Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The iPhone is overrated

The amount of press the iPhone is getting is absurd. The phone is horrendously incomplete for the price. The iPhone has none of the following (from Gizmodo):
  • Songs as Ringtones
  • Games
  • Flash support
  • Instant Messaging
  • Picture messages (MMS)
  • Video recording
  • Voice recognition or voice dialing
  • Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Streaming (A2DP)
  • One-size-fits-all headset jack (May have to buy an adapter for certain headphones)
  • 3G (EV-DO/HSDPA)
  • GPS
  • A real keyboard
  • Removable battery
  • Expandable Storage
  • Direct iTunes Music Store Access (Over Wi-Fi or EDGE)
It also:
  • Only works with AT&T Wireless (Cingular)
  • Can't be sold without a contract
They want you to pay $499 for this thing. That's half a grand. I don't think so. Hats off to them for creating such a pre-release craze, though. It's so bad you can bet on its success. There are 20 to 1 odds someone gets trampled trying to get an iPhone.

[Update 7/11]: Will it blend? Yes, it will.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New is going to update their website this coming weekend. I stumbled upon their beta site yesterday and was planning to write a design commentary today, but the beta is over and the page now redirects to their web design blog. Oh well.

Apparently it's been up since the beginning of June, and a number of sites have already reviewed it. At the time I am writing this, there is still a guided tour available, too.

I really like the new design. The overall look has been simplified and streamlined, and there is a more consistent use of color across the site. Gone are the gradients galore in menus and buttons. Distinct sections of the pages are more clearly defined as well. From a technology standpoint, the site makes heavy use of Ajax and cleanly integrates video into the site, a step up from their old pop-up solution, which was just awful. Video will also be entirely free now (though ad-crippled).

Users will be able to customize their pages somewhat, but only in regards to localization... at first. The compartmentalization of the various page components hints that they might be moving toward a more Yahoo-like portal environment.

CNN's approach to the creation of the new site is also encouraging. The beta was plastered with feedback links, and the blog actively sought comments from users. Though not exactly collaborative design, for such a high-profile site like to actively solicit user feedback is a good sign of things to come.

[Update 6/30]: It went live today. The front page was so intuitive, I didn't even realize it had been refreshed for a minute!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


We're going to Italy this August! In a tradition that is almost never broken, one must embark on a Bar Trip shortly after finishing the Bar exam, before starting a full time job. We've always wanted to visit Italy, and a family member gave us the tour catalog that does guided tours all over the world.

So, we took the plunge. It's 3 nights each in Rome, Florence, and Venice. The tour company is handy because they take care of your airfare, hotels, transportation, and a bunch of tours. They also give you a fair amount of downtime, for relaxing or touring on your own.

Jason is going to photoblog his trip to Europe, so I guess when we go I'll put a photoblog here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Your tax dollars at work

Fun facts about people running the country:
  1. Scott Charbo, the Chief Information Officer of the Department of Homeland Security, has a Masters in plant science*. In his 2 years as CIO, he has racked up almost $6 billion in IT expenditures. The DHS sustained over 800 IT security breaches during that time.
  2. Dick Cheney's office tried to dissolve the Information Security Oversight Office, a division of the National Archives. The office is charged with auditing the classification and declassification of information by the government. Cheney's office feels that it is exempt from this executive order, and when challenged by the office, Cheney tried to eliminate it. The initiative was established by Clinton and amended by Bush in 2003.
* No hate to plant science majors, but the CIO of DHS should have a more applicable education.

Thursday, June 21, 2007