June 25, 2001-- Newsletter #136
Goodies to Go (tm)
June 25, 2001--Newsletter #136
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Greetings, Weekend Silicon Warriors,
The latest issue of Yahoo Internet Life (YIL) has a neat little piece where the author gives people heck for doing local product research and then buying the item online to save a few bucks. She talked about how the local sales person and business loses cash. Do you do this? I read it differently than how the author intended because I'm totally backward to that thinking. I research online and buy locally. It's not that I'm local minded either. I want instant gratification. The only time I buy online is if I want the item delivered to another person or I simply cannot get it within an hour's drive and I can get most anything in New Orleans or Baton Rouge. I wonder if people aren't more like me than the YIL column. The glitter of buying online for the sake of buying online has worn off for me at least. Buying locally means I enjoy it tonight rather than next Wednesday.
Did you hear...
Remember the Macintosh slogan "Think Different"? It would adorn an image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Albert Einstein in order to advertise the computer. Well, the Church of Satan decided it was a good idea and took it for their Web site. The site used to have an image of the church's founder Anton Szandor LaVey with the slogan placed as it often was in the Macintosh print ads. As you might think, Apple was not pleased and after a lengthy series of discussions between lawyers, the slogan was taken down.
One of my favorite sites, joecartoon.com (I especially like "Spontaneous Man") has won a cybersquatting case. A Pennsylvania man named John Zuccarini registered five names including joecarton.com and cartoonjoe.com. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals said that Zuccarini violated the 1999 Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act taking the names in "bad faith". Go Joe.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has launched a web site titled Tolerance.org. Jim Carrier, the director of Tolerance.org, will promote the site through banner ads. What's interesting about the story is where the banner ads will pop up. Yahoo has donated three million U.S.D. in ad space over the next three years. The banners will pop up in chat rooms and online clubs run by white extremists. Furthermore, the banner ads will pop up when Yahoo is searched for keywords such as "Nazi", "hate", or "diversity".
Now onto today's topic...
No, Netscape will most likely not be getting out of the browser wars any time soon. There's been a rumor going around the Web that Netscape's browser version 6.0 was such a disaster that the company was thinking about packing it in.
The rumor most likely started because of a Reuters report that quoted Netscape president Jim Bankoff saying, "six months from now, you won't consider Netscape to be a browser company."
Furthermore, Netscape 6.1 will be out most likely towards the end of the summer. The new version claims to have faster loading pages (what version hasn't claimed that?) and a new loading procedure whereas the page all comes in at once rather than loading in pieces. Pull-down menus should work much better in the new version. Also, AOL's Instant Messenger will be fully integrated as one might have expected.
Are those upgrades you want in a browser? They're not really for me. No one has ever asked me what I want in a browser. If anyone ever did, I'd probably say something like this:
I want the BACK, FORWARD, STOP, etc., buttons moveable. I want them on the right side actually. It would be better if they weren't there at all yet would pop up when I called for them. Yes, I know that I can get somewhat the same effect by right clicking, but I would like the buttons to be a little control panel so I can move it where I want - or have it appear when I want.
I feel the same way about the location bar. Give me the ability to lose it and pop it up when I want it.
I want the text of the page to come in right away no matter if the author has used the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes or not.
I want the main window to be seen as a main window. All pop-up windows should pop behind the parent window. I don't want to see them either. Don't show me a quick outline and then put the window around the back - just do it.
In addition, don't put a second window tab in the taskbar unless I drag and drop it down there. After an hour of surfing, I don't want fifty tiny tabs at the bottom of my screen.
I would like to be able to see a running tab of the cookies as they are delivered. I think I should be able to open a little window that will show the header from the cookies being placed. I should also be able to erase the cookies quickly and easily. I should also be able to stop individual or all cookies quickly and easily. It's a darn fight to find the options now.
I would like a button that, with one click, I can erase absolutely every trace of where I've been or what pages I've visited. Also - when I erase a cookie, erase it. Don't keep a second copy in a "Temporary Internet Files" folder.
I would like an option to set the entire screen to black and white before I print it.
Speaking of printing, I would like a button that loses all of the images straight away so I can get a quick text-only printable page.
I would really like it if browsers were allowed to "borrow" from another. I am so sick of one browser doing something that another won't. If I have both browser on the computer, let them talk to one another so that if my Netscape can't run something but my Internet Explorer can, then let it happen. Something as simple as a rollover should work in all browsers. This will never happen of course but hey...this is my wish list.
I should be able to "dumb-down" the browser to a text- only browser with one easy click.
I should be able to turn off all error messages with one click. The system should be set up so that if an error occurs, the browser ignores the code and simply displays the page.
I should be able to say no to all download requests before they come up. One "no" should stop all of them. Furthermore, if requests do occur, then I should be able to see a listing of those requests made in a file kept by the browser. I can see the file now, one Comet Cursor install request after another after another.
I would like my favorites list and "home" selection locked up tight. They should never be able to be altered by any page or site. Period.
I would like a file to be set up so that, with the click of a button, I can fill out basic, name, address, and phone forms.
I would like to be able to turn off that "click" every time a page changes or a choice is made without having to turn off my speakers.
I want the browser to be able to resize elements so that the page "fits" into whatever format I set for the browser width. Furthermore, I would like to be able to go from a landscape to a portrait format and not have any horizontal scrollbars. That way I could see more of fairly long pages without scrolling. It's the resizing thing though. The page should be seen as a single image that is all scaled down as one item to fit the parameters.
How about that? I've not heard any new browsers proclaim any of these suggestions. Yes, I know I can get some of them right now, but not as easily as I would like to.
I'm sure you personally have even more suggestions for a new browser. Has anyone ever asked what you want? I'm sure that Netscape and Microsoft perform some kind of research before putting out a new browser product, but I wonder if it's enough. After all the browser are for users not for programmers. How many "normal" surfers are consulted before putting together the structure of a new browser? I don't know.
I look upon new browsers much like I do the People's Choice Awards.
No one ever asked me what I thought yet the little statuettes were handed out anyway.
That's that. Thanks for reading this day's rant.
Joe Burns, Ph.D.
And remember: The sound "ee" is apparently familiar to a cat. Research has shown that naming a cat something that ends in the "ee" sound will help the cat to more quickly learn the name. No doubt a big government grant went to funding that research. I have two cats, Mardi, and Chloe. Both names end in "ee" and both the cats respond to their names. Of course they also respond to my shaking the cat treat box but I didn't see any research done one that.