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March 29 2018

07:45

Make your password form fields logical to use

Possibly the most common web form we encounter these days is the ubiquitous wifi password login. Almost every organization that provides wifi – public or password-protected – requires that we accept their terms of use before giving us interwebs access.

With any interaction, designers must present information and actions logically. In this case study, that’s the fail.

Why is “connect” still gray?

After I dutifully typed the (fairly straightforward) password into the form field, the “connect” button remained grayed out. I clicked it a couple of times before my eyes moved back up and to the left and saw the terms of service checkbox, with pretty much unreadable text.

wifi login broken

This login form breaks at least two design best practices.

First, when the functional area is a box floating on top of a photo like this one, everything required for connection should be inside the box. Our eyes will not attend to anything outside of the box, because the box frames the task.

Second, be certain that any text has sufficient contrast and size to be legible.

A logical redesign

The redesign is quick and straightforward. We need to move the “accept terms” condition into the floating box (logical sequencing), and we need to think about both type size and contrast (legibility). Also, if there is no obvious reason to change link colors, make an unvisited link a readable shade of blue.

wifi login redesigned

In this case, I used a blue that mirrors that of the Travelodge logo. I don’t think that a underline is essential given that “terms of use” is a standard document online.

The connect button should still require that both check box and password field be completed before it lights up. But with this visual sequence, the user should not type a password and then wonder why she still cannot connect.

The post Make your password form fields logical to use appeared first on WiredPen.

March 24 2018

22:13

Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement

In 1853, a young man shot his brother’s teacher in a Kentucky classroom and was acquitted. His defense will sound familiar to anyone who remembers Trayvon Martin.*

Since the 2016 president election, we have been actively reliving the mid-1800s run-up to the Civil War. White House historical parallels center on Nixon and Watergate. But the big social issues – especially gun use – center on slave state beliefs.

As protests around the nation – in all 50 states as well as around the world illustrated on March 14 and 24 (and will again on April 20), the majority demands that the right to enjoy peace must have a renaissance.

Memo to elected officials: millennials will out-number boomers by 2019, and they appear to be as politically engaged as said boomers were in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

A 165-year-long conflict

The nation’s first “high profile” classroom shooting illustrates perfectly how the NRA “vision” for the 2nd Amendment is grounded in southern slave state culture.

Writing in Politico, Saul Cornell, professor of American History at Fordham University, observes:

After the American Revolution, [America developed] radically different legal regimes for regulating firearms in the slave-owning South…

Outside of the South, many states emulated Massachusetts’s broad prohibition on public carry. But in the South, things were different. Kentucky judges, in particular, had adopted a more libertarian reading of the Constitution that rejected most forms of regulation as a violation of the right to bear arms…

Legal critics of the trial argued that Kentucky law had veered too far from mainstream American constitutional thought, which had always balanced the right of self-defense against other rights, such as the right to enjoy peace.

According to this way of thinking, Ward’s actions were not a vindication of American ideas of liberty, but a distortion of them, encouraging anarchy rather than true liberty.

Like news reports in the wake of modern massacres, news of Matthew F. Wards’ acquittal in the 1853 unprovoked shooting of Professor W.H.G. Butler led to “protests and denunciations across the United States… As one newspaper wrote, ‘An Act that would have hung him in Massachusetts, is justified in Kentucky.’…”

https://twitter.com/feministabulous/status/977591435397664768

Will the 2018 protests be ineffectual? I hope not. I think not.

In the intervening 165 years, the divide between states that honor “mainstream American constitutional thought” which balance the right of self-defense with the right to enjoy peace and the states that elevate gun rights over all others has become a rift that is beyond comprehension.

It is also a rift that politicians on the right since Nixon have used to foment fear and horde power.

Mass murder affects more than schoolhouses

Although the Parkland rampage has been the trigger for current attention to America’s gun problem, it’s important to remember that mass shootings are not an exclusive to our schools.

But the weapon of choice is almost always the same:

 

Context for America’s murder-by-gun problem

firearms murder rate

Data (2010) from 23 high income countries reveals that the US gun homicide rate is 25.2 times higher than in other high-income countries. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the US gun homicide rate is 49.0 times higher.

Homicides, not suicides. Most gun deaths in the US are suicides; chew on that for a moment.

The researchers found that with less than half the total population in the study, of those who suffered a firearm death at the hands of another:

  • 90% of the women,
  • 91% of children aged 0 to 14 years,
  • 92% of youth aged 15 to 24 years

LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES.

Less than half the population, but 82% of all firearm homicides.

Researchers concluded:

The United States has an enormous firearm problem compared with other high-income countries. Americans are 10 times more likely to die as a result of a firearm compared with residents of these other high-income countries.

Evidence indicates that gun availability increases the incidence of homicide. International studies of high income countries typically find that firearm availability is positively correlated with firearm homicide and usually overall homicide. [10,13-17]

The countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) and the United States.

If any other “consumer product” yielded this kind of risk factor, we would act. You’ve far less likely to drown than be killed by a firearm, yet we have laws that require homeowners to fence backyard pools (attractive nuisance). You’ve far less likely to die in a fire, explicitly because we have fire codes. You’ve even less likely to die in an earthquake, again, the province of public safety building codes.

Firearm violence and death is a public safety issue. It’s past time to treat it like one.

~~

* In this instance, Florida law shows that the state is related to the Confederacy although culturally Florida is not like the rest of the deep south.

~~

Featured image, Clarksdale, Mississippi

~~

The post Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement appeared first on WiredPen.

March 23 2018

18:39

Tracking White House resignations and firings

Do you know the extent of the Trump White House turnover? As of this writing, 35 senior level staff have resigned or been fired. One has pled guilty in the Mueller investigation.

Although President Trump claims that the White House is not in chaos, there has been an unprecedented level of turnover for an Administration that is barely into its second year. Two Cabinet officials are out (Tom Price, Rex Tillerson), and we’re on our third national security adviser (with the first one, Michael Flynn, pleading guilty in Mueller’s investigation).

Bookmark this page to keep track of who’s out of the game (so to speak). I’m also tracking changes to Trump’s legal team. Shoot me a note if I’m missing someone.

A chronological tally at this writing (but who’s counting?)

  1. Sally Yates
  2. Michael Flynn
  3. Preet Bharara
  4. Katie Walsh
  5. KT McFarland
  6. Vivek Murthy
  7. Angella Reid
  8. James Comey
  9. Mike Dubke
  10. Walter Shaub
  11. Sean Spicer
  12. Michael Short
  13. Derek Harvey
  14. Reince Priebus
  15. Anthony Scaramucci
  16. Ezra Cohen-Watnick
  17. Steve Bannon
  18. Sebastian Gorka
  19. George Sifakis
  20. Tom Price
  21. Rick Dearborn
  22. Dina Powell
  23. Omarosa Manigault Newman
  24. Brenda Fitzgerald
  25. Rob Porter
  26. Josh Raffel
  27. Hope Hicks
  28. Gary Cohn
  29. John McEntee
  30. Rex Tillerson
  31. Steven Goldstein
  32. Andrew McCabe
  33. Johnson Joy
  34. John Dowd
  35. H.R. McMaster

 

The post Tracking White House resignations and firings appeared first on WiredPen.

February 26 2018

02:35

Thoughts and prayers, a “solution” to mass shootings, is widely ridiculed

The activism since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s day, particularly the response to the “thoughts and prayers“, is beyond anything I can recall.

Perhaps the most prominent event is March For Our Lives on March 24, organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. There’s a national walkout (student-organized) on April 20, the anniversary of Columbine as well as a national walkout (Women’s March organized) on March 17.

However, politician “thoughts and prayers” statements are ubiquitous after a mass shooting, as this image from October 2, 2017 lampoons:

thoughts and prayers, imager

Nevertheless, the words are typed out, again and again.

Critics decry the fact #ThoughtsAndPrayers are the extent of GOP involvement: no acknowledgement of a problem means no further action. But this shooting has motivated critics beyond the response to the horror that was Las Vegas.

And the satire continues, almost two weeks after the shooting. #neverForget, indeed.

YouTube

Sailor J is a popular YouTube make up artist. Her satirical look at a “thoughts and prayers” line of makeup includes a link to a GoFundMe for Parkland. She deserves your attention and up-vote.

Instagram

Instagram is the home of the visual meme, and my colleague Leslie-Jean Thornton at ASU routinely archives them. Unlike prior mass shootings, this one has legs (life beyond 48 hours).

 

 

 

 

Twitter

Twitter, in general, attracts an older demographic and one that is more text-focused than visual. But #thoughtsAndPrayers is a popular hashtag there, too.

 

https://twitter.com/ElectroHistory/status/964305396260220928

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/SpreadGirlLove/status/966405415662649344

 

 

 

Facebook

You’ll see this image in the wild a lot (even though the artist requests a licensing fee)

 

Tabloids are part of the chorus

From the New York Daily News in 2015, after the California mass shooting, to the New York Post after Parkland in 2018:

NY Daily News

December 3, 2015 front page of the New York Daily News

NRA affiliates abandoning ship

In advocacy not unlike the movement that led advertisers to abandon Rush Limbbaugh, NRA critics began calling for companies affiliated with the National Rifle Association to drop their partnerships.

The first to bail was the private credit card company First National of Omaha.

Other affiliates have joined the exodus, leading to this closing #thoughtsAndPrayers tweet:

Featured image: modified from Reddit

The post Thoughts and prayers, a “solution” to mass shootings, is widely ridiculed appeared first on WiredPen.

February 19 2018

22:51

Today in history: FDR orders Japanese-American internment

AKA “tracing the provenance of a photograph”

On 19 February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which led the Pentagon to “[define] the entire West Coast … as a military area.” The result: internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans; two-thirds were citizens.

In one of our most shameful acts as a country, we forced Japanese Americans to abandon their homes and businesses. We shipped them off to military internment camps scattered around the country.

In 1944, in Korematsu v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the government, upholding the constitutionality of the executive order and internment in a 6-3 decision. Yet our government was not playing fair:

In 1983, a pro bono legal team with new evidence re-opened the 40-year-old case in a federal district court on the basis of government misconduct. They showed that the government’s legal team had intentionally suppressed or destroyed evidence from government intelligence agencies reporting that Japanese Americans posed no military threat to the U.S. The official reports, including those from the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, were not presented in court. On November 10, 1983, a federal judge overturned Korematsu’s conviction in the same San Francisco courthouse where he had been convicted as a young man (emphasis added).

The 1944 Supreme Court decision still stands.

We would not apologize until 1988, when President Ronald Reagan “signed a bill to recompense each surviving internee with a tax-free check for $20,000 [a pittance] and an apology from the U.S. government.”

But here’s the rub: the 1942 action did not come out of the blue. In the 1920s, white residents in Hollywood were agitating against Japanese American ownership of land.

 

“Japs keep moving”

When I started looking for an image to illustrate this post, the one that I’ve chosen popped up, but without any provenance. (This copy is from the National Park Planner, which credits no one: “Anti-Japanese immigrant photo.”)

One Flickr share credits an Ellis Island exhibit but provides no other context (such as location or date). Another credits the Minidoka Internment National Monument display inside the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument visitors center (also no additional context). Here’s one from Manzanar prison camp, which helps explain why some think the photo is from the 1940s. A fourth implies that the photographer might be Rebecca Dramen (but no Google search validated that idea).

A Smithsonian reference dates a cropped version of the photo to 1920 (it is from 1923) and credits the National Japanese American Historical Society. This link is in a StackExchange post.

The Smithsonian has a very large collection of photos related to Japanese Americans and the Constitution which is accessible by search. The photo collection is part of what appears to be an older online exhibit which is Flash-based; that helps explain why it doesn’t show up well in a Google search.

There’s an orphan page with no details at OSU; a colorized post card; and a blogspot post from 2012, with the following comment:

The lady in that picture was my grandmother Mimi – my grandfather was very racist – she wasn’t. She was a descendant of the Spanish Land Grant families. The house on Tamarind Ave. is no longer in the family – it was very embarrassing to the family when that picture was published in the April ’86 issue of National Geographic, maybe to make up for bad karma my daughter and a cousin love Japanese culture.

 

The Hollywood Protective Association

I learned that west coast bigotry was much older than the WWII internments while tracing the origins of this photograph. In the 1920s, white people formed the Hollywood Protective Association, with the goal of keeping Hollywood “white.”

In April 1923, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce told white residents, who were upset because Japanese Americans had purchased eight parcels of land, to “[urge] residents to agree to restrict the use of land to those of the Caucasian race.”

The angry white people had formed a group called the Hollywood Protective Association and started circulating petitions “asking residents not to sell their land to Japanese.” By June some bunch of geniuses called the Los Angeles County Anti-Asiatic Association had invited the mobbed-up Hollywoodies to join their umbrella gang, assuring them that they were “prepared to back them in every possible way to keep their districts white.”

If you, like me, have not heard of this group, perhaps it is because we aren’t from the LA area. Or are white. Or haven’t taken it upon ourselves to learn about the bigotry that peppers our history.

From The factors affecting the geographical aggregation and dispersion of the Japanese residences in the city of Los AngelesKoyoshi Uono. University of Southern California, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1927, p. 140:

Hollywood Bigotry in the 1920s

And lo and behold, there is my photo: immortalized in a dissertation from 1927. The photo ran in the Los Angeles Examiner on 18 May 1923.

"Hollywood Protective Association" photo origin

The “Hollywood Protective Association” photo was published in the Los Angeles Examiner on 18 May 1923.

 

Credit photos!

Finally, an ongoing plea to credit the source of any photo your share online, including those that you have taken yourself.

This is also a plea to honor copyright (search Creative Commons licensed photos first), but at a minimum link back to the source. If that source has no information on provenance, either do the work (and yes, it’s work) or DON’T LINK TO THAT IMAGE.

 

Learn more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Today in history: FDR orders Japanese-American internment appeared first on WiredPen.

February 17 2018

22:10

Check library books availability while browsing!

If one of your new year’s resolutions was to read more (or borrow more library books than you buy at Amazon), have I got the tool for you!

The Library Extension for Chrome (Firefox is in development) lets you see instantly if a book or e-book is available from your local library.

After you install the extension, you’ll need to add one or more libraries to the tool. Then, when you look at a book on sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, within the seconds the extension will provide information on availability.

Currently the tool supports 4,000 libraries and library systems. For ebook readers, the tool provides results only from Overdrive and select 3M Digital Books digital collections. Because the tool relies on Overdrive’s search engine, the matches may not be exact. (Regular Overdrive customers will be nodding their heads.)

Getting started

1. Head over to the Chrome Extensions web store and select “Add to Chrome.”

library extension chrome store

 

2. Select “Add extension.” Don’t panic when you read the (incomplete) alert. The only way that the extension will be able to provide feedback is if it can “rewrite” the Amazon, B&N or Goodreads page to show you book availability.

library extension warning

 

3. Configure the extension, so that it knows your local libraries. Look for the book icon in the Chrome extensions bar (upper right in the browser, to the right of the URL field and to the left of the settings icon) or use the menu to manage extensions (Window > Extensions).

library extension installed

manage chrome extensions

 

4. Adding a library is straightforward.

  1. Choose your state. (These instructions are for United States residents; change the country if the tool does not employ any geolocation intelligence.)
  2. Then start typing your library name.
  3. Select the library from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click the green + button.

 

5. By default, the extension will look for both paper books and ebooks. If you’re only interested in ebooks, deselect the book checkmark. No need to click “save” – the extension automatically saves your choice.

library extension- library added

 

6. If you have a library card or check out privileges at multiple libraries, keep adding!

library extension - multiple libraries

 

Using the Library Extension at Amazon

By default, the extension is running searches. When you look at a book on Amazon, after a few seconds the tool will provide information about availability.

library extension on amazon

 

To place a hold, select that option. The tool will launch the Overdrive page for that library. With any luck, you’ll get an exact match.

library extension - overdrive spl

 

To place a hold (or check out a book), you will need to be logged in to Overdrive.

library extension - successful hold

 

 

Using the Library Extension at Barnes and Noble

The extension also works in real-time for Barnes and Noble. (But sometimes 99-cents is too good to pass up!)

library extension at barnes and noble

 

 

Using the Library Extension at Goodreads

Finally, the extension works in real-time for Goodreads, as well.

library extension at goodreads

 

So there you have it. One of the most useful utilities that an avid reader could add to Chrome.

Happy borrowing!

 

The post Check library books availability while browsing! appeared first on WiredPen.

March 29 2018

07:45

Make your password form fields logical to use

Possibly the most common web form we encounter these days is the ubiquitous wifi password login. Almost every organization that provides wifi – public or password-protected – requires that we accept their terms of use before giving us interwebs access.

With any interaction, designers must present information and actions logically. In this case study, that’s the fail.

Why is “connect” still gray?

After I dutifully typed the (fairly straightforward) password into the form field, the “connect” button remained grayed out. I clicked it a couple of times before my eyes moved back up and to the left and saw the terms of service checkbox, with pretty much unreadable text.

wifi login broken

This login form breaks at least two design best practices.

First, when the functional area is a box floating on top of a photo like this one, everything required for connection should be inside the box. Our eyes will not attend to anything outside of the box, because the box frames the task.

Second, be certain that any text has sufficient contrast and size to be legible.

A logical redesign

The redesign is quick and straightforward. We need to move the “accept terms” condition into the floating box (logical sequencing), and we need to think about both type size and contrast (legibility). Also, if there is no obvious reason to change link colors, make an unvisited link a readable shade of blue.

wifi login redesigned

In this case, I used a blue that mirrors that of the Travelodge logo. I don’t think that a underline is essential given that “terms of use” is a standard document online.

The connect button should still require that both check box and password field be completed before it lights up. But with this visual sequence, the user should not type a password and then wonder why she still cannot connect.

The post Make your password form fields logical to use appeared first on WiredPen.

March 24 2018

22:13

Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement

In 1853, a young man shot his brother’s teacher in a Kentucky classroom and was acquitted. His defense will sound familiar to anyone who remembers Trayvon Martin.*

Since the 2016 president election, we have been actively reliving the mid-1800s run-up to the Civil War. White House historical parallels center on Nixon and Watergate. But the big social issues – especially gun use – center on slave state beliefs.

As protests around the nation – in all 50 states as well as around the world illustrated on March 14 and 24 (and will again on April 20), the majority demands that the right to enjoy peace must have a renaissance.

Memo to elected officials: millennials will out-number boomers by 2019, and they appear to be as politically engaged as said boomers were in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

A 165-year-long conflict

The nation’s first “high profile” classroom shooting illustrates perfectly how the NRA “vision” for the 2nd Amendment is grounded in southern slave state culture.

Writing in Politico, Saul Cornell, professor of American History at Fordham University, observes:

After the American Revolution, [America developed] radically different legal regimes for regulating firearms in the slave-owning South…

Outside of the South, many states emulated Massachusetts’s broad prohibition on public carry. But in the South, things were different. Kentucky judges, in particular, had adopted a more libertarian reading of the Constitution that rejected most forms of regulation as a violation of the right to bear arms…

Legal critics of the trial argued that Kentucky law had veered too far from mainstream American constitutional thought, which had always balanced the right of self-defense against other rights, such as the right to enjoy peace.

According to this way of thinking, Ward’s actions were not a vindication of American ideas of liberty, but a distortion of them, encouraging anarchy rather than true liberty.

Like news reports in the wake of modern massacres, news of Matthew F. Wards’ acquittal in the 1853 unprovoked shooting of Professor W.H.G. Butler led to “protests and denunciations across the United States… As one newspaper wrote, ‘An Act that would have hung him in Massachusetts, is justified in Kentucky.’…”

https://twitter.com/feministabulous/status/977591435397664768

Will the 2018 protests be ineffectual? I hope not. I think not.

In the intervening 165 years, the divide between states that honor “mainstream American constitutional thought” which balance the right of self-defense with the right to enjoy peace and the states that elevate gun rights over all others has become a rift that is beyond comprehension.

It is also a rift that politicians on the right since Nixon have used to foment fear and horde power.

Mass murder affects more than schoolhouses

Although the Parkland rampage has been the trigger for current attention to America’s gun problem, it’s important to remember that mass shootings are not an exclusive to our schools.

But the weapon of choice is almost always the same:

 

Context for America’s murder-by-gun problem

firearms murder rate

Data (2010) from 23 high income countries reveals that the US gun homicide rate is 25.2 times higher than in other high-income countries. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the US gun homicide rate is 49.0 times higher.

Homicides, not suicides. Most gun deaths in the US are suicides; chew on that for a moment.

The researchers found that with less than half the total population in the study, of those who suffered a firearm death at the hands of another:

  • 90% of the women,
  • 91% of children aged 0 to 14 years,
  • 92% of youth aged 15 to 24 years

LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES.

Less than half the population, but 82% of all firearm homicides.

Researchers concluded:

The United States has an enormous firearm problem compared with other high-income countries. Americans are 10 times more likely to die as a result of a firearm compared with residents of these other high-income countries.

Evidence indicates that gun availability increases the incidence of homicide. International studies of high income countries typically find that firearm availability is positively correlated with firearm homicide and usually overall homicide. [10,13-17]

The countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) and the United States.

If any other “consumer product” yielded this kind of risk factor, we would act. You’ve far less likely to drown than be killed by a firearm, yet we have laws that require homeowners to fence backyard pools (attractive nuisance). You’ve far less likely to die in a fire, explicitly because we have fire codes. You’ve even less likely to die in an earthquake, again, the province of public safety building codes.

Firearm violence and death is a public safety issue. It’s past time to treat it like one.

~~

* In this instance, Florida law shows that the state is related to the Confederacy although culturally Florida is not like the rest of the deep south.

~~

Featured image, Clarksdale, Mississippi

~~

The post Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement appeared first on WiredPen.

March 23 2018

18:39

Tracking White House resignations and firings

Do you know the extent of the Trump White House turnover? As of this writing, 35 senior level staff have resigned or been fired. One has pled guilty in the Mueller investigation.

Although President Trump claims that the White House is not in chaos, there has been an unprecedented level of turnover for an Administration that is barely into its second year. Two Cabinet officials are out (Tom Price, Rex Tillerson), and we’re on our third national security adviser (with the first one, Michael Flynn, pleading guilty in Mueller’s investigation).

Bookmark this page to keep track of who’s out of the game (so to speak). I’m also tracking changes to Trump’s legal team. Shoot me a note if I’m missing someone.

A chronological tally at this writing (but who’s counting?)

  1. Sally Yates
  2. Michael Flynn
  3. Preet Bharara
  4. Katie Walsh
  5. KT McFarland
  6. Vivek Murthy
  7. Angella Reid
  8. James Comey
  9. Mike Dubke
  10. Walter Shaub
  11. Sean Spicer
  12. Michael Short
  13. Derek Harvey
  14. Reince Priebus
  15. Anthony Scaramucci
  16. Ezra Cohen-Watnick
  17. Steve Bannon
  18. Sebastian Gorka
  19. George Sifakis
  20. Tom Price
  21. Rick Dearborn
  22. Dina Powell
  23. Omarosa Manigault Newman
  24. Brenda Fitzgerald
  25. Rob Porter
  26. Josh Raffel
  27. Hope Hicks
  28. Gary Cohn
  29. John McEntee
  30. Rex Tillerson
  31. Steven Goldstein
  32. Andrew McCabe
  33. Johnson Joy
  34. John Dowd
  35. H.R. McMaster

 

The post Tracking White House resignations and firings appeared first on WiredPen.

February 26 2018

02:35

Thoughts and prayers, a “solution” to mass shootings, is widely ridiculed

The activism since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s day, particularly the response to the “thoughts and prayers“, is beyond anything I can recall.

Perhaps the most prominent event is March For Our Lives on March 24, organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. There’s a national walkout (student-organized) on April 20, the anniversary of Columbine as well as a national walkout (Women’s March organized) on March 17.

However, politician “thoughts and prayers” statements are ubiquitous after a mass shooting, as this image from October 2, 2017 lampoons:

thoughts and prayers, imager

Nevertheless, the words are typed out, again and again.

Critics decry the fact #ThoughtsAndPrayers are the extent of GOP involvement: no acknowledgement of a problem means no further action. But this shooting has motivated critics beyond the response to the horror that was Las Vegas.

And the satire continues, almost two weeks after the shooting. #neverForget, indeed.

YouTube

Sailor J is a popular YouTube make up artist. Her satirical look at a “thoughts and prayers” line of makeup includes a link to a GoFundMe for Parkland. She deserves your attention and up-vote.

Instagram

Instagram is the home of the visual meme, and my colleague Leslie-Jean Thornton at ASU routinely archives them. Unlike prior mass shootings, this one has legs (life beyond 48 hours).

 

 

 

 

Twitter

Twitter, in general, attracts an older demographic and one that is more text-focused than visual. But #thoughtsAndPrayers is a popular hashtag there, too.

 

https://twitter.com/ElectroHistory/status/964305396260220928

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/SpreadGirlLove/status/966405415662649344

 

 

 

Facebook

You’ll see this image in the wild a lot (even though the artist requests a licensing fee)

 

Tabloids are part of the chorus

From the New York Daily News in 2015, after the California mass shooting, to the New York Post after Parkland in 2018:

NY Daily News

December 3, 2015 front page of the New York Daily News

NRA affiliates abandoning ship

In advocacy not unlike the movement that led advertisers to abandon Rush Limbbaugh, NRA critics began calling for companies affiliated with the National Rifle Association to drop their partnerships.

The first to bail was the private credit card company First National of Omaha.

Other affiliates have joined the exodus, leading to this closing #thoughtsAndPrayers tweet:

Featured image: modified from Reddit

The post Thoughts and prayers, a “solution” to mass shootings, is widely ridiculed appeared first on WiredPen.

February 19 2018

22:51

Today in history: FDR orders Japanese-American internment

AKA “tracing the provenance of a photograph”

On 19 February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which led the Pentagon to “[define] the entire West Coast … as a military area.” The result: internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans; two-thirds were citizens.

In one of our most shameful acts as a country, we forced Japanese Americans to abandon their homes and businesses. We shipped them off to military internment camps scattered around the country.

In 1944, in Korematsu v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the government, upholding the constitutionality of the executive order and internment in a 6-3 decision. Yet our government was not playing fair:

In 1983, a pro bono legal team with new evidence re-opened the 40-year-old case in a federal district court on the basis of government misconduct. They showed that the government’s legal team had intentionally suppressed or destroyed evidence from government intelligence agencies reporting that Japanese Americans posed no military threat to the U.S. The official reports, including those from the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, were not presented in court. On November 10, 1983, a federal judge overturned Korematsu’s conviction in the same San Francisco courthouse where he had been convicted as a young man (emphasis added).

The 1944 Supreme Court decision still stands.

We would not apologize until 1988, when President Ronald Reagan “signed a bill to recompense each surviving internee with a tax-free check for $20,000 [a pittance] and an apology from the U.S. government.”

But here’s the rub: the 1942 action did not come out of the blue. In the 1920s, white residents in Hollywood were agitating against Japanese American ownership of land.

 

“Japs keep moving”

When I started looking for an image to illustrate this post, the one that I’ve chosen popped up, but without any provenance. (This copy is from the National Park Planner, which credits no one: “Anti-Japanese immigrant photo.”)

One Flickr share credits an Ellis Island exhibit but provides no other context (such as location or date). Another credits the Minidoka Internment National Monument display inside the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument visitors center (also no additional context). Here’s one from Manzanar prison camp, which helps explain why some think the photo is from the 1940s. A fourth implies that the photographer might be Rebecca Dramen (but no Google search validated that idea).

A Smithsonian reference dates a cropped version of the photo to 1920 (it is from 1923) and credits the National Japanese American Historical Society. This link is in a StackExchange post.

The Smithsonian has a very large collection of photos related to Japanese Americans and the Constitution which is accessible by search. The photo collection is part of what appears to be an older online exhibit which is Flash-based; that helps explain why it doesn’t show up well in a Google search.

There’s an orphan page with no details at OSU; a colorized post card; and a blogspot post from 2012, with the following comment:

The lady in that picture was my grandmother Mimi – my grandfather was very racist – she wasn’t. She was a descendant of the Spanish Land Grant families. The house on Tamarind Ave. is no longer in the family – it was very embarrassing to the family when that picture was published in the April ’86 issue of National Geographic, maybe to make up for bad karma my daughter and a cousin love Japanese culture.

 

The Hollywood Protective Association

I learned that west coast bigotry was much older than the WWII internments while tracing the origins of this photograph. In the 1920s, white people formed the Hollywood Protective Association, with the goal of keeping Hollywood “white.”

In April 1923, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce told white residents, who were upset because Japanese Americans had purchased eight parcels of land, to “[urge] residents to agree to restrict the use of land to those of the Caucasian race.”

The angry white people had formed a group called the Hollywood Protective Association and started circulating petitions “asking residents not to sell their land to Japanese.” By June some bunch of geniuses called the Los Angeles County Anti-Asiatic Association had invited the mobbed-up Hollywoodies to join their umbrella gang, assuring them that they were “prepared to back them in every possible way to keep their districts white.”

If you, like me, have not heard of this group, perhaps it is because we aren’t from the LA area. Or are white. Or haven’t taken it upon ourselves to learn about the bigotry that peppers our history.

From The factors affecting the geographical aggregation and dispersion of the Japanese residences in the city of Los AngelesKoyoshi Uono. University of Southern California, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 1927, p. 140:

Hollywood Bigotry in the 1920s

And lo and behold, there is my photo: immortalized in a dissertation from 1927. The photo ran in the Los Angeles Examiner on 18 May 1923.

"Hollywood Protective Association" photo origin

The “Hollywood Protective Association” photo was published in the Los Angeles Examiner on 18 May 1923.

 

Credit photos!

Finally, an ongoing plea to credit the source of any photo your share online, including those that you have taken yourself.

This is also a plea to honor copyright (search Creative Commons licensed photos first), but at a minimum link back to the source. If that source has no information on provenance, either do the work (and yes, it’s work) or DON’T LINK TO THAT IMAGE.

 

Learn more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Today in history: FDR orders Japanese-American internment appeared first on WiredPen.

March 29 2018

07:45

Make your password form fields logical to use

Possibly the most common web form we encounter these days is the ubiquitous wifi password login. Almost every organization that provides wifi – public or password-protected – requires that we accept their terms of use before giving us interwebs access.

With any interaction, designers must present information and actions logically. In this case study, that’s the fail.

Why is “connect” still gray?

After I dutifully typed the (fairly straightforward) password into the form field, the “connect” button remained grayed out. I clicked it a couple of times before my eyes moved back up and to the left and saw the terms of service checkbox, with pretty much unreadable text.

wifi login broken

This login form breaks at least two design best practices.

First, when the functional area is a box floating on top of a photo like this one, everything required for connection should be inside the box. Our eyes will not attend to anything outside of the box, because the box frames the task.

Second, be certain that any text has sufficient contrast and size to be legible.

A logical redesign

The redesign is quick and straightforward. We need to move the “accept terms” condition into the floating box (logical sequencing), and we need to think about both type size and contrast (legibility). Also, if there is no obvious reason to change link colors, make an unvisited link a readable shade of blue.

wifi login redesigned

In this case, I used a blue that mirrors that of the Travelodge logo. I don’t think that a underline is essential given that “terms of use” is a standard document online.

The connect button should still require that both check box and password field be completed before it lights up. But with this visual sequence, the user should not type a password and then wonder why she still cannot connect.

The post Make your password form fields logical to use appeared first on WiredPen.

March 24 2018

22:13

Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement

In 1853, a young man shot his brother’s teacher in a Kentucky classroom and was acquitted. His defense will sound familiar to anyone who remembers Trayvon Martin.*

Since the 2016 president election, we have been actively reliving the mid-1800s run-up to the Civil War. White House historical parallels center on Nixon and Watergate. But the big social issues – especially gun use – center on slave state beliefs.

As protests around the nation – in all 50 states as well as around the world illustrated on March 14 and 24 (and will again on April 20), the majority demands that the right to enjoy peace must have a renaissance.

Memo to elected officials: millennials will out-number boomers by 2019, and they appear to be as politically engaged as said boomers were in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

A 165-year-long conflict

The nation’s first “high profile” classroom shooting illustrates perfectly how the NRA “vision” for the 2nd Amendment is grounded in southern slave state culture.

Writing in Politico, Saul Cornell, professor of American History at Fordham University, observes:

After the American Revolution, [America developed] radically different legal regimes for regulating firearms in the slave-owning South…

Outside of the South, many states emulated Massachusetts’s broad prohibition on public carry. But in the South, things were different. Kentucky judges, in particular, had adopted a more libertarian reading of the Constitution that rejected most forms of regulation as a violation of the right to bear arms…

Legal critics of the trial argued that Kentucky law had veered too far from mainstream American constitutional thought, which had always balanced the right of self-defense against other rights, such as the right to enjoy peace.

According to this way of thinking, Ward’s actions were not a vindication of American ideas of liberty, but a distortion of them, encouraging anarchy rather than true liberty.

Like news reports in the wake of modern massacres, news of Matthew F. Wards’ acquittal in the 1853 unprovoked shooting of Professor W.H.G. Butler led to “protests and denunciations across the United States… As one newspaper wrote, ‘An Act that would have hung him in Massachusetts, is justified in Kentucky.’…”

https://twitter.com/feministabulous/status/977591435397664768

Will the 2018 protests be ineffectual? I hope not. I think not.

In the intervening 165 years, the divide between states that honor “mainstream American constitutional thought” which balance the right of self-defense with the right to enjoy peace and the states that elevate gun rights over all others has become a rift that is beyond comprehension.

It is also a rift that politicians on the right since Nixon have used to foment fear and horde power.

Mass murder affects more than schoolhouses

Although the Parkland rampage has been the trigger for current attention to America’s gun problem, it’s important to remember that mass shootings are not an exclusive to our schools.

But the weapon of choice is almost always the same:

 

Context for America’s murder-by-gun problem

firearms murder rate

Data (2010) from 23 high income countries reveals that the US gun homicide rate is 25.2 times higher than in other high-income countries. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the US gun homicide rate is 49.0 times higher.

Homicides, not suicides. Most gun deaths in the US are suicides; chew on that for a moment.

The researchers found that with less than half the total population in the study, of those who suffered a firearm death at the hands of another:

  • 90% of the women,
  • 91% of children aged 0 to 14 years,
  • 92% of youth aged 15 to 24 years

LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES.

Less than half the population, but 82% of all firearm homicides.

Researchers concluded:

The United States has an enormous firearm problem compared with other high-income countries. Americans are 10 times more likely to die as a result of a firearm compared with residents of these other high-income countries.

Evidence indicates that gun availability increases the incidence of homicide. International studies of high income countries typically find that firearm availability is positively correlated with firearm homicide and usually overall homicide. [10,13-17]

The countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) and the United States.

If any other “consumer product” yielded this kind of risk factor, we would act. You’ve far less likely to drown than be killed by a firearm, yet we have laws that require homeowners to fence backyard pools (attractive nuisance). You’ve far less likely to die in a fire, explicitly because we have fire codes. You’ve even less likely to die in an earthquake, again, the province of public safety building codes.

Firearm violence and death is a public safety issue. It’s past time to treat it like one.

~~

* In this instance, Florida law shows that the state is related to the Confederacy although culturally Florida is not like the rest of the deep south.

~~

Featured image, Clarksdale, Mississippi

~~

The post Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement appeared first on WiredPen.

March 23 2018

18:39

Tracking White House resignations and firings

Do you know the extent of the Trump White House turnover? As of this writing, 35 senior level staff have resigned or been fired. One has pled guilty in the Mueller investigation.

Although President Trump claims that the White House is not in chaos, there has been an unprecedented level of turnover for an Administration that is barely into its second year. Two Cabinet officials are out (Tom Price, Rex Tillerson), and we’re on our third national security adviser (with the first one, Michael Flynn, pleading guilty in Mueller’s investigation).

Bookmark this page to keep track of who’s out of the game (so to speak). I’m also tracking changes to Trump’s legal team. Shoot me a note if I’m missing someone.

A chronological tally at this writing (but who’s counting?)

  1. Sally Yates
  2. Michael Flynn
  3. Preet Bharara
  4. Katie Walsh
  5. KT McFarland
  6. Vivek Murthy
  7. Angella Reid
  8. James Comey
  9. Mike Dubke
  10. Walter Shaub
  11. Sean Spicer
  12. Michael Short
  13. Derek Harvey
  14. Reince Priebus
  15. Anthony Scaramucci
  16. Ezra Cohen-Watnick
  17. Steve Bannon
  18. Sebastian Gorka
  19. George Sifakis
  20. Tom Price
  21. Rick Dearborn
  22. Dina Powell
  23. Omarosa Manigault Newman
  24. Brenda Fitzgerald
  25. Rob Porter
  26. Josh Raffel
  27. Hope Hicks
  28. Gary Cohn
  29. John McEntee
  30. Rex Tillerson
  31. Steven Goldstein
  32. Andrew McCabe
  33. Johnson Joy
  34. John Dowd
  35. H.R. McMaster

 

The post Tracking White House resignations and firings appeared first on WiredPen.

February 26 2018

02:35

Thoughts and prayers, a “solution” to mass shootings, is widely ridiculed

The activism since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s day, particularly the response to the “thoughts and prayers“, is beyond anything I can recall.

Perhaps the most prominent event is March For Our Lives on March 24, organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. There’s a national walkout (student-organized) on April 20, the anniversary of Columbine as well as a national walkout (Women’s March organized) on March 17.

However, politician “thoughts and prayers” statements are ubiquitous after a mass shooting, as this image from October 2, 2017 lampoons:

thoughts and prayers, imager

Nevertheless, the words are typed out, again and again.

Critics decry the fact #ThoughtsAndPrayers are the extent of GOP involvement: no acknowledgement of a problem means no further action. But this shooting has motivated critics beyond the response to the horror that was Las Vegas.

And the satire continues, almost two weeks after the shooting. #neverForget, indeed.

YouTube

Sailor J is a popular YouTube make up artist. Her satirical look at a “thoughts and prayers” line of makeup includes a link to a GoFundMe for Parkland. She deserves your attention and up-vote.

Instagram

Instagram is the home of the visual meme, and my colleague Leslie-Jean Thornton at ASU routinely archives them. Unlike prior mass shootings, this one has legs (life beyond 48 hours).

 

 

 

 

Twitter

Twitter, in general, attracts an older demographic and one that is more text-focused than visual. But #thoughtsAndPrayers is a popular hashtag there, too.

 

https://twitter.com/ElectroHistory/status/964305396260220928

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/SpreadGirlLove/status/966405415662649344

 

 

 

Facebook

You’ll see this image in the wild a lot (even though the artist requests a licensing fee)

 

Tabloids are part of the chorus

From the New York Daily News in 2015, after the California mass shooting, to the New York Post after Parkland in 2018:

NY Daily News

December 3, 2015 front page of the New York Daily News

NRA affiliates abandoning ship

In advocacy not unlike the movement that led advertisers to abandon Rush Limbbaugh, NRA critics began calling for companies affiliated with the National Rifle Association to drop their partnerships.

The first to bail was the private credit card company First National of Omaha.

Other affiliates have joined the exodus, leading to this closing #thoughtsAndPrayers tweet:

Featured image: modified from Reddit

The post Thoughts and prayers, a “solution” to mass shootings, is widely ridiculed appeared first on WiredPen.

March 29 2018

07:45

Make your password form fields logical to use

Possibly the most common web form we encounter these days is the ubiquitous wifi password login. Almost every organization that provides wifi – public or password-protected – requires that we accept their terms of use before giving us interwebs access.

With any interaction, designers must present information and actions logically. In this case study, that’s the fail.

Why is “connect” still gray?

After I dutifully typed the (fairly straightforward) password into the form field, the “connect” button remained grayed out. I clicked it a couple of times before my eyes moved back up and to the left and saw the terms of service checkbox, with pretty much unreadable text.

wifi login broken

This login form breaks at least two design best practices.

First, when the functional area is a box floating on top of a photo like this one, everything required for connection should be inside the box. Our eyes will not attend to anything outside of the box, because the box frames the task.

Second, be certain that any text has sufficient contrast and size to be legible.

A logical redesign

The redesign is quick and straightforward. We need to move the “accept terms” condition into the floating box (logical sequencing), and we need to think about both type size and contrast (legibility). Also, if there is no obvious reason to change link colors, make an unvisited link a readable shade of blue.

wifi login redesigned

In this case, I used a blue that mirrors that of the Travelodge logo. I don’t think that a underline is essential given that “terms of use” is a standard document online.

The connect button should still require that both check box and password field be completed before it lights up. But with this visual sequence, the user should not type a password and then wonder why she still cannot connect.

The post Make your password form fields logical to use appeared first on WiredPen.

March 24 2018

22:13

Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement

In 1853, a young man shot his brother’s teacher in a Kentucky classroom and was acquitted. His defense will sound familiar to anyone who remembers Trayvon Martin.*

Since the 2016 president election, we have been actively reliving the mid-1800s run-up to the Civil War. White House historical parallels center on Nixon and Watergate. But the big social issues – especially gun use – center on slave state beliefs.

As protests around the nation – in all 50 states as well as around the world illustrated on March 14 and 24 (and will again on April 20), the majority demands that the right to enjoy peace must have a renaissance.

Memo to elected officials: millennials will out-number boomers by 2019, and they appear to be as politically engaged as said boomers were in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

A 165-year-long conflict

The nation’s first “high profile” classroom shooting illustrates perfectly how the NRA “vision” for the 2nd Amendment is grounded in southern slave state culture.

Writing in Politico, Saul Cornell, professor of American History at Fordham University, observes:

After the American Revolution, [America developed] radically different legal regimes for regulating firearms in the slave-owning South…

Outside of the South, many states emulated Massachusetts’s broad prohibition on public carry. But in the South, things were different. Kentucky judges, in particular, had adopted a more libertarian reading of the Constitution that rejected most forms of regulation as a violation of the right to bear arms…

Legal critics of the trial argued that Kentucky law had veered too far from mainstream American constitutional thought, which had always balanced the right of self-defense against other rights, such as the right to enjoy peace.

According to this way of thinking, Ward’s actions were not a vindication of American ideas of liberty, but a distortion of them, encouraging anarchy rather than true liberty.

Like news reports in the wake of modern massacres, news of Matthew F. Wards’ acquittal in the 1853 unprovoked shooting of Professor W.H.G. Butler led to “protests and denunciations across the United States… As one newspaper wrote, ‘An Act that would have hung him in Massachusetts, is justified in Kentucky.’…”

https://twitter.com/feministabulous/status/977591435397664768

Will the 2018 protests be ineffectual? I hope not. I think not.

In the intervening 165 years, the divide between states that honor “mainstream American constitutional thought” which balance the right of self-defense with the right to enjoy peace and the states that elevate gun rights over all others has become a rift that is beyond comprehension.

It is also a rift that politicians on the right since Nixon have used to foment fear and horde power.

Mass murder affects more than schoolhouses

Although the Parkland rampage has been the trigger for current attention to America’s gun problem, it’s important to remember that mass shootings are not an exclusive to our schools.

But the weapon of choice is almost always the same:

 

Context for America’s murder-by-gun problem

firearms murder rate

Data (2010) from 23 high income countries reveals that the US gun homicide rate is 25.2 times higher than in other high-income countries. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the US gun homicide rate is 49.0 times higher.

Homicides, not suicides. Most gun deaths in the US are suicides; chew on that for a moment.

The researchers found that with less than half the total population in the study, of those who suffered a firearm death at the hands of another:

  • 90% of the women,
  • 91% of children aged 0 to 14 years,
  • 92% of youth aged 15 to 24 years

LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES.

Less than half the population, but 82% of all firearm homicides.

Researchers concluded:

The United States has an enormous firearm problem compared with other high-income countries. Americans are 10 times more likely to die as a result of a firearm compared with residents of these other high-income countries.

Evidence indicates that gun availability increases the incidence of homicide. International studies of high income countries typically find that firearm availability is positively correlated with firearm homicide and usually overall homicide. [10,13-17]

The countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) and the United States.

If any other “consumer product” yielded this kind of risk factor, we would act. You’ve far less likely to drown than be killed by a firearm, yet we have laws that require homeowners to fence backyard pools (attractive nuisance). You’ve far less likely to die in a fire, explicitly because we have fire codes. You’ve even less likely to die in an earthquake, again, the province of public safety building codes.

Firearm violence and death is a public safety issue. It’s past time to treat it like one.

~~

* In this instance, Florida law shows that the state is related to the Confederacy although culturally Florida is not like the rest of the deep south.

~~

Featured image, Clarksdale, Mississippi

~~

The post Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement appeared first on WiredPen.

March 23 2018

18:39

Tracking White House resignations and firings

Do you know the extent of the Trump White House turnover? As of this writing, 35 senior level staff have resigned or been fired. One has pled guilty in the Mueller investigation.

Although President Trump claims that the White House is not in chaos, there has been an unprecedented level of turnover for an Administration that is barely into its second year. Two Cabinet officials are out (Tom Price, Rex Tillerson), and we’re on our third national security adviser (with the first one, Michael Flynn, pleading guilty in Mueller’s investigation).

Bookmark this page to keep track of who’s out of the game (so to speak). I’m also tracking changes to Trump’s legal team. Shoot me a note if I’m missing someone.

A chronological tally at this writing (but who’s counting?)

  1. Sally Yates
  2. Michael Flynn
  3. Preet Bharara
  4. Katie Walsh
  5. KT McFarland
  6. Vivek Murthy
  7. Angella Reid
  8. James Comey
  9. Mike Dubke
  10. Walter Shaub
  11. Sean Spicer
  12. Michael Short
  13. Derek Harvey
  14. Reince Priebus
  15. Anthony Scaramucci
  16. Ezra Cohen-Watnick
  17. Steve Bannon
  18. Sebastian Gorka
  19. George Sifakis
  20. Tom Price
  21. Rick Dearborn
  22. Dina Powell
  23. Omarosa Manigault Newman
  24. Brenda Fitzgerald
  25. Rob Porter
  26. Josh Raffel
  27. Hope Hicks
  28. Gary Cohn
  29. John McEntee
  30. Rex Tillerson
  31. Steven Goldstein
  32. Andrew McCabe
  33. Johnson Joy
  34. John Dowd
  35. H.R. McMaster

 

The post Tracking White House resignations and firings appeared first on WiredPen.

March 29 2018

07:45

Make your password form fields logical to use

Possibly the most common web form we encounter these days is the ubiquitous wifi password login. Almost every organization that provides wifi – public or password-protected – requires that we accept their terms of use before giving us interwebs access.

With any interaction, designers must present information and actions logically. In this case study, that’s the fail.

Why is “connect” still gray?

After I dutifully typed the (fairly straightforward) password into the form field, the “connect” button remained grayed out. I clicked it a couple of times before my eyes moved back up and to the left and saw the terms of service checkbox, with pretty much unreadable text.

wifi login broken

This login form breaks at least two design best practices.

First, when the functional area is a box floating on top of a photo like this one, everything required for connection should be inside the box. Our eyes will not attend to anything outside of the box, because the box frames the task.

Second, be certain that any text has sufficient contrast and size to be legible.

A logical redesign

The redesign is quick and straightforward. We need to move the “accept terms” condition into the floating box (logical sequencing), and we need to think about both type size and contrast (legibility). Also, if there is no obvious reason to change link colors, make an unvisited link a readable shade of blue.

wifi login redesigned

In this case, I used a blue that mirrors that of the Travelodge logo. I don’t think that a underline is essential given that “terms of use” is a standard document online.

The connect button should still require that both check box and password field be completed before it lights up. But with this visual sequence, the user should not type a password and then wonder why she still cannot connect.

The post Make your password form fields logical to use appeared first on WiredPen.

March 24 2018

22:13

Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement

In 1853, a young man shot his brother’s teacher in a Kentucky classroom and was acquitted. His defense will sound familiar to anyone who remembers Trayvon Martin.*

Since the 2016 president election, we have been actively reliving the mid-1800s run-up to the Civil War. White House historical parallels center on Nixon and Watergate. But the big social issues – especially gun use – center on slave state beliefs.

As protests around the nation – in all 50 states as well as around the world illustrated on March 14 and 24 (and will again on April 20), the majority demands that the right to enjoy peace must have a renaissance.

Memo to elected officials: millennials will out-number boomers by 2019, and they appear to be as politically engaged as said boomers were in the 1960s and early 1970s.

 

A 165-year-long conflict

The nation’s first “high profile” classroom shooting illustrates perfectly how the NRA “vision” for the 2nd Amendment is grounded in southern slave state culture.

Writing in Politico, Saul Cornell, professor of American History at Fordham University, observes:

After the American Revolution, [America developed] radically different legal regimes for regulating firearms in the slave-owning South…

Outside of the South, many states emulated Massachusetts’s broad prohibition on public carry. But in the South, things were different. Kentucky judges, in particular, had adopted a more libertarian reading of the Constitution that rejected most forms of regulation as a violation of the right to bear arms…

Legal critics of the trial argued that Kentucky law had veered too far from mainstream American constitutional thought, which had always balanced the right of self-defense against other rights, such as the right to enjoy peace.

According to this way of thinking, Ward’s actions were not a vindication of American ideas of liberty, but a distortion of them, encouraging anarchy rather than true liberty.

Like news reports in the wake of modern massacres, news of Matthew F. Wards’ acquittal in the 1853 unprovoked shooting of Professor W.H.G. Butler led to “protests and denunciations across the United States… As one newspaper wrote, ‘An Act that would have hung him in Massachusetts, is justified in Kentucky.’…”

https://twitter.com/feministabulous/status/977591435397664768

Will the 2018 protests be ineffectual? I hope not. I think not.

In the intervening 165 years, the divide between states that honor “mainstream American constitutional thought” which balance the right of self-defense with the right to enjoy peace and the states that elevate gun rights over all others has become a rift that is beyond comprehension.

It is also a rift that politicians on the right since Nixon have used to foment fear and horde power.

Mass murder affects more than schoolhouses

Although the Parkland rampage has been the trigger for current attention to America’s gun problem, it’s important to remember that mass shootings are not an exclusive to our schools.

But the weapon of choice is almost always the same:

 

Context for America’s murder-by-gun problem

firearms murder rate

Data (2010) from 23 high income countries reveals that the US gun homicide rate is 25.2 times higher than in other high-income countries. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the US gun homicide rate is 49.0 times higher.

Homicides, not suicides. Most gun deaths in the US are suicides; chew on that for a moment.

The researchers found that with less than half the total population in the study, of those who suffered a firearm death at the hands of another:

  • 90% of the women,
  • 91% of children aged 0 to 14 years,
  • 92% of youth aged 15 to 24 years

LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES.

Less than half the population, but 82% of all firearm homicides.

Researchers concluded:

The United States has an enormous firearm problem compared with other high-income countries. Americans are 10 times more likely to die as a result of a firearm compared with residents of these other high-income countries.

Evidence indicates that gun availability increases the incidence of homicide. International studies of high income countries typically find that firearm availability is positively correlated with firearm homicide and usually overall homicide. [10,13-17]

The countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) and the United States.

If any other “consumer product” yielded this kind of risk factor, we would act. You’ve far less likely to drown than be killed by a firearm, yet we have laws that require homeowners to fence backyard pools (attractive nuisance). You’ve far less likely to die in a fire, explicitly because we have fire codes. You’ve even less likely to die in an earthquake, again, the province of public safety building codes.

Firearm violence and death is a public safety issue. It’s past time to treat it like one.

~~

* In this instance, Florida law shows that the state is related to the Confederacy although culturally Florida is not like the rest of the deep south.

~~

Featured image, Clarksdale, Mississippi

~~

The post Historical context surrounding March for Our Lives movement appeared first on WiredPen.

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Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl