High Fructose Corn Syrup Hate Letter

April 26th, 2009 by tungsai

While using the restroom, one is often at the mercy of the reading material within arm’s reach. Lately, it’s been “Parenting” magazine (Though a more apt title would be “Mom’s” magazine, as it is clearly marketed toward women).

So, as I perused this flimsy periodical, I find myself subjected to print ad versions of the very annoying “High Fructose Corn Syrup is Not Evil” ad campaign. My annoyance stuck with me, so I memorized the URL “sweetsurprise.com”. Here’s my Love Letter I fired off to them:

your ad campaign to de-villainize the proliferation of your product is pathetic. It only serves to underscore the bad reputation, and are insulting to my intelligence. I am quite aware that it is “Natural”, “Made from Corn” “Same as table sugar” in most respects, etc. THE PROBLEM IS THE PROLIFERATION OF YOUR SUGAR IN EVERYTHING. And instructing people to “not go back for thirds”? So, it’s the CUSTOMER’S FAULT that your product has proliferated so ubiquitously in the grocery store that I have to go out of my way to find products without it? You’re starting a marketing campaign to *counter* the marketing campaign created by the food companies! A person like me is simply going to see you all as the same entity anyway.

In conclusion, F*** You. Stop insulting my intelligence. Focus your monetary coffers toward other goals.

Is Microsoft Vista "Sexy"?

January 30th, 2007 by tungsai

If you know me, you know that I hate the term “Sexy” when used to refer to anything other than people, clothing, or actions. My wife is sexy, a Bikini can be sexy, A dance can be sexy… But a car? an iPod? a Phone? a COMPUTER PROGRAM?!? Let me tell you something, kiddo: If I don’t pop a woody, honey, it ain’t sexy. And if you’re pitching a tent over the next Release Candidate, you got some serious issues.

That doesn’t stop the world’s various marketing departments. from trying to use sex to sell anything! stuff! I mean, just look at this ad from Microsoft:

You know you want me....

“Oh, but she’s a Professional! Look, she has a COLLAR!” If the suggestive look on her face doesn’t give it away, then maybe the NOT-SO-SUBLIMINAL OPEN-COLLAR GRAPHIC framing the “Get Windows Vista Now!” might convince you! Why don’t they just come right out and say it:

Oh Yes, I MUST HAVE YOU!!!!

Editor’s Note: Later that evening our CD of a Beta version disappeared… We don’t know where Tung gets off.

An angry letter to Microsoft

January 30th, 2007 by tungsai

Dear Microsoft,

This letter is regarding your product, “Exchange Server”. It is evident that you have not allocated enough resources toward a process of continual improvement for this product.

Specifically, the “Message Rules” function is limited by a hard barrier of 2048k. This is even specifically mentioned on your web site, as a documented flaw in your product, and has been for several years. Yet, despite this crippling limitation, you have done nothing to pro-actively address this issue.

Being of sound mind, body, and programming skills, I offer you this suggestion.

1. Remove the memory limitation on user message routing rules;

2. Allow users to use GROUPS to route mail messages rather than only specific e-mail addresses;

3. When I drag an e-mail from the Inbox to another folder, ask me if I want to do this for future e-mails with that address. Include the “Don’t ask me this again” checkbox, for users that would be annoyed by this.

Using these three simple suggestions, you can improve your product in such a way to make many people happy. By ignoring this letter, you can encourage me to continue buying GOOG stock rather than MSFT.

Sincerely,

Wayne Byarlay
B.S., Computer Technology, Purdue University

TIAA-CREF’s lame password policy

January 6th, 2007 by tungsai

In this day and age, it is unthinkable that a web site of such financial importance as TIAA-CREF would limit their password field to SEVEN CHARACTERS. That’s right, SEVEN CHARACTERS.

Thus, if a hacker were to somehow gain access to their password file, and ran a hash on it, they could probably decipher it in a matter of minutes, given the computing power of even the average desktop. How?

Well, since seven characters is a nice, round number, people probably make passwords like “Sparky” or “Jason”. The hacker could provide a number of common words like these, or even use a Dictionary File to provide the top 200 most common six and seven letter passwords used by people. Then, a hash program would be run against this file. This hash program would use every known encryption algorithm against each entry in the password file, and check the result. If the result happens to be one of these english-language words, then that algorithm is run against all the other entries in the password file. If suddenly the results yield many english-language words, then chances are, you’ve discovered the encryption algorithm, and you now have every single person’s password to log into the TIAA-CREF web site.

This will probably never happen. I’m sure that some other level of security is in place to prevent this from ever happening, and if they’re smart, they don’t even let one single person have access to the password file. But you know what the REAL REASON is that it pisses me off? Because the password I use for everything else is significantly longer than seven characters, and I don’t write any of them down, so, consequently I forget this password every time I want to use the site.

Forget it, I’m just going to start writing down my passwords.

But just to let them know I’m still not happy, I wrote them this charming feedback on their web site.

I see that your webmasters have still limited the password field to SEVEN CHARACTERS.

How long do you plan to persist in this annoying policy? I have over 20 different web sites that I must visit on a regular basis, to manage personal business. As such, I choose not to write down any of my passwords, but I instead use the same password for all of them, rotating every now and then. Perhaps not the best, but it’s my choice. So, every 3 months, I have to go through this business of forgetting my ID & Password, calling your number, listen to the vapid recording of “We also invite you to visit our web center at doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou dot tiaa-cref dot org”. DUH! Where do you think I got the PHONE NUMBER from? This is 2007, people. Then, finally, I can contact a rep and get my entire account remade.

Perhaps it does add a level of security to have my account & password reset all the time, and it’s not like hackers are all after retirement accounts. But I’m the worst type of customer, one who does system administration for a living, and I just gotta get my $0.02 in.

There, I’m done ranting and I’ve said my peace. I fully expect my input to be filed away in the “Deleted Items” folder, just like it was 6 months ago. I’m sure this message comes off as a smart-aleck, arrogant, know-it-all, but I’m too old to care if I’m wrong or not, I am the customer and… you know.

The reason we cancelled

September 14th, 2006 by tungsai

[14:28] schmeckendeugler: why did we cancel that real estate class again?
[14:28] Jody: postponed
[14:28] Jody: b/c there is one offered in Laf
[14:28] Jody: but it’s on Sat morning
[14:29] Jody: and we didn’t want to do that during the summer