Presence Pitfalls

Away messages, busy icons, and green dots. Online presence is becoming common and people are relying on it more and more.

Outlook does a good job of tightly integrating Windows Messenger presence. If the person is in my Messenger client, I'll get presence icons in emails from them. This is nice, but I really don't find myself using it that much. What would really be useful to me is tight integration with the out of office reply.

Summer is the season of vacation. Every week there are a handful of people that I need to work with, but they are on vacation. I know this because the email I sent them came back with an out of office reply. That's great, but that information is just a blink. I read it, delete it, and then forget 2 hours later when they are returning to the office. How come Outlook, especially Exchange connected Outlook, can't integrate that presence? Make that icon work for me. Instead of an away icon, show me the out of office icon. Let me hover over it and see their out of office message.

While we're at it, if I'm sending a message labeled high priority or scheduling a meeting to a known out of office recipient, Outlook should warn me. Finally, you could take this out of office data and generate a report showing who is out for the current week. It would be very helpful. I can barely remember when I'm supposed to be on vacation. I don't know how I'm supposed to remember when you will be.

Note: I'm running Office 2003 at work, so if things have progressed since then, let me know and I'll retract my rant.


Design Touches in Apple's New Keyboard

I'm such a Mac geek. Check out the desing touches of the new Apple keyboard. I have to believe the designers have a pile of Apple gear at their disposal and the design isn't done until it looks good with all of it.

It's old school, but I still use it. When I plugged in my shuffle to sync, I found it fit perfectly in the gap between the keyboard and the desk surface.

Far more folks will have iPod docks ready to plug-in. Notice how the USB plug housing blends perfectly with the keyboard lines.

I love it.


5 of The Now

  • Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass - Single - None Shall Pass
    My love for Aesop Rock continues to grow. Mellow flow.

  • Z-Trip (feat. Chali 2na) - Something Different
    Z-Trip production and Chali 2na on the mic? What's not to like? I think I could rock out listening to Chali 2na read the ingredients off a box of Cheerios. Also available on Z-Trip featuring Chali 2Na / Keno 1 & The Hermit - All Pro - Something Different.

  • Gui Boratto - Mr. Decay (Robert Babicz Universum Disco Mix)
    That's the stuff! I can't link directly, but you can get this at Beatport.com

  • Filta - Abuse
    Great use of samples from the movie Taxi Driver. De Niro as Travis Brickle - here's a man that would not take it anymore. Placed in a proper mix, this one will grind your mind...in a good way.

  • LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver - All My Friends
    It's really hard to not fill this whole 5otn with tracks off of this album. Sound of Silver and Bloc Party's A Weekend in the City don't leave my CD changer. This 30 second sample does nothing for the track. You can get a little better feel with the video on iTunes, or screw all that and just watch it on YouTube.


iMac for Mother Earth

The new iMacs are out (yes!) and I couldn't help but notice how much Apple is highlighting the green aspects of the computer. Maybe it's because they've taken such a beating before, but perhaps it's just the new, kinder, gentler, Apple at work.

So where are the highlights? Well, the tech specs tout Energy Star compliance. Which version of Energy Star might be in debate. The standard recently changed and the old iMac was not compliant. You can check the list (Excel file), but it was mostly the Mac mini and the MacBook that met the new standards.

Apple also proudly states "The use of recyclable glass and aluminum makes iMac friendlier to the environment, too." on their design page.

To complete the link parade, don't forget to check out the environment section of Apple's website.