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It’s funny (and necessary) when i check on my parent’s email accounts to see if “all is well”.
As usual there would be lot of junk/spam/newsletters. For example, i would have mentioned a website/service for my father to check it out. He always manages to sign up for the newsletter unintentionally/intentionally adding more clutter to the inbox.
The primary/promotion/social tabs don’t fool anyone. My parents have no idea about that! That makes sense only to the Power users. Why did it ever get enabled for my parents?
My father’s primary task on email right now is to find the right “mate” for our male golden retriever and a bride for his son, my brother [What a situation!!! no bias here though we love our dog more :-P]
So, there is “hell” of Spam in his inbox from “e-com” websites regarding pets for “sale” [well, that is the reality 🙁 ] and lots of profile matches for my brother’s matrimonial profile on various matrimonial websites. How would you solve this? In a country where “arranged” marriages are a norm even in urban areas, my father has taken to technology to solve this situation. It is not just my parents but other urban families too have jumped on the online matrimonial bandwagon.
In fact, few of my friends & relatives were hitched this way. It is no longer “uncool”, it has become a necessity as many of them have no time to date/ are too shy/ or considered dating taboo! [we’re 3rd world duh!]
Coming back to the problem of electronic mail which still seems complex to my parents : “spam” still being an eternal problem, yet they manage to keep it all [zero!] read. I hope these systems become more intelligent and more empathetic towards the older generation.
Talking about mailers, i noticed that my father took those very personally and he actually replied to them! So now, there is more “mailer daemon” error code emails & frankly my parents till have no idea what “mailer daemon” stands for or what it does. Come on!! we really need to change that, how about “Return to Sender” instead? of all the metaphors used, how come this was neglected? huh?
No matter what fancy technology email has evolved with, there is still some level of frustration with new features & etiquette of the whole email system because they are not designed with normal human users in mind.
There is NO excuse for BAD design.
Ever since the “Superuser” was introduced for 4sq users, many users all over the globe cribbed on blogs that they never received their “power” even after they did so much to control the quality of User Generated Content on their beloved 4sq database. It must be massive with the number of absurd places, tips & photos upload every day, minute or second on the 4sq servers.
Though Cafe Coffee Day, the first to offer “Specials” [India-specific] was introduced on 4sq, many managers/staff claimed ignorance of such offers. Not sure of actual numbers of them though. Lot more specials at other brands did get introduced later 😛
Why am i stuck on the app, even after a year? because of all the “tips” my 4sq friends update about food places & their discoveries. The ease of use, badges & mayorships do add up to the delight. The mayorships are sometimes funny though! [probably due to the territorial nature?]
Well to get back to the “Superuser”-ship, will the “Supers” be loyal, non-biased & retain their integrity to get rid of the “scum”? How long will they survive? Will they continue their righteous path in-spite of no benefits?
It is quite amusing how the knowledge transfer [over the mobile phone] for recipes happens between my mother & me [the new bride] because she uses LPG stove whereas i use the induction & electric cookware.
She would say “Simmer on a low flame for 20 mins” & i would have to relate that with 6 types of induction cooking styles of “Hot Pot”, “Boil”, “Saute”, “Fry”, “Stir Fry”, etc & the temperature variation between 120 degree centigrade to 2000 degree centigrade. Of course over time i.e., burnt spices, asphyxiation, etc [The apartment complex where we live actually upgraded their fire extinguishing equipment] we did get to create edible food 🙂
Layar is a free application on your mobile phone which shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone.
Layar is a global application, available for the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic and other Android phones in all Android Markets. It also comes pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy in the Netherlands.
How do you use Layar?
By holding the phone in front of you like a camera, information is displayed on top of the camera display view.
For all points of interest which are displayed on the screen, information is shown at the bottom of the screen.
What do you see in the screen?
On top of the camera image (displaying reality) Layar adds content layers. Layers are the equivalent of webpages in normal browsers. Just like there are thousands of websites there will be thousands of layers. One can easily switch between layers by selecting another via the menu button, pressing the logobar or by swiping your finger across the screen.
Added features of Layar Reality Browser 2.0:
Layar has some cool features which include:
Unique layer specific icons/markers
Featured and Popular section
Add layer to favorites
Map view and list view
Enhanced AR view
“Take me There” function
Who is the team behind Layar?
Layar is run by Raimo van der Klein, Claire Boonstra & Maarten Lens-FitzGerald.
Update: check out this post: Layar: See Beyond Your Surroundings
Here are some excerpts from an article i came across that would be useful to get to know Adobe AIR.
AIR stands for, the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) and is one of the latest interesting development from Adobe.
AIR runs on Windows, Mac OS X and a very usable Beta version for Linux. It installs the first time you download and run an AIR application, much in the same way that Flash is installed on a computer if the user visits a web site using Flash and they don’t already have it installed.
AIR applications run on the desktop and are half way between web based applications (which run in a browser) and full blown desktop applications such as Word or Photoshop.
AIR applications differ from current web applications because AIR applications do not run in your web browser and therefore are able to use desktop features such as full drag and drop between applications, save files to the local hard drive or network and store data locally in a database.
When compared to traditional desktop applications, AIR applications are simple to deploy, easy and cost-effective to build, have better web integration and will run on all three of the major operating systems.
AIR is also smart enought to know when it is and isn’t connected so you can create programmes that work with online data and use the local database as a fallback if the connection to the internet is dropped.
more on AIR at Adobe® AIR™ Applications Wiki
Download the latest version of Adobe AIR
RefreshingApps.com – Showcase for Adobe AIR Applications and Resources
After being conditioned to UCD in grad school, Agile or Extreme Programming can be quite unnerving when you initially start out in a company that practices this methodology.
Here are some resources out there to start an initial phase of “getting used to”
Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile User-Centered Design
by Desiree Sy
Source Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 2, Issue 3, May 2007, pp. 112-132
[Do download the pdf of the Article Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile User-Centered Design ]
How to incorporate user-centered design into agile development methodology
Activator: Pawan Vora
Source Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA 2004 Idea Markets)
I found a lot of resources in slideshare and added them to my favorites with the tag “agile”.