Archive for the ‘DonationCoder’ Category

Re: Interfaces vs. Concept

Replying to: http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?PHPSESSID=ou26jof3p42cq341uos8bafkf2&topic=22993.msg209705#msg209705

Well…this is hypocritical of me because I’ve already replied several times in that thread.

I guess after I’ve typed out my reply, I realized even as I was typing, it just wasn’t good enough as a reply and it further slithers away from the point of the thread.

I still often try to write out a reply but in this case, I felt this reply went away from what a culture or in this case two culture possibly wanted.

However in my latest reply, I felt now I was talking from a totally unknown end. I don’t know how to invent/develop or whatever the term is used for those who develop interfaces. I just have my hunch.

…and while earlier, maybe even as recent as last week, I wanted to actually post these replies directly as a form of random suggestion/discussion/desire/hope hybrid on how user interfaces/gadgets should look and feel to a casual user…I no longer feel it’s anything other than futile unless I can actually invent and show a concept.

I still want to share directly when an article or a website does something good but these kinds of abstract guessing…I concede. I can’t say my opinion is based on insight when in the end, I can’t even understand the basics of a programming language much less understand the blueprint of a technological product.

Part of the post, the person was replying to:

The appeal of the I-Pad is primarily in the concept. The user interface helps but it is hardly made up for by what the I-Pad actually is to consumers. Something new. Something cool. Something revolutionary.

Similarly, the I-Pod is not heralded as a popular mp3 player because people primarily oogled at the interface. They oogled at the scroll wheel more. They oogled at the culture who is so in love with the I-Pod.

Even the Iphone if you took away the availability of the app store, it was oogled not because of it’s interface which isn’t really that perfect but because of it’s touch screen capability mixed with a modern look that many phone companies at the time just weren’t focusing on.

The reply:

I find it interesting that you don’t consider the scroll wheel or the touch-screen interfaces. These are, indeed, a significant – perhaps the single most significant – factors that made these devices so popular as you pointed out, but if you note, these are the “User Interface”, aka. UI, elements that SB was talking about for their respective devices. You can say it is a concept if you like, but the concept is that of a better UI, not of some amorphic “feeling” you get because you have this feature.

The reply I didn’t send:

I don’t know if I belittled interfaces that much. (I didn’t really feel so and I thought as a whole my posts didn’t touch that subject)

It’s not so much that I don’t consider them but that from a user interface perspective, these aren’t enough to propel Apple products as killer apps/killer gadgets for their niche. This includes adding the Apple fanbase on top of it.

I don’t want to go into any prolonged discussion with this though as in the end, this is a case where I have to prove to myself that I at least have a pulse in understanding why saying interface isn’t enough and for me to do that, I have to be able to design and create an interface. I barely even know which one of those mini-wires go into which pin on the motherboard.

For the most part though, concept vs. interface is the sad nature of the consumer/user vs. designer/programmer disconnect.

It’s like even non-designer techies talking all about the Ribbon while the consumer are liking the “concept” of the OneNote.

Both are technically just interfaces but it’s the “amorphic” feeling that has drawn many users to OneNote and that same amorphic feeling was why I praised YeahWrite’s interface back then.

Yet, YeahWrite’s interface would not get it praised very much elsewhere even in tech forums but when combined with other aspects, it’s like the making of a Ratatouille movie and the amorphic feeling becomes the amorphic flavor despite the same look and concept not really being credited but the app itself being respected as such.

Apple’s products are like that but they also don’t immediately release their pulse when they strike lightning.

That allows them such things as frustrating yet gaining buyers with the Iphone 3g and I-pod Nano.

Meanwhile fanbases of consumer products like Cowon and Sony are left with wondering when Cowon will get back to the D3 as the hype dies down being replaced by a different hype from a different line of products and similarly Sony has a good habit of having something good but bungling it up like with the PSP where even the PSP3000 feels like a slap to it’s fanbase.

It’s sad but it can’t be helped. Eventually the designers who understand why design is just as much “user” interface as much as “amorphic feeling” becomes Apple-like even when their design can be horrid maybe even downright imperfect to many consumers.

The designers who focus on “user” interfaces, they play the dice and hope that their product is the best and most user friendly at that point in time ala a Kindle or a Palm for those who were enraptured by it.

Even then, it goes back to the concept and not the interface. You buy an e-book reader because you feel something for reading books. The interface is there just to help you cling to that feeling.

That said, there’s a difference though between the idea of an amorphic feeling from being in an Apple Store from actually acquiring a gadget. A 5 star restaurant maybe nice but that doesn’t mean Mcdonald’s is not the one with the better cult fanbase and brand.

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Re: On Windows you can run any program alongside any other & 99% of the time there will be no conflicts.

Another post where I couldn’t resist posting in the actual forum.
Link to the post: http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?topic=20300.msg183828#msg183828

 

I don’t think it’s a matter of cooperation IMO.

It’s more of a matter of standardization and this is where the freedom to choose excels even if I don’t know about technology.

That’s why IMO iphigenie should create his own distro.

I mean look at what Clem of Linux Mint and TexStar of PCLinuxOS did.

Those distroes had no demand from the Linux community and if anything the Ubuntunites made sure they were not going to lift off (to the newbies) but they persevered and now they are tops in DistroWatch along with Ubuntu.

Choice is not the problem. Knowledgeable people truly passionate about turning Linux into a great desktop is the issue.

@Innuendo

On Windows you can run any program alongside any other & 99% of the time there will be no conflicts.

Not true. If you’re using buggy software or Java application, the fact that it’s less possible to make Windows consume less like Linux makes those applications annoying to stand side by side.

The same holds true for buggy codec packs, crapware installed on Windows, insecure applications open to viruses and the lot.

Distroes like Mint come better pre-packaged than a Windows OS (until you hit a problem which 99% you will and because Linux is not popular, good luck with support.)

None/Few of it (I don’t really know what I’m talking about) is in any inherent infrastructure though. In fact, you’ll find that for most newbies, they don’t have to tweak anything that works.

(If you install Mint for example, right off the bat if everything works, you have more applications pre-installed for you including your printer and internet auto-configured for you.)

To quote a recent post I quoted:

http://woofertime.com/woof/78834

 

I think it’s more like this – I’m guessing though –

As it is right now, let’s say you drove a Chevy all your life. For 6 or 7 years. You learned this Chevy, you tested in the Chevy, you kept driving it. When it came to “upgrade” you decided to stick with same Chevy model, anyway. Your friends all have them, all your accessories, like the steering wheel cover, the floor mats, the (I’m stretching here) [insert Chevy-specific mod/addon here]. Needless to say, you only ever used one manufacturer’s implementation of the automobile.

So you walk into a rent-a-car shop when you’re on vacation. They have several models on display. All Chevy. There’s a small section to the side with small glossy white Hondas, but no Toyotas to be found. You haven’t even heard of Toyota at this point. So the rent-a-car guy asks you what model you want to drive.

“Chevy [Whatever]” you say.

Would you like to use one of these glossy white roadsters over here? It’s better performance, but only slightly pricier.

“No thanks, I’ll stick with what I know.”

Here’s the kicker – He doesn’t even tell you he’ll give you the Toyota model, which runs better than your Chevy, for less money than the Chevy.

Let’s say you’ve heard of this Toyota, though, through a friend. You ask about it. “Oh, we don’t have those in the store, though, but you can step right across the street, they probably have them.”

Oh, no thanks, I’ll stick with the Chevy.

Let’s say that somehow you actually got to the point where you’re sitting down in the Honda or the Toyota. You take a glance around and suppose you do spot the cruise, and A/C, and everything. You could spend only a few seconds learning how it works, and you could even ask the salesman a question… he’s right there.
But you have the option of the Chevy, still, and it is what you know and it is easily accessible. Even if it’s in your complete ability to learn how to drive this very similar car, the motivation to do so is very very low. Also, maybe you notice you can’t fit your cute fluffy headrest (I’m stretching here again) around the headrest of said new car. The salesman will give you a free alternative, but it won’t be the same, for some reason, even when it feels almost exactly the same. And why go through the trouble of using something else, when you still have what you know, right there?

Humans are lazy. They are also stubborn.

So, you walk into a Best Buy and you see a slew of Windows PCs running Windows Vista, or soon, 7. You know XP, so you know the start button, you know the context menus, you know the taskbar.
You see the Mac section. The BB employee says those are a bit pricier, but it’s got better performance. You have never heard of Linux, and the BB employee doesn’t say anything about it, despite it being free. If you ask about it, maybe he does know you can go over to a Linux distro site and download/burn a Live CD. If you actually get to a Linux or Mac desktop, sure, you might be able to figure out the GNOME desktop or Mac Dock, et al, on your own in a few short minutes. You might even have a friend, an employee, or Google to aid you as well. However, right next to you in Best Buy (or on your computer’s current partition if you’re testing a LiveCD) is what you know. What you have always known. You can’t even run some random Microsoft software that you always used. Sure, you could find an alternative, but what you already know is right here, available to you. You have no motivation to try this new system. You’re too stubborn and lazy to alter the status quo. Windows has crashed before, but you can always reboot it. You know how long it’ll take to get back online with what you know, but you fear the unknown of the desktop.

Now, this covers why someone wouldn’t switch gears from Windows to Linux or OS X as their main system.
As for, say, my dad borrowing my Ubuntu PC for only a minute to check his checking account, and having to stop and ask “How do I do this?” without looking for the Firefox icon he knows, right on my Panel, right where his own Firefox would be in Windows’ quicklaunch bar? He has me right there to tell him, I guess. Why spend 2 seconds scanning for a familiar icon, when he can just ask me to “open a browser”?
Stubbornness? Laziness?
Perhaps for him, “open a browser” means [Super], [F,I,R], [ENTER]; or perhaps it means [SUPER]+[R], [I,E], [DOWN], [ENTER]; or even [SUPER],[DOWN],[DOWN],[ENTER]. And on my machine, it’s simply *click* or [ALT]+[F2],[F,I,R,F],[ENTER].
For him, even on Windows, if you took away his run command or deleted his pinned start menu item, he might have to scroll painfully through his All Programs menu until he found it again.
If it wasn’t for start search on Vista, I know a few friend who would be pained to find anything on their PC.
My sister still doesn’t know how to use Start Search, and I have a friend with a Mac who doesn’t know how to use Spotlight.

Rather than find a new better way of doing things (like if I told her to just hit [SUPER] and then type what she wanted) she’d still go back to old habits, have trouble remembering the simplest things, and in his laziness or stubbornness stick with the slow inefficient method because it is what she knows.

tl;dr – Humans are lazy and stubborn. Not all of us, I use Linux and test alternatives. I don’t consider myself to be lazy and I’m human, so therefore I cannot hold all humans to be lazy and stubborn.
However I would guess a lot are, especially the “smart” ones. ;P

Re: there’s no such thing as absolute freedom, as every action has consequences. But where is the line to be drawn?

Sigh it’s troublesome to not post forum replies directly into the forum:
Replying to: http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?topic=20228.msg183815#msg183815

 

For a slight bit of seriousness: “free speech” is relative; there’s no such thing as absolute freedom, as every action has consequences. But where is the line to be drawn? I think most people would agree that methods for child molestation isn’t something we’d like to see discussed anywhere. But is removing spam posts a bad form of moderation? Is it bad to require people to reveal their affiliations if they’re posting about a company or software product?

I’m no Libertarian fodder but come on, let’s not insult the human race or even derail progress like that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty#Philosophy

In his book, Two Concepts of Liberty, Isaiah Berlin formally framed the differences between these two perspectives as the distinction between two opposite concepts of liberty: positive liberty and negative liberty. The latter designates a negative condition in which an individual is protected from tyranny and the arbitrary exercise of authority, while the former refers to having the means or opportunity, rather than the lack of restraint, to do things.

Even the discussion of methods of child molestation prevents child molestation because it allows individuals who have these thoughts to bring them out in the open without feeling reprimanded.

It’s the stereotypical “Japan’s sex games reduces sex crimes” effect.

Consequences are what make absolute freedom shine. Not everyone wants it, true but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

After all that’s how nature evolved.

Thus it was possible before the dominant species said it was impossible and softened freedom up to be relative and biased towards their own.

(Hey you wanted a bit of seriousness :p)

 

Re: Do you need to know more about who is tracking and online privacy?

Replying to: http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?topic=20514.msg183429#msg183429

http://knowprivacy.org/index.html-

Some people just think that people like me  are just causing nonsense buzz here and there. I just want to remind you that some of you people give enormous power and wealth to some of those dishonest companies (by just surfing the web without protection:) for example GOOGLE. I know most people just like GOOOGLE, just cannot goto bed without GOOOGLE because GOOOGLE gives them couple bux every month via adsense or let them track updates about their name or company name searches. Well, this is a story just out of the FAUST story.

In the past we had booogie man to scare kids, well I use GOOOOGIEE man to scare my kid now. try it, it works.

…Or simply because Google is close to a natural monopoly in that they provide/obtain quality services and attract people to those services.

It’s the age old dilemma of this recent webcomic I’ve read.

Image too large for preview: http://www.thedoghousediaries.com/?p=998http://www.thedoghousediaries.com/?p=998

Direct image link: http://www.thedoghousediaries.com/comics/uncategorized/2009-10-19-2a2f008.png

Edit: Link above constantly gets re-directed so you may want to manually copy paste or click on the Archive in the Website and go towards the comic with the words “Side Effect”.

The sad part is: if privacy advocates fear that much of being turned into a minority… they should gather and support a better “private” alternative.

It’s the nature of demand especially if Google is also the few that holds the highest quality of supply.

If you want people to move away from gmail. Don’t give them ThunderBird, Hotmail, Outlook or Yahoo Mail. Give them gmail “+ privacy”.

A good example are password managers like Passpack.com, Lastpass.com and Clipperz.com.

Lastpass.com being the most notable.

It’s not more “private” than a pure offline password manager but it’s “private” enough and convenient enough that it becomes a viable private alternative over having a single “ready to exploit” gmail account with weak passwords and the data is with you.

For those who prefer less convenience and even more security loop-holes, Clipperz is like an online downloadable password manager that could obscure you from more offline situations than more “obvious” password managers like Keepass.

Finally PassPack security can be so tightened that it gives “multiple master password” headaches.

All these services, while possessing premium options, have enough space in their free versions that they’re a viable if not necessary online reaction to Open-Ids, Twitter Log-ins and Google Account log-ins. (Notably LastPass where due to the Firefox Extension, you get the equivalent of bookmarks + passsword + sites in a single click. For Opera, you can simulate this with Clipperz by adding it into the panel.)

The same will eventually have to be for other cloud services.

Privacy advocates should not be extreme with these applications.

They’re just going to tune out majority of the users whom they try to convince.

Instead, they should be extreme in competing and providing alternative services that reduces the chance of these mass-adopted services that grow so big that they can buy out other quality companies and let them stagnate but still market them enough that they have a sizeable userbase to spoon feed with any services they release.

Even as simple as the exact clone of a service but under a group that’s more about privacy than Google could attract huge amounts to that service with the right marketing and the right support from each one of you privacy advocates.

Right now, if you guys want to hold off a successful revolution, at the very least create, support and maintain the Lastpass equivalent of Google Reader, Gmail, G-Docs, IGoogle, Groups, Sites and Calendar.

Seriously, if you guys truly valued the privacy of the world, you guys could have slipped off a better private version of Google Wave before Wave even ushered out of the mouths of the Google Bots.

Who wouldn’t want a private forum with better moderating options and easier configuration for newbies in an age of spammers?!

Flip Google Groups around and make your own Google Groups and you got your Wave!

Who wouldn’t want the LastPass of GReader where you can encrypt your notes and add multiple service account sharing so it’s much harder to target your social media services? Really? Who wouldn’t want a service where they can have their own Online Password Manager tied to an online RSS Reader tied to a more private wall that is like a Tor foil for all the privacy hassles associated with more of the “data mining” recommendation ad-based services like Facebook?

Hell, who would want to use IronPortable or Chromium if there’s Google Chrome?

I may be a tech idiot but I’m not blind.

If someone says “Sign up for gmail” vs. “Sign up for gmail + more privacy” or “Google” vs. “100% Google Interface “without the baggage”. Not all people’s brain would go “Ugh…Google…pick…Google”.

Most people’s brain would go “hmm… this service?” or “this service + something extra?” Hmm…

That’s how you guys can realistically “convert” and properly warn the world!

Sure, most people joining won’t care and think about the issue of privacy except that they’re signing up for the service with something extra but if you guys gain a large enough userbase, eventually you’d have people blindly touting the “more privacy” mantra and eventually you’d be influencing other apps to prioritize privacy as one of their main feature.

Just look at the open source crowd. How many of those people actually look at the source and how many just merely go “Arr! It’s not Open Sauce so Yo Ho Ho Imma gonna take Me bottle of Rum elsewhere!”

…and then how many of those people eventually inspired linkbaiters to go…Hmm… you know what? I can get more clicks sharing more open source apps …and then how many developers become inspired to make their applications open source because of that demand?

It’s the same thing with Google. Don’t give us the numbers. Give us the solar panels, the hybrids, the Inconvenient Truth – THE BETTER, ATTRACTIVE and “Less Guilty” ALTERNATIVES – and you’ll make a revolutionary movement out of repeated speeches yet.

Remember if you guys have the obsession, you guys have the power to create the On switch and once that’s On, just like the mass unpopularity of nuclear energy even if it’s the best alternative right now, it matters less and less if Google somehow released the next “privacy hell” killer app.

You’d have enough people listening and rooting for your words that – only then – could you be heard loud and clearly that it won’t come off like you guys are causing lots of nonsense buzz to the people you aim to save.