Monday, December 22, 2008


A Personal Appeal from Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales

That's what the giant banner on the Wikipedia homepage says, and if you click on it you get a letter from Jimmy asking for donations. You can also see this, or an alternative with a $$ graph, on every page of this hugely popular site. There is a little link that lets you hide it.

And how, I wonder, is this any different to having adverts? Could it be ego? There are plenty of ads they could run that do not compromise integrity, AdSense for example.

I'm wondering if they have considered opt-in ads? Nobody will ever see them unless they register and tick a box saying they want to see ads. The small percentage of visitors that choose to do so would probably be enough to fund the site.

Perhaps they are scared of what to do with the money if they make a big profit?


Friday, December 12, 2008


Hotmail - How Hard is it to Test Things??

I've had a right wrist problem recently, causing me to use my left hand for mouse work, and I'm not ambidextrous.

The new Hotmail interface is mostly an improvement, but I have a major complaint. Typically I delete about half of my new emails from the inbox page. I just look at the subject line, decide I haven't got time to read that, and check the box alongside it. I check a dozen or so, then hit delete.

Unfortunately, if I am very slightly off-target clicking on the check box, for some crazy reason, all the boxes already checked are cleared. So after all that hard work getting my left hand to align the mouse pointer with the check boxes, I miss one and they are all gone. Start again. Aaaaargh!

Gmail and Yahoo don't have this problem, so I figure it's a coding mistake. It wouldn't take much testing to pick this up before inflicting it on the public. As hard as they are trying, usability is still not a priority for Microsoft, to their detriment.

UPDATE: They have responded to user complaints, and now the folder drop-down box doesn't work very well (you can get stuck in it), and the page never stops loading, so all I see in the FireFox tab is "Loading..."


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