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Books & Articles I wrote.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Microsoft - don't use popups when shopping!!

I was quite surprised that the folks at MSDN never noticed the problem with their final stage of purchasing.

Basically (and i'm using IE 7, but could be most browsers) you get a final confirmation and a message during the processing says "please don't re-submit" - i guess you may get charged twice. So, all is well and my order details are finalized - i think.

You see the problem is that at the very end it pops up a new browser window - and, as you may have guessed, most software now stops popups, typically asking if you want to see it. Well, of course i do... but, that will repost the page. So i can't view what may be important information bacause the page will be resubmitted and i have been explicitly told not to do that.

I only hope it was nothing important, but some real world testing would flag this almost immediately i suspect!

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Virtual TechEd

At last - i asked for this last year and for Mix06.

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Email Thread Visualization

I thought this was really cool. It is some work from the IBM Watson Research Centre that shows how email threads can be viewed visually.

Nodes are messages, arcs are message relations and the colors dictate various attributes such as time, contributor and so on.

Some more info here.

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First Contact

This is my first week with contact lenses. I really thought sticking my finger in my eye would be an issue, but it turns out i have no problem whatsoever doing it. They have made an amazing difference and although i still wear my glasses sometimes, i'd more often choose contacts.

I did have an interview for a contract this week (which i got) and prior to it i had been getting training in putting them in and out. My eyes were quite sore and to be honest i must have looked like i was partying 'til the early hours (i wasn't!).

It was great to be able to come in from the rain (oh, it was reaning yesterday here in Glasgow, but that's like telling you the Atlantic has water in it ...) and watch the football without glasses. Even travelling home on the train i noticed much more (your view width is much with contacts too).

So if you're in the position i was and thinking that you couldn't put things in your eyes, just give the one day soft disposible contacts a go - it's definitely worth a try!

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World Cup surprise

With one or two refreshments i caught the end of the Argentina v Germany game yesterday (I have started doing some work for a local financial institution who actually have plasma TV's IN their offices with the World Cup on?!).

The result really surprised me as Argentina looked on fire at the start of the tournament. Germany though, have gone from strength to strength and now look like the favourites to me. They don't have any outstanding individual players, but as a team, and with the crowd behind them, they are playing some good football.

But, for me the Argentinian manager (now resigned) threw the game away with his bizarre changes. It's ok to take your best players off in the last few minutes when you're 2-0 up, but at 1-0 and with 20 minutes to go he made some very bad decisions which ultimately cost them the match... and the world cup - no game will be harder than against the Germans.

It's getting interesting, but i expect a Germany Brazil final, but i'm not sure how to call it. If Ronaldinho wakes up Brazil will win it, but if he doesn't, it will be very, very Klose.

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