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mars 27, 2007

After seeing, possibly playing Second Life, what do you think of a virtual 3d Internet? Pros and Cons?

Pros
Tony has something to do when he gets bored.

Cons
The more realistic a virtual world becomes, the more possible it would be for people to get sucked into forgetting that they live in a real world and just live in the virtual world. Why bother leaving your house when you can go into stores, meet people et cetera from you home? What happens if it becomes so realistic that people no longer see the point in doing anything in the real world?

What is a good Font for web/interactive design?

Century Gothic. It's pretty.

mars 20, 2007

Why is accessibility using css important or not important for your current web design project?

Why is accessibility using css important or not important for your current web design project?
The website that we are redesigning is the for the Animal Rescue Federation out of Superior, WI (www.animalrescuefederation.com). If you go to the site right now, you'll find that it is very poorly organized and designed. Accessibility is important for the site because in order for the ARF to get donations and place adoptions it has to show competence in all areas. Why donate money to the ARF when you can't even navigate or figure out their website? I'd rather donate to the humane society. On the other hand, having a poor website could perhaps show that they care more about using their money for more important things, like the animals. Which is a good thing, of course. However, I think that they would get a lot more donations and help if they didn't turn people off by frustrating the heck out of them before they even have a chance to meet them. In todays world, how a website is viewed can make or break a small or nonprofit business. It doesn't take much to have at the very least a well organized website, one that is accessible to everybody. Blind people like adopting animals too, as do the computer illiterate. And the person who doesn't know what a button is. Or those who don't have excel on their computers to view the catalog. And those who wish to find information quickly, but don't want to have to go to a different page for each mini sentence (see either volunteer or mission statement sections of website). And basically everybody who has ever viewed a good website that wants to be impressed enough to pursue more. Or the person who just donated a million or two to the cause and wants to see if his money is being used to help the organization or not. And the person who has to redesign a website for interactive II that just wants to find all the information easily so that they can try to redesign the site without losing any important information. And the person who...

mars 6, 2007

Digital Billboards

Duluth city council is discussing limiting digital billboards. Should digital billboards be regulated?

So, this is the point where I would normally brace technology and say that the limitation of digital billboards is unfair and a violation of some amendment, yada yada yada. However, I just drove through Denver, which has THE WORST digital billboards in the worst places. We drove through close to midnight, and at some points the billboards were so bright that it greatly hindered our driving, especially since we were already overtired. The colors were so bright and the lights were so bright that they became a huge distraction, especially when merging off of entrance ramps. I agree with councilor Andy Thielen of Hermantown:
“There’s a new technology in place that is somewhat intrusive and distracting to the driving public. We want to consider all the bases before continuing.?
However, I do believe that with the proper restrictions in place that the billboards could eventually work well. Some of the restrictions I would include would be limiting the placement of the billboards to straight roads, and not placing them around corners or by ramps, where the bright distraction in the middle of the night could cause drivers to get into accidents. I would also limit either the colors or the brightness of the lights. Yes, the boards will be digital, but that does not mean that they need to have Vegas-like colors. If you subdue the tones, you will still have a big impact on your audience without putting their driving at risk. Anyways, I’m sure with the advancement of technologies that soon all billboards will be electronic, so I’m not going to fight the inevitable. I just think that there should be some smart restrictions, and that they should be consistent from town to town.

Iowa

So I went to Colorado skiing last week, and was (un)lucky enough to hit both major blizzards...the first one on the way out to Colorado, and the second one on the way back. The way out wasn't too bad, just a lot of white out conditions caused by the semi trucks on the interstates and icy roads...we took backroads through South Dakota and Nebraska and came out 20 hours later 2 hours west of Denver. Then, we skied for 5 amazing wonderful days with great conditions, everything from fresh powder to groomed packed powder. We pretty much had SolVista to ourselves, and there were no lift lines. Side note- SolVista is awesome! Everybody we met was so nice! Ok, anyways, after skiing all day on Friday we left for home, this time deciding to go through Nebraska, over to Omaha, taking interstate 80 until we reached I35 to head North. Sounds like a good plan, right? And it worked perfectly, going about 80 mph the whole way...until we got to Iowa. Now, let me tell you about Iowa...you'd think, that being in the midwest and right below Minnesota that they would have a clue on how to handle a blizzard...but they DON'T. First of all, we found out that they don't use any sand or chemicals on their roads, they just plow the snow away. Couple problems with that... #1. When you remove the snow, you leave ice. If you don't use something to get rid or help with the ice, you have slow driving and many accidents. Case in point- there were over 100 semi trucks and 100 cars in the ditches, including 4 that we personally saw on their roofs. Problem #2. If you don't clear the ice, you can't drive on the interstate. So what does the intelligent state of Iowa do to correct the problem? They close the interstates. What's the problem with closing the interstates? Then people are forced to take the backroads. What happens when people take the back roads? Then you have really horrible Iowa drivers on really horrible Iowa roads trying to push through...and the semi trucks that don't have time to wait for the interstates to open back up go to the backroads, and you have even more accidents. Case in point- we took backroads around the interstates to a little town that started with a 'G'... there was an accident up ahead that closed the side roads. As we stopped, two semi trucks behind us rear-ended each other. Stupid, Stupid Iowa. Now, I know Iowa is just an afterthought state, one that everyone associates with corn and farms. So maybe you are thinking that they can't afford the nessesary equiptment needed to clear the ice. WRONG!!! While we were driving, we saw some of the highest quality and highest priced snow removal equiptment available. However, Iowa doesn't know how to use what they have. Case in point- we almost got smashed by a pickup truck that hit a patch of snow left behind by a poorly done snow removal job. It would have been a horrific accident if that truck had had a long box instead of a short box. And then there was the high tech machinery that was doing a good job clearing the road...on one side, by throwing the show onto the other lane. Um, what are they trying to accomplish there? Anyways, luckily for us we finally made it the 300 or so miles out of Iowa, and it only took 12 HOURS. Of course, once we got into Minnesota the roads were expertly taken care of, and we were able to cruise right along. Bottem line, never drive through Iowa during a snow storm, stick to the states that know what they are doing, like Minnesota.