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On usability

  • Don't let your computer bully you

    Usability is interesting, not just because you learn a lot about how people think and feel but because you don't let bad application designers get away with it. People who work with usability are probably the hardest to satisfy, they will not accept a solution that is hard to use. Regular users on the other hand, often let their applications bully them into submission. In fact it's a sound conclusion to say that if more users had less respect for their applications people would generally feel less stressed at work.

  • The quest for the usable wiki

    A wiki is a wonderful idea, in essence it's a website that anyone can edit and view. I've used wikis in several projects related to my studies in order to have a common site for storing documents and notes related to our work, and that has worked well and our teachers have appreciated it. So far I've used, tried and looked at four or five wikis, and despite the simple idea behind the wiki, none of them is easy to install, use or customize. Why does it have to be so complicated? I don't know, but I have some ideas on how to make a more usable wiki.

  • Sketching and typing, the benefits of a notepad like input format

    The primary way to store information on computers and digital media today is in text form and the reasons for this are traditional, it's easy to search and store text and it takes up little space. Stepping outside the traditional and limited sign systems of the digital era, allowing users to introduce their own signs, drawings and diagrams, seamlessly with typed text, will emulate the properties of traditional paper based media and add semantic richness to digital content.

On political aspects of the Internet and information technology

  • A different perspective on the music filesharing debate

    The debate on filesharing is heavily polarized and seemingly dominated by two camps; the record companies with their signed artists as allies attempting to come off as guardians of justice forming the vanguard of an army of lawyers marching on the supposedly anarchistic, irresponsible filesharers. I think this view, which is popularized through media, is extremely inaccurate and is an obstacle in every attempt to try and understand the issue and its underlying causes. Filesharing was inevitable and is here to stay, in fact its success is in part due to record companies' strategies.

  • Can web designers truly make a difference?

    As living beings, we are born, we grow up, live and die. During that period of time many of us would like to produce something that outlives us, and almost everyone wants to impact others such as family, friends and lovers. Some of us think the world is unfair and wish to do something about it, but can you do that, regardless of your profession? I believe you can and I'll tell you why, from my point of view as a web designer.

  • Piracy and its legal consequences in a psychopathic world

    Browsing my regular website for news related to the Internet and information technologies,, I came across a reference to these articles about the revised DMCA that would introduce penalties of up to ten years in prison for attempting piracy, far more than the sentences for assault, robbery and rape, a clear indication of how mega corporations look upon the human worth as compared to it of money.


  • Mediterranean France et la bonne vie

    If you're wondering about the lack of updates it is because I'm abroad, in the southwest of France near the border to Spain. I haven't been able to get online until today and now that I happen to sit in front of a PC the French keyboard layout drives me nuts! Despite the near unusable keyboards, it is truly great here. I love the everything about this part of France and the Mediterranean, the lifestyle, the food, the wine, the culture and the landscape and have had the chance to see a lot of it in this relatively short period of time.

  • Experiencing Amsterdam

    I've been in the Netherlands since Saturday and it has been a blast. I'm here to visit our fellow cog sci student friends from our friend-program in Nijmegen. Yesterday and today were spent in Amsterdam, a beautiful though somewhat strangely bizarre city which I couldn't help falling in love with.

  • Skiing in Val Thorens

    Here's a short diary, or rather recollection, of the week I spent in Val Thorens skiing. I hope it will come in useful for others planning to spend their vacation in this area or who are just curious about it. Comments are welcome as always.