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Monday, June 25, 2007

Glitz Amok

This website takes an interesting compilation of data (list of the 86800 most frequently used words) and displays it in the most frustrating and useless way possible. Sure, it looks neat to see the words in relative size based on frequency of use, but...

- Mashing the words together without spaces makes them harder to read (even with the alternating colors)

- You can only see a few words at a time, and clicking the scroll arrow increments the list BY ONLY ONE WORD.

This site is a good example of prioritizing form over function.

Interestingly enough, Glitz and Amok both fall in the middle of the pack in frequency (~41k). Some of my favorite words (canoodle, syzygy) don't even make the list.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What Happens When a Website Dies?

If a company goes under and puts its web domain up for sale, wouldn't it be tempting for a cyber-squatter to purchase the site and advertise for companies offering similar products? Damn straight it is. This happens all the time, and it drives me nuts. I try to open an old website saved in my bookmarks only to determine, after a few glances, that it has been replaced with a link-farm site.

Take a look at this website, for example. This used to be a website for a company selling laser products. (I work with lasers, hence a laser company reference). It looks like a real website, but it's not. The first hint might be that they offer links to Jewish Dating as well as Laser Equipment websites. What a peculiar combination. I hate these websites. They'd be slightly more palatable if they at least stated in bold print that they were advertisers and the old site (the one with real content) was expired.

Sigh. I miss the old days when you simply got a Page Not Found Error. You can't even find that any more. In addition to cybersquatters, your ISP is also probably doing some kind of forced advertising crap. For example, when on my company's network, if I type in an invalid url, i get redirected to a website hosted by my ISP ( It tells me the site I was looking for was not found, but also offers me "cool" links to Yahoo search and other miscellaneous junk. In their defense, at least they offer an opt out.


I Am Literally Beside Myself

I am completely sick and tired of everyone using the word 'literally'.

First, there were the people that mixed the word in from time to time. They used it wrong, but you let it slide. They said it was "literally raining cats and dogs". You just smiled politely. You didn't want to be a grammar cop, always correcting everyone. So they kept doing it, more and more.

Then one day everyone started using it wrong almost all of the time, so much so that the dictionary changed the definition so that you can use it either way. Outrageous. But life must go on. Fine. Whatever.

But now it is completely out of control. You can't listen to anyone talk for 5 minutes without literally this and literally that. Enough! It adds nothing additional to the sentence. You don't even care if they're using it right or wrong anymore. You just want them to stop.

So I am pleading with these 'literally' people. Just drop it.

I am literally burning up about this.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Take 10% Off At Macy's, Maybe?

I recently signed up for a Macy's credit card in order to take advantage of a promotional discount offer for a large purchase (my comfy new mattress that is so tall I get nosebleeds climbing into bed). Macy's has since started sending me numerous "special" card-member-only coupons. The coupons look like great deals until you read the fine print:

Macy's 10% off men's apparel
* exclusions apply; see back for details

Excludes Impulse, Tommy Bahama, Polo/Ralph Lauren,Lacoste, cosmetics, fragrances, watches, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, American Rag,I.N.C.,Tasso Elba, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Guess, Nautica, Claiborne, Material is London,DKNY, Diesel, Buffalo, Perry Ellis, Joseph Abboud, Hugo Boss,Mani, Levi's, Dockers, The North Face and Burton Snowboarding. Not valid on morning specials, and Super Buys, Everyday Values, previous purchases, services, Gift Cards, selected leased departments, special orders, bridal kiosks, restaurants, macy's wedding, macy' or payments on credit accounts. Cannot be combined with any savings pass/coupon, extra discount, or credit offer, except opening a new Macy's account. Federated Department Store employees not eligible. EXTRA SAVINGS APPLIED TO REDUCED PRICES. MCE

Wow, that's a lot of exclusions! In fact, I can't name a brand of Men's apparel that isn't on that list. It is unreasonable to offer a coupon with that many exclusions. I'm gonna bang my head on a display if I have to keep looking down at the exception list as I stroll through the clothing department looking for ANYTHING that isn't on the list.

I am guessing that MCE stands for "Most Clothes Excluded".

That really charges me up!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Yahoo: Bringing You Spam in New and Improved Ways!

Yahoo introduced a new feature to their web mail. They have integrated Yahoo messenger into the interface so that you can chat without having to use a separate client. It only took a few hours after I opened my mail client to receive the following unsolicited chat message:

From: ychat.complaint_agent_lml
Message: This is an automated message from the Yahoo! abuse department. We have received multiple complaints concerning your account. This constitutes a violation of our Terms of Service Agreement. You must respond to the following complaints to keep your Yahoo! account from being deactivated. http://om/abuse.department/SIG=10sqj7nbu/*http://

In case it isn't clear from the message, this is a bogus "violation warning" that will redirect you to another site (which I did not follow and I recommend that you don't either).

Thanks Yahoo!