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  • Random Thoughts

    Posted by Jonathan on December 27th, 2013 (All posts by )

    -The requirements for an online “captcha” image are that 1) bots can’t read it and 2) people can. Many web designers seem to pay attention only to the first requirement.

    -Where possible, product designers and firmware programmers should live with their products for a while before releasing them commercially. This would reduce the incidence of design errors such as in my cell phone, which beeps when the battery is being charged and has reached full capacity with the phone turned on. Because what kind of idiot leaves his phone on in his bedroom while charging the battery overnight?

    -If you put me on hold you really don’t value my business, no matter what your recorded message says.

    -Why do many drivers stay at the white line instead of moving into the intersection while waiting to turn left across traffic?

    -Speaking of which, if women really are just as good drivers, on average, as men are, why are so many of them so touchy about any suggestion that they aren’t?


    9 Responses to “Random Thoughts”

    1. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Jonathan, you are stepping close to the edge there. Only elderly curmudgeons like me are allowed to complain about women drivers. In my 75 year experience, there are two types; Young women who drive high powered cars much more aggressively than 90% of young males and elderly women my age who have trouble crossing an intersection.

      We no long have the epithet ‘Sunday driver !”

      I tried voice mail briefly ink my medical office and quickly abandoned it. I always called my public number so I could monitor how my staff answered the phone. They knew that but they also knew how much I was concerned about how patients were treated. It wasn’t just being a nice guy. The next call might be from a patients who needed a $10,000 operation. Actually, I never did a $10,000 operation. Only orthopedists and neurosurgeons had the nerve to charge those fees.

      I will add a peeve to your list. I spent 50 years teaching medical students and office employees to NEVER use a patient’s first name. It is disrespectful, especially to poor County Hospital patients. Now, due to federal regulations, which don’t actually say that, only first names are used.

    2. McHale Says:

      I remember my driving instructor telling me that pulling up into the intersection when making a left hand turn was illegal.

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I thought that as long as you paused behind the white line for at least a brief moment, it was OK to pull into the intersection so as to make that left turn as soon as traffic would allow. But it’s been (mumble) years since I was in Driver Ed.

      Yes, I am a woman driver, and a pretty slow and careful one, never mind the speeding ticket that I got last month. First one, ever – and yes, now I am peeved and more careful than ever.

      Seriously, I think it’s disrespectful to be addressed by your first name only in a professional setting. It’s demeaning in a nastily subtle kind of way. Maybe it’s my military side speaking, but there are people I served with, I didn’t know they HAD a first name, other than Sgt., LT. or Captain, or whatever. These days I am apt to smile brightly when someone is untowardly familiar and say, “Sweetie, you haven’t known me long enough to call me by my first name. To you it’s Mizz Hayes.”

      Book events are not professional settings – then they can call me Celia, especially if they are buying one of my books.

    4. T.K. Tortch Says:

      IIRC, back in the day, insurance companies found that statistically women were safer drivers. Or at least weren’t as prone to accidents from presumptively risky driving habits like speeding. But that was then. Seems to me these days that large vehicles like SUVs and the bigger pickups tends to worsen everybody’s driving. Too confident, not enough spatial awareness. But I used to drive a Miata so pretty much every other car could crush me.

      My teenage niece astonished me by admitting she was leery of driving because of the hazardous driving part. As her face is usually glued to her iPhone, this displayed maturity and self-awareness I didn’t know she possessed.

      Michael Kennedy, my father was a small town family practice doc for 50 years & he was the same way with his staff about medical patients / first names. But he grew up where he practiced, and a lot of his staff worked for him for decades, so after doctoring people for thirty years or so first names started to creep in!

    5. Grurray Says:

      ReCAPTCHA is similar but it has the added functionality of digitizing scanned text.

      It was supposedly an example of the so called second economy.

    6. Bill Brandt Says:

      On Captchas some of them are so absolutely crappy to read I am suspecting that on the programming side the programmer can allow for 10%-20% or however much error he wants to allow.

      On software testing. Here you struck a nerve. I have a Sony GPS that is the most annoying thing created (at least in that market). The thing drones on about every on ramp you are passing, as if this is valuable information that every driver must have. Want to torture someone in the 21st Century? Force them to have this thing on while they travel I80 across the country.

      I remember loaning this thing to my mother and sister when they went on a trip – it became so annoying that they unplugged it and took their chances.

      If Sony had taken the time to actually field test these maybe they would still be making them today.

      Look at just about all consumer electronics and you can see a “get to market first” mentality rather than a “get it reasonably right” first.

      One can go overboard on the 2nd, as one can continue trying for perfection as the market window has passed, but most of what we have out there is ridiculous. I could cite example after example after this.

      If you put me on hold you really don’t value my business, no matter what your recorded message says

      Well, I’ll give then 1-2 minutes then you know they really don’t care for your business. Or, as I mutter with the droning of the We know how important your business is bot then why don’t you hire more operators> ?

    7. CapitalistRoader Says:

      I remember my driving instructor telling me that pulling up into the intersection when making a left hand turn was illegal.

      No state that I know of. Imagine if the oncoming traffic lane(s) was solid, stop and go, and there is no left-turn signal. You’d never be able to make a left turn unless you pulled out into the intersection.

    8. IGotBupkis, "Not At Home For Xmas" Says:

      }}} This would reduce the incidence of design errors such as in my cell phone, which beeps when the battery is being charged and has reached full capacity with the phone turned on. Because what kind of idiot leaves his phone on in his bedroom while charging the battery overnight?

      You want dumbass cell phone design flaws, Samsung units wait for like 5-10 seconds AFTER you unplug them from the charger, THEN turn themselves/the displays on… so you unplug it, and slip it into your pocket. About a half hour later you feel the heat on your leg, and it’s at 50% power after having BUTT DIALED Pakistan (as well as half your contact list) because you never realized it turned on FOR NO INTELLIGENT REASON and then your overall motion was sufficient to prevent it from turning itself off for inactivity.

      And I can’t speak for your phones, but mine turn ON when you plug them in… and then DO NOT turn themselves off due to inactivity, thereby slowing the charging process substantially since the display is on, and it’s one of the largest power burns in the thing. So, in both cases — when connecting and disconnecting the charger, they go on and stay on because someone, somewhere, is a lackwit idiot.

    9. Jonathan Says:


      I feel your pain.

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