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Showing posts from August, 2009

BBC reporting dumbing down

I still read the BBC news, I am a UK tax payer and television licence holder. But I think I am going to have to stop, I just read an article about an athlete that has been accused of being a man.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8215112.stm

Questioning somebody's identity like that is very personal and humiliating. The story gripped me with questions about what that would be like and how is sport addressing the issue. Then right at the end it says:

"Groups supporting her have been formed on social networking site Facebook."

WTF! Clearly the reported just wanted an excuse to log on to facebook and add more friends. Advertising facebook is not the remit of the BBC.

Update: I just submitted a complaint to the BBC and asked for a reply.

Hybrid cars

There is a little bit of controversy about how to measure miles per gallon of hybrid cars.

The current claim is that you charge up, drive 40 miles on electric and then with the gallon of fuel onboard you can drive a further 190 miles. So they add that up and get 230 miles per gallon which beats my 55MPG car by quite a way.

Personally I think those figures are nonsense, a quantum leap in technology like that is most surprising as it stands. However my main beef is that I use a MPG as a marker of how much it will cost to run my car. With this new method the cost of charging the car up overnight and whilst at work (how many work places are actually going to do this) is not factored into the equation.

Petrol is an excellent form of energy because of lack of loss of energy during transport (compared with electricity over copper). What is needed is a super capacitor that can store the same amounts of energy as a fuel tank. Hook that up the a nuclear power-station and then you have the pro…

Payouts

When quantitative easing was first announced I thought it was a bold move that will do something for the economy, however now looking at its effects I can see that by nature the banks are having to hold the extra money they are getting from the process. They have no incentive to pass that on the savers and businesses.

I think a wholesale cash payment like the Americans and Australians might have been a better way. People are going to do one of three things:

1, Pay off debt
2, Invest
3, Spend it

All three have a direct benefit to the wide economy and banks. However quantitative easing just benefits the banks. The downside of giving money of course is that some people will spend it on goods that are imported, however this would be a 1 in 3 chance of that and then a 50% chance that its an imported goods.

For the 30 million tax payers the 150billion QE program could have been spend giving each of them £5,000!

That would have taken a bite out of my mortgage.

Gnome desktop design

Ok so I stumbled across a blog post saying that they were going to reduce the number of icons in the Gnome Desktop to give it a cleaner feel. I had this to say:


I personally hate that some actions have icons and others do not. However I wish you had gone the other way and removed the text instead.

Humans are far better a picking shapes and colours rather than reading text plus you get the added bonus of not having to translate that into 200+ languages (except for tooltips perhaps).

The post mentions that people can speed read but you need to reduce the amount of skill people need to work with a computer.

User interfaces should be measured in terms of eye movement, how many times I have to move your eye to get to where it needs to be. Reading lines of text (menus in this case) will not help in my opinion.

An all image path is very much harder but once you are there it will be a better place.