User Behavior As A Music Rating Cue

The “My Rating” feature on iTunes has always felt a little clumsy. First of all, I hardly ever listen to music on iTunes itself- I listen to most of my music on my iPod. Secondly, I don’t want to have to *do* anything convoluted or extra in order to register that I like or dislike a song. I am surprised that Apple, given its user interface prowess, hasn’t managed to take better advantage of natural user behavior in order to more effectively drive the ratings system....

2006-04-23 · 1 min · 171 words · gbilder

The Internet Trust Anti-Pattern

I am afraid that the Wikipedia is a classic case of what I’ve come to term “the internet trust anti-patttern”. It goes something like this: A communication/collaboration system is started by self-selecting core group of high-trust technologists (or specialists of some sort). Said system is touted as authority-less, non-hierarchical, etc. But this is not true (see 1). The general population starts using the system. The system nearly breaks under the strain of untrustworthy users....

2006-04-22 · 2 min · 293 words · gbilder

Jorge Luis Borges on Software Architecture

The following, from Jorge Luis Borges, reminds me of some software projects I’ve seen… “.. In that Empire, the Art of Cartography reached such Perfection that the map of one Province alone took up the whole of a City, and the map of the empire, the whole of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps did not satisfy, and the Colleges of Cartographers set up a Map of the Empire which had the size of the Empire itself and coincided with it point by point....

2006-04-19 · 2 min · 321 words · gbilder

What kind of monumental event does it take to get me to revive my moribund blog?

Seeing Leigh Dodds wearing a tie. Apparently his children thought it was pretty odd too. Oh, yeah. And having somebody point out in their “Web 2.0” presentation that you haven’t updated your blog in half a year. /Me=shamed.

2006-03-23 · 1 min · 38 words · gbilder


Abulafia Way back in 1990, when I worked at Brown University, I wrote a hypertext application for the Macintosh called “Abulafia.” (named after the computer in Umberto Eco’s book, Foucault’s Pendulum. Recently I found some old Zip disks onto which I archived my Brown work when I left the university in 1995. I asked a hardware magpie friend of mine if he had a way of reading old 100MB Zip cartridges and he did....

2005-07-01 · 10 min · 1949 words · gbilder