Robert Blinov’s blog

 No comments    5   4 d   food   Italy

Autorenewals and common sense

I got this in the mail today:

Your WhoisGuard subscription listed below is expiring soon.
Act fast and renew WhoisGuard today to keep contact information attached to your domain hidden in public Whois.
It’s FREE to renew, so make sure that your privacy remains protected.

This is an example of bad design. If it’s free to renew, why don’t I have WhoisGuard set until hell freezes over?

 No comments    3   9 d   common sense   design

The theory of little scars

Sometimes the world finds out about a famous person’s death. “Died from age”, the reporters say. I don’t understand how someone in their right mind can say such a thing. Age is just a number that shows how old the person is. It doesn’t impact anything directly but the amount of candles on a cake.

The more one lives the more one has experienced—good or bad. By having a paper cut on my finger I might have let a couple of dangerous bacteriae into my body—nothing excruciating—but many such cuts are lethal. So is the story for any other disease.

People don’t die from age, they die from many little scars that pile up over time.

 No comments    11   16 d   death   red pill

History for Private Browsing

Sometimes I need to use Private Browsing in Safari. It’s obviously a misnomer because there’s nothing private about it, but it’s generally useful to get better deals.

Once I close that window and I need to reopen the website later, I have to search for everything again. Dear Apple, please fix this!

 No comments    10   24 d   Safari

“Do not disturb” in hotels

Most hotels give customers door tags with “Do not disturb” written on them. I don’t understand why. It’s obvious that no person ever wants to be ever disturbed. If you think that it’s something about cleaning the room, it isn’t: hotels give out these tags even when you’re staying for one night.

Plus, in hotels with actual keys, you give them to the reception when leaving. So they know when you’re gone. In those with plastic cards, the hotel knows I’m in my room as soon I as open the door.

I am in one of these today, and there’s a button instead of a tag. The button works only when I have my card inside the slot (I tried the business card approach; everything works only when the card is in there), so I got a second card. And as soon as I come back from outside DND is deactivated so I have to press the button once more. This button would be super useful if it would physically block the door from being opened by hotel staff or anybody else with the key, but it just shines a barely noticeable LED.

P. S. Does the Ritz Carlton do this?

 3 comments    58   2 mon   hotels   life   madness

Monaco’s flag

This is Monaco’s flag. It’s identical, except for in proportions, to Indonesia’s:

But Monaco has an alternative flag and pattern (mostly used on license plates), which reminds of their moneymaker the Casino, which would make Monaco instantly recognisable anywhere on Earth:

Monaco, why not make the latter the official flag?

 No comments    82   3 mon   branding   design

Wayfinding in Dolceacqua

Lines on a circle-shaped square point to where the landmarks are. This kind of navigation is perfect for a lovely medieval village like Dolceacqua: it’s useful yet unintrusive.

Up close:

 No comments    208   3 mon   design   wayfinding

Pigna Library website v1.1

The Pigna Library happens to host events. There is a dedicated events block to get the readers to know about them.

When it came time to expand the “add” page beyond books, Ilya and I decided to kill the interface altogether.

To add an event, the librarian just writes what the event is. As for the plus sign, it got a beautiful frame to be on par with its friends—books.

See also: The interface is evil

 No comments    76   3 mon   Pigna   release   user interface

Train door buttons

Bad: levers

Bad: buttons that are located in a weird place

Bad: buttons that make fingers bleed

Good: those that aren’t any of the above

Excellent: those that remember that you pressed them

And obviously all buttons should be responsive to touches in gloves. There should be no buttons on trains that only go through a closed space.

 No comments    92   3 mon   design

Acronyms and abbreviations

AliExpress: Alibaba Express

Amtrak: American track

Gerrymandering: Gerry salamandering

Grade A Under A: Grade A. Underachiever

H B O: Home Box Office

H Q: Hype Quiz

Instagram: Instant telegram

Pac-Man: Program and control Man

PCalc: Programmer’s calculator

Pixelmator: Pixel + mater (to mate)

Qualcomm: Quality communications

Skype: Sky peer-to-peer → Skyper → Skype

Tanzania: Tanganyika & Zanzibar

Uniqlo: Unique clothing

Velcro: Velours crochet

Verizon: Veritas horizon

Walmart: Walton-mart

Yandex: Yet another indexer

The more you know.

 No comments    49   3 mon   abbreviations   words
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