December 22, 2001

Hey Beavis, frames still suck
Huh, huh...looks like someone over at WebReview couldn't come up with a good [insert topic] for dummies article, so they dusted off the old HTML topic of frames -- claiming that inline frames are somehow a newer, better, now-okay-since-Netscape-6.0-supports-them kinda thing. When will people realize that Server Side Includes (SSI) yield almost every benefit of Frames without all the bad karma?

Next week, Butthead will write an article about the merits of the BLINK tag...

December 21, 2001

Power to the people!
Experienced bad customer service? Fight back! Check out this awesome (and very funny) message to a hotel chain (found via Creative Good's newsletter). Something tells me "Mike" is now a McDonald's Sandwich Maker.
Peter Merholz is really an Elf...
Watching Lord of the Rings, I couldn't stop wondering who Elrond looked like...then it hit me. Peter Merholz, IA extraordinaire, finally hit the big time. Compare the photographic evidence below:
Peterme Elrond

I can see why they cast him as the Elf Lord: notice the slightly pointed ears and brightly colored clothing? I'm sure in the near future he'll be promoting Elrond action figures alongside the other cool products on his site.

Speaking of which, did you ever wonder if Jakob Nielsen is really a hobbit?
Jakob Nielsen - Web Usability Guru Bilbo Baggins...a hobbit
Could be a Baggins, but a Proudfoot heritage is more likely. :-)

December 20, 2001

Lord of the Rings...see it twice.
Went to the premiere of the Lord of the Rings movie with a bunch of people from work last night. Everyone said they really liked the movie. As a fan of the books, I was very impressed...can't imagine how anyone could do a better job with a great classic tale. Only letdown if any is having to wait 12 months for the next one (The Two Towers) for the story to continue. Cast was excellent, especially for Boromir and Gandalf. Expect Tolkein to be at the top of most best seller lists for a number of months hence.

December 17, 2001

School of economy at the University of Mouthfuls in Italy
Machine translation doesn't work -- Italian government comes off looking like a bunch of "Augustos of the Walnuts". The lesson (that most Europeans should already know) is that translation worth doing is worth doing right.

Wouldn't you love it if your web site read like this?:
The bears do playoffs
The monsters of half of the way centraa hooked a bunk of playoff for the first time from ' 94. Its offense of the lack-luster even handled to put above for some ends (27) whereas the defense was implacable as usual. Not counting on any wonderful aspect of the source bowl, but surely enjoying the stroll... He is too long. The Bears Go!
(original Bears text here... Double translation courtesy of Babelfish)
Make it secure, or else!
Judges are showing no tolerance for sites that have inadequate security. You can't plead innocence by reason of security incompetence. The penalties could also be pretty severe for both businesses and ISPs. That is, if you think having your server connected to the Internet is important.

The Crypto-gram newsletter also has a pretty good analysis on why National ID cards are a Big Government Dumb Idea.
A familiar tune
Very good and reasonable article in Business 2.0 called Dotcom Inferno: Money to Burn talks about working with consultants on large projects. Not your typical dot-com failure story. It takes a hard look at why engagements with consultants can be dangerous -- and how to manage them. Just about every line in this article resonates with my experiences on very large projects (I'm talking millions of dollars in budget). Clients are unrealistic in demands, consultants say they can work miracles and everyone's usually pissed off at each other at the end of the project.

Tip: Want to have a good vendor manager on a project? Look for someone who's lived through a nightmare of a project with a vendor. These people know what can go wrong and will work to avoid those landmines the second time around. Don't look for the guy with "inside connections" to the vendor or who gets along really well with the rep...butt kissers can't hardly bark, let alone bite when lines get crossed.

December 16, 2001

Bears make the playoffs
The Monsters of the Midway clinched a playoff berth for the first time since '94. Their lack-luster offense even managed to put up some points (27) while the defense was relentless as usual. Not expecting any Super Bowl appearance, but sure enjoying the ride... It's been too long.

Go Bears!