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*Two* rants! Assorted megacorp stupidity - Qualified Perceptions
*Two* rants! Assorted megacorp stupidity
Some time a few weeks ago, I went to try to install something on my Android. I don't do it that often, and I'm a little absent-minded, so it went something like this. "Okay, where is the Market? It's not under M. Maybe it's under A for Android Market? No, it's not there. Is it not an app? Is it some other thing? This thing has an App Store of some sort, I know I've installed things before. Do I have to use iTun... no I do not have to use iTunes, I'm pretty sure of that. Where the hell is the Market? It has... that little green and white android guy. I remember the icon. It was just here. This is... really surreal. How am I supposed to install apps? Maybe it's just all QR codes now? That can't be it. There must be some sort of app, maybe I'm just misremembering the name. And misremembering what it looked like." After about five minutes of poring carefully over the list of apps, I finally found it. It had been renamed from Android Market to Google Play (filed under P), and the icon had been changed.


Now, my sliding keyboard has stopped working. I bought SlideIT a while back, and I find it much better than tapping keys as far as input is concerned. But because I paid for it, it has to log in to check my license every so often to make sure I'm not a software pirate. Which it does by connecting through the Android Market and verifying my login. Right. (Now that I am on a computer and can search more properly, the answer seems to be "reinstall and it should work", but still.)

* * *

This second rant is not something that personally thwarted me, but is really kind of hilariously wrong.

Amazon has been doing this thing recently, where they excerpt (randomly chosen) sentences from user reviews and say things like "5 other reviewers made a similar statement", thus lending Great Weight to that particular statement.

I was looking at Redshirts by John Scalzi, and toying with the idea of pre-ordering it (the alternative is getting the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton, so I may do that instead). Now, it's a book called "Redshirts." You can imagine what it's about. You can imagine what very precise franchise it's a satire of. So, what are the three review quotes (from Amazon Vine) that Amazon chooses to showcase?

"The characters exhibit wonderful chemistry, and despite no huge amount of effort spent on development there are some surprisingly touching moments."

Heh, cute and informative.

"All three codas are more serious in nature and are worth reading."

Interesting. And...

"My favorite television show is Doctor Who."

Wait... what? Ha ha ha ha hah. Okay, first, this is like putting "I really love Batman" as a reviewer quote on your Avengers poster. Second, Amazon tells me "3 reviewers made a similar statement." Really? There's twelve reviews, so twenty-five percent (or maybe thirty-three percent, it probably means "3 other reviewers made a similar statement") of people reviewing this book made a point to say how much they liked Doctor Who?

As it turns out, no. Only one reviewer mentioned Doctor Who at all. (They actually say "I am a quasi-sci-fi-fan. My favorite television show is Doctor Who. I watch Fringe. I loved Firefly. I know my Star Wars and Star Trek just enough..." so it makes sense in context). Two reviewers use the word "favorite", so that's not it either. Two reviewers use the word "television", but two others use "tv", so that's probably what it's counting.

"My favorite television show is Doctor Who" and three other reviewers mentioned television, so they must have meant the same thing, because you really only need to read one word in order to figure out what the sentence means.

I see what you're trying to do, Amazon, but "My favorite television show is Doctor Who" is hilariously silly as a showcase quote, and "Three reviewers made a similar statement" would probably be rated as "Pants on Fire" by any proper fact checker.

Current Mood: cranky cranky

7 comments or Leave a comment
chengesu From: chengesu Date: May 6th, 2012 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
The change to Google Play, being something which contains neither the words "app" nor "market" nor anything which at all suggests the concept of buying apps did seem like a very odd marketing decision to me. Possibly they're counting on the people who want apps to eventually find it, and hoping they can trade success at selling apps for succes at selling media. But they could've at least put an extra shortcut to the same thing under a different name. (Actually, now that I know a bit about how Android works, I'm not sure if that's possible in the app listing, but it should be.)
arcanology From: arcanology Date: May 6th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have to remember that google knows how to make great product technically but whenever anyone there shows understanding of how people would actually use it the others turn on him/her and eat them in a cannibalistic ritual. So they're not real good at marketing, but they do all have that healthy glow that comes from a high-protein diet.
ringrose From: ringrose Date: May 7th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
They did send out mail saying that the market was changing to Google Play. I think they should have kept a shell of a Market app around to say "Market has turned into Google Play. Push this button to forward to Play; push this other button to change the link you just used to point to Google Play."

As for why it's Play and not something Market-like... I'm guessing someone figured out that music (Google Music), video (YouTube), and games are where the money actually lies. As a name, Play is evocative of those things as well as trying to insinuate that using your phone is Fun.

So however people may use it now, they're trying to push people to use it in a way which involves more money changing hands.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 7th, 2012 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
It seems to have turned into "Play Store" now, which is at least more recognizable as a place to buy apps.
izmirian From: izmirian Date: May 6th, 2012 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)
My complaint today about Amazon is that three new clicks, each with a new page, got added to the checkout process. Is this just me? Instead of defaulting to the previous delivery address, credit card, and standard shipping, there is now a separate page to select each of those before getting to the final page. Isn't Amazon supposed to excel at removing clicks instead of adding them? Did I activate some "extra clicks required" feature by accident?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 7th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, more screens have been added for me too, but I don't have 1-click enabled. Do you have it on?

(I may be their target audience, since I tend to want to decide for each thingy whether it should go to work or home, and I want to put it on points if I have them and credit card otherwise, so I like getting the choices. Maybe they figure that non-1-click people like clicks. :) )
izmirian From: izmirian Date: May 7th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't have 1-click enabled either. Well at least it's not just me :-)
7 comments or Leave a comment