MacDev 2009

I would love to say I left this a while to expand the window of news coverage for the event. That is partially true but there are, shall we say, greater truths that could be told.

Anyway, I wanted to bring to your attention that I'm speaking at the (first) MacDev 2009 conference next year.

My talk isn't finalised yet, so I thought I would ask for input: you know the things I do, what would you like to hear about from me? Even if you're not planning to attend, feel free to suggest something and I might use that idea for a blog post.

Check the new shiny

Just put a new design live on the Connected Flow blog. Much better than Kubrick!

The story behind this is the story of a smart business move. I blogged about how much I hated the design of It's such a programmer's web design, with all its sharp corners and hacky layouts.

A couple of days later, Matteo Rattotti of Shiny Frog sent me a zip file via email saying "I saw your blog and I redesigned your site for you", and his design was great, so I hired him to make me a custom Wordpress theme for the corporate blog too.

Now, for a little work and speculation, here I am giving him all the free advertising I can and he's permanently linked from a well-read blog and a much-visited website. If you're in business and looking for a way to get some recognition, don't be afraid to go out on a limb with something speculative like that.

Find something popular and fit into its ecosystem. That's what I did with Flickr.

Lazyweb: London

I'm planning to take April to London for a day or two on October, and I'd like some help: I need a child-friendly hotel somewhere in central London.

There are precisely ten bajillion hotels in London, and I'm struggling to find something that fits the bill. It doesn't need to provide anything in particular, just to be suitable for a three-year-old and her dad and the price needs to be in the 'sane' range (i.e. I'm not on anyone's expense account but my own), but I'm prepared for what London costs. Bonus points for being very near an Underground station and perhaps extra bonus points for being near Paddington station, where we'll arrive from Heathrow. We're basically visiting the Tower, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, if that helps to narrow it down.

Any personal experiences or recommendations would be great. Thanks!

Don't make me remember details your database already knows

Two stupid things that are annoying me today:

When you call your mobile phone company, they ask you to type in your number. Why, then, does the operator always ask you for your phone number again when you get connected? I just told you!

I have a credit card with They're generally one of the more clueful online financial institutions, but they have an interaction bug that always annoys me: if you want to make an additional payment to your card, here are the steps you have to go through:

  • Log in
  • Click on the credit card account
  • Get to a page that shows your outstanding balance
  • Click "Make a one-off payment"
  • Get to a page with a box where you're supposed to type in the amount you want to pay. A page which does not display your current balance anywhere.
  • Curse yourself for not remembering it.
  • Click "Back"
  • Find the balance that you stupidly forgot to memorise down to the last penny.
  • Copy it
  • (optionally, pray that you haven't somehow screwed up the browser session somehow by using the back button)
  • Click "Make a one-off payment"
  • Paste the balance into the field.
  • Click OK

You know, one of the biggest down-sides to using Apple products (and good indie Mac software, I might add) is that you can never ever again not notice things that are stupidly designed like this.

What Would Jony Do?