Never let a Mac user design your website, here’s why:

Well, at least until the entire world uses high DPI screens. Lets see an example:

Pulsing button (video)

This is a “call to action” effect on a button – it pulses slightly to get attention. This has proven to be really effective at improving “conversion” (web term to “getting you to do that thing I want you to do”). But even if you are not a designer at heart its easy to see that the text in the button is pulsing at different speeds and this creates a really jarring effect.


דברים מטופשים: טקס פרסי הטלוויזיה

למי שלא שם לב (בטח כולכם), האקדמיה הישראלית לקולנוע וטלוויזיה1 חילקה ביום שישי האחרון את פרס האקדמיה לטלוויזיה (שמוגדר באתר האקדמיה כ-“המקבילה הישראלית לפרסי האמי האמריקאים”, אבל בניגוד לפרס אופיר לקולנוע ולפרס האמריקאי המצוין לעיל, אין לו שם).

בטח לא שמעתם על זה, כי טקס חלוקת הפרס ליצירה טלוויזיונית ישראלי מקורית, בו חולקו פרסים לסדרות בהפקת ערוצי טלוויזיה ישראלים, לא שודר באף ערוץ טלוויזיה ישראלי,  אפילו לא אלו שקיבלו את הפרס.

אני ספרתי שלושה דברים מטופשים.


  1. למה את המילה הזאת לא עיברתו? []

Powershell still sucks

Powershell is a great command line shell, if you all you know is cmd and batch. There are so many things it is missing when trying to compete with current Unix shells such as Bash, and while some of them have semi-working workarounds, many are sorely missing.

My pet peeves are:

  • A decent pager. “more” is basically at the same stage it was when I started working in MS-DOS 3.30, and it is nowhere near the functionality of “less”1.
  • Persistent history. I’ve seen some workarounds but couldn’t get any of them to work properly.

Both of these features have been available to me since I started working with Linux in 1995, and it is really difficult living without them in MS-world. A decent terminal emulator will be nice too – the Powershell box has advantage over the cmd.exe box in that it is blue – other then that they are both in the same sorry state that the “dos box” of Windows 3 fame was at. I’m using “Console 2” to get some useful work done, but it too leaves much to be desired.

Also, startup is so.. fscking.. slow.. Starting Powershell on a brand new machine (with no per-session user scripts) can take as much as 3 seconds. Those are minutes of my life everyday that I would never get back.

  1. and I’m not talking about the built-in editor, just being able to “page up” would have been nice []

Did you hear that the iPhone 4 was released?

It includes some breakthrough technologies such as “Video Conferencing”, so say Wired in their feature post Apple Unveils High-Resolution, Videoconferencing [sic] iPhone 4.

It again boggles the mind, how Apple takes on a well known feature of existing products, tacks a bastardized version of it on a new revision of their product, and everyone hails at how innovative they are…

Here’s the Wired quote:

iPhone 4 includes a front-facing camera and support for videoconferencing with other iPhone 4 users, via a feature called FaceTime.

Here’s what I can do today with my 3 years old Ericsson P1i, my Nokia E-whatever or my fiance’s $20 Nokia (as well as about half of Nokia phones released in the last 8 years or so), and many other phones from other manufacturers:

  • Above mentioned phones include a front-facing camera and support video conferencing with any other phone that supports standard 3G video calls, on any 3G network.

Also, apple announced their own video conferencing protocol (the so called “FaceTime”), as discussed in ReadWriteWeb:

That’s what Apple aims to do with the introduction of FaceTime. The awkwardly named protocol could be implemented by all major handset manufacturers so that consumers could perform video calls as easily as we perform voice calls today.

There is only one problem with that statement: there is already a standard protocol for video calls – as mandated by the cellular industry’s leading standard body, 3GPP: the 3G-324M protocol, was developed jointly with ITU (the telecom industry governing body for standardization) and is implemented in virtually all video call capable cellular telecom devices.

Now here’s a video:

Israeli road-rage rant

[Sorry about this Israel-specific post being in English – its just so annoys me and I want the rest of the world to know about this.]

Israel has on general very good road – compared to many modern countries (in Europe and North America): national roads are all at least dual carriageways with many of them triple carriageway or even more; roads are mostly lighted at night except maybe single carriageway roads in rural areas; even road maintenance which was historically horrible in Israel is pretty good now days.

That being said, the state of driving in Israel is horrendous – people simple have no road courtesy whatsoever! The most common annoyance I have with traffic in Israel is that on a triple carriageway, where you have three lanes to choose from, the slowest one (which often has average speeds way under the low Israeli speed limit) is the middle one! If you’re just driving along at about the speed limit (maybe a few km/h over it, I can’t pretend I’m a saint), then you normally would be driving on the rightmost lane, passing people on your left. Very very annoying, not to say dangerous near interchanges. More ludicrous is that if you are in a real hurry and want to drive at speed that will normally get you a speeding tickets, you also mostly drive on the right most lane – as the left lane is occupied by people who think they are the fastest on the road but in actuality only drive around 100 km/h.

And all that before we discuss drivers switching lanes without signaling, driving on the center between two lanes, breaking abruptly for no obvious reasons, and the most annoying behavior – being the first car at a stop light the driver stops about 2 car-lengths away from the stop line. I have no idea why they do that, except for increasing the likelihood of a traffic jam this serves no purpose I can understand.

I hate Israeli drivers.

יום דמוקרטיה שמח לכם, שוב

ושוב עברו עוד 4 שנים… אהם… 3 שנים… אהם שתיים וקצת.. ושוב מערכת בחירות לא ברורה. והפעם, אני מצביע בצבא מה שמונע את הדילמה הנוראית של מה לעשות בשאר יום החופש שקיבלתי אחרי ההצבעה – בצבא אין חופש, אז אני אתרוצץ בין טנקים.


Chatting on the go, or UIQ Putty sucks

In continuation to my on-off love affair with smart phones (and after another one of my office coworkers fell prey to the dangers of the iPhone1 ), after I finally got my Nokia E90 charged – after it has been mostly off for the last two months or so, during which I found that the Ericsson P1i does about everything better then the E90, except SSH as I just can’t get the UIQ Putty to work and it doesn’t look like anyone is developing it anymore2, the P1i even comes with games installed (at least one anyway) unlike the E90 – I actually used Fring on the E90 today for its almost intended purpose, as I was sitting in a cafe, after purposefully leaving the computer in the car, and chatting on Google Talk with both a friend and my fiancé (who was – interestingly enough – far away on the other side of table 😉 ), and its actually quite cool even if incredibly battery draining: in 2 hours of really not intensive chatting I went through almost half of the Nokia’s rather large battery.

Anyway, sorry for the eclectic post – I’ve moved the blog to Amazon EC2 service and I’m going on a 3 week army reserve duty on Sunday. It might take a while until you see this new post as I’ve just changed the DNS entries a couple of hours ago (I really missed SSH on the E90 🙂 ) but once the update runs through you should have access to the new and improved (virtual) server that would hopefully be much faster.

  1. What danger? oooh – another silly app that just shows a different picture when you shake the phone. Seriously – it looks like the company only operates at 50% efficiency now. []
  2. Also – initially I though that I’m lacking a TAB key, but apparently its very easy to graffiti any char you’re missing on the keyboard, and surprisingly enough – also TAB []

US woman says Ubuntu can’t access the internet

Or so the article on The Register goes. Aside from populist titling, this story actually demonstrates what hurdles Linux has to go through in order to be accepted as a Desktop Operating System, and considering the size of the task I might as well retract my stand on the subject – yes, Linux is not yet ready as a Desktop OS for the general populace.


הטרוניה השבועית

לא כתבתי כבר הרבה זמן, בעיקר בגלל לחץ בעבודה אבל גם בגלל המילואים שהתחלתי ביום שני (עכשיו אני בחופש קצר מהמילואים), ויש לי כמה דברים שרציתי להוריד מהלב, אבל קודם כל הטרוניה:

למה, לעזאזל, למה?

ברשת בתי הקפה ארקפה התחילו לפני לא הרבה זמן (שנה, שנתיים אני חושב) במין טרנד בריאותי שכזה: מעבר לחלב דל השומן שתמיד יש, כל הכריכים ושאר האוכל שנמכר במקום (מלבד העוגות כמובן) קיבלו ציביון “בריאותי”, כשספצפית זה מתבטא בד”כ בכך שאת כל הלחם החליפו ללחם דגנים מלא (הלחם החום חסר הטעם שאפשר למצוא משובצים בתוכו כל מיני גרעינים של דברים לא מזוהים). נגיד שזה הגיוני וסביר כשאתה אוכל כריך של חסה ונבטים, אבל למה, for crying out loud, לשים “לחם בריאות” בכריך בייקון ביצה ומיונז ?!?

קניתי אחד כזה בדרך למילואים והוא היה יכול להיות ממש טעים אם הוא היה מגיע בתוך לחם נורמלי.

והטיפ של השבוע: כשאתם מעורבים בתאונת דרכים, תמיד כדאי לצלם את הרכב השני – זה יעשה את היום לסוכן הביטוח שלכם, ואתם תמיד רוצים לשמור על סוכן הביטוח שלכם שמח. למדתי את זה כבר לפני כמה שנים, אבל תמיד כדאי לזכור.

Some interesting web statistics

In my work, I recently got to have a look (and run some statistics) on a world-class major web site (I’m not going to disclose the name, and if you know what I’m talking about then please don’t mention it in the comments – I’m not allowed to talk about it and so can’t you).

As I though it would be mighty interesting to find out what the normal internet users out there are using – not just “on my very technical and geek oriented web site I have 70% Firefox users on Linux” – here goes nothing.


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