Dear Amazon,

I love that you’re promising next-day delivery on a lot of items, but in your relentless pursuit of shipping optimization, you have failed to take into account the fact that USPS simply lies about when they “delivered” a package.

For instance, Wednesday at 5:53 PM, I placed an order (“free next-day shipping, for sure!“). Tracking shows that you handed it off to my local post office at 4:44 AM Thursday. USPS claims it went out for delivery at 8:44 AM, and was placed in my mailbox at 6:51 PM. My mailbox (of the shared, locking variety at the curb) was completely empty when I got home at 9:15 PM.

This is not the first time this has happened. Sometimes it shows up on my porch very early the next morning, other times as part of the next day’s regular delivery, occasionally delayed even further by a weekend or holiday, and at least once it never turned up at all, despite being marked “delivered”.

Friday night update

By golly, the “delivered Thursday” package somehow found its way into my locked mailbox today! It’s almost like it never made it onto the truck and they checked it off to pad their numbers!

Oh, wait, it’s exactly like that!

Dear Youtube,

Twice in the past few days, I’ve had a video interrupted in the middle by an unskippable video ad for an unrelated and uninteresting product.

So I downloaded them and watched offline with no ads at all.

Fun with Chrome

First, if you haven’t already stopped using Google Chrome, stop now. What could possibly go wrong with allowing web sites to edit files on your computer, and have your mobile browser automagically process those annoying two-factor-authentication SMS messages and agree that it’s really you logging into your banking site?

Security? They’ve got Top Men working on it right now!

An update for Chrome 78 is now available that fixes two major security vulnerabilities, one of which is already being used to exploit devices.

Weasels gotta weasel

It is indisputable that the Google Chrome updater crashed thousands of Macs, primarily those used by video production studios. FFS, the smoking gun is right there in their updater logs:

GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent[1213/0x7fffc9d683c0] [lvl=3] -[KSLockFile(PrivateMethods) deletePathIfSymlink: except: ] Found and deleted symlink at path /var

And it logs an error message if it can’t delete /var, which means nobody in Google QA reviews log errors before saying “ship it!”.

But how did they spin it? (emphasis mine)

“a Chrome update may have shipped with a bug that damages the file system on macOS machines with System Integrity Protection (SIP) disabled”

There are reports that it has affected people who have SIP enabled, which seems to be due to them having gone through multiple OS upgrades, starting from a version that didn’t have SIP, with permissions somehow getting changed from the defaults over the years.

The reason it hit video studios so hard is that they were all running external Thunderbolt 2 GPUs to accelerate Avid, and to run the required unsigned kernel drivers, they had to turn off SIP.

Dear Amazon,

[this late-night blog post brought to you by a blown transformer that took out power to my neighborhood for three hours tonight…]

There’s one thing you could add to your web site that would vastly increase my shopping satisfaction: a checkbox to exclude randomly-named Chinese knockoff products with obviously phony 5-star reviews.

Here are the “brands” of the top-rated (“4 Stars & Up”, with Prime!) handheld vacuum cleaners. In order:

  4. Onshowy
  5. Holife
  6. Homasy
  8. Kimitech
  9. Kimitech
  10. GOOVI
  11. Dibea
  12. NOVETE
  13. Cofuture
  14. PHYSEN
  15. MECO
  16. ONSON
  17. VacLife
  18. LOZAYI
  19. Hikeren
  20. Dibea
  21. Holife
  22. NOVETE
  23. AUELEK
  24. Aiskki
  25. Kimitech
  26. zswell
  28. TopWolf
  29. Bissell
  30. Shark
  31. Shark
  32. (16”x13” Emoticon Drawstring Backpack 12-Pack)
  33. Janker
  34. Silipower
  35. VacLife
  36. DataVac
  37. NOVETE
  38. Shark
  39. Nayamo

Seriously, the first actual recognizable brand you might find in a store other than Walmart was #29! Sure, they’re pretty much all made in the same three Chinese factories with different labels and quality-control standards, but I can’t even pronounce “EMHFLYFN”, much less get support or service from them.

To add insult to injury, take a good look at “Amazon’s Choice” box for the actual most-popular, best-selling product in this category:

Got Yahoo?

Hopefully not, since their DNS servers all seem to be offline right now, taking out every site that uses them, including things like Engadget (which is the one I noticed).

Wordpress buys Tumblr

This couldn’t possibly go wrong.

Time to sell?

Just got mail from someone offering $4K for one of my old .com domains. Tempting, since we haven’t updated any content on it in fifteen years, and I just put in 301 redirects to point anyone still using it to a sub-directory on this site.

My first question is, if a random person is really offering $4K, and it’s not just a scam or spam (the use of “cash” in the email sent up a red flag…), should I list it on a site like Sedo instead, to see if it’s worth more?

Second, how does one do this? I acquired it for free when the previous owner no longer wanted the hassle of keeping it up.

Third, “Hey, Bryce, want a piece of this? You did give it to me for free back in the day…”