I am not on the Facebook wagon but I found the controversy over Facebook’s Beacon interesting. Users were inadvertently displaying their online purchases to their friends on Facebook. Facebook claims that users could opt-out of showing this information but many users said it was not obvious. Here are some before and after screenshots [from the NYT blog entry]:
BEFORE [note the very faint X on the right]:
AFTER [note the word remove after the X]:
There sure seem to be lots of medical errors in the news lately. No mention of human factors:
The most recent case happened Friday when, according to the health department, the chief resident started brain surgery on the wrong side of an 82-year-old patient’s head. The patient was OK, the health department and hospital said.
In February, a different doctor performed neurosurgery on the wrong side of another patient’s head, said Andrea Bagnall-Degos, a health department spokeswoman. That patient was also OK, she said.
But in August, a patient died a few weeks after a third doctor performed brain surgery on the wrong side of his head. That surgery prompted the state to order the hospital to take a series of steps to ensure such a mistake would not happen again, including an independent review of its neurosurgery practices and better verification from doctors of surgery plans.
We can surmise from the short news article that the source of the problem seems to be working memory??
In addition to the fine, the state ordered the hospital to develop a neurosurgery checklist that includes information about the location of the surgery and a patient’s medical history, and to put in place a plan to train staff on the new checklist.
I apologize in advance for posting news about the iphone…but apparently, Perceptive Sciences (a usability firm in TX) concluded that the iphone has better usability than the Nokia N95 or HTC Touch…
Everybody will have an opinion, but what’s need is something more objective and definitive. So an expert in the field — Perceptive Sciences, an Austin, Texas-based usability consulting firm — was asked to examine and compare the iPhone and two competitors.
The results of its tests were unequivocal: While the iPhone is not the most feature-rich device, this group of experts found that when it comes to usability, iPhone does, indeed, live up to its hype.
More “function following form” with input devices…iDrive anyone?
With big knobs in cars that control the audio system being all the rage these days, designer Hao-Chun Huang wants to take the knob joke all the way to its logical conclusion and make a super, all-purpose metallic knob to control everything in your vehicle.
A man took his three iPhones out of the country, and now he’s got a $4800 roaming bill because he didn’t turn them off and they kept checking for email. Well, he didn’t turn them off off.
[heard about it on NPR, Seattle-Post story]
Around 9 p.m., the man was in line at a self-service checkout stand, ready to buy a pry bar and a hacksaw, according to a Seattle police report.
But, as a manager told an officer, the man accidentally hit the button on the computer screen for Spanish.
That was the tipping point for this consumer.
He became “frustrated that the machine was speaking Spanish,” the police report says.
So, instead of asking for help, he let loose a blow with the pry bar and shattered the computer. He ran from the store and made a beeline to some railroad tracks, the report said.