Supreme Court Audio Online

Oyez is distributing Supreme Court oral arguments and oral opinions over the web! I might spend a lot of time listening to these (I’ve always been a aural learner) . . . if I could actually get them to play on my computer. (working on this)
Apparently, the arguments are also available on a CD called “The Supreme Court’s Greatest Hits”.
The site is also going to have a “tuning fork” by which one can compare the different voices of the justices and learn which voice is which justice. Wouldn’t it be cool if a computer would learn that for you and display the corresponding justice’s image when he or she is talking?

New Instant Messaging Technology: Letter Sending

I got this credit card ad yesterday that purports to be an “instant message”. The envelope has a graphic of an IM window containing a rather boring correspondence. I’ve heard of spammers using IM to advertise, but this credit card company seems to have missed the memo on how IM works: it’s supposed to be instant! The journey from South Dakota to Massachusetts in this case was anything but instant. The sender no doubt took advantage of the postal service’s discount bulk rate, which is even slower than the regular mail (and infinitely more expensive than IM).
Internet technology is not cool because of the interface, it is cool because it is innovative. Applying a modern standard interface (ie a browser) to old technology (ie letters or television ads) just looks ridiculous – especially when the interface is designed to be functional, but the functionality is removed. For example, I’ve seen a car commercial where a mouse is clicking though different menu options and showing the car at different angles. The advertisers have reproduced a functional interface (the website with click-activated links) and removed the functionality (the ability to choose what to look at). The result: another car ad that’s almost painful to watch.
Too many times have I seen MTV-style camera zooms to computer monitors while dance-music plays in the background. Computers just aren’t like that! It’s not that technology is not exciting, but its not exciting because it’s fast and bouncy. It’s exciting because it’s innovative and interesting. You don’t see fast zooms and dance music when the image is someone reading a book on the front porch, so why do advertisers think that sitting in front of a computer requires a slamming house beat.
Supposing that I didn’t get annoyed at my latest credit card ad. Let’s say, I was impressed by how it “really knows where I’m coming from”. Maybe I’ll check out the website after all… oh no wait! I can apply by phone or email only – no online application: