Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Blogger Interface - Crap

Blogger just forced their new interface on me.  I was actually going to include this in another post, which I decided not to post...but this needs to be said, as it will likely be the last thing I post here.

Like the stereotypical view of FOX News, Google thinks if they say something enough times it will become true. In Google's update on the "new Blogger interface" they say:
we’ve made dozens of improvements for devices with smaller screens and touch screens.
Really? Where? Where have you addressed the numerous complaints I have sent in feedback and have outlined in this blog page (http://madcompscientist.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-interface-yuck.html)? It is the same craptastic layout that I have in my blog posting.

If you're really interested in addressing my issues with your interface, and I know you really aren't, but just in case you are, set your browser display to a horizontal resolution of approximately 750 pixels. Now look at your work. You will notice that it looks like crap. I'll even allow you 800 pixels wide, if you want to give yourself 50 more. Now before you say, "buhhhttt...screens are wider these days." YES, THEY ARE. I know that. I don't run JUST your application. I have other stuff on my screen too, at the same time, and 800 pixels is a lot of real estate, for me. I'm not saying that everything needs to fit within that 800 pixels, but the more important stuff most certainly should, and I should be able to horizontally scroll to get to the not-as-important stuff that doesn't fit there. The posting editor should definitely adjust to the width of the browser display. I mean, why in heck wouldn't it?!

Vertical space, too, shouldn't be just wasted, because again, I only have so much space before I have to start vertically scrolling.

Instead of incorporating every whiz-bang font and feature you can conjure-up into your web designs, take a deep breath, step back, and incorporate some human factors analysis into your web design. What are the important navigational parts of the page? How can the page be made to flow easily? How can the fonts be made to work properly on a variety of different dot-per-inch display formats? Use fonts that don't look like crap when anti-aliasing is turned off (because anti-aliased fonts look fuzzy, kind of like it was done with a 30 year old typewriter and an old typewriter ribbon, when viewed on a LCD display, which is what everyone is using these days).

Things shouldn't start popping out in the middle of the screen as soon as the mouse passes over some place. That's absolutely annoying. I can do a single click of a mouse button to pull down a menu if I need it. If it's something I will be clicking a lot, then, for heaven's sake, add it somewhere in the navigation area!! Is that too much to ask? Google Maps' right-hand interface (map/satellite and the pop-down menu below it) is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of this DREADFUL interface.

You're going to force me to use your new interface? Wonderful. Thanks for adding yet another craptastic user interface to the world.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Define Your Abbreviations

I keep seeing the abbreviation "Ft." in some YouTube videos and could not figure out what it meant (certainly not foot, or feet, or Fort, or...). For example:

Define Your Abbreviations (Ft. The Mad Computer Scientist)

Upon looking around through several search engines, I was able to figure out that the abbreviation, in this context, means featuring. This is used in music (and video media) to credit an artist who influenced (provided the basis for), or was included on the work.

For those arrogant people (mostly young'uns) who said in various forums that one should know this already, since they say it all the time (and show the abbreviation) in music videos: Some of us, both old and young, don't watch music videos (on MTV, etc.). Since there is already an established definition of the abbreviation Ft. (at least in American English) it would seem that the obligation is on you to define your abbreviations somewhere. If you arbitrarily change the language, it becomes very difficult to communicate. A better abbreviation would have been feat., and my understanding is that they did use that, but someone decided that four letters was way too many and shortened it to two.

I can't wait until someone creates a Fort The Mad Computer Scientist. Then nobody will be able to tell whether my example above is referring to the fort, or if I'm being featured. Haha.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dear at&t marketing...

Dear at&t Marketing People:

I need to edumacate you a bit about the service you're providing so the door-to-door salespeople you have coming around to bother people will know a bit more about what they're selling.

at&t U-verse is not FTTH also known as fiber-to-the-home. It's fiber-to-the-node (FTTN), and you don't have a whole bunch of nodes in little pedestals throughout the neighborhood. The round pedestals at the side of the road are splice points. The fiber nodes are cabinets in select locations in the neighborhood. They service probably a good 50-100 (minimally) subscribers. The subscribers' data is aggregated at that node, and is sent over fiber to an aggregation point further up the hierarchy in the network. Connections to the home are not over fiber, and, in fact, the data for TV, Internet, and phone are all over the same phone wiring that was used for telephony. The only difference is that the phone wiring has been conditioned to handle higher speed signaling and it ends up at the fiber node in the neighborhood.

Likewise, a HFC (hybrid fiber/coax) system that the cable companies use is a similar technology. Fiber nodes are typically in small cabinets on the side of the road or hanging from the wiring overhead. A fiber optic connection comes to the node, just as with a U-verse FTTN system. Simply speaking, the only difference is that instead of phone wiring in a star configuration from the node (home run from each house to the node) the cable company uses their coax cable in a bus topology (coax cable with taps to each home).

While it could be argued that a star topology is better than a bus topology in terms of providing service -- because each subscriber in a star topology has a dedicated connection to the node -- in reality the service speeds are pretty much the same. The equipment at the nodes used by both cable TV and U-verse providers can only handle a certain number of subscribers before connection to the equipment itself becomes saturated. In order to avoid customer complaints and lost subscribers, both will balance the proper number of subscribers to the infrastructure in place. Some companies are more proactive about this than others. In other words, when service gets slow it's usually because the node is overloaded, not because of the topology.

So that being said, at&t, let me address your salesperson's questions/comments:
  1. Does your connection get slower early in the evening? (the implication here is that my connection is getting slow because my neighbors are using their service at the same time) Anytime I have had Internet service -- whether cable, DSL, or any other technology -- there have been slow-downs to some extent during peak usage periods. Most of the time, if I investigate further, it's the server that I'm trying to connect with that's slow, not my Internet service.

    This being said, wireless providers (such as Clear's WiMAX service) do tend to degrade faster based on the number of subscribers, weather conditions, and usage patterns. This is due to the way that wireless connections work and the cost to deploy a wireless node (and thus oversubscribing nodes tends to happen more).

    So to answer your question, "No, my service doesn't get slower...and if it does, so will your's."
  2. U-verse uses fiber, not copper, so we can get faster speeds. This is a lie. You are using old copper phone wiring to get from my home to your fiber node. Judging from the difficulties at the phone companies had rolling-out DSL service at 6 Mbps down (those nodes were also typically served over fiber as well), I am skeptical about how well they can maintain even higher speeds on old phone wiring.
  3. The cable company's service is on copper, not fiber, and will cost more and be more difficult to maintain. See #2.
  4. The cost per month will be $X. No, I don't know how much it will cost after taxes and fees. If you don't know how much your service is going to cost, in total, please don't come talk to me. Give me the bottom line price. I'm not an idiot, and I don't like to order service for, for example, $60 a month and find when the bill comes it's $75-80 a month (a heck of a lot more than the 8.25% sales tax that we all know about).
  5. You'd pay a lot less if you ordered Internet service in a package with TV and phone. I know that, but I don't want TV or phone service, just like I told the cable company. I get my TV over-the-air with an antenna for free (and use an open source DVR to record programming), not to mention Netflix, amazon on demand, and Roku channels. I use a cell phone and Google Voice for telephony. While ordering these extra services from you will reduce my Internet bill, it will increase my bill overall since you're not giving me any of this stuff I don't need for free.
  6. Several of your neighbors have signed-on for service with us. I'm sorry to hear that my neighbors got suckered-into your sales pitch.

    Okay, I admit, that answer's a bit harsh. In reality, if they were actually getting all those services from at&t, and got a good price, and the service works well, then that's great. I'm happy they're getting good service. My experience with at&t has not been positive, though, and I also don't succumb to peer pressure, particularly based on what my neighbors do.
  7. What's a cap? I didn't know U-verse has a 250 GB/month cap. How much data do you use a month? Oh, they didn't tell you that U-verse customers now have a 250 GB/month cap? Well, now you know. Read that fine print. Now, I do admit that 250GB/month is a lot of data, and while I don't have a cap now, I suspect that my cable provider will soon jump on the bandwagon. The problem is that the service provider can and does change that amount on a whim, and I suspect at&t's whim will be when they reach a certain critical mass of subscribers.

    Internet data caps are stupid ... and before you flame me saying, "But...but...CPU, I don't use that data, and I shouldn't have to pay extra when other people are using all that data!" Oh, just shut the fudge up.

    First of all, data is not like water. It isn't like there are all these bits in a tank, and someone can just suck all the bits out of the tank leaving you with none. The problem -- if there actually is one, and I'm not convinced of it -- is one of available bandwidth, which is essentially instantaneous usage of a data pipe at a moment in time. If the available bandwidth (speed) to your fiber node is, for example, 1 Gbit/sec (1024 Mbits/sec), and you have 100 subscribers with 20 Mbit/sec connections, they all can't be using their connection at the same time and expecting to get 20 Mbits/sec. Why? Because 100 x 20 = 2000 Mbits/sec, and the maximum bandwidth is 1024 Mbits/sec. This is called oversubscription and it is done all the time because, matter of fact, people don't generally all use their full bandwidth all at the same time. If they did, though, then they would not get their rated speed, but instead it would be shared at a lower rate. Fine. But to limit usage by the total number of bytes is just silly and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The correct way to limit usage is to charge the correct amount for the bandwidth ordered, and increase infrastructure as needed. Let me explain this for those of you who can't understand. If I'm a cable company, and I sell 5, 10, and 20 Mbit/sec service, I should be selling this service with the expectation that whoever I'm selling it to will actually use the service. Yes, I will allow for oversubscription, but I can't expect that my customers will not use what they ordered. If I find that customers are using their service more than I expected and I need to have a lower level of oversubscription (thus, raising the cost of the data pipe to the node), then the correct course of action is to raise the price of higher tiered service. Why? Because these are the people who can, and usually are, creating the congestion.

    Said differently, a person using 250 Gbytes/month of data on a 5 Mbit connection has less of an impact on the congestion of the data pipe than a person consuming the exact same number of bytes on a 20 Mbit/sec connection. The cost to a service provider isn't in the number of bytes transferred, but rather in the amount of bandwidth consumed at a moment in time. Now, granted, the person with the 20 Mbit/sec connection will be congesting the network for a shorter amount of time, but that still doesn't lessen their impact on the speed of the network. A 20 Mbit/sec connection does have a greater impact.

    The real reason why service providers are implementing data caps is to gouge the consumer for more money (and, in the case of providers who provide TV and phone service, to discourage people from actually getting those services over broadband from someone than the service provider).

In short, at&t (and Time Warner, and Comcast, and Verizon, etc.), please tell the truth and be honest and stop lying to people to get business. In the long run, telling the truth and simply providing good service for a reasonable price will win you loyal customers who will stay with you (or come back to you, after your competitor screws them over) for a long time. You'll be getting revenue and can grow and your stockholders will be happy.

I won't hold my breath.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gun Control and Other Topics

I have been working occasionally trying to find a suitable replacement for blogger, and have not yet done so. Since I am still able to use the old interface, and I have some things to say, I'm back here for the time being... So without any further delay...

Gun Control & Aurora, CO

Full disclosure: I don't own a gun. I don't like guns - they make loud noises, and I hate the smell of exploded gunpowder. In the wrong hands they're dangerous.

The tragic events in Aurora were not perpetrated by a gun. They were performed by a crazy dude with a beef against the world. I am among those compassionate people who feel bad for those victims of that event and their families. It was a needless, senseless killing spree. Yet another domestic act of terrorism. Yes, crazy white American men are capable of terrorism too, with weapons of mass destruction. Chew on that for a few seconds...

That said, when I see people say that this is a reason for stricter gun control or the outlaw of guns entirely, I see misguided people. In fact, I was extremely disappointed when I saw someone I have (had) great respect for "think on automatic" ... well, let me just quote this and let them say it in their own words:
Outlier or not, the amount of power guns gave him was disproportionate to how much he SHOULD have had. Dozens wounded and killed. By one person. That's too much.

IS the right to own guns more important than those lives? I don't think so. And we have many non-lethal ways to protect ourselves, from pepperspray to tazers to martial arts, to even just a baseball bat. I'm sorry, but the right to own guns does NOT outweigh all those injured and dead. Does NOT.
...and continues to stay on-topic with this line of thinking.

On this line of thinking, we should get rid of everything "unnecessary" that kills people. Let's start with alcoholic beverages. My understanding is that more people are killed as a result of alcohol-involved activity than gun violence. But never mind that. There are many other ways to obtain hydration, so alcohol is unnecessary. One death is too many. Ban it. While we're on hydration, the nannies in government feel that soft drinks are feeding an "epidemic of obesity" that is killing our people. One person who dies because of soft drinks is too many. Ban 'em. Would you like me to go on? (nonononnonono!!) Good. That's my point.

I don't like guns. I am a compassionate person. However, I also understand that many of the things we do can, in the wrong hands, be dangerous or deadly. Guns are tools on ranches and in other locations. There are people who collect guns, because they enjoy it. Hey, it isn't my hobby, but they probably don't enjoy computer networking either. The old cliche is correct: guns don't kill people, people do. In this case, someone who perpetrated one of the worst civilian mass-murders in the history of our country. It is clear that he would have killed in spite of not having access to a gun. The elaborate booby-trapping of his apartment is proof of that. Other gun violence would simply be replaced by other weapons. People who are on a violent power trip are not limited by the availability of guns. Guns are not the problem here.

The question we should be asking ourselves (with a sincere attempt to avoid knee-jerk answers and solutions) is why people in our modern society still have such violent tendencies? Why do we seek-out violence for entertainment? I volunteer at an animal shelter, and it is clear to me that many people treat helpless animals with complete contempt. It has been said that the way people treat animals is a good indication of the kind of compassion they truly have for human life. As I have so eloquently (perhaps?) said in previous postings here, it is time to start asking and looking for answers to these really hard questions instead of banning things as a knee-jerk, feel-good response to violent and inhumane behavior.

Smoking Bans

While I'm speaking about banning stuff, I'd like to now speak out the other side of my mouth for a moment because the topic of smoking bans has resurrected itself a few times.

Full disclosure: I am adversely impacted by so-called "second-hand" smoke, and support most smoking bans.

You'd think with what I just said about gun control, I would be against smoking bans...and on that, you'd be wrong. I have a great deal of respect for Penn & Teller and their program Bullshit!, but I feel they missed the mark with smoking. Why? That program, and those who are pretty much against smoking bans, point to bad and misleading research about the negative effects of second-hand smoke. I have not done the investigation they have, so I'm going to assume that they are correct, even though my gut feeling is that there is likely better evidence to show that second-hand smoke does present some significant health risks. I'm going to take it from a different angle. A significant number of people, I being one of them, do have adverse reactions to smoke. I don't just dislike the smell. It causes serious respiratory distress to me.

Just for a moment, let's replace tobacco smoke with mud, and let's replace the delivery device (cigarette, cigar, pipe) with a straw (or someone's hand). Anne is an adult who likes to sling mud around to relax herself. Mud is a legal substance, and there are no laws on the books that specifically outlaw the slinging of mud. Anne has a great time sucking up mud in a straw then blowing it all over everyone and everything in her path. Then, when she's done, she tosses the straw on the ground and walks away. Betty walks by during one of Anne's mud-slinging activities and her clothes become spattered with mud. She has mud all over her face, and now needs to go home and clean it off and clean her clothes. She smells like dirt. She has gotten dirt in her mouth, and it isn't clear whether this will have any future health effects. Betty gets angry with Anne for being inconsiderate and slinging her mud all over the place. Anne asserts her right to sling mud since mud is a legal substance and there's no law preventing her from doing so.

This is how I see this situation with smoking. In reality, Anne has the right to sling her mud so long as she doesn't impact the rights of others around her. She can sling mud in her home, in her back yard (again, provided the mud remains in her yard and not those around her), and where people gather for slinging mud. However, to do so in a public space or where people who would not reasonably expect to be spattered with mud would probably be considered (in legal terms) as assault...or maybe a destruction of property. Throwing the straw on the ground is littering. People who smoke do the same thing as Anne. They adversely impact those around them with little means of escape. People end up with their clothing smelling like smoke, and for those who get respiratory distress, leave them with that distress. It is tantamount to assault. For those majority of cigarette smokers who simply throw their used butts on the ground, it is littering all the same.

If someone wants to smoke, they can do so in their home, or in a place where people would typically gather to smoke. You want to open a cigar bar, go right ahead and do so. Understand, though, that smoking tobacco products, whether or not you believe the research about second-hand smoke or the use of it is misleading or wrong, still has a negative impact on those around the smoker. This is why I support the ban of smoking in the workplace and in most public places. Your right to smoke ends where my right to clean air begins.

Drug Legalization

Full disclosure: I don't do drugs. I don't like drugs. I think people under the influence are problematic (no, I won't elaborate). I feel alcohol is a drug. I really don't enjoy being around people doing drugs, in spite of how entertaining their drug-induced state may be.

It's funny how every time someone decides they want to infringe on the rights of someone else to do something they don't like, it becomes a "war on {something}." The so-called war on drugs is among the most insane ineffective waste of money ever initiated by the US government (the war on terror, however, is overtaking the drug war). Look at what the prohibition of drugs has given us: Mexican drug cartels, people in jail because they used drugs (only to come out as more hardened criminals), loads and loads of laws and law enforcement entirely centered around drug use. Has it prevented people from doing drugs? Nope. Has it created lots of black markets for drugs and associated criminal violence that comes with it? Yup. So instead of Johnny getting high and maybe doing something stupid (potentially even hurting someone in that state), we have Mexican drug cartels and many deaths of innocent people. Does anyone else see what's wrong here?

Enough already. Legalize pot. Seriously. The State of California can place stickers all over the stuff saying that they know that taking these substances will cause one to act stupid, or (for other drugs) become seriously physically dependent on the substance. For heaven's sake, just end the madness already. The only caveat I have is that anything you do on drugs you're fully responsible for. That's right, if you take "bath salts" and start chewing on someone, then it's assault. You get arrested and thrown in jail for that. So pick your drug of choice wisely. We also won't have any sympathy when you become hooked on heroin, and you're going through withdrawl, or you overdose and die. Don't get in a car and drive under the influence, or you'll end up (minimally) with a DUI, and perhaps even with a vehicular homicide charge. Stay at home, put on some headphones, play some groovy music, and take your pot or other drug, and just leave everyone else alone.

Keep teaching that drugs are bad. They are. People have the means at their disposal to do all kinds of stupid things with what they have available to them. The best way to combat that is to teach them how to be reasonable, functional, rational human beings. The money we get back from the war on drugs could be much better spent on education, to get people where they're smart enough to not do drugs. If you give a person a fish, they eat for a day. If you teach a person to fish, they eat for a lifetime. Unless, of course, they don't fish. Teach them to pick berries instead!

Summary

I chose these topics because they deal with bans of all kinds. Sometimes you just have to prohibit certain behavior, because it's harmful. Sometimes you need to let people just do what they're going to do, and try to show them how to be responsible. Sometimes, you need to realize that while it is tempting to ban some thing to solve the problem, the right thing to do is to get at the root of the problem itself and start working on it.

Be good. Be good to each other and the Earth around us. It's important.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Governmental Rant

It feels like almost 2600 years ago that I used to be able to fly on an airplane without an attack on my personal liberties by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during my brief time in the airport.  At one time, the only things that would make an innocent plane trip turn into a disaster would be if a flight were cancelled [sic] or a service disruption such as flight delays happened due to extreme weather.  I really enjoyed flying Southwest Airlines.  Now the United States Government thinks every citizen flying on a plane is prepared to commit acts of terror including carrying-on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other home grown bombs.  Why do our own authorities, in the name of domestic security, need to treat its citizens like common criminals while trying to visit their families?  It's like this country is constantly in a state of emergency, forcing us to remain in our own homes under lockdown, under quarantine, as through we had an outbreak of the flu, and forced to eat nothing but pork (the other white meat).  I've said it before:  Terrorism is not something you can wage war against - it is a weapon of war.  You can't "fight the terrorists."  You can't fight against an ideology.  You can only fight against a group of people that pose a formidable threat against our security.  The people responsible for the threat against the United States are not afraid of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Putting people through a living hell at the airport is not going to stop these people from launching an attack again.  It simply undermines our own citizens' liberties and our ability to peacefully travel from place-to-place.  Isn't this what "W" originally said would be allowing the Taliban to "win?"

I believe that our government needs to take its collective wisdom and knowledge that they are otherwise wasting on debating the pros and cons of gay marriage and concentrate on real solutions to the threats that are threatening our way of life in the United States.  Right now, the bigger threat to the freedoms, liberties, peace, and prosperity that our nation used to enjoy is our own government.  Clearly, everyone has gotten so afraid of being part of another attack against our country that we're willing to sacrifice those things that made our country great - what makes people want to come here.  That's a sad commentary on those we have elected to uphold those ideals set down by the founding fathers of the U.S.A.

The reason for the words in red text is that this little rant uses many of the U.S. Government's key words and search terms outlined in a recent document that was posted to the Internet.  On the one hand, it's kind of a tease to mess with their search engines.  On the other hand, maybe if they were to read this, it would provide some enlightenment about how we, the people, feel about how we're being treated.  It was inspired by Phillip DeFranco's YouTube video titled THE GOVERNMENT IS WATCHING YOU!!

I'm not trying to be a radical.  I'm not looking to incite a riot, mess with the police, or create a wave of silly messages to government officials.  I'd like to encourage people to spread this virus to encourage our elected officials to take the needs of the people they serve into consideration instead of perpetuating a toxic environment of repression and authoritarianism.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New interface - Yuck

Dear Google/Blogger-

I don't like your new interface.  The old interface had its problems, but I really don't like the new interface.  Since your "feedback" systems won't let you see what I really see, I am laying it out for you here (note that clicking on the screen-shots will provide a full-size view of what I see):

This is what the old interface looks like for me.

What I like:   The font is compact, and it is one that renders great on all platforms (Windows, Linux, and Mac alike).  It displays quickly and the display is used more efficiently than the new interface.  Actions are simply text links, and are easy to read and find.  They don't take a lot of space on the display, so a lot can fit cleanly in a small space -- a small space that happens when you use a netbook, or use a portion of your display for a web browser and other parts for other items.  I also have my browser in a "portrait" configuration, since I view it like I would view a piece of paper.  The chosen colors are easy to look at (are not overly bright).

What I don't like:  Stuff goes off the right-hand side of the browser display.  Because there is a lot of waste on the left side, it becomes necessary to horizontally scroll.  Thankfully, the horizontal scrollbar has not been removed as seems to happen on many of Google's new products.  I don't know whether they do that purposely, or it happens because they confuse the browser by forcing the display window to be a certain size.


This is what the Blogger dashboard looks like to me with the new interface.

What I like:  Less horizontal scrolling.  I think someone must have heard me when I complained about this, and I do appreciate that.  Some of this was accomplished with drop-down menus.  If these were done using the default browser rendering and, perhaps, text cues, then it would actually work nicely.

What I don't like:  Let's start with the simple...the color of the page is blindingly bright.  The old interface offset some of the white space with some calmer tones to make it easier to read in a variety of room lighting situations.  I don't like the graphical styled buttons and drop-down menus.  These take up way too much space on the page - they were obviously designed for a screen with much higher resolution.  On a smaller display, it's obnoxious.  The font that is used for the larger text is ugly, and again, way too big.  The indentation and wasted space on the left hand side of the display causes information to the right of that to get pushed down smaller.  Why are you indenting this?  What is the purpose for wasting space on the left hand side of the screen for a "New Blog" button?  Again, this compresses useful information - about my current blogs - on the right side of the display.  Do I need to have a language selection on this page?  Shouldn't this be part of my Blogger profile?   Why not put creating a new blog up there, where there is plenty of space, and allow the blog listings to take more space on the dashboard?

This is how the new post selection screen looks to me.  I think the ugliness of this is self-explanatory.  All of the ridiculousness that I mentioned above -- the ugly font, wasting left-hand side of the screen, excessive space between posts, etc. -- is all evident here.  Where a whole list of blog posts could easily be seen without scrolling, here scrolling is a necessity.  Like many other poor web layouts, this one insists on putting infrequently-used stuff on the left side of the screen which pushes stuff off the right side of the screen and forces horizontal scrolling.  The indentation of the material on the left side of the screen only compounds the problem.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Then there's this mess...  Oh, where do I begin?  I had to go back to the old interface so I could get access to all the editing buttons, because many of them went off the right-hand side of the display.  This is freaking awful.  Every dang time I tried to do editing, and my mouse pointer would get close to the right side of the screen, the darn menu would pop into the middle of the screen.  Oh, yeah, I see that you did that so I wouldn't need to horizontally scroll.  I appreciate THAT.  What I don't need is the damn menu constantly popping into the middle of what I'm writing.  Oh, and do you see a horizontal scrollbar?  That's right, not there.  This is just a culmination of everything I hate in the new Google interfaces and how it looks in general.  Lots of big fonts.  Lots of graphical-type buttons.  Lots of things that show how the people who designed the new interface spent hours in front of a display that was 1920x1080 resolution and using the whole display for the browser, instead of on a computer that someone may actually be using with other windows open to reference information.  Yes, when I write my blog entries, I keep other things opened up - like e-mail, a dictionary, maybe something else I may  be referencing.  No, Blogger is not the entire focus of my world.

Seriously guys ... you want me to go to this new interface?  If so, I can't blog here anymore.  It has become completely not-fun.  I really wanted to send this all to you, but you don't have a feedback button that allows this much feedback.  So here it is.  Hopefully, you'll encounter this and see it, and it helps you to improve the service.  Unfortunately, like everything else I've seen of Google, it probably will never change back.  Sorry, but I don't like this new style.  It doesn't work for me.

Sincerely,

CPU

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sticking A Fork In It

(click image to see detail)
Well, this blog will unfortunately be coming to a permanent close soon.  As you may have noticed, I haven't posted anything in a while.  I'm just not enjoying doing this much anymore.  However, what am enjoying less is how Google seems to be insisting that their look-and-feel be so incredibly screen-consuming and .. well .. ugly, that I really am starting to hate using their stuff, and that is now moving along to Blogger.

In the screen capture in this entry you'll see a subtle example of what is pissing me off.  A recent change to the top menu above my blog is now missing links because they go off the right side of my browser display.  Of particular importance is the "Sign In" link (or Dashboard).  The only way I can get to that (because whatever they do, the horizontal "bottom" scrollbar is also missing) is to consume my entire display with the web browser, click the link, then resize again to the orientation I like.  I have found no way to report this bug, either.

The new Blogger "dashboard" interface they intend on forcing on us this month is filled with these kinds of gems.  Instead of a nice clean approach that currently exists, they are putting these excessively large custom graphic buttons in place of the browser-rendered ones, having lots of whitespace all over the place, and forcing stuff off the right hand side of the browser display.  This is nothing new for Google as of late -- on my netbook, Google Maps is now annoying to use for the same reason.  There is so much space taken-up by their silly menus and stuff (not to mention the speed hit for all the scripting to support G+) that there is much less useful space to use the map.

I grow tired of dealing with this bad web site design, and since they insist on forcing this poor design on everyone, I have no other recourse but to find a different place to host the blog.

Between Facebook's miserable "timeline" thing and now this...  It's just a sad period of web history.

UPDATE

As I was editing this entry, it seems they've been changing the top menu because now what I used to use to get to the dashboard is entirely missing...  Argh.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

STOP SOPA

Rather than disrupting the content of the blog and potentially wiping the whole format out ... consider this my contribution to the "STOP SOPA AND PIPA" movement.


See www.sopastrike.com and americancensorship.org for more details and to sign online petitions against the offending legislation.


Tell your representatives that you do not wish to have the Internet censored.