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Friday, October 29, 2010

So, you want to change your life ?

I just finished reading a very interesting book from Dale Carnegie: "How To Win Friends and Influence People". Why read it? If this book could change the life of Warren Buffet, as he mention in an interview with Evan Davis, there must be something in it. Well, in fact there is lots of exiting stuff in it.  I recommend it for everybody who wants to have a better social life, and  - who knows ? - become a little bit richer...

As always, you can find some information (a short summary) on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On web forms

When designing web forms validation, there are a couple of things that you should remember:
  • Try to be simple. This includes the layout and generic design style.
  • Keep elements aligned.
  • Display validation results as soon as possible (but not too soon, for instance let the user finish the entry if it is not obvious that he is making a mistake).
  • Be consistent (naming) and coherent.
  • Avoid "wizards" style when possible.
  • Try to activate the submit button only when all required fields are filled in correctly.
  • Never redisplay the form emptied when there is an error after the submit. Always keep what the user entered.
Nice to have:
  • Auto-completion of the fields
  • Reset button
Resources : article from ZDNet, and A List Apart

Envy, and the benefit of it

From an article today at ars technica, we can see that envy is a important factor when buying new products.

Two interesting conclusions:
This study says little about the personal effects of envy, but much about the economic effects—that is, if a company can get its customers to rigorously compare themselves against an opponent's customers and view themselves as slightly superior (thanks in part to their enlightened products), those customers can turn into nearly blind followers.

The profile of the owner mattered much more. But that profile could even have a negative impact, driving customers away and directly into the arms of a competitor.
This study used the iPhone, and can probably be extended to products of the same (hype) type. What is interesting also, is how this can be used in advertising, both for promoting our own products and crush the competition...

For more, see the full article.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quantum Computing

There is a nice thread on Slashdot about Quantum Computing with the usual funny comments. For those who want to understand the (distant) future of computing, simply follow the direct link. If you do not understand what this is all about, don't worry, you'll have plenty of time before this become common - and maybe, in a parallel universe, you already do.