27 January 2008

Person Of The Year: The Unknown Assailant

Around about now, Time magazine usually has a "person of the year" award.  One year they got cute with this, e.g. citing "you" as that person, empowered as you are by your access to online content creation, etc.

But consider the extent to which your range of activities are constrained by the possible actions of anonymous entities.  Some of us are well accustomed to that in "real life", and now it is carving deep inroads into the online experience. 

Several business practices have had to be abandoned within years of becoming possible, such as vendor-to-consumer email, online greeting cards, etc.  For example, savvy users won't click on attachments or links within email "from" vendors, which leaves the dumbo demographic for such practices.  That may no longer be where the smart money can be earned, but it remains a good place to snatch dumb money - so these practices become dominated by malicious, value-free "vendors".

And so we see whole chunks of Internet practice and OS "features" being abandoned to my nomination for "person" of the year; the unknown assailant.

3 January 2008

What You Can't See

Last weekend I was at the Festival of Chariots, and got talking to someone there.  After asking what I did, she said "ah, you have a scientific brain; you don't believe in what you can't see".

That's not the case at all; if anything, science reminds us of the limitations of what we can see, and scientific rigor suggests we can't make authoritative claims on what we can't see - including claims as to whether or not such things exist.

In fact, only one of our senses works off-planet, and that is sensitive to a very narrow spectrum of photon energies.  Much of what we currently "see", is visualized via artificial methods, i.e. sensory equipment and arbitrary interpretive processing.

Finding Recent Comments

This is one reason I prefer WordPress to Blogger. Once I've OK'd comments, I have to smell where they are if I want to reply to them with comments on my own - there's no UI to access "recent comments" irrespective of which post they are commenting.

Post-Google Blogger being what it is, there's also no easy route to submit this feedback to the blogging service (no, I don't want to do the whole "forum" thing, thanks). Live Spaces is better there; they're always keen for feedback and new ideas.