Friday, August 27, 2010

Still Waiting for the "Smart" Part

Having had my BlackBerry Tour crash this afternoon, and then reboot with, oh, pretty much everything gone (last backup two months ago. Note to self: Do better at that), I am in the process of re-installing and re-creating the device. This requires me to input a certain amount of data, including ZIP Codes a couple of times and phone number at least once.

My "smart" phone doesn't seem to be smart enough to automatically insert numerals in fields that ask me for numeric information.

So I'm asked for my ZIP Code, which emerges as dzw0d. Actually not my ZIP Code, as it happens.

I know that apps can make that intuitive leap without my having to depress the alt key repeatedly, because I've seen 'em do it. So why don't all apps? I know there must be a reason, and I suspect they come down to time (lack of), energy (lack of), and interest (lack of).

A minor nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless--and I've had quite enough nuisance the past couple-three days, thanks very much.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So Everybody Else Can Just Hang it Up for the Next 79 Years

Caught this review headline at the online edition of The Guardian:

Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom: the novel of the century

From the review itself, and other buzz, it sounds like Freedom will indeed be something to read.

But “novel of the century”?

Aren’t we still a bit early in the century for anyone to be pronouncing anything as the (fill in the blank) of the century? Not wanting to get into any heavy discussion of when a century actually begins and ends (but, for the record, the current century began January 1, 2001), is it not safe to say that we have something in the neighborhood of, I dunno, three-quarters of it left to go?

And if the “novel of the century” has already been written, well, crap, what are the rest of us supposed to do? Are there any runner-up positions? Is there a literary equivalent of Miss Congeniality? Is there a bronze medal? Pewter? Shiny plastic?

Perhaps I might content myself with writing the novel of the week. Top of the bestseller list among my family and friends. (Reynolds’s Maxim: You find out who your real friends are when they’re called upon to shell out twenty-five bucks for your latest book.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Product, One Vendor, Two Puzzling Ads

One of the disadvantages of having as many e-mail addresses as I have is that you tend to get a lot of duplicate mail, especially advertising.

But that can sometimes make for an interesting experience.

Witness ye this ad from Smith Micro Software, which arrived in one of my inboxes this past Friday, August 20:

Yes, I can purchase Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for just $49.99, ten dollars off the "regular" price of $59.99. In fact, I had contemplated purchasing that very product.

Now I'm not so sure.

Direct your attention, if you will, to this ad, which came to another of my multiple accounts this very afternoon:

Yes, if I respond to this offer, I can purchase Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for a mere twenty dollars more than in the other ad: $69.99...which Smith Micro still would have me believe is, yep, ten dollars off the "regular" price, which they now say is $79.99.

I have a couple-three mailboxes that I haven't checked today. If one or more of them contains a Smith Micro ad for Roxio Easy VHS to DVD, is it your guess that the "regular" price will be higher than the two "regular" prices indicated in these ads, or lower?

Doesn't exactly make a fellow want to whip out his credit card, does it?