Tag Archives: stupid

Four Years Later, Still The Same Answer

I’ve been scrubbing through my blog archives since my WordPress migration to clean up categorization, tagging, formatting, and a bug caused by my blogging style that left some posts half-imported.

This morning, I went back over this post from February of 2007, regarding Sen. Carl Kruger’s proposed law to ban cellphones and music devices while walking.

> “While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they’re tuning out the world around them… If you want to listen to your iPod, sit down and listen to it. You want to walk in the park, enjoy it. You want to jog around a jogging path, all the more power to you, but you should not be crossing streets and endangering yourself and the lives of others.”

The crux of my argument in 2007 was “we already have laws against jaywalking, why do we need this?”

Not ten minutes after cleaning the post, I saw that Colleen Taylor had shared a NY Times article from this week on Google Reader: States’ Lawmakers Turn Attention to the Dangers of Distracted Pedestrians.

> The New York bill was proposed by State Senator Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat who has grown alarmed by the amount of distraction he sees on the streets in his neighborhood and across New York City. Since September, Mr. Kruger wrote in the bill, three pedestrians have been killed and one was critically injured while crossing streets and listening to music through headphones.

My argument in 2011 is the same as my argument in 2007.

I look forward to revisiting this proposed law again in 2015.

The Prom

E! Online, in an article about the Golden Globes (emphasis mine):

Earlier Monday, NBC Entertainment cochief Ben Silverman told E! News anchor Ryan Seacrest that the network was “obviously trying to find a solution to satisfy fans of these great movies and all the incredible stars who have worked so hard all year and got this incredible opportunity.

Sadly, it feels like the nerdiest, ugliest, meanest kids in the high school are trying to cancel the prom. But NBC wants to try to keep that prom alive.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything so stupid said about an awards show. Keep raising that bar, NBC!


I’d like to revisit a post from last year, entitled “Three Little Words“, where I tried desperately to shake people from the cocaine-style addiction the Apple faithful have to rumor sites.

The trajectory of rumor sites is simple: first, they get a handful of successful predictions while they have a source. They get linked, often by the blogs I referenced above, for somehow nailing their predictions. Their traffic spikes, ad revenues go through the roof. Apple Legal C&D’s them (or sometimes sues), and the legal fight becomes the news for a while.

While the fight is going on, the accuracy of the site starts dropping. Rumored products never appear. Keynote predictions go under 50% accuracy. Wrong information is attributed to “last minute decisions” or sometimes just edited down the memory hole.

Eventually, the traffic drifts to another site, because they’ve started the same trajectory.

Think Secret is on the downward part of this trajectory.

I would give admonitions at this point, warning people away from there, but really, I would rather people stopped putting their faith in any rumor sites.

Think Secret’s trajectory has finished fifteen months after I wrote this, and not with a poor Ryan Meader-esqe whimper, but with a settlement.

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, said “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

Now, given that Apple fans seemingly know everything, you would think they’d know that a “settlement” is an agreement that both sides reach. As in, Ciarelli has agreed to shut the site down. As in, Apple did not “win” any legal action to force it closed. They proposed a settlement, and Nick took it.

TUAW, how you doin’?

> And how stupid is Apple by forcing this through, killing their most ardent fans? This company is more and more acting like Microsoft. A new Evil Empire. Call them the Evil Twins from now on…! The suits and lawyers has taken over.

TechCrunch, how about you guys?

> This is really disgusting that a company who claims to be the morally right choice(I think there was some advert they released ages ago about being different) Is actually far more evil than microsoft chooses to be. Seeing the way that they are behaving regarding shutting down this site and the way they act to restrict competition on the iphone and itunes, makes me glad that they are not the dominant player in the market. Microsoft may be bad, but they are definitely less evil than Apple.

Slashdot, what’s up?

> So now corporations will determine what independent press is able to say or shut them down? Our news is already skewed enough as it is by the various corporate news outlets who cater to this and that political party.

Macworld, let me hear you!

> How cool is it to bash a college kid? His site has to come down because Steve Jobs is mad? How is it that corporate secrecy is more important than this kid’s first amendment rights? I hope this gets a lot of press.


For a more analytic, less finger-pointing overview, try The Shape Of Day’s ‘Think Secret Is Dead’.

Are You McLovin?

Today, I was talking to [Matty](http://www.capndesign.com/) about [Superbad](http://www.areyousuperbad.com/). So sure, the original trailer is great, but the “red band trailer” (distinguished by the red MPAA screen) is fantastic, possibly even the stuff of legend.

But [the YouTube link](http://youtube.com/watch?v=FPc28FASaEE) I had posted before has been pulled. Now, seemingly, the only way to get at it was through the official site’s [age verification section](http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/superbad/site/agegate/index.html).

An abridged list of things we’ve learned on the Internet in the last ten years:

* CAPTCHAs don’t work.
* Cats are simultaneously hilarious and adorable.
* Anti-spam methods don’t work.
* Talking like an idiot never goes out of style.
* Age verification methods don’t work.

I’d like to focus on the last one, obviously.

The form to verify your age looks something like this:

The fine print on the same page reads:

>I understand that I am allowed to enter the Restricted Area only if I am 18 years or older and have a valid driver’s license. To verify my age, I hereby authorize Verification Financial Assurance Corporation (“VeriFAC”) to confirm the accuracy of the information I have provided against government-issued records. I acknowledge that the information I am providing on this page will not be collected by Sony and that it will only be accessed and used by VeriFAC to verify my age and for no other purposes.

So you have to have a driver’s license and be 18 or older. It would be easy to question the wisdom of forcing people to have a license to operate a motor vehicle to view an awesome movie trailer, but let’s not argue with that decision. It’s not like kids could just use their parents details – no kid under 18 knows their parents first *and* last names, let alone their birth day and their zip code. That’s some strong four-factor authentication.

Anyhow, the truly amusing part for me is that so much of the original trailer revolves around one character (Fogell, played by the incredibly named Christopher Mintz-Plasse) getting a fake ID with the name “McLovin” on it.

In what may be the greatest wasted opportunity in movie web site hisotry, the form does not successfully validate if you use a last name of “McLovin”, with a birth date of 06/03/1981 and a zip code of 96820. You get an error complaining that you didn’t fill out the first name field. Jesus, people, don’t you get it? He doesn’t even *have* a first name. HE **IS** McLOVIN.

I guess all you kids under 18 are out of luck if you want to watch [the red band trailer](http://flash.sonypictures.com/video/movies/superbad/site/SB_redband.flv), and you’ll have to wait till you’re older to see the DVD of what may be the greatest summer movie of all time. Sucks to be you, kids.

Sucks to be you.

Pry My iPod From My Cold, Run-Over Hands

NYC blog-types are up in arms today over [Carl Kruger’s proposed “no-ipod-or-cellphone-while-walking” ban](http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2007/02/07/banning_ipod_ce.php).

> “While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they’re tuning out the world around them… If you want to listen to your iPod, sit down and listen to it. You want to walk in the park, enjoy it. You want to jog around a jogging path, all the more power to you, but you should not be crossing streets and endangering yourself and the lives of others.”

It’s good to know that after a landmark election, particular in NY state, we are still giving government jobs to the batshit insane.

Before we get to the snark, here’s the simple, logical response I’ve been pitching in response all morning:

* If you’re crossing a street – with or without an iPod – in such a way that you are a danger to traffic and those around you, then you must not have the right of way.
* Logically, this means you are crossing against the light.
* This, of course, means that you are jaywalking, which is literally defined as “to cross or walk in the street or road unlawfully or without regard for approaching traffic.”
* We already have laws against jaywalking that are barely enforced.
* Why do we need another law?

Okay, on to the snark. Other distractions to ban around NYC:

* **Tourists that stop dead on the sidewalk of Times Square.** I’m constantly running into people taking pictures or gawking at neon signs. This is dangerous.
* **Stairs.** They are often slippery and/or wet, causing injury and possible death.
* **Rain.** Rain is distracting. Also, wet. Again, safety hazard!!!
* **Children.** Not only are they a distraction, they are a waste of taxpayer resources.
* **Cars.** Did you know the #1 cause of accidents on NYC’s roads are automobiles? It’s true! They must be banned immediately.
* **Light.** Our tourist friends have proven that any sort of shining object can lead to a disaster. Total darkness is much safer.
* **Evening.** On second though, plenty of bad things happen in the dark. Why, 74% of NYC crime occurs between the hours of 6PM and 6AM! Let’s get rid of 12 hours in the day.
* **Sound.** What’s more frightening than a car backfiring, a glass breaking, or a loud siren? Abolish noise, and we can focus on the task at hand – putting one foot in front of the other, repeatedly.
* **Knowledge.** You know the saying about curiosity killing the cat? ONE DEAD CAT IS TOO MANY PEOPLE.

I look forward to our non-existence going forward.


In the 20-something years I’ve been using computers, I’ve heard a lot of stupid things said, but [this may in fact be the stupidest](http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16934083/site/newsweek/page/2/), from the mouth of Bill Gates himself.

> Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.

And people call Sony arrogant. Jesus christ.

Bad Konami

Email received, Thursday, 2:55 AM:


To: Remy

Subject: Konami Insider: Take the Konami Customer Survey

Dear Remy,

Thank you for being a Konami Insider.

Please visit our survey so we can continue to make the games YOU want to play.




I am not naive enough to believe that my feedback to any web survey will provide enough weighted guidance to allow for the things *I* want to be made. But I am naive enough to think that such a survey would have the reasonable illusion of trying to solicit my feedback.
Question one of this four question survey:

Common sense violations encountered in this question:

– The acronym “NGC” has never been in widespread use. While I know what it’s supposed to expand to, the average Joe will not. (I suppose I should be thankful the survey did not use “GCN”, as I’ve seen a number of places.)
– There are no listings for any now-current gen consoles: the PS3, the Xbox 360, the Wii.

Question two:

Common sense violations encountered in this question:

– The code name “Nintendo Revolution” has not been in use since the console was renamed the Wii on April 27th, 2006. This is over six months ago.
– No one – and I mean no one – refers to a “DS” as a “Nintendo Dual Screen”.
– The Gameboy Micro, as far as I know, is not being made any more, and bombed fairly badly compared to all other Gameboy Advance versions, never mind both versions of the DS.

Question three:

Common sense violations encountered on this question:

– Why is Super Mario the example given for “Platform Games with Cartoon Characters”?
– Why is Gran Turismo the example given for “Action Racing Games”?
– Why is there even a category of “Mission Based Driving Games”? And, again, why GTA, which has classically been defined as a “sandbox game”?
– Why do you offer such specifics as “Life Simulation Games”, “Fishing/Hunting Games”, and “Wrestling Games”, while you simultaneously neglect genres that Konami has at least something of a reputation for – such as Stealth Action Games (e.g. Metal Gear Solid), Music Games (e.g. Dance Dance Revolution), Adventure Platform Games (e.g. Castlevania), or Shoot-em-ups (e.g. Gradius)?

Question four:

Common sense violations encountered on this question:

– This question does not contain the phrase “you, yourself,” unlike the previous three.
– Why is an example needed for “Renting game from a video store”? Or for “Visiting the game publisher’s website”? Or, hell, even “Seeing advertisements online”?
– It’s obvious just from the depth of this question and the 76 radio buttons that the point of the survey is not to actually make the sort of games that *I* want to play, but instead to refocus their advertising budgets appropriately to hit more “top influences”. It’s not the dishonesty of the survey that bothers me – it’s the principle of being so willing to take advantage of your customers. To lure them in with the half-empty promise of listening to them, and then blatantly try to suckle effective advertising channels out of them.

This, by the way, is the thanks you get for completing the survey:

I am baffled as to how anyone could think a survey like this provides anything remotely useful.

Citigroup Needs A CluePod

Marketwatch is reporting that [Citigroup hires buffoons](http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B83E83BF9%2D6CD7%2D4D36%2D994E%2DFB7F2BCF63AC%7D&siteid=mktw&dist=nbs):

> Citigroup cut Apple Computer to hold from buy, citing valuation. The broker told clients it sees little potential for revenue upside versus consensus in the third or fourth quarter of the year. It said gross margin upside should yield 4 cents to 6 cents of earnings-per-share upside in both quarters but that this is largely priced into the shares. On the product front, Citigroup said recent checks suggest that Apple is unlikely to introduce a new video iPod with a larger screen and “virtual click wheel” before the peak holiday season, as the broker had hoped.

It’s a shame that textual blogging is not effected by timespace, because I would love to just replay the words *”as the broker had hoped”* for a straight thirty seconds. Why would the broker hope such a thing? Oh, right, [the damn rumor sites](http://vjarmy.com/archives/2006/09/three_little_words.php).

Is this how the financial world really works? Someone reads rumor sites, sees that the rumors don’t come true, and then downgrades the company because of it? This is lunacy, sheer and unbridled.

I’m not against financial decisions based on the reality of the situation – say, if the refresh of the entire iPod line had not yielded anything of interest. In my limited experience, this is not the case. There is a lot of interest in the new Shuffle, reasonable interest in the new Nano, and the new iPod Video certainly isn’t dissuading people from purchasing it. Never mind the *rest* of Apple’s product line, which I’ve never seen so much interest in.

But don’t let me stomp on your dreams, Citigroup.