Archive for May, 2010

Windows UI Wierdness

The User Interface (UI) in Windows is more friendly than ever now that Windows 7 has been released. Furthermore, it syncs and matches that of the Windows 2008 R2 interface, so if you know your way around one, you can easily navigate between the two. I’ve been doing loads of work with both lately on laptops, and I came across a strange thing and thought hmph and was wondering what you thought…

Try this for yourself and then ask, “Why is that in the UI”?

Click on start and type “power set”.  It should come up with change battery settings:


When that window comes up, simply click on “Change plan settings”. My example screen shows my machine on the balanced setting, yours may vary:

change plan settings

That will bring up the basic options/settings for the specified power plan. On that screen, click “Change advanced power settings”:

change advanced settings

Now you’ve got the advanced settings open, expand the battery section and then expand “low battery level” for example (you could also choose critical battery level):

low battery level

OK, so is it me, or why is there a plugged in percentage in the UI? If I hover over it the tool tip reads:

Percentage of battery capacity remaining that indicates the low battery action

which is all fine, but can you tell me, if I’m connected to a power supply (a.k.a. plugged in), how can my battery be diminishing it’s power and how will I ever see it “drop” below a certain percentage?

UI flaw?

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Want a free copy of Microsoft Office?

Marketing…Design…It’s all about getting your name out there and your brand recognized. Well it seems quite a few people know what a copy of Microsoft Office looks like. Average retail price of Office, depending on the version is ballpark $100 (ish). Some engineers decided to see how much this $100 was worth to the average passer-by. They took an Office box and put an alarm in it to see how many people would try and pick it up, and of course when they did pick it up, the joke was on them.  Have a look for yourself 🙂

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Sirius Travel doesn’t seem to serious about updates

Technology is all around us. 10 years ago, we had modems and BBS systems, today everyone connects everything with their mobile phone, with a 3G (or 4G card) and our data lives in the cloud. It’s no wonder the satellite radio phenomena is growing at an increasing pace. So much so Ford includes it in all cars. Not only does it include satellite radio, but they’ve also started bundling a service called “Travel Link”. Good news is you get it free for 6 months, bad news is, it doesn’t work, or by the time it does, it’s too late.  Here is an example…

According to their website:

Q. How often is the traffic information updated?

A. Traffic data is updated every 1.5 minutes.

OK, so if I’m stuck in traffic for over 10 minutes, that 1.5 minute interval should have hit, right?  Well, have a look at these photos:

2010-05-05 16.28.57

If you click on the photo, you’ll see the emergency board read:

Accident ahead…expect long delays

Now, by this point, I had been stuck in traffic for 10 minutes (as noted above), so I figured, let’s check Sirius Travel Link. What did it have to say?

2010-05-05 16.29.18

Yep, you’ve read it right:

There are no reported traffic incidents along the route.

Further, I was stuck in traffic for another 20 minutes and it never reported any problems on the road whatsoever.

So, what is the conclusion I’ve come to? Yep, I’d rather spend the $5.99 on a beer than give them money to tell me there isn’t traffic problems when there clearly is. Looks like there is some more testing to do boys, either that or maybe figure out that the updates really aren’t every 1.5 minutes like your FAQ says.

[editors note] – I’ve left the names of the photos the exact times they were taken (2010-05-05 16.28.57 and 2010-05-05 16.29.18 respectively) to show that there’s no photoshopping or foul play involved. The technology doesn’t do what it says it is charging you for.

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