Category Archives: Give me a break!

Stuff that makes me just throw up my hands in frustration.

GoDaddy is getting desperate

OK, it’s kind of obvious that GoDaddy is getting desperate … after the whole SOPA flap, and their rather abrupt back tracking, I decided that enough was enough … it’s time to move domain registrars.

The first step in moving registrar’s is to remove the transfer lock on the domains … this lock prevents the domain from being transfered to another registrar without your permissions.

When I tried to do this at Go Daddy, I noticed a new bit of text on the dialog …

“Go Daddy opposes SOPA”.

Um … yeah … right.

Sorry guys, but you can’t change your positions that fast.

Continue reading

Confidential Information

I saw a very interesting mail reject message today on one of my mailing lists …

You are receiving this message because you have attempted to send an e-mail containing confidential information. Examples of confidential information include, but are not limited to social security numbers, birth dates, account numbers, policy numbers, medical history, financial history, personal phone numbers and user IDs. Another example of sending confidential information would be combining any two or more of the following: name, address, identification numbers (employee number, phone number), organizational affiliation (place of employment). This information may be contained in the body of the message or any attachments.

I looked at the body of the message it was rejecting (which was included in it’s entirety), and noticed that the message referenced dummy social security numbers (the message discusses SQL techniques).

Of course, based on the warning message, it would probably reject ANY numeric text that was included in a message at all.

I suspect that the company, who’s server rejected the message, does not have a problem with email volume … since the majority of email sent to them is probably rejected.

I really wonder about companies that have such incredibly draconian content rules.  How do they stay in business?

Bill O’Reilly : Comedian

This is absolutely hilarious … Bill O’Reilly has a great future in comedy (if only he were actually joking):

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill O’Reilly Proves God’s Existence – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive

Bill O’Reilly proves God exists, but Neil deGrasse Tyson knows what causes the changing tides.

Thanks to the Friendly Atheist for the link.

Chase Bank Fail

I had a very frustrating experience with Chase bank yesterday.

I wanted to pay down the balance of our home equity line of credit to zero. I did not want to close the account.

The pay down amount isn’t obvious on their web site, so I called their customer service.

The woman I talked to was clearly a script reading drone, as she could not give me JUST the information I wanted. She had to give me ALL the information that showed up on her screen.

The balance on the account was about $60 plus some variable interest.

The first amount she told me was to close the account entirely (which I explicitly told her I did not need) was around $500. This included the early termination fee.

The next amount she gave me was (supposed to be) the amount to bring the balance to zero. She quoted me $400!

I explained that the amount she gave me could not be right because my current balance was only $60.

So she had to log back into the account to get the breakdown. Since the call had already gone on for 25 minutes, I just told her to forget it and I would calculate the amount myself.

Back on their website I finally found the variable interest that was due: $0.46.

Unfortunately the website would not let me pay the full amount … I had to pay the current balance first, then pay the variable interest.

The last time I wanted to do this I was unable to make a payment less than $1 … So I had to make a $1 withdrawal so I could pay a little more than $1.

This time it let me pay the .46 without jumping through hoops.

I like many of the services Chase offers, but their phone customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

End Of The World

As posted to Friendly Atheist

The fans of Family Radio Inc., a Christian radio network, have sponsored dozens of different billboards in select cities around the country proclaiming the exact date when Jesus is coming back.

May 21st, 2011.

You know, just like the Bible predicted.

If they’re so sure that it’s going to happen on that date will they leave regardless of if it happens or not?

I’d pay real money if they would.

Thanks to Ginny for the link.

Excel is Stupid!

Did you know that Excel could give you different calculated values based on what the default language for your PC is?

I’m working on a translation project … and the translation company gave us a excel spread sheet with a list of screen fields that need to be expanded.

This spread sheet uses the LENB function to calculate the length of the text that needs fit on the screen … and uses that calculated length to indicate how much the field needs to be expanded.

LENB is (supposed to be) aware of double byte & single byte character sets … unfortunately, it’s only aware of double byte characters when Japanese is the default language on your PC.

So, if Japanese IS the default language on your PC, and a character is double byte … it will return 2 as the length of the character. However, if Japanese is NOT the default language on your PC … it will return 1 as the length of a character.

There’s no warning about this potential discrepancy when you load the spread sheet … the only way I was able to find this out was to dig through the documentation.

As a result of this, I just spent a week and a half working on expanding fields … and it turns out that the size I expanded the fields to was incorrect … so those have to be redone … and the entries in the spread sheet that were less than 1 actually DO need to be expanded.

LENB is a totally brain dead and stupid function … there is NO situation where a calculation such as that should be effected by what the default language of the PC is.   It should return the same value regardless of what machine it’s run on.

Turns out there are a bunch of functions that behave this way … FINDB, MIDB, LEFTB, MIDB, REPLACEB, RIGHTB, and SEARCHB.

A friend suggested that OpenOffice might be better … but, at least as far as I can see, OO doesn’t have functionality that’s aware of double byte characters.

New Credit Card Number

What a pain … Discover card has issued Ginny and I new cards with new account numbers.

A few weeks ago I got an email from Discover indicating that we were getting a new account number …

As part of a recent systems upgrade, you will be issued a new Discover Card with a new account number.

At first I thought it was just another phishing scam … but they had all the relevant information correct (last 4 digits of the card number and my full name).

For the past two weeks my daily Quicken download was failing on the Discover account … so I guess it’s legit.

Well, today the new cards came and, as promised, a new account number.   Now I get to go through the hassles of changing credit card number with those vendors I have recurring charges with.   What a pain.

This begs the question … why would they need to issue a new account number?   According to another website I found Discover is doing this to “millions” of their customers.   This smells very very fishy.   Another site I found mentioned a “security update”.   Bill Roper ran into the same thing … except he found someone doing fraudulent charges on his old account.

Methinks that Discover had a security breach recently … and aren’t owning up to it.

32 Percent

One in eight U.S. high school teachers presents creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, says a poll published in Public Library of Science Biology.

One in Eight High School Biology Teachers Still Teach Creationism

The article states that 32% of the 900 teachers, who responded to a poll conducted by Penn State University political scientist Michael Berkman, agreed that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as scientifically unsound. Forty percent said that such explanations are religiously valid but inappropriate for science class. EXACTLY!

However, 25% said they devoted classroom time to creationism or intelligent design. Of these, about one-half — 12% of all teachers — called creationism a “valid scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species,” and the same number said that “many reputable scientists view these as valid alternatives to Darwinian theory.”

Excuse me? ‘valid scientific alternative’??? What’s scientific about the bible? Where is the proof?

Personally, I think that any teacher who is found teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design should loose their teaching certificate. They shouldn’t even be allowed to be a substitute teacher.

I’ve said it before … I’m saying it now .. and I’m sure I’ll say it again … science class is for teaching FACTS … not religion.

Florida is going to be the laughing stock

I heard this on Morning Edition as I was getting ready for work …

Florida’s legislature is working out the details of a bill that would either allow or require science teachers to present students with alternatives to the theory of evolution. It could signal a new opening in the perennial battle over evolution in public schools.

Bill in Fla. Lets Schools Teach Evolution Alternatives

The thing that gets me the most is the term “academic freedom”. Freedom to do what? Teach lies? Proselytize their religion?

Don’t get me wrong … if someone can come up with an alternative theory to explain how life came to be the way it is, I’m all for it. But that theory has to be based in science, lacking any super-natural involvement, and be peer reviewed by reputable research organizations.

“Intelligent Design” is nothing more, and nothing less, than creationism. It’s based on biblical texts and has no basis whatsoever in science. Thus, it has absolutely no place in public schools.

The thing that gets me the most is the number of people who, on other topics, are the most logical, level headed, intelligent, people I know. But when it comes to things like Evolution vs. Creationism, they throw all that logic and intelligence out the window.

  • Do they have an inferiority complex?
  • Does the idea that humans and apes share a common ancestor somehow denigrate them as a human being?
  • Is the idea that, because their holy book is wrong on a specific topic, the book is totally wrong and doesn’t merit study and consideration?

The odd thing is, most mainstream religious organizations have actually endorsed Evolution. Even the Vatican has weighed in on it …

The Vatican’s chief astronomer said Friday that “intelligent design” isn’t science and doesn’t belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

Vatican astronomer joins evolution debate

So what’s the problem folks? Let’s view the bible for what it is … a book that tries to tell a morality story and not a reference text.