Blog

The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Windows 8 Beta: Upcoming MS Disaster

As I've done with Windows 7 and Vista previously, I like to get my hands on the public betas or release candidates of upcoming Windows releases to have a bit of a play.

Right now I'm having a play of Windows 8, and to be frank I'm still trying to comprehend what's sitting in front of me. Some would say this beta is a revolution in Windows interface design, others would say it's a catastrophe. I'm more inclined to the latter. But before I get into it, here's the obligatory screenshots.

Win 8 logon screen Win 8 Start Screen Win 8 task manager

With Windows 8, Microsoft is attempting to develop an … Read more →

Google’s New Look of Doom & On Virgin

Google has been busy rolling out it's new look, and even after using it on a few products for a while now, it isn't getting any better for me. As i've ranted about before, the grey-washing of colours across it's services (most eye-soringly in Blogger entries) is truly perplexing.

But I can live with bland and unlively colour changes; what is bugging me the most is basic usability impediments. Google used to be really good at this type of thing, making highly usable and accessible services. Just to use the new Reader look again as an example:

Google Reader snapshot

Other than the … Read more →

Terrible Reader Updates & NAS, Media Player Gadgetry

A few months ago I criticised Google's upcoming interface design for Gmail as being bland and not user friendly. It seems in the past week that in rolling out this design across all their products Google has taken the remodelling knife to my beloved Google Reader.

I've loved using Google Reader for over five years as my main web and RSS aggregator, but their recent update has really irked me. I was expecting the colour-washed interface (which is still terrible btw), but to the point of making link colours the same as normal text, terrible text-size scaling, and the … Read more →

Rant: Why Wash the Colours Away?

iTunes left menu interface comparison, new washed out version 10 colours on the left, the previous version on the rightIn terms of computer and application interfaces (either hardware or software) I'm pretty critical of a lot of 'fashion' or 'trendy' changes that have absolutely no practical improvement, and especially those that are in my opinion completely unpractical.

Years ago I criticised Apple's fashion of white that permeated to most other technology manufacturers and into society in general.

Now it seems there is a general shift to washing away colours from program interfaces. One thing we were taught in interface design at uni (although that was a while ago), is that in addition to logically and easily shaped and recognisable … Read more →

Go Back To Where You Came From

Aired over the past three nights on SBS was Go Back to Where You Came From, a series about some strong minded mostly anti-refugee and anti-boat-people Australians being exposed first-hand to the experiences a lot of refugees live and go through.

I'd strongly encourage anyone who didn't see it to watch the 3-episode series, which you can view on the SBS website here. Some would say that it's a 'one-sided' or 'bleeding heart' view of the refugee issue, but I would counter that by saying the majority of what we're shown in the Australian media, and especially politically, … Read more →

Nice Try Retailers, Maybe Stop Ripping Us Off?

Australian Piggy BankTime for my first rant of the year!

In the news recently, and highlighted today, are some of Australia's biggest retailers campaigning against the tax-free threshold for buying and importing goods online from overseas.

For the unaware: in Australia people can buy something from overseas and import it into the country, and providing the value of what you are importing is less than AUD$1000, you don't have to pay any GST (Goods and Services Tax) on the goods.

The big retailers argue that it is killing their businesses, and want a level playing field by either the Government taxing … Read more →