Posts with mood irritated (25)
Got a Wii U, a bit irritated at Fry's
Posted on 2012-11-18 11:56:00
Tags: rant wii u
I was happy after we were able to preorder our Wii U yesterday at Fry's to pick up today. However, I possibly should have read the fine print a little better.
The Wii U comes in 2 versions - the "basic" for $300 and the "deluxe" for $350. The deluxe is clearly the better option - it comes with Nintendo Land (a game that costs $60) and the console itself has 32 GB of storage instead of 8, and a vertical stand, and maybe some other stuff. (spoiler alert: I don't know exactly what you get with the deluxe version!)
So when we ordered yesterday, we got a bundle that came with a Wii U, Nintendo Land, the new Mario game (which we were going to get anyway) and a "Wii Wand pack", which we don't really need since we already have 4 Wii controllers, but if it was rechargable that would be a nice bonus.
It turns out that they sold us the basic package, and added the two games at full price. And the "Wii Wand pack" is a third-party controller that is not rechargable. (I have a strong aversion to third-party controllers, for historical reasons)
I guess I haven't bought a console on launch day...umm, ever? I assume it's standard practice to bundle it, but it seems a bit cheeky to sell us the cheaper bundle so they could charge us more for the game. Sigh.
(and I'm patching now! What a wonderful world we live in, in that everything video game related requires patches before you can play...)
on personal responsibility and the Coast Guard
Posted on 2012-06-26 09:18:00
Tags: travel essay
(I'm in Dallas today for a Windows 8 thing)
When I woke up this morning, I turned on HLN (nee Headline News) to wake up. They were doing a segment about a woman whose family had to be rescued by the Coast Guard - it looked like they were staying in a beach house on the coast of Florida when Debby hit.
I assume that this sort of thing is in the Coast Guard's mission, and yay for them, but: nowhere in the half of the interview I saw was it implied that maybe the family shouldn't have been, you know, on vacation in a beach house when a freaking Tropical Storm was scheduled to hit. The tone of the interview was oddly light - the interviewer asked the woman how she kept the dogs from running away, and if their vacation had been "ruined".
Being rescued by the Coast Guard should not make for an amusing family story - they (presumably) risked their lives to some extent to save the woman's family because they were stupid or stubborn and put their own lives in danger. It felt like the interviewed glorified their stupidity instead of pointing out that people really should stay out of the way of tropical storms and not stay on the beach. Sheesh!
Windows Phone 7 App Hub - my complaints
Posted on 2012-05-16 19:52:00
Tags: rant essay windowsphone programming
In the wake of complaining about background tasks in Win 8 (that was later rescinded), here are my complaints about the Windows Phone 7 App Hub, where you submit new apps and look at download numbers, etc.
Before I begin: I rant because I care :-) I'm still very happy with Windows Phone 7 (and Windows 8!) development, and plan on sticking around it for a while, unless of course Microsoft pulls a webOS like HP did. (dear Microsoft: please don't do this!) But there is some serious need for improvement here.
(Had I been writing this a few months ago, my number one complaint would be that the page itself was dog slow, but Microsoft seems to have fixed that. Yay!)
When I load the App Hub page, 95% of the time I have a simple question: How many copies did my app sell today? For webOS and Android, their consoles answer an equivalent question: how many copies has the app sold over its lifetime? Let's count the number of clicks it takes to answer that question:
First I load the page (I won't count this as a click), and I see something like this:
You might think the answer to my question is right by the word "FlightPredictor": 101. Or at least you might think that's the total number of sales. Sadly, it is the number of downloads in the last 30 days. This is interesting information (as is the graph at the bottom), but it doesn't answer my question. So click 1 is to click on the "101" number, which by the way does not do the same thing as clicking "FlightPredictor".
That takes us to this screen:
Here we can see a nice pretty graph, which is again interesting, but it only covers the last thirty days. So clicks 2-4 are setting the Start date to March 1, which is before FlightPredictor was released. (for bonus fun: this will take one more click every month!) Then click 5 is clicking Refresh Report, which shows me the full graph. But the numbers include trial downloads, which I am interested in, but I don't get paid for. To see the paid numbers, click 6 is clicking on Details, which takes me to this screen:
and then click 7 is advancing to page 2, where I can see the paid downloads for the US. If other countries had any paid downloads, I guess I'd have to add those up.
So...yeah. In theory I could get by with not resetting the date range and use the "export details" button to look at an Excel spreadsheet and look at just the most recent daily numbers that way, but most of the time I'd much rather be able to see the numbers in a browser, rather than firing up Excel. It would be really nice if this information was more easily accessable!
More irritations with developing for Android
Posted on 2011-11-05 16:32:00
Tags: rant programming android
I'm nearing completion of my port of FlightPredictor for Android. While things aren't as bad as they seemed when I started learning Android development and I'm able to make progress at a reasonable rate, two things popped up over the last few days:
- One of the activities in the app is choosing an airport. There are more than 900 to choose from, so I put them in a big list with a TextView on top so you can type to filter. On the emulator, filtering is very very slow (it takes around 5 seconds from typing something until the results change), and while it won't be that slow on an actual device (please?), it will probably be noticeable. So I wanted to put up a loading indicator that goes away when it's done.
Calling the filter to do its filter-y thing is pretty simple, something like
adapter.getFilter().filter(s);where s is the string that's in the TextView. And you can pass another parameter to get a callback when a filtering operation is done.
jumping on the complaining bandwagon (re Netflix)
Posted on 2011-09-19 10:50:00
Tags: rant essay
I woke up this morning and got this email from Netflix. I rubbed my eyes and wondered if I had forgotten about April Fools Day or something.
But no - apparently Netflix is splitting the DVD by mail business into "Qwikster" (note that they don't own the twitter handle, although there is a "coming soon" page at qwikster.com), and the queues between the two services will be totally separate.
This is INSANE. What problem is this solving? The blog post goes on about how businesses are unlikely to move into new markets successfully, and splitting into two companies will help this. But Reed Hastings, the author of the blog post, is the flippin' CEO of Netflix! Is it really so impossible that he couldn't make it happen?
And besides, people were complaining because the price went up, not because you had to pay "extra" for streaming - if they had managed to keep the total price the same, I doubt many people would have complained. I understand that it's harder for them to get good deals on streaming and such, so the price increase didn't bother me that much.
But now I have to manage two different services, and it will cost the same as the new plan that people complained about, and (because I don't care enough to rate movies on both services) my ratings will suffer, and I'll have to check two different places to see if a movie's available. WHO WANTS THIS??
debt ceiling - write your representative!
Posted on 2011-07-26 13:11:00
Here's my letter to my Representative and Senators. You can write your Representative here and write your Senators here.
I urge you to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling by the August 2nd deadline. I understand that our national debt is a problem that we should address, but it is problematic to cut spending during a recession when unemployment is so high. We have already passed our budget for the year, and failing to pay the country's bills will result in financial disaster.
Please carefully consider any proposal to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a financial catastrophe.
Posted on 2011-02-24 09:22:00
Tags: palmpre projects work programming
Anyway, finally I had the bright idea to actually compile the Java code so I could compare the results, because I generated at least twenty different codes trying various permutations of things, none of which were right.
Another thing I learned! If you return an error string from a constructor, this does essentially nothing. You still get a constructed object. So, if your library is doing this, there's a 99% chance that no one's going to notice without a lot of pain in suffering.
Adding to my troubles: I am involved in some heavy yak-shaving at work.
links n' such
Posted on 2010-03-11 12:33:00
Tags: palmpre gay projects links
My Board Game Geek app for WebOS is now available in the Palm App Catalog!
What If Everybody in Canada Flushed At Once? - or, Canadians really like hockey.
A map of the most common fast food restaurants across the US, made by calculating the "burger force" (proportional to one over distance squared). McDonalds obviously reigns supreme, but Sonic makes a pretty good run in Texas!
LOST: Baywatch intro
The subscriber rates cable companies pay to carry each channel. ESPN and Fox Sports Net are by far the most expensive, and even the FOX Soccer Channel (which apparently exists) costs more than Comedy Central.
Florida (like many places) offers tax credits if you film a movie or TV show there. Now they're considering a bill that would deny these credits if the show has a gay character. (among other things)
As a Michigan fan, I'm not sure how to take the fact that Jim Tressel (the Ohio State football coach) answered questions from a local gay publication. (and said some very nice things) He's probably the first major coach to do so.
An interview with David Boies and Ted Olson about their Prop 8 case. Nothing earthshaking, but it's interesting to hear them talk about the trial and what they think their chances are. They're expecting a ruling by late April/early May.
Posted on 2010-02-03 14:34:00
First, a few links to the Lostpedia summary of the episode and a short interview with Damon and Carlton.
Now, spoilers below!
I liked where it seems that they're going with the episodes with the "flashsideways", exploring an alternate reality where the plane doesn't crash but the characters are still, you know, mostly the same. I dug the scene with fake Locke/the smoke monster (mystery revealed!) and am definitely interested to see what he's going to be up to next. I liked the stories in 2004 with the main cast in the wreckage of the hatch (why did Juliet have to die...again!), but the stuff with the Temple kinda bored me. Partially because I can't take a guy who looks like this at all seriously.
So overall I enjoyed the episode but it wasn't one of my favorites. It looks like this season will be good, though.
What did y'all think?
An open letter to my phone
Posted on 2009-07-16 21:52:00
Tags: rant wedding
Hi! How's it going? It's me, your owner. I mention this because it seems like we've lost touch. I was kinda busy today, and got no fewer than 3 phone calls and one text message. Does that ring a bell? I'm guessing no, because I didn't hear about any of these when they happened. The text message I didn't get until hours later! And thank goodness the people calling left a voicemail, otherwise who knows when I would have heard about it?
We've had some good times, you and me, but there's this new phone out called the Palm Pre. Actually, calling it a "phone" doesn't do it justice, but I'm willing to wager it still does such banal things like ringing when it's being called. And today they released an SDK for it which means I can write cool programs and stuff.
So enjoy our time together while it lasts, phone. We're taking this trip to Hawaii soon and I'm thinking the bottom of the ocean might be an appropriate resting place for you...
teh gays !<3 Obama
Posted on 2009-06-17 16:08:00
Tags: gay politics links
Last week the Department of Justice filed a brief defending the Defense of Marriage Act. Now, DOMA is the law and the Justice Department is required to uphold the law (although apparently previous DoJ's have published opinions saying they thought laws were unconstitutional), but the brief itself is pretty terrible - saying DOMA is consistent with equal protection, comparing it to laws banning incest, saying the right to marry isn't fundamental when it comes to marrying someone of the same sex. And according to Robert Gibbs (the press secretary) Obama stands behind the brief
So. This pissed a lot of people off. There's been a lot of unhappiness already about the lack of movement on DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell, and even the HRC published a kinda mad letter. A lot of people are pulling out of a DNC gay fundraiser next week. People generally feel betrayed.
Presumably to address these issues, Obama announced the he would grant same-sex benefits to federal employees, which is great except that said benefits don't include health insurance. Although it does include relocation assistance. Which is, ahem, something.
Anyway! Rant over.
A story of homeless Sims in The Sims 3. The narrative is pretty touching.
GameFAQs recently ran a Best Game Ever bracket, which Zelda: Ocarina of Time won. I was happy I've actually played a lot of the games in the final bracket!
Email to Time Warner re bandwidth caps
Posted on 2009-04-08 11:13:00
Tags: activism timewarner
As a followup to Time Warner's proposed bandwidth caps, I sent the following email to email@example.com, and encourage you to do the same:
To whom it may concern:It's not a great email, but it'll do. If you care about these bandwidth caps, take a minute and send a copy (although you should probably edit the personal details :-) ) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Gregory Stoll and I'm a current Time Warner Cable customer in Austin, TX. I've heard that Time Warner is planning on imposing a tier-based bandwidth allocation system in Austin and I am very unhappy about this.
The maximum cap, 40 GB a month, is far too low to be reasonable. Even watching a couple of TV shows from hulu.com or movies from Netflix online will put me dangerously close to the cap. Even the proposed "super-tier" of 100 GB a month (source: http://a.longreply.com/101892 ), while somewhat more reasonable, pales in comparison to Comcast's 250 GB a month cap (source: http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/08/its-official-comcast-starts-250gb-bandwidth-caps-october-1.ars ).
I've had Time Warner Cable for cable service and internet service as long as I've been in Austin, through multiple moves, but if these changes go through, I will be forced to switch to AT&T U-Verse or Grande Communications GForce high-speed internet service.
Thank you for your time.
I realize talking about pain gets boring
Music: a LOST podcast
Posted on 2008-12-17 10:44:00
Tags: health whereslunch
but boy does my tooth still hurt. I couldn't sleep last night because of it so I got up and programmed while the Tylenol took effect. So now whereslunch.org lets you filter restaurants by tags!
After catching up on "Fringe" (see previous complaint) it is in fact getting better. (just like abstractseaweed predicted!) They ended on a nice cliffhanger and I'm looking forward to new episodes after the holidays.
Still need to do some Christmas shopping...
life keeps rolling on
Posted on 2008-10-27 14:14:00
Tags: whereslunch projects links
Thanks for responding to my where's lunch poll! As I had hoped, it motivated me to code some more this weekend. I implemented the suggested restaurants (although it's pretty weak right now since there's not a lot of data) and am about halfway done with the adding new restaurants thing. Once I get that done and put it through another round of testing (haven't tested on IE for a while...*shudder*) I'll post it for real!
We voted this weekend, and while it was a little anticlimactic at the time, I'm still pretty excited by it. We went to the Randall's at 183 and Braker - happily it was during the UT game so there was no line. Voted against Prop 2, for Obama and Noriega and Larry Joe and most of (but not all) the other Democrats. Election Day is only 8 days away!
As a followup to Austin Mayor Will Wynn dancing to Thriller, this weekend Austinites shattered the Guinness World record for the largest synchronized Thriller dance. The previous record was 140 (only 140?) and we got 881(!). Here's a video of the whole thing although it's of disappointingly low quality.
Dear "the media":
Posted on 2008-10-16 16:27:00
When I first met Joe the Plumber, I was interested. When John McCain mentioned him 20 times (and Obama a few) at last night's debate, I was bored. Now that I learn more about him (he's not actually a plumber!) I can't begin to describe how much I don't care about this guy.
It was amusing at first but it's already old. If I have to sit through two more weeks of this I'm going to become a plumber myself. Please stop.
Posted on 2008-02-10 14:36:00
Tags: phone pictures camerapics house politics
Yesterday djedi's parents were around and we got a lot of stuff taken care of with the house. One of the more annoying things was countertops. Long story short: I don't recommend buying countertops from Home Depot.
Well, they charge by the square foot, but what they don't say is that they charge for the waste material too - so we get charged for all the extra runoff in the crazy corners and stuff, and you pay for the space the sink takes up even though no countertops go there. That alone increased the cost around 50%. Then, you get charged for them to take away the existing countertops, which is I guess reasonable but they didn't say anything when we were there the first time so we had no idea. Also, we're leaving the nice tile backsplash in but I guess it's more work for the installers to work around it, so that's an extra $150. And the guy said that sometimes they have problems and it may be unavoidable that they damage it, so I thought that $150 covered the "expected cost" of fixing it. As it turns out, no, if they mess it up they don't fix it at all. Lovely.
On top of that, it's our responsibility to disconnect and remove the sink before installation and put it back and replace and reconnect it afterwards. And, as if spending $4K on countertops wasn't enough, they charged us $1 per "rounded corner" for a total of $7. Seriously.
Compared with this, buying carpet from Lowe's was easy easy easy and I would totally recommend that over Home Depot. Blargh.
Since countertops were way more expensive than we thought we're going to pack our stuff ourselves. We'll set a date when we hear about carpet but if you have boxes and/or a free evening to help us pack, we would be very grateful!
I'm liking having a cameraphone, although the quality of the pictures isn't great: a sign seen at closing (I guess the point is they don't get paid if you don't close so they make you comfortable - we were repeatedly offered drinks, they had plenty of pens, etc.), a sign in the wire aisle of Home Depot.
Tomorrow I leave for Houston for work. Whee!
Obama cleaned up yesterday, winning with 68% in Washington and Nebraska and 57% in Louisiana. Woohoo!
Posted on 2007-11-28 18:47:00
Yes, I know you cut out occasionally even though I haven't complained about it. Please stop. Lines like this:
Nov 28 18:22:31 cantor kernel: r8169: eth0: link down
Nov 28 18:22:33 cantor kernel: r8169: eth0: link up
are pretty darn indicative you're rebooting.
Posted on 2007-11-28 18:44:00
If you have a "Remember me" box to log in, please do so. It makes me more irritated to have it not work (and therefore wonder "Am I even at the right site?") than to not have it at all.
P.S. Yes, I know that these things work on cookies that can be deleted. I, however, am lazy and don't clean through mine. Excuse rejected.
washing machine follies
Posted on 2007-10-09 12:11:00
This lack of a working washer is really crimping my clothes-wearing style. The earliest Sears can come out is 11 days from today.
Posted on 2007-04-18 14:28:00
Will someone please invent some sort of nose headphones so I don't have to smell things??
homophobic Super Bowl ad
Posted on 2007-02-05 09:25:00
I know that's a somewhat strong accusation, but I think it's justified in this case. I'm talking about the Snickers ad shown during the first quarter.
Here's the synopsis: Two guys working on car with open hood. One guy pulls out a Snickers bar, sticks it in his mouth, and starts to eat it as he leans over the open hood. Other guy sees this, puts other end of the bar in his mouth and starts to eat it. They meet at the middle (a la "Lady and the Tramp"), then recoil after a brief pause. They then discuss how they just kissed, and one says "Quick! Do something manly!", they they pull out some of their chest hair. The End. Or, an AP synopsis:
BEST AD FOR A LOUD BAR: Snickers. In this spot from Mars Inc., two auto mechanics accidentally kiss after being unable to resist chomping on opposite ends of a Snickers bar. The cure for this inadvertent moment of intimacy? "Do something manly!" says one. Both proceed to rip out handfuls of chest hair.
Posted on 2006-09-17 14:38:00
Two things in the newspaper this morning that irritated me (riffing off of blamantin's post):
- Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq - I literally read the first three paragraphs and got angry. What the hell does loyalty to the GOP affect how well they're going to run a country? Maybe they wanted to start with the tax cuts already...ugh.
- Kid-Friendly Policies Don't Help Singles - I'm not sure what the point of this article is, but it starts out with a single woman complaining she doesn't get leave like a new mother gets right after having a child. Someone should sit her down and tell her the reason a new mother gets leave is she's staying at home caring for the child, not so she can finish a doctoral dissertation. This complaint seems really asinine to me.
weekend, credit card, stuff
Posted on 2005-06-20 22:39:00
Tags: asmc family del.icio.us credit card
So I had a fun weekend. I was going to write about it, but wonderjess did such a good job that I'm not going to bother. Thanks!
Work's going generally well, although I'm a little stressed because I'm trying to finish the feature I'm working on by the end of this week. I think I can do it, but it's gonna be close.
ASMC rehearsal went OK tonight - I missed rehearsal on Saturday so I'm way behind on the choreography (but I picked up some of it...) I'm a little disappointed that all the songs I'm in are pretty easy, and not horribly interesting. Oh well.
So I applied for a new credit card, and the stuff came in the mail on Wednesday. However, the credit card wasn't with it! I looked everywhere for it, and David said that sometimes they send them separately from the info, which makes sense, but I figured that that couldn't possibly be the case since it didn't mention that anywhere, and it said specifically to activate your card and stuff like that. Figuring it somehow didn't get sent or whatever, I called and reported it as "lost or stolen". And then, today comes the other letter with the credit card in the mail. Grrr!
Reasons that del.icio.us is cool:
- You can store your bookmarks there and access them from anywhere. This is pretty handy (although, be careful, they're all public so anyone can see!)
- Each bookmark has tags associated with it - as many as you want. On my bookmark file at home, I have different categories, but they're kinda hard to tell apart (is that bookmark "Linux" or "reference"?) Tags solve this problem in the simplest way possible - it's both! Then when you look for the tag "linux" it's there, and it's also there when you look for "reference".
- You can search for multiple tags at once in your bookmarks to narrow things down. For example, del.icio.us/gregstoll/pictures shows all my bookmarks with the tag "pictures", and del.icio.us/gregstoll/pictures+family shows all my bookmarks that have both the tag "pictures" and the tag "family".
- The name del.icio.us is cool!
- You can have useful tags like toread and topost that keep track of what's on your reading list.
Check out my bookmarks at del.icio.us/gregstoll. Next time - ways to look at other people's bookmarks!
concentration, and lack thereof
Music: DJ Danger Mouse - "Public Service Announcement"
Posted on 2005-03-21 15:48:00
Sometimes, when I'm frustrated at my lack of progress and I'm trying to concentrate on what I need to get done, I get annoyed at people who are having a loud random conversation (not work-related). This is one of those times. Headphones with music help, though...
Music: NPR - "Morning Edition"
Posted on 2005-02-23 08:36:00
So I drove to work this morning, listening to NPR as I usually do, and the following two things irritated me to the point of coming here and posting about them:
- There was a story on how Thai officials are trying to stop the bird flu from spreading by killing infected chickens and animals near them, etc. But the story was really about how the people who owned cock-fighters were complaining about the new restrictions. A little perspective would maybe help here - if the bird flu gets into humans and mutates into a virulent strain it could kill millions upon millions of people. Yikes! The most frustrating part was the guy who talked about the restriction that they're considering to only let chickens be raised in enclosed pens (to limit contact with other animals) - the guy went on about how to be a good fighter, they need to be raised as if in the wild. I can't even come up with an analogy to illustrate how ridiculous this is.
- There was a traffic accident at Guadalupe street downtown, which they pronounced as "Gwada-loop". Dang it, it's "Gwada-loo-pay"! This one bothers me whenever I hear it. Grr!
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