Anita Borg influenced my life in an unexpected way. She organized a conference, “The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women and Computing,” which I attended in 1997.

I thought I had overcome the feeling of being an alien in the workplace. Perhaps you know what it is like, to look around the room at a meeting and feel alone in a roomful of people. Or to talk seriously to someone and then realize that they were only talking to your haircut.

This conference was unique. It wasn’t just a women’s conference. It was a technical conference. Over a few days, I listened to more women speak publicly about gory technical details than I had in my lifetime.

I caught myself thinking… I could do that. And I thought that it had never occurred to me that I couldn’t.

Anita Borg died last week. You can read more about her on the pages of the Institute for Women and Technology.

Kevin Lynch posted last week about Flash applications that are “starting to appear.” However not everything done in Flash is a rich internet application, and it is a challenge to sift through these showase sites to find great examples. There is a fine line between dynamic content and a web application.

I’ve spent some time over the past week trying to understand my own definition of a “Rich Internet Application.” I discovered that in my mind I have mapped “Rich Internet Applications” to “good user interface design.” Perhaps I’ve been drinking too much Kool-Aid…

Macromedia writes that “Rich Internet Applications combine the functionality of desktop software applications with the broad reach and low-cost deployment of web applications

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leader. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them you’re being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
                 — Herman Goering, Hitler’s second in command

Support our troops. Stop the war.