Repetitive Redundancies

On Facebook, it is possible to have a dedicated page for a baseball team. It is also possible to have a private group for the players of said team. These exist as two separate entities until the dedicated page is made to be an administrator of the private group—at this point they become linked together.

Confusing? Yes. Apparently it is confusing to Facebook as well. When the page and the group share the same name, goofy things like this start to happen:

"Redding Ringtails Baseball Club made Redding Ringtails Baseball Club an admin of the group Redding Ringtails Baseball Club," brought to you by Redding Ringtails Baseball Club.

To translate, this is Facebook sending out an announcement to all members of the group Redding Ringtails Baseball Club that Redding Ringtails Baseball Club the group made Redding Ringtails Baseball Club the site an administrator of Redding Ringtails Baseball Club the group.

If one our players hadn’t “liked” the posting then I never would have noticed that Facebook was capable of such silliness. (Having a keen sense of humor is an unspoken requirement in becoming an official member of this team.)

Epic Failures, Entry 1: The End of the Universe

As Lewis Black would say, “I have found the end of the universe!”

And on a related note, this is a fantastic example of why so many people hate computers—myself included.

Software Malpractice

The technology industry oftentimes does a good job of making reasonable people feel like they are inept. Here is one example:


Given that I am a mostly reasonable person, and that I was in a bit of a hurry, my brain processed the information contained in this picture in the following way:

  • Noticed “Yes” button and “No” button
  • Gaze drifted upward and read “Continue Working”
  • Clicked “No” button

I wanted the program to close, but the result of this action was that the program did not close: it stayed open.

Now consider the opposite and more dire case: if I had actually closed the program by accident, but wanted to keep it open, I would have clicked the “Yes” button and subsequently lost all my work. It is necessary to note that this is a warning message and was deliberately added to the software with the sole intention of keeping the user from accidentally losing work. The simplest of adjustments—or perhaps omissions is the more appropriate word in this case—would have prevented any and all confusion:


Sadly, if I had called tech support in a blind rage to demand that they get my work back or refund my money, chances are pretty good that some dittohead would have told me that I didn’t stop and read the message, and this would have been true enough to divert any ownership of fault. Somehow poor planning and execution on the service provider’s part turns into the end-user’s mistake, and the total cost of ownership for the software increases in drastic and simultaneously nonquantifiable ways.

You Can’t Put Autocorrect Everywhere (Or Can You?)

I very much dislike it when computers attempt to correct what I type. Sometimes it can be handy, but other times it can be infuriating. Texting on a cell phone is of course the best example of this: almost every single text message is altered by the phone’s computer software in one form or another. This is something that I only recently noticed: I had disabled texting on my phone in the past because I didn’t want to give certain people yet another way to selectively communicate with me (and further empower these same people to get away with the obnoxious behavior towards myself and others that comes along with such selective and one-sided discourse). Eventually I relented, but only because you can’t be part of a baseball team in the present day and not use text messaging.

The experience so far hasn’t been too bad. I completely ignore people who really should be calling or visiting me and instead use text messaging almost exclusively for work- and baseball-related activities. What really drives me up the wall, however, is that every time I type in a word that could potentially be deemed offensive, my phone changes it to something different. “Shit” is changed to “shot”, “hell” is changed to “he’ll”, and even “fart” is changed to “cart”. Needless to say, I shut this feature off as soon as I was able to dig up the associated setting on my phone.

But autocorrect isn’t always so bad to have around, and some people clearly need it more than others. An unfiltered Google search for “comptuer”, a common misspelling that typically occurs from typing too fast on a keyboard, yields the following results:


Interestingly, the first entry is from LinkedIn for the Top 15 Comptuer Programmer profiles icon-external-link-12x12 icon-search-12x12. Apparently this spelling error occurs frequently enough that the site automatically generates a separate category for a special group of programming professionals who are very impatient typists:


This misspelling is so common, in fact, that some asshole in the Cayman Islands icon-external-link-12x12 icon-search-12x12 thinks that he’s going to get $15,000 for the domain name COMPTUER.COM:


The sad thing about all this is that we wouldn’t have most of these problems if people learned to spell, didn’t get so bent out of shape over strong or vulgar language, and were more considerate and earnest when communicating with others. Is autocorrect going to help us with these problems and eventually save us from ourselves? Only time will tell….

On a related note, ICANN icon-external-link-12x12 icon-search-12x12 really sucks.