Jeffrey James

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Jtj.jpg

A picture of me with my niece Leighton.

Contact

E-mail: jefjames at the usual umd. Note the single 'f', because Maryland decided to restrict user logins to 8 characters.

My Facebook

Interface I Like: Mozilla Thunderbird

Tbirdlogo.jpg

(source: http://insideit.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/mozilla-thunderbird.jpg)

Thunderbird is Mozilla's open source e-mail client that somewhat parallels Microsoft's Outlook. I like it because, like Mozilla Firefox, it has the ability to utilize third party add-ons at the user's discretion. This allows a tremendous amount of flexibility and customization that is unavailable in, for example, Microsoft Outlook.

Interface I Dislike: The UMD "interactive" Parking Map

Parkmap.jpg

(source: http://www.parking.umd.edu/themap/)

The University of Maryland parking map is a disaster. You know this if you have ever tried to use it. The map is set up on an inflexible grid that seems to have an uncanny ability to put the building you are trying to look at halfway visible on the corner of the screen, and bar zooming out (which loses you detail, naturally), you cannot rectify the situation. Piece of junk. A *much* better option can be found at map.umd.edu

Influential Technology: Facebook

Fbooklogo.jpg

I think that the software technology that has most influenced human behavior in the past five years is Facebook. Facebook's popularity has soared incredibly in the past five years, and there are now few who have not heard of it. Mere popularity, however, does not necessarily have any impact on human behavior.

What has made Facebook so influential is that it has helped create a paradigm shift in how people relate to one another. Facebook has helped move this interaction more and more into the online realm. For many, especially young people, having a Facebook profile is a given, almost as much as having a cell phone. People who have long lost touch reconnect, friends share their information, pictures, messages, and interact with one another in new ways because of the influence of Facebook.