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Comment: Re:It's quite simple really... (Score 1) 158

by snsh (#49361219) Attached to: UK Licensing Site Requires MSIE Emulation, But Won't Work With MSIE

The problem is apathy, not incompetence. The site (or more accurately, the middleware powering the site) was probably built for IE5/6, which was not at all uncommon ten years ago when "everyone" (not literally, but I know you know what I mean) had IE. The software did the job for so long that the people in government let it run and turned a deaf ear to the distress it caused for constituents. It's easier to tell constituents to go find IE9 than to upgrade the system. They also fall into the "the perfect is the enemy of the good" trap, telling themselves that they don't need to just fix the IE problem, but they need to totally modernize the whole system including the backend and business process.

If the government had a magic button that could fix the problem, they probably would have pressed it. But no such button exists (unless you count injecting the X-UA-compatible tag), and modernizing the system is a lot more cost and effort than that.

Comment: Technology model (Score 2) 667

by snsh (#49266071) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

In technology you have an RFC published by a body whose authority supported by consensus. Then when you implement that technology, you can choose to be as compliant with RFC as you want. English teachers tend to see things as right vs. wrong, while in technology it's compliant vs. noncompliant, strict vs. loose/flexible. Loose compliance is often beneficial - how many people you know actually type the trailing dot on all of their FQDN's (e.g. http://slashdot.org./story)? The RFC says you're supposed to, but people rarely except when editing DNS records. Do we say that everyone is "wrong", or just noncompliant with RFC?

I find the technology model far less judgmental.

Comment: Swiss garbage (Score 1) 389

Swiss movement was old technology which should have died out a long time ago. Quartz was superior in every way.

The real problem I see with all watches (including Apple's watches) is that they're still way too bulky. It's hard to find a mass-produced watch less than 5mm thick.

Comment: Re:Good for him! (Score 1) 223

by snsh (#48379111) Attached to: Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

I doubt anyone working at AT&T actually had a sinister plan to advertise a $200 promo and offer only $100.

At these big companies it's more likely due to corporate disorganization, with one department not knowing what the other department is doing. The promotions are developed by marketing geniuses, who tell the IT people to put them into the computer, then at point-of-sale they're supposed to be able to locate the promotion in the computer. That fails, so then you call customer-service where the people have even less clue what's going on so they refer you to go back the store where someone more knowledgeable can help you out.

It's also a problem of over-marketing as much as disorganization. Twenty years ago, you could open up a 1994 phone book and on the 3rd page would be a list of local telephone plans and prices. There were no time-limited promotions and codes to complicate things. Instead, all customers paid the same rates. Long distance was a totally different matter. People were switching carriers monthly hopping from one promotion to another. But local telephone had simple pricing. Today broadband needs to be more like that.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye