01.14.09

Searching through your bags/pockets at the ticket barrier?

Posted in Pet Hates at 8:37 pm by blog

Something that really really annoys me, is people who are about to board a bus, or go through the ticket gate in a train station… And they will get right up to the barrier or the ticket reader on the bus, and then stop dead while they search through their bags or pockets looking for their ticket!
Why the hell couldn’t they have found their ticket beforehand, and had it ready?
You can usually see the bus coming up the road, plenty of time to find your ticket… The ticket barriers in stations don’t exactly move around, so you know well in advance of arriving there that you will need to present a ticket.
It is extremely annoying to be stuck behind someone like that, or be stuck on a stationary bus while someone wastes your time searching for their ticket.
It’s just as bad when someone spends time hunting through small change to find the right fare… You know how much a bus ticket costs, why haven’t you got the exact change ready in your hand BEFORE THE BUS ARRIVES?
People who don’t have their ticket ready for inspection on boarding a bus or reaching a ticket barrier should be sent to the back of the queue… If the bus or train leaves before they can find their ticket then it should be THEIR OWN FAULT… And maybe they will be a bit smarter and more considerate of others in future.

11.18.08

In Reply To Wil Peters

Posted in Pet Hates at 11:39 am by blog

A user going by the name “Wil Peters” made the following 2 posts:

Wil Peters

But was the meat good ?

Why moan about newsletters when you have to leave your email addy on this blog
Some people just enjoy complaining Would prefer constructive comments
please

From keziefoods.co.uk are cheeky bastards, 2008/11/17 at 11:01 AM

Wil Peters

Get a life

From Keziefoods are cheeky bastards, followup, 2008/11/17 at 11:05 AM

 

Now, he states he would prefer constructive comments, but “Get a life” is hardly constructive…

To answer the first question – i did not try the meat, when i saw the underhanded way in which they try to force you to receive their newsletter i decided to buy from elsewhere instead.

My entire point is that, even when the end user has explicitly unchecked the subscribe to newsletter option, they use an underhanded piece of javascript to re-tick it. Why shouldn’t potential customers have the option to refuse the newsletter?

Also, the way their staff handled my initial complaint was equally underhanded and generally incompetent, my complaint was forwarded around internally (see my earlier post where they messed that up and forwarded it back to me by mistake) and they never wrote me a proper reply. When i wrote the first complaint i was willing to accept it may be a simple oversight, but considering that my complaints went completely unanswered and over a year later the problem is still there i no longer believe it could be a mistake.

Do you really want to do business with a company that ignores customer complaints and uses intentionally underhanded methods to trick you into receiving their unsolicited mail (ie spam)?

Instead, just take your business elsewhere, I ended up going to Osgrow http://www.osgrow.com who offered a good service and didn’t try to send me any spam.

10.18.07

‘SQL’ is not pronounced ‘sequel’ ! Where the hell did those vowells come from?

Posted in Pet Hates at 9:59 am by blog

This is something that annoys me greatly, the acronym ‘SQL’ is just that, an acronym, it is not pronounceable as a word because it has no vowels.
Why is it that some unpronounceable acronyms are always referred to as such (eg DVD) and yet others are seemingly acceptable to arbitrarily modify.
There is a comedy TV show called ‘Fonejacker’ where someone makes humorous telephone calls to unsuspecting members of the public, and one of his sketches is posing as a man who tries to arbitrarily modify unpronounceable acronyms so that he can say them, often causing great confusion to the person on the other end of the phone. For instance, he will call an electronics store and ask for a “Doovde player” (DVD player) or perhaps a “Puss 3″ (PS3). A few examples of this can be found on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjH9cEoEup8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmyU7T1Rc1s
And many more can be found simply by searching for ‘fonejacker’.

So why is it considered acceptable to mispronounce ‘SQL’ as ‘sequel’ and yet mispronouncing ‘DVD’ as ‘doovde’ is considered ridiculous? This becomes even more stupid once you consider that ‘sequel’ is an actual word which has a different meaning, whereas ‘doovde’ doesn’t have any other meaning, and could thus easily be used as a word referring to ‘DVD’.

07.01.07

License codes are stupid

Posted in Pet Hates at 12:11 pm by blog

Just what is the point of making people enter a “license code” to install a piece of software? How is this supposed to limit piracy? Like many other supposed “anti piracy” measures, it actually hinders legitimate owners, such that pirate copies are actually more useful then legitimate ones.

So to install any version of windows made for over 10 years you need to enter a license code, and this is supposed to stop piracy *how* exactly?
Right now, i can find many torrents offering all these versions of windows for download, all of which either have license codes included (so you still have the hassle of entering them) or better yet, have the requirement removed or the license code pre-entered in some way, such that the install bypasses that annoying requirement.

Another example, is tomtom. I bought one of their GPS devices a few years ago, it came with an SD card with the maps for my country preinstalled, and a larger map on CD that would require a bigger SD card. With the default map, the SD card is about 97% full so there’s very little space for points of interest and such.
So i bought a bigger card, formatted it, put the map and software on it, and the device tells me to go to the site “ttcode.com”. Once there, i had to enter the code the device was displaying, and my “license code” which was aparrently on a sticker affixed to the back of the paper cd wallet.
Now, i have long since lost this paper cd wallet, it’s just a typical white paper cd wallet with a circular plastic window on the front, like all the thousands of others i have. It got lost in with all the others, and may even have been thrown away by now. So i contacted tomtom, their response was that i should buy a whole new device! That’s right, because i lost a tiny little sticker i should buy a whole new gps device. So no, i wasn’t about to do that.
Instead, i went to Google and found myself a keygen. I entered the code from the device into the keygen, and it gave me the code to enter into the device. Enter it i did, and all worked, no hassle, and no stupid little strips of paper to keep track of.
But this also brings up another point, what happens when tomtom decide to stop running the ttcode site? Will this rather expensive device just become a glorified paperweight?

So what are license codes supposed to do:

Prevent piracy – NO, pirates will create keygens or remove the license requirement all together.
Keep track of who leaked keys – assuming keys are even leaked rather than generated or the requirement removed, they cant do much to someone who bought the device/software in cash at some random store, not to mention keys stolen from hacked machines and the like.
Irritate legitimate users – YES, codes get lost and legit users get shafted, entering the code is also a significant hassle that only legitimate users have to bear.

So come on, drop all this shit, stop making the pirate copies better than the legit versions.

06.13.07

Inserting random letters into acronyms to make pronounceable words

Posted in Pet Hates at 4:23 pm by blog

Have you ever heard someone refer to SQL (a language commonly used for databases) as “Sequel”?
This really annoys me, they are trying to pronounce an unpronounceable acronym (SQL) by inserting arbitrary vowells into it until it becomes a pronounceable word (SeQueL). Not only does it become a pronounceable word, but it becomes a pronounceable word that has existing meaning!
It’s SQL, pronounced Ess Queue Ell, it’s an acronym! If you dont want to use the acronym, call it “Structured Query Language”, don’t just add additional letters until you get something pronounceable.
I don’t have an issue where an acronym already spells a pronounceable word, like “VOIP”, or “SOAP”, although it can be confusing in cases like SOAP where there is already a word.
But as for adding arbitrary characters until an acronym becomes pronounceable, i submit the following atrocities:

TCP – ToeCaP
WWW – WoWaW
SDK – SoDaK
PCI – PoCI
GPS – GyPSy

What exactly does “unlimited broadband” mean?

Posted in Pet Hates at 3:16 pm by blog

Have you ever seen an advertisement for “Unlimited Broadband” or “Unlimited Phone Service” or similar, where the small print said something like “Fair Use Conditions Apply”?
Quite often, this “Fair Use” policy will actually specify a transfer limit, yes, a LIMIT on an UNLIMITED service, does this not contradict itself? Worse still, are the ones which mention a limit, but dont specify what it is.

Now, the very nature of the Internet and the technologies used to provide broadband will enforce “Fair Use” according to the actual dictionary definition of fair. The available bandwidth will be shared equally among the users who are trying to use it. If there are 50 users, but only one of them is actually trying to use the available bandwidth, then naturally he will be able to transfer more. If 2 users try to use it, they will get half the speed of one etc.

They already caveat the available bandwidth by saying “Up to”, so why not do away with the transfer limits and merely have the service slow down when heavily being used?
Having a bandwidth cap is bad enough, your allocated bandwidth will get eaten up by unsolicited traffic – spam mails, malware trying to infect you (even if it fails, it still consumes some of your bandwidth trying).

At the very least, providers should be forced to _NOT_ advertise services as being unlimited unless they truly are. And if they are limited, then they should be advertised as such, with the limits clearly explained up front.

I would rather have a 512Kb service with no arbitrary limits enforced (technological limitation of 512Kb is 90Gb download per month), than an 8Mb service with some arbitrary limit (theoretically up to 1440Gb per month download). If i have an 8Mb service with a 90Gb limit (effectively limiting me to a 512Kb average anyway) all it takes is for one errant program, an open wireless access point, or one malicious user deciding to conduct a denial of service attack against me, and i’m quickly massively over the limit.
Going over the limit could result in me losing the connection completely, being charged extra (sometimes even unspecified amounts) by the ISP, or possibly being blacklisted so i can’t move to another ISP. And all of this could happen due to no fault of my own, and due to misleading advertising.

Refrigerated butter in hotels/restaurants/cafes etc

Posted in Pet Hates at 9:55 am by blog

Have you ever been out somewhere to eat, and there were bread rolls, or perhaps toast on offer? And conveniently, some butter is provided for you to spread on the bread/toast, all good so far.
Now many of these places will refrigerate the butter, so that it’s hard and unspreadable! You try to spread it, and end up ripping the bread apart. It causes you extra hassle as you try to chop the butter up small so it will melt faster and become spreadable, while you wait.

Am i alone in thinking this is stupid? Shouldn’t restaurants provide butter at room temperature so that you can actually use it for it’s intended purpose without ridiculous levels of hassle?

Far too many times I have found myself using a candle to try and melt the butter enough to make it spreadable. Is it really so hard to keep butter at room temperature so the customers can actually spread it?