Archive for November 2010

News Flash

I wish I could say this was a surprise: of the security issues that Apple patched in Mac OS X 10.6.5, 42% were to deal with Adobe Flash.

The security issues related to Flash are in fact the stated reason why Apple is backing away from bundling the plugin with its new computers. Apple began shipping the MacBook Air without Flash installed, noting that customers could install the plugin on their own to ensure they had the latest, most secure version.

However, testing indicates that in normal operation, Flash can also consume dramatic amounts of battery life just to animate web ads in the background, resulting in as much as two hours of lost productivity on a single charge.


I used to do UI development full-time, and it’s still a significant portion of my job. So I tend to be aware of bad interfaces more than most people. Here’s a fine example – not from the Web, but informed by it. The ATM I used this morning:

Bad UI

Beveled buttons with cool gradients are all the rage on the Web nowadays, which is clearly why the designers of this Diebold ATM interface went with them. The problem? This is not a touch-screen interface! You can’t touch those zones; you’re supposed to use the mechanical buttons sitting next to them.

A beveled zone signifies “click here” on the Web, or “touch here” on a touch-screen, so I kept touching the screen as I navigated through this interface. The designers should have gone with a non-beveled zone instead, ideally with an arrowhead pointing to the mechanical button associated with that zone.