Google Web Designer can't open HTML unless... wtf? LoOoOoOoOoL

Soooooo I downloaded and installed Google's shiny new toy, Google Web Designer.

I load up the application, and try to open an HTML file I've been working on.

Imagine my wtfbbq reaction when it shows me this.

Yes, an application with 'Web Designer' in it can't open an HTML file. WTF?

But wait! It lets me create HTML files, so why can't it open them? Hmm! It seems that it can open its own files... why?

Well it turns out, if I want to open a HTML file in Google WTF Designer, I have to first open my HTML file in a text editor, or any OTHER HTML editor of my choice, and insert <meta name="generator" content="Google Web Designer"> into the meta tags. Then it works.

What on earth were they thinking? Anyone who works with HTML should easily find this. Are they trying to lock the people who don't want to look at their HTML at all into the Web Designer? When any bloody text editor can open... Oh my brain.

The End Result

Stones (Ultima Theme) by David R Watson on Jeff Wilmott's 4-hole pendant ocarina

A couple of months ago, I picked up this really cute little ocarina at the St Kilda Beach market, from Jeff Wilmott's stall.

I call it my baby hamster, because I clutch it and it squeaks. >.>

One thing led to another, and before long, I acquired a rather large Focalink Triple Dolce AC ocarina, which I call my 'Fat Hamster'. On account of it being well... bigger and fatter! Last Sunday, I brought my fat hamster down to Jeff's stall for him to have a look and a feel. He very kindly gave me his songbook, which I have used for the nefarious purpose of putting together an ocarina score for David R. Watson's Stones - more commonly known as 'the Ultima theme'.

And here's me tootling it on my lovely little baby hamster. Any ickiness you hear is due to my noobness, and not the little ocarina I'm tootling on. This is the first tune I learned to play on the baby hamster, and I was too shy to play more than the first few bars in front of Jeff. *scuffle*

Big thanks to Jeff for setting me on the path to hamster... I mean ocarina love! =)

Lovely fatty gelatinous LAZY rice cooker pig trotters of braised doooooooooooooooom!

I looooooooooooooove animal fat! Fried, baked, stewed, boiled, broiled, cold from the fridge (mmm butter), melted in my tea (mmm cream) - glorious animal faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

I also love food where the majority of the 'cooking' involves me ignoring it while I go kill mobs. XD

These braised pig trotters are therefore, in a word, perfect!

Crafting materials
2-3 pig trotters (chopped into whatever size your butcher chops them for you)
Soy sauce (5 parts)
Chinese cooking wine (3 parts)
Vinegar (2 parts - doesn't really matter what kind of vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar.)
5 spice powder (1 part)
Ginger, chopped finely (1 part - I used the tube stuff because I'm lazy)
Garlic, chopped finely (1 part - I used paste because... yes I'm lazy)
1 large onion, chopped into bits however small you get to before you get lazy
Brown sugar (a bit)
Ground white pepper (a bit)
Sesame oil (a bit)
Garlic cloves x 5, still in their little skins (Optional)
Enoki mushrooms (Optional, I just love the darn things)

Crafting method

  1. Blanch the trotters, leave them to cool, then scrape off and discard whatever bits look dubious to you (usually hairy bits)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together except the trotters, chopped onions, garlic cloves and enoki mushrooms
  3. Galoosh the liquidy ingredients into your trusty rice cooker
  4. Dump in the garlic cloves, onions, and trotters
  5. Add enough water so that the trotters are just covered
  6. Stir everything until the liquidy ingredients are homogenously... liquidy
  7. Separate the enokis into slimmer bunches and strew them on top of the whole liquidy trottery mass
  8. Close rice cooker and set it either on Soup/Cook for 2.5 hours, OR set it on Steam for 2.5 hours (this will depend on the kind of rice cooker you have)
  9. After 2.5 hours, open the rice cooker and add more water so that the trotters are covered again.
  10. Give everything a stir
  11. Cook on Soup/Cook OR Steam for another 2.5 hours
  12. Splat all that unctuous gooey gelatinous fatty piggy goodness on a plate of white rice and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. If you can find a decent sambal oelek, even better!

You need to blanch the trotters first (boil them for a short while until they turn white and scummy stuff comes to the top of the boiling water pot) so that they don't smell piggy in a bad way, vs piggy in a good way! Which is what they'll smell like after you get rid of the Bad Piggy by blanching...

The Lords of Vendorbation -

I have just started working in a very large multinational organisation (60k+ employees), having previously worked in a 4 staff micro SME. I am shocked at the amount of money wasted on systems with such poor quality web based interfaces that no-one seems to be able to use them properly. No thought is given to the user interface and usability of a system, as long as it somehow meets the functional requirements. Apparently they don’t include being able to finish a task in the system without phoning the helpdesk.

I now know how spoiled the world of freelancers and SMEs is when it comes the quality of the software used. I consider it a real privilege to have used tools such as Basecamp or WordPress when I look at the festering piles of sh*t that are now forced upon me.

And that is the crux of the matter. I have no choice so there is no incentive for the provider to produce something usable. It’s something I remember Nielsen writing about probably more than a decade about: most menuing systems in gadgets are so poor because once you’ve bought the gadget you’re locked in. Whereas on the web if you can’t use something, you go somewhere else.

We now have the exception that proves that rule: Websites that are forced up on you due to a choice you can’t easily reverse are universally crap. Examples include your child’s school’s website and your employer’s intranet.

- Robin, commenter, Lords of Vendorbation

Win without pitching manifesto - Blair Enns

The forces of the creative professions are aligned against the artist. These forces pressure him to give his work away for free as a means of proving his worthiness of the assignment. Clients demand it. Designers, art directors, writers and other creative professionals resign themselves to it. Trade associations are powerless against it. Consultants and outsourced business development firms earn their living by perpetuating it. And conferences put the worst offenders from all sides on stage and have them preach about how to get better at it.

It is a mistake to look to the creative professions to deal with this issue. Free pitching and speculative creative will only be beaten one firm at a time, with little help and much loud opposition from the professions themselves. This battle is but a collection of individual struggles: the single artist or creative firm against the many allied forces of the status quo.

But while collectively the battle may seem lost, a revolution is afoot. Some creative firms are fighting and winning. They are reclaiming the high ground in the client relationship, beating back the pitch and winning new business without first having to part with their thinking for free. They are building stronger practices amid the forces of commoditization.

This treatise contains the twelve proclamations of a Win Without Pitching firm. It describes a trail blazed by owners of creative businesses who have made the difficult business decisions and transformed their firms, and the way they go about getting new business. They have resisted the profession-wide pressure to toe the free-pitching line. They have gone from order-taker suppliers to expert advisors and have forged a more satisfying and lucrative way of getting and doing business.

Their path, described in these pages, may not be your path. Not everyone has the heart or stomach for revolution. It is up to you to read and decide for yourself if you will follow.

If you're a freelance creative type, or manage a design studio / ad agency / etc, you should read this.

Naturally, depending on your life, your reputation, your country, the industry in your area, etc, much of it may not be practical. But for those in the position to work in the way this manifesto outlines, or even for those NOT in the position, but who are crazy enough to risk getting burned, it's a very, VERY good read.

Available for free online (or pay for the ebook/pdf/hardcover if you like).

When you buy a UX designer, what are you actually buying?

Once, to do web design you had to be a T-shaped person. This is defined as a person who knows a little bit about many things and a lot about one thing. Imagine a programmer who also understands a bit about business models and some interface design. But as our product complexity grows, we need P and M shaped people–people with multiple deep specialties. To design great user experiences, you need to specialize in a combination of brand management, interaction design, human-computer factors and business model design. Or you could be part of a team. The term UX was welcomed because we finally had an umbrella of related practices.

Of course, we don’t all belong to the same version of that umbrella. We all bring different focuses under the umbrella, different experiences, mindsets, and practices. While we can all learn from each other, we can’t always be each other.

But trouble started when our clients didn’t realize it was an umbrella, and thought it was a person. And they tried to hire them.

- User Experience Go Away, by Dave Malouf, emphasis mine.

FWIW, Malouf's definition is pretty close to my own, in terms of what's needed. =)

Weird. The single, largest predictor for nugget's liking any given game is whether or not it allows minion armies. Usually zmobies.

I was a bit disturbed upon realising this while playing my second day of Age of Conan, yesterday.

Every single game I've loved or really REALLY liked bigtime since LegendMUD (with the exception of Forsaken World), has allowed me to have a minion army. And I'm not even talking MMOs only here, but any game.

I blame it on spending my formative gaming years raising homunculi armies in LegendMUD.

The class I've started with in AoC is the necromancer. I'm level ?10?, I have 4 zmobies gwarrrrrrging along behind me, and I am as happy as a clam despite AoC being fugly and having really really bad animation. XD

Apparently I will forgive near anything if I can have minions.

...can it really be that simple? O.O