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Links of the Week (2008/31)

Undisturbed call center entertainment

You know, I got my FritzBox and my ISDN telephone configured such that callers who do not transmit their phone number only reach a computer voice without ringing which says (translated):

“Good day. You are calling without transmitting your number. Since this is typical for unwanted commercial calls, you are directly – without audible ringing – directed to this answering machine. Please enable your caller ID transmission, or leave a message so you can be called back. Thank you.”

(I wrote about configuring it in this comment in German.)

In the last few weeks, this has proven more and more useful again, after some time with only very few calls – though there were never useful messages left on the answering machine, because except for the lottery call robots (which can’t tell a machine from a human), at most a few short call center background noises were recorded. Except for now:

Yesterday a probably little experienced female call center agent could be heard (*** mark incomprehensible parts from other people; my translation from German, of course):

*** — “If you- if the number is suppressed, you are automatically… put on the answering machine. Had… here I currently have a tape like that, I am to activate my number, or leave something on the machine” — “*** …a tape… ***” — “I don’t know!”

And this afternoon three in a row (by the way, all callers had no number transmission in the first place; no case-by-case suppression and no old analog line):

15:08: No recording.

15:09: Man 1: “What program or something like that does that one have installed?”

15:10: Man 2: “Is cool, huh?” — man 1 (same as before): “That is cool, isn’t it?” — man 3, maybe other conversation: “Maybe that is for him/you…***”


Drawing a _blank

GreenSmilie This is a post for a German blog carnival about whether to have external links open in a new tab/window – by giving them the attribute target="_blank" – or not.

Actually, I’m quite surprised how many like this attribute – I, on the other hand, don’t like to be patronized that way at all. If I want to open a link in a new window or tab, I can do that as desired with Shift+left-click and middle click (or Ctrl+left-click), respectively, or via the right-click context menu – these options seem to be way too little known. We should start a Middle Click Awareness Week…

On notebooks (with touchpad) you then need either the right click, spread your fingers or use the other hand.

If the website/blog owner, on the other hand, is using the target="_blank" attribute, I don’t have an easy way to open the link in the same window/tab, which I actually do want to do sometimes (yes, not with each and avery click you desperately want to stay on the original page, for at some point, you actually have seen enough for this visit ;) ) – so I got an unneeded tab open that I have to close manually.

On notebooks (with touchpad) you then have to cumbersomely move to the close button of the tab or window (or use a key combination).

NO BLANKS! By the way, especially for smaller mobile surfing devices (which have lower resources) this may become more of a convenience and performance problem; this certainly applied to the “Nokia 770 Internet Tablet” I had been using for some time.

So the only argument in favor of _blank seems to me the lack of knowledge of some web surfers regarding the ways to operate their browsers. And some particular arguments of _blank supporters – some of which seem to want it for all links – I can’t follow at all (no offence meant): Lia, for instance, writes in this comment (in German; my translation:):

I’m always annoyed when I have to click an image to enlarge it and then have to click the Back button!

:confused: To what extent is it easier and more comfortable to close a window or tab than to click the Back button? By the way, many mice with more than 3 buttons have the Back funtion by default on the 4th button!

And Prinzzess seems to prefer to type a former URL again and fret about that over using the Back button, which offers a longer history on all reasonably useful browsers without mass click orgies. Or over taking control by herself with middle click & co. in the first place…

Regarding the standards conformity which is against this attribute, well, this isn’t that important to me, the visitor comes first (and this target attribute doesn’t cause display problems, anyway).

So my “campaign slogan”:

:arrow: Against patronizing, against target="_blank"! :mrgreen:


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