iCal’s continuing failures

Oh iCal. Is there no end to your sucking?

Here’s the latest example of breakage. At my company some of my co-workers use a hosted exchange server for calendaring. I use iCal and MobileMe. Sometimes we invite each other to events, and often the invites are even successfully transmitted to each othe via email.

Then I started being an hour late to meetings. Why? Well, see if you can pick out the bug in the below screencap…

That’s right. In the info panel, the time of the event is displayed as noon, while in the graphical calendar view, the event starts at 1pm. Once again the iCal team earns my Harsh Glare of Ultimate Derision.

And the Other Cosmetic Shoe Drops

Back in August I posted about an ad for mascara that I thought was ridiculous. I said

I think my feelings about paint-on false lashes can be captured with this made up ad copy: “Beyond foundation… face spackle!”

Well. I suppose I should have expected this:

Face Spakle

Face Spakle

Yes, Laura Geller sells Face Spackle, Eye Spackle, and Lip Spackle.

Ok, I admit that I’m a makup bigot. I think that the right amount of makeup that a person should wear is “none.” I just mostly think people look better without it. But I’m not trying to bang that particular drum right now, I’m just saying — face spakle just doesn’t sound like good marketing. You shouldn’t associate anything that is meant for your face with somthing that is applied with a trowel.

Thanks to F. over at The Holophusicon for the tip.

Who butters their quesadilla?

Ruby Tuesday has done a lot to look better recently, I’m told. Not that I’d know, since last night was the first time I’ve ever been in one. But the mojoto was fine, in fact it came with a stick of sugar cane in it, an this avocado quesadilla was really good. Only… one of the things on this plate is a dollop of butter. Huh? No, I didn’t try it. Yes, I’m knocking it.

A hat with it’s own hair

I watched Joe Lieberman speak last night. More on that another time, maybe. During the speech, one of the quick camera cuts the the audience featured this woman.

The button reads “Liberals pick on someone your own age”.


I’ve got two theories so far to explain this sentiment.

1) John McCain is old, and people have been making an issue out of this, and so she’s angry that people are picking on him for this.

2) It goes along with the anti-abortion button she’s wearing, and the “your own age” is a reference to the very young age of a fetus.

But while I noticed the button last night, it’s not til ljust now that I noticed the hat itself. It appears to have it’s own hair.

*Raised eyebrow of skepticism and derision*

Beyond Mascara

I’m sure that the advertisers who created this spot are quite good at talking to their target demographic. And perhaps that’s what horrifies me about this. I think my feelings about paint-on false lashes can be captured with this made up ad copy:

“Beyond foundation… face spackle!”


I don’t have a lot to say about Expelled at this time, other than that it’ll be out soon, and it horrifies me. I fret about it. Mostly I worry that among the counter-arguments, denouncements, debunkings and assorted aghast spluttering from the community of the informed, some of it will be shrill, scoffing, or otherwise obnoxious. That’s the point, of course, to cast those people as intolerant, to bring out the worst in them.

The good news is that so far I’ve been completely unable to turn up a positive review of it, except on the Discovery Institute site.

Die already, creationism!

Windows Vista box needs instructions to open

It’s no secret that I love Apple and am generally unsatisfied with Microsoft. I can get into a novel of caveats as to why I’m not a straight-up Microsoft-basher, but that’s for another time. This post’s topic is one of the genes in Microsoft’s DNA — the gene that codes for the product design/documentation divide.

To continue with the corporate DNA metaphor, this gene, like all genes, is exclusive of any other genes which could occupy that area of the genome. You can’t have both the gene for blue eyes and the gene for green eyes.

The Apple gene for the design/documentation divide is starkly reductionist. If you can’t understand it by looking at it, you FAIL. Which is not to say that Apple doesn’t concede losses in this area consistently, rather, the default action, rather than to document, is to redesign.

How to open our box

How to open our box

Not so with Microsoft. I applaud their documentation team — they did a bang-up job clearly illustrating how to open up the Vista box and get the disc out. They are some kind of ancient documentation ninja clan, and I’m sure that if the situation required it, they would rappel out of choppers with high-res digicams, tablet PCs with integrated cellular internet connecting them to their docs CMS, and document the hell out of whatever they needed to.

They do an amazing job… much better than Apple does. They need to. Because Microsoft’s gene for the design/documentation divide codes for heavy documentation, which means that lack of intuitive design isn’t a FAIL.

You could scour Apple’s help site, and you would never in a million years find an article explaining how to open the box in which OS X is sold. By omission, it is an expression of confidence in the intuitiveness of their design. Of the box their software comes in.

Meanwhile, here’s Microsoft, with the vote of no confidence. Our box is so complex, you need instructions to open it. What does that say about their software? Decidedly NOT “Vista, even before you put the disc in your drive, is intuitive and needs no explanation.”

Via Nerdifer (who didn’t blog this, but sent it to me).