February 6th, 2009

full steam ahead

thank you Microsoft: check box select in Win 7 beta

Check box selection of files in Explorer is back in the beta of Windows 7! Well, not back because it hadn't gone away but it seems to be back as a default - I've got it in this clean install on the beta on my lovely new HP EliteBook 2730p. I'm extra glad because one of the piece of feedback I gave on the M3 pre-beta was that such a useful feature shouldn't be something users had to go dig for.

Things I also take credit for: time zone selection for application in Outlook 2007. My next project is to persuade them that I should get to choose whether an all day appointment switches to 24 hours in the original time zone when I change time zone, or stays as an all day appointment - this could be a once for all option, a choice every time (or an option to chose whether I want a universal or per-appointment setting). Because I want May 21 to stay as May 21 whenever I change time zones, but some people might like to be reminded that a back-home birthday does not start at 3am when you wake up abroad...

Now: I know this is a known bug, but Intel? Please fix your WDDM 1.1 driver so I don't get the extra lines all over my screen and have to drag windows so they redraw. KTHXBAI
pink with a yellow brush

I still think of Amazon as a bookshop

I know Amazon is a logitistics and fullfillment service that just started with something easy to warehouse, with a long tail and a widespread, Internet-savvy audience - but I stil think of it as a bookshop and it somehow feels odd to buy toothpaste there. I have been using the same toothpaste (Mentadent P) since I was about 15, because it doesn't taste of mint and has the same cetyl pryidinium chloride (or near relative) that's in good mouthwash. I haven't been to a dentist in years either, so it seems to work for me. A few years back I noticed I couldn't get it in Waitrose and then I couldn't find it in Superdrug and now I can't find it in Boots and finally I thought 'why don't I look for it online?'

I stopped shopping online because I felt the delivery fee on Ocado was that little bit too high, and I like the interactive experience (I don't get out the house much some weeks!), but we buy cat food and ink cartridges and other staples online.Amazon is already the only place I know to get Zorb powder. So why does it feel like a culture shock to buy toothpaste online?
pink with a yellow brush

Amazing Seattle VR site, cool Photosynths

Pottling along from link to link so I can close all the windows cluttering my screen and get down to the rest of my to-do list that's underneath them, I came across these fantastic images/uses of images.

http://www.vrseattle.com/pages/vrview_fs.php?cat_id=956&vrs_id=vrs1999&ftype=flash is the bus that nearly tipped over onto I-5
http://www.vrseattle.com/ is a blog of recent images, you acn also go through by district. This isn't just oh look, tourist things: there's art galleries and insect safaris and local neighbourhoods at dusk - really immersive.

http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/44.president/inauguration/themoment/ is a PhotoSynth of the inauguration. Don't just look at people documenting the public moment: the third synth is people watching it on TV; the same image on the screen but in over 200 different homes. A really creative way to link images...

It's so cool to see something and click and jump out and see different views and zoom in to see different angles. THe VR panoramas are professional and beautiful; the PhotoSynths are lots of people doing what catches their attention and it being made into something more later. Both incredibly powerful tools.