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Europeans and music make a bizarre mix

Submitted by Jakob on 18 May, 2006 - 23:22.My Blog | Miscellaneous | Music

I just finished watching the semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest, a relatively popular event here in Europe. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it's an annual contest where several European, as well as non-European, countries compete in music. Each country chooses an artist to represent it. The winnining country gets to host the contest the next year. As usual the quality was uneven, there were some potentially great ones and a lot that were mediocre and some that were outright bad. Also as usual, the results of the vote made absolutely no sense.

The WWW and its future as a hyper-application system

Submitted by Jakob on 18 May, 2006 - 14:23.My Blog | Human-Computer Interaction | Internet | Usability

When the idea of the World Wide Web was first conceived by Tim Berners-Lee it was the idea of the hypertext web. A network of documents with contextual links forming a mesh of information which supported retrieval and authoring of documents. Today with the popularity of blogs, wikis and the advent of AJAX and realtime interfaces we're seeing the way people use the WWW taking a new direction, a hybrid system that merges the document browser with the application viewer, a hybrid I'd like to call the "hyper-application system".

Some thoughts about design - it's mostly about ideas

Submitted by Jakob on 17 May, 2006 - 03:56.My Blog | Cognitive Science | Human-Computer Interaction | Usability | Web Design

A lot of people have asked me how I come up with ideas for new designs. While I can't offer a generic recipe for getting ideas and turning them into design solutions, in this article I've tried to express my own thoughts about working creatively. Interaction design research today is very focused on developing methods for establishing and creating so called design spaces that support the creation of good design solutions. I approach web design in a similar fashion however not necessarily in such a theory-based manner.

When spammers strike back

Submitted by Jakob on 15 May, 2006 - 19:45.My Blog | Internet

You might have noticed more and more spam getting through your email filters these days. If you ever read one of these spams you might have seen that instead of text, these spams contain images that are attached to the email. Since OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is decent at best there's no method presently to automatically identify these messages based on their content. However what is highly ironic about it is that anti-spam software has used the same method to stop spam and prevent automated sign ups at websites and forums by so called spambots that post junk and advertising. The hunted is now using the weapon of the hunter...

More template design guide updates, more info on .cfg files

Submitted by Jakob on 14 May, 2006 - 14:22.My Blog | phpBB | Templates, Themes and Skins

After publishing the last two parts of the guide I realized there was not much written about cfg-files and what they're used for so I added another chapter to the guide. This chapter, called "Some .cfg file magic", explains how .cfg-files work and how you can use them to create some cool effects.

The phpBB Template Design Guide updated

Submitted by Jakob on 14 May, 2006 - 00:46.My Blog | phpBB | Templates, Themes and Skins

The phpBB Template Design Guide was updated today and the last two parts were added. Parts four and five cover some common questions, problems, general advice as well instructions on how to export, distribute and support your template. I've tried to share the things I've learnt over the years I've been working with phpBB and designing as well as releasing templates.

A different perspective on the music filesharing debate

Submitted by Jakob on 13 May, 2006 - 13:18.My Blog | Music | Politics & Society

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.

I'm co-founder and consultant at NodeOne, a Drupal consulting firm. My background is in cognitive science and computer science and I've worked as a web developer for over ten years. During that time I've done web design and development based on usability and web standards. I've also worked with phpBB, offering customization, theming and development phpBB sites and themes. I'm currently working as project lead and systems architect, building first class web sites, intranets and web applications on Drupal.

This is my personal website, home of my blog and my portfolio. The website also features articles and tutorials on web design, usability and other cognitive scientific musings as well as reflections on politics and society. You'll also find my free phpBB templates here.

Enjoy your stay and come back soon! Should you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to contact me.


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