November 18, 2004

Gates Is World's Most 'Spammed' Person

"Gates, Microsoft's chairman, gets 4 million e-mails a day and is probably the most 'spammed' person in the world, his Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said Thursday."

At the height of my personal battle with spam, I received as many as 282 spam per day, and the average was about 200 per day. I estimated that it took at least 20 minutes per day to deal with these spam. That doesn't include time setting up rules and exceptions list in my email client and tracking my spam problem (in the interest of getting someone to address it.) Due to new anti-spam tools, the number is now much more manageable.

What kind of impact has spam had on you? Leave a comment.

November 15, 2004

Stoplight Design

Why are stoplights Red, Yellow and Green?

"Stoplights are red, yellow, and green, because traffic officials, early on copied the code system railroad engineers devised for track systems controlling the trains."

And something interesting I learned from reading "From cells to bells, 10 things the Chinese do far better than we do"

"In Tianjin, a city of 13 million people, traffic lights display red or green signals in a rectangle that rhythmically shrinks down as the time remaining evaporates. In Beijing, some traffic lights offer a countdown clock for both green and red signals. ... During a red light, you know whether you have time to check that map; on a green light, you know whether to start braking a block away -- or to stomp on the accelerator, as though you were a Toronto or Montreal driver. (That's probably why Montreal has a few lights with countdown seconds for pedestrians.)"

At what point is it worthwhile to change your standards if a better design is evident? I can't imagine the cost of rolling out new stoplight designs across the US. The cost for education and awareness alone would be huge. Yet, if it would prevent accidents and driver frustration, maybe it'd be worth it. Just thinking about the "business case" for analyzing the cost/benefit makes my head hurt, not to mention the political battles that would have to be won...

What do you think? Leave a comment...