iTunes Store Terms and Conditions Lunacy

Last night, while attempting to download an application on my iPod Touch, I was asked to confirm new iTunes Store Terms and Conditions.  The screen looked like this:

You have to scroll down, and then I saw this:

Apple wants you to click through 55 pages of Terms and Conditions.  I would like to see their usability statistics and find out how few people click through (somehow I think that’s what they want you to do).  I didn’t.  All I wanted to do was “purchase” a free application.

To me, this is just another sign of our legalistic American society.  We use “terms and conditions” 55 pages long to keep consumers from actually understanding the legalities of something they seek to undertake.

And to Hell with Georgia Tech

Ahh, what a weekend.  Both football teams representing the division champions in the Atlantic Coast Conference (or American Cupcake Conference, if you will) were beaten by unranked Southeastern Conference teams.  Clemson was knocked off by South Carolina, and Georgia Tech got stomped by the University of Georgia Bulldogs.  What an accomplishment, winning the ACC.  Westerdawg even asked if the ACC Championship was a real thing (no way).

The best part?  All the Georgia Tech fans talking trash for the past 365 days.  You’d think they might watch out, since they’ve beaten Georgia once (ONCE!) in the past nine years.  But no, they shot their mouthes off for a whole year.  And now they can eat crow.

Some highlights:

And as the words go:

Glory, glory to old Georgia.  And to Hell with Georgia Tech!

Go Dawgs!

Nerd Hate Week 2009: The Dating Doctor

So I have been waiting to publish this post, and even more so after I spotted the inhumane cartoon posted by the Georgia Tech Sports Blog National blog (titled Ding Dong the Mutt is Dead!).  Payback’s a bitch.

love-doctor-logoOver the years I have made a conscious effort to make fun of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).  One of these posts (Georgia Tech Student Needs Kissing Lessons, a true story) made a big splash and one of my most visited posts to date.  I hope this post is just as good.

It seems that recently, the Georgia Tech Student Center Programs Council has seen a deficiency in Georgia Tech students.  Apparently that deficiency is dating.

So they did what any self respecting university would do, they hired David Coleman, the self-proclaimed “Dating Doctor”.  I kid you not.  David Coleman’s byline is “America’s Real-Life Hitch,” a reference to the movie Hitch.  Hitch is a dating doctor played by Will Smith who coaches hopeless men to date the women of their dreams.  If only those Techies could learn these lessons, they could take over the world.

Sadly, attending World of Warcraft parties and majoring in chemical engineering don’t help your case.

Again, I’m not making this up.  Here’s the event listing on Georgia Tech’s calendar and here it is listed on the Fall 2009 programs (pdf) for November 12.  There is a photo gallery on Flickr (only the nerds would hire a guy that looks like this to teach them how to date).  There is a post on Twitter, from this Georgia Tech female (rare) student (she’s apparently a model, I wonder why she needed to go to this).  She remarked, “The dating doctor talked in the student center tonight and was actually really helpful.”  I want to know what she learned.

And have you seen the website Only at Tech?  A site in the style of, people tell their little stories about life at the North Avenue Trade School.  Three note the visit by the “Dating Doctor”:

I love making fun of Georgia Techies (see these pictures here, here, and here).

But this guy, this “Real-Life Hitch” sounds like a winner too.  Let’s take a look at some of the advice on his site.  Here are a few of his recommended pickup lines:

  • “I’ll keep buying you drinks. You tell me when I get good looking.” [you can’t make this stuff up, people]
  • “If your beauty was measured in light, I’d see you coming from a mile away.” [I’m sure a Techie could find some problem in that math statement]
  • “Would you like to meet Russell? Russell my love muscle.” [Wow]
  • “You must have glue on your butt, because my eyes have been stuck there all night.”

The Love Doctor also lists some “kiss off quotes” which I’m sure my friends on North Avenue hear frequently:

  • “I’m not attracted to you in that way”
  • “It’s me. It really is. It’s not you”
  • “I really just want to be friends”
  • “You’re like a brother (or sister) to me”

This Love Doctor even has a list of items to take on a first date:

-Tums or Rolaids (in case your meal doesn’t sit well or nerves hit)

-Breath mints and gum (bad breath can shorten a date in a hurry)

-A small mirror to check your appearance and teeth for food particles

-An extra set of car keys (for pretty obvious reasons!)

-Chapstick….keep those lips soft and voluptuous

-A small list of 5 things to do on the date or talk about in case of awkward pauses, silence or indecision

-A small piece of paper with your date’s name, address and phone number on it just in case you forget this vital information!

-Phone numbers to contact friends or family in case the date isn’t going well

-A tiny (travel size) deodorant, cologne, hairbrush and toothbrush (in case a nervous nature changes your body chemistry)

-Extra money (in a pocket), including phone change, in case you lose your wallet or cell phone

-A condom (which, by the way, if you use, will signal your last date!).

-A couple of aspirin or Advil (in case your date causes more stress than he or she relieves)

-A smile, eye contact, a firm handshake and self-confidence that doesn’t appear arrogant.

-A positive attitude! If you don’t think you are going to have fun, you probably won’t!

Georgia Tech students, if you can fit all of that AND your light saber in the pockets of your cargo pants, you are ready to go on your first date, courtesy of “America’s Hitch.”

Ramblin’ wreck from Georgia Tech and needing a dating doctor.

Why I Laugh at DMCA Takedown Notices (and Why They Don’t Work)

I seriously love it when a company attempts to shut someone up (to cover up something they *think* is bad) and the attempt to shut up someone causes a bigger story.  Like today’s post on TechCrunch about tweetphoto sending a takedown request over a podcast with it’s former CEO (former because of the podcast).  The podcast wasn’t incriminating, so tweetphoto didn’t protect their interests, they just let Mike Arrington make them look bad (for good cause).

People, learn that a cease-and-desist order or a DMCA takedown notice will not quiet the damning story.  Neither will a gag order (that’s an example).  One of my favorite recent examples is the Ralph Lauren scandal involving the photoshopped skinny model and BoingBoing’s response to a DMCA takedown notice:

So, to Ralph Lauren, GreenbergTraurig, and PRL Holdings, Inc: sue and be damned. Copyright law doesn’t give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:

a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;

b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and

c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.

Look folks, people notice these things.  Especially in the Internet Age.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (like the ACLU for the internet) has even compiled the “Takedown Hall of Shame.”  And Chilling Effects has a database of takedown orders.

Stop the thought process that says we can make this better by trying to shut someone up.  It doesn’t work and it makes a bigger story.