Archive for the 'Broken' Category

Renting movies is hard

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

None of the major video rental systems appeal to me:

The iTunes Store mostly works for my current set of devices, but all the movies I want to watch are either too new or too obscure for them to have rentals available.

Maybe I should sign up for Netflix but use other means to actually watch movies. At least then Hollywood will have enough money to make good films buy politicians, print and distribute billions of optical discs, prevent paying customers from exercising their fair use rights, and sue my neighbors.

Amazon botches unicode gift note

Friday, December 30th, 2005

While ordering a gift for my girlfriend through Amazon, I included a music symbol () and a heart symbol () in the gift note. The printed gift note that Amazon shipped with the gift showed "♫" and "♥" where the symbols were supposed to be. Amazon's confirmation page had showed the symbols correctly.

Letter from my landlord

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

This letter was rubber-banded to my doorknob:

Dear Residents:

Thank you for your payment. We realize sometimes things can be over looked, however our records indicate that you have underpaid your account by $0.01. Please remit the amount due within 3 days in form of personal check(s) or money order(s).


Please feel free to contact me at  with any questions regarding your balance.
Your immediate attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

Accounts Administrator

I went to the rental office, found the accounts administrator, and said "Apparently I owe you one cent. I don't know why, but here's a penny". He wouldn't take my penny; the payment had to be in the form of a check or money order. He looked at my account record and determined that I owned them a cent because when I first moved in, they made a rounding error and asked me for the wrong amount for my first (pro-rated) month's rent. He said they had to ask me to pay the cent I owed because of fair housing laws -- if they didn't ask me to pay the cent I owed, they couldn't ask other residents to pay money they owed.

I added a cent to my next month's rent check.

Are you Sure?

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

To allow for proper operation of the 'Uninstall YAMAHA SoftSynthesizer' you should restart your system at this time. Are you Sure? Yes/No.

No prices on

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

Jakob Nielsen, Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes of 2002:

1. No prices. No B2C ecommerce site would make this mistake, but it's rife in B2B, where most "enterprise solutions" are presented so that you can't tell whether they are suited for 100 people or 100,000 people.

I also thought no B2C site would make that mistake, until I tried to purchase an SBC phone line for my apartment. After I clicked "Residential customers", clicked "Local > New Phone Service", and entered my address, the site asked me for billing and credit information. At no time did I see a price or even a link labelled "prices".

I decided not to purchase a phone line.

Blogs about bad design and bad software

Monday, March 22nd, 2004

This is Broken

We Hates Software (blog-like archive for a mailing list)

What month is “JN”?

Friday, January 9th, 2004

My Crest toothpaste tube says "LOT318412EXPJN05". Is JN January or June? (This guy has another Procter & Gamble product and wonders the same thing.)

Wrong date on midnight tickets

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

AMC printed the wrong date on Lord of the Rings tickets again:

12:01am Tue 12/16/03

Two years ago, my suitemate and a few of her friends drove to the theater on Monday night for Fellowship. As she left, she told me she had tickets to see the movie a day early. I believed her until I saw her at the theater on Tuesday night.

I'm not aware of any Mudders making the same mistake this year.

I wonder if printing the wrong date could be intentional. It's better if 10 people drive a day early than if 2 people drive a day late. Someone at the theater said the tickets are printed incorrectly because the AMC software only understands business days.