Archive for the ‘mis-cognition’ Category

Just a thought

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Say you were a huge, top of the pile company.  But you aren’t about to rest on laurels, and the has-beens and wannabes are out there.

“Please don’t poach our ‘best’ talent.  Please don’t offer them huge early exit bonuses.  Please don’t let hire their own buddies with similar sweetheart deals that work out better if they get ‘fired’ a couple months in, which conveniently just happens to happen.  Please don’t let one of our minions take full control of your company, drive it into the ground, get paid off to get lost, and let her…um, or him, yeah, come back to us, with your cash in hand, and more of our stock that just went through the roof at the announcement of your bankruptcy.  Please, don’t do that.”

Couldn’t possibly explain certain tech company goings on, maybe?

Somewhere in Seattle

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Somewhere in Seattle, a man is contemplating violence against his former co-workers. I know this because he came up to me and told me, last night. When he wasn’t telling me about how his hand hurt because he’d punched someone earlier. When he told me of his plans to buy a gun and go shooting, I tried to offer alternatives, but he was quite convinced that he “had fucked himself”. Then he said he drank to much. There’s something odd about extolling the value of AA, while I’m holding a drink. But I’m not the guy who burned his own bridges, but still blames “the stupid people”.
Eventually he wandered off, though he came back to ask me to dial his phone for him, so he could booty call his ex, but his battery died as it was ringing.

I worry he was serious about his intentions for violence; it sounds like he isn’t shy about it though, so hopefully his associates are aware and prepared. Hopefully.

I’ll sing it if I have to

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

At karaoke last night, when it was turn for one of my songs, I got up to sing, but quickly noticed the DJ had left the last person’s song queued up. I am waving, talking on the microphone, saying “not my song, hello? can I sing my song?” but he’s too busy chatting with his buddy, so I give in, and sang what was left of “The Gambler”. I did OK, considering I hadn’t practiced or listened to that song in a while.
After, the guy finally comes up and asks me what I wanted; I explain that he played the wrong song. It was annoying but it happens. But he just stands there, looking annoyed at me, until I specifically say, “no worries”.

Forza 5 asphalt bug

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Lately, I’ve been racking up the big bucks on Forza 5, by racing around the Indy loop. I set the drivatars to unbeatable ( and yet they all slam on the brakes before every banked turn ), turn the laps up to 20, and jump in the best car for the job (oddly enough, not the most expensive car available, but pretty close…any of the indy cars will do). It takes about 15 minutes for the race to run finish, and very rarely, I’ve seen a bug, where, and this is the part that the programmer and tester in me finds interesting, a piece of the track won’t get rendered, and displays as a flat black square. When it happens, I can see the black square approaching from the distance, and I’ve never seen one get re-rendered before I run over it, nor ever one fail prior-rendering once it’s made it into view.

It’s not a track it down kind of obsession, just a curiosity. Did they see it in pre-release testing, or is it a side effect of the real world that they weren’t able to recreate in-house? Is it caused by network congestion, local machine inadequacy, or some other unconsidered factor?

Xbox Live Rewards failure

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

So far, it looks like Xbox Live Rewards is a poorly implemented act of desperation.  The first sign that you are about to associate with a complete loser of a program, it takes *2* days for your registration to be processed.  Seriously?  Microsoft can’t figure out how to build a real-time registration system?  It does not bode well for the level of integration between systems.  And you can see that in the forums, with tons of people posting about missing points.  Right now, they have a promotion for the Season Pass add-on’s.  By the letter of the offer, it’s a total scam, since you only qualify if you spend $50.00, and Season Passes are sold for $49.99.  But it gets more comically inept, because from the page where you learn about the promo, there’s a link to “Grab a Season Pass”, which takes you to the xbox.com store, where….there are no Season Passes for sale.

The Season Passes for Forza 5 seem like a waste of money so far, anyways.  I didn’t want to buy one anyways. grumble grumble.

Almost seen

Monday, January 27th, 2014

I thought I saw a post on Facebook, to attendees of a Maker-style event, “How many people are planning on making their own soldering iron?”, and thought that was a bit silly, and over-the-top DIY extremism.

Then I read it a second time, and realized it was asking who was planning on “bringing” their own.

OK, that makes sense.

Goodbye LogMeIn, Hello Teamviewer

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Now that LogMeIn has doubled-down on failure, making clear they want to go out of business, and are cancelling the only product they offer that has actual value, it’s time to start looking for alternatives.  Enter TeamViewer, offering all the features I ever used in LogMeIn.  It remains to be seen what kind of company they are, but they can’t be any worse than the team in favor of corporate suicide, that is in charge at LogMeIn.

It’s funny, when less than a year ago, your CEO was pushing the value of having a free tier, and swearing it was essential to your survival and thrive-al.   I suspect I won’t hear much more about them going forward; it sounds like they’ve wasted all their investor cash, buying up good products, shutting them down, and destroying their own brand in the process.  You won’t be missed.

Starbucks does right

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Back on Black Thursday, Starbucks had a special promotional tumbler for sale, priced at $75.00.  Doesn’t sound that great, right?  Except that it was going to include 1 free drink a day for the entire month of January.  Now that’s pretty reasonable.  When the guy behind the counter tried to sell me one in the morning, he specifically said I’d be able to get my regular Chocolate Chai, if I got this mug, and so, after I was done with other shopping, on my way home, I picked one up, washed it, and set it on the counter to wait for the new year.

Yesterday, as I was walking through the starbucks built into my grocery store, I remembered the tumbler, and even though coming to the store once had already made my sore throat pretty unhappy, I didn’t want to waste my money, and so after I dropped off the groceries, I grabbed the tumbler and headed out to the shop where I’d bought the thing.  Imagine my surprise when the woman behind the counter says she doesn’t think I should be able to get a Chai, since it’s not an espresso based beverage, but she’ll let me.  Presumably she saw the “I am totally willing to make a big scene over $75, even if I’m sick” in my eyes.

When I got home, I wrote the company, basically expressing my frustration, politely, and asking if I should just try to return the mug, if it was going to be useless to me (my tummy can’t take espresso no mo).    I was surprised and pleased, to get a same day response, even though it was a holiday, and even more please when the rep gave me a $10 credit for my annoyance.  They didn’t say one way or the other, what to do about the tumbler, but when I went in this morning, after an initial attempt to charge, because the guy forgot the mugs were free, not because I wanted chai, they gave me my drink for the right ‘price’, and it sounded like they had already decided as policy to just honor the drinks for everyone.

Sure enough, if I look on the very tiny print on the side of the tumbler, it does say, “grande espresso beverage”, but it sounds like I am not alone in having been told something different than the fine print.  So kudos to Starbucks for honoring the intent under which these magic cups were bought, for the chai folk of the world =)

Mrs Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Mrs Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter

But it’s your son that’s caught my eye

But it’s sad, he’ll never love me

He’s made it clear, it ain’t no good to call

 

He wants to return those things I bought him

Tell him he can keep them just the same

Things have changed, he knows I love him now

He’s made it clear, it ain’t no good to call

 

Walkin’ about, even in a crowd, well

You’ll pick him out, makes a bloke feel so proud

 

If he finds that I’ve been ’round to see you

Tell him I’m well and feelin’ fine

Don’t let on, don’t say, “He broke my heart”

I’d go down on my knees, but it’s no good to pine

 

Target pushback

Friday, December 27th, 2013

In light of the recent, rather public, computer security failure, I stared at the error message before me.   The Ultraviolet people had announced that they are finally ready to let people register their DVD’s from home, using one of their partners’ programs.  Sounds like awesomsauce; I’d get to put all the DVD’s into less accessible storage, but still have easy, legit, access to the content on the go.  One of the three partners is a Best Buy project, CinemaNow, and I know they need all the help they can get, so I figure I’ll give it a shot.  Which is how we got to here.  Seems they couldn’t be bothered to sign their code, and the latest OSX update flat out refuses to let you run unsigned code, without mucking about in preferences.

I could make the change, easily enough, but it doesn’t seem like I should have to.  Best Buy should be fully capable of hiring developers capable of the minimal effort of registering with Apple.  That they are unwilling, or unable, to accomplish this underlines the woeful state of computer security as a proactive way of working.  The developers at Best Buy are willing to put the end user at risk, even though they should be well aware of how easy it is to trick people into downloading from the wrong place, and just how potentially devastating the results can be.  If there is justice in the universe, someone will install CinemaNow on a computer inside their firewall, and then accidentally install some malware that would have been prevented, if they hadn’t turned off the safety features of the OS, and it costs them twice as much as Target’s losses end up being.