I am the product

Why does Sky One advertising grind my gears? Because it does everything it could to grind my gears.

Set start times in the middle of advert breaks – make sure I turn over for a good few minutes worth. Good damn they’re loud too (here). Next we have the baffling advert for the channel itself the only explanation for which I can see is that someone is reall proud of the logo. Now push the festive special “Fungus the Bogeyman” (which in I hated as a kid) and start the show.

Wrong again, apparently despite all the advertising revenue and my subscription charge the show requires a sponsor. It’s clearly a struggle financially to run one of the biggest channels in the UK.

Finally and most irritatingly just before each break the character from their festive special wanders onto the bottom right of the screen and sneezes their show’s name onto the screen.

There is a place for both targeted and unobtrusive non-targeted advertising. I actually appreciate adverts that are relevant to me.

I’m not Sky’s customer, the advertisers are. I am paying  to be the product!

Upgrading to the new 3DS

Bought my kid a new 3DS for his birthday, the device is great but the process to transfer between old and new is poorly documented.

The device came with a pre-installed copy of Majora’s Mask. Except, inexplicably, transferring data from an old device wipes the new device rendering the pre-installation pointless as it has to be re-downloaded. The game is tied to the hardware (not the user ID referred to as an NNID) so I’m baffled as to why.

It appears you can only register one device type to an NNID at any one time (one 3DS, one WiiU, etc.). This is alluded to by a statement on Nintendo’s eShop page: “The downloaded game can only be played on the system it is downloaded to”. I can’t see what Nintendo is getting from this, we know the eShop can identify hardware and the NNID so why restrict the download when access control could still be enforced?

The take away from this for anyone upgrading is:

  • You don’t lose the game – it needs to be re-downloaded. There is no code – it’s available in the eShop on that device.
  • Nintendo expect you to have one and only one 3DS at a time.

On the plus side I now own a 3DS. So that’s nice, although its now sat with a bunch of other stuff I really need to put on eBay but am not quite sure who would want ot buy.

Bullshit

Just saw a loan advert – 49.5% APR! Jesus Christ, how is that legal?

I’ve always found it odd that those who most need a loan get the worst rate while those who don’t get the best.

Word 2013 stopped saving

Wasted a good chunk of last night and today farting around with Microsoft Office 2013 after it decided to crash every time I saved. No idea what caused it, other than that it started after I had pasted some Python code from an editor.

Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features. Select Microsoft Office 2013 and click Change. Quick repair didn’t work but full repair did.

Well that’s a shame

From Sourceforge’s blog (emphasis mine):

Thanks to DevShare, we are now able to offer a bundle program that is fully compliant with Google’s strictest policies. This includes a solid compliance process for both open source applications and third party offerings. The whole installation flow is clean and has no misleading steps. Uninstallation procedures are exhaustively documented and all applications are verified to be virus and malware free.

I notice the linked example, Filezilla, has a clearly labelled download button with the file name on it. Except you’re actually downloading a completely different file name. Continue reading Well that’s a shame

ICT Forums

I’ve studied six computing modules at the Open University, participating in their forums and even moderating one (TU100). I feel that there is a tendency to criticise computing modules that I haven’t noticed on mathematics modules. Unfortunately students are often not specific in their complaints, leading to responses from the faculty which don’t really answer the question (clearly -they don’t know what it is) in turn provoking a hostile response.

This isn’t to say staff are blameless. It infuriates me that while replying with accusations of not providing enough information, they then fail to do so themselves – stating the number of students on the module would give perspective on the number of people actually complaining.

It seems clear that regular forum users believe they are representative of the majority but from experience on TU100 I’m not sure this is true. A lot of students don’t like posting and I’ve met several students who find forums intimidating. I’d love to see some hard numbers here.

Assumption

Someone asked me yesterday “You’re good with computers, can you give me a copy of Photoshop?“. Aside from the fact I run Linux on most of my computers, I’m not keen on being accused of software piracy on the basis that I’m “good with computers” or any other reason. I made the mistake of asking why he needed it, he wanted to resize some pictures – so I suggested Paint.net.

His answer? “Oh no that’s free, it’s bound to be rubbish.”

Strange, I thought he wanted Photoshop free.