Domainating: Brands, Art & Content

artist/illustrator/designer/webmaster/copywriter/videographer/optimizer/promoter/ad-man

Why FF4 is so Slow

After Twittering that FireFox 4 was incredibly slow I was met with disbelief on Twitter and elsewhere that I mentioned it.  I was told how fast FF4 is, now.

I seriously do not like FireFox because it was so pathetically slow and because it ignores good user interface experience strategies.  I was actually baffled how anyone would think that the thing was any faster, as it was so slow that it nearly crashed my Asus EeePC netbook.

Well, I finally fired-up that little Windows 7 netbook again yesterday and discovered what the problem is.  FF4 is allowing multiple and simultaneous video streams to run all at once.  What?  C’MON MAN!  Who the hell designs anything with multiple active video streams on the same page?

To further complicate this issue, FireFox 4 is allowing these simultaneous video streams to run even though the page it is loading isn’t active.  Huh?  C’MON MAN!  That is uncalled for.

Why would anyone want to load multiple pages at the same time, you may ask?  Why not?  If you are loading a page from an African web host (which have notoriously slow connections), you may load another website in another tab while you are waiting for the African website to load over seemingly slow dial-up speeds.

This isn’t even close to being every case.  I am a webmaster, a hostmaster and a web designer.  As a part of my daily duties I like to insure that my sites, as well as my client’s sites, are loading as expected each day.  So my “Home” page button is a collection of all the sites I have to check.  I need to ensure that the various hosting solutions I am offering are performing well, that my websites are loading quickly and correctly, that my sites have not been hacked, that the system is working correctly for myself & my clientel.

As it happens, a variety of those websites each have video on them, and as a part of the marketing it loads and plays by default.  Anyone may pause the play.  And until FF4, only one of these sites were streaming video when the web page they reside on wasn’t active (in focus).

But FireFox 4 has changed all that.  And because FF4 is loading all these different video streams in the background, the browser slows to a crawl.  As I press buttons, maybe something will happen, eventually.  The user interface is nearly useless.  The multiple videos that are playing are completely broken-up as the system races to deliver all the data, including those out-of-focus video streams on tabs that aren’t even viewable.  And it runs every single video stream as if they all needed to be run at the same time.

C’MON MAN!

As designers we can do much better jobs of designing apps that work.  The user is robbed of any ability to navigate.  The video stream is corrupted, the user experience is destroyed through excessive stupidity in implementation.

C’MON MOZILLA!  Get your head out of its ass.

May 1, 2011 Posted by | Brands, Internet, Product Design, Sales, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BApps.com up for Auction

BApps.com is available for sale to the highest bidder at Sedo.

BApps.com Listing @ Sedo

This domain WILL BE SOLD at auction as the reserve price has been met.

The auction for BApps.com will conclude on May/05/11 @ 05:51 AM Eastern Standard Time.

When the nameservers are reset by the new owner (or the transfer authority @ Sedo), the old blog will expire.  It could be replaced by another should the new owner want one at the same old address, but that, of course, will all be up to the new registrant.

I have moved a couple posts to blog.widgetdroid.com and most of the rest I have moved here to domainating.com.  Still updating a few with Categories and Post Tags.

May 1, 2011 Posted by | Brands, Devices, Domain Names, Internet, Smart Devices, Software, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Google Voice Takes Over

The other day my friend showed me how he had setup Google Voice on his Droid Incredible.  He even had a widget that displayed what was transcribed after voice recognition tried to interpret his voice mail messages.

Eventually, I thought that it was a good idea and I thought I’d give it a try, thinking that I could always revert to my Verizon Voicemail if Google Voice didn’t work out for me.

To my surprise, I was getting a great deal more hang-ups and fewer voice mail messages with Voice than when using Verizon’s voicemail.  On top of this, it appears that Google’s voice recognition technology, which works well on my DroidX for short sentences, is often fooled or stumped when interpreting any other message left me, probably due to its longer length.

That said, the voice recognition for Voice is at least attempting to do something when it comes to those longer messages which would stump the android 2 device, but it does seem that the longer the message left, the more silly that the Google Voice transcript became.

However, because of all of these extra hang-ups, I decided to to revert back to the Verizon default voice mail system.  Unfortunately, Google Voice seems to have hijacked the answering system.  Although I have used the Settings menu to set my Call Settings  for Voicemail Service to “My carrier” and I am using the *86 number which is the default for Verizon’s Voicemail Settings.  And Google Voice is still answering every single call that I miss.

I can’t find any other Voicemail settings in my DroidX.  I even went down to my local Verizon store where I bought the phone and they can’t tell me what’s wrong.  So now I have to call Verizon’s support line (which is what they were going to do at the Verizon store, but I didn’t have enough time to hang around at the time).

Verizon Support:  Uninstall Google Voice.
I uninstalled Voice.
Verizon Support: It still goes straight to Google Voice.
Me: “I didn’t know it was going straight to voice.”
Transfered to a new Verizon tech support guy who took off call forwarding.
Me: “I had call forwarding?”

OK, now my voicemail is working again.  If you are a business, you might want to stay away from Google Voice, but if you don’t like it, stop the call forwarding.  That might require a call to a tech.  I was told that I can always put call forwarding back on if I want it.

I’m glad this Verizon tech knew what was going on.  Glad its over with, as well.  😉  I’m not so sure that Google Voice is a good idea for business after all this.  At least you know what to do after reading this should you not like it.  But taking some calls straight to voicemail without ringing?  That indicates a problem in the business world.  Not so sure I would like it doing anything like that for a personal phone, either.

Always something.  I’m glad this little dilemma is over.  😉

Update (May 1st, 2011): Google Voice has taken over my VoiceMail functions once again.  I am so busy that I don’t have time to address this with Verizon.  But Google Voice is answering my missed calls all over again (for at least a week now) and we had this fixed at one point.  GRRRR…

The reason its a problem is that people are hanging up when Google Voice answers where they usually leave a message with Verizon VoiceMail.  That sucks.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Devices, Google, Product Design, Smart Devices, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FireFox 4 First Impression: It Sucks

I downloaded the new version 4 of FireFox and installed it on my 1 GHz Asus Eee PC Netbook.  I have to tell you that I am extremely alarmed by what I see.  The very first thing that caught my eye was that although FireFox was describing this version as faster, it was noticeably slower on my lil’ netbook.  That does NOT bode well for me.  On top of this, I just plain hate deceitful advertising.  My web pages were loading at least 1/2 speed.

What struck me next was the new interface.  Why is it that developer’s ignore design?  Why is it that when guy does one thing another guy has to follow suit? Since when does Mozilla jump into a “Monkey see, monkey do.” attitude.  This is pure idiocy!

When Microsoft’s IE8 came out and misplaced the refresh/reload page button to the right side of the browser address bar, it was Internet Explorer’s death knell.  This was such a huge user interface navigation mistake that it helped usher in a new age where FireFox became the predominant browser of choice because so many people were absolutely frustrated with the IE8 interface that moved everything around where no one was used to them.

Guess what?  Mozilla does not want FireFox 4 to be a familar tool that works well, anymore.  They have decided to follow suit and copy IE8’s pathetic user interface by hiding all the most often used controls in plain sight.  Once again, the page reload button is relocated to the right of the browser’s URL address bar.  This gives me great pause, to realize that corporations are so secure in their knowledge of what is best for us in terms of the human interface experience.  So I wonder whether it will be Google Chrome or Opera that we migrate to?

Safari has already made the jump to a right side refresh/reload button, so I don’t think that they will ever be a factor in the browser wars until the iPhone becomes a significant web browsing platform.  And it just may, they already dominate the smartphone market.  Furthermore, I think that the impact of small device web browsing has not yet been felt.  Mobile device web browsing is, afterall, not yet in the hands of everyone.  Nor is anyone making it affordable for everyone, yet.  But once someone realizes its potential, we will all be jumping on it because it is so convenient, in order to accommodate our growing digital lifestyle.

Why is placing the refresh/reload button on the other side of the address bar such a navigation nightmare?  This practice is breaking simple user interface friendliness guidelines.   The issue is not that the button has been moved to the other side of the browser bar, the issue is that the user interface has not been moved to the other side of the browser bar with it.  The forward, back and reload buttons offer the most used rudimentary control over surfing.  To separate any of these navigation devices simply decreases their convenience.  To not understand this one aspect of the user’s navigation interface experience is quite simply shamefully stupid.

There will be those who will take issue with the last three lines in that last paragraph.  Their argument will be that all a user has to do is type a return in the browser bar.  But what they fail to realize is that not everyone is like them.  Not everyone thinks or does everything the same way and the complete failure to either understand or provide for these alternate minded people is complete insanity.

Let’s face it, we have been doing things certain ways for years.  People are accustomed to them.  They are used to clicking buttons, they are used to finding all their navigation in the same area.  It makes no matter that “Instead you can…” that is not an argument, that is an excuse.  Navigation, whether on a web page interface, or in a software interface, should never be separated.  Especially when it all performs a simple derivative of the same function (GOTO: back a page, same page or next page).

Developers are thinking logically while creative types are thinking creatively.  For an anal mind to dictate how a user interface is setup without consulting a creative mind shows true lack of vision for the big picture.  Straight out of the box, FireFox 4 not only fails to impress, it offends me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am only speaking for me.  But it does.  It fails to take into consideration any alternate view of navigation or user friendliness.  It separates the navigation buttons and discombobulates the system, completely.  I, as a designer of friendly interactive web page navigation systems myself, consider this UI a sinful, evil thing.  It amazes me that they would ever allow this interface to ship as it is.

OK, there it is, my first impression after downloading, installing and running the new version 4 of Mozilla’s FireFox.  It just plain sucks.  It looks like crap and it scares me because it makes assumptions on what I need and takes liberties with a user interface that worked.  In my view, it is less useful and extremely unfriendly as a user interface.  My web pages all load slower now, and that also ticks me off. I am not impressed.

That’s my first impression.  FireFox 4 sucks.  I hate it.  But that is only after my first impression.  Mozilla says that it is completely customizable.  That will be my next post, can we fix this piece of crap?  All it really needs is a few tweaks.  Or is it completely broken?

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Brands, Computing, Devices, Graphic Design, User Interface eXperience, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Had to rant…

I just had to rant, I am getting sick and tired of the pathetic state of our industry…

http://blog.abitofallright.com/2011/03/illogical-web-standards.html

If anyone wants to take the reigns and contact me about revamping our current web standards, and has the muscle to make it actually work this time, please contact me immediately.

This is no joke.  Our industry is crap and I am ashamed of it.  We appear to be engineering in nonsense just to secure our positions as online media experts, and that is just plain wrong.  The reason that business needs to hire web designers is not because they can’t do these things themselves, it’s because they simply don’t have the time to dedicate to the project.

I want to change how websites are designed and developed.  I want to make it easier, more logical, easy.  And it is such a simple thing to do, but it requires someone with push.  The push I don’t have, and very few do.

It is long past time.  Things are getting worse and they are already bad… really bad.

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Internet, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busines Card Reader

If you have ever wanted a Business Card Reader (BCR), I just bet that it would have to be something handy.  This is one of those cases where, if you were offered a program that you would install on your computer that would scan in business cards, you probably wouldn’t even bother with it unless it was free, am I right?

Well, the reason is simple, it just isn’t convenient.  Having to take a business card home and scan it in just to have it available with all its contact information is actually more like a huge chore.  But now-a-days we are all walking around with smartphones and finally, the convenience we require is available as a little app for our Android or iPhone!

Check out my article which covers the Android based version of the CamCard – BCR (western) which I absolutely love on My DroidX.  But note that there is also a version for the asian market (Chinese/Japanese/Korean characters), another version for business, and that there are also alternate versions of each for the iPhone market as well.

With the convenience of hand held devices, the Business Card Reader has finally become a reliable and useful reality.

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Business, Computing, Devices, Photography, Smart Devices, Software, User Interface eXperience | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Business Apps: Password Safe

Although I have already reviewed Kuff’s Password safe on my android apps & widgets blog called Widget Droid, most readers here probably don’t realize that Kuff’s Password Safe is also the very best Password Safe/Vault application on Windows machines, as well.

So here is a link to my article on the very best Password organizer and encrypted safety app on the market…

What’s the Very Best Password Safe?

Just remember the master password that gets you into the program.  😉

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Apps, Business, Computing, Devices, Internet, Media, Smart Devices, Software, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outlook 2010

Well, my wife has had a little time to get used to how Outlook 2010 does things now.  So this is a brief update on our impression of it…

My wife likes it, but has some issues.  The same issues cause me to think that it is a worthless piece of crap.

  1. Old contacts from Windows Vista Mail were never imported.  Not doing this automatically (or at least asking permission to) is just pure stupidity.  What was the sense in transferring everything over from Vista in the first place?  To have the old files, yes, but also to have the very same application data and configuration.  Outlook 2010 is pathetic because it craps on the whole idea of maintaining a so-called “seamless” upgrade path.  This is absolutely inexcusable and stands a testament to the absolute thoughtlessness and complete lack of vision of the entire Outlook development team.
  2. Multiple accounts?:  Multiple Inboxes!  This in itself is completely void of intelligence.  The fact that Outlook has to have multiple inboxes for multiple email addresses and never incorporates them all into a streamlined universal inbox is beyond the realm of stupidity.  This is yet another stupid task that should have been done completely automatically.
  3. Adding contacts is pretty awkward as well. You don’t get access to this function unless you have an email previewed.  THEN you can add its contact and have access to the contacts.  But not until you have an email cued-up somehow.    Really?  I mean, maybe the only reason I ran the damn program was to change Aunt Len’s address because she moved.  And the social contacts is just in the way.  My wife doesn’t participate in any social networking sites, so it is just in the way and confusing her.

Really Microsoft? With the release of Windows 7 I was finally ready to take you seriously, and more than just a necessary business toy that I was required to have and support.  But Outlook 2010 can’t incorporate the simple email functionality that we have come to expect from every other email program in the world?  C’MON, MAN!  C’MON YOU MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION!  Get with it.

I already started taking Microsoft seriously when I found that their hardware products were so damn good (XBOX, mice and keyboards).  But I have still been waiting a very long time for them to develop any usable software products.  With Windows 7 I thought that Microsoft had started producing software that actually worked, but they have completely dropped the ball with any other software packages they produce (Expression, Publisher and IE8/9 are direct examples of this ineptness). With Outlook 2010’s pathetic featureless release I don’t really expect Microsoft to ever get what users expect out of their computing experience.

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Apps, Brands, Business, Computing, Internet, Product Design, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DroidX Adventures – New Blog Posts

Over the past couple days I’ve been posting about my adventures with my DroidX, android apps, and the evil genius at Microsoft.

Getting the DroidX:

Finally, I have an Android!

…Got a comment from an Android development Guru, there!

Getting a Deal on a DroidX

…How we finessed a discount and why it wasn’t better than it was.

App Reviews:

What’s the Very Best Password Safe?

…This is a great app from Kuffs.

Need to Squirrel Away a Contact’s Info in your Droid Quickly and Easily?

…A review of the CamCard Business Card Reader, a great app that works well and is extremely convenient.

I also started a new blog about business application software:

Welcome to BApps, for Business Applications of All Kinds, on Any Platform

…Offers an intro and why I decided to write it.

And then we discover the evil genius in marketing behind Win 7 and the Office 2010 packages…

Windows 7 Mail Issues, Outlook and Office 2010 Purchase Woes

…which is more on my adventures in computing.  😉

All of those blogs are on Google’s Blogspot.  I only customized a few of the templates there, but I purposely kept them skinny.  Because in today’s age, even though we are viewing web pages on widescreen Hi-Def monitor resolutions of 720P scan lines, we rarely use all of that space when browsing the web and now more and more people are browsing the web on handheld devices there are just now getting to be 640 or 800 pixels wide (max).

Obviously, I have been influenced by my DroidX recently in my creative thinking and design.  Though I will sometimes push the envelope and experiment with Hi-Def widescreen web designs, unless we have at least another page for small device presentations, we really should be alert when we form singlular minded resolution designs.

Fortunately, This blog at WordPress.com is served up differently when accessed by a mobile device, so I don’t have to change this big ol’ honk’n template.  😉  But the Blogster blogs are served up using the exact same web page design template for mobile devices.  Plus, I honestly think that not all of the players have arrived in the hand held market yet because the small device phenomena is set to explode.  But, that’s just me.  Of course, when I said that “Everyone who wants one will have a computer.”, back when the hottest piece of business technology was an electric typewriter (1968 or 1970, about), my father and brother laughed at me then, too.  Then they ran around joking about it and teasing me.  Oh yeah, they don’t remember that, now.  LOL.

Oh, yeah

For quite some time now I’ve been working on a new project and I can’t wait to show every one.  But it’s just not quite ready to be revealed just yet.  In a few days, maybe.  🙂

-Doug

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Computing, Devices, Google, Product Design, Software | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows 7 Mail Issues, Outlook and Office 2010 Purchase Woes

Recently, my wife Maria’s HP laptop battery went bad, and we think that toasted some chip when it got hot and the computer refused to boot properly.  And of course you try everything to get the dang thing running again, so we invested a great deal of time just checking to make sure it was dead.  Of course, the results were definite, and she had to replace that laptop, which was running Windows Vista. Although we originally went shopping for a cheap replacement, I think that despite the fact that her Vista based HP machine was actually a pretty expensive model, she couldn’t seem to get the features she needed with spending a few extra bucks by avoiding HP products in the hopes that her new Dell would be much more reliable (to say the very least, the dang HP didn’t even last a couple years).

As you know, when you buy a new computer it’s always a huge hassle reloading it with all the applications that you have used routinely over the last few years.  Email is, of course, detrimental to business, and the Live Mail that had come with her new Windows 7 based laptop was apparently no longer downloading her mail to the server.  On top of that, the simple spam detection, protection and deletion system which had previously worked so extremely well in Windows Vista Mail was apparently not working at all in the new Windows 7 laptop.  Maria was spending all sorts of time deleting mail that the computer simply trashed for her, previously.  And the mail server kept sending out warning messages about the size of her email box even though I finally got fed up with increasing her mailbox size and set it to infinite (we are talking about GBs of spam, here).

And spammers wonder why we hate them?

Maria had used the version of Outlook from Office for her email when she owned desktop computers previously, and Vista had come with a really nice “Mail” program for email that worked for her when she was on Vista. So, by the time all this trouble with her email started resurfacing every couple weeks we had no idea where her legal copy of Office 2007 went.

Now, of course we decided to buy a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 for Home and Student.  Everywhere that I looked for this program online just showed the price and no write-up or package details.  There weren’t even any reviews that I noticed.  We had used other versions of Works and Office before, as well.  So, when I went out shopping at the stores for the best price (as we were in a hurry to get this working and we didn’t have to wait for a package to arrive from Timbuktu), I was quite surprised to find that apparently Microsoft had changed the Office Home and Student edition and weren’t including Outlook in the package anymore.  This was a pretty big deal because the reason she was buying it was to get Outlook and have Word, but without Outlook, that Home and Student bundle was pretty much worthless to her.

Now this was quite interesting, since I had some familiarity with the package.  Although I don’t use it, Maria has almost always used it.   And I had checked all sorts of sites, read descriptions, even visited the Microsoft Office website and read as much as I could about the package.  So it was strange to me that when I arrived at Staples to start shopping for it, it was only then (right when I was staring at the actual product packaging) when I finally realized that Outlook didn’t even come with the Home & Student edition of Office 2007.  Huh?  We were only really buying it for email and it didn’t have it?  Whoa.  I guess Microsoft got smart about it and gave everyone a (really, really) crappy email client figuring that a business wouldn’t be able to handle such a pathetic program and they would all most certainly have to upgrade to a paid email client.  Pretty smart, when you think of it.  But I consider this type of smarts evil genius, you know what I am talking about?  I mean, don’t give consumers who purchase a new Windows 7 based computer even a half-assed good email client?  Win 7’s Mail Live client is absolutely pathetic.  But that is what I am talking about, it’s evil genius.

Doesn’t Microsoft know that the car companies were sued for purposely engineering-in breakdowns on car parts?  What ever happened to that suit, anyway?  Oh yeah, we never heard anything about it after a while, did we?  See?  Evil genius.  HP did the same thing with printer ink.  I had to opt-out of that class action suit.  Maybe the battery overheating and killing my wife’s Vista laptop was also an engineered issue.  Absolute evil genius.  I stand in awe of these fault-engineered computer time-bombs that can’t even last a couple years (but will always make it past the one-year warranty).  A bow to the genius of these evil engineers.

Anyway, there was no way we were going to solve our email problem with the Office 2010 Home & Student edition.  And Outlook, all by its lonesome, cost the same as the Home & Student: $120.00!  We had to upgrade to the Home & Business version of Office 2010.  I wound-up buying it at Staples for $180.00.  It was the first place I looked, but I didn’t actually buy it until after searching the whole city for the best price because my DroidX’s Savvy Shopper app had just upgraded and wasn’t working.

I grabbed the product key from Staples since she already had Office 2010 preinstalled on her new Windows 7 Dell.  I thought that the install would be a breeze because of this, and because I had already copied all of her email contacts from her Vista machine hard drive.  But apparently, Outlook 2010 doesn’t even look to see if there are any contacts to import from Vista Mail?  LOL… and of course, that lead to more confusion!

Then we go into the issue of the Outlook upgrade.  As it has been updated for social media and community networks, just getting the dang contacts in there is apparently a chore because everything has changed.  I’m hoping I can fix it by importing her contacts from the old Vista Mail program somehow, but she seems to be making do anyway now that she has spent a terrific amount of time on the computer figuring everything out.  She keeps showing me the computer when I don’t have any glasses on, and I already hate Outlook so I can’t make heads or tails of anything, yet.

She should slow down so that I can jump-in to take a look soon, though.

But all this really makes you think about how badly these companies are gouging us.  All this hassle just for a convenient, reliable email client for business?  But when do we stop getting reamed in the butt for it?  We really are dependent on technology these days, aren’t we?  It is because of email that Maria needs to communicate with her students that she had to run out and buy a new computer in the first place.  Otherwise she could have gone without.  Computers were supposed to help us and ease our work process, not make everything more complicated, expensive and laborious.  Lately these hardware and software companies have just been cramming it up our boots and I am getting pretty sore about it.  Damn evil geniuses.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Brands, Business, Computing, Internet, Product Design, Software, The Human Condition, User Interface eXperience, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment