674 posts • joined Thursday 5th April 2012 12:33 GMT
I can't help but remember the number of times I've called up a call center and wound up with the situation of "My option is possibly under 1 of 3 of the following. Lets try 1, nope, 2 nope, 3... great, now it's likely under one of two fo the 7 options... erm, ah 2 sounds like a good guess."
"Sorry wrong department, I'll just transfer you over"
I can't help but agree 100% that these places have terribly inefficient designs. Even when you get through you get the nromal gaff.
Name, age, phone number, post code, password, secret question, dogs mothers owners blood type. And then when they transfer you to a colleague, you have to answer it all again.
I swear that these call centres don't actually have different departments, they just use the whole "press 1 2 8 1 3 9 * 1 1 1 1" as a replacement for putting folks on hold.
Re: Fail assumptions here
I second the motion. I wish Microsoft would just make up their minds already
IE0-6 "standards? We don't need no stinkin' standards"
IE7-9 "Fine fine we've complied with your 'standards' I hope your happy, now pages don't need to be made especially to work with IE.
IE 10 "Yeah so we like your standards, but we've decided to add some of our own... What do you mean they aren't really standards if only we were involved in making them? Fuck you Im a dragon!"
It seems like Microsoft are trying to reverse the tide of what happened to them before. Originally they didn't comply with standards and did things their own way, people migrated away because all sites displayed in chrome / opera / firefox / everything but IE. Now they're standards compliant they're adding in their own stuff again so that pages made using these new IE standards work for IE but won't work elsewhere, so you're forced to use IE.
I've already experienced this problem with a few microsoft sites. Visit with IE works fine, visit with any other browser and you're met with strange 'quirks'
Re: An open letter
This comes down to the issue of somantics and what selling actually is.
On the governments side of the fence, selling is the act of pushing the deal, which is what google employees are being told to do. You get a customer you convince them to buy a product and then to seal the deal you forward them to your "sales department" which effectively reads the details back to the customer, and then gets them to agree to the contract.
Google are arguing that the sale is the process of closing the deal, which is what the sales department are doing.
This is one of the problems with somantics, everyone interprets them in the way that best suits them. Personally I'm in agreement with the government on this one. Even though they aren't the ones finalizing the deal, the UK workers are still attached to the sale (otherwise how would they get their bonus?)
Honestly though I'm still worried that if these 'loopholes' are fixed it'll just drive business away. Why stick around in the UK and pay our incredibly high taxes, when they can close down shop and move everything to ireland where it's cheaper for them.
I'd still argue that if / when these loopholes are fixed, a tax cut would be in order, just to encourage big business to hang around (as well as encouraging others to come back)
Re: Vita vs Smartphone
I'm not talking in terms of I already own X so why would I buy Y, I'm talking from the point of average user A
When you are given two options, a playstation vita for £140 + memory stick and £40 per game, or a mobile phone for £200.
You do need a phone, you do not need a games console, but the phone doubles as a games console. And there are games out there that will run on the phone, and if it were givena bit of dev love I'm sure we could see some decent games on there rather than just the 99p crap. This is also why I suggested mroe synergy between vita and phones, such as giving phones some of the vita style games since they're running a similar architecture.
Likewise on the controls front. While I agree that phones lack analog sticks which is a huge negative, my suggestion was another playstation phone with modern phone hardware, the playstation phone having sub par hardwrare but having a game controller built in. Or a game controller adapter made for sony phones, which again would give access to controls.
Hemp is like the swiss army knife of plants
clothes, rope, paper, health food, drugs, supercapacitors. It's probably one of the best crops you can get... Yet still illegal due to it being a 'drug'
Re: 'Cost' for an e-book
Agreed on this point. Especially when it comes to the larger books, the ones with several hundered pages.
The larger the book generally the bigger the savings when sold as an ebook. But seeing a book being sold for £30, and then the ebook for £50 (yes I have seen this on amazon before) you have to wonder what they're thinking.
Only the one-off costs of the author, illustrator and picture rights
Also I think what the guy meant here by one off costs was one off cost per book. Each book sold has a fixed price which is basically royalties, and of course server costs.
On the other hand a paper book you have manufacturing, quality control, transport, brick and mortar stores rent, storage space etc etc.
In comparison to a paperback, and ebook is pure profit. (excluding royalty payments and getting the initial electronic file to market)
I say this every time
I see one of these "We must squeeze them for more tax" things. No you don't you morons, you just need to lower our taxes so we're competative.
My hometown, and many towns accross the Uk are slowly turning to barron wastelands in part because of the whole web shopping setup, but also because the rates in some towns are too damn high.
This is the current cycle on the small side of things
Business opens, makes profit,
Government sets business rates higher
landlords put building rent higher
business no longer profitable closes down / moves elsewhere.
Town is left desolate.
landlords up rent elsewhere to make up for the lost profits so on so forth.
The same is true of public transport, supermarkets, and of cousre international businesses. The only difference with internationals is that they can shuffle things about and avoid paying the absurd taxes we charge. Just closing these loopholes won't solve anything because business will just move elsewhere, even global standards won't be adhered to by all locations.
As well as closing the loopholes we need to lower the taxes businesses pay to make them want to stay, this would lead to big business stayiing and paying their taxes, more smaller businesses opening and staying open, which will in turn pay tax. These companies will hire more emplouees because they can afford to and these employees will in turn pay tax. This is trickle down economics not the bullshit the government is pushing forwards.
I'd also love to see rent control on storefronts if it doesn't exist already, because really brick and mortar stores do need help and they just aren't getting it.
Didn't aus have this a while back?
Something to do with a guy searching his name and coming up with news articles about a sex offender (with the same name) or something of that ilk.
Here it is
and a more recent case here
This. I went through the exact same process, looking for a new TVthe low end stuff was absolute rubbish, and there were about four different low end models of each size. High end was the same story, several different X models.
In the end I settled on the Sony KDLWE5 good price point and great quality. The same goes for their laptops. Lots of high end way out of budget, and even their low end is very overpriced for what you're getting.
Re: Vita vs Smartphone
But on the other hand, why would you buy a vita when you get the same hardware for the same price on a phone... and it's a phone?
Re: Microsoft - Enter These Holy Commands
I was actually going to joke how the new windows phone update was going to bring back the start menu, but I don't think I'll bother now.
Pound for Pound
Sony used to be the big hitter in the industy, when you wanted to buy a TV or an MP3 player, a radio or a CD player, a laptop. There was always a large amount of choice out there you had Sony as the high quality grand dady in whatever it touched, and then you had a load of cheaper alternatives which were clearly less sufficient when it came to quality. But the times have changed.
We've gotten to a point where the quality gap between the top of the line, and the mid range isn't so big that it's worth an extra 40% on top of the price. Why buy the sony laptop for £1000 when the mac is the same price and another similar dell *shudder* laptop has similar specs for half the price?
Why spend £600 on a sony phone when you can spend £500 on the new samsung S4?
Sony need to work out which markets it's still wanted in and back out of the rest. In my mind Sony has always been good at the audio visual side of things. Keep TV, music, mp3 and phones, but they need to back out of dying markets like laptops and tablets. Right now it just isn't worth their investment.
I'd also argue that they need to focus their product range more. We don't need 10 different top of the range TVs, we only need one or two of each size category. If they cut down the number of modesl they coudl focus production on the fewer different configurations, save money, lower the price of their sets and in turn get a higher turnover.
The same goes with mobile and camears.
As an additional point, sony is in a unique situation with the products it makes. They could potentially create a large amount of synergy across their platforms. Playstation console linked to playstation mobiles which can beused to control Playstation TVs which can seemlessly link with Playstation Cameras. (okay they wouldn't all be branded playstation but still)
Sonys playstation phone was actually a neat little venture ,but it failed because it was overpriced and underspecced. If they made another attempt of it, or hell. If they released a 'playstation store' app where people could code for android or windows phone using their architecture, they could release a new playstation phone with better spec / lower price. Or even a decent controller adapter for their sony line of phones. Give up on Vita after this generation and focus on mobile gaming.
I mean hell, who's going to spend £200 on a Vita, when they can get a decent smartphone for the same price, and the games cost a fraction of the amount.
Scrap PCs Laptops and tablets.
Streamline the range of products offered
Synergise TVs with mobiles and the playstation console
Make another attempt at the playstation phone, but this time with decent specs and pricepoint OR release a phone <>game controller adapater.
On a more serious note
compared to my last topic. I think windows 8 could have been a 'potential' success... if they hadn't forced Metro down our throats.
Sure enforce it on tablets and phones, but give people a solid choice on the desktop and eventually they might migrate over. The interface works on a tablet and a phone, but it just doesn't work with a mouse.
It's a silly mistake which has cost them in the long run. Heck, most of my friends who have bought new laptops have wound up calling me asking for help downgrading back to windows 7 (ripped the key from their old laptop) I wound up buying a blank laptop and installing Mint (my first linux OS) to avoid windows 8. Of all the people I work with, 1 has a windows 8 machine, and it's a surface.
Even with windows 8.1 most people who held out are going to look at windows and go "Wiindows 8? That had that dodgy metro thing" and steer well clear, even if metro is now optional they'll steer well clear.
Microsoft really dropped the ball on this, at least in my opinion. It was one of those things that had the potential to be great, but rather than keeping the doors wide open the stuck a skunk slap bang in the middle of the doorway. You can get rid of the skunk but that smell is still going to linger for some time.
This is in line with Redmond's previous policy in which users have been charged only for an entirely new iteration of the Windows OS, not for service packs and updates to existing versions.
Like how we got a free upgrade from Vista to 7 (or 6.1) or the free upgrade to windows 8? (effectively windows 6.2)
Can't wait for the free upgrade to windows 9 to come out when they release another carbon copy OS with a few performance tweaks they they held back just to turn a profit.
Re: Not too messy....
It'd be nice if andorid did an annual cleanup of their app store too. Y'know, any apps which are over X months old which have a 2 star rating or below gets removed from the store (informing the developer of course) that would definately help weed out some of the chaff
Unless google do something similar already, i don't really pay much attention.
Re: I'm waiting for..
That should have been stops being, not becomes. Stupid tired brain
Re: I'm waiting for..
If a phone becomes cool because other people are buying them, you should totally buy a windows phone.
I'm just waiting
For windows phones to refuse calls from mobiles running android or ios. It would follow their ususal modus operandi.
Re: Private companies DO do this
I'd hardly call iPhones cheap, but I see where you're coming from.
Re: Fake flying car
The only reason they don't use windows is because they're afriad it'll crash. Gives blue screen of death a whole new meaning.
wait wait wait
more like TIFKAM (the interface formerly known as Metro), or Modern User as it is now called, than ever before. This is a major upgrade in usability and administer ability.
More TIFKAM like interface, and an upgrade in usablility? Isn't that an oxymoron right there?
Re: This is all entirely legal ?
it's probably hidden in the fine print that the contract folks don't give you time to read.
Re: Its not very anonymous is it..
Not yet it isn't, you can still fight this out in court. Just remember to put the lawyers down on expenses.
Re: 140 laptops on board?
We're talking about actual space station operations here, not recreational computers for the crew to play
Maybe that's why they're moving to linux. No games for the crew to waste time playing :P
Re: Write or rong?
I had a similar problem, my eyesight is terrible which hampered my handwriting (doctor level handwriting) took me twice as long to write things as everybody else, hence why I did things on the computer.
On the one hand I think that giving exams in pen and paper is a good thing, for those with good handwriting it's an optimal choice, but at the same time those who aren't good with forms and paperwork and writing should be given the option of using computers
I'm actually terrible at filling in paperwork too, if it's on a piece of paper in front of me it's like it's gibberish, I have to read and re-read several times, moment it's on a computer screen though it's easy as pie. I actually took to scanning in forms I needed to fill out, and adding text areas so I could fill them in on the computer purely so I can delete and edit bits where I make mistakes. Used to be I had to ask for several copies of forms for when I made mistakes.
Back to original point on this. I think it'd be nice having digital as an option for students, so they can do things in a way that suits their personal abilities rather than the status quo. Otherwise we'll wind up having the computer illiterate failing for the same reasons the handwrighting illiterate failed.
Re: Windows 8, MS Feels *good*. Glad someone does...
We feel good that we've listened and looked at all of the customer feedback. We are being principled, not stubborn"
Listening and looking at does not mean the same thing as agreeing and acting upon it.
"Microsoft, you suck"
"We hear you saying we suck, and we've looked at how much we suck in our records... But according to our records, we don't suck, we're awesome and you're wrong so it must be you who sucks. Nur nur nur"
Repeat that scenario for every piece of feedback.
Re: Hotmail veteran
For once Eadons microsoft bashing makes sense
I've been a longtime hotmail user, signed up for my first email on hotmail back in 1999 i believe. Since then I haven't really left hotmail, I've tried a few others, but always settled on going back to hotmail because I liked the no thrills standard "does what you want" interface.
And then they made outlook.com
Dear god in heaven WHY, first time using it, it felt like my eyes were being burned out of their sockets, so freakin' bright it was like it had been designed by a smurf. And actually using it was even worse. Yesterday was the first time since the new interface I've had to send an email... I regretted it instantly, recipient in one place, subject in another, the body of text somewhere else. why couldn't they just keep it in a simple list format, recipient, subject message, it's simple, looks right and is easy to follow. When you send a letter you don't chop off 1/5th of the page to put their name on the side, put a subject in a giant heading at the very top of the page and then the body of text normal size. It just looks stupid.
I cannot log into hotmail from my android phone anymore, not from chrome, nore the inbuilt browser, keeps telling me my password is wrong.
Rather than just updating the existing htomail app, they just change it so it redirects you to download the outlook app.
Literally the only thing keeping me on hotmail is the hassle of changing all my accounts to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' (yes I am using literally in the correct form)
But even that is wearing thin now. I plan to start gradually making the switch over the weekend, moving over as many accounts as I can, and forwarding the accounts I can't.
I mean really, what the hell were they thinking?
"Hmm, 8 isn't doing so well, and a lot of people hate the UI, team what should we do?"
"Well, a lot of users use hotmail, maybe we should force a TIFKAM interface there, if they can't escape it they're sure to fall in love eventually"
"My names steve"
"Not anymore it isn't. From now on you're geoff, and we'll keep on calling you that until you like it, because that's the microsoft way"
I'm inclined to agree about the whole "ui takes a long time to design blah blah blah"
It really doesn't in a lot of cases. Here's an example of apples UI design.
A lot of ions, on a single page, you click an icon and an ap opens, you can have multiple pages to hold these multiple aps. Y'know what else ahs this? Windows, linux, solaris etc etc, y'know since they all have desktop icons which can be grid aligned, and a few of them even allow for multiple desktops you can flip through.
How about bounce back? Because that's so new, it's not like they didn't have this in several RPGs from the late 90s, and possibly other RPGs even earlier.
Rounded corners? Please.
If apple actually came up with something original in their UI design I'd be happy to agree that 'yeah that's innovation right there' but so far they haven't, all they've done is taken a load of existing ideas and then put "For a mobile device" on the existing patent text.
Hell half of these 'ideas' aren't even patent worthy, some should be trademarked, others should be copywritten, but none should be patentable.
What apple is effectively patenting is the ability to paint your car blue, and to have gul wing doors. It's nothing new, but because they patented it, nobody else can do it.
Honestly the whole 'software / design patent' mess in the USA needs to be sorted. I'd rather see more inovation than litigation.
Re: Seems counterproductive...
There are so many books I bought / borrowed from the library at uni which I never would have known about had google not indexed them.
On the one hand I can understand the whole "Wah they copied us" mentality, as far as these entities are concerned any digital media they don't make profit from must be hurting profits, rather than driving people to buy something the never normally would.
Honestly if I were the author / publisher of the book, rather than being greedy and trying to bag $750 per book, I'd instead try to coerce google into sorting out a deal whereby their book is put into a google book store, and is purchasable, with a prominent "Buy digital edition" link somewhere on the page. And I say this simply because a lot of the books I'd have liked to buy are no longer in print, which is another reason why I get annoyed when these people complain.
"Wah they're cutting into our profits"
"You don't sell this book anymore..."
"... so? You're still sharing it in a way that doesn't make us money!"
"You aren't making money anyway!"
"... could if we wanted to"
Re: Prior art
Not to mentio nall the headphones I have owned which have an invisible volume control which lights up when you swipe it.
Come on USA, time to take initiative and steal this law from NZ, you know you want to.
Think of the amount of time and energy saved, think of the amount of headlines newspapers will no longer have to repeat print.
Re: @Eadon (was: Bleeding Edge)
Like Nokia releasing Windows Phones, and expecting to turn a decent profit?
Re: If only there could be "Silvermont"-based netbooks
I can only agree and disagree at the same time. I too had a netbook, although I jumped aboard teh ship early and got an asus 901, one of the earlier mainstream netbooks. (or was it 701, can't remember) I got it mostly for the low price and the fact I could take notes on it at uni.
It was a nice device to be sure, the only problem for me was still the speed. I would type faster than it would pick up my typing and honestly I couldn't get used to that teeny tiny keyboard. The best way to match one of those good old netbooks these days is to buy something like a transformer, but as you've stated these transforming tablets are incredibly overpriced when you consider it's just a tablet with a cheap keyboard attached most of the time.
I'd actually hope to see a few more combo laplets come out at a lower price point in the future. But that's just me.
Re: The good news
Re: Battlefield 3/4 - Star Wars ???
If they want a real winner, they should just do a team fortress rip off
scout = Jedi (seriously, just give them a lightsaber)
soldier = Storm Trooper
pyro = Boba Fett (or jango)
demo = Princess Leia
heavy = Wookie
engineer = R2 unit
medic = C3P0
sniper = Han Solo
spy = Lando
You know it makes sense.
"Episode 10: A new DLC"
"Episode 11: The developers strike back"
"Episode 12: Return of the DRM"
"Now, we need somebody to take over the role of George Lucas, lets list out a few things he brought"
Great initial films
Gradually goes downhill
Turns into a pile of crap that shits on the original
Now who can best match this set of qualities, well EA seems to fit the bill perfectly, promise a great game, deliver something bad which gradually gets worse, and then start releasing sequals about as well thought out as jarjar. Perfect.
Honestly can't wait to see EA butcher another franchise I loved.
Paris because she could probably do a better job of making games than EA
fined £375 each time
£375? Each time? Oh no, how ever will Twitter handle such a huge dent in their profits. Oh woe is me, that £375 may very well put them out of business. How can they even hope to repay such a huge amount of money. They might even have to downgrade from premium cola to *gulp* regular cola.
Re: IRIS drivers
I see what you did there. But really, we shouldn't be so short-sighted about all this. Intel have managed to perform miracles before. Now I don't advise blind faith, but we should still keep an eye on how this develops.
Re: Is a chicken safe to eat after 3 weeks?
Cook one, stick the other two in the freezer. Eat roast chicken on day one, cold chicken on day 2, chicken stew on day 3-7.
Just had a thought
So Lester, did you weigh yourself before this charity starvation? And if so, after your final day (and hopefully evacuation) would you be willing to share with us any weightloss you have suffered as a result of living off £1 a day?
Doubt it'd be much, considering the timescale, but could be interesting.
Also how are energy levels etc doing.
Re: I live on Ramon noodles and chicken with peas and various spices
sounds like my diet while living in halls. Except I didn't have teh spices, pretty much lived on asda smart price noodles (6p per pack at the time, bout in massive bulk)
Two packs of smart price beef noodles, 1 spoon of beef gravy and you have a pretty good meal. On days asda had sales on whole chickens (fairly often) I'd get 3 for £10, that was 3 weeks worth of food.
Somebody getting butthurt over somebody else raising money for charity are probably even bigger scum than the people they accuse of being scum.
And what's with the whole "claiming if they can do it, so can the poor" I'd call BS on that right now, if anything it has the opposite affect, after living below the line for a week you know how hard it is, by the end of week 1 you crave something with a bit more flavour and if anything you'll understand how hard it is.
I don't think I could ever go back to the student eating habbits now that I'm earning enough not to, a diet of nothing but noodles, rice and pasta is not a good diet.
And I still envy Lester being able to find 12 eggs for a quid. Honestly shocks me, still can't find half that for the same price, each egg costs 20p or more. I need to look harder.
Re: I'm sure Outlook.com has cost them a lot of users
I know it's a fair few. I know I'm finally working on jumping ship. the hotmail email gets far too much spammy shit sent to it. I've got a webhosting account I don't use that much so I'm just going to start up admin@mydomain... no wait too obvious for random shitty "Hey this URL is similar to yours AND for sale, wanna buy it for an inflated price while we squat on it?" maybe "Imbetterthanyou@mydomain.com"... need something better than admin.
Either way the only reason I haven't made the switch over yet is purely because I have so much history on msn, god knows how many accounts are linked to my hotmail, migrating to a new email host, and transferring over all my (useful) accounts to it will probably take a fair bit of time.
Re: The problem with British companies is
I think what he meant was they needed to make £17 gross profit to get a £1 net profit. Although I might be misunderstanding here.
Wouldn't surprise me however, people I know used to run a pub, it was cheaper for them to buy bottles from asda than it was the brewery.
I swear we used to do this at school. Actually that's a lie, I know we did. We had loads of these experiments. Hell the experiment she pulled off was one our teacher TOLD US to try. Well he didn't so much tell us as explain after doing a similar experiment with water and sodium. "You can do this at home on a much smaller scale by adding X to Y" I mean, isn't is basically the same as the baking soda / vinegar mix in a bottle?
Re: Assuming steady price of Gorillas?
Gorillas > aluminium.
Have you not seen the cadburys advert with the gorilla playing drums?