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Archive for August, 2007

Yahoo! Mail – Please respect end user settings

August 30th, 2007 1 comment

I don’t want to add any fuel to the flame, I just want to report an annoying problem that I hope will get addressed soon. After all, according to Sue Decker’s memo, Yahoo is going to focus more on the customers, rather than on the advertising products.

Here is my problem – as a premium Yahoo AT&T user I want my Yahoo Mail to be ad-free. Well, for some reason Yahoo insists on showing me ads. . No matter how hard I try to hide the advertising panel on the right it keeps coming back the second I move between tabs within the application (read message, compose, back to inbox etc).

Take a look – just follow the cursor:

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Categories: Technology, Usability Tags: ,

The upcoming GPhone makes me wonder…

August 28th, 2007 No comments

 

During the years of my professional career, as I move to a new company or a new role, I usually don’t spend too much time thinking about the past. I try to do my own post mortem analysis shortly after I leave, and summarize to myself what worked and what did not, as well as what were the lessons learned. Then I try to quickly disconnect and ‘clear my brain’ in order to make room for what’s coming next. Later on, when I come across a company name, product, former colleague or former partner that I had worked for/on/with, usually only the good memories come up.

Lately, I find myself thinking more and more about Galleo, a company I worked for back in the first bubble days (2000-2001) and touched on in the past. Galleo had a very innovative approach of how a mobile multimedia communicator should work and what type of applications and features it needs to contain. The company invested a lot in technology & intellectual property but clearly did do enough to protect it. To be more accurate – we began the process of filing several patent applications and registering numerous trademarks but as the company run out of cash and went out of business this process was never completed. With everything that is going on around the iPhone and the (upcoming) GPhone, some of those patents & trademarks could have been really valuable assets. Entrepreneurs – learn your lesson, always save some cash to cover future IP related fees. 

But wait, there is a good part for this post as well. As I was reading the July 2001 Linux Journal article about the Galleo, I came across a quote made by Daniel Benenstein (Galleo’s Dir of Engineering). If you slightly modify his quite, and since both the iPhone and the GPhone use Unix/Linux, it turns out that Daniel’s prophecy is today’s reality…

Mass production is ahead for wireless, embedded Linux multimedia communicators that will contribute even more to make Linux, without a doubt, the OS for the Internet.”

Too bad Galleo did not survive the bubble burst. It could have been a really big company with really big product, and maybe even something Fred Wilson would consider as his dream phone.

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Sheriff, Thank you for a great year.

August 25th, 2007 No comments

Like So Many Rabbit Heads  - JeffCam

It happened just as I thought, and as of Saturday night Eli Cohen is no longer our head coach.

Roni, Loni and Avi have a great part in the latest crises in our team. It is easy to blame the coach for the poor performance of the players, but when you tie his hands (cut players’s budget in half) and constantly criticize his work in the press (how can a coach motivate his players after they read he is not going to be the coach soon?) you create an environment where no one can succeed. Unless our multi-headed management will change her leadership & communication style, the future of the next coach is not going to be bright.

Speaking about the next coach…well, during the pre-Klinger era , in the years 2000-2002, the team played happy football and won two cups. Nir Levine was responsible for that and therefore he deserves the job. My 2 cents.

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“Like So Many Rabbit Heads” picture by: JeffCam



A Message of Support from the President

August 24th, 2007 No comments

I saw this message the other day on etrade.com home page. It was issued by their President & COO and his message was firm and clear:

I want to assure you that your accounts and your assets are safe with us, and that we put the utmost value on our relationship with you.”

As I read the message my football fan instincts immediately kicked in and I had to fight myself not to interpret it as:

I want to invite you to visit one of etrade branches in your area and cash out your assets. It was a pleasure working with you and we hope to serve you again in the future.”

 

I guess that’s the result of following closely Israeli football and it’s dynamics for more than 25 years. After all, in this fascinating game, when the president/chairman sends a message such as:

Our head coach can rest assured that he has my full support.”

everyone knows that he really means:

Our head coach has another game or two with us before he will have to look for a new job in a different team or as a TV commentator.”

Am I wrong, Mr. Cohen?

 

TheMarker IT looks good

August 21st, 2007 2 comments

[This post is for those who read Hebrew websites…]

TheMarker is one of the few Israeli web sites that constantly introduces new products, features, technologies and improvements such as: Tag Cloud, Social Network and experimental UI

I visited TheMarker earlier today and was surprised and pleased to see something new once again. TheMarker IT (still in Beta) which covers the Israeli Internet & technology industry is their latest product and from a first look I can say that the TheMarker team did a pretty good job.

Things I like in particular:

  • The site seems to load faster compared to TheMarker (although there is always room for improvement when it comes to speed). Hopefully this will continue to last even with the (expected) increase in the number of ads on the site as well as the (expected) increase in traffic to the site
  • Overall design style
  • The width of the pages was increased by 200 pixels and more information is now visible above the fold. The extra width makes the page feel lighter and less cluttered compared to TheMarker. I assume that this change is due to the fact the majority of the readers are IT professional using high resolution/large displays and they all saw large empty margins screaming “Use Us!”

Things I think can be improved:

  • I have an issue with the fact that the site has no navigation bar and that the only way to access different sections is by using the tag cloud at the top bar. Tags are great but should not be the primary navigation method
  • “Popular Stories” section could be moved above the fold to increase visibility and serve it’s purpose. The “Upcoming Events” section is probably not that important and could be moved down
  • The integration with TheMarker can be improved. It is not clear to me why top stories on TheMarker’s High-Tech section would not show up on TheMarker IT. Perhaps this is a symbolic sign that the there needs to be a better connection between Israel’s Technology and Internet industries & the rest of the world

Final suggestion – The Search results page could be greatly improved using Snap Shots next to each search result. This will improve the user experience (especially since some of these pages load really slow) and would add some web2.0 glam to the site.

 

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popurls.tv – the dark side of popurls

August 20th, 2007 No comments

image

 I love popurls. It enables me to get a quick snap shot of the current buzz on the web in one place and in less than 5 minutes.

popurls.tv is a brand new mashup of popurls and Google Maps. It displays real-time traffic of the most viewed stories on popurls.

So what is the problem and why is popurls.tv the dark side of popurls? Because it does the opposite of what popurls is there for – it does not save time. On the contrary, it sucks time since it’s an extremely addictive service…Thomas–Nice work!

BTW, There is plenty of room for improvement, but knowing Thomas, I am sure he is already working on v1.1.

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Recommendations…

August 19th, 2007 1 comment

I forgot to twitter while I went out on Saturday night. So, here are some recommendations from a very enjoyable evening…

  • Go and watch Death at a Funeral. A British comedy with humor that can be sometimes sophisticated and sometimes pretty silly. Still, you will laugh and laugh and laugh…I can not remember when was the last time I (and an entire theater) was laughing so loud and so much during a movie. BTW, Do yourself a favor and DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER! The less you know ahead of time the better

 

  • If you happen to be/live in LA, make sure you to try the food at The Village Idiot. The place looks great, has ecstatic atmosphere, extremely tasteful food (try the Steak & Potato Pie) and the prices are pretty cheap.

 

  • Watch the Coke Zero ads. Their hidden camera campaign with lawyers is brilliant.

 

MGM's Death at a Funeral              image             image

 

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New eBay homepage is still not there (although on the right track)

August 15th, 2007 No comments

I landed tonight on eBay’s new home page (they are testing new versions and making it more personalized) and was a bit surprised/lost in the first minute.

Although the direction eBay took is right and the page is better organized and much cleaner and with less clutter compared to the old one (clutter is one of eBay’s home page trademarks :)) I think that too many elements were moved from their original location making it somewhat difficult for existing/loyal users to find their way. 

Some of the elements that were moved are now in non-standard locations compared to other high traffic web sites, making the orientation of average Internet users difficult. For example: The welcome and register buttons in center-low right area (vs. upper right corner in many cases), the “What’s Hot” was buried below the fold close to the bottom of the page (power feature that should be better highlighted). In addition, the page is longer and require the user to scroll down more if he/she wants to see all the elements on the page.

One thing that I do like and think is a smart move in order to increase the number of searches/products being browsed is the horizontal layout of the categories at the upper area in a hotspot.

Bottom line, I think eBay should continue to test and optimize. Their new home page still does not fully work for me.

BTW, one page eBay should redesign & improve is “My eBay” and the preference page. I was trying to setup IM Alerts earlier today and had to look really hard for this option. Defining the “Send alert X minutes prior to end of auction” alert would be a nice feature as well.

   

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Clay iPhone

August 14th, 2007 No comments

A nice art work. More pictures are on Gizmodo

You should also check out the wool version

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Trying out a new template for my blog

August 10th, 2007 3 comments

I though that shopping for clothes is tough…but picking a new template for a blog seems harder…

I am still not 100% sure about it…still trying to find the right one…

My few readers – any preference/comments?

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