Tag Archives: bad ideas

Things That Are Immune to Warrants

The US government, in the persons of the FBI and Department of Justice, has been claiming that new levels of iPhone encryption turn those phones into “warrant-proof” zones, and that shouldn’t be allowed. But in that case, we have to make sure nothing else is a warrant-proof zone, either. Which means all of these things: The […]

Asking for Self-Ratings Guarantees You False Information

How many times has an interviewer — either for an actual employer or for a recruiting agency — asked you: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself at $insert_skill_here?” If you ask candidates to rate their own skill levels — on any scale; it doesn’t matter if it’s 1-5, 1-10, or “beginner, intermediate, […]

Fascism Is Anti-American

I can’t believe I have to say any of this stuff. I shouldn’t have to. Nobody should have to say any of this. But I want to be on record. I want the world to know where I stand. When I first started writing this, there were two points I wanted to make. The first was […]

Why I Just Uninstalled Ad-Aware

I recently uninstalled Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware Antivirus. As part of the uninstall process, it suddenly took me to a page on Lavasoft’s web site asking me about what made me uninstall their product. I consider that kind of rude and unexpected, but since I was uninstalling the product specifically because of my deep dissatisfaction with it, I […]

The Problem With “Objectify A Man In Tech Day”

Update: While putting the finishing touches on this post, I found out that its creator is cancelling Objectify Day, for a host of very good reasons. I think much of what I wrote here can still be useful, so I’m posting this piece anyway. I’m glad to see that the purpose I had in mind […]

Why Are We Abandoning Menus?

A while back, Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth posted a blog article called “Introducing the HUD. Say hello to the future of the menu.“ Shuttleworth mentions how a menu is “the M in WIMP and has been there, essentially unchanged, for 30 years.” The clear implication, of course, is that the time for a change has come — […]

What to Do When the Tech Failboat Sails

The tech world is no stranger to occasional outbreaks of Sexism!Fail, but the past two weeks have seen a rare double instance of it. Naturally, I’ve got to speak up. By the way, for anyone who missed the events, here are a pair of quick recaps: Boston API Jam’s Marketing Problem Oh Hai Sexism And now, […]

Beware of Optional Curly Braces — They Will Bite You

I was looking through some PHP code from a third-party vendor recently, and saw something that made my jaw drop. It’s pretty innocent-looking, at first. Here’s a somewhat anonymized and genericized version of the code, but the thing that bothered me is still intact. It’s not really a bug, per se; the code will function as […]

A Single Context for All Social Interaction: Merely Quixotic, or Dangerously Misguided?

I recently read a blog post by Leo Widrich, the co-founder of Buffer, entitled “Why do we have so many lives?” In it, Mr. Widrich says: We have a private life, a public life. We have a work life, a school life, a party life, a love life and I am sure you can name lots […]

Are We Always New At Everything?

The trend in Microsoft’s products for the past 15 years or more has been toward making things easy for the people who have never used the software before. Of course, as time goes on, there are fewer and fewer of those people. The Ribbon is introduced in the Help file thus: And if you’ve used previous versions […]