Sunday, February 14, 2010

Google Buzz Would More Aptly Be Named Google Bugs

One expects a certain level of competence from a Google product. Buzz isn't it. Quite aside from the brouhaha over its default privacy settings (why yes, thank you, I think I WOULD like to have the entire world know who I email, complete with their names and email addresses without being notified in advance -- NOT), the software simply doesn't work right. It works wrong in so many obvious ways there's no explanation than that a bunch of sophomore college students were desperately trying to get their homework assignment in on time when they'd spent the weekend partying instead of working on their code.

I've used Buzz for a grand total of about thirty minutes now, and the following are obvious bugs:

1) 'Connected sites' can't count. The number it lists is not the number of my connected sites. No matter how many times I go into connected sites and save my information, it flips back to the wrong count.

2) 'I'm following' can't count either. It says I'm following one person. I'm not. I'm following six. This too is something that does not improve with a cache clear or reload.

3) Suggested followers: Zero. None. Nada. I have 128 names in my Contacts, but when I click on the Contacts button in the suggestions, I get zip. Zilch. Zero. Maybe all 128 of them swiftly moved to block the Buzz from accessing their information, but I doubt it. They're all poets, and poets as a group are not the most tech savvy people.

4) There is no obvious way to report bugs. Hence, I must vent my frustration by posting to my blog.

5) The instructions accompany Buzz are vague, incomplete, and unhelpful. Quite aside from the fact that they don't warn you what is going to actually happen if you click in them (eg, like publicly posting the names of everybody you're following unless you opt out), they simply don't explain how to do what you are trying to figure out. Like, how to opt out of different things.

6) There is no Buzz Help button. When you're staring at a textbox of unclear instructions, there is no 'help' button, no ? mark, no nothing. You have make the non-intuitive leap of thinking, "Oh, I need to use the GMAIL Help file!

7) Google Buzz is presented as a new and wonderful program, complete with its own name and icon. It looks different. So where are its help files and settings and other stuff? Well, some of them are in Gmail. But some of them aren't. Where are they? Who knows? Not the users.

8) Buzz's suggestions of followers I might want to follow are completely random. Half of the people I don't even recognize, and the others are people I hardly ever communicate with. Yet Buzz allegedly picks your most emailed contacts to present as suggestions.

9) Buzz's suggestions about users I might want to follow are not even listed in My Contacts (there's probably a reason why they're not in my contacts, like, they're unimportant to me). Why on earth would I want to follow people who are so unimportant to me I don't even bother to save their email addresses?

10) Buzz's suggestions do not include people I commonly email with. People I contact frequently are people I might want to keep up with via buzz.

11) Buzz by default connects to sites. Ergo, I was sharing sites I didn't know I was before I even knew that Buzz existed.

12) If you're going to pick sites to connect me to, at least pick sites I use! When was the last time there was any activity in Google Reader? Months ago. When I unsubscribed everything because it was useless and I never used it. What a great choice to link to my Buzz! Good god, the Elbonians have better software than this.

Bottom line: Twitter still rules. Look for me there as kujakupoet.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Photos and Images at Picasa

I do not have a camera, but I have occasionally been able to borrow one or con somebody into taking pix for me. They are now posted at

You will want to check out the Kalmar Nyckel - Snowmageddon images in particular, taken during snow duty this February at the ship. Sadly, the battery died, so most of the exterior images did not survive, but there's several good shots of the great cabin, belay furniture, carvings, and other items of interest.