Category Archives: Friction

Apple Gives Itself Unfair eBooks Advantage

This is the iTunes Preview listing for iBooks (which is now, with iOS 8, pre-installed on all iOS devices):

iTunesiBooksAge

It has an Age Rating of 4+.

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Filed under Apple: The Company, eBooks: General, Friction, iOS, Stupid

Why I Despise Windows Beyond XP

Just what the hell is this shit?!

Win7NoPictures

Windows 7 will sometimes report no pictures in the Pictures folder — when in fact there’s well over a thousand in it!

Plus, sometimes what I see in a folder is not reflected in the file picker. New images socked away in Pictures don’t show up immediately in the file picker. WTF!

This never happened with Windows XP — and I’ve got thousands and thousands of photos on that old machine.

What the hell is this shit?!!?

I’ve Googled to no avail.

Anyone know what this ongoing problem is?

Same-day update: And Steven Troughton-Smith clued me into the Libraries change in Win 7 [it dates back to Vista!]. I now have it sorted out. Let’s see how it goes. Thanks!

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Filed under Friction

Xiaomi’s Popularity Creates A Scalping Industry

ZooPDA — which has often been critical of Xiaomi — has published an exposé that reveals why Xiaomi phones often sell out quickly, leading many everyday people to complain they can never buy one at the advertised price [Google Translate; also drop URL into Bing Translator -- this needs dual translation!].

There are four types of scalpers. Perhaps the worst are the groups on QQ who “invest” in buying quantities of Xiaomi phones to resell at higher prices.

Even though Xiaomi has safeguards such as CAPCHAs to defeat bots and mass purchases, there’s software to circumvent that.

Another safeguard to prevent scalping is an SMS confirmation message. But that only led to the creation of a service that will “launder” the SMS!

This is an article someone really needs to translate into clear English.

I’ve always suspected that “limited” sales of the kind Xiaomi engages in would lead to abuse. But the scale of it is astounding. It’s an entire industry that’s been created to milk would-be Xiaomi buyers.

This further leads me to think that the reason why the MiPad went from limited to open sales so quickly is a lack of popularity. While it’s the best Android tablet available in China, Xiaomi violated its reputation for surprisingly-affordable pricing. That alienated potential buyers. Given a choice between the MiPad and an iPad, people would rather spend double for the best — or just spend far less for a “good enough” Chinese brand tablet.

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Filed under Fraud, Friction

I Am So Sick Of Flat Design

FlatIcons

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August 29, 2014 · 8:42 am

eBook DRM Kills eBooks

https://twitter.com/micahsb/statuses/427676195384082432

I believe in stripping DRM from the eBooks you’ve paid for. Not to then pass along those eBooks to others for free. People should pay writers for their work. But you have a right to be free of the potential harm that DRM can do. See above tweet!

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Filed under eBooks: General, Friction, Stupid

Best Buy: Their Worst Last Hope

Tech Companies Press for a Better Retail Experience

If you’re Microsoft and Samsung, you think, I used to have thousands of retail locations and now I’m down to Best Buy.

And:

Jonathan Sandler, a spokesman for Best Buy, declined to make an executive available for an interview, but said the company’s “goal is always to try and stay one step ahead and anticipate the ever-evolving technology wants and needs of our customers.”

I see fifty billion Samsung tablets at Best Buy. No LG GPad 8.3 or HP’s new Android tablets.

Get your customer-anticipating asses in gear.

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Filed under Friction, Marketing, Stupid

Facebook Acknowledges The Real World Others Haven’t

Introducing the Facebook Card, a New Type of Gift Card

Beginning today, people can give their friends gifts to Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora, and Target all on one reusable gift card from Facebook.

Gift Cards are a special pet of mine. I’ve written about them before:

The Gift Card Advantage
Google Play Wakes Up To In-Store Gift Cards
Google Play Gift Cards: No Credit Card Required

The real world is that we are bankrupt. Gift Cards acknowledge that fact. They let people who have had their plastic revoked — or who have cut up their plastic to kill their debt slavery — still have access to buying on the Net.

This new Facebook Card goes one further, reaching out the non-Net real world.

This is a huge paradigm shift.

How long before they add partners like supermarkets and drug stores? So Facebook friends can help out other Facebook friends who might need help getting groceries or paying for a prescription? (Note: Target already deals in pharmacy scrips!)

If you don’t see how huge this is, you’re just not paying attention.

This is epic huge.

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Filed under Collapse, Friction, Marketing

Microsoft No Reed Gud

It’s Official – Microsoft Doesn’t Understand Visual Novels

I give up. I see nothing to indicate that MS is serious about addressing the issue of giving developers a way to communicate directly with the folks doing the testing. I doubt that submitting it another twenty times with more and more instructions is going to solve this, and I doubt anyone is going to put that kind of time in just to be in their App Store. If you can have a $2.99 program in the Windows Store that is nothing but a wrapper for Picasa, but I can’t get my game in, then I think you know what you can expect to find (and not find) there going forward.

Ah, but the Microsofties smile a lot.

But then morons usually do.

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Filed under Digital Book, Digital Overthrow, Friction, Stupid

Dear DoJ: You Need To Sue Apple Again

A lovely thing about living in the modern age is that when the government files its documents with the courts, it now includes email addresses.

This is the email I have sent to all of the Department of Justice attorneys listed in the antitrust suit papers filed against Apple and some of the Big Six book publishers.

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Filed under Apple: The Company, eBooks: General, Friction

Why Can’t Google Books Sort By Date?

This has been an ongoing problem since the beginning of Google Books. But I’ve never seen anyone else complain about it. This image says it all:


Click = big

That’s the final page of results. Sort By Date should go from latest to earliest date (there’s no sort order option, either!). And it clearly doesn’t. How hard can such a basic function be?

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Filed under Friction, Google, Stupid