Wednesday, April 28, 2004  [!]
Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team members, including Pete Theisinger, Richard Cook, and Joy Crisp, will take part in a panel discussion at this CMA [Caltech Management Association] event on Tuesday, May 4, from noon to 1:30 in Beckman Auditorium, Caltech.

The incredible feat of landing, operating, and interpreting the science results from twin Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars has a human side. Join key members of MER as they tell their fascinating stories and show the most recent results from the always-surprising surface of Mars. Even though MER has been one of the most publicized robotic space missions to date, you won't want to miss this event held exclusively for the Caltech/JPL community.

Now here's something that, if true, sounds pretty good:

Attendees will be provided with a box lunch as they leave Beckman auditorium. [...]

This event is free.

Ya think there *is* such thing as a free lunch? (I doubt it; depends what they mean by 'provide'.)

4/28/04; 11:36:12 PM | Space | Discuss | # | |

Saw this linked to from a site discussing good usability on Open Source projects (with a tip of the hat to the Firefox browser). Though it's a year old (3/2003), it's a good read. It underscores some of thing things I still haven't been able to get used to with OS X (though I now live in X all the time). From the first MacOS through MacOS 9, the Mac was spatial through and through.

One interacts with such an interface by recognizing objects based on their size, shape, position, color, and other visual traits, and then using motor skills to manipulate those objects.
With OS X lots of old spatial cues disappear.

Although it may offend Mr. Jobs's aesthetic sensibilities, the simple fact is that humans are much more adept at dealing with visual/spatial clutter than mental clutter. By compromising the user's ability to manage files and folders based on familiar spatial cues and behaviors, all the complexity of the file system hierarchy is simply moved from the screen into the user's mind.

4/28/04; 4:12:53 PM | Usability | Discuss | # | |

Great description by Anonymous Roving Correspondent who transcends 'snark' into something far better (see excerpt below). We went to different seminars. (I was there both days. Will not blog about it, tho I took tons of notes because, well, there are bills to pay and my blogging about it here does not contribute to that urgent cause.) [via LA Observed]

I wandered around for an hour and made the mistake of cutting through the kiddie quad, aka Strollerville. The people here were nice, but slow, and you have to watch out for those WASPs with the drag racing stroller with the single wheel in front: these women are made of the skim milk of human bitchiness and will cut you off at the knees.

4/28/04; 10:59:21 AM | Writing | Discuss | # | |