Essential Design Principles for Felines

April 1st, 2013

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox: April 1, 2013 Mobile Usability for Cats: Essential Design Principles for Felines

Other findings:

  • Rapid double and triple taps are common among felines, especially kittens; any response from a multi-tap should be even faster/louder/blinkier than from a single tap.


  • Swiping is expected to work from any and every direction, so ensure that your targets are extra responsive and include corresponding sounds.
  • Animation is especially important, including blinking. In fact, if your site or app doesn't animate, it's pretty much useless.
    • This is a revolutionary finding, considering that blinking has been contraindicated in web design ever since it was #3 on the list of top-10 design mistakes of 1996.
  • A sensory-activated "pause mode" is highly suggested, as nearly half the cats randomly stopped what they were doing to lie down on their devices and stretch, nap, or self-groom for extended periods before resuming their tasks.

[Via MetaFilter]

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Rule 35

April 1st, 2012

Coming soon: Limited Edition "Remix Novel," Rule 35.1

[Via Electrolite (Sidelights)]

  1. Context for the weak.

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Twitter at Gettysburg

April 1st, 2012

Michael Mace on Twitter the telegraph at Gettysburg:

With our obsession for newness, those of us who work in the tech industry often fail to understand the historical roots of our technologies. Case in point: telegraph operators more than 150 years ago were sending short messages called "graphs" that were surprisingly similar in form and content to Twitter tweets.

One remarkable example was recently discovered in the Museum of Telegraphy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It is the transcript of a telegraph operator's comments during Abraham Lincoln's famed Gettysburg Address in 1863. The transcript was shared with me by a friend on the museum staff, and I'm pleased to reproduce it here:

Still waiting for the Pres. to commence his speech. #gettysburg

Good heavens, I should have foresworn that fifth corn dodger for lunch. #gas #dontask #gettysburg

Starting now. Pres. waves to crowd. #gettysburg

Four score and… WTF is a score? 25? #pleasespeakenglish #gettysburg

Okay, it's twenty. So "87 years ago the country was founded." Why not just say that? Duh. #gettysburg


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April 1st, 2011

Help Wanted:

Every day people start typing more than a billion searches on Google and expect Google to predict what they are looking for. In order to do this at scale, we need your help.

Google's quality team is looking for talented, motivated, opinionated technologists to help us predict what users are looking for. If you're eager to improve the search experience for millions of people and have a proven track record of excellence, this is a project for you!

As a Google Autocompleter, you'll be expected to successfully guess a user's intention as he or she starts typing instantly. In a fraction of a second, you'll need to type in your prediction that will be added to the list of suggestions given by Google. Don't worry, after a few million predictions you'll grow the required reflexes.

[Via The Tao of Mac]

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April 1st, 2010

Announcing APDB: The World's Fastest Database

The Relational Database is dead.

It had a long, distinguished life that started in 1970 with Dr. Edgar F. Codd, but it has since seen its day. Like the sextant, slide rule, and punch card, relational databases are becoming relics of the past as the industry moves towards better, faster, and awesomer.

Setting aside the fact that relational databases are incredibly, mind numbingly slow, they have a much more fundamental problem: they do not model reality. Take a look at the world around you. Go ahead, shift your eyes from the screen and survey your surroundings.

Did you see a perfectly rectangular world made up of rows and columns? What about schemas? And tables (i.e. the kind without four legs)? Of course not! The world isn't made-up of that stuff, nor is it very easy to model reality with such things.


Another inherent problem that relational databases have is that, fundamentally, they're designed for insecure developers. This whole notion of "data integrity" is a crutch for the weak that cripples the able-bodied. I don't need some database telling me what data I can and can't store: accept the bytes that I give you, and give them back to me when I ask. I know what they are, I know what they're supposed to be, and I know how to use them, thank you very much. […]

That's all just the preamble: the real fun comes when we discover the … batshitinsane audacious … strategy APDB adopts in order to give us geeks the sort of database we secretly crave. It really had me going for a moment.1

  1. Then I remembered the date.

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The Grauniad, 140 characters at a time

April 1st, 2009

Twitter switch for Guardian, after 188 years of ink:

[Celebrated Guardian editor] CP Scott would have warmly endorsed this – his well-known observation 'Comment is free but facts are sacred' is only 36 characters long, a spokesman said in a tweet that was itself only 135 characters long.

Almost as good an April Fool as the notion that Alan Shearer is Newcastle United's new manager.1

[Via Qwghlm]

  1. What?!?

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