May 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

« Find Me and Get a Dogbert Sketch Today | Main | Truth Rule of Thumb »



OoOoo 4 hour delay? For an 89 minute flight? Holy Crap Batman! Flying from Dublin to Perth, Western Australia.
Dublin: 30 minute delay due to technical error on the plane (they couldn't get the back door to shut). THREE gate changes.
London Gatwick: 3 hour delay. Total of 6 hours at an airport which closes all its shops after 8pm. Flight to Dubai = 7.5 hours.
Dubai: Previous delays resulted in me missing my connecting flight home. 3 hours in a moshpit at the 'Help Desk' to get onto the next flight, which will be in 13.5 hours time. Total delay = 16.5 hours.
Flight from Dubai to Perth: 10.5 hours: Crying baby in front of me, complaining senior citizens behind me.
Perth: Going through one of the strictest Customs Checks in the world.

Total ~ 45 hours.


So what you would ideally like is a voice activated shower that you can ask for a set temp as you wouldn't want to mix water with electronics.

Just remember not to fill in the blanks when Dogbert asks you about something something a space odyssey.*

Why don't you make a third series of the Dilbert TV series? It was great!

*See Dilbert TV series Episode The Name


I guess the most "uncool" thing probably is that all this 'friggin Cool' things have taken over our life.

Our status of a 'Human being' has changed to a "Target customer" now. We all have been classified and categorized as per age group,sex,Race,education & Country of origin to what we might feel is 'cool' & buy it.

Its a sick feeling to know that the person next to you in a bus or train is nice to you, because he wants to sell his "Amway" stuff.

Everything in world being controlled by law of Demand & Supply ( including a million lives lost in war ) is too 'uncool' i guess.



Digital shower thermostat.

Phil Goetz

The shower faucet can't show you what temperature the water will be at a particular setting, because all it controls is a ratio of input from a hot water line vs. a cold water line. The cold water line is generally at the same temperature and pressure, but the hot water line's pressure depends on how full the hot water heater is, and its temperature depends on what temperature the heater is set to, and on how recently cold water was added to it.

If you really wanted to, you could design a faucet in which the hot water line pushed a pressure gauge along a curved track around the faucet dial, showing a higher temperature when the pressure was higher, and the gauge had a thermometer in it and was thermally connected to the hot water line, so that the thermometer reading, adjusted by the pressure reading, showed a water temperature scale. That would be my preferred solution. Sadly, in the digital age, it would probably be cheaper to have sensors send the pressure and temperature to a circuit that displayed the result on an LCD.

As an engineer, you might not be aware of this, but leaving permanent black marks on the wall of a motel shower significantly decreases its aesthetic value. But I suppose you comic-stars trash your hotel rooms and leave empty bottles from the minibar strewn everywhere for your roadies to pick up.


Some freakin uncool stuffs I experimented...

- Bought a new Webcam: 30 seconds to install the full featured nice drivers, then 15 minutes plus many reboots to have the Webcam working without having 4 or 5 resident EXE launched at boot time.

- My tomtom once tried to drive me through stairways (probably my fault: I didn't uncheck the "I am driving a Hummer" option box :o) )

- I own a Sony Clié PDA. When I bought it, I register to the Sony's PDA newsletter, which since then is sent every couple of month to my Clié... in a mail encoding format that the Clié mail software cannot display...

That's only the ones I got in mind right now... I could probably found enough material to write a book about those :o)


For x-mas I receive a really nice USB stick of 1 GB... Unfortunately it doesn't work with PCs that are still running on Windows 2000 without SP2 (or something like that). So what good is the USB stick if it only works on my laptop?


Speaking of horrible navigation systems, this past fall, I went on roadtrip along the east coast with a friend. We'd reserved a rental car from one of the major, well-known rental agencies & got their provided navigation system. It was $10 / day, but we figured it would help us as we drove around.

When we got to the rental agency, we got the car and mentioned we'd got the navigation system, at which point the agent pulled out this odd looking cellphone like thing. It turns out that the "navigation" system worked as follows:
1. it looked a lot like a cell phone. And not a cool PDA like phone. It looked like the phone I had 4 years ago that could display maybe 4-5 lines of text in it's small, monochrome, bad contrast display.
2. You started off using it like a phone to call customer service and let them know up to 4 places that you want to go to. (And every time you wanted to change locations, you needed to make a call. Hope you have cell phone reception.)
3. they would remotely program the phone with information about these places.
4. you were then good to go and would follow the directions on the tiny screen to your destination

For all we know, it might work ok, but we never found out since we opted to save ourselves the $10 / day and went the old fashioned route: a whole bunch maps from AAA.
The ren

Anthony Howe

In Europe, we use, and it is way cool. French streets tend in the old town of Nice or Mougins etc. tend to be a mazy of twisty little passages all the same and I've not yet had any problem with Mappy and it's accuracy.

Muthu Ramadoss

Great Post!

We have all had those experiences.. Don't we? That I can relate to your woes may be why the post excels.


Google maps, mapquest and all those other programs are, quite frankly, awful. I had one set of directions that told me to take a left, then another left, then another left, and finally another left. Guess where I would've ended up. It's all about the Rand-McNally books!


maybe you should find the guy who programmed google maps to program the shower to find the correct temperature for shower water. I'm sure the result will be interesting.

Joshua Jacobsen

I've been working on several freelance websites. A feature that I've had to work into two of them are "payment systems." These websites support both paypal and credit cards.

Now... I've worked with a lot of API's (application programming interfaces for the uninitiated), and there are both good ones and bad ones. On a spectrum of bad (1) to fantastic (10), financial tools rank somewhere in the negative digits.

Although I've made several websites now which accept payments through these methods, I'm perplexed that the software and business worlds tolerate this slop.


On a brutally hot summer day, they had all the passengers board the plane, which had been sitting on the tarmac soaking up heat. And we waited. And waited. With several hundred hot, impatient people on board, it was less than an ideal way to start a vacation. There were mechanics running around the plane, trying to fix something before we could take off. This went on for well over an hour while we sat in that stifling hot turns out they were fixing the air-conditioning! Couldn't they have let us wait in the air-conditioned terminal until they got it fixed? Very un-cool, literally!


Having QWest for my phone service in an area where they do not offer DSL, where I can only connect at a blazing 21.6K.
That is Too frickin' uncool.

But what adds to the excitement a town of 700 people has a local Co-Op Telephone company (West Centeral that offers DSL, but there service stops less then 1/4 mile from my house.
That is Too frickin' uncool.


Satnav doesn't work too well in my part of the UK. This is probably because every single person knows every address by a different name and has a different set of elaborate instructions about how to get between any two points. Most towns don't show up even on a map of the town itself and 'road' is a highly subjective concept.

This is quite unsatisfying.

But I've traveled all over the UK using satnav and when it works it's pretty impressive. When it doesn't, it's woeful. In my experience it doesn't work about 1/3 of the time. It doesn't even get me especially close. My approach of cheerfully assuming I'll find the place for no good reason at all seems to work more reliably.

The frustrating thing is that the technology isn't at fault. We have to wait for an unknown time for the data to catch up with the application. We will not know when that has occurred.

That is not cool.


Wow Scott, I feel like I could have written parts of that post. Google maps has gotten me lost on 3 of the last 5 occasions I tried to use it. Mapquest has yielded slightly better results. Both, however, don't understand the concept that certain roads go under bridges and do not intersect them, leading to tolls and ending me up in New Jersey!

As for water temps in the shower...That's like my daily complaint. How can we have all the technology we do, and yet I can't take a shower in the morning without getting scalded and then frozen!?


Speaking of uncool technology, PC World magazine ran an article back in May of '06 called "The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time". Good stuff. Here's the URL:,125772-page,2/article.html


All right, Scott "George Jettson" Adams. It's totally uncool to be stuck in airports. I've been stuck for hours with 3 small kids. When are we going to have our skycars?

Listo Entertainment

Internet... slow... connection... in... Spain... too... frikin... uncool.


Today Camera, DVD Player, Mobiles and almost all every electronic gadgets come with 2-3 cables connectors each. A normal family has at-least one of more of these stuff and i've noticed that each of this cords have there own make, type, shape - all designed to restrict it to be used – that’s what I call a SILO –
I have 3 bags in which a keep stuffing all these cords (used rarely) … and when I go back to find one its ‘Too frickin’ Uncool’

Same goes with Laptop and mobile chargers cords … so incompatible across models !!

Can there be wireless power … that’ll be ‘Frickin Cool’


Too Uncool to be true,
You were talking about technology that was too frickin' uncool. Let me tell you about a piece that I got for Christmas that was too frickin' cool that turned into too rickin' uncool pretty darned quick.
My Sony E reader. I am canadian and their website won't take canadian credit cards. We emailed Sony helpdesk and 3 months later a bunch of other people in the same boat got a mass email on March 9th that said this;
Dear Sony Valued Customer:
>We want to thank you on your recent purchase of the Sony Reader. The Sony
>Reader was designed for you to read all types of materials in multiple
>formats. The Sony Connect™ eBooks store was sent up to help customers find
>materials. Unfortunately if you are not a resident of the United States
>you will not be able to purchase Connect eBooks from the Connect eBook
>store. This does not mean that you cannot get materials to read on your
>reader. Since the reader is able to display RTF, TXT, PDF (unsecured), and
>LRF files there are a huge number of places on the Internet you can go to
>get reading materials. You might wish to check out the following sites for
>Any site that sells/delivers unsecured reading materials in the supported
>formats should be able to be read on the Reader. Also, interesting reading
>from the Web can be copied and pasted into a word-processing program and
>then saved as an RTF (without photos) for viewing on the Reader.
>If you have any additional questions or concerns please call 1-866-962-7669
>and we will be happy to assist you.
>Thank you,
>MaryAnn Corpuz
>Sony VOSC Data Analyst / Quality Coach
>Vaio Operations Support Center (VOSC)
>Phone: 888-476-6972

I hope that someone in Sony reads this and realizes that this is not the way to treat customers.


Google Maps is less than perfect:

As far as the British maps are concerned, it's just not quite there, yet. I don't know if it's generally any good in the US. It needs some work, from what I've seen.


Here's some free advice:
become independent of the internet (except for your job). Try reading a book, when your plane's running late.
Become independent of the internet. Try buying a map (you know... made from dead trees and stuff). I'm not saying that you should reject any technology. You don't have to "sing your map" like Aboriginees. Just take a look at this practical piece of paper... it might become your "peace of paper" for the trip. ;)
Just face it... every shower is different... =)
don't step under the shower and turn the water on... turn it on first, regulate the temperature(if possible at all) and then have a shower under which you reflect about your efforts to become independent of the internet.

Jason Mauss

Haha - you went all the way out to Indian Wells and Federer lost in his first match. Too Frickin' Uncool.

The comments to this entry are closed.