NAVTEQ Update: Not Impressed

More than eight months ago, I enthusiastically blogged about NAVTEQ Map Reporter, a service that lets you submit updates to the NAVTEQ maps database. I finally heard back from them, here is their response in its entirety:

Thank you for your recent Map Report. We have completed our investigation of your Map Report.

For the NAVTEQ tracking number: 0056Q5WWIJ2VO2HB Submitted on : 18, Oct 2007 20:31:10 Problem Description: This is my house. It shows up 1 block away from the correct location on every mapping service.

Our Resolution Outcome is: No Change Necessary – Database Reflects Reality Details: It was verified that the database was recently updated by correcting the addressing along St Nicholas Ct in O’Fallon, MO. Specifically, it was confirmed that the address of 36 St Nicholas Ct is located to the west of St Agatha Ct. No further changes were necessary, and the information in this request was already corrected prior to the receipt of this inquiry. NAVTEQ delivers regularly scheduled map updates to our business partners which include many database enhancements. The release dates for these products will vary depending on each individual business partner. If you are interested in an updated map for your navigation system, please contact your system provider or review this link for NAVTEQ’s distribution partners.

http://www.navteq.com/ProductFinder?Language=en&action=location&path=mapupdate

Please let us know if you find any additional areas that we need to review. Once again, thank you for contacting us and for visiting our website.

For more details, proceed to your Map Report at http://mapreporter.navteq.com

NAVTEQ delivers regularly scheduled map updates to our business partners which include database enhancements. The commercial release dates for these products will vary depending on each business partner’s product plans. If your Map Report did not result in a database change, please note that we track these items and evaluate them with our business partners on a regular basis to enhance navigation system performance.

Having the latest map in your system makes a difference to system performance with the latest roads, addresses and Points of Interest. If you are interested in an updated map for your navigation system, please contact your system provider or check our online store at http://store.navteq.com.

We welcome your feedback on the NAVTEQ Map. Thank you for helping to keep the NAVTEQ Map the most accurate and highest quality in the business.

Regards, The NAVTEQ Map Reporter Team

This is also known as “blowing you off”. In fact, I know where my house is. As I reported last year, my house is NOT west of Saint Agatha Court, as they claim. In fact, their “updated” map is wrong, in precisely the same fashion as it was wrong last year.

They did not fix the bug, which means this flawed data will continue to be fed into all downstream mapping services and devices for the foreseeable future.

“Database reflects reality”??? Nope. “It was confirmed…”??? I’d sure like to know how they “confirmed” this.

Eclipse Ganymede on Leopard: First Impression

I just installed Eclipse Ganymede on Leopard, and within minutes noticed weird screen artifacts and GUI problems. The welcome page had these big tooltips that were always chopped off. I’d show a picture here, but I can’t figure out how to get back to that page.

I then tried installing the Terracotta plugin, and eventually see this screen:

The Plugin Works, but is Invisible

Although no plugin apears, it really is there…somewhere behind the broken GUI. I clicked next and proceeded through the installation successfully.

Other Eclipse screens show similar screen artifacts. For example, check out the weird blue button at the end of the Description field:

Weird blue button at the end of the description field.

That is a real button…you can click on it, but I’m not sure what it does.

Do these Eclipse Ganymede problems exist on other platforms? Will porting SWT to Cocoa fix these artifacts?

Concierge Doctor

Damn. I received an odd letter from my doctor today. Beginning in January, he plans to reduce his patient load from a few thousand to several hundred patients. Along with this, he promises 24-hour access to his cell phone, free routine office visits, same-day care, reduced waiting time, a comprehensive annual physical, etc. All for an annual “fee” which is not in the letter.

Of course when they don’t mention a price, you know it is expensive. So I did some basic research, and now I know he is becoming a Concierge Doctor, and I imagine the price will be at least $1500 per year.

Do any of you have experience with this?

Vista Slowdown

I ran Vista since day one, on my relatively old desktop computer. Vista actually ran fairly well, and for the first year I had few performance complaints. Stability was good too. In the entire time I had Vista, I recall only one blue screen of death. That was due to an old video driver, I believe, and it never happened again.

I dutifully installed SP1, and Vista seemed to work fine. But then, over a period of many weeks, performance began to suffer. Each day, Vista slowed down a bit. I tried everything I could think of, for instance I ran CCleaner every night, uninstalled most apps, disabled the sidebar, disabled indexing, defragged routinely, etc. I even manually tweaked the page file settings.

Nothing helped, and no particular process in task manager was an obvious culprit. Vista SP1 just kept getting slower and slower, until it finally became unbearable.

Poor Vista performance is another reason I recently purchased my MacBook. I had the option of buying a high-end PC, but I had little confidence Vista would use that power efficiently. I hate spending a lot of money on computer hardware, but I hate waiting for sluggish computers even more.

Twitter Gains, Reader Declines

Although I spend way too much time on the Internet, my free time is a fixed quantity. I have observed that as I spend more time following people via Twitter (my handle is @burke_eric), I spend far less time using Google Reader and following blogs in general.

Rather than spending my time wading through hundreds of blog posts, I am happy to let the people I follow on Twitter find the good stuff.

For the record, I tried Twitter a long time ago and hated it. After deleting my account and avoiding Twitter for several months, I returned. I find it much more engaging now, largely because they hit critical mass and there are more interesting people to follow.

Now if they can just resolve their scalability issues… :-)

Where are the Native Vista Apps?

Vista supports hardware-accelerated graphics. WPF seems to support really cool things like vector-based UIs. Yet where are the “native” Vista apps?

The Wikipedia WPF article mentions a handful of WPF apps, but for the most part, the Windows ecosystem is mired in backward compatibility hell. Bundled apps like Notepad, Paint, and the DOS shell are a disgrace, and have not really changed in years.

How can Microsoft expect third parties to develop Vista-specific apps if the bundled utilities don’t even take advantage of Vista features? This is incredibly hard to understand.

Good luck, Microsoft. I’m typing this on my new MacBook Pro, and it looks like I have plenty of native Cocoa apps from which to choose.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

There are spoilers in here, you’ve been warned. I have not read a single review, these are my opinions after seeing the movie just now.

  • Every underground chamber is well lit, even at night.
  • A torch is always available, as well.
  • Scary looking natives have nothing better to do than hide in chamber walls waiting for intruders.
  • Unlimited numbers of bad guys can never shoot Indiana Jones, regardless of how many machine guns they wield.
  • Every other scene must show IJ casting the classic hat shadow.
  • He finds artifacts nobody else could find for hundreds of years just by blowing away some webs and pushing on some key rocks.
  • The bad guys always have operatives in far away places, always able to locate him. (They are geniuses when it comes to following and tracking Dr. Jones, but apparently complete morons when it comes to shooting machine guns or finding the artifacts themselves.)
  • Good guys can fall 50′ onto rocks and never break bones.
  • When a waterfall is involved, add a few hundred feet. No problem.
  • I did not detect the Wilhelm Scream in this movie. Amazing, considering how formulaic and predictable everything else was. Oops…according to Wikipedia, they DID use the Wilhelm Scream.
  • Didn’t they have a car chase in one of the other movies?
  • Space aliens? Are you kidding me?
  • A monkey army?
  • Gunpowder tossed in the air floating towards the box?

I give this movie 2 out of 10 stars. The first star is for the ants, which were cool. The second star is for my boys, who loved everything about this movie.