It’s Macworld Damnit

Something has been building steadily for a couple weeks now and I just can’t contain it anymore. After countless hours of reading though, the rage within me has reached the spilling level. I read nearly every Mac website I can find (via RSS). I can give non-Mac news sources a pass on this, but the rest of you should hang your heads in shame.

Macworld, as in Macworld Magazine and Macworld Expo, is spelled as I have it. Macworld Expo is like Mecca, but for Mac users. It’s the ultimate event in the Mac universe. Given that fact, why is it so god damned hard to spell it right?

I’ve noticed two groups are the worst offenders, or at least get under my skin the most: vendors sending out promotional emails and Mac news outlets and blogs. The two most common misspellings are MacWorld and Mac World. Let me tell you something guys, it’s your responsibility to at least be able to spell the name of the event.

The news sites/blogs are the worst because they act as authoritative sources about Mac culture and information. How am I supposed to take your predictions and prognostications seriously when you don’t even spell it right. No matter how hard I try to displace my thoughts, all those articles end up looking like:

At teh MacWorld expo I preedict the AWEsome iPhone!!11!!!!!11!!

So please, I beg of the Mac community: spell it right. Don’t look like an idiot. Don’t make us all look like idiots.

Posted in Macs | 13 Comments

Gmail Filters Changed?

I’ve been using Gmail for most of my mailing lists. There’s a very good reason for this. It groups things into discussions beautifully. I also subscribe to several mailing lists that reside on the same server. For example, I subscribe to BBEdit Talk and Yojimbo Talk, both of which are run by Bare Bones (shocking, considering they develop them).

They don’t have a domain that’s dedicated to mailing lists, so the addresses are productname-talk@barebones.com. I’m also a compulsive filer, so I apply labels to these messages for quick manipulation. One label is “mailing lists”. Rather than map email “To:” each of these email addresses, I’ve been using the fact that filters work on a contains instead of match basis to simplify. For the longest time a filter that looked for “To: talk@barebones.com” worked perfectly. It’s suddenly stopped working. It’s now an exact match.

Dear Google,

Don’t change filter behavior without notifying your users and giving them an alternative method to attain the same functionality.

Thanks,
Derik

Here’s the wacky part. If you filter based upon an email string with nothing preceding the at sign, such as “@barebones.com”, the filter becomes a contain based filter. Ugh. Say it with me: inconsistent.

I was willing to cut Google some slack with their filters and the fact that it can’t filter based on arbitrary headers (like the list headers that most mailing lists slap on for easy filtering). It’s annoying, but something I could live with. Now the filters are essentially useless. Why? It’s not hard to implement powerful, flexible filters. As accurate and fast as their search is, I still want to organize my email to help prune. It makes the results more manageable. It’s almost as if Google is intentionally trying make its filters impotent to the point that users have to stop using it, at which point, Google can axe it completely.

Posted in Technology | 4 Comments

It’s Official: I’ve Made It as a Writer

Thanks to my article about a bullshit Steve Jobs interview, I’ve gotten my first threat.

12:11:04 AM mmskmmskmmsk: dlong
12:11:08 AM mmskmmskmmsk: get the fuck outta here
12:11:16 AM mmskmmskmmsk: posting garbage on digg
12:11:24 AM mmskmmskmmsk: trying to promote your own shitty site
12:11:44 AM mmskmmskmmsk: like you broke a story or something
12:11:48 AM mmskmmskmmsk: you didnt break shit
12:12:00 AM mmskmmskmmsk: the article on that site was not proven fake
12:12:11 AM dbasstard: oh, you’re an ewoky guy!
Changed status to Online (12:12:11 AM)
12:12:12 AM mmskmmskmmsk: so stop trying to get press off it like you owned them
12:12:15 AM mmskmmskmmsk: nope
12:12:24 AM mmskmmskmmsk: but ive followed this since last night
12:12:34 AM mmskmmskmmsk: and you’re acting like a retard trying to cash in
12:12:51 AM dbasstard: so, is it Chris? or Lethal?
12:13:00 AM dbasstard: why are you so obsessed about this?
12:13:05 AM mmskmmskmmsk: because you are
12:13:15 AM mmskmmskmmsk: because you’re trying to fuck up someones site
12:13:21 AM mmskmmskmmsk: the shit was explained
12:13:29 AM mmskmmskmmsk: but no, you had to go and fuck with them
12:13:30 AM dbasstard: no, I’m pointing out a fraudulent article
12:13:38 AM mmskmmskmmsk: no you’re not
12:13:41 AM mmskmmskmmsk: it wasnt proven
12:13:45 AM mmskmmskmmsk: its speculation
12:13:50 AM dbasstard: dude, I wrote to Apple
12:13:58 AM mmskmmskmmsk: and why are you on it anyway? bored? no real news to report?
12:13:59 AM dbasstard: it was fraudulent
12:14:03 AM mmskmmskmmsk: you suck as a reporter
12:14:09 AM mmskmmskmmsk: prove it then
12:14:15 AM mmskmmskmmsk: you suck as a journalist
12:14:27 AM mmskmmskmmsk: be a man
12:14:30 AM dbasstard: how would you like it proven?
12:14:30 AM mmskmmskmmsk: dont be a girl
12:14:38 AM mmskmmskmmsk: actual evidence
12:14:43 AM dbasstard: like what?
12:14:51 AM mmskmmskmmsk: fuck you anyway, your article will die soon
12:14:56 AM dbasstard: besides the email from Apple PR?
12:15:03 AM mmskmmskmmsk: fucking wannabe reporter
12:15:06 AM mmskmmskmmsk: watch your back
12:15:10 AM mmskmmskmmsk: dont fuck with people asshole
12:15:14 AM mmskmmskmmsk: warning u
Changed status to Offline (12:15:20 AM)

Real mature.

Posted in Personal | 2 Comments

A Visit from the Cable Guy

While I’m going on and on about utility companies (because let’s face it, Verizon and Comcast are rapidly becoming nearly the same), how about I write up the experience I just had.

I don’t normally expect visitors on a Saturday unannounced. Further, I don’t get packages. When I got to my front door, it was a Comcast employee. He warmed up by asking if I had Verizon home phone service. Well, seeing as I don’t like getting taken advantage of, the answer is no. He then asked me if I had a home phone. It’s clear where he was going, so I played along. Yes, I have internet phone service (Vonage in particular). He guessed that it was Vonage.

He then told me that Comcast offered the same service, but with better quality. That could be, but I haven’t had any issues. He then told me that Vonage uses their pipes (that’s not a quote, I don’t remember the exact phrasing) and that they allowed that, but they could shut them off at any time. For $8/month more than what I’m currently paying, I’d get a phone line through them and I’d get digital cable with a free year of Starz and HBO.

If I dropped Vonage, I would save money. However, I like the portability of being able to bring my box anywhere with me. When I go to Macworld Expo in San Francisco next year, being able to bring my phone with me will be a big bonus. Plus, I plan on spending a good amount of time at my parents’ fancy new house in Maine. I can’t do that with Comcast.

I’m sure you’re brain is bubbling, or you may be even screaming. Why haven’t I said anything about Comcast basically telling me that they could shut off Vonage whenever they want? Well, that’s because I wanted to get the other stuff out of the way first.

Pay attention boys and girls: this is Net Neutrality hitting home. Comcast threatened to degrade my independent internet phone service to the point of being shutoff in order to promote their own service. That internet connection they supply is for my use and what I choose to do with it is my business. If I want to use Vonage, I can use Vonage. The day they lock me out of it is the day they lose me as a customer. It’s unacceptable.

However, I think it’s all bark. The real question is do I want to pay $8 for an extra phone line, digital cable, and some premium channels. I think I might.

Posted in Technology | 11 Comments

Verizon needs to stop jerking me around

Verizon FiOS is looking real good, $44.95 for 15 Mbps down/2 Mbps up. My Comcast cable access is 8 Mbps for $52.95. Verizon sends me advertisements in the mail multiple times per week advertising their fiber internet service.

Given, it’s lumped in with those mass mailers that clog my mailbox, but it’s getting sent directly to my house. They proclaim in big proud letters:

The limitless fiber-optic power of Verizon FiOS Internet is now here.

Am I interested? You bet. Inevitably, their address checker proclaims me ineligible. After getting the 20th advertisement, I decided I wanted to find out why Verizon was taunting me. I got back this response:

Thank you for contacting the Verizon eCenter. My name is [deleted], and I will be handling your request today.

This message is in response to your email dated September 20, 2006. You inquired about receiving advertisements for FiOS through the mail. I understand your concern and I will be happy to assist you.

I apologize for any misunderstanding. Unfortunately, we do not have the capability of pre-qualifying all of our customers lines for FiOS service before sending out the advertisements for our products and services. Our advertisements include the disclaimer that states that Verizon FiOS/DSL Internet Service is provided by Verizon Online and is not available in all areas. Service availability is subject to final confirmation by Verizon.

At this time we do not have a date when FiOS will be available.

Verizon continues to work to provide FiOS access to as many customers as possible. So, while you may not qualify for high-speed Internet access from Verizon today, it is possible that you could be able to receive it in the future as the technologies improve.

If you haven’t already done so, you may check the availability of Verizon Fios any time you wish at:

         http://www.verizon.net/fios

Simply enter your telephone number in the space provided. If FiOS is not available, you will have the option of requesting an email notification when it is available.

It has been my goal today to address and clarify your concerns related to Fios service availability. I hope I have succeeded in meeting that goal. In the meantime, if you have any other questions, please let us know. We look forward to serving you.

Thank you for using Verizon. We appreciate your business.

Pleasant enough, so I can’t fault them for that. However, the line “Unfortunately, we do not have the capability of pre-qualifying all of our customers lines for FiOS service before sending out the advertisements for our products and services.” is bunk. They can automatically supply that information using the database linked to their website.

Naturally, perhaps the advertising company they’ve hired just blankets areas, but that’s a problem they are completely in control of. They could market more accurately.

Could I just ignore it? Sure, but the fact is that very rarely am I interested in things I get in the mail. The one time I’m interested in buying the product I get jerked around. Bah.

Posted in Technology | 34 Comments