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Mini-rants [Saturday 14th November 2009 at 9:20 pm]

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[Playing |Now We Are Free ~ Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard/Gladiator: Special Annivesary Edition]

Today's post is a collection of mini-rants about how modern software is made of fail.

First up is GSAK, which when I imported a set of waypoints from Geocaching.com decided to overwrite any existing ones in its database. I'd actually gone through all the child waypoints for multi-caches and renamed them to a) fit the 6 character limit on my GPS receiver, and b) have names that I can find easily. Fine, so I imported with the defaults which updates existing records, so this is semi-expected. Would have been nice if it had prompted me. Anyway, restore from backup (GSAK takes automatic backups on exit, which is a very good thing to have), change the option to "Add", and reimport. Apparently in GSAK "Add" also means "feel free to replace existing records", and it went and blatted some of the waypoints anyway.

Second up is the Microsoft Security Resource Centre blog, which is syndicated on LiveJournal as msrcblog_rss and which until a couple of minutes ago was on my friends page. November's bulletin includes an embedded video for the webcast. Fair enough, saves people having to follow a link to view it. What's not nice is automatically downloading the entire video in the background as soon as the page has loaded, without waiting for the user to click play. How did I find that one out? By Internet Explorer taking several tens of seconds to load my friends page and doing some hefty disk activity at the same time. Turns out that it copies the wmv to the Temp directory when the page loads, and the wmv is 200MB. That'll be a rude surprise for anyone using a low-bandwidth or capped connection. There's no obvious way to disable that behaviour either.

Honary mini-rant at Youtube, which doesn't appear to let you stop downloading a video once you've started playing it but will at least wait for you to click play (or have the video auto-play when you go directly to a page on youtube).
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