The error message is telling me to pretty please remove the “DE” prefix of my bank account number.1 So they know exactly in what way my input is “wrong”. My insurance provider must employ some of the biggest brain 10x engineers on the planet. Maybe some day technology will advance as far as to allow them to automatically correct my input accordingly.

One can only dream.

  1. I changed it before taking the screenshot, please donate to your local animal shelter instead. [return]

Almost ten years in, the dickbar phenomenon is only getting worse. Big players make using their mobile site as horrible and painful as humanly possible to coerce you into using their apps. This example from Microsoft feels particularly bad – someone shared a screenshot with me, and not only does their dickbar cover up said screenshot, it doesn’t even have any visible controls to dismiss it. You can dismiss it, by tapping the outside area.

The worst part, however: It is a screenshot. Why is there any HTML involved at all. Just show me the damn picture. using up a cool percent of my entire 1TB system disk, despite not being the active screensaver.1 On a quick glance it looks like there is no way to stop this. I don’t really need the disk space, but as I’m not even using the screensaver, why is it transcoding and caching all my photos anyway?

  1. Padbury Clock is the best macOS screensaver. [return]

No really, it’s fine! I just wanted to scroll the header anyway!

Good to know that I can count on Windows Defender to watch my back. Maybe I should contact Microsoft a few times next week to let them know about things that work fine on my computer.

I reinstalled Windows a few days ago, this is their tool to create a bootable installation medium. After realizing how needlessly complicated it is to create a bootable installation medium for Windows without an existing installation of Windows to run this tool, I’ve then repeatedly run into this error. Now you might think, judging from the wording in that error message, that this is what it looks like right after starting it. But no, this message came – reproducibly – after:

  • Ten to twenty seconds of “Getting some things ready”
  • Clicking through some dialogs to start the process
  • The tool downloading a 10GB Windows image
  • The tool formatting the selected USB flash drive
  • The tool copying the image to the flash drive until reaching about 80% progress
  • The tool remounting the flash drive and progress dropping back to 50%
  • The tool showing progress move back to about 78%

Only then, it finally failed. So… I’m pretty sure you could at least have some idea of “what happened”. And I’m pretty sure that you are able “to run this tool on my PC”, because it already ran five times. It didn’t finish, but it certainly ran, or where else did my time go?

Maybe at least tell me exactly what the last thing that did work was. Or even what you tried to do when something broke? Was it copying data? Was it unmounting the flash drive again? Maybe you could even tell me beforehand that remounting of the flash drive is a thing to expect. Because I don’t even know for sure that it is. Maybe the flash drive is faulty and that’s why the remounting happens and it’s already at that point that I could realize I simply need to use a different flash drive. I’ll never know.

Icing on the cake is that – of course – you can’t even copy the error message, including the cryptic error code. Why do they make it so hard for people to try and help themselves?

The AirPods Pro “Rattlegate”

The first generation of the AirPods was generally regarded as a perfect product. “Apple at its best!” was the universally accepted opinion.

I used them for a long time. No speaker issues, no battery issues.

Excited for the noise cancelling feature I ordered the AirPods Pro and for the first few months everything was fine. One day the left AirPod started buzzing every time I was moving my head. Slightly tilting my head would result in a buzzing noise with changing intensity depending on how my head moved.

Support agreed that this is a problem and sent a new AirPod.

A few weeks later the right AirPod started to produce weird rattling noises. It sounded like some tiny part fell off and was now bouncing around in the AirPod. It also started to behave weird as soon as there was a bit of wind.

Support agreed that this is a problem and sent a new AirPod.

Days later it was the left AirPod’s turn and it’s now rattling again.

There’s something very wrong with this product line and just getting a new one every few months is — financially and ecologically — not sustainable as they end up in a landfill. I’m also far from being the only one having this issue.

While I was working today my iTunes Dock icon started hopping. I switched to it and was greeted by that message. I didn’t listen to music at the time, in fact I hadn’t even switched to iTunes since yesterday. It was just running in the background, with nothing to do. I did not have any connection issues at the time, nor did I ask iTunes to attempt connecting somewhere.

I know, it doesn’t even seem too bad compared to other things we’ve posted here. We’re all just so used to tiny cuts like that by now. I almost clicked it away without making a screenshot before deciding to post it, because that’s just how it is these days, right? Things like that are normal. And I hate that.

Sure, to me it really isn’t a big deal. I know that this is just a hiccup in bad software. I know where and how I can check if my security was compromised and if this error is a result of that. I know that it’s an error I can safely ignore and move on with my life, and I also know when something does not fall into that category. But my parents don’t. My siblings don’t. Most people don’t. Most people have no idea about these things, because they have better things to do than to develop a sixth sense about shitty software.

As long as we teach people that dialogs like that are normal, we shouldn’t complain when they click “ok” in some shady dialog that promises them cool new emoji for their Facebook Messenger but actually installs a rootkit.

I clicked on a link to read this Twitter thread and the initial page looks like that. I drew a helpful red rectangle around the content I am interested in. The content this link is specifically targeting. The link Twitter gave to someone who wanted to show me this thread. Yet the “thread” itself occupies less then 20% of the main content div, probably less then 10% of the whole page. The rest is all engagement and growth hacking bullshit. Fuck you, Twitter.