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The Minor Irritant Thread (Page 25)
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Brien
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Nov 22, 2022, 11:55 PM
 
I can’t help but feel the machine that beams ads into dreams from Futurama is happening.
     
Thorzdad
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Nov 23, 2022, 01:35 PM
 
The avalanche of Medicare Advantage plan ads I am getting in the mail these days. Most are innocuous, but a few are deliberately designed to make you think they’re “official” government business. From a designer standpoint, I appreciate the way these ape actual US gov mailings, without actually forging a US gov mailer. Still, they’re pretty slimy attempts to trick people.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 23, 2022, 02:01 PM
 
I got a mailing from a candidate for the bench a few years back where they went through the trouble of reverse embossing the “handwritten” part so it looked like there were pen grooves. Sent all my designer instincts into overdrive.

I guess it had something of the desired effect because unlike most election mail I spent 20 fuckin’ minutes looking at it, and had that candidate’s name fully planted in my short-term memory.

Didn’t get my vote, though.
     
Laminar
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Nov 23, 2022, 03:38 PM
 
It's kind of a backwards reality where the mail that says OFFICIAL NOTICE: OPEN IMMEDIATELY I ignore, but anything that's absolutely plain white with no return address or anything I'm immediately drawn to. That's usually the replacement debit card or something I actually care about. Pretty soon they'll probably reverse - all of the spam will come in non-descript white envelopes so that people actually open them.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 23, 2022, 04:11 PM
 
Yeah. For a long time the tell was return address on the back.
     
ghporter
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Nov 23, 2022, 05:21 PM
 
The thing with “official looking” mailings is that they are meant to look like what Joe Doesn’t Know Better thinks official stuff should look. Big giveaways include lack of “For official business only, $200 fine for private use” notations, and use of fancy mailer forms - “tear side tabs off then top tab to open”, folded over wrappers instead of standard envelopes, etc. - and so on. Uncle Sam usually doesn’t pay for color printing for simple mailings, either…

OK, my own irritant: why does my iPad require me to tap buttons or links TWICE on MacNN pages? That’s more and more irritating every day…. They highlight, but don’t do anything until a second tap.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 23, 2022, 05:27 PM
 
It‘s been happening to me for years, and it’s not just here. For whatever reason, this forum is one of the lesser offenders in that regard.
     
Thorzdad
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Nov 24, 2022, 09:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I got a mailing from a candidate for the bench a few years back where they went through the trouble of reverse embossing the “handwritten” part so it looked like there were pen grooves. Sent all my designer instincts into overdrive.

I guess it had something of the desired effect because unlike most election mail I spent 20 fuckin’ minutes looking at it, and had that candidate’s name fully planted in my short-term memory.

Didn’t get my vote, though.
I suspect they simply used an autopen machine, rather than having an embossing die made, then hoping it stays in registration with the printed signature.
     
andi*pandi
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Nov 24, 2022, 09:46 AM
 
was the codebase this was done on before the release of ipad?!? maybe no touch coding?

we stopped putting signatures on things, especially digital things, because it can be a big ol identity theft issue.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 24, 2022, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I suspect they simply used an autopen machine, rather than having an embossing die made, then hoping it stays in registration with the printed signature.
Makes sense!
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 27, 2022, 02:10 PM
 
There’s a home-automation command I created to use with with Alexa, and her comprehension rate has suddenly dropped from 100% to about 20%.
     
reader50
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Nov 27, 2022, 02:40 PM
 
That used to happen when I was a kid, and they wanted the trash taken out. The holdup wasn't actually in the comprehension part.

Perhaps there is a marginally-unethical step in your script. Try removing Step 3b, see if Alexa's comprehension goes up.

3b: crank-call a random neighbor to confirm their pizza order.

or vet your command for a word that either has 2 common meanings, or sounds a lot like another word with a different meaning
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 27, 2022, 02:56 PM
 
The full command is “Alexa, open the box”, which seems distinct.

In my case “the box” is a script to start playing Pandora on my stereo (as opposed to the built-in Alexa version).
     
Laminar
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Nov 28, 2022, 10:12 AM
 
I made a routine to change the color of my daughter's smart bulbs and turn them down to 5% brightness at bedtime. It took several tries to find a phrase that Alexa would understand, and even then I have to use really specific enunciation so she'll understand. We landed on "Alexa - time for bed," it's probably 90% successful. Anything involving the words "bedtime" or "room" was an instant failure, as was trying to reference my daughter's name.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 28, 2022, 10:15 AM
 
“Nightlight” worked for me.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 28, 2022, 10:43 AM
 
Also, if you’re not aware the following might help.

In the Alexa app, you can declare an Echo product as part of a “zone”.

For example, when I say “turn off the lights” in my bedroom, it only turns off the bedroom lights. Anywhere else and I’d have to say “bedroom lights”.
     
Laminar
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Nov 28, 2022, 12:43 PM
 
Here's another Alexa-related irritant. No matter how hard I try, she still continues to find new ways to glow yellow and give me notifications that I don't want or care about. The latest one was when I was adding a new smart outlet, she somehow managed to trick me into adding my Canon printer. Not a week later, she was glowing yellow to let me know that the printer needed new ink and offering to straight up order it for me. This is irritating for two reasons:
1. Fuck off, Alexa
2. I've printed maybe 5 color pages on this printer since buying it in April of 2020. Since then I've probably spent $150+ on ink cartridges, and now it's saying that the magenta and yellow need replacing AGAIN. I swear I replaced those cartridges this year, I've printed zero photos or color ANYTHINGS, and it wants another set of $40 cartridges already. I know that printer companies sell the printers at a loss and make up their money on the ink, but whatever they're doing to prematurely drain the ink so that I get less than 10 pages out of a cartridge is an absolute atrocity.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 28, 2022, 01:15 PM
 
My HP plotter takes care of forcing me to buy new cartridges by clogging-up and needing an $800 print-head replacement if I don’t regularly squirt ink through it.

I have the notification problem, but it’s pretty intermittent. Once every few months.
     
Laminar
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Nov 28, 2022, 01:39 PM
 
On a weird side note, I bought that printer for $89, but the current "list price" from Epson is $291 and the current Amazon price is $235.
     
reader50
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Nov 28, 2022, 01:52 PM
 
Printers are still overpriced - supply hasn't recovered from the pandemic yet. And many recent-model inkjets will do a head cleaning once a month if you don't print anything. It's a good idea, keeping the jets from clogging. But it also uses some ink just sitting there. And most ink cartridges are small.

I got tired of the cartridge hassle, and bought a color laser when my old inkjet quit. It doesn't care how long it sits unused. And the toners are good for a huge number of pages, not the 10-50 typical of inkjets. But right now, color lasers have limited selection and are badly overpriced.

A tank inkjet might be a better choice until the laser market returns to normal. If you can do without color, a B&W laser is within reason, though still higher than it should be.
     
Brien
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Nov 28, 2022, 02:09 PM
 
I wish iCloud synced application/OS settings. Having to turn on/off the same 10 things every time I get a new Mac/iOS device seems archaic.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 28, 2022, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I got tired of the cartridge hassle, and bought a color laser when my old inkjet quit.
Mine is only ink because it’s large format. For regular size paper I’ve got a B&W laser. There’s a Kinko’s FedEx nearby which I go to on the rare occasion I need color.
     
ghporter
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Nov 28, 2022, 06:46 PM
 
I have no experience programming automations for Alexa/Google Assistant/etc., so I can’t help. Is there any documentation for writing these scripts?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 28, 2022, 07:34 PM
 
The script part is just Python.

That gets triggered by Indigo, which is Mac home-automation software par excellence.

In Indigo, you can create a “virtual device” and Alexa will recognize the proper commands for it. Say, if the device is a light, Alexa will understand “turn on” and “turn off”. If it’s a door, Alexa will understand “open” and “close”.

So, I created a “door” in Indigo, named it “the box”, and now when I say “Alexa, open the box”, Indigo triggers the python script. It triggers a different script for “close the box”.

Worked flawlessly up until now. My guess is an Indigo update will probably fix it.

My other virtual devices, like “lights”, aren’t having issues. That device causes Indigo to trigger a pair of Insteon scenes. Insteon is the now dead home-automation protocol I’ve been using for the last 15 years or so.
     
Laminar
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Nov 30, 2022, 10:27 AM
 
I'm a "Sort by price Low>High" type of person. Decoupling search terms from search results is devastating for this mentality.

Google Shopping actually doesn't even have a way to sort by price, like here. They list a bunch of stores and their total prices with shipping and tax, but DON'T OFFER A WAY TO SORT BY LOWEST PRICE. They show a bunch of different prices all tagged "LOW PRICE" even though most of them are $160 and one of them is $118.

Amazon is horrible, too. If I search for "Kicker 48CWRT104" it shows me what I searched for. If I sort by price Low > High all of a sudden it shows me other, cheaper models, but not what I searched for. So now I can't easily find the cheapest option for the exact thing I'm looking for. I don't know if there's syntax I can use to filter the search results down to exactly what I searched for, but I haven't found it yet.
     
reader50
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Nov 30, 2022, 02:16 PM
 
YouTube is getting confused about my language again.

German ads for a week.
One Russian ad.
Several Spanish (Mexico) ads, for Apple earbuds. The ad was kinda cool, with two street dancers turning things around them into salt.

The ads all return to English after a time. I do appreciate the wider selection, and ads in languages I don't understand are much less annoying. So this isn't a complaint, it's just unexpected.
     
Laminar
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Dec 2, 2022, 05:16 PM
 
When I open up Apple Music in CarPlay, it will not show me any album or song titles. It will show me album covers for recently played albums, songs, or playlists, but no words. I'm assuming this is because words would be distracting, but I could find what I want to play a hell of a lot faster if I actually knew what it was and didn't have to squint to figure out who's in the tiny picture.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 2, 2022, 05:55 PM
 
People who call iTunes “Apple Music”.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 3, 2022, 02:17 PM
 
Phone iOS has been having a serious problem telling the difference between a zoom-in and a zoom-out on new Safari pages.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 4, 2022, 07:32 PM
 
Add “Apple fuckin’ notification dial” to “butt dial”, “fat fingered”, and “Siri’s a dumbass”.
     
Laminar
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Yesterday, 08:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
People who call iTunes “Apple Music”.
I don't see an icon that says iTunes anywhere on my phone or computer...
     
andi*pandi
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Yesterday, 12:37 PM
 
and that's a problem, really. I open apple music and have to wade through an ad before I can see my music library.
     
subego  (op)
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Yesterday, 01:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I don't see an icon that says iTunes anywhere on my phone or computer...
This is not something you see, it’s something you feel.
     
subego  (op)
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Yesterday, 07:30 PM
 
I don’t use Uber often, so my card was expired when I wanted one today.

Turns out what I need to do to update is accept a ride with the expired card and then update it. Makes total sense.
     
ghporter
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Yesterday, 07:43 PM
 
I wasn’t receiving calls on my iPhone from my son. Couldn’t call home either. Weird, right? Maybe something about his phone? Nah, I also wasn’t getting calls from an office that sets up my medical appointments either. Except this afternoon, my iPad rang with a call from that office. My iPhone, right next to it, was silent. Hmmmm.

I had to turn the phone off and let it sit for a LONG time before turning it back on. Suddenly I could call my son.

So, my iPhone would do everything except PHONE until I hard (as hard as I could) rebooted the device. What the actual flip?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad
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Yesterday, 10:08 PM
 
Sounds like it couldn’t connect to the cell network, like it didn’t see the sim card or something. Did it show the provider and bars in the top left?
     
Brien
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Yesterday, 10:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
and that's a problem, really. I open apple music and have to wade through an ad before I can see my music library.
I believe you can turn off Apple music and have the app function as local music only.
     
ghporter
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Yesterday, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Sounds like it couldn’t connect to the cell network, like it didn’t see the sim card or something. Did it show the provider and bars in the top left?
Yep, everything looked fine. And since my iPad is WiFi only, that call HAD TO have come through the phone’s phone system. But I couldn’t interface with the phone system directly.

I’ll note that I do not recall the last time I had shut the phone down, and as good as Apple’s OSs are at running all the time, they aren’t perfect. So it was likely something to do with one or more of my apps getting uppity, or leaky, or acting like some other second-string dwarf that didn’t make Disney’s cut. (That’s a joke by the way.)

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
 
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