BBC News Redesign

BBC News April 08 redesignFollowing on from the homepage redesign earlier this year, the BBC News site has been revamped to a 1024 pixel layout.

Personally, I find the amount of whitespace a little too overpowering; it’s hard to see where section divides are (the regional “Around the World/UK Now” sections at the bottom, for instance)

I’m sure CSS purists will also dislike that this redesign still uses tables for layout, although the “Low Graphics” option still exists for any users who prefer it.

It seems this has just happened – none of the subsequent pages (Tech, UK, World, etc) carry the updated layout, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. The BBC tend to keep old designs around for archived material, so looking back to articles from the 90s you can see the page as it was (albeit with a few SSI errors…)

Update:  Steve Herrmann from the BBC describes the changes

The BT Email Issue

BT have caused a right royal fuss over the weekend by blocking non-BT address on their outgoing SMTP servers. Phil Gyford has good coverage of the hurdles required to get through BT’s aggressive blocking, which is intended to combat spam by restricting mail-outs to legitimate and authenticated addresses only.

It’s a real faff, but I’m sure I’ve been through this before. In fact, at least two clients of mine have – over a year ago – encountered exactly the same problem, but everything I read regards this as a completely new update. To the best of my knowledge, one was on business-grade ADSL and the other on residential, but both had the same problem (and remedy – harass BT with copies of domain registrations and letterheads).

So I’m slightly miffed … is this a new extension of a previous BT filtering system or something completely different?

Coming soon to an email footer near you

“Please consider the environment before printing this email”

These simple words seem to be gracing a lot of my inbound email these days. It feels like a 2007 fad, whereby every participating business can tick another box in the ‘we care’ category by hardwiring a patronising bit of text into their outbound correspondence.

How many people have read an email, gone to hit Print and stopped short after glancing at the message, thinking “oh dear, yes I must consider the environment”? Worse still, how many have rushed to the printer after mindlessly hitting Ctrl+P, noticed the tagline at the bottom, and promptly taken their own life for the horrible sin they’ve so callously committed?

The irony is that if you do print an email, there’s a small but real chance the “Please consider…” tagline will wrap onto a new page, thus wasting a sheet all by itself.

It being the 21st century, 2008 and the year of Web 2.0 I suggest a more brutal assault on these evil corporate tree-killers, using the power of stylesheets:

<style type=”text/css”>
#treekiller { display: none }
@media print {
#treekiller { font: 48pt arial, sans-serif; position: absolute; display: block; left: 0px; top: 0px }
<div id=”treekiller”>I am a tree killer. I hate environmentalists. Al Gore is a smelly poo face. SUVs rule OK.</div>

Thus, any email printed will remind the reader of how horrible they are, and since it was paper wasted anyway they may as well revert to reading it on-screen.

Try it out here (although you might want to just use Print Preview…)

BlogTalk 2008

Arrived in Cork yesterday for the BlogTalk 2008 conference and attached Social Network Portability conference. I’ve signed up to Twitter here’s my stream, since everybody seems to be using that to talk (at the last BlogTalk in ’04 IRC was the main back channel). One question: how do I find out who else is using Twitter here? Maybe somebody should create a section on their wiki, unless Twitter provides its own search (can’t see it…).