Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Density of Smart People – Creative Class

San Francisco and New York are far and away the leaders in human capital density with 7,031 and 6,357 college degree holders per square mile, respectively. Boston (3,871), Washington, D.C. (3,395) , Seattle (2,853), and Chicago (2.543) all have human capital densities in the range of 2,500 to 3,500 degree holders per quarter mile. Silicon Valley has a human capital density of 1,259 degree holders per square mile.

Stats on density of college graduates per square mile in different American cities.

Facebook’s friendship trap

Dubbed the “Eleanor Rigby generation”, those aged 18-34 (84% of whom use the internet regularly) are the most likely to be lonely, according to the report. And 31% admitted that they spent too much time online rather than face to face.

Impact of social networking on social life. Good read, though the rumors of Facebook’s death are slightly exaggerated, in my opinion.

10 words I’d ban from all websites

5. ‘Check’ this box
If you’re a British brand (or selling to Brits) stick with British English, especially around forms and transactions. I’ve seen significant evidence that this reassures e-commerce customers in the U.K. We ‘tick’ boxes or put crosses in them. And we don’t do ‘shipping’, we do ‘delivery’.

Useful advice by a professional copywriter, with some British flavor added. I mean flavour.

Why Crunch Mode Doesn’t Work: 6 Lessons

Lesson Three is this: five-day weeks of eight-hour days maximize long-term output in every industry that has been studied over the past century. What makes us think that our industry is somehow exempt from this rule?

Excellent article on impact of overtime work on productivity. People regularly working long hours aren’t heroes, they’re slackers. I’d love every manager to read it.

iPad Usability: First Findings From User Testing

For the last 15 years of Web usability research, the main problems have been that users don’t know where to go or which option to choose — not that they don’t even know which options exist. With iPad UIs, we’re back to this square one.
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Nielsen on iPad’s usability. In short: the interface beautiful, but suffers from lack of standardized controls and metaphors.


Of course it didn’t take the members of “Nielsen is a boring guy who just don’t get” camp too much time to come up with a rebuttal:


He almost gets it.


Why I Don’t Work At Google

There were too many people on the team who, individually, couldn’t finish anything. There was always a good reason why – some new requirement that necessitated a rewrite, or some piece that turned out to be more complex than anyone thought.

As a junior member of the team, I took these explanations at face value. With the benefit of ten more years of experience, though, I know that while it’s important to write quality software, it’s equally important to just fucking finish it.

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Complaints about Microsoft’s culture making it difficult to ship products, despite having bright people on board. But I don’t get how this experience relates to Google, with dozens of products coming out from the company every year.

Mea Culpa

Because wasn’t it oh so clever and efficient to build a radically new kind of database with extreme reliability requirements as a highly multithreaded kernel extension to the OS?

Why being smart is a dangerous threat to a programmer.

Comparing E-mail Address Validating Regular Expressions


An article comparing different regular expressions for e-mail validation. The one quoted above is the only one passing all the test from the article. The problem I see is that the regexps don’t cover internationalized addresses, like this e-mail allowed by RFC 5335: 甲斐@黒川.日本.