Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Strangeness Abounds

The other night I caught a bit of a cookery show on TV; "Coming up [someone] looks for cockles and [something else]" advert break perhaps? Except their TV was on BBC2. Yep midway through a half-hour programme they interrupted themselves to tell you what they were doing later. Straight afterwards someone was indeed looking for cockles. Has our attention span got so short that... oo shiny thing.

Speaking of BBC2 I note they committed professional suicide last night by pitting Horizon: Moon for Sale vs the last episode of Life on Mars on BBC1. I haven't been watching the series, but like soaps you pick up so much of it by osmosis. Sadly I was going out last night, luckily I've a twin tuner so I set it that morning to record both. Plans had already been made so I was unable to attend the Planning Meeting last night even if I had spotted the reminder email from Tav in time (totally my fault he gave plenty of notice - thanks for the thought) and if I'd have been able to get to it on time anyway (6pm start in Kidderminster).

Checking papers I note a couple of interesting stories, mostly interesting for the tone taken. The first was about a misplaced speed bump. Imagine a normal road with two lanes, place a small pedestrian crossing slab between them and have the two lanes flow around it like a boulder in a stream. Now between these two lanes next to the slab put a speed bump. That's what the photo showed - how insane, a speed-bump that's not even in a lane.

The locals thought it daft, the council spokesperson couldn't give an instant reason for its location; yep it's a waste of money and yet another example of stupid things that happen. Except if you read the article carefully and use that spongy mass between your ears it makes sense why it's there. Because what the photo doesn't show you is that there are in fact three speed bumps in a line, one either side of the 'stupid' one.

Now imagine two lanes that split creating, in effect, a third lane between them. Now put a speed-bump in each lane and only in each lane. Show with diagrams the path vehicles will now take. Yep they'll both try to use the imaginary third lane to avoid the bump not only taking them close to the pedestrian slab, but possibly into each other. How can you stop that - put another bump between them.

'It might confuse people at night' said one saft individual uh-huh and that lit bollard on the slab won't deter them in the slightest. I despair.

Next up was the story about the 5-year old vandals who'd committed the heinous crime of drawing a hopscotch grid on public property using chalk. The paper reported that "Police turned up armed with CS gas". Overreaction or what? Well no, they'd had a report of 'criminal damage' which this wasn't and I believe the pepper type sprays are standard issue so it would be like reporting that the police 'turned up in uniform driving a police car'. What was more worrying to me was this wasn't a random stop by the police on patrol, someone had called them out. What does that say about our society where someone sees children playing or doing something they think hey shouldn't and calls the police rather then risk doing something about it themselves.

If you want overreaction the tale of the 8 police cars and 20 police officers turning up to detain one 'hoodie' would fit the bill much better.

I'm still swearing at some Nokia software. Someone has two unconnected computers, one at home the other at work, with their contacts on both. Now using their PDA with Microsoft Mobile and Active Sync and one specific list of contacts if they add something in on the office computer and sync, then go home and sync it appears their too (and vice versa)

Now if they use their Nokia with its software and another list of contacts (due to Nokia not retaining all the information and then screwing it up). Add something to the office, sync and it appears on the Nokia, go home, sync, and nothing. So it gets added manually to the contacts. At which point, because it's new it gets added back to the Nokia again. Then it shows up twice on the other computer.

That's assuming that it syncs at all - yes XP says you're connected, but it can't sync. One restart of the phone later and hey look all is good. Except when you take the phone off the cable before pressing OK on it at which point the software sometimes thinks it's still connected and you have to manually sync when you connect it back up.

It's confusing and annoying, but the jist is that it seems Nokia haven't envisioned their phones being synced with more then one computer or for that matter got their software to work correctly. Microsoft have got something right that works the way it should!

Now if that isn't a strange thing to say I don't know what is.


Anonymous said...

The worst offenders for short attention spans are the people who make the BBC daytime programme about Longleat. They have three or four strands in each episode, but each is split into several four- or five-minute segments and they are all interleaved. Thus, at the beginning of the programme they tell you what's coming up today. Then, at the start of each segment they give you a quick recap of what's already happened on that strand, in case you've forgotten since it was shown a few minutes ago. This must pad the show's running time by at least a third.

After Easter an' all, I'm surprised you haven't commented on this year's eggs. Cadbury have added a little oval ridge on the flattest part of each half-egg, on the inside. A quick investigation shows that this is extra structural reinforcement to compensate for them making the eggs thinner. Not that you can blame them: there can't be much margin in eggs that are three for £2 from Tesco.

FlipC said...

I can vaguely understand a recap after adverts; annoying for some, but useful for those who've just joined in.

I can understand "This is what's coming up" for short format programmes like the breakfast news where they have reports that aren't linked in a logical fashion.

From what you say however I can only be glad I'm not in a position to watch daytime TV. Then again judge the audience; the unemployed, the retired, and 'home workers' who may only be idly glancing at the TV.

As for Easter Eggs, the Bratii get far too much chocolate for me to add to the mountain and I never got to see them over the period and I haven't done eggs since oo '88.

I did have an excursion in an attempt to pick something up for devil child. Very difficult to find something small and cute for a one-year old. The choice ranged from the massive to the medium, and then jumped to the tiny filled eggs.

M&S to the rescue with a hollow milk chocolate duck that fitted neatly in the palm of my hand.

Anyway I can't be surprised at anything they do with Easter Eggs. It's size matters so if they find a way to the shell thinner and spread it out into a larger shape they're going to do it.

"Hey it's Easter please sell me exactly the same thing I always been able to get in bar form but in the shape of an egg or a bunny or a duck or..." and how many people actually know why they're buying an egg?

But 3 for £2 for Cadbury's yeesh I wonder how much Tesco are making off them?