November 26, 2006
My hotel in New York

I'm in New York for business. Here's my hotel room.

Posted by michael at 07:07 PM | Comments (4)
November 22, 2006
And so it begins

Yesterday the phone rang and I picked it up.

It was a boy, calling for my eldest daughter.

I handed the phone to my daughter and a big grin crossed her face and she twirled in place as she put the phone to her ear.

"Hello, I've been waiting for your call...", she said into the phone, while motioning me away from her.

I knew this day would come, but didn't really want to arrive just yet.

Posted by michael at 10:51 AM | Comments (10)
November 19, 2006
Wii is for us

Thanks to wonderful and generous Cousin James, we now have a Wii in the house.

The girls and I played all day and it is better than I would have hoped. Truly innovative and enjoyable by the whole family, I doubt the PS3 can compare to Wii on the broadscale. The PS3 has some promising capabilites for the hardcore gamer, but the Wii is the console that literally anyone can play and enjoy.

Posted by michael at 10:28 PM | Comments (5)
November 04, 2006
Bad Design at the LA Times

Last week the Los Angeles Times revealed their new design. Here's a snippet of the press release:

The A section of The Times will sport an arresting new format beginning Oct. 22 aimed at providing a compelling snapshot of the day's most interesting stories via skybox spotlights and a bolder index on the front page, as well as expanding the use of larger headlines, photographs, color, and information graphics, such as sidebars, back story boxes, maps and diagrams. It also will include the Opinion pages, Monday through Saturday.

Well, as one of the rare readers of the newspaper every morning, I have to say, it sucks.

Every morning I walk outside and pick up the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. Even in this day of internet news, I still feel that for good in-depth reading, an actual newspaper is best. You might even see something that you want to read that wouldn't normally search for... *gasp*

What are there, eight or nine different fonts and sizes. Geez, what a mess. The LA Times does a great job with their photos and especially their graphics, but this plethora of typefaces is just plain annoying.

Take a look at the right hand side. Now, the bullet sub-heads are informative, but what's with the font change? The mix of sans serif and serif is strange. Using sans serif for headlines is pretty typical, switching to serif for the actual article. But why mix the two styles in the sub-headline bullet items?

Sliding over the the left side of the page, we find even wider use of the pull-downs in the newspaper design software. Left = ITALICS. Again, why can't their be a little consistency here? Does the italics mean something special here? Do italics mean 'don't take this article seriously' or 'salacious stuff here'?

On the next day, take a look at the right column. Yep, we are back to the sans serif/serif battle. But what's this, a question the in the headline? Really, news stories are supposed to be telling me the news, not asking me a question in the headline. This isn't talk radio trying get you to make an irate phone call, it's supposed to give me an impartial reporting of the news.

The second sub-headline reads 'Pink light, Disaster Aid'. What exactly is that trying to tell me? There is no verb or even an obvious connection to the headline. Are these supposed to be tags? Are the editors trying to trick me into reading the article or are they trying to inform me?

I love the newspaper, but I hope the LA Times revises this design choice and refocus on the news rather than trying to mimic web sites.

Posted by michael at 12:51 PM | Comments (5)