the internet – still spazzy

March 3, 2011

Friday’s coming, folks, and that can mean only one thing. A trip to London Town to Tallulah Rendall‘s album launch.

For this, I required a number of things:

  1. A ticket for the event (done)
  2. Somewhere to kip (done)
  3. A ticket for the train (done)
  4. Trendy album-launch-style duds  (done. I shall be attending in my best polyester slacks, acrylic shirt and clogs).

My experience purchasing a ticket for the train gave me pause for thought last night. I chose my trains and selected the Buy Now button, at which point I was instructed to set up an account.

Here are some FACTS for you, National Express East Anglia:

Fact 1 – You can’t effficiently/correctly/properly run a train service which involves the simple forward propulsion of a vehicle invented in 1829 down two parallel tracks.

Fact 2 – There are naughty hackers out there who would very much like to have my personal details from anywhere they can get them.

Considering FACT 1 and FACT 2, why would I trust my personal address and personal credit card details to your website? Why do I need to create an account on your website to purchase a ticket? What’s wrong with a “I don’t want to set up an account, here are my details, let’s checkout now” button.

I do not want to have to supply you with my title, first name, surname, telephone number, email address, email address again, password, password again, postcode-and-then-click-on-the-appropriate-address-for-the-postcode-in-this-annoying-pop-up-window (all the houses in my street have the same frickin’ postcode). And if I don’t want to have to do that, why in God’s name would I want to tick a box to tell you and your “approved third parties” not to spam my email account? Oh, and don’t play that “You didn’t fill in a field quite right” game and untick the Do Not Spam Me box, just in case I don’t notice what you’ve done. If you do this, you are not a business with which I wish to be associated. With.

By the way, who approved these third parties? Because I know that I didn’t. Could you send me the list and I’ll decide whether they should be approved or not? I suspect I am more choosy than your marketing gurus:

Guru 1: Like, they get on a train, so they must want to hear from Reader’s Digest!
Guru 2: And Kay’s catalogue!
Guru 1: And they must need a new phone contract!
Guru 2: And a new laptop!
Guru 1: And those fake scratch cards!
Guru 2: And information about coach journeys!
Guru 1: And conservatories!
Guru 2: And comfortable polyester slacks!
Alf boredofjam: Wait! Fuck it, I’m signing up.

But seriously, all I’m asking is that you let me buy my tickets, simply and easily, preferably without the hassle of account creation. I bought the cheapest tickets I could get hold of, I am not going to be a big revenue earner for you. Take my details for this transaction, verify my card, sell me my tickets and then ditch my information.

Please, internet people, let me live my life simply. If I’m making a one-off, quick purchase, then that is what it should be: Quick. I don’t have the time or the patience to be told that “Username boredofjam is taken, how about wkerjndvn_22 instead?”

I. Just. Want. My. Stuff.

Now excuse me whilst I go lay down somewhere dark and have a good cry. But first I’d better buy some tissues. Now where’re my Tescos log in details?

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get me one of these. now.

April 29, 2010


why i’ll never make it as a coderer

April 26, 2010

From the text of .Net Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation:

…For example, if you want to get and change the extension of a file, you can do so with the Path class, as shown in the following code snippet:

// C#
string ourPath = @"c:\boot.ini";
Console.WriteLine(ourPath);
Console.WriteLine("Ext: {0}", Path.GetExtension(ourPath));
Console.WriteLine("Change Path: {0}", Path.ChangeExtension(ourPath, "bak"));

From the test at the end of the chapter:

3. The following code changes the extension of a file. (True or False)

// C#
string ourPath = @"c:\boot.ini";
Path.ChangeExtension(ourPath, "bak");

A. True
B. False

From the answers in the back of the book:

A. Incorrect: The Path class deals only with the string of a path. It makes no changes to the file system.
B. Correct: The Path class deals only with the string of a path. It makes no changes to the file system.

3. Correct Answer: B

Fuck you, .Net. Fuck you.


geek (proof)

April 21, 2010

Moore’s Law has been around now for the last 40 years, and every 20 months or so, it gets twice as long and complicated as before (or have I misunderstood this?) In the spirit of its recent anniversary, I present the following:

Table 1: Minimum system requirements for Microsoft Windows, by version:

Version          RAM            Processor            Free Hard disk    Year
                                                     space
3.1              1MB             286                   6.5MB           1992
95               4MB             386DX                  55MB           1995
NT4              16MB            Pentium chip          110MB           1996
98               16MB            486DX66               355MB           1998
2000             64MB            Pentium 133             2GB           2000
ME               32MB            Pentium 150           320MB           2000
XP               128MB           Pentium 300           1.5GB           2001
Vista            512MB           800MHz chip            15GB           2007
7                1GB             1GHz chip              16GB           2009
                                 (+DX9 video card)

airlines willing to risk your life in exchange for your cash

April 18, 2010

It comes as no surprise to a cynical old fert like me that after only five days of there not being an aeroplane in the skies, the main operators have got itchy shareholders.

Despite all of the initial blah from them about how they weren’t going to put planes up in the air whilst there was the chance a piece of microscopic silica could get into the engine of a plane, it seems that despite there being no let up in Eyjafjallajoekull’s* output, and the now legendary ‘ash cloud’ still being very much lodged over the UK, it is perfectly safe to send planes up in the air.

These are planes carrying you, your relatives, your pets, your stuff.

These are planes being sent up in the sky by people on the ground in safe little offices, who just need to keep the board happy and the shareholders paid well. After all, that champagne reception later this year when the financial results are announced isn’t going to pay for itself, is it?

It’s amazing how all the fluffy PR goes out of the window when big companies start to lose money due to an “act of god”.

I wonder whether they have sympathy for the people whose travel insurance isn’t going to compensate them? I wonder how soon the “desperate” and “cash strapped” air travel industry goes to the government and asks for money to help them out?

You know what I say? I say fuck ’em. Them, and the insurance companies who would rather see people stranded or not be able to to take their vacations because of this problem.

Hopefully they’ll get theirs soon enough. You know, just like how we showed those dreadful bankers who took all that risk with money and bankrupted the country… oh, wait a minute.

*Now known as Volcano Anagram


the 3d revolution

March 29, 2010

Our blog chum, Neil (from out of HP) will be feeling vindicated with the recent announcement of the next generation of portable gaming equipment.

No no, it’s not another new Sony PSP Go (this time with no screen, no buttons, no sound and even fewer games)*. It’s Nintendo’s intended update of the why-is-this-so-popular? gaming machine the DSi.

Currently being touted as the 3DSi (see what they did there) it will bring three dimensional gaming to the pockets of the masses. Somehow.

Of course, if you wanted to play an actual 3D game you could just get off your tubby Nintendo arse and play some fucking sport. Or a game where you get some friends over and have to talk to them. But don’t take that personally.

*Gaming irony.

(of course, the astute among you will have noticed that there is a clever Nintendo prototype machine pun in the title of this post).


why 3d tv will fail, annotated guide below:

January 11, 2010

1. You look like a twat wearing those stupid fucking 3D glasses.