Friday, October 25, 2013

Web Design Commandments

Here are the commandments for web design. I may add to this list as I think of new stuff.

1. Thou shalt not have autoplay videos or sounds.

Seriously. It's annoying. Any web designer who violates this commandment shall be sentenced to have the video or audio play in their house simultaneous with each time it autoplays for a visitor to their website.

2. Thou shalt not use Javascript exit popups.

Here, I'm talking about "var exitsplashmessage." It causes a dialog box to pop up when the user tries to navigate away from the page. Don't do this. Ever. Doing so carries a sentence of being locked into every retail outlet you visit until you agree to hear a lengthy sales pitch.

3. Thou shalt not hijack system commands.

Here's a relatively innocent example. In Fruit OS, typing command-N opens a new window in Firefox. Unless, of course, I happen to have Hotmail open, in which case Hotmail hijacks that command and opens a new email within the browser tab. Don't. Just don't do this. The command key is reserved for local applications, and is not to be used by web content. Microsoft's web designers and anyone else who violates this commandment will be sentenced to have a smarmy-looking bloke follow them around who deliberately misinterprets everything they say as a solicitation for sex directed at him.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Metaphors And Realism: Breaking Bad Redux

Having made a very brief My Media Habits post for the show "Breaking Bad," in which I dismissed it as shite, I subsequently found, on a far more popular blog, a review of the show which praised it for a thorough deconstruction of male power tropes in culture; apparently, in the episodes I couldn't be bothered to watch, Walter White goes on at great length about how he's providing for his family while effectively screwing them over, which starkly parallels the way "family values" is used to justify male power at the expense of everybody, including men.

I don't much care.

One of the first things I learned about writing, when I was still cranking out terrible short stories in secondary school, is that all the metaphors in the world are wasted if the story doesn't make any sense on the surface. You can thoroughly deconstruct, parallel, satirise, or do whatever the hell you want to anything you want, but if, on an entirely concrete literal level, the story is absolute dross, you have failed and the only people who will pretend to like it are literature professors.

So I don't care what metaphors Breaking Bad manages to pack into the later episodes. The basic premise is too unrealistic and I don't buy it, therefore anything built on it is lost.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Free Fizzy Drinks

Ah, another upside to taking market research surveys for money. Today I was just shipped a crate of free fizzy drinks. I will be getting paid to drink them. And next week, I will be getting another crate and I will be paid to drink those too.