Update / No Update

As I have no good or indeed any news about the Comments / No Comments debacle, here are a couple pics of women showing off their respective superstructures.

Amanda Holden:

Kelly Brook:

Someone named Toni Garrn (no, I don’t know, either):

And Lana del Ray:

I hope this makes up for the lack of Commentary…

Problems, We Have Them

Tech Support tells me that the login issues are not the only ones he’s finding, but as he has an actual (well-) paying job, for some reason he’s putting that first instead of my problems.  Go figure.

Please be patient.

 

Before Zoom

…and I’m not talking about the Internet comm thing.  Here’s a series of pics taken with an old camera in Germany sometime in the 1930s (before the zoom lens was commercially available to the mass market):

Whoa!  I mean WHOA!  People took those kinds of pics out in public back then?

Oh.  Well, at least she looks pretty…

Aaaargh.  And this is why technology is not always horrible.

Over-Complexity

The nice thing about getting into a car, back in the day when I first got into a car is that it was like a fork:  everything about it was self-evident, and it was easy to use (hold the end without the pointy bits, stab your food with it and convey said food to your mouth).  It even allowed for different styles of use, e.g. the American (hold the food still while cutting it into baby-sized pieces, then transfer fork to right hand, slide the fork under the food and shovel said food into your mouth).

I pass no judgment about the American way other than it’s fucking stupid and it’s the way a child eats.

Anyway, the same methodology applied to a car of an earlier era:  you open the door with the handle thoughtfully attached to the outside, get in and sit down;  then insert key into ignition and turn the engine on, put the car into gear, release the handbrake and off you go.  (A couple of steps have been omitted for sake of brevity.)  Then when you get to your destination, you pull up the handbrake, turn off the car, open the door with the handle thoughtfully supplied, and get out to go to the pub.

None of the above required a user’s manual or anything other than a thirty-second explanation from an adult.

Compare that simple procedure to this concatenation of silliness:

Jeremy Clarkson was test driving a brand-new Maserati MC20 when he and Lisa decided to drive the motor to their local pub, where they were planning to indulge in a fish pie, but the couple soon realised they couldn’t get out.

Jeremy said: ‘We were in the car and five minutes after that we were in the pub’s car park. And five minutes after that we were still in the pub car park because neither of us could find anything that even remotely resembled a door handle’.

‘Eventually I turned on my phone’s torch and found the little button that you must press to unlatch the door, and then we were out.

‘And then I was back inside very smartly because the car was starting to roll down a hill.’

After finally discovering a button that activated the handbrake, Jeremy thought he had fixed the issue only to hear ‘bonging noises’ when he got out of the vehicle.

‘After an hour of swearing and wondering out loud whether it would have been easier to stay at home and make a soufflé out of ant hearts, I called a colleague, who said that to engage ‘park’ and turn out the lights I had to stop the engine twice.

‘So I pushed the button to turn the motor off, then pushed it again. Which caused it to start. I then called the colleague again, who said that when I pushed the button the second time my foot had to be off the brake pedal. And he was right, which meant that we just caught last orders.’

Let’s hear it for Technology!

As Longtime Readers all know, I have a long and abiding passion for Maserati cars, despite the dreaded which causes fits of laughter among American engineers and drivers.

Now imagine that same applied to a system which (nominally) controls the “hand”-brake and door-“handle” functions, in addition to lights, mirrors, windshield wipers, turn indicators, window- and trunk controls, ignition, transmission and (gawd help us) onboard computer.

Compared to this mobile disaster area, even my old Fiat 124 looks like a dream come true.

Manual everything — gearbox, ignition, doors, windows, seats, rearview mirrors, turn indicators, trunk opener and even, on occasion (!), windshield wipers.

All this modern shit?  You can stick it.

Even for an MC20.

 

Reason #472

…why I won’t use Microsoft Word:

The function produces a purple line beneath words or phrases it deems problematic while offering more ‘inclusive’ alternatives, and is included on the Office 365 version of Microsoft Word from 2019 onwards.

Recommended improvements to your usage:

  • Whitelist > Accepted List
  • Postman > Postal Worker
  • Mankind > Humanity
  • Maid > House Cleaner
  • Showgirl > Performing Artist
  • Master > Expert
  • Mistress > Lover
  • Manpower > Workforce
  • Heroine > Hero

For the record, I quit using Microsoft Office decades ago, for all sorts of reasons, among them:

  • Word has too many features that I can’t, don’t or won’t use
  • Excel is a shit spreadsheet program (Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro were far better)
  • Don’t get me started about Outlook, ever since MS killed Express
  • None of the other Office products are of any use to me since I retired, and I preferred Paradox to Access anyway when I was still working
  • MS Office is WAY too expensive for its actual utility.

So I use Apache OpenOffice, which while it has a few drawbacks of its own, is at least free (Writer and Calc work just fine for what I do), and Thunderbird for email.

I remember pointing the Son&Heir at OpenOffice many years ago when he was at college, and he found it worked for all his writing assignments and math homework.  He’s been grateful to me ever since, and I don’t think he’s ever used MS Office (although since he moved to Global MegaBanc Inc. that may have changed, I must ask him).

So fuck Microsoft, fuck their wokedom and by the way, fuck Windows 11, for which I’ve started getting those irritating little spam pop-up messages.

Accursed Menus

Here’s a rant after my own heart:

I was puzzled, so I checked the website and got nowhere. The password I’d used for the account was suddenly not accepted.
So I phoned the number on the website. And got nowhere. This time the problem seemed to be my PIN.
Or maybe my account number. Or maybe my customer ID. Or my PCN number. Whatever that was. The recorded message didn’t really care. I gave up.
I had become the innocent victim of the new digital age in which the algorithm reigns supreme.
There was a time when a human being with a problem talked to another human being who helped to get it sorted. Those days are gone.
The lives of big companies and government officials are made so much easier if we customers or clients can be kept at arm’s length.

The online experience is bad enough — but when you dare to call the “Customer Care” (ha!) telephone number, that’s really when the SHTF.

A combination of the two above means that I will be changing my Medicare supplemental insurer, because it seems to be the only way I can punish these assholes for their bovine indifference to my situation.

I’ll let Humphrys finish this rant:

Increasingly, we are being deprived of even a semblance of what we once thought of as customer service.
We are left talking to a computer screen behind which sits not another human being, but an algorithm. Or a recorded telephone announcement that may or may not respond to our pleas for help.
It’s as though any human compassion in the relationship between customer and provider has simply disappeared. And that’s very sad.

Or enraging.  Ten guesses which side I’m on.