Monday, April 29, 2013

1167 Self Filling Forms


1167 Self Filling Forms

Frustrating. You probably know what you’re searching for. But your search engine’s new hobby is second guessing you.  Annoying.

Search for Peloponnesian War costumes, and you may or may not get a result other than “Civil War costumes” or “uniform makers.”

Finding the results unsatisfactory, you type in “Peloponnesian War,” just to get a sense of it.  Hit “enter.”  The search engine adds “costumes,” yet again and the results don’t change.

This is not limited to things like obscure old wars.  “George Jones” turns into “George Jones and Tammy Wynette.”  On the second try it becomes “George Jones hits.”  Type in “George Jones +alcohol” you get “George Jones Songs about Alcohol.”

We’re out of the habit of looking at what we type and comparing it to what the computer adds.  So when we hit “enter,” and our search comes up and seems unusually irrelevant, we’re forced to look, at last, to what the mind readers at the search engines have added.

But it’s not just search engines.  Most internet programs now have self-filling forms of other types.

Start to type your email address in an order form or a membership application, and with the first letter you type, presto!  There’s your whole address.

But along with that, the computer will try to squeeze your address (ZIP code and all) -- a size 16 bunch of information -- into a size 4 dress.

You have to undo all that and try to re-do it by hand.  A real time saver.

Then, there are the autofill passwords.  Fine and fast.  Until you change your password and the memo doesn’t get sent to the brain on your desk.  “Sorry, your username or password is incorrect.”  

Somewhere in the vast complexity of the “settings” function, there’s a way to stop the search engine and auto fill functions from playing “second guess the research” game.  Or even better, it takes you to a “forum” where others with similar complaints provide bad answers.

Shrapnel:

--The crack Bangladeshi investigators managed to collar the owner of the building in which hundreds of people died in flames.  He was inches away from crossing the border to India. The lingering question is where were the crack Bangladeshi investigators when the guy added three stories to the building without anything resembling an inspection.

--Taking a tip from the Boston Teamsters’ union, the police chief in West, Texas arrested the herd of Westboro Baptist Church protesters planning to demonstrate at the funerals for people who died in the fertilizer plant explosion.  Kept ‘em locked up long enough for the ceremonies to end.

--President Obama was to nominate mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte NC as Secretary of Transportation.  Ever driven in “metro” Charlotte or ridden what passes for mass transit?  Especially since the entire banking industry moved down from the north and west to enjoy the fruits of cheap labor and the famed hurricane season.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2013

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