Seriously, CBC? Sat, Jan 28. 2012
Going to the CBC this morning, I found this:
I have three problems with this:
- The CBC is our public broadcaster, funded in large part by tax money. It should support wide access.
- I'm not running IE, I'm running Firefox. The ad is lying to me. If they're able to detect I'm not running the latest version of IE, they should also detect that I'm not running IE at all. My browser is not old, either -- I'm running the latest release of Firefox, which contains several features not yet supported by IE.
- IE does not run on my platform (Linux). The ad is a waste of time for me and a waste of money for the advertiser. The pages to which the ad links are all specific to Windows, with no consideration for those running Mac OS/X, Linux, or any other platform.
The ad text seems to imply endorsement. Does the CBC actually endorse the position that the only acceptable end-user computing platform is Windows on an x86 computer? Is increasing the monopoly of a foreign corporation a suitable goal for a taxpayer-funded public broadcaster? I trust not.
Customer, not Criminal Thu, Mar 11. 2010
I like TigerDirect stores: they're like geek supermarkets. However, they have some really annoying practices, such as entering my card number into their POS system, separately from their POS terminal; the terminal receipt shows only the last 5 digits of the card number, and the cash register receipt shows all but the last 6 digits. Anyone with those two receipts and the Luhn algorithm has the full card number.
But the practice that annoys me the most is having a person at the door "check the receipt" of each person making a purchase. The receipt-checker is standing only a few meters away from the cash register -- what is there to check? Is this an effective loss-prevention practice, or just a way to annoy customers?
Today I bought a micro-SD flash card with adapter for an Open-RD Client system that Seneca just purchased. The sales guy was helpful, and as I took the purchase to the lone cashier on duty, I found her talking to the receipt-checker. She shuffled over to the cash register. I paid and made my way to the door, and the receipt checker smiled at me and popped the top off his blue highlighter. I smiled back.
"May I check your receipt?" he asked.
"No," I answered, continuing to the door. I figured that the purchase has already been made, as far as I know they have no right to search or detain me, the receipt checker saw me pay the cashier, and it's obvious that I have one purchased item and one receipt in my hand.
Thinking he'd heard wrong, he again asked, "May I check it?"
"No," I replied, walking out.
"Thank you," he yelled after me as I left the store.
Adobe, You're Killing Me Tue, Apr 14. 2009
Adobe, your Flash Player and Acrobat Reader products are complete and utter crap. I don't use other platforms enough to know or care, but the Linux versions are utterly, terrifyingly awful.
Adobe [Acrobat] Reader
- Available in several package formats. Not available from a repository, from which updates could easily be pushed to your customers; instead, we're invited to "Receive up-to-date information about new releases and security updates by registering your copy of Adobe Reader". How? "Please contact me via the following methods: (please check one or more): Mail / E-mail / Telephone". I'd much rather receive the security update and a phone call about the security update, thanks. Update: Gideon Mayhak noted in comments that AdobeReader is available in the same repository as the Flash Player. Somehow I missed that, Adobe -- probably because you make no mention of it on your website.
- The print dialog, which is fairly significant in a document reader, doesn't look like any other print dialog I've seen in a long, long time. Actually, a lot of the Reader user interface is non-standard (or perhaps just ancient?), but the print dialog takes the cake. Adobe, you made it up; it certainly isn't close to the standard Gnome or KDE print dialogs. It's a hideous monstrosity reminiscent of Motif dialogs from 20 years ago. But you do let people fiddle with the printer command line -- excellent for kiosk applications!
- When used as a plugin, Reader will consume 100% of CPU and ever-increasing amounts of memory when I close a browser tab containing the plugin. That's right: when there is no visible sign that the software is running, it's bringing the system to its knees.
- Reader does not uninstall cleanly. When AdbeRdr is removed from a system, the default handler for PDF files should revert to the pre-Adobe-Reader value, but it does not -- the system will forever look for the non-existant 'acroread' binary. I haven't yet figured out where the ghost lives.
Adobe Flash Player
- Available from a repository. Nice touch! But 64-bits, anyone?
- Consumes massive amounts of CPU time when apparently doing nothing. By massive, I mean that it pushes the CPU temperature up until the fans switch into the turbo near-ultrasonic range. I mean that it brings normally-responsive multi-user systems to their knees. I mean it uses so much electricity that environmentalists weep publicly and small furry creatures pack their bags and move to other continents, if they haven't lost their sanity because of the ultrasonic whine.
- 32- vs. 64-bit issues: don't get me started.