Category Archives: General

An interesting time with the Mini Cooper’s “convenience” key

Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, General
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The last car we bought was a Mini Cooper S which I see as the car that makes up for all the regular Minis I drove,you know the ones with a fixed L shaped seat, rusting sills, 10” wheels  sliding mirrors, no heater worth a damn etc.

The “new” car ,a 2007 Cooper S, came with a remote key and what’s called a convenience feature in which you do not have to put your key into the slot to start it. E.G.,It can stay in your pocket , your bag or attached to a purse.

Common belief is that the car won’t start without the key being inside the car.  Sadly , as we found out this weekend, that is not the case.  My wife left her purse atop the pump, got in ,  door closed, started car and drove off.   ( ended up having to get a ride then break into the house)

The car gave zero warning that key wasn’t within the car and  20 miles later, car turned off and couldn’t start it again.

No keys , no movement , no nothing!   This is not the behavior I want from a car so I called the local Mini dealer, 2 days after they failed to return my wife’s call , to find out what the parameters of the  keyless start are.  I also sent a note to Mini asking the same.

So far nothing from Mini and an unhelpful  “you’re the only one in 3000-4000 customers to have this problem.”  from the dealer  and an offer to look at it which I will have to take them up  on.

I really want to know why the car wont let you lock it with the key inside, assumption that it knows where the key is in relation to the car, yet will let it drive off without one being present. Surely that’s not that  hard a question for the  people that sell it/ make it?  

   Couple that to the Airbag system that can be harmed just by moving your seat back and it looks like the  LUCAS lord of darkness joke re the state of UK auto electrical  systems has jumped over into the BMW made Mini.

Yes there are things that have fallen down the memory hole

Filed under General

Posts are missing yes.While the legal process moves forward nothing relating to the joy that was the end of June will be posted


In the meantime…



Some slow mo and water

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Basically testing out an embed.

here we are

Otter sans hotsauce

Filed under General

originally uploaded by Ian Press Photography.

Today’s otter shot of the day is a tasteful reminder that the central question of existence is not who am I? or What am I? but where shall we have lunch.

here come the abc’s

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here we are with otters

otter of the day.

Filed under General
otter 5

otter 5,
originally uploaded by sofidch.

What has this otter forgot?

It’s interesting but we seem to have to rediscover that exchanging value is a valid business model.

Filed under General

From the 500 hats blog comes a nice summation that matches many of my feelings with regards to how programs are pitched, created and go to 2 cups (He has a much better line but I’ll not steal it totally out of context.)  He brings up  login friction, e.g.,  how easy it is to actually use the service and creating infrequent use apps can cause problems by itself.

So listen up I’ll share a little secret with you — there is one very simple way to avoid forgotten passwords.Basically, it’s this:

Make a Frequent-Use Product.
That’s it, you say?

Yeah, that’s it Sherlock.Make a brain-dead simple, frequent-use product.If users login a lot, then they don’t forget their passwords

 While my favourite inner-Austrian applauds lines such as

Newsflash folks: The Internet does NOT want to be FREE… It wants to GET PAID on Fucking Friday, just like everybody else on the damn planet.

It’s kind of sad that this has to be restated that making a program that needs to be useful is another. 

Do not like. The crappy ,Damascan, conversion rate on samaritan clicking

Filed under General

Point of this.

To let you know how much I dislike the affinity posts, re-posts, tweets and retweets about serious issues that run the risk of causing the appearance that something is actually being done.

Problem 1

I wanted to know what my friends were up to, their thoughts, accomplishments joys and sadness. Instead it’s a pile of app-generated crap intermixed with memes copied from others that often contradict how that person sees themselves.Challenging them has usually resulted in a defensive “I’m just sharing it” and  usually without a review of the original material ergo they really aren’t in any way responsible for the material.

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” 

Oscar Wilde’s above quote fits into a tweet by the way. Sad thing is I follow you because I am interested in what YOU have to say and not you by Proxy.

Problem 2

The Facebook child abuse cause has over 2 million members and has raised around $1600 dollars or eight hundredths of a cent per member.You’ll find the same disparity reflected over and over again within groups for domestic-violence,anti-torture, land mines and just about any other topic of human misery you care; sorry you –pretend- to care,about matters.

The actions don’t match up with the words. It may give someone the idea that it’s under control, I mean 2 million people wow, that’s an achievement that’s worth well it’s worth about $1600. Rather trivializes whatever the cause de jour is nes’t pas?










Otter running

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Otter running

Otter running,
originally uploaded by the longhairedgit.

Today’s otter of the day.

7 of 9 Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris), female, marine mammal, with her baby pup

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This is definitely my otter of the day maybe even the month.


Asian small-clawed otters

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Asian small-clawed otters

Originally uploaded by Marie Hale.

This is my favorite otter shot of the day.

I knew Bell Honda was full of gas. Say no to N2 refills and other overblown upgrades.

Filed under Bad CS, General, phoenix, reality

If there’s one thing that bugs me more on not knowing enough about the physical world it’s those people that try to sell you a service, product or in the case of carbon credits a total line of bullshit.  Bell Honda appear to follow this model of customer service. Their ploy, based on  their reliance, that your ignorance of the subject will be such that you’ll gladly pay a premium to have N2 fill your tires.

They try to up sell you on nitrogen which has nominal to NO practical value when fitted to your average car. I had read anecdotally that Honda were not a fan of the practice and I send a tweet to see if I could get a reference for this. 


There you go.  I’ve been to this dealer twice and while the service was done quickly,the waiting area is clean, nice wifi,play area and coffee  It’s only been after the usual chat re, “service this to Honda’s requirements to keep the extended warranty valid”How they then want to add injector cleaning agents, N2 and suggest a transmission flush on a < 30k car, a 30k MANUAL car is beyond me. Despite declining the injector cleaning they billed me for it anyway and took money of the air filter instead. They must have some kind of weird  bonus structure going there but a 30k car that’s performing well does not need it. 

Needless to say I’ll be using another dealership  for future warranty work.

Crappiest marketing of the week Sam’s club for Windows 7

Filed under Bad CS, General

What you are looking at is the subject line from a mail that I received this weekend


There’s a slight issue with that subject line which one could charitably call a willing attempt to deceive,to appear fraudulent or maybe even to be an outright lie.

The price refers to you already having Windows 7, aka Windows 7 starter edition.

How can you upgrade to 7 by already  having 7? This is such a trivial thing that it pains me that they would even try this line out. Upgrades –from- $78 or Upgrades –to- $78 are still speaking in weasel-words but  at least it’s supportable on logical and grammatical grounds.


Follow up. Several weeks have passed.   I’m a member so I  wrote them a  letter which they didn’t respond to. Well that’s one membership that’s not getting renewed.

Ramblings from my phone

Filed under General, mobile

Mobile post sent by haltse using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Test post from posterous.

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Making sure my Meta weblog api is happy with the service. 

Posted via web from haltse’s posterous