Friday rants: RealPlayer is annoying; iPhone-AT&T whining; Watching someone read your blog

A few odds and ends to mull over as the weekend nears...Why is RealPlayer so #@!

A few odds and ends to mull over as the weekend nears...

Why is RealPlayer so #@!$#@ annoying?

I've avoided RealPlayer like the plague, but regrettably forgot why until this week. I wanted to view a Webcast that was only available in RealPlayer. Firefox informs me I need a plug-in so I download it and install. Big mistake.

First up is the screen asking me if I want to make RealPlayer my default for media files. My answer: Hell no.

The other option is choosing what files I want RealPlayer to play. Up comes a list of a few dozen media types. So the unchecking begins--I want RealPlayer to play as little as possible because of ad annoyances in the past. Fifty media types later and a few RSI pains--slight exaggeration there--I get to the part that says I want RealPlayer just to play Real media types. For most players this process is a simple yes and no. RealPlayer obviously doesn't take "no" well. There is a deselect all option but that means RealPlayer won't play Real files by default, which is probably the only reason you downloaded that app in the first place.

I uninstalled. Waah, my iPhone only works with AT&T's network.

Some days Washington D.C. annoys me more than usual--Wednesday was one of those days. This report from's Anne Broache set me off.

Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey and a few pols are whining because the iPhone only works with AT&T's network. Don't these fools have better things to do.

  • Waah, Apple decided to go with AT&T exclusively.
  • Waah, AT&T is evil.
  • Waah, these two companies shouldn't be able to make their own business decisions.

Give me a break. It's called capitalism, but of course Markey doesn't know a whole lot about that--he's a pol. He loves the iPhone though.

Broache reports:

AT&T's exclusive right to sell the Apple iPhone drew complaints on Wednesday from Democratic politicians, though it was unclear whether they were planning to do anything about it.

"The problem with the iPhone is that the iPhone with AT&T is kind of like a 'Hotel California' service," Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey said--in a nod to the Eagles hit, of course--during a hearing. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Luckily there are no laws proposed to limit Apple and AT&T.

Memo to Markey: Apple and AT&T are free to do almost anything they want. What's next a Congressional mandate that Apple has to work with at least two carriers? Does it stink that Apple's iPhone only works with AT&T? Sure, but that's Apple's choice. If folks really want to vote on the Apple and AT&T deal they can vote with their dollars. And at last check Apple was winning that vote in a landslide. Perhaps you should focus on more pressing matters.

Watching someone read your blog (while you're there unnoticed) is creepy.

And finally this little tidbit from Dell's Vostro launch on Tuesday.

Dell CEO Michael Dell did his song and dance and I filed a few posts in real-time. As I'm lingering I see three Dell folks looking at a co-worker's laptop, which had my post up in his browser. One person remarks that the report was up quickly. That's good.

And then they click. And then they read. And then they scroll. My hunch is that these folks were sales and marketing types. As they read, I'm watching them in plain sight--I could have elbowed them.

They read a mention of green IT. Then they start squirming over something I quoted Dell saying about Vista. Then I could see agitation. No one murmured anything about the facts, but they obviously disagreed with my interpretation of something in the post.

I walked away unnoticed. I suppose I could have said something, but it was interesting watching the raw reaction. I don't know if anyone else has had that experience, but it's fascinating.