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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Need it now!

Need it now!

My sister-in-law Mary, who works at a large architecture firm, told me a funny story about a recent BlackBerry text entry gaffe. A co-worker was on a job site and needed a certain numbered document sent over in a hurry. So she used her company issued BlackBerry to e-mail a message to someone back at the office saying, "I need 428 now." As is probably common with BlackBerry users in a hurry, she momentarily confused the shift key with the unlabeled ALT key (with funky half moon icon and located where you might expect shift should be), and document number became the letters S-E-X. Without re-reading the contents of the screen, she sent the message "I need SEX now." Yes, the ALT key even capitalized the letters. The e-mail recipient calmly replied asking if she really meant what she said. I'm sure the co-worker blushed the full spectrum of red.

[Note: I originally wrote that my sister-in-law Mary made the BlackBerry error, but it was actually someone else at her office. I've corrected the text above.]

11:38 PM in Usability | Permalink


Hello, Mr. Lee:

I am writing to inquire about possible use of your fisheye photo of the Peabody Library in Baltimore. I found it by doing a Google Image search. As Librarian for a new online community intended to support intellectual and social needs of very talented "Young Scientists," I'm trying to find a square image that can be used as an icon on the navigation bar of the community's home page. Your photo strikes me as ideal.

The community portal is located at www.cogito.org. In the left navigation bar, you can see a list of features available through the site. Each link is visually anchored by a thumbnail photo. Once the community launches formally (it is now in Beta, with formal launch scheduled for early October), the virtual library will be available to community members. So I need to find an appropriate image to be used as thumbnail icon for Cogito Library. It will display only to members once they log in (and not to the general public, as do the other thumbnails).

I love your image for this purpose, for several reasons.
1. It is visually stunning.
2. It is something of a visual puzzle, such that the viewer cannot tell at first what is imaged, so it seems a good choice for these curious young people.
3. It pictures a library, and it could readily be cropped at the sides to create the needed square shape.
4. It incorporates not only books, but also computers -- the means the kids will use to access their library.
5. It resembles a sphere and pictures a "cathedral of books", so it could be a visual metaphor for a world of knowledge/ learning/ discovery.

There is also a gallery on the portal site. A full-sized version of the photo could be mounted there, with full authorship credit. (This would be visible to the general public). The site developers will also sometimes offer a little quiz/ guessing game: "What does this picture?" Your image could be featured in that way as well, if you wish.

Could you please let me know whether you would be able to approve use of your photo as a thumbnail icon for Cogito Library, and if you are interested in featuring it in the portal site's phot gallery? Thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dot Tassone

P.S. If possible, could you please respond to my email address? Thanks so much!

Posted by: Dot Tassone at Sep 27, 2006 10:20:45 AM