Saturday, February 04, 2006

Taskbar Bullies

One thing that hasn't changed on our desktops in a decade is the fact that many programs we install demand to live in our taskbars. Even seemingly innocuous programs with no legitimate reason for remaining "always on." For instance, why does Quicktime feel the need to maintain constant activity in my taskbar without asking. Is there something I desperately need from Apple that requires this constant tether. If it might need to update itself periodically, why can't it wait until I launch it and then tell me there's a newer version? Anyway, here's a list of the biggest "Taskbar Bullies" that I've run into. All of them suddenly appeared in my taskbar and fought to stay there, despite my attempts to turn them off, edit my startup list, or change options in their program. By the way, get StartUp Cop or something similar if you don't already have it.

  • QuickTime
  • RealPlayer
  • MSN Messenger
Just Annoying
  • AOL Instant Messenger
  • Yahoo! Instant Messenger
  • HP Printer Drivers
  • Picasa
I know there are more out there. Leave a comment if you know one I've missed.

Friday, February 03, 2006

What I Think of "What the Nation Thinks"

I ran across this site while doing some research and ended up hanging around for way too long. It's called "What the Nation Thinks" and it's a collection of opinion polls. You can submit polls or take them. Fortunately someone reviews them before publishing (at least they claim to) so there's not a lot of childish attempts to get attention (although there is one up there currently about bra-sizes, but it's actually not a bad question I suppose.)

From the homepage you can look at polls by how popular, "hot", or new they are. There are also categories (which you assign when submitting a poll) or you can search. The interface is really nice and straightforward, as well as easy on the eyes.

I don't know if this is a Web 2.0 kind of thing, but if is then I don't see why this wouldn't be. Even though it looks like it started a few years ago. In any event it's a nice way of checking out public opinion and killing a whole lot of time.