Monday, 20 February 2012

You just said no


I must say I am rather surprised and gratified with the response I got from trying to encourage everyone to opt out of the word-verification 'security' thing that is set to 'on' as default. (Anyone stumbling across this post should see the previous one).

It got me thinking about the whole business of blogging (again), and this time it also got me thinking about the whole business from Google's point of view as well.

I mentioned in a comment that most bloggers seem to be between the ages of about 40 and 70 something, and everyone else online is on Facebook. The younger generation don't even bother with emails - any messages sent between them are posted up on Facebook (and public thoughts are on Twitter), and privacy is something that you have to opt into, rather than the other way round.

I don't know about you, but if I build a wall in my backyard, it is not specifically put there for anyone to come up to and stick whatever they want all over it - including compromising photos of me, worse the wear for drink, last saturday night in the pub or club. Many careers of would-be high-office politicians are being destroyed right now, 20 years before they have been created by a lot of hard work. As has been said before, 'Facebook' is like the Hotel California - you can check out, but you can never leave.

The trouble is that all these shiny and spectacular operating systems we all take for granted now, are designed by very clever young people of the Facebook generation - change is what they are best at. They are supreme innovators, and without them, we would have no gleaming Apple Macs with idiot-proof systems to operate them with. It would never occur to them to just leave something be if it works sort of OK - they would be sacked for even thinking along those lines, and quite right too.

A little detail like forcing old people to attempt to decipher some black and white, distorted and meaningless phrase and reproduce it in a separate box using trembling hands and failing eyesight, just would not be seen by them as being a particularly tall order.

I cannot imagine the pace and extent of the concept of change and innovation that must permeate the very atmosphere of the design offices in Apple's headquarters in California - all I know is that complacency is simply not allowed. From what I know, the same sort of atmosphere exists in the offices of Dyson at Malmesbury, and the two companies are similar in that they produce very glossy, desirable products at very high prices. Someone has to pay for all that research and development!

There are programs that exist on my iMac that I have no direct knowledge of, nor will I ever even find them - even by accident - let alone use them. If - for the cost of about £80 - I bought two extra little chips and screwed them into the back of my machine, I could professionally edit about three, full-length feature films at the same time. Somehow, I don't think I will ever be doing that, though.

So if you happen to find yourself in Google's design headquarters in the near future, try leaning over the shoulder of one of the young technicians as he types furiously away at his desktop, and - if you can get his attention - politely ask him (when he has a spare minute) if he wouldn't mind taking the 'word-verification' option out of the default mode, and allowing the average OAP to decide if they want to use it themselves!


42 comments:

  1. Last night, I had a silent ceremony for the word verification thingy, and am now a member of the 'NO' club ..... I didn't even know it was switched on !!
    I am not now expecting you to comment on my rather shallow, girly lifestyle posts .....I just want to be loved !

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  2. Just said 'No'.Sweet talker. If the bots get me I'll be on my way to Bath...

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  3. Its the "spirit that won the war" all over again

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    Replies
    1. It's being so cheerful as makes me a c***!

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    2. I dont think you are a c*nt today
      only a twat

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    3. You are starting to make a good argument for word-verification. But, when all said and done, I love your contributions to this little blog - even though they come from an unreconstructed pig-killer who hates Jesus. God will forgive you.

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    4. I love you Tom...
      even though you resemble an alcohol wrinkled prune from hades!
      xxxx

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    5. You look like one that has been soaked in Welsh water for a decade or two, but I still love you too.

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  4. I'll ask him. He just sold the house I live in. No really!

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    Replies
    1. I've lost the thread on this one, Sarah - sorry, but remind me what?! Sold the house?!

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    2. The kid who works at google as a software engineer

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  5. You even managed to convince me Tom!

    Have you ever thought of going into politics?

    Or maybe selling mobile-phones, tarmac drives or time-shares?

    You'd be great at all of those. :-D

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    Replies
    1. don't forget red wine chris

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    2. Yep, he's great at red wine too. (Or white wine, spirits, beers, liqueurs, chocolate liqueurs, floor polish etc,...)

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    3. I'm great at buying all those things, but I'm not good at selling them, or hanging on to them.

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  6. Have you read the letter Zuckerberg wrote to the world just before Facebook's IPO? Pretty much sums this up.

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  7. Thanks for doing that. Yeah, it was pretty annoying. After awhile, I would just give up.
    m.

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    Replies
    1. You have one of the worst entry systems in the blogoshpere, Mark. I don't know who you are signed up with, but it's a miracle I still occasionally leave a comment!

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  8. Word verification is about twenty five kinds of awful I agree. Plus it has intensified lately. I just had several spam comments get by blogger but what do you do? They were not offensive just trying to sell junk. I do not have verification or approval on my little blog. Facebook is of the devil but do not get me going on that.

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    Replies
    1. Block ALL anonymous commenters, Olive.

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  9. You have certainly gone to the top of my list of saviours Tom after telling me how to get rid of it. Trouble is that I forgot that others have not removed it so as soon as I started reading today's blogs from my list there the ugly words were again. This is one OAP who would love to visit Google's office if only to give them a piece of my mind.

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    Replies
    1. Send them the instructions, Weaver. Life's too short for word-verification.

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  10. Anyone need to know how to block anonymous comments?

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    Replies
    1. Kill everyone in the world that you don't know?

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    2. Yes. Before they kill you. (I'm only using the logic of the person who instigated this block, who pretended to be ex-British army and said that he thought I needed killing for saying something he didn't agree with about Iraq).

      Of course, I just mean 'kill the hatred' - just like what is about to happen to Iran in the next 2 months, if they continue down the nuclear path toward destruction.

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    3. No, of course not. Long live Bill Gates.

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  11. Replies
    1. Kill the pigs... (and bring home the bacon).

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  12. Tom, that was a really good blog, well written. It would be worthy of being published in one of computer magazines. Then at least somebody out there might just take on board what you're saying and what we're all thinking. I switched from IE to Google Chrome because IE was a bit worse than useless and spent most of it's life crashed out. Firefox doesn't load properly on this machine so it looks as if I'm stuck with Google Chrome until I can invest in something better. I will keep writing my blogs because that's what I like doing and If I have to pull a cracker with myself and nobody comments, well, That's Life.

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    1. I am no expert Moll, but it might be worth upgrading your operating system - how old is it? You can get the latest from Microsoft for not much money, but if your machine is really old, why not consider just buying a new 'un?

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    2. It's about 3 years old. I opted for Windows XP when I bought it rather than Vista (current then) because of all the glitches Vista was throwing up. So that's probably where the problem lies. Spose the answer would be to upgrade to Windows 7 which I think I might do soon.

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    3. I know nothing about Microsoft, Moll, but three years is a long time in cyberspace. I've just upgraded my Mac OS (as I have already bored you with), and the increased speed is amazing. Also, the latest systems support all the other latest systems, but the geeks don't bother to tell you that, thinking that you will already know. All the latest designs need all the other latest designs to support them - this is how they carry on making money - so it is well worth spending about £20 installing them.

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  13. Thank you for drawing my attention to the fact that I can remove the blessed things. Until recently they were quite easy to read. However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Have you tried the "Try the updated blogger interface" link on your dashboard? If not I'll tell you that if you do and want to revert back to what you have now, click on the gear wheel (upper right of screen I think) and select the appropriate option from the dropdown menu. I'm telling you this because it took me ages to find it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for that, Dominic. Thankfully I was warned about not trying the new interface shortly after I decided not to, but if I did, I would have been very grateful for this advice. They make the reverses a lot more difficult than the forward, because they want everyone to sign up. I guess it is all down to maintenance issues.

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  14. You're better off writing about comments than chickens Tom, just looking at your comment count.

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    1. That seems to be the truth, Sarah. There is that old description of al fresco onanism called 'feeding the chickens', but 'pearls before chickens' seems to be my attraction. I have my own Mac Guru, who has been using these machines since Steve Jobs worked for Microsoft, but now the learning curve is built into the system.

      I will have to set up a charitable foundation to give away all my comments to charity soon.

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  15. Oh and by the way, the reason that I keep going on about Apple is not just because they are the only machines I have ever used, but - like Dyson - they are the true innovators. Where they lead, all the others follow, and - like it or not - that is the plain truth.

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