Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, November 06, 2021

It’s time again for a new strain of Microsoft Office. What will the 2007 edition bring in terms of look-and-feel?

For one thing, say goodbye to the decades-old drop-down menu:

The new Office programs, including Word and Excel, abandon the familiar drop-down menus in favor of a “ribbon” that shows the command icons in a strip across the top of the window. The contents of those ribbons are designed to change automatically as the program detects what the user is doing at any given moment.

Messing with the UI is treacherous territory. People are accustomed to the drop-down — it’s fairly intuitive. I would assume that Microsoft did tons of user testing before committing to such fundamental shift; but it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t, and simply ended up with this redesign as a concession to engineering demands.

I would take this new spring-action featuring on a test drive, but I don’t feel like going through the onerous registration process. If anyone out there has messed with it, feel free to share their feelings here.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/06/2021 10:53:55 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Is your crib’s lid ready for its closeup? Architects are lavishing attention on the formerly disregarded urban rooftop.

And you’ll never guess why:

Thanks in part to the surging popularity of Google Earth and other Web-based programs, which give the public a bracingly new, if detached, way to interact with the built environment, rooftops are shedding their reputation as forgotten, wind-swept corners of the urban landscape and moving toward the center of architectural practice.

Satellite-imagery voyeurs are now driving building design? Better keep those gutters clean.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/06/2021 10:07:57 PM
Category: Internet, Creative | Permalink | Feedback

the deuce
Don’t call it a comeback: Despite rare sightings and rumors of its demise, the Thomas Jefferson-adorned $2 bill has never been out of circulation. And now, it’s gaining newfound popularity due to perceived novelty and inflation.

And, of course, because it delivers twice the skin with half the folding action:

One group that has embraced the note is the exotic dancing industry. Strip clubs hand out $2 bills when they give customers their change and the bills end up in dancers’ garters and bartenders’ tip jars.

“The entertainers love it because it doubles their tip money,” said Angelina Spencer, a former stripper and the current executive director of the Association of Club Executives, an adult nightclub trade group representing some 1,000 members.

Would the nation’s third President be offended? I think any historian worth his 16 bits would concur that such creative commerce would sync perfectly with Jefferson’s libertarian sensibilities.

Still, I see hassles for regular strip joint clientele. On the one hand, you get a nice monetary memento from your trip to the Mons Venus. On the other, with one look inside your wallet, the wife will know exactly where those two-notes came from — a literal paper trail in your billfold. And damn the luck, you won’t be able to cash out the evidence at your local Taco Bell.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/06/2021 09:49:29 PM
Category: Politics, Business, History | Permalink | Feedback