Days: it’s a blog thing

Since August, 2001. Surely it can’t last…

Sunday, March 17, 2002 ↓


California law firm Morrison & Foerster have got so sick of a spammer that they’ve decided to sue the company responsible. After receiving more than 6,500 e-mails that failed to comply with state anti-spam statutes (which are stupid anyway; spam is spam is spam — and still consumes time and bandwidth — no matter how you dress it up), they are looking to relieve of $50 for each e-mail, up to a maximum of $25,000 per day. I wish them luck, but perhaps they won’t need it. I mean, would you take on a law firm that likes to be known as Mo Fos? So much do they like it, that their domain name is and they have even registered MoFo as a trademark with the US patents and trademarks office.

The story got some coverage in The Mercury News, and Dan Gillmor picked it up in his journal, reminding him of his previous comparison of spammers with cockroaches. If you want to protect yourself against spammers harvesting your e-mail address from web pages, you can take a look at my method, which naturally I think is better than the others I’ve seen.

(By the way, for anyone on my side of the Atlantic unfamiliar with the abbreviation mo fo, you can find it here in the Online Slang Dictionary.)

Posted at 7:32 PM


I can’t be the only regular reader of Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox columns to notice that these days, they seem little more than thinly disguised pieces of promotional copy for expensive Nielsen Norman Group reports and seminars.

Let’s take a look at the last six Alertbox articles:

What’s he talking about? What’s he selling?
Protecting the User’s Mailbox E-commerce user experience report: design guidelines for trust and credibility
Deep Linking is Good Linking E-commerce usability report
Official Winter Olympics Site
  1. Site map usability report
  2. Home Page Usability book
  3. Locator usability report
  4. E-commerce usability report
  5. Guidelines for supporting international users
Avoiding Commodity Status Nothing this week! (Though he sure makes up for it on February 17…)
Field Studies Done Right Four day course in field studies
Site Map Usability
  1. Home Page Usability book
  2. Site map usability report

Now, you might love Jakob Nielsen, or you might hate him (or perhaps even both at the same time). But in the past, those Alertbox columns were good pieces of brief writing, furnishing as they did a mixture of useful comment and experience, and complete bollocks — all delivered in Jakob’s characteristic, didactic style. (On the whole, I think the “useful comment and experience” outweighed the “complete bollocks”.) Recently, though, the message has become rather repetitive (though I sympathise with the difficulty of finding something new to say every two weeks — I have enough problems posting updates to this little blog, which is more for my own amusement than for anyone else’s edification). It’s just a shame he hasn’t been able to keep it up without writing advertisements for his reports and dressing them up as editorial matter.

Posted at 4:35 PM


It’s been kind of quiet around these parts for several days, largely because I resisted the worthless temptation to post just to say that I was too busy to post. (Damn! I’ve just done it anyway.) I was supposed to spend the last week entirely in Edinburgh. But at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, I got a phone call from one of my colleagues in Sweden, to say, “We have a situation here”. Of course, their situation immediately became my situation, and off I went for a few days. It’s been good fun trying to condense all the other things I had planned for this week into half of the original time… not. Let’s see; required by tomorrow:

  • put finishing touches to client web site
  • two proposals to write — one short, one long — for two potential web site projects
  • talk to an existing client about a site overhaul; talk to a potential client about a site makeover
  • finalise design comps for a new project.

And, of course, I’m going back out to Sweden from Wednesday to Saturday this week. What was the name of that movie in which the guy cloned himself? And did it give any instructions?

Posted at 4:34 PM

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