Setting Brakes to “On”

The SFO Airtrain which connects you to BART has these poorly thought-out announcements:

The train is about to depart. Please hold on. Please set your luggage cart brake to “on”.

That seems fine when you read it, but imagine it as an announcement. The quotes just don’t come through. What’s wrong with like, “Please set your luggage cart brake”, or “Please engage your luggage cart brake”, or even “Please lock your luggage cart brake”.

Don’t you realize your announcement sounds stupid?

Bloggers vs. Traditional Media

I have been thinking for quite some time about Bloggers vs. Traditional Media. People give bloggers a lot of flak for having typos, bad grammar, and unchecked facts in their blogs. I agree that it’s true, they have exactly that. Where I disagree though is the silent argument that traditional media doesn’t have that.

It’s becoming more and more prevalent, with the popularity of essentially news aggregators like Google News, that traditional media companies are struggling to be the first to break the news. In their struggle to be the first, it seems they are, more and more, skipping any real copy-editing steps. I constantly see CBS News, BBC, Fox, and even AP wire stories, with typos, grammatical errors, factually incorrect information, etc. in them.

What’s the point, then, of traditional media? They’re becoming a blog themselves. At least real bloggers get to share their real opinion (for better or worse) instead of being the same old media machine.

Wrong Audience?

Last night, Adrienne and I went to see War of the Worlds, which was pretty decent. What I really noticed, however, is that in the advertisements before the movie, there were two that caught my eye: “We’re Hiring” ads from Foundry Networks and eBay/Paypal. This had me confused. Is a theater, with all the high schoolers and such, really the best place to try to find the guy to design your next load balancer?

Isn’t there a better audience to be had? Even a single billboard, placed near the commute path to e.g. Juniper Networks would seem to be better focused. Adrienne says I “think too much”.

24-Hour Time Misformatting

I really hate it when companies mess up the formatting for 24-hour time. Adrienne’s phone does this too, but in a worse way.

There are two basic rules of formatting time:

  1. In 24-hour time, hours less than 10 should be zero-prefixed, so 00, 01, 02, etc.
  2. In 12-hour time, hours should never be zero-prefixed. One does not write 06 PM. It doesn’t make sense!

Mac OS X Tiger messed it up. It was right in Panther. Why, Apple?!

Update: No, the settings in [International -> Formats -> Times -> Customize… ] appear to have nothing to do with the time in the menu bar. Actually I have no idea what those are used for, but definitely not the menu bar time. Try again!

Would you mind…

Every time you call T-Mobile, their automated system asks the following question:

Would you mind taking a short survey at the end of this call? It will take only two minutes, and it won’t count against your minutes usage. Please say yes, or no.

If I answer “yes”, does that mean “Yes, I mind, and I don’t want to take it”, or “Yes, I’d be happy to take it” ?

Ambiguity sucks…