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Electronic Freedom Foundation



  Thursday, January 30, 2003


"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."  

Henry Kissinger. [Quotes of the Day]

8:02:33 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

And my browser of choice is:

Opera Leaves IE 'Dinosaur' In the Dust. eWeek Labs is loving the new Opera for Windows browser. [Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo Foley]

7:54:40 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

What?! Kill more trees?!?

Printed manuals to return in 2003?. Is omitting a printed manual penny-wise but pound foolish? Maybe, but we're talking a lot of pounds. [Usable Help]

Face it, when we stopped printing books and put our content online, all we did was transfer the printing cost from our end to the customer's. Was that really a smart thing to do?

7:44:55 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Another rant on content vs. technique

Boys and their toys. Technical writers love to fiddle with fonts, debate tools, and find new, complicated methods to produce their work. Industry conferences are full of tools-based sessions and its a shame that hardly anyone talks about content. [Usable Help]

I'm getting tired of hearing the constant complaints about font-fondlers and toolheads. For crying out loud, we reasonably assume that all technical writers are capable or writing, of organizing content so it's useful for their readers, of divining the deeper meaning of all that trivial detail we slavishly document. I'm convinced that I read more complaints about tool discussions than there are actual tool discussions. The one time in recent memory that a discussion of actual content was raised on TECHWR-L, the most vociferous opponent of STC and tool-talk was strangely silent. Come on, what do tech writers have in common but our tools, recalcitrant SMEs, insane deadlines, poorly-planned processes, and so on? I can't talk about the content I'm writing because it's proprietary and not in general release yet. Come on, quit yapping and get back to work!

7:41:41 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

What they don't understand

What Price Content? (ClickZ) -- "Surveys of American consumers routinely conclude newspaper sites don't cannibalize print subscriptions. They actually increase...   28-January-2003 -- What Price Content?. [WebWord]

and a companion piece, "Why Music Stays Free", examine the economic truths of supply and demand and pricing models to conclude that the music industry has it all wrong, and online content actually pushes periodical sales. Interesting reading.

7:06:24 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

I always knew they were dangerous. . .

Beware: Your PC Can Kill You -- "New Zealand researchers have found that sitting at a computer for hours on... 30-January-2003 -- Beware: Your PC Can Kill You. [WebWord]

The researchers liken sitting at the computer for long periods to similar problems on long airplane flights. I guess it's a good thing I'm restless and can't sit still for very long. I also like to wander around when I'm on the phone for any length of time. Even better, I take off for the gym early afternoon most days and get an hour workout. Feels good, and I'm losing weight--and not letting the computer kill me!

6:44:32 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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