Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Facebook Chat, and Why It Sucks

Everyone knows what Facebook is. If you do not, this must be your first time on the internet. If this is the case, please be advised that you will be seeing an uncomfortable amount of genitals during your exploration of this information superhighway. If this prospect makes you uncomfortable in any way, you might want to just throw your computer away right now.

However, if you are already familiar with the internet (and it's awkward accessibility to genitalia) you are probably familiar with Facebook chat. While this may seem like a convenient means of communication with your friends ("friends" in this context meaning the two people you actually talk to out of the 600 or so people you are "friends" with on Facebook) it is also a frustrating and debilitated piece of non-genitalia-related internet media.

Below is a list of helpful Facebook Chat Features:
  1. "Friend's Online... Maybe" Feature: Facebook chat revolves around who is online. If you wish to speak to someone who is offline you must send them a regular message. There is a list on the left-hand side of your news feed of who is currently online. HOWEVER, Facebook always has your entertainment in mind, as it does not update this list when your friends sign online. What a fun game! In order to refresh this list, you must click on the Chat (#) tab in the bottom right corner. When you do, you will see an amazing amount of your friends sign online at the same time. Congruent with this fun little game, Facebook will not properly inform you when friends are NO LONGER online. The same tab can be clicked to refresh the friends list. If only every chat program was this much fun!
  2. "Conversation Auto-End" Feature: Facebook understands that sometimes it is difficult to say "goodbye." This is why every so often Facebook decides to lend you a helping hand! In this feature, the chat decides for you that it is time for your conversation to come to an abrupt end. It does this by pretending your friend has just signed off without informing you. On the other end of your conversation, Facebook is playing the same hilarious trick, fooling your friend into believing YOU are the culprit that signed off without properly informing him/her of your leave.
  3. "Multi-Send" Feature: You may have experienced this yourself, or have seen it during a chat. This is a fantastic feature where Facebook takes something that was sent correctly the first time, but decides that this blurb of your conversation was so important that it should be sent again! Usually at some random moment, completely out of context. This can be extremely convenient during those troubling conversations where you don't quite know what to say. Don't worry though, Facebook has your back!
    You: "Mom just said we are having pizza for dinner."
    You: "That makes me happy."
    Friend: "Cool."
    Friend: "I need to talk to you about something"
    Friend: "My girlfriend and I got into a fight last night, and she said she would rather be with you..."
    You: "That makes me happy."
Please feel free to share your experiences with these or any other of Facebook's numerous helpful chat features in the comments!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What To Do While Walking

So, when you are walking in a crowded area, what do you do? I've always felt that the Rules of Walking should be the exact same as the Rules of the Road.

For example:

In certain areas, when you are driving, it is customary to remain on one side of the road. I know which side depends entirely on where in the world you reside, but we can all confidently conclude that positioning yourself solely on one side of the road causes MUCH less hassle than if you were to switch sides constantly.

So why, then, do people decide to swerve all over the sidewalk?

What is the thought process, when you see someone walking toward you? Both parties realize that they must adjust their current trajectory just slightly to avoid a possibly fatal collision. It never fails though, that one party will confidently stray to the right (as is their customary driving side) and the other party will follow in the EXACT SAME DIRECTION.

Following this horrific event is the ever-so-awkward "excuse me" dance. We've all experienced it. Both parties shift uncomfortably from side-to-side in a synchronized manner, each one just hoping the other will physically melt away from the heat of the underlying hatred that has now been developed.

Do me a favor. If you see me on the sidewalk, just jump into the street so I can avoid you completely.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Technology, Why Are You An Asshole? Part 2

Just wanted to write a follow-up to this post.

I received the replacement battery, opened my Zune (well aware that it was already out of warranty) and replaced the battery with ease.

I then concluded the battery was not the issue, as suspected.

  1. Send the Zune to Microsoft for repair at the cost of $160
  2. Order a new motherboard (which will fix the issue) at a cost of $80 and hope nothing else goes wrong with my (purchased as refurbished) Zune
  3. Get something new.
I'm opting very heavily for number 4, and at the moment of writing this post am eyeing some iPod touches.


Well, to be honest I initially wanted the Zune HD. However, when completing my own research and comparative end (as any savvy consumer should do) I have realized that the iPod just has better features. For example, applications and web display. There is a certain radio station I enjoy listening to (due to the talk show in the morning) and while the Zune does receive radio, I can easily download an app that will stream the station via wifi. This might be in the Zune marketplace as well, but I have a final reason:

Due to the fact that my Zune suddenly and without warning failed on me, combined with the well-known failure rate of the xbox-360, it is safe to say my faith in Microsoft's hardware integrity is wavering slightly.

Already knowing the majority of you are probably iPod users, what are your feelings?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love It, Hate It: Headphones


One of the greatest inventions that we use on a daily basis. It's hard to go through a day without at least seeing someone using headphones to listen to their favorite song.

Why I Love It
Headphones are the easiest way to provide a soundtrack for your life. Whether you listen to music, podcasts, or anything else. You have your own private music station right in the palm of your hand, and you can listen to whatever you want, wherever you want without disturbing anyone around you.

Why I Hate It
Some people don't seem to understand the concept of headphones. If you are listening to music with headphones, I shouldn't be able to clearly hear every single note of what you are listening to.Here's a news flash for you: I don't want to hear your shitty music. 

Please don't misunderstand that statement. I don't care what you listen to; We all have our individual tastes. Everyone has every single right to listen to whatever it is they want. However, I also have the right to enjoy the quiet of the elevator. When you walk on with your iPod set somehow beyond its maximum volume, with your earbuds nearly falling out of your head from the vibration, I begin to think that maybe you are missing the point.


I don't quite understand. Do you think that you are selflessly bestowing some sort of gift upon the people around you? Allow me to add on to my previous statement: I don't want to hear your tone-deaf ass try to sing your shitty music.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Impressions: Portal 2

So it appears I haven't had the time to update this in the past two days. I'm sorry, some of you may have thought I was dead. Please see the end of this post to clarify why.

Also, Free Topic Friday was a bust this week. I believe I will put that on hold for a while, and revive it when I have some more followers. Speaking of that, we are almost at 100! Woo!

But onto the meat of this post:

Isn't it about time for a positive First Impressions post?

For those of you that missed it, Portal was the pleasant surprise that came from seemingly nowhere. It was a (short) game packaged in a release titled The Orange Box, which was a combination of Portal, Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, and Team Fortress 2. 

Orange Box cover

Portal was a breath of fresh air in the gaming industry, following truly unique and creative concepts in gameplay, puzzle design, and story telling.

However, we are not here to discuss Portal, but its highly anticipated sequel.

The major complaint about the first iteration of the game was the length. Now, seeing as how Portal was more of an experiment on developer Valve's part than anything else, this is completely understandable. Portal 2 has been promised to be at least twice the length of the previous game, not including the multiplayer component.

Did you see that? Was that a typo? NO. MULTI-FUCKING-PLAYER.

This is the aspect of this game that I'm most excited about. All of the new gameplay elements look fancy and fun, sure. But, have you seen the robot hugging?


Little things like that within a game always make me very happy. It adds a whole new element into the game, such as "How quickly can you engage hugging to screw up your teammates ability to lay down portals?"

I think I'm going to like this game. A lot.

What are your opinions on Portal 2 so far?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love It, Hate It: Drinking Fountains

You know what I love?
Drinking fountains.

You know what I hate?
Drinking fountains.

The way I see it, there are two types of drinking fountains. There are those that are warm and unsatisfying, and then there are those that are ice cold but taste like iron.

It is so insanely difficult to find that perfect fountain that is both cold and tastes at least somewhat like regular water. I'm sure all of you know what I'm talking about.

It must be something about the materials that go into making a fountain. Obviously they are connected to pipelines just like regular sinks would be, right? So it's not the pipes themselves, because sink water is normally reliable (even if most people do prefer to run it through some sort of filter.) With that fact in mind, it must be something about the fountain itself that destroys the potentially awesome H20.

Potentially awesome H20
(which also ended up being terrible)

A quick Google search to try to find the materials used in making a drinking fountain produces no helpful results. This can only mean one thing: The companies that manufacture these fountains are HIDING SOMETHING. Are they purposely making these fountains produce terrible water in hopes that we will purchase water from other places? Do companies that make drinking fountains own stock in bottled water companies?

That must be it. They must not want us to have free and delicious water. It's one or the other, people.

If you don't hear from me any more after this post, it means I've obviously begun unraveling a gigantic cover-up here, and they have probably already killed me.


But if they don't kill me, I would really appreciate suggestions for Free Topic Friday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Technology, Why Are You An Asshole?

Remember a while back when I told you I have a Zune?

Yup. Me too.

Anyway, the reason I bring this back up is because I was at the gym the other day, listening to a podcast on my Zune and everything was fantastic. I was in a world of untouched beauty and comedy, and nothing could possibly bring me down. Then, as I peered down at my technological wonderland, I noticed the battery was getting low. "No problem," I thought to myself. "I'll just charge it when I get back home."

Cut to home.

So I plug my Zune into the AC charger. It lights up for a moment, then... nothing.

Confused, I figured maybe I would try the original USB charger the Zune was shipped with. Perhaps there was just some sort of malfunction with my third-party a/c adapter. After plugging the Zune directly into the computer, I quickly realized the same thing was happening.

Damn. What could this mean?

There were two immediate options that came to mind. First, there is the option that there is something wrong with the pin connector. This would mean that the Zune is not properly connecting to whatever it is plugged into. The other option is that it is just a battery issue. This is also possible, and I am EXTREMELY hopeful that this is the only thing wrong.

At this time I have ordered a replacement battery, thanks to the magic that is ebay. This of course is my only option, as the Zune is WELL out of warranty, and sending it in for maintenance would cost around $160. At that cost, I might as well wait and buy something new and better.

My experience technology is normally fantastic. However, it should be known that these items are completely capable of failing, and most of the time this happens without warning.

This. Is. Frustrating.

There is another similar yet more expensive experience that pops into my mind that I may discuss later on. However, for now I am curious: What are your experiences with failing technology?


Remember, Free Topic Friday is always JUST around the corner!