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Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in Nerd Rage, Who Cares?, You Had to Have Been There | 2 comments

My Pre-Coffee Email to yfrog

My Pre-Coffee Email to yfrog

Ok, some background for those who may read this and go, “I don’t get it”.

yfrog, is a popular web service that allows Twitter users to share photos (because Twitter wasn’t designed for that).

I signed up for the first time, yesterday.

horrible captcha

So...I have to bust out a Windows Character map to fill out a captcha now??? Sigma to the 2nd power?? I am not making this up. This is not Photoshopped. This is an actual screenshot.

And I tried to finish the new user registration process today, and was stopped by a captcha. Trust me, you know what that is. It’s that completely illegible picture of words some websites make you fill out before you can click the submit button for ANYTHING (look at that picture on the left).

And you fill it out 5 times, cussing the whole way, and either your post or message gets through, or you give up in frustration and leave the site, still cussing up a storm.

It’s used to fight spam. But there are other ways to fight spam. We used to use it over on Skippy’s List (yes, that’s my husband and sometimes he says “get in the kitchen and make me a website, woman!”).

We finally ditched the captcha because it’s just a pain in the butt for users. The audio on reCAPTCHA, the one we were using (and the one yfrog uses), absolutely sucks. And any web developer paying any attention knows this. It’s been a complaint for years. I would think that by now, reCAPTCHA knows too because everyone has been making a stink everywhere about it for a while now.

So for some people, there was just no way to ever post a comment. We found other ways to fight spam and have had no problems since ditching the captcha. And that site gets a fair bit of traffic too.

So here’s what I sent yfrog this morning. And the image in this post is the horrible catpcha that was the final straw. And I have to say, for dealing with such a pain in the butt first thing in the morning when my kids woke up an hour early and I’ve had no coffee, this is pretty darn polite.

Also, this is pre-coffee and probably one of those “who cares?” kinds of things (Ok, I get that a lot even after coffee.) Although really, if you own a website, or work with one, you SHOULD care. Really. Blockades between your site visitor and you are a BAD idea.


I got my registration email that said:

“Welcome to yfrog, you are almost there!
Complete your registration by clicking here to change the temporary password we have set for you. Once set, you can login to yfrog with your Twitter login or your email address and password.
We look forward to seeing you on yfrog!”

I failed to be able to log in, because reCAPTCHA has become increasingly illegible over the years (and their audio has been horrible from the very beginning).

So now, when I try and finish this process, I get “We’re sorry, the token you provided is no longer valid”. Which, as a web dev, I know what that means, but if I wasn’t a dev, I’d have no clue what that means or what to do about that.

Further, and I have a screenshot of this, that final captcha has a character I can’t even duplicate! It’s the Greek character sigma, and I *think* (again, hard to read) it’s showing to the 2nd power. I’ll be happy to send the screenshot to you.

Now, I can log back in with Twitter. That’s fine. But will I be able to continue to log in or is this going to stop eventually because I can’t change the password per the welcome email?

The captcha does set a major roadblock between your audience and your product. I understand why you want a captcha. I understand you probably fight bots all day. But if you must use a captcha, can you try another? I know recaptcha is free too, but surely it’s not the only free one you can integrate with your site? We used to use this on my husband’s high traffic humor site, but finally ditched it and thanks to other spam fighting tools, we and the blog are not flooded with spam all day. So, there are other ways.

BTW…to get this message through you, I get to use…another catpcha.

Thanks. And again, I’m a dev, I feel your pain. Maybe whoever set this up was just told they had to do this or use this specific captcha service. I hope this is another voice you can give management or whoever and say, “See? I told you so”.

Your new subscriber,
Janice Schwarz

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2011 in Does She Even Have A Point?, Funny, Nerd Rage | 0 comments

Dear Microsoft: Stop It, No Really, I Mean It

Dear Microsoft: Stop It, No Really, I Mean It

An assortment of photos from Morguefile

I wanted a photo for this and was having a hard time finding something. Here is a screenshot of what you get if you go to and type in "nerd rage". Monster trucks and waterfalls...?

Dear Microsoft,

Stop buying crap I like and then turning it into a steaming pile of shit.

Stop it.

No really.

I Mean It.

I first noticed it in ’98 when you bought Hotmail and suddenly half of my outgoing and incoming emails were EATEN. (Yes, I’m that old. Shut up.)

I tested Hotmail again with a new account years later in ’05 and it STILL SUCKED AS MUCH AS BEFORE.

And you do this constantly. You buy stuff that works fine, and then let a bunch of monkeys loose (business majors) and they tear it to pieces. (Dear business majors: I can say that and get away with it because I’m a business major too. It’s cool.)

It’s like me buying a Mercedes and then deciding I’d like my 23 month old twins to “improve” it.

Then, you bought Skype. And I thought “oh no” but decided I’d give it a chance because now and then, you can do some stuff right. After all, I have heard some good things about Kinect.

Now, every time I open the software, I have to wait 5 minutes while it updates (thanks for making me late for that conference call).

Then just a bit ago, suddenly Skype politely ASKED ME FIRST if I wanted to run an update.

Holy crap. Wow. Ok, sure. Hey, thanks Skype for asking first this time.

And then Skype beat my computer over the head and ran off with it’s loose change while Windows completely crapped it’s pants.

Everything I had open, crashed.

Every program.

Ok, I only had 4 running and you know, for me, that’s like saying “I’m not doing anything right now”. Because if I’m actually working, I’ve got about a dozen running. At least.

I couldn’t even bring up the Task Manager. I waited 5 minutes before giving up and doing a hard restart. And we just KNOW how much your OS loves that.

And before all you Linux geeks and Apple dorks go batshit crazy on me, yes, I’m using Damn Windows. (Dear Linux Geeks and Apple Dorks: Yes, I remember each of my friends that is a Linux geek or Apple dork, but I can call you that because you know I love you anyway and we all know I’m a dorky geek too, so it’s cool.)

Anyway, I’m a gamer. Your non-Windows OSs still suck for gaming. They aren’t better OSs, just different. And for my needs, they do not work. I used to use Apples all the time and I grew to hate that damn bomb more than the blue screen (yes, I’m that old, if you have never seen a bomb on your Mac, go Google it and then get off my lawn).

I sure as hell don’t have time to install a new OS every 6 months and see if suddenly it’s different than it was the previous 6 months.

And I’m not paying twice the money for a computer that “doesn’t get viruses” because most hackers are just using what their parents insist on buying because it’s the cheapest, and mommy and daddy already know how to use that one. That’s what the hacker learned on, so that’s what’s getting hacked.

So Google. Once again, I turn to you. Please don’t let Google Voice suck. And please don’t sell it to Microsoft.


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