Palm is finally thinking smart

From ReadWriteWeb:

Yesterday, Palm released an update of the Pre software, webOS. While most of the reporting surrounding the new OS involved the important update which brings paid applications to the Pre’s App Catalog, another under-reported feature is actually just as (if not more) important. The Pre now lets you download over-the-air from Amazon’s MP3 Store.

Let’s hope Jon Rubenstein stops acting like a douchebag with the Pre-masquerading-as-an-iPod trickery with iTunes.
A clever man once said, if you don’t like the rules of the game, change the game.
While I understand the convenience of being able to sync your Palm Pre with iTunes, the reason the Pre is a great product is for all the ways it’s different than the iPhone.

Arial, ima let you finish, but…

I had to do it:
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UPDATE 18.09.2009 – After creating the image above, I went and posted it to my friend Dalematic‘s Facebook wall. I hadn’t anticipated what this action might start, but given Dalematic’s arsenal of design chops and knowledge, I should have.
Dalematic’s response #1:
imaletyoufinish_papyrus_vs_comicsans.jpg
The Combustion Chamber’s response #1:
imaletyoufinish_bickhamscript_vs_shelley.jpg
Dalematic’s response #2:
imaletyoufinish_justified_vs_ragright.jpg
The Combustion Chamber’s response #2:
imaletyoufinish_akzidenz_vs_helvetica.jpg
Dalematic’s response #3:
imaletyoufinish_akzidenz_vs_univers.jpg
The Combustion Chamber’s response #3:
imaletyoufinish_futura_vs_gillsans.jpg

Human Experience for Google and Microsoft

Do Google and Microsoft understand what Human Experience is?
Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. They’re both companies run by engineers, so that’s bound to happen.
Google has launched Fast Flip and Microsoft has launched Visual Search – both of which are search-related tools. Both of which are confusing.

Google Fast Flip

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Google explains Fast Flip on their blog:

Fast Flip also personalizes the experience for you, by taking cues from selections you make to show you more content from sources, topics and journalists that you seem to like. In short, you get fast browsing, natural magazine-style navigation, recommendations from friends and other members of the community and a selection of content that is serendipitous and personalized.

The problem is, Fast Flip doesn’t make scanning headlines any easier or enjoyable for me. Just because something is visually rich, doesn’t guarantee it’s easier to understand. When I want to scan news headlines, I, uh, scan news headlines. I don’t need screengrabs of websites to act as training wheels for me. Google News is more than sufficient for me.
I concur with Richard Ziade’s thoughts over at Basement.org:

What’s interesting about this tool is that it’s the anti-Readability. Instead of helping us get rid of the junk around what we’re trying to read, Google fossilized the layout – junk and all – in images.

Microsoft Visual Search

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Then we have Microsoft’s attempt to make search results engaging by making them pictures. My co-worker Rob calls them ‘glorified image galleries’. The novelty of Visual Search wears off quickly and makes me pissed that I bothered to install Silverlight in the first place.
If Visual Search was integrated in some other Microsoft properties, it might add some value and move beyond a one trick pony.