Strangers on a Train

Two Japanese girls shrieked and flapped, driving him away and giggling when he’d gone, swinging hands at each other in foreign conversation, and the woman beside them smiled as she listened, comprehending or not. The orange-haired goth wearing a black dress with a neckline that plunged farther than she may have realized jumped in her seat, fingers on either side of her skeletal black headphones, and pulled her booted feet…

Misconceptions About Usability

Misconceptions about usability’s expense, the time it involves, and its creative impact prevent companies from getting crucial user data, as does the erroneous belief that existing customer-feedback methods are a valid driver for interface design…. Market research methods such as focus groups and customer satisfaction surveys are great at researching your positioning or which messages to choose for an advertising campaign. They are not good at deciding user interface questions…

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Who Cares About Andy Roddick

Who Cares About Andy Roddick — So today I read a quick story about Andy Roddick. He just won the U.S. Open. I did a search for him on Google to learn more, and I found his official web site. Fine. No problem. Then I clicked on a link to read about his U.S. Open victory and I’m told that “You have reached a Members Only area” — say what?…

Definition: Cyberpunk

I’ve been fretting and procrastinating over another definition I’m writing for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory, you see, this one’s on cyberpunk (the genre) and I’ve never published a thing on cyberpunk. — Jill Walker –Definition: Cyberpunk (jill/txt) Jill is taking comments on the draft of her definition of cyberpunk. Neal Stephenson says that cyberpunk is dead. Spider Robinson recently said that SF is in decline because young people are…

Film-maker Leni Riefenstahl Dies

Controversial film-maker Leni Riefenstahl, who made the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, has died aged 101. | Riefenstahl became a favourite of German dictator Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, making films for his fascist regime. | Her most famous work was Triumph of the Will, a propaganda film showing a Nazi rally in Nuremberg in 1934. –The Beeb –Film-maker Leni Riefenstahl Dies (BBC) Riefenstahl’s epic documentaries heavily influenced the…

Forward, into the Past

Three short steps into the New Millennium, written SF is paradoxically in sharp decline. …. And the reason is depressingly clear: Those few readers who haven’t defected to Tolkienesque fantasy cling only to Star Trek, Star Wars, and other Sci Fi franchises. | Incredibly, young people no longer find the real future exciting. They no longer find science admirable. They no longer instinctively lust to go to space. –Spider Robinson…