Why Joost Sucks

Man, I really wanted to like Joost. They have a very pretty interface and the idea to watch mainstream TV right off the ‘net is a winner. That is, unless you screw it up like Joost did.

First, let’s get what they did right out of the way:

1. Nice Peer-to-Peer network for content, reducing bandwidth bills for the servers, and potentially increasing reliability.

2. Beautiful interface appearance.

OK, now that that is done, here’s what’s wrong.

1. Damn P2P network sucks huge donkey balls.

I sit on a huge pipe at work (and a relatively large one at home.) I can regularly pull 1.5 MB/s from just about anywhere from home. With all this bandwidth, I can’t get a reliable stream from Joost to save my life. It works just as well as most other P2P networks – sometimes huge downloads, sometimes nothing. This is OK for file transfers, but sucks for real-time content.

And I never get tired of the sudden “This program is unavailable right now,” right in the middle of a program.

2. Video quality at least as good as YouTube!

Seriously, most of the video you get looks like complete crap. Literally, it IS as bad as a YouTube video, but blown up full screen. Oh, and combined with the network issues, it stutters every few minutes. So somehow, it’s even less watch-able than YouTube.

3. Fucking annoying commercials.

You know, I can stand watching commercials to an extent. But who was the poor idiot who thought that replaying the same damn unskippable commercial every 4-5 minutes needs a beat-down. The real kicker is that the commercials invariably play flawlessly and have the best video quality of anything you may be watching.

4. Beautiful but broken user interface.

I like the look of the interface, but overall it’s almost universally bad when you actually go to use it. How do you bring up the playback controls? Clicking does nothing, moving the mouse sometimes does it, sometimes not. How do you get them to go away? Apparently, you just have to wait for them to disappear.

And what’s up with that channel/program selector? It keeps loading content dynamically, and you can never figure out where you are in the list because it wraps endlessly. Lots of time there is no text or images loaded and you scroll around with a pile of blank entries and one that’s filled in. Just suck all around.

5. Content is the lamest of the lame.

The onlything I could stand to watch for more than a minute there was the Top Gear seasons. Everything else was some serious B-roll crap that even the ‘torrenters wouldn’t touch. There hasn’t been any significant content added since I was in the closed beta months ago. Oh, yeah, they added WBTV and ten episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Yeah.

6. Widget platform? WTF?

As if we needed yet another desktop clutterer. How about fixing everything else above before the onslaught of ten thousand weather lookups and stock checkers. Yawn.

I really don’t understand how people can stand using the thing. As it is, I hadn’t fired the thing up in weeks until today. I then realized that nothing had changed.

Bye Bye Joost. Let me know if you ever become useful.

Update: Funny – last night I had a power failure, so no TV. I was using the last of the battery power running the network to get some stuff done, and decided to take one last look at Joost. It launched, did some sort of version check, then told me it was out of date, but couldn’t contact he upgrade server to download the latest version. Then quit. I drug the app into the trash. Buh Bye.

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Man, some people are dumb

I ran across this site today, infomercialscams.com. It’s a place where you can rant and rave about the crap products that you got suckered into ordering while you were drunk on Sunday at 3am Sunday. I love to see people rip apart junk that thats Broken As Designed. Most of the stuff there is just the usual “didn’t get my product” and the endless billing scams.

But as I was reading I came to a different conclusion.

Lots of the people buying this crap are complete morons, and it’s more fun to read about their stupidity than about the products themselves.
Like this gem, from Catherine who purchased a “Velform Sauna Belt” which is basically a heating pad with velcro you wear around your waist:

I bought the Velform Sauna Belt and once it, finally, got to me, I tried it and it didn’t work! It just heats up and makes my skin red but it doesn’t make me sweat at all. No calories are burned, nothing! You’re better off working out than buying this product.

What? You mean that $19.95 piece of crap doesn’t just melt away the pounds like magic? Just imagine the thought process that these people are going through – it makes me sweat, therefore I will lose weight. Yeah, so will dehydration. “You’re better off working out!” No shit. And here I thought that sitting on the couch eating Ruffles with an electrical deathtrap around my waist was the way to health and happiness.

In fact, there are piles of people who seem to think that sweating is the magic weight loss formula and are complaining that it didn’t make them sweat at all. Freaking sad. To top it off, lots of the complaints about the product says that it caused burns with blistering. Yikes.
Or take this single complaint about the “Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet”:

I purchased a q-ray ionized bracelet off the TV. When I recieved it I used it. It seemed to relieve the pain of my muscles after some time of using it I started getting high blood pressure when I would wear this product. I am trying to find some information on what rights I have, and what I can possibly do in regaurds to my discomfort.

Not only does she think that the Q-Ray is some magical healing device, she now believes it’s a scam because it supposedly caused her blood pressure to rise.

And the Carleton Sheets pages just go on and on. Who woulda’ thunk that getting rich in real estate wasn’t as easy as a 30 minute commercial says it is.

Read these pages to reinforce your already jaded view of humanity. You won’t be disappointed.

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Freaky mail friday

Today is the day for mail strangeness. First the destroyed UPS package, and now a USPS package that took over a year to arrive.

Sitting on our porch a couple of days ago was a USPS Express envelope with some pictures of my nephews and other relatives. My SO and I remarked at how they must have been from last year, as everyone looked a little younger. When talking to her sister, we discovered that this was a package that was lost in December 2005.

This was mailed on December 21, 2005. It arrived on January 15, 2007. No note of what happened in the meantime, all the contents appear to be there, and it was in remarkably good shape. Certainly better than the UPS envelope.


Package football

Check out the picture below. This is (was?) a UPS overnight envelope that was nearly destroyed by some handling monkeys. Keep in mind, this thing was not torn during opening – it arrived like this, complete with packing tape holding the ripped open top semi-closed, but not the giant gash across the front.

I’ve never received something from them in such bad shape – especially something that had only been in their possession for less than 12 hours. The topper is that the thing held blank checks fresh from the printer. Fortunately they were shrink-wrapped in opaque plastic, so there was some reassurance that some just didn’t “go missing.”

Image 009

Pat Robertson prays for a new disaster

Here we go again! Nutcase Pat has new predictions for 2007! This year, we have a mass killing sometime in 2007. “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.” Yeah, whatever. He always seems to glow when he drools this stuff out.

He also claimed that a tsunami would hit the US in 2006 … He now claims that the flooding and heavy rains in New England fulfilled this prediction. ‘Cause that make sense.

And just to be snarky, he so freaking looks like Alfred E. Neuman in this picture
Alfred"What, me worry?"