I have a travel card for London's Underground. I renew it by going up to the machines in the station. Every time I finish my transaction, the machine asks "next time why not renew online?" There's a really good reason: time.
I can get that whole transaction done in 90 seconds at the machine. I tap my oyster, select renew, put in my credit card, enter my PIN, and tap my oyster a second time. Done. I can't even get logged in at the oyster site in that time, using high speed broadband and a fast laptop. And I'm buying a ticket for monthly travel: I'm in the station already.
I would like it so much better if the machine said "wow! You got that done in 75 seconds!" Rather than imply I did something wrong or suboptimal. Let's face it: online is not always better or faster.
If you haven't seen some of the great comedy videos made with "text-to-video" software Plotagon (or its predecessor Xtra Normal), you should. They basically involve deadpan, computer voices reading some fairly funny scripts.
Likewise, if you haven't seen the article about #ScumbagPenTester, it's worth a read. It inspired me to make this.
I Pwned Your Server
Wear headphones. The language is NSFW.
I fly United a fair bit, I'm up to like 500,000 lifetime miles. I used to fly a lot more when I lived near Dulles. Now it's mainly Heathrow to Dulles and the odd flight within the US. This weekend I had the first taste of DirectTV on a flight from Orlando to Dulles. It was bad in so many ways, breaking things that have worked well for so long. It also broke new ground in terms of in-your-face advertisements.
So years after its release, I finally saw the movie Avatar. It's gorgeous to look at, but it was a pretty weak film. The plot and story simply don't hang together at all. This is really long. I didn't realise how many things I had to say...
I've got BT Infinity for Business as my home Internet connection. It comes with an incredibly annoying BT Business Hub 3.0. While there are a few things it does fairly well (e.g., granting me access to BTWifi throughout the UK), there are a number of things that irritate me. The main thing I'm going to write about here is overriding the DNS settings. Unlike every other telco-provided DSL/WiFi router that I have ever owned, the BT Business Hub (just like the BT Home Hub) does not allow you to specify which DNS servers you use. It assigns BT's DNS servers. Now, I haven't had any problems with BT's servers, but I really love OpenDNS's ability to screen out ads, malware, and undesirable content (e.g., porn, scams, etc.). BT doesn't offer that, but they don't let you change it, either. I finally figured out how to make it work.