Music industry “gets it” eight years too late
“Amazon’s finally done what was clearly the right solution in 1999. Music in the format that people actually want it in, with a Web-based experience that’s simple and works with any device. I bought tracks from Amazon (Kevin Drew and No Age), downloaded them, sync’d them to my new iPod Nano, and had them playing in my home audio system (Control 4) in less than five minutes. PRAISE JESUS. It only took 8 years. 8 years. How much opportunity have we lost in those 8 years?...We certainly didn’t gain mass user adoption or trust, two prerequisites to success on the Internet.”
Black Google would save 750 megawatt-hours a year
“Take at look at Google, for instance, who gets about 200 million queries a day. Let’s assume each query is displayed for about 10 seconds; that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day on some desktop. Assuming that users run Google in full screen mode, the shift to a black background will save a total of 15 (74-59) watts. Now take into account that about 25 percent of the monitors in the world are CRTs, and at 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, that’s about $75,000/year, a goodly amount of energy and dollars for changing a few color codes.” [tx AK] (Update: Google responds)
Two weeks with Django (and then back to Rails)
“Despite it’s warts, Rails is still the fastest, easiest way to get things working and out to customers, which is absolutely critical. I’m now back to quickly adding new features into our app. And by tomorrow, we’ll just have a web host that specializes in Rails. Depending upon user acceptance and incoming revenues, it might make sense down the road to invest time, money, and mental angst in rewriting in something like Django for better performance, but not right now.”
Zappos brings customer to tears
“When I came home this last time, I had an email from Zappos asking about the shoes, since they hadn’t received them. I was just back and not ready to deal with that, so I replied that my mom had died but that I’d send the shoes as soon as I could. They emailed back that they had arranged with UPS to pick up the shoes, so I wouldn’t have to take the time to do it myself. I was so touched. That’s going against corporate policy. Yesterday, when I came home from town, a florist delivery man was just leaving. It was a beautiful arrangement in a basket with white lilies and roses and carnations. Big and lush and fragrant. I opened the card, and it was from Zappos. I burst into tears. I’m a sucker for kindness, and if that isn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is.”
Gladwell on the workplace
“The concept of the workplace has become more flexible and I think that’s only going to accelerate. When I walk around Manhattan in the middle of a weekday I see untold numbers of people sitting in coffee shops with their laptops. I mean, they’re working; but they’re not working in a way that would have been recognizable to anyone 10 years ago. I suspect that kind of thing will only increase.” [via JK]
Video of pretty realtime logfile visualization
“View real-time data and statistics from any logfile on any server with SSH, in an intuitive and entertaining way.”
Combining arrogance and humility
“Arrogance without humility is a recipe for high-concept irrelevance; humility without arrogance guarantees unending mediocrity. Figuring out how to be arrogant and humble at once, figuring out when to watch users and when to ignore them for this particular problem, for these users, today, is the problem of the designer.”
Top 100 user-centered blogs (SvN is #1)
“Web designers often concern themselves with optimizing sites for spiders from Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, but pay little attention to creating sites that real people can use. This problem has sparked a movement towards user-centered web design, a topic that covers accessibility, web standards, and interfacing. Check out these blogs for the latest and greatest in this people-centric field of design.”