Man, some people are dumb

I ran across this site today, 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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Heroes of Might and Magic V – Buggy, Buggy, Buggy

Heroes Big
Freeverse just released the Mac version of Heroes V for the Mac. This is a cool series of games. I used to play 3 a lot, so I thought I’d give this one a try. It’s also running on Cider, a WINE-based set of code that allows Windows binaries to more-or-less run unmodified. I thought it would be cool to see this work. $50 for a download version – 1.5GB later and I’m ready to play. I should have waited.

My God, this thing is the most buggy piece of crap I’ve ever seen.

Let’s start with with memory leaks. I have 3GB in my MBP. With nothing else running, within an hour, Heroes will have used all of memory, and I’ve now got 2GB of paging files out there. WTF? Literally, you have to quit and reload every 30 minutes or so if you want to keep your machine running. At a minimum. If you keep playing (ignoring the thrashing your HD is taking) the game eventually exhausts all memory, stutters, and dies.

OK, so you have to quit every 30 minutes. Annoying, but there you have it. Fortunately, it auto-saves after every turn. Or does it? Apparently, if you have a space in your profile name, the saves and auto-saves just don’t work. You THINK they’re working (there’s no error message) but they’re going into the bit bucket. Just gone. Never to be seen again. So once you quit (because of memory leaks) you have to start completely over.

Online play with other gamers is pretty much out due to the time limit and random crashing issues. Not to mention that you can’t even duel with other Windows players because they are all using 1.4.1 and this is version 1.4. So that whole side of things is pretty much out.

All right, so make sure your profile is short with no spaces in it, quit every 30 minutes, no online play, and you’re golden, right? SUCKER. The save (autosave or manual) files that are being created seem to randomly be corrupt. I managed to eek out 45 minutes of play to complete most of a level last night. I thought I was pressing my luck with crashes, so I saved once more, and quit. Restarting the game, I tried to load my last save. Crash. OK, how about the last autosave? Crash. And the one before that? Crash, Crash, Crash. The only thing that worked was a manual save from the end of the previous level. So I effectively lost all my progress for the entire evening.


If this was a piece of hardware, it would be heading back to the store for a refund. But because it’s software, I’m stuck with this hunk of junk until someone there sees fit to work on the problems. To their credit, Freeverse seems to be saying they’ll make it work (judging by their posts in the forums.) But there is no time line.

I’m not even certain this is a problem with Cider itself. From reading the support forums for the Windows version, people there seem to be having very similar problems. But how in the world could they let this piece of junk out in the wild?

Bottom line – stay away from this waste of time until they get the bugs worked out.

Update: The 1.5 patch is available. It does seem to make everything more stable, though already corrupted games still won’t load. I recommend starting everything from scratch. We’ll see how this thing does as I go through the campaigns… again.

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Blizzard *hearts* the Mac

Warcraft III
Blizzard releases a universal binary patch for Warcraft III ROC and TFT.

Blizzard really is the Mac gamer’s BFF. I mean, what other company would do a complete recompile of a four year old product just so it worked well on new hardware? Especially since it already played so well under emulation. AND they release all their stuff simultaneously on both the Mac and Windows.


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.”

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Diamond Age miniseries

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The Sci-Fi channel just announced a six episode miniseries based on Neal Stephenson’s book, The Diamond Age.

Diamond Age, based on Neal Stephenson’s best-selling novel The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, is a six-hour miniseries from Clooney and fellow executive producer Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions.

Hopefully they won’t screw this up.

Link to Sci-Fi’s announcement.