How about some sun?

Getting into that bad time of year here in London. Haven't seen the sun in weeks, and not much prospect of seeing it. Well, at least we'll be skiing in a couple of weeks, and that's something to look forward to.

Text strike!

Last night, I sent a text message to Holly around 19:30. It arrived this morning around 07:30. Twelve hours to send about twelve bytes of payload, at a cost of 3p. It's about the most expensive data transmission system in the world, and one of the least reliable.

For this reason, I'm going to start keeping track of when this happens and demand a refund. The cost to the company will be much much more than the 3p paid for the message. Maybe they'll get the message. Holly and I are on the same phone provider, so they can't even try passing the buck to a third party, not that that would be valid anyway since they're the ones charging for the service.

Maybe you should start complaining too?

News in the middle of a movie?

British television has some very annoying habits. We won't go into the running of their best programming on Friday and Saturday nights, and their worst on Sundays. Or the fact they can't seem to start a movie at a reasonable hour.

What's more annoying is that whenever they run movies, they seem impelled to stop it halfway through for a news break. Why?

In the past it's just been ITV who did this. Considering there's now an entire channel devoted to ITV's news, why do they feel the the to destroy the flow of their movies? But just now, watching a really crappy film on BBC3, they did it too. So WTF is the point of BBC News 24 then?

Can't we just have a movie run all the way through?

Eric Idle: the unfunny Python

Just sat down to watch The Rutles (three quid at Virgin). I can't imagine a less funny "comedy". What a waste of space!

Now we all know that John Cleese has been incredbly unfunny since he went through therapy. But was Eric Idle ever funny?

Anyone wants to waste 76 minutes, you're welcome to this DVD. Otherwise it'll be turned into a frisbee.

Why does technical marketing have to be meaningless?

We're looking around for bug tracking software at my work, so this involves a lot of research into the available tools. It seems that the web sites of most software companies are written by and for people who are functionally illiterate.

Take this example. WTF is a "Web-architected, secure and highly configurable" <piece of software>? Come on guys, "architect" is not a verb. Nor is "leverage".

Do you think it's possible to write a straightforward description of what the software does without any buzzwords? I mean, this is a product clearly targetted at software people, and the bullshit bingo is just gonna piss people like us off.

By way of contrast, Joel's excellent site about his product, FogBugz, tells you exactly what it does in the first sentence: "FogBugz is a complete project management system for software teams." How refreshing.

Please oh please, someone kill Network Solutions

I've been trying to get my domain off Network Solutions for the past three months. Eight support requests later and they still have it locked with lock status "REGISTRAR-LOCK".

Every time I submit a support request, the first response is "we can't do this by email, please phone". When I point out that I was logged into their site when I created the request, they then send their form letter that says "done" and promptly do nothing.

Now do you think there's a complaints procedure on their site? Course not!

So does anyone know where I can escalate this? I mean I'm not asking for anything complicated, just the ability to migrate to another (less crap) registrar. Ferfuxxake!

My Windows ate itself

Looks like my work Windows XP machine ate itself on Friday. Completely destroyed itself. Impressive considering I hadn't installed any new software (except last week's Windows updates?). Doesn't seem to be a hardware problem so far. Ubuntu live CD works fine, and a memtest hasn't shown any problems. Quality software, this Windows.