I refuse to shop at at least one popular computer retailer who would not honor their rebate. Even worse, they didn't mention this until about the fifth time I visited the store to attempt to get my promised rebate. This was even with proof of purchase and proof of rebate (the filled out forms as well as the original advertisement) in hand.

I'm sure that the rules for redeeming rebates make sense, in a Dilbert sort of way. After all, if they don't give out the rebate, they make more money on the product. So why not make it as difficult as possible?

"US Airways can plan on whatever they want. We plan on taking them to court."

An interesting quote indeed. Who said it? You'd think it was a jilted partner, or maybe even a competitor who felt that they lost out to USAirways in the battle for gate space at an airport. I could maybe even see a city that felt slighted that USAirways reneged on a perceived promise to the city. No such luck though.

You've probably noticed an influx of Javascript-based ads on web sites. You know, these are the windows that display over the page, but aren't really windows of their own, so they can't really be blocked by typical popup-stoppers (not yet, anyway). Sure, you could turn off Javascript, but that's a real inconvenience as it can make things less functional.

I don't really mind those ads, though as they catch on, I'm liking them less and less. Still, I understand that the companies need people to pay them to provide advertising space so that they can, in turn, pay the writers of their content. Despite some of my other posts on the subject, I'm really not against capitalism. I understand the need and the desire to make money. Where I have a problem is when the line is crossed so that it impedes functionality.

Most of these ads have a relatively unobtrusive (and often hard to find) option that allows you to close the window, or to minimize it and move it out of the way. The latest batch, however, doesn't seem to have anything of the kind.

Haven't seen these yet? Try InfoWorld. I was trying to read Cringely's latest article, so head to the site. No sooner am I there than I notice huge ads, and these ads keep me from reading the page. I figure I'll wait a few seconds, as sometimes those Shockwave ads have a built in delay before the "close" option pops up. Hmm. Nothing. Maybe these are those ads that automatically minimize themseves after a few seconds. Still nothing.

I've now been waiting for fifteen minutes. Three ads still obscure the article. Apparently they have to be clicked in order to remove them, as there are no close options as yet. This is ridiculous. Plenty of "click me" options, but no way to close and/or minimize these advertisements. To provide advertising is one thing. To require me to browse advertising is another entirely. Looks like I'll be skipping InfoWorld from now on.

Update: Here's the best part. I clicked one of the ads, it opens in another window. Guess what. I still can't read the article. Talk about moronic. Requiring me to browse advertising won't work, but I recognize that it might for some people. But when you browse the advertising and still can't read the article? Wonder how long it'll take them to figure out why no one is reading.

Update: I received an email reply from Cringe, and he mentions that he's heard of the problem from at least 4 other people just today. While he forwarded my email along to the techie people, as of 12:40 Eastern, the page is still unreadable. Unless you are interested in reading the ads.

Not long ago, a teenager was arrested at Logan International Airport in Boston for what can only be described as a joke in poor taste. The teenager, you see, had seen fit to leave a profanity-laced note in his bag, which when found by TSA screeners, apparently caused no end of anxiety. Why? The note contained the word bomb.

Obviously there is a need for certain licenses. These are easy enough to spot. They typically make sense. Not just to you or me, but to darn near everyone. Things like a driver's license fit into this category. It's reasonably nice to think that the person headed down the freeway with you has at least some chance of being able to adequately operate their vehicle. Of course, that's not always the case - but generally it seems a pretty safe assumption. A similar licensing/qualification scheme for something like an airline pilot is useful. I think most will agree with this sort of thing.

Okay, folks, time for a pop quiz!

You'd like to see a movie this weekend, but find out that all the theater is playing are PG-13 and R-rated movies. What do you do? What do you do?

A. Skip the movie. You don't need to see such trash anyway. Rent a Disney flick instead.

B. Skip the movie, because you can't find a babysitter to watch your 4-year old, and, well, it's not really appropriate for a 4-year old to see those kinds of movies anyway.

C. Find a babysitter to take care of your 4-year old so you can enjoy the trash without worry of causing others distress or harming the poor kid with the contents of the movie.

D. Make sure you take your 4-year old to see the movie anyway, then get upset when either everyone complains about the racket or if you aren't allowed inside.

If you're like some people, it looks like the correct option is D.