Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 04, 2016, 04:15:59 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: The Rant Thread!  (Read 13863 times)

Tinman57

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,702
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Amazon
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 08:48:48 PM »
  A while back I ordered a Microwave oven from Amazon.com.  After a week of waiting for it they sent me a notice that is was out of stock, even though they showed it as being in stock at the time.  As a sort of retribution to me, they gave me an automatic promotional certificate for $5 on my next order.
  The other day I made another order through them, but after processing the order the certificate didn't show up on the invoice.  I sent them an email asking why and they replied that I didn't make an order directly from Amazon, or shipped from Amazon!
  WTF???  I ordered on the Amazon website!!!  Just another way they have of screwing you out of every little nickle.  Methinks it's time to stay away from Amazon.  This isn't the first time they've done crap like this to me.

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 01:03:28 PM »
Richard Stallman recommends staying away from Amazon as well. :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 01:15:47 PM »
I love amazon :)  Occasional slip-ups... but nothing compared to the convenience or prices.

barney

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,282
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2013, 06:35:04 PM »
I've had nothing but good fortune with Amazon proper.  Can't say that, however, for some of their third party vendors.  And some times ya hafta look pretty close to determine if you are purchasing Amazon direct, even though the payment is to Amazon.  As an aside, I wonder how big a cut Amazon gets from those third party purchases  :-\?

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2013, 07:56:34 AM »
I've had nothing but good fortune with Amazon proper.  Can't say that, however, for some of their third party vendors.  And some times ya hafta look pretty close to determine if you are purchasing Amazon direct, even though the payment is to Amazon.  As an aside, I wonder how big a cut Amazon gets from those third party purchases  :-\?

There's a difference in the 3rd parties, also.  Look to see if they are fulfilled by amazon or not.  If they are fulfilled by Amazon, that means that Amazon has the product in hand, in their warehouse, and are fulfilling just as if it was from them.  The 3rd party pays for that privilege (having space in Amazon's warehouse, and they send to Amazon to store the product for sale), but it's even eligible for Prime.  The others... yeah.  They're really their own entity, just advertising on Amazon.  Haven't been burned yet, but I do pay attention to fulfillment rates and reviews on those.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2013, 06:50:18 PM »

This is more of a sideways observation not a rant, but there aren't many Food threads, so it can go here.

Diners are supposed to be about ____ & Fries. Burgers, maybe steak tips, maybe fried fish, your choice of other things. So why are a lot of Diner fries really nasty? I don't care for Home Fries, Paprika Fries, Vinegar Fries, weird little skinny fries, square lumpy fries with messed up textures, and more. Yes, lots of diners DO make good fries, but enough of them don't to make this rant.

Yet you know who does good fries a lot of the time? Pizza places. Except half the time pizza places can't make good pizza. But watch that same joint do amazing fries.

And then comes the surprise entry. Chinese restaurants?!  Better than the Diners?  :o

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Opt-Out Evils starring H&R Block
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2013, 03:02:34 PM »
Rather than go too offtopic on the other software thread, I'll rant here about Opt-Out evils. It's almost becoming a game!

1. There was some program I installed recently (might be Easy DVD Player but I'm not sure.) I swear the opt-out looked like playing a game of mine sweeper! "Click 0 in all of these 0 and these 0 places to opt out of 0 strange 0 evil 0 weirdware 0 software". I *think* I got them all, but minesweeper?! To install a cheap utility?! Really?!

2. H & R Block Taxes. *Serious* love-hate relationship here. It's one of my best tips for anyone desperately looking for quick emergency cash / career item just out of college / other. The only reason I didn't do it here this year is I was just too burnt out from my move. So I have a piece of cake 1040 EZ, and landed a Second Year Preparer. That means the guy has at least taken a bic marker to cover the green-ness, but don't push them too hard. Fair enough.

Except this year they added a new "digital auto-sign" thing where the client signs once digitally then it gets applied all over the place. Except "all over the place" is almost TEN extra affiliates & services! I actually worked there off and on, so I warned the (NICE GUY) up front that I'd be kinda a bitchy client and off we went. So he was fine on the basic return. Then knowing better from the old days when I saw that "sign once apply everywhere" (!! Didn't we recall that from Java? Almost as many privacy holes here!!) machine, I really put my A game on and forced him to slow down. He made the mistake of blasting through the (admittedly "time wasting") schpiel (that wasn't his fault, he was stuck with it from Corporate), except he made the mistake of auto-*including* me in all the random services.

So being the privacy freak I am, I slowed him down big time and made him do it all over. I've been there, I promised twice that I wasn't going to bitch to his super, but that he just can't auto-include my tax info into random $hit that Corporate dreams up worse every year.  

This might be a unique case where he's on "my side" but because A he just wants to drill out the quickie 1040EZ before his appointment etc, and being sorta-new, it's a semi-legendary mistake in that company. So I bet he felt kinda wiped out after I was done with him, trying to laugh and all but firmly saying that he can't opt me in to all that $hit. (I also put my (leaky! eek!) tax hat on and grilled him medium-hard on some of the next-level tax questions he should have been asking. I deliberately under with-held on my unemployment, hoping that ... well... that I'd be employed by now. But I'm pretty sure that triggers an underpayment penalty, except that I happen to know that 'Block's comp software magically hides it behind the scenes, so it's correct, but a sophomore preparer not really on an A+ game wouldn't know.)

So anyway. Opt-Out. This might be the first case where there is a *third party* involved. The "Real Evil" is H&R Block Corporate designing all this crap. Then because they are a legendary specialist to train newbie preparers (and if you DO stick it out like 5 years you DO become kinda good!) you can get roped into all kinds of weird crap you never heard of and the poor Preparer guy only got one class on it and is just kinda lost.

Whew! Opt-Out Evils 2.0! Rant!

« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 03:09:13 PM by TaoPhoenix »

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2013, 03:55:34 PM »
I once took a tax prep course from H&R. I was appalled once they started their recruiting efforts about halfway through on about four of of us who were the students most quickly "getting it" (We all had degrees in either accounting or finance - so us catching on quicker than others was no surprise.)

They kept emphasizing how you had to be "quick" and churn out returns as quickly as possible to maximize volume. And they also repeatedly did the big pitch for all the additional money you could make by pushing H&R's other services and investment opportunities to your "clients." Something we gathered you were also required to do.

All of us told them to forget it.

Tax prep services shouldn't operate using a fast-food restaurant business model. At least not in my opinion. And I find blatant "upselling" to be one of the most obnoxious business practices out there. Especially when it's being directed at people who lack sufficient background to even understand what they're being sold half the time.

But that's me I guess.

FWIW I haven't listened to, touched, bought, or even looked at anything from H&R Block since that experience.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 09:18:16 PM by 40hz »

Tinman57

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,702
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2013, 08:48:01 PM »
I once took a tax prep course from H&R. I was appalled once they started their recruiting efforts about halfway through on about four of of us who were the students most quickly "getting it" (We all had degrees in either accounting or finance - so us catching on quicker than others was no surprise.)

They kept emphasizing how you had to be "quick" and churn out returns as quickly as possible to maximize volume. And they also repeatedly did the big pitch for all the additional money you could make by pushing H&R's other services and investment opportunities to your "clients." Something we gathered you were also required to do.

All of us told them to forget it.

Tax prep services shouldn't operate using a fast-food restaurant business model. At least in not in my opinion. And I find blatant "upselling" to be one of the most obnoxious business practices out there. Especially when it's being directed at people who lack sufficient background to even understand what they're being sold half the time.

But that's me I guess.

FWIW I haven't listened to, touched, bought, or even looked at anything from H&R Block since that experience.


  My experience with H&R has taught me they are a big ripoff.  Some fresh out of high school gal (that I knew) that didn't know a tax code from a computer code.  All she did was input information into the computer with no knowledge of how any of it actually worked.  Ask a question about a deductible and it's off to the help files to try to find the answers, which usually turned up nothing.  Wound up getting $40 back and had to pay H&R $55......
  And when they quote you a price for their services, it's ONLY for the 1040.  Any additional forms will cost you extra, and it's not cheap either.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2013, 09:12:39 PM »
^The problem is, being a good "tax guy" (or lady) is a full time job. Those real tax professionals I know spend 5 months killing themselves getting their client's returns in on time, and the rest of the year staying on top of byzantine regulations and tax code changes.

It's not an easy or glamorous career. And it doesn't pay very well until you finally get established enough that you can afford to hire qualified (or motivated and trainable) help.

Once you go beyond a "simple" return the rules can get tricky very quickly. And if you have the type of financial situation that requires a complex return, well...unless you've done tax planning throughout the year, you're pretty much sunk come filing time.  And that type of year-round planning is something only a real tax pro can help you with. And that level of expertise isn't found on a program CD.

If you're doing a basic 1040, something like TurboTax works just fine provided you're organized, work carefully through the "interview" screens, and take your time. What gets produced from that will be no different than what you'd get having a quickee tax prep service do it for you. It's pretty much the same software that gets used anyway.

Beyond that, you'll want a real tax pro if: you just bought a home, run a business, inherited or won a significant amount of money, had major medical expenses or insurance losses, have an investment portfolio - or actually expect to retire someday.

And FWIW, most of the real tax professionals won't be found in a location that keeps shifting back and forth between several of your local strip malls.

 8)

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2014, 06:02:59 PM »
My experience with H&R has taught me they are a big ripoff.  Some fresh out of high school gal (that I knew) that didn't know a tax code from a computer code.  All she did was input information into the computer with no knowledge of how any of it actually worked.  Ask a question about a deductible and it's off to the help files to try to find the answers, which usually turned up nothing.  Wound up getting $40 back and had to pay H&R $55......
  And when they quote you a price for their services, it's ONLY for the 1040.  Any additional forms will cost you extra, and it's not cheap either.

With any of those chains, there *are* some powerhouses preparers, but there's a bit of an inside knowledge game to find them. My early senior trainer was *incredible*. So at worst if you got me in those old days, I had the humility to say I needed to check on something, and in the end it would be right.

But some chains run it really fast and loose, playing the money odds vs customer satisfaction. Esp the individual franchises might be short on top talent. So then it gets dicey including for the well meaning preparers esp facing a state return you've never even seen that has a weird inside trick that just cannot possibly be guessed.


TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2014, 06:04:54 PM »

New Rant:

Why is it that generic search engines on "Advanced Search" (Important!!) always (often)  beat out the local site search for whatever you are looking for?

I am re-watching an episode of the TV show "The Listener". I picked it because I remembered the character "Magnus Elphrenson". So I go to IMDB ... and it tanks. I go to Startpage Advanced and it's in my top few results.

>:(

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2014, 01:49:50 PM »
When people can avoid the natural consequences of rudeness, their real personalities just blossom for all to see.

Want a good example?

Rainbow-Cake Recipe Inspires Comment Apocalypse

...So, wait. How long should I freeze the numbers?

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,294
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2014, 02:17:25 PM »
OMFG that is hilarious! Spiraled completely out of control because of a teeny bit of sarcasm.

Christ, I just threw my back out trying to laugh quietly and hysterically at the same time.

 :D :Thmbsup:

SeraphimLabs

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2012
  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Be Ready
    • View Profile
    • SeraphimLabs
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2014, 03:04:09 PM »
Just got a taste of UEFI Secure Boot and the walled garden of Windows 8.

So far, this machine holds the record of how long a system has held out before being forced to load up a Linux LiveUSB and using dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M count=1024 to go nuclear on the partition table. It actually took almost 3 hours to get it to boot Debian.

It would boot Windows 8, and wanted nothing other than Windows 8. After some fudging I managed to get a Windows 7 install stick to boot, but even that would get partway up before going BSOD.

It honestly seems like not only did they make UEFI secure boot a thing just to control how you use the hardware you purchased, but they actually went out of their way to make it difficult to use anything other than what they provide for you to use.

However, I did win that battle. It is sitting on my desk right now at a Windows 7 desktop, and I managed to do it without physically yanking the drive to slave to one of my Debian boxes for forced-wiping.

Like, my god though. I knew they were aiming for a walled garden. But they certainly made it extremely tedious to get out of it. If the next version of Windows really is paid license like they are threatening to do, I am flat out not going to support it and will make everything I need run correctly in Linux.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2014, 03:28:50 PM »
Was it a preinstalled windows 8, I take it?

SeraphimLabs

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2012
  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Be Ready
    • View Profile
    • SeraphimLabs
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2014, 03:38:48 PM »
Brand new Toshiba C55-B5202. Absolute crap laptop, but it was to replace another absolute crap laptop owned by a local nonprofit that happened to get run over by a truck.

Amazingly the hard drive survived the encounter- which is strangely fortunate because the only up to date copy of their financials is on said drive. I've already recovered that data without issue.

But Windows 8.2 is absolutely horrid, to the point where I could barely move around in it enough to even look for data to salvage. Although I was successful in housebreaking an 8.1 install for my wife to use, she's also fairly tech savvy from being around me so much and was able to find UI mods to make it look and act like Windows 7.

I didn't have time for that here, so it was better to just go nuclear on it and force it back to Windows 7. Which I seem to have done if I can get all the drivers to install.

Amazingly enough the run-over laptop isn't completely dead. While the LED plate is shattered and the upper housing crushed, the lower housing survived almost completely. I've managed to get it to boot Debian from a USB stick, and might turn the lidless remains into a decent SOHO Router- since it is still a working CPU in a relatively compact and energy-efficient package. Pair it up with a gigabit switch and wifi hotspot and it will do nicely.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2014, 08:46:47 PM »
Just got a taste of UEFI Secure Boot and the walled garden of Windows 8.

So far, this machine holds the record of how long a system has held out before being forced to load up a Linux LiveUSB and using dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M count=1024 to go nuclear on the partition table. It actually took almost 3 hours to get it to boot Debian.

It would boot Windows 8, and wanted nothing other than Windows 8. After some fudging I managed to get a Windows 7 install stick to boot, but even that would get partway up before going BSOD.

It honestly seems like not only did they make UEFI secure boot a thing just to control how you use the hardware you purchased, but they actually went out of their way to make it difficult to use anything other than what they provide for you to use.

However, I did win that battle. It is sitting on my desk right now at a Windows 7 desktop, and I managed to do it without physically yanking the drive to slave to one of my Debian boxes for forced-wiping.

Like, my god though. I knew they were aiming for a walled garden. But they certainly made it extremely tedious to get out of it. If the next version of Windows really is paid license like they are threatening to do, I am flat out not going to support it and will make everything I need run correctly in Linux.

That's awful!

And you're really good, you run your hosting business and the stuff in your post, etc.

I would never even be able to get started doing anything like that. And it would frustrate me so much that I would just sink in despair.

Actually Seraphim you might have a biz opportunity doing that for other people.

I was really hoping that Win9 was going to be a turbocharged back to basics Son of Win7.

And on a new topic, I hadn't seen the news about Win 9 being a paid license (what does that even mean? That you have to renew it every year or it stops working?!). I think I will hate Microsoft! (Right now I don't, I just randomly like my life the way it is and can't afford to upgrade.)



TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2014, 08:47:43 PM »
P.S. Just posting here so people can see it, I found an epic topic for one of the political threads in the Basement.

Ren, you're gonna love it!



« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 09:07:09 PM by TaoPhoenix »

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2014, 01:22:41 PM »
Okay a new one popped up.

I am reading Keith DeCandito's reviews on Star Trek TNG.

Pretty good all told, but he's putting in just a few too many full pic ads of his or friend's books in.

It's well known that 1 200X380 pic overpowers 2000 words of text.

So just as a lark, after trying to play fair, I nuked one of the pics with AdBlock.

The result was immense. I don't really mind texts calling out their products. It's when a big pic "bullies" the text to the side that I begin to get grumpy.

After all you wonder why WHY AREN'T YOU READING MY AD FOR NEW COKE??? when lil' ol text GETS PUSHED TO THE SIDE BY A HUGE PIC THAT ASKS YOU TO BUY SOMETHING can't be read coherently!?


wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2014, 03:49:04 PM »
Where are you reading it?  On Tor.com?

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2014, 10:33:01 PM »
Where are you reading it?  On Tor.com?

Yeah.

I have ignored most of the pics, only occasionally nuking a couple that really seemed annoying.


Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2014, 01:23:40 AM »
Rant. Computers. PSU died. Subbed in new PSU from scrypt miner. Computer works now. But 1 video card isn't working. Figures.  >:(
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,405
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2014, 02:23:22 PM »
Where are you reading it?  On Tor.com?

Yeah.

I have ignored most of the pics, only occasionally nuking a couple that really seemed annoying.



Not sure... I have adblock plus and ghostery running... and didnt see any of what you were talking about.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: The Rant Thread!
« Reply #49 on: July 12, 2014, 03:15:47 PM »
Where are you reading it?  On Tor.com?

Yeah.

I have ignored most of the pics, only occasionally nuking a couple that really seemed annoying.



Not sure... I have adblock plus and ghostery running... and didnt see any of what you were talking about.

Adblock certainly doesn't do anything, and it's fair to say they're same site ads, so arguably among the legit ads possible. My rant was just about them being big pictures which always beat out text. I just put back Ghostery, and it didn't seem to do anything.

Try this page:

http://www.tor.com/b...t-generation-qq-whoq

Then see if you see this image in the post:
http://www.tor.com/i...t-many-splendors.jpg

If you do, that's my point. If you don't, then we have a new topic because if we're both running Adblock (which one? I'm running edge) and Ghostery and I see it and you don't, that's a technical thing to discuss.
Keith D has written a lot of books, and I'm sure some of them are pretty good. It was just a bit much of selling as I clanged through his entire series. Title dropping in text would have been fine, maybe ten years ago I might have bought a couple of them. It was just the pic thing that annoyed me a little.