Saturday, September 15, 2007

DSC_6238 - Thank You For Not SmokingGood evening and welcome to our little hotel.

Please fill in this form marking your future meal choices for the duration of your stay. We have an extensive American-themed menu.

You must retain a copy, please free a hand to take it.

I'm sorry, you'll have to leave as you've come in the wrong car. We only accept Fords. Goodbye.

Ah, hello again sir, changed your car we see; I must say it was very cunning of you to duplicate your luggage. Very good. Now if you just care to sign in the visitors' book.

Mr Worthing is it? Would you care to go through to dinner now?

Mr Moncrieff, so delighted to have you here with us. We have your earlier selection already prepared especially for you.

And that essentially is what trying to use Yahoo's LAUNCHcast radio is like. First comes the long page of selections from a heavily American list, at the end of which is the sell-your-soul privacy bit. And then they complain that the pop-up-blocker is doing its job, although the usual bar that allows overrides has failed to appear. Then comes the ever wonderful "Fuck Off Firefox" page. When will they learn? Unfortunately the only recourse is to click "no" in response to question "was this answer helpful to you" on the autoloading help page, which cunningly loads in the same window as the selection list, thereby wiping it (except Firefox is cunning enough to cache it).

So I dig out the link for IE *chews on Imperial Leather* (it begs me for settings; I just don't use it normally), flick through the pages on Firefox till I find one with an ID number in the address bar, copy that over and hit enter. Cue the sign-in. But fortunately because it's in IE I don't have log out of Flickr to do it. Go through the pop-ups rigmarole again. It starts playing music on the stated grounds that a different user chose it. Odd.

It gets better. It just ditched the current load of preferences, jumping mid-song, for the previous load added the last time I used the system, which would be about 5 years ago. The Foo Fighters are great, but they're not what I just asked for. And it's now stuck on them. Yay Yahoo!

Plus I haven't mentioned the badly aimed adverts (or rather the same advert in every commercial break). Oddly, I'm not really after an American mortgage right now (and I'm guessing it's not just me; if the Bank of England can find cash to shore up Northern Rock why couldn't they do it for Fopp? Far greater impact).

Still Foo Fighters. Time for a change. Think I'll have to go with a pre-selected version. Shall I go for Show Tunes or Gay Club Mix? Or perhaps the wonderfully named 1990s Contemporary Christian? I know: Emo!

Er... worryingly I've just tried three of those. Guess who has a great many mp3s, but isn't tempted by any of them, or is just being indecisive. Although as it's currently playing The Junior Deftones (The Blood Brothers apparently; no relation to the musical) may just be about to decide I know what I want after all.

Oh and: "Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience"

Yet the music plays on.

Ok, not now. Sod it, time for Winamp. Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mika. Yep, I'm tired. And there was much point to this post. Yahoo is what we already knew it to be. And Facebook's enduring US-centricness has long since stopped being amusing (this is of course what spawned browsing for music). It gets wearing to rebuff people muddling High School, College and Grad School. It's also annoying that the whole mobile thing officially only works in the US or Canada, despite the symbol appearing on UK based friend's pages. How can they get it to work when I can't? They can't be so inept that they haven't noticed large chunks of the users aren't US-based - half the point of it seems to be competing for who has the most cosmopolitan selection of friends - so does the lack of support mean they just don't care? Of course, being American, they don't mention it doesn't work outside the USA, simply that one has to infer such things from the missing contents of drop-down lists. That and various other niggles, such as the laziness of friends versus the better design of Flickr for photographs.



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