually at Harvard University as a spoof of the Nobels, recognise achievements that ‘cannot or should not be reproduced’.” Jay Lindsay –Navel Gazing Wins an Ig NobelThe Age)

Usability Testing: What is It?

“Better-written technical documents enable people to work with greater speed, recall, accuracy, and comfort. These qualities, when taken together, make up the usability factor. Caution: simply gathering opinions is not usability testing — you must arrange an experiment that measures a subject’s ability to use your document.” Dennis G. Jerz –Usability Testing: What is It?UWEC)

Official: Antonio Meucci was the Real Inventor of Telephony

“On the past June 15th, 2002, the US Congress officially recognized that the italian inventor Antonio Meucci is to be credited for the invention of the telephone, and not Alexander G. Bell, as so far claimed…. a poor italian immigrant in New York sold the prototypes of his invention to a Telegraph company, that later gave them to Alexander G. Bell, who in turn patented the invention of the phone.”…

America's Army Weblog

“WAAABOOOOM!!! A flash of light followed by a concussion of air shook the RPG fence in front of me and the safe house windows behind me. ‘Holy Schmidt (or words to that effect), that was close’ I thought to myself and ran to roust my buddies inside – Yeah right, as if they didn’t hear that!” –America’s Army WeblogAmericasArmy.com) A slick weblog written by a soldier in Afghanistan, whose mission…