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Archive for January, 2008

Tagging things or thinging tags?

Vista’s photo manager has a built in tagging facility. Yay!

But I couldn’t figure out how to apply tags to photos until I checked the built-in help. The photo manager shows you your photos on the right and your list of tags on the left. I kept trying to drag tags onto the photos. Nope. You have to drag your photos onto your tags.

This strikes me as weird. It’s less convenient because when you drag a photo, you are dragging a translucent image of the photo, which makes it a little hard to see the list over which you’re dragging it. It’s do-able, but it’s not as easy as dragging a little bit of text onto a great big image.

So, why would Microsoft design it this way? All I can figure is that the designers were thinking that tags are like categories: Bins into which things go. For most of us, however, tags are labels that get attached to things. It works either way, but the “containment” metaphor seems inappropriate for tags… [Tags: ]

40 Downloadable Open Source Applications

That’s the title of Max Kiesler’s Oct 7, 2007 post, and it’s perfectly descriptive. It’s a useful list.

The miscellanizing of topiucs

Andy Carvin (in a tweet) points to the Wikipedia entry on the phrase “Viewers like you.” All part of the Web’s dismantling (and reassembling) of the traditional notion of topics.

[Tags: ]

Q: What is the opposite of miscellaneous?

A: Probably this: How to organize Lego bricks.

(Thanks to Kevin Marks for the link.) [Tags: ]

Nature’s joints

Bill Buford, writing in the New Yorker (Dec. 3, 2007), notes that the American versions of two books about meat don’t contain the same diagrams of  cut-up animals:

What none of these writers acknowledges is probably something that all of them discovered right before their books were published: that there is no universal, accepted practice for cutting up an animal, that it has always been nationally and sometimes regionally determined, and that there is not, therefore, a universal set of butcher’s terms that can be translated from one language to another. Maybe, in this respect, Fearnley-Whittingstall’s instructions for butchering a piece of lamb are the most sensible after all: the only way you’ll learn is by hacking into it, and so you may as well brave the mess.

So much for Socrates’ admonition to carve nature at its joints…
[Tags: bill_buford meat taxonomy plato socrates everything_is_miscellaneous ]

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