Website Blunders

It’s time for another bitch session.  This time, various ‘popular’ websites on the Interwebs are my target.

Much as I could spend a lot of vitriol on them, I’m not going to spend time complaining about clickbait headlines (you won’t believe how much I hate them!); I’m not going to complain about those websites that make you read ten pages when one would do – simply to get eyeballs on ads; I’m not even going to complain about how ad saturated some pages are.

No, this time I want to discuss (i.e. complain about) websites that come off as desperate, needy and clingy.

I’ve lost count of how many websites will pop up a ‘window’ (within the canvas, rather than as a new window) that ask me to either subscribe to their email newsletter, or to Like them on Facebook.  They do this before I’ve even had a chance to look at their site.

Pro Tip: If you annoy me before I can see your site, I’m not going to ‘like’ it.

In a similar vein, asking me to do a survey to ‘help improve your website’ is also stupid at this point.

Pro Tip: Try not to be stupid.

Then there are those websites that (usually poorly) try to detect that I’m leaving the page, closing the tab or similar, and beg me to look at other stuff they have.  If they actually did do this only when I was going to close out the window or tab I might cut them some slack.  Mostly they seem to do it if I switch tabs, move the cursor even vaguely near the ‘close’ icon or Alt-Tab away, then back again.

This just reeks of desperation (and/or poor programming).  I won’t be back.

Pro Tip: I don’t do relationships like this, and I sure as hell won’t deal with websites like this.

Lastly (for this post) there are those that have not only gone down the ’10 pages instead of one’ route, but break up the reading by dropping you into a survey.  The only good thing to say here is that most of these can be skipped.  However, I’ve got so used to some websites holding the rest of the article hostage behind the survey that I just close the tab the moment one does this.

And that usually gives me a popup saying “before you leave …”.

Pro Tip: If you try to hold me hostage, I will do my best to escape.  This means less ads in front of my eyeballs.

I’ve yet to come across a website that does all of the above, but I have so little faith in humanity that I’m pretty sure that if there isn’t one out there now, there will be soon.

Also. as an aside to web designers/programmers:  which is worse?

  • Killing the person that made you do this, and suffering a life behind bars, or
  • Inflicting this shit on the world?


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EFTPOS Interfaces

As a shopper in the western world, I use EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale) pretty much every day.  I began using them back when they were trying to replace the old ‘run a roller over your credit card to leave an indent on this invoice’ machines.

As you’d expect, they started out clunky, unreliable and scarce.  Now, even some small market stalls have them.  They’ve evolved and improved.

Well, evolved.

For whatever reason, it seems evolution is happening again, and so far it’s taking two distinct paths.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Note: I wrote this on the 8th of January just after seeing The Force Awakens.  Unfortunately a death kind of screwed up my posting of it.

Everyone and their dog, and possibly their dog’s fleas too, has written about Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (hereinafter referred to as TFA).  Since my own dog doesn’t have fleas, and is somewhat lacking in the ‘able to write’ department, I guess it falls to me to write about the movie.

First, let’s set some baseline standards:  I am a Star Wars fan of old, having first seen it in a Drive-In when it was first released.  I enjoy the universe, and many of the spin-off stories and products.  I’m not a complete fanatic having read very little of the Expanded Universe (dead though that is now), and I thought Episodes I – III were ‘ok’.  I didn’t hate them, I didn’t hate Jar Jar, but I also can’t be bothered to try to defend them.  And, to put it bluntly, I wasn’t really excited to see TFA. I wanted to, but maybe when it came to DVD.  Or something.

So, with all that in mind … (One spoiler ahead. Hopefully not that big)

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Battery Anxiety

There’s a phrase that’s come into use since electric vehicles became more mainstream: range anxiety.  Of course, those of us who have used phones ‘forever’ or, in fact, anything portable and battery powered, have known this anxiety for a long time.  And now we have a new class of gadgets to add to our stress levels: so called ‘Wearables’.

Despite the bland, vague descriptive name, some of them are really great at what they do.  What most of them seem to suck at is telling me the state of their battery.

Some of them have a large enough screen that allows you to read the battery status, much like you do with a phone.  The rest just have a small screen or no screen at all.  So really we’re left with small to nonexistent real estate to get across that a battery is getting close to dead. Continue reading

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Fitbit Charge HR

Since I’m a diabetic, and need to be more sensible about exercise and the like, my wife thought I should be more depressed and bought me a Fitbit.

With her long experience with these devices she decided the Fitbit Charge was the way to go. I decided to go with the HR version (heart rate) as that was only $30 more expensive and why not go all the way when depressing yourself, right?

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Fallout 4: Some Of The Situations

I admit it.  This is turning into the ‘Fallout 4’ blog.  Don’t worry, this should only last a few years.

I’m really enjoying the game itself and enjoying some of the characters, side missions and ‘random encounters’.  Possibly what I’m going to describe here may be ‘spoilers’ for some, so keep that in mind.

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Fallout 4: Continuing Impressions

Now that I’ve had a bit of time to play around, work out the Perk/Leveling system, play a bit with crafting and explore a lot, I will say I’m having a lot of fun with Fallout 4!

I’m rather surprised by the lack of bugs I’ve encountered.  Of course, I’ve come across the usual floating objects, things clipping through walls and the like; things you expect in any 3D game these days. I’ve only really found two bugs that meant I had to reload the game (I didn’t even have to reload a previous save, just the current point in the game): Continue reading

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Just Cause 3: First Impressions

Rico is back, and this time our Blow Everything Up expert is back on home turf.  His home of Medici is now the playground of the evil General Di Ravello .  There’s stuff about how said General is having the people mine a wondrous material called Bavarium that can be used for explosives, or ‘virtually unlimited’ fuel but … whatever, right?

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Fallout 4: A Rough Start

Note that most of this was written almost immediately after my last entry.  It’s been a rough few weeks time and health wise, so I’m only publishing it now. 

The beginning of a game – the introduction, the tutorial (mandatory these days), and the first couple of quests – usually sets the tone of the game, and the expectations.

Like many a movie I’ve been told about: Stick with it; it gets better.

I’m going to discuss that beginning and so there will be spoilers ahead.  Then again, if you’ve spent a small amount of time with the game then you’ve probably got past this bit already.

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Fallout 4: Initial Thoughts

Like many Fallout fans, I’ve been both excited and nervous about the release of Fallout 4.  Excited because: Hey! New Fallout!  Nervous because: changes aren’t always good, and Bethesda isn’t the best with releasing bug light products.

Of course, just as I managed to get my hands on my (pre-ordered) copy, my eye trouble decided to flare up again, and I wasn’t able to play it for several days.

Now, finally, I’ve managed to get a bit of Wasteland time in!

The introduction threw me a little as you begin without your Pip-Boy and before the world has been turned into the Wasteland.

You, your partner, and your child all live in their neat Suburban home, along with your Mr Gutsy robot butler, Codsworth.  Everything seems idyllic, except for that one salesman knocking on your door.

You do eventually get to the Wasteland that Fallout players know and love, and the game begins properly.

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