From: Michael G Schwern Date: 23:29 on 20 Jan 2008 Subject: flexcar.com It's a lazy sunday, let's hate on a web site. Flexcar and Zipcar are great ideas. Cars parked all around the city that= you=20 can reserve and drive away. Pay by the hour, about $7 - $10. They pay f= or=20 the gas and insurance. It's lovely and makes being a carless American so= much=20 easier. Flexcar's web site... well that's another story. First off, your username is a number. !? What? Ok, so it must be this=20 number printed on my member card, right? No. Ok, what about my "Custome= r=20 Number" on my bill? No. The "Account Number" on my bill? No. It's a=20 completely different 5 digit number that's not on anything. So I put a piece of masking tape onto my member card and write down the u= ser=20 number. Now we come to the password. Sorry, PIN! Yes, it's a four digit number.= Boy=20 that's secure guys. To add insult to injury, they don't even let me pick= it.=20 They don't even let me CHANGE it! Of course, I write it down on that l= ittle=20 piece of tape on my member card. I can see the process by which this came about. "Everyone knows how to u= se an=20 ATM machine, right? And passwords are insecure, right? So we'll give=20 everyone a PIN like an ATM machine but we'll generate it randomly for the= m so=20 it's secure. PINs are good enough for banks, they're good enough for us!= =20 What? Of course they'll remember it, it's just four numbers. What? No,= =20 nobody will ever guess it, there's ten thousand of them! That would requ= ire=20 some sort of... inter-networked computing machine!" Except, of course, they'd all be saying "PIN number". Now that we finally log in, half the links are broken. They're all=20 http://http//flexcar.com/... Good job on your URL rewriter, guys! Every= =20 other click dumps me onto http.com which I'm sure they love. We were here to reserve a car, so let's do it. Easy enough. Pick a driv= er,=20 an account, dates for the trip... and now step 4. Which vehicle do I wan= t.=20 Obviously they'll just ask where I am and give me a map with nearby vehic= les=20 marked on it, right? The markers would be clear icons showing the type o= f=20 car. They'd have tooltips showing me type, cost and availability. Maybe= I=20 can then narrow the search by availability and cost? Yeah, that's what i= t=20 will be. No, of course not. First I have to tell them my "region". It's a nation= al=20 company, so that makes sense, but guys... you know where I live TAKE A GU= ESS!=20 There's no default, it's just blank. To add insult to injury there's j= ust=20 ONE option in the list. Ok, now I tell them my cross street, right? No, I have to tell them my=20 "Neighborhood". Ok, so maybe it's like "Downtown", "NE", "SE", "Beaverto= n".=20 Ya know, the major areas of town. Portland isn't a big town and it's rea= lly=20 easy to get around without a car. No, it's things like "Downtown / Centr= al",=20 "Downtown / North", "Downtown / Waterfront". Is the Pearl District "Down= town=20 / North" or is it "Northwest / Pearl" or maybe it's "Northwest / Knobb Hi= ll".=20 When does "Northeast / Lloyd" end and "Northeast / Irvington" begin? I= =20 don't know, it's not like they give me a MAP it's just a big pull down. = What=20 if I'm on the edge of two "neighborhoods"? JUST SHOW ME THE CLOSEST CARS= ! I finally decide, ok, I guess I'm in "Northeast / Irvington". Now I have= to=20 pick a vehicle type of which there are 11. 5 door, convertible, hybrid,=20 mini-van, pickup truck, sedan, sports car, sub-compact, unknown, utility=20 vehicle and wagon. Uhh, what if I want a convertible sports car? A=20 hybrid-SUV? What exactly qualifies as a sedan? What is a 5-door? JUST = SHOW=20 ME THE CLOSEST CARS!! Mercifully, there is an "Any" option so I pick that. Ok, step four ends = and I=20 can finally see some cars. Hopefully on a map, right? Wrong. It's a li= st.=20 Cross-street, cost per hour and per day, and a grid of availability. And= how=20 many cars do they show me? Four. FOUR?! Are there four vehicles in thi= s=20 made-up neighborhood? No, they're only showing me four at a time. I hav= e to=20 click to get another page. How many vehicles are there in this neighborh= ood=20 total? Six. Showing me six would obviously overload my brain. It's not= like=20 each car in the list takes up any space, they're all crammed together wit= h=20 these tiny little icons indicating the type of car that are all black (mu= st be=20 Fords) and look very similar. Now they want to know the times I'd like to reserve the car. Ok, I guess= that=20 will narrow things down. I can see when each car is available, they did = that=20 part quite well. Now once I say I want it they'll narrow down the list t= o=20 what's available in that time slot, right? Wrong. They just highlight m= y=20 time on the one car I have selected. But wait... I never selected a car!= I=20 guess they selected one for me. At this point I'm ready to give up and BUY a car. But wait, there's a bi= g=20 button "Cars & Locations" at the top. Ah ha! Maybe this is the map I've= been=20 looking for! *click* "Welcome to http.com..." Oh god. *URL hack* Ok, = big=20 map of the US. Good. Pick my region and... A MAP! With cars on it! We= ll,=20 flags. But oh god, it's Mapquest. Click zoom, wait for reload. Click, = wait.=20 Click, wait... No I can't put in an intersection but I can put in a zi= p=20 code. No use if I'm wandering around town but it'll work for cars near m= e. Mouse over a car/flag thing. No tooltip. *sigh* Ok then, click on it. = Nope,=20 it's not a link. ?! Scroll down and... oh, there's a big numbered list = below=20 the map of the car types and locations. Of course, there's no numbers on= the=20 flags so I have to pick through to find the one I want. To add insult to= =20 injury I can't pick on the car number or type, just the location, and the= re's=20 no visual queue for this. This takes me to... another map! The car I picked is in the center, a bi= g=20 unhelpful flag. There's some information about the car below the map. I= t's=20 number, addresss, type, directions... stuff I already knew. Oooh, they t= ell=20 me what bus routes are nearby, thanks that's handy. Cost? Availability?= A=20 link to reserve this car? Nope. ARGH! But wait, what are these stars on the map? They're other cars, and I can= =20 click on them and get a tooltip with some details! That's sort of what I= =20 want. Now I'll just scroll around the map to find more... I can't scroll= .=20 I'm locked onto this one car. They took away the scroll links. Why woul= d I=20 want to look around the map, I've found what I'm looking for obviously. USELESS PIECE OF CRAP! JUST SHOW ME CARS NEAR ME! It's a fucking GOOGLE= MAPS=20 MASH-UP! Get a CS student intern to do it. The worst part is someone *designed* this. Someone thought this was a *g= ood=20 idea*. Fortunately Flexcar has been bought out by Zipcar. Zipcar's system still= has=20 the neighborhood / zip code thinking, but at least they use Google Maps s= o I=20 can bypass all that. Hopefully they'll wisely trash the Flexcar site. In the end, I got a ride from a friend. --=20 7. Not allowed to add =E2=80=9CIn accordance with the prophesy=E2=80=9D t= o the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me. -- The 213 Things Skippy Is No Longer Allowed To Do In The U.S. Army http://skippyslist.com/?page_id=3D3
From: John Sinteur Date: 08:01 on 21 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: flexcar.com On Jan 21, 2008, at 0:29, Michael G Schwern wrote: > Fortunately Flexcar has been bought out by Zipcar. Zipcar's system > still has the neighborhood / zip code thinking, but at least they > use Google Maps so I can bypass all that. Hopefully they'll wisely > trash the Flexcar site. They'll probably ditch the Zipcar site instead.
From: Peter da Silva Date: 09:15 on 21 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: flexcar.com On 2008-01-21, at 02:01, John Sinteur wrote: > On Jan 21, 2008, at 0:29, Michael G Schwern wrote: >> Fortunately Flexcar has been bought out by Zipcar. Zipcar's >> system still has the neighborhood / zip code thinking, but at >> least they use Google Maps so I can bypass all that. Hopefully >> they'll wisely trash the Flexcar site. > > They'll probably ditch the Zipcar site instead. If it was HP, that's definitely what they'd do. Anyone else pissed that Google did that with Google Video when they bought Youtube?
From: Robert Rothenberg Date: 09:27 on 21 Jan 2008 Subject: Google Video (was Re: flexcar.com) On 21/01/08 09:15 Peter da Silva wrote: > Anyone else pissed that Google did that with Google Video when they > bought Youtube? No. YouTube worked better than Google Video. I am pissed that Google Video only searches YouTube, and not the myriad other video sites. But that probably is outside the scope of software hate.
From: Peter da Silva Date: 09:49 on 21 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: Google Video (was Re: flexcar.com) On 2008-01-21, at 03:27, Robert Rothenberg wrote: > No. YouTube worked better than Google Video. o_O Google Video didn't force everything to be wrapped in an infinitely hateful flash player. If the original format was something that could be played in a common plugin, it just handed that out. Flash is made of 90% radioactive habanero-laced hate, and 10% ground glass and burned boar nostril hairs.
From: Aristotle Pagaltzis Date: 14:34 on 21 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: Google Video (was Re: flexcar.com) * Peter da Silva <firstname.lastname@example.org> [2008-01-21 10:55]: > Google Video didn't force everything to be wrapped in an > infinitely hateful flash player. If the original format was > something that could be played in a common plugin, it just > handed that out. Actually the way I remember it, in-browser replay always used the Flash player. However, you could download almost everything, and the download was always provided in whatever format the original video was in. On YouTube, you never had a download option in the first place, and if you scrape out the link you get the video after conversion to 320x240 FLV. Gee, great quality! Of course Google Video now offers content for downloading only after converting it to PSP or iPod format. Let's hear it for degradation of quality! Regards,
From: Peter da Silva Date: 14:41 on 21 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: Google Video (was Re: flexcar.com) On 2008-01-21, at 08:34, Aristotle Pagaltzis wrote: > Actually the way I remember it, in-browser replay always used the > Flash player. However, you could download almost everything, and > the download was always provided in whatever format the original > video was in. Ah, right. I misremembered, sorry. > On YouTube, you never had a download option in the first place, > and if you scrape out the link you get the video after conversion > to 320x240 FLV. Gee, great quality! > > Of course Google Video now offers content for downloading only > after converting it to PSP or iPod format. Let's hear it for > degradation of quality! Yes, Google Video has been degraded to the "quality" of Youtube. Hateful.
From: Yoz Grahame Date: 18:04 on 21 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: Google Video (was Re: flexcar.com) On Jan 21, 2008 1:27 AM, Robert Rothenberg <email@example.com> wrote: > > I am pissed that Google Video only searches YouTube, and not the myriad > other video sites. But that probably is outside the scope of software hate. It's outside the scope of any hate at all, I'm afraid... http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=bob+builder 2nd result: yahoo.com http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=boosh+soup 1st result: crackle.com -- Yoz has to fetch these two regularly for his 20-month-old
From: Bill Page Date: 03:46 on 22 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: flexcar.com > Anyone else pissed that Google did that with Google Video when they > bought Youtube? I thought I was the only one!
From: jrodman Date: 05:59 on 22 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: flexcar.com On Tue, Jan 22, 2008 at 02:16:55PM +1030, Bill Page wrote: > > Anyone else pissed that Google did that with Google Video when they > > bought Youtube? > > I thought I was the only one! I too am pissed about that. I'm also pissed that *anyone* gave those youtube yahoos any money at all. There are arguable rationales for doing so, but I really don't want to hear them. They made a horrible site out of a money-losing business, and then convinced executives to write them huge checks. I suppose this is now business hate. -josh
From: Peter da Silva Date: 15:43 on 22 Jan 2008 Subject: Re: flexcar.com On 2008-01-21, at 23:59, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > I suppose this is now business hate. Business hate? HP! Just about every place I can think of where HP and Compaq had competing products, they dumped the good one and kept the bad one. And it wasn't just that they kept HP's products where they should have gone with DeQpac: the Jornada kicked the iPaq's geeky butt six ways from Sunday.
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