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!

University of Alabama: Parking-Permit Crap

Every year, the University of Alabama tries to force its faculty to buy a parking permit. Ignoring the fact that some might bike, take one of the new buses, or walk onto campus, its parking registration software defaults to charging you for a permit. That is, if you do not explicitly opt out of a permit, you are automatically charged for it.

I objected to this crappy extortion system when it was first implemented a few years ago, but to no avail. So now, every year, I take time out of my day to tell them no, I do not want a stinking parking permit.

This year as I was doing this I noticed a new (I think) paragraph in the form that states:

I certify that I have declined to register for a parking permit from the University of Alabama for the 2009-2010 academic school year. If I do not purchase a permit and drive a vehicle on campus, I will be responsible for any citations received on that vehicle. If the vehicle is wheel locked or impounded, I will be responsible for all fees and citations associated with the wheel lock or impoundment of my vehicle.

One is required to “agree” with this statement before the form may be processed. The grammar of one sentence caught my eye:

If I do not purchase a permit and drive a vehicle on campus, I will be responsible for any citations received on that vehicle.

Now, since the “do not” in this sentence applies to both “purchase” and “drive” the sentence can be broken down to mean:

  1. If I do not purchase a permit and
  2. If I do not drive a vehicle on campus,
  3. Then I will be responsible for any citations received on that vehicle.

How paradoxical! I went ahead and clicked the “agree” box, but how will I resolve of this paradox? How can I be responsible for citations if the vehicle has not been driven on campus?

myBama: $8 Million of Crap

Article in the Tuscaloosa News this morning covers the crash of myBama. They lead off with and repeatedly stress the fact that the system cost eight million dollars.

Omigawd!

It would be funny if it weren’t money so annoyingly misspent. And the poor students bear the brunt of the annoyance. Not only does it not work, but their computer fees were raised from $55 to $140 (!) to pay for it.

Appalling.

myBama? Mine? No Thanks!

I figured myBama would be fixed by this morning (Thursday, 25 Aug). Nope.

When you try to connect, you first get a security warning that’s bound to confuse many:

mybama-732662
Then you get a blank page. Nuthin’. Not even an explanation that the site is dead (Jim).

Makes me wonder how much myBama cost and why UA couldn’t have used a fine open source portal like Mambo.

Update @ 06:31 26 August: Still dead (Jim), but at least now they have a page up explaining what’s happened and how to work around it..