Thursday, February 27, 2003

Should elevator buttons be toggleable?

A co-worker of mine posed an interesting question about elevators. (Wouldn't my object oriented programming professor be excited if he knew we were about to discuss elevator theory.) Have you ever wanted to take back a button that you pressed in error on an elevator? I know I have. It's a pain visiting the floors that the punk kid pressed just before he got off, isn't it?

Should you be able to turn off elevator buttons by pressing them again? I.e., Should elevator buttons be toggleable? In all circumstances? Why or why not? Discuss.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Unsolicited email is the least of our worries

Most, if not all, of us receive some spam in their email. And we hate it. We curse the people who would use such an underhanded tactic in their attempt to advertise to us. Whether it be for a no-hassle loan, or for porn, or maybe even for that penis enlargement you've always wanted, spam is unwelcome, annoying, and resource-hogging. Sure, that one email in your inbox isn't that big, but think about how many mailboxes are on your mail server, and then think about how many other mail servers are out there. It truly boggles the mind.

But there is something worse still than email spam. Something even more devious, insidious, and calculating. It is...

It is companies like Internet Search Registry and their deliberate attempt to trick you into paying for a service that you really don't need. Instead of sending out email spam, which would probably be immediately deleted, they rely on order forms which look remarkably (some might say "suspiciously") like invoices such as the one on the left. The only thing that tips you off to this scheme is a small block of text in the upper right corner that states, "This statement is a solicitation and receipt of your payment will confirm annual subscription."

Not only are they soliciting this payment in an (in my opinion) unethical way, but it is an annual fee, which will be charged again and again unless they are explicitly told by the client to stop.

I can understand how an individual would not be fooled by such a ploy, but consider the corporation: Who would receive these sorts of things? Probably the accounting department, right? They probably wouldn't look twice at it. It's an invoice. Pay it. I shudder to think how many people and/or companies have been taken in by their shell game.

I haven't submitted this website to a single search engine, but it still appears on them. The "service" that this company provides is simply not useful or needed. The surreptitious way in which they try to drum up business just makes it worse.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Anyone want to buy a '95 Taurus?

Yeah, I'm selling my car. I could only find one photo of it and it's of the rear. I'll try and take a few more. Anyway, it's a '95 Taurus, blue in colour. It's got power everything; seats, mirrors, brakes, steering, & door locks. Air conditioning for those hot summer days too. And low mileage, don't forget that.

"My god," you're probably thinking, "I'd mortgage my home for the chance to own a fine machine such as that. Why, the ladies would flock to me if I cruised the strip in such a magnificient automobile." And you wouldn't be all wrong. I am only asking for the paltry sum of $3900. Then all this (and more) can be yours.

Email me if you're interested. Update! If any one of you refers to me the person who eventually buys my car, you shall receive not only my gratitude, but also (drum roll) a set of computer speakers!

Now you too can help Steve sell his car! Download this Word document or this PDF and post it on your office bulletin board!

Saturday, February 8, 2003

They keep building up, don't they?

I don't think I'll ever run out of things to rant about. Let me set the scene for you...

It snowed last night, as most of you will have realized by the time you read this. Ray and I head to the ski hill. It's promising to be a glorious day. The temperature is about -7 at the top of the hill, and it's noticibly warmer at the bottom. The sun is shining and the new snow is beautifully covering the hill. What could possibly ruin such a wonderful day?

Update! 10 Feb 03 12:04 Check inside
Update! 12 Feb 03 14:55 I was called just now by the sales guy from SportChek and he has found me replacement skis! (more inside)
Update! 15 Feb 03 17:25 I got new skis!

Some of you know that I bought a pair of skis a few weeks back at the huge SportChek sale. I got a fantastic deal on a set of Nordica W65s (only mine were yellow) just because they were last year's model. I had skied on them about 4 times previous to this day and I was loving them. They were my first pair of shape skis and I was getting very comfortable with them.

Well, one fateful run down the hill, I turned rather hard (well, I guess, in retrospect it was hard), and I found that the rear binding on my left ski (which was up until this point found directly behind where my heel is) had lost interest in following me down the mountain and had started to make its own way. The departure of this rather necessary piece of equipment, thus allowed my left foot to move about the slope unfettered.

For the non-skiers reading this, what I have just described is not at all condusive to staying upright. My ski, the rear binding, and I all decided that we'd had enough of each other and continued in our seperate directions. Since the "emergency brakes" of a ski are on the rear binding, the ski without one doesn't exactly stop on its own. Since I am sliding down the hill headfirst on my back, I am in no condition to stop it either. I finally managed to compose myself, dig my ski out of the woods, pick up my now unattached half-binding and continue feebly down the hill on one ski.

This was all before lunch.

Being determined to finish out the day, I went to rent some skis. Rental skis suck. I went from feeling elated at being on the slopes on such a wonderful day, to being distraught and downtrodden. I swore a lot. Ray laughed at me. I swore at Ray.

Meahwhile, back in Halifax...

Remember how I said I got a great deal on those skis? Well here's the problem I have now:
I have a few choices
  1. Wait to see if SportCheck can come up with another pair of these skis, which may not be possible because they were last year's model.
  2. Get store credit. But since I got such a great deal, I'd have to chip in some more cash to get a ski of equivalent performance.
  3. Take the money and run. I'm back where I started and no worse for wear. But I have no skis. I could, of course, use this money to buy skis at another establishment.
And that's where we stand today. Here is the link to the rest of the photos.

Update! 10 Feb 03 12:04 I also feel like ranting about how Cleve's Sporting Goods does not seem to have a website. I mean, come on. Who the hell doesn't have a website in this day and age? All I'm trying to do is look at potential replacement skis and they are one of only two chain stores in Metro that sell downhill skis. There's always Aerobics First, but I haven't yet been able to get there while they're open. I can't even email somebody to complain because they don't appear to have email addresses either. Stupid Cleve's. Does somebody want to bring them into the 21st century?

Update! 12 Feb 03 14:55 I was called just now by the sales guy from SportChek and he has found me replacement skis! They are being couriered from somewhere on the west coast. Unfortunately they probably won't get here in time for the weekend. That sucks, but I suppose it's unavoidable. I will have to take my old skis when I go (hopefully) on Saturday.

Update! 15 Feb 03 17:25 I got new skis! The album of photos of my broken ski has been updated with pics of my new ones.

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Yo, peeps. This be a throwdown.

I don't know how many people outside my own office ski, but you are welcome to join Ray (who won't login) and I at Wentworth on Saturday. There are two more spots in my vehicle for anyone who would like to come with us.

Drop me a line if you are interested. Tell your friends too. Should be a good time. Weather looks great.

Sunday, February 2, 2003

The weather sucks

It wasn't long ago that I was remarking how cold it was, but I would gladly trade the craptacular weather out today for a sharp drop in temerature. I can't believe that it's 6 degrees out. Just think, if we went back to Friday afternoon, and if it was below freezing, all this rain would have been snow. It would have been glorious. Maybe I even would have been able to go skiing this weekend.

It seems that even in the winter, the old joke still holds true: "What follows two days of rain in Nova Scotia? Monday."

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