Ramblings & ephemera

9 reasons the Storm botnet is different

From Bruce Schneier’s “Gathering ‘Storm’ Superworm Poses Grave Threat to PC Nets” (Wired: 4 October 2007): Storm represents the future of malware. Let’s look at its behavior: 1. Storm is patient. A worm that attacks all the time is much easier to detect; a worm that attacks and then shuts off for a while hides […]

The latest on electronic voting machines

From James Turner’s interview with Dr. Barbara Simons, past President of the Association for Computing Machinery & recent appointee to the Advisory Board of the Federal Election Assistance Commission, at “A 2008 e-Voting Wrapup with Dr. Barbara Simons” (O’Reilly Media: 7 November 2008): [Note from Scott: headers added by me] Optical Scan: Good & Bad […]

The X Window System defined

From Ellen Siever’s “What Is the X Window System” (O’Reilly Media: 25 August 2005): X was intentionally designed to provide the low-level mechanism for managing the graphics display, but not to have any control over what is displayed. This means that X has never been locked into a single way of doing things; instead, it […]

Fat footers

Jerry wrote this & sent it to a client; A fat footer is a means of showing secondary navigation, or showcasing primary navigation, or reinforcing selected pieces of your navigation. Here are some examples: On a long-scroll blog page, put some choices at the bottom: http://bokardo.com/ Put sales and branding at the top and navigation […]

Web design contrasted with graphic design

From Joshua Porter’s “Do Canonical Web Designs Exist?” (Bokardo: 14 November 2007): … web designers necessarily approach design from a different perspective than graphic designers. Graphic designers can judge by looking. Web designers cannot. Web designers must judge by doing (or observing others doing). The problem is that too many people judge web designs without […]

Sneaky advertising

I bought a mug that has no handles on it at all. I noticed that the accompanying slip of paper said, “Most Copco travel mugs are intended for right or left hand use.” Well, yes, if there are no handles, that would make sense. It goes on, “If your mug is handled, the lid is […]

Great, wonderfully-designed consumer products

From Farhad Manjoo’s “iPod: I love you, you’re perfect, now change” (Salon: 23 October 2006): There are very few consumer products about which you’d want to read a whole book — the Google search engine, the first Mac, the Sony Walkman, the VW Beetle. Levy proves that the iPod, which turns five years old today, […]

Failure every 30 years produces better design

From The New York Times‘ “Form Follows Function. Now Go Out and Cut the Grass.“: Failure, [Henry] Petroski shows, works. Or rather, engineers only learn from things that fail: bridges that collapse, software that crashes, spacecraft that explode. Everything that is designed fails, and everything that fails leads to better design. Next time at least […]