Strange Comment

Today, a bizarre comment appeared on Out of the blue, with no context or explanation, someone suggested I should move my Leopard menu bar to the top of my secondary display. This is the entire comment, bad spelling and all:

So put your menu bar at the top of your external screen instead of on your MacBook pro (drag it their in the Display prefs).

At first I thought maybe this was a bug in Disqus, or maybe my page IDs were incorrect and I was pulling in comments from some other site.

But the comment seemed vaguely familiar…I recalled reading an article about multiple monitors and Macs…but it took quite a bit of thinking to realize this person was referring to the comment I left on Elliotte’s blog.

I don’t understand how anyone could think this is the appropriate way to respond to comments on web sites:

A) Leave your response on a completely different site B) Make no mention of what you are referring to

Dear Movie Theater Owner

Dear Movie Theater Owner,

Your web site sucks. When I go there, I see:

  • A big, slow, Flash “welcome” page
  • When I click, you do something bizarre and make little stars follow my mouse around the screen
  • Everything on your web site blinks. (maybe your “designer” is a MySpace fanatic?)
  • Your site sets cookies, but doesn’t bother to remember my ZIP code…seriously, WTF?
  • After I enter my ZIP and search for show times, you put the results in a tiny scrolling frame that does not print correctly

Try to think of your audience! When we go to your page, it’s because we want to know show times. Your web site should display this information immediately and in a plain, easy to read and print format.

Yes, you can also provide additional links to purchase tickets, view trailers, and get directions to the theaters. Simple hyperlinks are sufficient.

Is it really so hard?

Your friend,


Exploding Balls

I received an email from Amazon about a product recall for a Valeo fitness ball. Here is a portion of that email:

We have recently learned that EB Brands (Yonkers, NY), in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is voluntarily recalling certain FITNESS BALLS.

These sold from May 2000 to February 2009 for between $15 and $30. An overinflated fitness ball can unexpectedly burst while in use, causing the user to fall to the floor.

Consumers should contact EB Brands to receive a copy of the updated instructions on how to safely inflate the ball.

This ranks right up there with “warning: coffee is hot”. The ball is rubber. If you overfill it, it will pop. Is it really that hard to figure out?

I want to see a video of someone falling to the floor when their fitness ball pops. Cue the lawyer comments.

2008 Year in Review

This is the best year-end review I’ve ever written. I promise. 2008 was a year of contradictions. Around May/June, when gas prices spiked, we were told to expect sky-high oil and gas prices…”forever”. I don’t recall anybody predicting $1.35/gallon gas, yet that’s about what I paid this morning.

In 2008 we learned…with no advance warning…that the entire financial industry was suddenly frozen and we’d be thrown into an epic depression unless we instantly printed $700 billion within DAYS! If we didn’t see it coming, why was it so important to fix the problem quickly? Somehow the people who were blind-sided are the same people who now claim to know how bad things will be without bailouts. WTF.

2008 taught us that people will stop buying SUVs if gas prices go up enough. And as soon as prices drop, people will lose interest in the shitty economy cars, because tiny cars with wimpy engines and boring designs suck. GM sucks. Chrysler sucks. Ford sucks. Stupid tax policies on diesel fuels prevent Ford from selling their 65 MPG diesel car in the U.S.

  • On Jan 3, 2008, Blu-ray and HD-DVD were still locked in a battle for supremacy. HD sucked for consumers because there were two competing standards. On Jan 4, 2008, however, the war abruptly ended with this announcement from Warner Bros. On Feb 15 Wal Mart announced it would no longer carry HD-DVD, and on Feb 16 Toshiba halted production of HD-DVD hardware. Game over. You barely even remember this stuff by now.
  • Best tweet of 2008: “Batman: EPIC BALE”.
  • Funniest tweet of 2008: “Gordon Ramsay: one bad puffin eating mofo.”
  • Best line in a technical article: “Along with the data processing framework, Doug Cutting also included a fault tolerant, replicated, distributed file system with Hadoop just because fuck you.”
  • 2008 was not the year of Linux on the Desktop.
  • 2009 might be the year of Android on the Netbook.
  • Scala caught a lot of buzz during Jan and Feb.
  • Python 3000 came out. Jython saw a resurgence. Sun even hired two high-profile Jython developers.
  • Programmer of the year: Charles Nutter. Follow him on Twitter, he’s a machine.
  • Apple kicked ass in 2008. MacBook Air, Apple TV 2.0, iPhone SDK in March, iPhone 3G in July, App Store, MobileMe, Solid Aluminum manufacturing process for new MacBooks, etc.
  • Vista is about to die. Within the last few days, we learned Windows 7 beta is complete, and expect to see it released in mid-2009.
  • Yahoo is dying. Back in June we heard a lot about programmers and management leaving the company. Yang is out. Microsoft failed to buy them.
  • Google kicked ass in 2008. GWT 1.5 came out. Chrome 1.0. The Open Handset Alliance now boasts 47 members. Android 1.0 came out. They held their first Google I/O conference. Their apps continue to improve.
  • In 2008, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after we found out he used a hooker.
  • IL Governor Rod Blagojevich is caught up in a big scandal but so far hasn’t resigned.
  • On March 12, a woman became fused to her toilet seat after sitting on it for two years.
  • On March 14, Discover told us how the heck a woman became fused to her toilet seat.
  • Jack Kevorkian was released from prison and ran for congress. He did not win.
  • XM and Sirius merged.
  • Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, is the least intelligent movie of the year.
  • Grand Theft Auto 4.
  • Midwest floods. Southeast droughts.
  • Georgia Hillbillies invent another fake Bigfoot story, get front page coverage on
  • On Sep 10, they activated the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It swallowed the entire universe and produced an identical universe on the “other side”. We didn’t notice, although everything is backwards now.
  • A bunch of iPhone Killers came out in 2008. Expect more in 2009. So far they all suck. The G1 is a good phone but it lacks multitouch. That’s weak.
  • Word of the year: FAIL.
  • Phrase of the year: EPIC FAIL.
  • A man named HUSSEIN won. Scary shit. His middle name is HUSSEIN.

That’s about it. Nothing else interesting happened in 2008.