Google’s New Seach Suggestions Is Really Annoying and Not Blind Friendly

May 25, 2009

Google’s search has this new drop down search suggestions box at their site. It’s very annoying because it intercepts the key presses on my keyboard. I’m a keyboard person, using Opera. I often use Opera’s Shift+Arrow keys to move up and down the search list and then hit the ENTER key to select the item on the search results to go to that site. With Google’s search suggestions javascript intercepting my keystrokes, the ENTER key no longer works.

Even though I search from Opera’s search toolbar, the suggestions JS still comes back to bite me, because I can’t actually get to the page linked from the results. Not unless I use the mouse anyway. What happens to blind people who are totally reliant on the keyboard?

It’s very irritating. I initially disabled JavaScript for Google at first, since Opera makes it easy to disable JavaScript on a site-by-site basis. Then I found that I couldn’t log into my Google Accounts because the latter uses JavaScript (how stupid).

I can’t stand this new seach suggestion thingy. Please get rid of it.

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Web Design.


Microsoft Office 2007 SP2: So Much for ODF Compatibility

May 5, 2009

Rob Weir did some tests of the new Microsoft Office 2007 SP2, which is supposed to provide support for the Open Document Format, ODF, out of the box. From his tests of an ODF spreadsheet, ODF files created by Office 2007 SP2 can be interpreted only by Office 2007 SP2 and no other application that supports ODF. And Office 2007 SP2 cannot read/interpret ODF files created by any other application. And we’re talking about a large number of applications here: OpenOffice, Google Docs, KSpread, IBM Symphony, Sun’s ODF Plugin, and the CleverAge ODF plugin.

Interestingly, all the other applications are able to create ODF spreadsheets that are readable by each other, except in the case of the old version of KSpread, which the reviewer used for reasons given in the article. So it’s not the case that the ODF format does not give enough details for spreadsheet formulas to be properly interpreted. Everybody else managed to implement it correctly.

Is this a case of Microsoft paying lip service to standards, so that they can gain inroads into governments’ procurement systems that demand open standard document support? If so, it means that they think all government officials are suckers and idiots.

If that’s not the case, then you’ll have to blame the Microsoft developers: are they so imcompetent that they cannot implement an open standard when everyone else and their grandmother has implemented it correctly? And it’s not as though they cannot see how the others have implemented it: OpenOffice is open source after all. Perhaps they will say ODF is not clear where spreadsheet formulas are concerned. Then how is it every other application is able to implement it correctly?

Filed in Outraged, Opinon, News, Software, Windows.

Google’s Greatest Fear and Archilles’ Heel: New Developments

November 20, 2008

Google’s archilles’ heel is its dependence on links to indicate authority of a website. Which is why it makes so much noise about paid links, whereas the other search engines don’t really care.

The newest fracas came about as a result of the formation of a new company that promises to connect link buyers with link sellers. Predictably, this brought out Matt Cutts, Google’s part time mouthpiece and full time web spam engineer, who denounced the practice as illegal or some such thing. In response, others like Jeremy Schoemaker, of Shoemoney fame, called out Google’s hypocrisy in the whole thing. It’s illegal when others do it, but when Google does it, and it still does it till this day, it’s not illegal.

I think everyone knows that Google is no longer the company it set out to be a few years ago. There is widespread sentiment that it’s now a monopoly abusing its power and engaging in the same bullying tactics we saw from Microsoft in its heyday.

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Web Design, Advertising.

Monopolies: The Google Abuse of Power

October 22, 2008

Blogoscoped is on the rampage to expose a couple of what they regard as Google’s unfair practices as a monopoly:

  • Google Uses Public Service Ads to Link to Own Election Page – where Google uses other websites’ advertising space to advertise its election biases without paying them. They abuse a feature designed for other purposes to this end.
  • Another one where Google gets webmasters to treat Google specially while hypocritically saying that webmasters are to treat all visitors and bots the same.

They are not the first to try to expose Google’s hypocrisies. There are other examples having to do with how Google favors big companies by allowing them to spam the search engine index but penalizes small websites.

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Advertising, Web Design.

RIAA Fears the Truth Coming Out

September 19, 2008

Most people following the questionable RIAA tactics will have heard of Ray Beckerman’s blog Recording Industry vs The People where he exposes the RIAA for what they really are. Ars Technica tells of a recent filing by RIAA accusing Ray of “vexatious litigation” saying that this is like the pot calling the kettle black. They quote EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann as saying “I find it a little perplexing that the recording industry would be complaining about Ray giving the other side of the story.”

But doesn’t that just show the flaws in RIAA’s case? If they were wholly operating aboveboard, they will have nothing to fear from other people given their side of the story. But when someone’s modus operandi is questionable, exposure is something they are afraid of. Their actions speak louder than words.

Other Posts on RIAA:

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, News, Entertainment.

Microsoft: Genuine Windows Can Revert to Become a Fake Copy Behind Your Back

August 28, 2008

Microsoft has apparently released a new version of their “Windows Genuine Advantage Notification Tool”, a tool that runs continuously in the background to check that your Windows is genuine. It’s interesting that it has to run all the time, and not just once, to check that your windows is a legit copy.

By releasing such a tool, Microsoft implies a few things:

  1. Microsoft believes you are an idiot. After forking out hundreds of dollars for Windows, you somehow still don’t know if your Windows copy is genuine. Not only that, their belief in your stupidity is such that they actually think you’ll believe their spin about the usefulness of having the notification tool installed.

  2. A genuine copy of Windows that you paid for, can unexpectedly revert to being a pirated copy behind your back. There would be no need for repeated checks otherwise. Neither would there be a need for people who have paid for a genuine copy to install it.

    One can also infer from the fact that they placed the notification tool in the Critical Updates that the moment you buy Windows, it is in imminent danger of reverting to a pirated copy. It can happen any time, that’s why you need to monitor it all the time. When it happens, the hundreds of dollars you paid will go down the drain, and you’ll have to pay again.

It’s times like these that make one think that the gradual move of PCs, starting with the ultra portables like Eee PC, to Linux is a good thing.

Filed in Outraged, Opinion, Software, Windows.

Google Tresspasses on Private Property Again

August 25, 2008

Google’s drivers, gathering photos for Street View, have again ignored someone’s “No Trespassing” sign, gone onto yet another private property to take photos. This is not the first time they have done this. Remember the lawsuit a few months back when Google’s van drove up a private road, taking pictures? What was their defense? Some spin-doctoring and smoke-screen.

I suppose we’re going to get another round of spin-doctoring. Maybe they should employ literate drivers, who can read signs. And brief them thoroughly about respecting laws. Otherwise the drivers may feel that Google is the Law, and can do anything with impunity.

Filed in Outraged, News, Opinion.