Clean User Interface
Once again Google has shown that it understands that the user interface is crucial to the success of any software. Plenty of us use Google Docs via our normal machines but have found it frustrating to not be able to navigate it so easily via our phones. Now Google has brought out an android app which cures the problem, with a nice clean user interface.
The new app makes it very easy to navigate around documents that still exist, to read them and retrieve information from them. The problem of having a smaller screen to read things not designed for the smaller screen still exists. Please note, I am using a Samsung Galaxy S, which has a reasonably large screen for a ‘phone. However, a quick look at creating a new spreadsheet revealed that it was indeed reasonably intuitive.
A problem I’ve had recently was how to score a game of Carcassonne. I was playing that amusing German style tile based game with some friends (for some inexplicable reason it is named after a famous French city with complete double walls but the tiles in the game only have a single wall) and the scoring was rather time consuming. We were playing with three full sets of the game, three and a half extension packs and five players. The scorer, moi, couldn’t really concentrate on the game because of the constant need to add up scores.
A Tale Of Too Many Cities
Afterwards the suggestion was made that we could have used a spreadsheet to update the scores but that would have meant making space for a laptop. Space was at a premium! Having had a quick look at the new app, I think it would have been possible to throw together a quick spreadsheet and add the scores up like that, with a record for posterity, should we ever want it for some bizarre reason.
The new app is apparently considered to be a work in progress, which may be something of an excuse. It may be a polite way of admitting that some of it doesn’t work properly and a promise that it will in the future. One feature which doesn’t appear to work yet is the Optical Character Recognition, which promises the user that photographs containing text can be converted into text… at some point in the future. Certainly it is an improvement on using Google Docs via the ‘phones web browser.
No Smiling But Plenty Of Attention For The Immortal Nick Clegg
The No to AV Campaign relies on someheavy handed patronising tactics. The leaflet put through my door asks, as its title
IS NOW REALLY THE TIME TO WASTE £250 million ON CHANGING OUR VOTING SYSTEM?
Which begs the question whether there is ever a time to waste any money? Surely the question should ask whether the money should be spent or not? Page 2 of the leaflet states that the “LibDems” and Nick Clegg would “always be part of the government”. This presupposes that they will get so many votes in future or that other parties will never vote for each other. It also presumes that Nick Clegg is both immortal and will always be Liberal leader!
The real arguments against AV are listed on the back:
The No Campaign says AV is
- Complicated – this is patronising in the extreme: surely people can be trusted to work out whether they wish to count their candidates in preferential order? It is as simple as 1,2,3… supporters of the thieving Tory bastards will presumable just put down 1.
- Costly – all elections cost money. Electronic voting machines will save money in the long term because their use will mean that council staff won’t be paid to count votes all through the night.
- Unfair – this argument presupposes that some people get more than one vote, although it doesn’t actually say this on the form put through my letterbox. In fact, AV is a system for running a series of elections all at once so that each time the bottom loser drops out. There are, in effect, several elections held simultaneously, with the presumption that those voting for candidates other than the bottom loser will wish to keep their votes intact. The No campaign says that this means that supporters of minor candidates get to have more than one vote. I can see the argument but surely it is more unfair to continue with the present system whereby you get represented in Parliament by someone who need only receive minority support from any one constituency?
- Confusing - this is the same argument as the first one but with a different title
- Only used by 3 other countries – so what? First past the post is only used by one other country in Europe: the Vatican City!
- Not PR – It is noteworthy that this leaflet has clearly been delivered by supporters of the thieving Tory bastards because it was wrapped up in a thieving Tory bastard leaflet. Strange that these people use an argument that AV is not something else that they would oppose!
- Second Best – this is a non-starter, surely? This reason is simply a restatement of the leafleteers opinion.
I was disappointed by the leaflet’s paucity. It would have been easy to make a stronger case but to do this here now would help the supporters of the thieving Tory bastards, which I’m not going to do. Let them do their own work.
By the way, I will be explaining, at some convenient future point, who qualifies to be an actual thieving Tory bastard and who only makes supporter status.