Perception and Reality

I can’t claim to be a software developer. I’ve built some plugins and an extension, and a few other little things here and there. But I still don’t feel like I am a developer. Perhaps I never will. Nonetheless, I feel I have at least a bit of insight into the process. Or maybe that I’m a little entitled to it. With that in mind…

The perception, from my side of things, is “Hey – that’s cool. Thanks for the effort!” (or at least something along those lines – it doesn’t have to be exact, and more groveling would certainly be nice, as well as monetary rewards and everlasting fame).

Reality, however, is very different. It’s more like “Moron. It needs to do something else.” or even “I can’t figure it out. Tell me how to do it because I can’t understand. Pay you for your time? Why should I have to do that?”

What I really don’t get is why. Perhaps I should charge for everything. At least then there would be something for the trouble. Give it away and people always want more and get upset at you if you don’t give it to them. That’s just too much hassle. Perhaps this will just take a backseat to other things. It just isn’t worth it.

Phishing Phools

So I get a phishing email the other day, as is all-too-common, and this one actually looks pretty good – enough so that I had to double-check it, even though I knew it wasn’t real.

So as I’m reading through the copy, I see that I can also fill in the verification information at “https://www.paypal-costumer.com/”. Huh. I’ve never heard of PayPal being in the costume business, but who knows?

Not Responsible for Anything

As I’m driving to the doctor this morning, I spy a dump truck with one of those stickers on it that reads “Not Responsible for Broken Windshields”. Now I understand the desire of the company to not get a bill from everyone and their brother, claiming that the trucks broke a windshield. But shouldn’t the company exercise at least a modicum of good faith? Looking down, the tires on said truck, where you would normally see a low-hanging piece of rubber, perhaps with some silver naked ladies, barely made it to the top of the tires. I think they ought to be responsible for it at that point.

Moreover, I think I’m going to get a tattoo on my forehead that says “Not Responsible for Anything”. I wonder if that will work?

Flash Popups in Firefox

Those of you who have used Firefox for a while have undoubtedly encountered a problem with certain types of popups getting past the generally outstanding popup blocker in the software. It is puported that these may be caused by Flash – and this tip alleges to fix the problem through the use of privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins. I went back to PopupTest, and it seems that I’m still vulnerable to the Drop Down Popup, so it looks like the search continues.

Lynn Wheeler is Running Again

So it would appear that Lynn Wheeler is once again ready to run for City Council. Has she learned her lesson? I don’t know. The message she posted would indicate that she has done so, but there’s only one way to find out.

I’m not sure I’m ready to take that route. While Lynn promises to fix the problems of crime, taxes and potholes (that’s an odd combination for her focus), I just don’t know if she can do the job or not. Her prior loss and two years off might help, but is it really in the city’s best interest to bring her back?

Your Shades or Your Life

It’s really pathetic that our world has come to this. Some teenagers are roughhousing – like that’s unusual – and in the process, one breaks the other’s glasses. The breakee demands payment, but the breaker only has half the money, so friends of the “victim” beat up the kid who broke the glasses.

Bad enough, you say? Wait – it goes on! So the Rogers family is driving around later that night, and the mom stops to talk to the two who assaulted her son, even offering to pay for the glasses. The mom’s sister suggests calling the police. The guy with the gun says I’m a give you a reason to call the police and shoots several times, one of the bullets lodging in the mom’s spine, rendering her legs useless for at least the time being. Doctors say she has a 50-50 chance of walking again.

While I know it’s stereotypical, I doubt the shooter would be reading at all, much less here. But come on people – shooting someone over a pair of sunglasses, that have already been halfway paid for, and someone offered to fully purchase? That’s just insane!

Data Validation, People!

There are so many times where I try and enter my ZIP+4 – not just the ZIP code, but those extra little digits to be helpful. And at times, I am stymied by a field that only accepts a strange number of characters – like 7. I think it could be better, and just not allow me to enter more than 5 if I’ve selected the US and they aren’t going to support the ZIP+4 format, but it’s better than nothing.

Others don’t even go that far. They appear to have a field with no data entry limit at all – I could go on and on with that data, so I’m perfectly able to enter all 10 digits of the ZIP+4 – including the dash separating the parts. But then we I submit it, I get an error like Invalid ZIP Code, or Unknown ZIP Code or something.

Then there are the folks who store the ZIP+4 in the account – so if you go looking, that’s what you’ll see in the field. Then when you save it, it doesn’t work. That’s just ridiculous.

So come on, people – it’s not that hard. A little Javascript is all it takes to restrict the field to a particular length for a particular country. And if you can’t accept that data, don’t store it in your user records!