UA Replaces ID Cards with a Crappy App

The University of Alabama announced that they are replacing physical ID cards with a crappy app that runs on your cellphone or a crappy iWatch.

A crappy app will soon replace physical ID cards at the University of Alabama.

All roughly 8,000 incoming students, faculty and staff will be able to download a mobile ACT Card for iPhone or Android cellular device. Those with physical ACT Cards will still be able to use them, but if the card is lost it will be replaced only with a mobile card

What could possibly go wrong?

Erm… How does one get into one’s dorm/office or buy food when one’s phone has run out of power? I’m sure the app relies on either NFC or Bluetooth–further sapping one’s phone’s battery.

This is obviously being done to save the University the few shekels it spent on issuing physical cards. What crap!

flickr’s Eliminates Its 1-TB-free Option; Calls This Crap “Better Than Ever”

A new addition to my “In Order to Serve You Better, We’re Now Going to Fuck Your Over” folder! flickr is eliminating its one-terabyte-free option “in order to serve me better”. Free accounts continue, but are limited to 1,000 photos.

The most galling part of flickr’s announcement is how it says, in bold print, “Let’s be candid“, but then is anything but candid when it hides the fact that photos above the 1,000 limit will be deleted. This information is hidden in an asterisked footnote in tiny print.

And it doesn’t just say, “photos will be deleted.” Rather, it says, your “content [will be] actively deleted.” Content? Why not just say “photos and videos”? I mean, wouldn’t that be the “candid” way to put it?

Oh, and it says that three months is “ample time” for users to make other arrangements.

flickr, you used to provide an amazing service. Ending that service in this manner is crap.

It Isn’t Quite IOSYBWGFYO, But Netflix Is Doing Some Irritating Crap

I enjoy Netflix, really I do, but they’re pulling some irritating crap with their Blu-ray Disc policy.

First, they tacked a $1 fee onto their regular monthly account for the privilege of renting BDs. Okay, irritating, but not a deal breaker. Today, however, I received a notice from them than they are quadrupling that fee to $4, for people, like me, who are on their three-rentals-a-month deal.

Add $4 to the regular fee of $16.99 a month and you get a monthly bill of $20.99. But another way to look at it is that they are charging 24% more (!) for Blu-ray.

I just have to ask: Are the wholesale prices of BDs truly 24% higher than DVDs, Mr. Netflix? Are they rilly “substantially more expensive,” as you put it?

Somehow I seriously doubt it.

Ah well, at least they don’t use the phrase “in order to serve you better” in their demand for more money. But they come close. Here’s what they said:

— Netflix’s mildly IOSYBWGFYO notice —

You are receiving this email because you added unlimited Blu-ray access to your account for $1 a month. The number of Blu-ray titles has increased significantly and will continue to do so. As we buy more, you are able to choose from a rapidly expanding selection of Blu-ray titles. And as you’ve probably heard, Blu-ray discs are substantially more expensive than standard definition DVDs.

As a result, the monthly charge for Blu-ray access is increasing for most plans and will now vary by plan. The charge for monthly Blu-ray access on your 3 DVDs at-a-time (Unlimited) plan will increase from $1 a month to $4 a month. The price of your 3 DVDs at-a-time (Unlimited) plan is not changing and remains at $16.99 a month.

The new charge for Blu-ray access will be automatically added to your next billing statement on or after April 27, 2009 and will be referenced in your Membership Terms and Details.

If you wish to continue unlimited Blu-ray access for $4 a month, you don’t need to do anything. If not, you can remove Blu-ray access anytime by visiting Your Account.

If you have questions about this change or need any assistance, please call us anytime at 1-888-923-0898.

New Crap from the IOSYBWGFYO File

The IOSYBWGFYO (“In Order to Serve You Better, We’re Going to Fuck You Over”) File provides what appears to be an unending supply of crap. The latest IOSYBWGFYO offender to arrive in my email inbox is Kodak Gallery, which sent me this little note today:

So that you are aware, we have modified our Terms of Service*: To more effectively serve our Gallery members, we have adjusted our photo-storage policy to align with storage usage.

To store photos at the Gallery, members with photo storage of 2 gigabytes (GB) or less must make annual minimum purchases totaling at least $4.99.** Failure to meet this requirement may result in your photos being deleted from the Gallery.

** If your storage exceeds 2GB, our new Storage Policy requires that you spend $19.99 annually to continue storage of your photos.

Any further comment is superfluous, I reckon. Its craposity is self-evident. But I will note that what I most hate about such notices is that they claim that the reason for this crap is to serve you better. Why can’t they be honest about the reason behind the change, which, in this case, is obviously to make more money?

Perhaps it’s time to start the IOSYBWGFYO Blog to track this crap.

Yahoo Domain Service Turns to Crap

Don’t you hate it when a company you like, whose services you’ve recommended to friends, suddenly turns on you? And don’t you hate it when they do it with a smile on their lips as if they’re doing you a favor?
ma_smbiz_new_1-793695

I had been a fan of Yahoo (sorry, I refuse to add an exclamation point to it) Small Business’ domain service for years. In fact, I have eight domains listed there and I’ve recommended it to friends as an inexpensive way to obtain domain-name service.

Well sir, today I received an email that began:

“Get ready for another year of Yahoo! [sic] Domains.”

This is the smile on their face part, the part that comes just before they turn to crap before your eyes.

In addition to notifying me that my domains were about to be automatically renewed, they also, you know, just, by the way, wanted to tell me that they would be tripling the cost of their service. Oh yes, another “great year,” but at three times what they were charging last year.

Specifically, Yahoo charged me under $10 when I started renewing domain names with them. Come to think of it, it was even cheaper than that because the first couple of names I did were under a special offer. I think they were as low as $6 per name.

And the new rate is $34.95.

So, my eight domains will cost me $279.60 instead of $79.6!

Or they would if I were to stay with Yahoo. But you’d better believe I will be dumping them as soon as I find a more reasonably-priced registrar.

Update 5/29/2008:

Unbelievable! Yahoo is still advertising “$9.95 /year for Yahoo! Domains” on

http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/

Have they no shame?

Update 6/3/2008:

It occurred to me that the email I got might’ve been spoofed — just a competitor trying to get folks made at Yahoo. So, I’ve tried to call their customer service to check. They have no email address for queries so I fired up the speaker phone and got ready to wait.

Yesterday, I sat on hold for 50 minutes and then gave up. Today, 61 minutes and then they cut me off.

Man, a customer service melt down suggests something weird is happening.

Update 7/26/2008:

Oh, it’s no spoof.

I was out of town for a couple of weeks and wasn’t quick enough in the moving of two of my domains off Yahoo. Just got charged $34.95 each for renewal of these domains. Bastids!

I supposed I could contest the charge, but how much of my time would that take? I’ll just eat the cost for this year and be sure to move before renewal time next year.

Also, Yahoo charged me for a domain-name account there even though the name was moved to another registrar! So, to be free of fucking Yahoo, you have to be sure to (1) move all your registrations off fucking Yahoo and (2) cancel those domain names’ accounts on fucking Yahoo.

Fuck!

Update 1/8/09

Yahoo finally amended their misleading pitch of $9.95/year domains. Now, in itty-bitty print it says, “for your first term.”

YahooSux-781486

It’s still a fuckin’ rip. I’m moving all my domains off their service, which in itself is a big headache.

“In Order to Serve You Better…”

From the Department of “In Order To Serve You Better, Here’s a Load of Crap to Swallow” comes this piece from Microsoft’s PR people, titled “Microsoft Provides Additional Clarity About Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications”.

It drew the attention of the IOTSYBHaLoCtS Department for its subtitle: “The WGA program was launched July 2005 to provide an improved experience for consumers using genuine Windows XP and to help Microsoft address software piracy.”

The Department asks, “Um. Exactly how does a service that surreptitiously contacts Redmond and snitches on me if I don’t have a “proper” Windows license improve my experience of Windows?”

The article begins:

REDMOND, Wash., June 8, 2006 — On April 24 as part of the Genuine Software Initiative, Microsoft expanded a pilot of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program that provides notifications to consumers using non-genuine Microsoft Windows XP. Every year millions of consumers and businesses are hurt by counterfeit software that they have purchased unwittingly, and many companies that sell legitimate software have difficulty competing with low “too good to be true” prices offered by software counterfeiters. Through WGA, Microsoft is working to help customers and resellers of Microsoft products reduce the threats posed by counterfeit software.

“Millions of consumers . . . are hurt by counterfeit software.” How’s that?

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2006/jun06/06-08wgaqa.mspx