Amazon Instant Video Prime Nightmares

Dear Amazon:

I’ve ordered episodes and seasons of Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe so many times in the past few months, it’s a wonder I don’t have the full collection. Ah, but I do. I own most of the Stargate series on VHS, DVD, and even BlueRay. That’s not the point. I wanted to watch them one after another as part of a nostalgic bent of mine lately, and I wanted to watch them as I was doing other things, so I started watching them on my phone and tablet.

Amazon Prime allows me to watch tons of shows and movies for free as a member, yet you still do not have a video watching app, and it can be tricky to set up your mobile device to watch the shows.

For those reading a home, to watch Amazon Prime Instant Videos on your phone or tablet, open your web browser and set it to Desktop Mode. Then prepare to spend too much time with Amazon Customer Support getting refunds for your accidental digital orders.

Amazon Instant Video Prime  - Poor Interface design allows purchases when pushing play buttons.

Call it “fat fingers” as Google recently did when they changed their Google Ad system to ask if you meant to click an ad instead of automatically billing the ad owner every time you accidentally clicked on an ad. Call it a slip of fingers. Call it poor UI. Whatever you want to call it, I’m sick of finding out that I bought an episode or the entire series when I did not mean to.

Come on, Amazon. The videos on Amazon Prime Instant Video are free. That’s part of our membership. Continue reading

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Dear TED, Don’t Force Yourself Upon Us

Dear Ted:

When it comes to changing the world, few do so more than TED videos. Your tag line, ideas worth spreading, is a humble way of describing the power and influence of your presentations by amazing people.

However, when it comes to presenting your videos, please help improve the world by making your videos not play automatically.

I will often cruise through and open several tabs of TED videos in my browser, then life will charge back in and I’ll have to feed the cats, take a phone call, pay bills, and respond to the mundane life a tech nag leads. If perchance I have to close and restart my browser for a million different reasons, I have to plow through fifty or more tabs to find which ones have the TED videos on to stop them from playing. I’ll suddenly have 3 to 7 voices all talking at me and the video downloads will slow down my computer and browser, not to mention my horrible Internet connection.

While I’m not sure it’s a web standard yet, it is should be. Either way, TED, you exist to change the world. Please set an example for all to follow and give us our control back. Allow us to press PLAY to lose ourselves in the wisdom of others and don’t force yourselves upon us.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag

Dear Internet Users: Let’s Honor the Good Stuff In Between

Dear Internet Users:

I just got a good look at this brilliant graph by Brad Colbow illustrating what people pay attention to on the Internet.

Chart showing appreciation level of humans, the best and the worst and not much in between

Seriously?

So we pay attention to the really great stuff and the really bad stuff and tend to ignore the in between stuff.

This explains so much.

As I stand in line at the grocery store checkout, I’m constantly reminded of Joan Rivers’ famous comment about good the National Enquirer is for constipation. It’s horrible.

And television. WTF? Seriously. Good actors are now flooding Broadway and theaters around the globe as “real people” doing stupid human tricks are placing them.

Please, Internet Users and everyone, let’s find some room in our hearts for the in between stuff. Let’s once again celebrate the truly remarkable middle of the road stuff. It’s all remarkable.

Let’s appreciate each other more like Doctor Who, so famous for defending humanity in all its shapes, sizes, and ridiculous characters and their actions.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag

Dear Browsers, Stop the Browser Hacks, Please.

Dear Browsers (and I’m talking to all of you):

I’m reading Paul Irish’s article on the Browser Market Pollution and it makes me ill.

As a web designer and developer, I hate when I have to create a new framework or revisit a current one and deal with browser hacks.

I’ve dealt with browser hacks going back to versions no one on the planet is using any more, even those prior to IE 6. I had hacks for Netscape, IE4, IE5, IE5.5, and so on. I even have hacks for current versions of IE7, IE8, and even IE9.

Oh, you other browsers, Safari, Opera, Firefox, I’ve had hacks for your versions as well, so don’t think you are getting out of this nag.

Irish explains that even as we go forward, the browser industry’s failure to maintain web standards and ridiculous need for proprietary crap that messes with web design, causing even more hacks, will continue and web designers will have to maintain multiple hacks and custom support for multiple browser versions on and on and on into the future.

I’m so tired of coverying your asses with my designs and fixing the designs by others for clients.

When Tim Berners-Lee and his team developed the web as we know it, the goal was to break down the code barriers that stopped the easy exchange of data and information so we could all communicate together. Browser hacks put burdens upon that tenuous web when you all should be reinforcing it with strength.

Please let us stop fixing your problems with browser hacks.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag