Category Archives: freedbacking

motorola support jungle


Last time I was in need of some Motorola support I found out they have tons of channels available on the internet, but hardly any where you get some actual answers to your questions. The user support forum for example is just that. Populated by users trying to help out, but mostly you run into complaining & whining users claiming it’s the last Moto phone they bought. Ever.

I did run into another channel over at the GetSatisfaction site where I did get a quick and correct response when trying to find out how to remove the MotoNav app from my Android device. Good to know there’s a place where people seem to listen after all. It’s just too bad it’s so hard to find.

Photo by 96dpi, cc-licensed.

ie8 finally caught up

Did you see the puke commercial Microsoft has running to promote IE8? They pulled it already on their own site but it’s on Youtube now so it’s gonna stay out there for now. But the thing is that they are throwing some big bucks at it to promote their latest IE release which bring us the awesome novelty of… euhm… nothing I guess.

Microsoft has been playing catch-up when it comes to it’s browser of years and they finally built a new version which can compete with Firefox, Chrome and Opera. So basically now they also have tabs, crash protection, phishing protection, pr0n- euhm.. privacy-mode and can-you-fucking-believe it web standard compliance! Microsoft built a standard compliant browser! Amazing isn’t it?

Anyway they clearly feel like winning back some of that lost browser market share as they duke it out on a comparison page with a big ad campaign and some other browsers. I say “some” because they left out Safari and Opera which are at least equally big as Chrome right? But hey, I guess they wanted to stand face to face with their nemesis Google I suppose. Some of the comparisons are biased and funny. Like the security one. If you click through to that NSSLabs report it shows that IE 7 was scoring the worst of all. The tests also match IE 8 RC1 with Firefox 3.0.7 Not Firefox 3.5 which was also out around that period in beta form which is a pity and makes the report a tad incomplete IMO.
This item is particularly funny in another comparison:

Internet Explorer 8 is more compatible with more sites on the Internet than any other browser.

That’s not hard now is it, if most website builders had to make sure their site works on your older non-standard-compliant crappy browsers because 90% of folks where serving using IE back in the day.

The good thing however is that there is finally a safe IE version out there that non-techies can use to safely browse the web and not get their systems infected with malware, trojans and virii.
Cause when that happens it’s up to us geeks to go over there with our disinfecting USB-sticks and waste our time to to get that PC back up and running again.

Time we could spend better on writing cool Firefox add-ons for example.
I still recommend Firefox 3.5 though which now has tear-off tabs, the awesome bar, anti-virus software integration, massive customization possibilities, a spell checker, full zoom (images and stuff as well), support for hundred of search engine (or Wikipedia etc) and so much more.

Photo by Garry, cc-licensed.

openDNS is nice

I’m saying nice, cause it ain’t awesome enough to be… well.. awesome, but it’s nice. So what is it? Well you probably know what DNS is, and if you don’t this will probably not interest you, but openDNS offers an alternative to you ISP’s boring old and slow DNS solution.

OpenDNS is faster and more secure, or so they claim. I’m sure it’s more secure, and that’s why I’m using it in the first place. Second cause I’m a geek I guess. Anyway, it’s more secure because it blocks sites that are known to be malicious which your ISP probably doesn’t, blocks botnets and evil worms like Conficker. I’m not sure if it’s actually faster, I haven’t noticed really, but I do like the standard error page they give you if you entered an incorrect URL. That same typo-fixing logic Google uses finds the correct domain name in most cases, so you’re only a click away from what you where really looking for, which is nice.

Setting it up is a piece of cake with the detailed tutorials on their site. The vanilla edition offers basic phishing protection and a better DNS. You can also tune your DNS settings and have it block pr0n sites, illegal stuff (warez I guess) or even basic time wasting websites like social networks (nooo, not my twitter!!) which makes it a neat solution for anyone looking for a good net-nanny system for home, or even the office. You can add several networks, add more domains to block, check network statistics, and some more neat and geeky stuff with the advanced settings. If you have an internet connection with a dynamic IP address you’ll have to run a small client application that keeps OpenDNS updated on your IP changes, so it knows who you are and can still apply your settings. With fixed IP’s you don’t have this problem so for a smaller business looking to outsource it’s DNS and web proxy configuration this could be a good solution.

So if you’re looking for a free way to control your internet traffic without having to install client-side software and have some added protection thrown in as a bonus, OpenDNS is worth checking out.

Photo by miss blackbutterfly, cc-licensed

your website sucks in so many ways

Well, maybe not yours, but if it qualifies for the following rules, it does. So check em out.

  1. You can’t store my name. My name contains something called an umlaut which is used in Germanic languages like German (duh) and Dutch for instance. My name either turns up with a missing letter, or I get a funky character instead. It sucks. It means you can’t handle unicode or encoding properly. It sucks.
  2. You send me my password in plain text email right after I register. Well, ok, the email used HTML encoding, but that doesn’t make it any better. Email is not safe. Really, it isn’t, so I’m glad I didn’t use a password that looked anything like a password I use anywhere else. This makes me think your coders don’t know what they are doing.
  3. You chopped off my password after n characters and didn’t even warn me about it. Yep. As soon as I’m done registering I get this error message that my password is wrong. I just gave it to you silly twat, and it’s still in my copy buffer dammit, so it can’t be wrong!? Guess what happens when I do that password recovery thing by the way. Oh yeah. I get my password in plain text again, in my mailbox.
  4. I find out there are some privacy settings in my account settings which where not presented to me when I created my account. How odd? Not really. Apparently I automatically opted-in on a bunch of possibilities to commercially exploit my info. Nice… not. I hate spam. It sucks.

Most of these are so easy to come by that it’s sad to see these practices still in use. Try any good web 2.0 service and you’ll see how to avoid these pitfalls, and learn about encoding dammit. Also if you’re registered to the Belgian newspaper site of Het Nieuwsblad, make sure you check your privacy settings, and skip on some of the spam-features they have. They suck.

Photo by Sinsong, cc-licensed