Saturday, January 27, 2007

Design & Fonctionnalité

Dans ma séance quotidienne de Google Reader, où je fais le tour des différents blogs que je lis régulièrement, je me suis arrêté quelques instants sur le site de Science On Blogue! Mario Tessier y commentes, dans l'article “Le iMachin,” la place que le design prend de plus en plus dans les nouvelles technologies. Cela m'a susciter quelques réflections...

La différence dans les approches marketing d'Apple et de Microsoft sont particulièrement évidentes si l'on compare le iPod et le Zune par exemple. Et leur efficacité respective est révélée par le flop du Zune...

Le commentaire de Mr. Dumas me surprend un peu. Sur un blog traitant de science et de culture, il n'y a pas de sujet plus pertinent que de discutter comment la perception des technologies affecte leur utilisation. Car c'est justement sur ce point que se fait l'intersection entre science et culture (et c'est sans doute pourquoi on y retrouve le thème “Arts et Technologies”).

Mais l'avantage des produits d'Apple n'est pas simplement dans le design extérieur: c'est aussi dans le design (conception) des fonctionnalités. Elles sont non seulement souvent supérieur mais également plus accessible, plus facile à utiliser. De la même façon que le design extérieur fait que le produit s'intègre plus facilement (esthétiquement) dans notre environnement, le design des fonctionnalités fait qu'il s'intègre aussi mieux dans notre vie de tout les jours.

J'ai souvent l'impression que, si les produits de Microsoft sont conçu pour les techniciens et les ingénieurs, ceux d'Apple le sont pour monsieur-tout-le-monde...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter At Last!

Finally, winter looks and feels what it should be: cold and with white stuff on the ground.

I know, I know, people driving cars don't like that. It's driving them crazy.

But what is winter without those little flakes falling down the sky?

It makes the child inside me happy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Love Thy Neighbor (Part 2)

The previous post was apparently not the last of my neighborhood problems.

The worse that can happen is when you feel that your house... is not safe anymore.

Tonight there was an attempt to break into my house. It is the third time that it happens in over ten years. Each time, I've been lucky and nothing was stolen. The thief were always disturbed and fled before completely succeeding to break in.

This time they broke the window of the garage side-door to be able to open the lock. They tried to quietly remove a glass panel on the door between the garage and the house, but they must have realized that I was home and left (I am almost always home; I work here). A little after midnight, I noticed that the garage light was on and went to check, to discover that both garage doors were open and that a window was broken.

Kids? Drug addicts? I don't think so. The fact that they tried to silently remove a glass panel of the inside door instead of simply breaking it let me believe that, if they are not pros, they at least know what they are doing.

No hurry calling the police (last time it took them two days to come!). I'll call them tomorrow. For now I have boarded the broken window, and added a few more locks to the inside door. It should keep them from coming back for a while...

Damn Rogers!

I've been tired of my cellphone (a Nokia 3300) for a while. I have it now for over two years, which is a lot for that kind of technology. I can dream of the Apple iPhone, but I can't wait until this summer (it might take even longer for it to arrive in Canada). Anyway, I don't have much money so I've been eying at the Motorola V360 instead. The Pay-As-You-Go version is sold at only $130 Cdn -- even less if you order it directly from Rogers' web site. Which I did. It was a grave mistake.

I received the phone after three days, but it was defective. It didn't ring at all. After spending over two hours trying to get through the customer service automatic phone system, speaking with someone with such a thick accent that I barely could understand what she was saying (not from India, but New Brunswick!), being bounced back and forth to different departments, being on hold, being hang up by mistake, getting the message “our customer service is now closed, please call back during business hours” at 1 pm (it was friday...), I was finally told that I could exchange the phone -- but not in a store, instead I had to send it back by UPS!! I was also told that my credit card would be credited only after a minimum of twenty-one days, and that I had to make an entirely new order to get a replacement!!!!!

I don't think so.

If I decide to stick with Rogers (IF), I will certainly not order again from their web page. And I urge you to never try it.

I can't believe that a company could have a customer service that sucks so much. And it is not the first time that I encountered such bad service. Bell is as bad if not worse. It is as if they try on purpose to make it the worse experience possible for you, like to discourage you to deal with them. Aren't they worried to lose customers? I just can't understand this business culture.

Been Busy

I haven't blog in two weeks! Sorry! I've been busy and it will probably stay busy for some time. Lots of stuff to do at the job. So I might not blog much for a while. Although I have so many stories, anecdotes, comments and rants I would like to talk about... I'll do my best.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Devil Wears Prada

This a “fish out of his bowl story.” A young woman comes from Ohio to NYC in the hope to become a journalist. Despite that she has no knowledge or sense of fashion she is hired as personal assistant for the editor of a famous fashion magazine. Even if her boss (Meryl Streep) is a real monster, she manages to survive and learns the ropes, but when she's about to finally get on the top of it, she realises that she is betraying everything she is and all her friends...

This movie is not at all original. We've seen that type of story many times. It does offer good acting and the movie is most of the time funny, so it is a good entertainment, but nothing more. The extras includes deleted scenes, several “making of” featurettes and a gag reel (bloopers).

The Devil Wears Prada. USA, 2006, 109 min.; Dir.:David Frankel; Scr.: Aline Brosh McKenna (based on Lauren Weisberger's novel); Phot.: Florian Ballhaus; Ed.: Mark Livolsi; Costumes: Patricia Field; Cast: Mreyl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci. Rated PG-13 (some sensuality?!). Official website.

The Devil Wears Prada ©2006 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Dune Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

I want to wish an Happy New Year to all my readers! May this new year bring you everything you want and particularly good health.

I really hope that 2007 will be better for us. For my part, my elbow is now feeling better, but my back is getting worse and is really killing me.