Thursday, December 29, 2011

monetizing, go screw

I've come to hate the word "monetize" when it comes to services, because more than half the time it's a euphemism for "ripping customers off".

Text messaging, for example: there's a technical reason that all the messages are 160 characters. The data channel used for SMS is the same one that reports reception strength, and some info on incoming calls. They get the stream "for free" and in fact were coerced into implementing it by the GSM. (1)
The fact that they charge $.10 a pop (or extort a monthly fee from your family, as in my case) is pretty grotesque.

The really abhorrent faux "monetization" to me is Sony's "Sony Plus" horseshit for the PS3. Basically, it gives you a bunch of free stuff and some utility. The free stuff I get - that's totally understandable that I'd pay a monthly/yearly fee and in exchange get access to a lot of games I normally wouldn't. It gets better if you've got a PSP too, so it encourages brand loyalty for different devices. These are totally cool things and I understand. They're also not for me.

The "utility" thing is for me, and it's a simple one - update my fucking games and system when I'm sleeping. I don't want to be in the PS3 Plus because I don't have time to play a PS3 game but twice a month. Every time I do, I have to factor in ten minutes of downtime (at least) where it attempts to download an update(manually) and then tells me I have to log in to the PS3 Network, which I can't do until I (manually) start another download, go run an errand or something while my PS3 downloads and installs that update, then restarts. But doesn't automatically install the game's update - I've got to be sitting at my PS3 to manually trigger that right after.

It's so onerous of a computing chore (and so common one) that a framework could apply to every single game ever made and make it better for the user. And in fact, it is a solved problem. It's offered as part of their Playstation Plus membership!

So now I can pay $6 a session to eliminate that 10-15 minutes up front spent updating.

Or, I can just not play my PS3, which is what usually happens. Because I'm not paying it, and the startup cost to even play it is a deterrent.
So now I don't buy PS3 games.

I mostly buy them on Steam.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Xmas from an atheist

I shouldn't even mention the "War on Christmas" as it's a chimera but there you go.

It's just funny to me; I'm having parents and family over for Christmas dinner.
I got multiple people presents.

I am also a complete and unapologetic atheist.
So I smirk a little bit when I hear about the war on Christmas. Where? You're a cultural pariah if you don't participate in the holiday.

I sound bitter, but I shouldn't. I'm really not; it will be great to see my family. They'll insist on praying, they might even attempt to throw the conversation at "The Birth Of Our Lord" but I'm hoping it's kept on the DL. Maybe the lack of a Christmas tree will help.

That'll change though. I don't know why, but I want to raise Lottie with the whole Santa myth. It's a great lesson: Adults Lie. Sometimes you want something to be true but it isn't. People will go along with your belief in order to manipulate you. ("So be good for goodness' sake!")

I figure we'll have Santa until she's adept at google; then I don't know what happens.
Shit, I don't know what happens next week, it's hilarious insanity to speculate on dissolving the belief system associated with Santa and when it will happen.
She still poops herself.

'Tis the season I suppose.
Happy Holidays to all of you; enjoy today because you'll be making a lot of bullshit promises to yourself in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

what's happening in this space?

I'll return eventually. Right now it's:
Laundry (just kidding, that's my wife in exchange for primary dish guy)
Learning more python to become scarier at work

So blogging is just right the fuck out these days.
When I tire of Skyrim or the baby begins to take less time, I'll be back here.
in the meantime, here's my wife, my baby and my cat