Lazysupper

Koenji, the world and elsewhere


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Dear @GooglePlus, stop asking about my friends

Google is like a goddamn mosquito buzzing in my ear. For a company founded on the core principle of simple, parsimonious user interface they’ve really lost sight of that.

Even though I have always hated Google+, I am trying to use it a bit more for some forums — sorry, that’s communities in Googlespeak — for Lightroom, Scrivener, etc. But every time I visit Google+ it is asking me to look for my friends.

Piss off, Google. If I want to look for friends I’ll look for my goddamn friends. I don’t need you poking me every five minutes like some annoying little brother. I understand that giving users the option to add connections is standard protocol when setting up a new service, but generally after you make your selection the first time they stop asking. They Do Not. Keep. Asking.

But Google+ seems so desperate to increase its floundering user base it feels compelled to ask about my friends every bloody time I access it. Even if I’m already logged in.

It offers two options:

  1. Spam your friends
  2. Spam your friends later.

They apparently have no qualms about keeping it more worthy of being called Google-.

Google-fuckyou

 

 

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Why Base CRM does not suck

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With risk of looking like a prick to Customer Service workers everywhere, I feel this incident makes a nice follow-up to this morning’s earlier post. I recently signed up for a free trial of Base CRM’s Professional service plan, which is $45/month. Because they have (what has become a business standard) an “Opt-out” free trial, I determined the cancel-by date and marked down the day before on my calendar. It is something I always do (and something everyone should make standard practice) lest I find myself paying again for a year of e-greetings I don’t really want.

Well, my two week came and went and I didn’t really get to use Base CRM as much as I had wanted to. So when I went to cancel my trial the site recommended I downgrade to the $15/month plan for a two-week trial. I figured Why Not? So I cancelled my $45 subscription a day in advance of its automatic billing date and signed up for two weeks of the $15 plan.

The next day I received an email from Base CRM stating they had billed me $45 for my new Professional Plan. Still in the aggravated midst of getting shafted by Synology I immediately replied with the following email:

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I had tried to be as pleasant as possible in my angered state… the whole “catch more bees with honey” thing and all. After pressing SEND, I had a moment of worry as I ran through last month’s sign-up process in my head. Like a murderer going over the crime scene, hoping he didn’t make a mistake. I realized I hadn’t taken a screenshot of my registration page (something I also try to do when signing of for Free Traps Trials). Still, I was ready to go battle. It’s not about the $45. It’s about the principle. I’d do the same for 45¢. I received an email reply from Victor at Base CRM within the day:

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I was taken aback, horrified almost. Was I on Hidden Webcam? With slight trepidation I decided to continue my trial. And thank Victor for not going to war.

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Victor agreed. It’s not about the $45. He also followed up with a detailed, non-scripted, non-boiler plate reply to explain what had happened.

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It is so nice (yet sadly uncommon) to encounter a business nowadays who does not treat their customer like the enemy.

It also helps that Base CRM makes a great product that lives up to its marketing.


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Hands-on first impression of Windows 8

I was meandering through Shinjuku’s massive Yodobashi Camera complex yesterday and obviously could not avoid the fifty million posters, signs and other various adverts informing me that Windows 8 is to be released this Friday (October 26, 2012). I have actually been looking forward to it as I am a “Windows Person”. I don’t like Macs and never will. And I’ve never had much interest in Ubuntu or any other OS my techie friends tell me is “kind of like Windows but a billion mega-times better because Linux fucking rules.”

I’ve also had Vista for the past three years, three months and 15 days. And yes, it feels like I’m confiding a disease when I write that. It was the early days of Summer 2009, I was in desperate need for a new laptop, and could not put off the purchase the few months required to wait for Windows 7. To make matters worse, the laptop I ended up buying was an HP Pavilion dv7. I had no idea that “HP” was an acronym for “Hot Plate”, but that’s what I get for not doing enough pre-purchase research. It’s my fault and has nothing to do with HP selling me a piece of shit. So, here I find myself again, three years down the road, looking for a new PC. However, through a lot of time, personal effort and anguish on my part, I’ve managed to keep the Hot Plate running and can wait for the stable retail release of Windows 8 before I buy my next disappointment.

Hearing that Windows 8 is a brand new operating system, built on some kind of Super Kernel for all platforms – desktop, tablet, smartphone, etc. – I must admit I’ve waited with slight-to-mild anticipation for its release. I was therefore pleased to see that Yodobashi had a version installed on the floor model of a touchscreen laptop, even if it was in Japanese. I gave it a touch here and gave it a touch there and then I looked for the button to touch to Go Back. I could not find it but I kept my cool (in spite of being mildly OCD when it comes to UI) and asked a nearby staff how to go back a screen. She then pointed to the button. On the fucking keyboard. Replete with a sticker pointing to it. And I felt all the hope I had for this OS and for Microsoft go out of me like air out of a whoopee cushion. I hope this was just due to the staffer not knowing anything about Win 8. If not, where can I download Ubuntu?