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Comments from Frankston, Reed, and Friends

Monday, August 05, 2002

BobF at 2:46 PM [url]:

Annoyances and more

I've been posting some of my recent essays on Frankston.com because they are a bit long for SATN and because I've been redesigning the site in order to make it easier to manage and update. In particular:

  • The Economist, the Internet, Telecom and the Dow Jul 31, 2002. I greatly respect The Economist as a business magazine yet even they seem to treat the woes of the telecom sectors as a symptom of problems with technology rather than seeing the woes as the result of the rise of new vibrant sectors.
  • (East (New (York))), (New (York)) Jul 31, 2002. In visiting the neighborhood I grew up I was struck by the sign for E New York Ave. But the street is named after East New York, not New York. Ambiguity is everywhere. Too bad the ICANN seems to be in denial.
  • Redesigning Frankston.com Jul 6, 2002. The first major redesign of this site since 1998.
  • Various annoyances and related issues Jul 6, 2002. We tend to underestimate the pervasive effect of seeming innocuous design issues yet they have large implications, especially as they accumulate. In itself each annoyance seems minor. The challenge is seeing which of them are leverage (or tipping?) points. After all, the Internet Protocols are trivial yet they mooted a trillion dollar telecom industry.
  • Check Engine! Why? Jul 6, 2002 The car is designed by them for us. It needn't be and shouldn't be.

Now that I've gotten this list posted I catch up on shorter comments for SATN and write about my recent experiences actually trying to use computers.

Oops, I was too optimistic. I can't run my tool to convert word files to reasonable HTML because Word is telling me that I am not allowed to run my macro because I haven't set up something somewhere in order to trust myself. It used to work and now I have to spend time trying to figure out how to enable it again. The price we pay for too much "security" is that we spend our time trying to evade it. Just another of the challenges in trying to actually use computers � after I rebooted I was offered a chance to enable macros. This perverseness contributes to a feeling of not being in control and insecurity.

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