WTF's in the News



  • Nobody's mentioned these here, so I will.  There's always stupid things in the news, but these two items really made me go WTF????

    In the Washington Post this morning was an article about a new feature that Facebook implemented that is losing them customers.  I'm not on facebook, so I'm just trusting in the article to be accurate (fwiw).  Apparently the new feature is that some random purchases or actions taken by the participants are broadcast to a select group of other Facebook customers.  The idea is apparently to do some sort of word of mouth advertising for whatever was purchased.  But it's a completely stupid idea, as discovered by the man who purchased expensive jewelry for his wife for Christmas recently.... only to have that fact announce to everybody AND his wife on facebook.  Not just ruining the surprise, but apparently it also mentioned the cost of the jewelry.  Doh!

    The other item is a recent article about a woman (I forget where she was) who dialed 911 to report a robber on her property.  Her Verizon cell phone is apparently new and has a feature that when 911 is dialed, it emits a loudish tone, supposedly for "safety".  Yep....  it's all about the safety of those hostage victims who might try to surreptitiously call 911 without getting shot by the perp....  Verizon shamefully blamed it on the FCC, saying that it was an FCC requirement.  To which the FCC responded with their own diplomatic version of "WTF?" by saying they wouldn't be so stupid as to mandate something like that.

    Discuss. 



  • The internal combustion engine is neither internal nor a combustion. Discuss.

     

    Yea... that facebook... I guess its version 1.0 huh. I wonder if the guy can sue?

    The verizon WTF... yea um... why? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY... I just want the justification for this. Because i KNOW that verizon did not implement this out of the goodness of their heart. What about a passerby phining in 911 alerting cops of people breaking into a house or a gang or w/e, i guess that dude gona be D-E-D dead!



     



  • Seriously, what good could a loud tone possibly do? If she needed to alert someone present, she could just yell.



  • @freelancer said:

    Seriously, what good could a loud tone possibly do? If she needed to alert someone present, she could just yell.

    The point of the tone is so that, if your phone is in your handbag, it'll alert you that the unprotected keypad has just dialed "911".



  • As a Facebook user, I joined the group protesting this change on Facebook.  Apparently Facebook has changed the way this system works, so that no purchases will be broadcast to anyone without you taking explicit action.  Previously, a box popped up, and you could check a box to have it not broadcast that item (which gets mixed in with a bunch of other stuff), but it was really easy to miss this box, and doing nothing would lead to it being broadcast.  I don't know if the boxes are easier to see now, but nothing gets announced to your friends unless you click the box.

    I could have sworn the cell phone story was already posted here.  Must have been on /.
     



  • @i'm lost said:

    I could have sworn the cell phone story was already posted here.  Must have been on /.
     

     

    It was on here. 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    The idea is apparently to do some sort of word of mouth advertising for whatever was purchased.

    I think you'll find it more likely that it really is to generate (more) sales via Facebook, thus increasing their (short-term) profitability, just like they need to increase stock-holder value...



  • Why would you buy things through Facebook?



  • @TDC said:

    Why would you buy things through Facebook?

    Good question, but if Facebook provides a link e.g. to the Amazon page with the product mentioned and someone actually buys it, Facebook gets a reasonable percentage of the price. Quite a few web-sites do that, e.g. to pay the bandwidth bill, or to support the author. However, Facebook has millions of visits every day, so if they can get 1% of all visits to generate a sale...



  • @dlikhten said:

    The internal combustion engine is neither internal nor a combustion. Discuss.


    this is obviously some kind of joke that i'm too stupid to get. but just in case it isn't, the combustion is internal, not the engine.



  • @lanzz said:

    @dlikhten said:

    The internal combustion engine is neither internal nor a combustion. Discuss.


    this is obviously some kind of joke that i'm too stupid to get. but just in case it isn't, the combustion is internal, not the engine.

    Explaining the joke would ruin it.  Instead think of "internal" in the context of "not for internal use" 



  • @i'm lost said:

    As a Facebook user, I joined the group protesting this change on Facebook.  Apparently Facebook has changed the way this system works, so that no purchases will be broadcast to anyone without you taking explicit action.  Previously, a box popped up, and you could check a box to have it not broadcast that item (which gets mixed in with a bunch of other stuff), but it was really easy to miss this box, and doing nothing would lead to it being broadcast.  I don't know if the boxes are easier to see now, but nothing gets announced to your friends unless you click the box.

    Unfortunately, that box automatically disappears after a couple seconds, unless they've gone and changed it since the wave of reports about it. 



  • @lanzz said:

    @dlikhten said:

    The internal combustion engine is neither internal nor a combustion. Discuss.


    this is obviously some kind of joke that i'm too stupid to get. but just in case it isn't, the combustion is internal, not the engine.

    Mike Meyers used to do a character on SNL named Linda Richman that said things like this when she became "verklempt" (sp?).  She would become verklempt (emotional) over something Barbara Streissand-ish and say "Now I'm verklempt.  Talk amongst yourselves.  I'll give you a topic.  The Chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea.  Discuss."

    No idea what bearing that has on the post, but that's the source of dlikhten's quote.

    <warning type="bad joke"/>ALSO, when I tried to preview this message, I got a javascript error that said, "EXPECTED: HEAD."  I should try that on my wife. 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    In the Washington Post this morning was an article about a new feature that Facebook implemented that is losing them customers.  I'm not on facebook, so I'm just trusting in the article to be accurate (fwiw).  Apparently the new feature is that some random purchases or actions taken by the participants are broadcast to a select group of other Facebook customers.  The idea is apparently to do some sort of word of mouth advertising for whatever was purchased.  But it's a completely stupid idea, as discovered by the man who purchased expensive jewelry for his wife for Christmas recently.... only to have that fact announce to everybody AND his wife on facebook.  Not just ruining the surprise, but apparently it also mentioned the cost of the jewelry.  Doh!



    I'm a little confused, I thought Facebook was a social networking site. Is there also a large retailing network attached to facebook? Or did this guy buy something, then go back and tell Facebook about it? While the broadcasting of his purchases are a little disturbing, I would be concerned that they're involved in these transactions at all.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    the man who purchased expensive jewelry for his wife for Christmas recently.... only to have that fact announce to everybody AND his wife on facebook.  Not just ruining the surprise, but apparently it also mentioned the cost of the jewelry.  Doh!

     

    Uh huh.  The jewelry was "for his wife".  Riiight.



  • @i'm lost said:

    I could have sworn the cell phone story was already posted here.  Must have been on /.

    As a /. reader, I'm offended.

    Coincidental aside: literally hours after posting that, I dropped my VZW cellphone into a cup of water. The waterlogged phone eventually came to life, but not before I went to the VZW store and purchased a replacement, which, after a quick test call, definitely has the same damn alarm. It's not quite as loud as I thought, but audible, distinct, and loud enough to be heard a few rooms away.

    The good news is, the original cell phone, upon coming back to life a few days later, can still call 911 without the blaring alarm. It's serving as my Emergency Batphone, should I find myself in the same position as the OP...



  • @sootzoo said:

    @i'm lost said:

    I could have sworn the cell phone story was already posted here.  Must have been on /.

    As a /. reader, I'm offended.

    It was on slashdot.  And it wasn't meant as an insult (not sure why it was taken as one either).



  • @i'm lost said:

    @sootzoo said:

    @i'm lost said:

    I could have sworn the cell phone story was already posted here.  Must have been on /.

    As a /. reader, I'm offended.

    It was on slashdot.  And it wasn't meant as an insult (not sure why it was taken as one either).

    Sense of humor, is that you? 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @sootzoo said:

    @i'm lost said:
    @sootzoo said:

    @i'm lost said:

    I could have sworn the cell phone story was already posted here.  Must have been on /.

    As a /. reader, I'm offended.

    It was on slashdot.  And it wasn't meant as an insult (not sure why it was taken as one either).

    Sense of humor, is that you? 

    No, he's lost.



  • @seaturnip said:

    Uh huh.  The jewelry was "for his wife".  Riiight.

    A fair point, and one which actually makes the "feature" even more abhorrent.  I swear it seems like marketers only think of their dollar values.  (When you have a hammer, all the world is a nail syndrome.)

    BTW, the cellphone tone when dialing 911 issue is particularly galling to me.  I write software for 911 agencies, so I'm pretty intimate with how they work.  If I ever implemented a software feature (or bug) that risked the life of a citizen, I would be beaten, sued to my last dime, beaten again and lynched.   And that's assuming the dispatchers or officers found it before the public did....

    On the other hand, my past experience interfacing my software with the telecoms' is abysmal enough that somehow this doesn't REALLY surprise me.  At best they never know what format the data is that they're sending over the line.  At worst was one time I had to upgrade a small town's agency to enhanced-911 (GPS coordinates from the cell phones), the idiot telecom:

    1.  insisted on upgrading something like 8 towns simultaneously,

    2.  Couldn't get the data format right for any of them

    3.  kept all 8 towns "down" (i.e. no E911 data feed from them to the dispatching agencies) for almost two whole days while they pulled their heads out of their - well you get the drift.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    @seaturnip said:

    Uh huh.  The jewelry was "for his wife".  Riiight.

    A fair point, and one which actually makes the "feature" even more abhorrent.  I swear it seems like marketers only think of their dollar values.  (When you have a hammer, all the world is a nail syndrome.)

    BTW, the cellphone tone when dialing 911 issue is particularly galling to me.  I write software for 911 agencies, so I'm pretty intimate with how they work.  If I ever implemented a software feature (or bug) that risked the life of a citizen, I would be beaten, sued to my last dime, beaten again and lynched.   And that's assuming the dispatchers or officers found it before the public did....

    On the other hand, my past experience interfacing my software with the telecoms' is abysmal enough that somehow this doesn't REALLY surprise me.  At best they never know what format the data is that they're sending over the line.  At worst was one time I had to upgrade a small town's agency to enhanced-911 (GPS coordinates from the cell phones), the idiot telecom:

    1.  insisted on upgrading something like 8 towns simultaneously,

    2.  Couldn't get the data format right for any of them

    3.  kept all 8 towns "down" (i.e. no E911 data feed from them to the dispatching agencies) for almost two whole days while they pulled their heads out of their - well you get the drift.


    It reminds me how the telephone companies are trying to make you pay for using their lines to access the internet... Ex: Pay to ATT for using an internet router somewheres in the US to reach google.

    I say we protest, switch to smoke signals. 


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