Google-ability and usability can be intertwined sometimes

Lately I’ve been having SMTP problems in Apple’s Mail client. My host requires authorization before SMTP use, and every so often I’ll spend more than a few minutes writing an email that will exceed my host’s timeout settings, and Mail will refuse to send the message, even after I check for new mail and attempt a resend.

So like any other problem, I go to google to solve it, but I can’t find anything useful from a basic search. About the only useful link I could find in the first couple pages was the textad along the side offering a SMTP service. Then it dawned on me: Apple’s program has terrible search engine usability due to the generic name that is shared by multiple uses and contexts. While I can see why Apple would call their email client “Mail” to promote simplicity on their desktop for new users, the name inhibits search engine use for information about the product.

Searches for Eudora or Entourage along with the same criteria return more focused results, it’s too bad Apple didn’t give it a unique name that still made it sound obviously like an email client.

Title 9

I’ve enjoyed watching every televised world cup game since the 1994 cup that came to America, and I enjoyed the Women’s World Cup too (who can forget Brandi Chastain?). It’s great to watch women play as the game seems to focus more on the fundamentals with less brutal tackles and penalty kicks deciding a match. Early this year I caught a preliminary game and noticed the previous event was four years ago, making this year another World Cup year, but I haven’t heard a peep on TV or news about it.

I dug around tonight and found out the Women’s World Cup 2003 starts in less than a month. They’ve picked a US team and announced the matches in LA, Portland, Boston, Philly, Ohio, and Washington DC. I forgot they cancelled the planned event in China because of SARS, so I’m going to take advantage of it being stateside and try and hit at least a game or two, either in Portland or LA.

I hope the games get some air time on American television, the 1999 cup was one of my favorite sporting events I’ve ever witnessed and it was a great example of why women’s sports matter.

update: thanks to TicketSatan, I just spent $400 on tickets to first round and semi-final matches, which I can’t wait to see.

BBC1, BBC2, BBC3…

The news that the BBC is opening up their archives online is some great news, but ever since I first heard the idea, I wondered why they hadn’t already, and why PBS hasn’t done the same.

I know they both have quite a cottage industry selling transcripts, DVDs, and videotapes, but it seems like a publicly funded station is under the obligation to make their content freely available for the public; that what the BBC is planning to do should be the norm not the exception it currently is.