ramblings

I know I am out of date with this Roal Moat thing, I can’t spell Roul either.. is that it? RAOUL. What a strange word. Anyway… I couldn’t help but notice this during the proceedings: Originally the police said that Moat had made threats against the police and explictly said that he bore no grudge against the public. They had a hand-written letter with all this in which they happily gave over to the press.

After a few days of no progress they suddenly produced out of thin air that he had changed his mind and was now threatening the public. They never produced any evidence or explanation for this. Oh come on, what bollocks; the police were still in danger but the public were generally complacent. They introduced the ‘threat’ to make the public more likely to come forward with leads and to allow them to get away with more intrusive policing. And let’s be honest, their policing was rubbish, just like it was last time there was a gunman running around northern England. So were their press conferences. I understand that as you go north it gets harder and harder to find people whose parents aren’t related but I’m sure they could have found some better candidates to put on TV.

It is entirely unrelated and coincidental that I watched V for Vendetta on BBC3 this evening. It is a little far fetched though; you couldn’t run a police state with our police force.

In other news, BBC news changed its site layout. Never in the history of the internet has a site changed its layout and been greeted with any kind of praise whatsoever, which is because people then have to start reading all the text again to figure out where everything is and most likely you crammed far too much information onto the page and they find the process frustrating. Even ignoring that, this one is terrible. I used love the BBC news site, it was one of the champions of good user interface design in a world of web designers who have figured out they can charge more for every useless and annoying feature they add. It is like with academic papers. Anyone who’s ever read one knows that ground-breaking research is rare and the average academic paper explains a simple idea which is totally obvious after you give the reader a push in the right direction, but if you explain it simply you risk your reader grasping the idea as you’re explaining it and then thinking “well that wasn’t so clever” and then imagining that they thought of it too. In order to make it look like you’re doing some intellectual work, you have to make it so it’s totally incomprehensible to all but the most dedicated reader. Web designers have to make their site needlessly horrifically complex to make it look like it’s better than everyone else’s. Simple and easy to use interfaces just don’t impress the client like a sensory overload of uninteresting information. But now it’s going to be a pain to use.

Here is my reasoned criticism.

apologies to colour blind readers. And readers who when trying to read that probably feel colour blind. I should have drawn a green beard on Jonathan Ross.

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