Two Technological Pet Peeves

You know computer pattern recognition has to be getting pretty good, because the latest trend seems to be CAPTCHA that is so convoluted that I can’t read it either. It’s annoying enough that, while I hardly comment on blogs at all anymore, I really am loathe to comment on blogspot blogs, because I usually have to try the CAPTCHA two or three times before I actually get it right. I think the usefulness of CAPTCHA is probably getting close to nearing its end, and we’re going to find some better tests to tell computers from humans.

The second technological pet peeve is with web designers, who always seem to be looking for new an innovative ways to ruin the experience. I find myself saying or thinking “No, I don’t want to download your f**king app, just let me through to your site!” way too often these days. Anyone who does a lot of browsing on mobile devices today likely know exactly what I’m talking about. One of the chief philosophies of the Web was supposed to be platform neutrality, but I suppose since mobile browsing has largely been successful murdering Flash (a self-defense killing if you ask me) there had to be some new way for bad web designers to crap all over things.

17 thoughts on “Two Technological Pet Peeves”

  1. How about “Is the gun babe pictured below a blonde, brunette, or redhead”? :)

  2. A small correction for you. When a web site wants you to download an app, that is the fault of a web PROGRAMMER. Web designers (like myself), want to make the web sight pretty and easy to use. We generally have to fight the web programmers and the client to get this done.

    1. I’m painting with a broad brush when I say web designer. I’ll gladly agree to stick the blame on the programmer.

      1. Go with the … inclusive ^_^ word “developer” and you should be safer. That can include the guy who ordered this abomination, who very possibly hasn’t coded or designed in earnest for years.

  3. When I tried to comment on Thirdpower’s site a few days ago, the Captcha was so complicated I couldn’t make it work. I tried three times, and then I sent him an email saying something like “Stupid motherfucking word verification won’t let me post goddammit. If you feel the need to stop spammers, please use a comment moderation program.”

    For all that people bitch about registering for Disqus, it only needs be done one, and thereafter one is free of the accursed Captcha.

    1. Akismet is pretty decent on wordpress at keeping the spam out, though it false positives a good bit, which is probably discouraging to people too.

  4. The other day, I had to fill out a Captcha for something important (I for get what it was, but it may have had something to do with unemployment benefits, or applying for a job somewhere); when I couldn’t get the visual Captcha, I tried the audio one.

    Which was just as bad: it made me think of some sort of sound clip intended to give an idea of what it was like to be a schizophrenic, listening to voices.

    In the end, I finally figured out one of the visual Captchas.

  5. Yep, time to kill Captcha. I hateses it. I turned it off before I fled Blogspot.

    And yes, I’d support a law that made it legal to give one free kick in the balls to anyone who programs a website to ask “would you like an App with that?”

  6. For some things, an app is appropriate. Others not so much. I prefer the google reader app to their mobile website, for damn sure. I have decided I prefer Tapatalk to most forums interfaces, mobile optimized or not. Blogger/Blogspot is unusable via Web on mobile, not that there’s a good app either.

    1. Personally, it annoys me that I get an annoying popup trying to upsell an application I don’t want to buy every time I visit a forum on my phone.

  7. A small correction for you. When a web site wants you to download an app, that is the fault of a client. A web programmer (like myself) want(s) to make the web sight (site) functional and easy to use. We generally have to fight the designers and the client to get this done.
    Guess what? Client wins.
    I’ve never added a function that the client didn’t insist on, and pay for, even after trying to talk them out of it. Don’t get me started on “designers”.
    Great blog Sebastian. Been a reader for awhile. Thanks for letting me vent. ;)

  8. My #1 Computer Peeve of all time is the line of Crap we were sold back in the early 90’s about how computers would eliminate paperwork.

    Remember that load of crap?

    If anything they have created even more……..

    Captchas might be #2 though.

    1. I don’t know about paperwork per se, but I just had a look around my cube, and I have no paper on my desktop, and of the 16 separate pieces of paper I have pinned to the walls, 7 are comics or LOLcats, one is a picture of myself and my wife, 2 are pieces of art from Eberron, 2 are a subnet cheat sheet so I don’t have to count on my fingers, one is a calendar, one is a map of the USA showing internal geographic breakdowns that gets distributed every year, one is the instructions for unlocking my account, and one is a training certificate. None are strictly necessary for my job. OTOH, I’m considering asking my boss for a third monitor…

      1. The breakdown of the 7 humorous pages is 3 xkcd, 1 checkerboard nightmare, a face-palming bear, and two actual pictures of cats with humorous captions in impact font. No Dilbert strips at all.

    2. Hey, it’s not up to us computer people if retromingent organizations still use paper when they don’t need to, or use high capacity assault printers to make even more of it.

      My Joplin, MO tornado claim was entirely paperless (except when I printed it out for review), because USAA has internally been paperless since the the very early 90s or earlier, and now does electronic filing. For that matter, the IRS strongly encourages or requires electronic filing of various sorts.

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