Spammers, please adjust your scripts.

To the comment spammers hitting my haiku site: There is something buggy with one of your scripts. I keep getting these comments that contain nothing but a bogus email address and a single word:

Array

Now, come on. You call this comment spam? Not even a link to a phentermine or Cialis site? No keywords touting hotels in Brussels or Miami? The only excuse I can think of for such a weak-ass attempt at comment spam is that one of your scripts is broken. Instead of inserting values selected from an array of potential spam comments and links, your script is just outputting the word “Array.” Most likely your script is missing a quotation mark, or maybe a semicolon somewhere. Maybe you forgot to put in a dollar sign before the name of a variable. Or perhaps you forgot to load the array with data from your paying customers. Whatever. It’s embarrassing to watch, really. You can do better than that.

Spammers, please adjust your scripts.

What happened to iTunes?

iTunes 7 logoGenerally, Apple does software reasonably well. The company understands that the user experience doesn’t end with the plastic and the circuits, but also encompasses the on-screen interface, the dialog boxes, and even the fonts used in its applications.

So what happened to iTunes? Version 7 is, frankly, one of the slowest, most annoyingly designed applications I’ve used in years. It takes more than a minute to launch (previous versions were relatively snappy). When I drag a tune to my Shuffle (or delete a song from it), it takes iTunes a minute or two to do the update, and often this locks up the interface so I can’t do anything else. The library has been subdivided into five categories and I can’t get a total view of all of them — a problem, since some of my podcasts are in the “podcast” category while others, perplexingly, are filed under “music.” The video playback is bizarre and counterintuitive. And the bottom section of the screen is filled with a bright blue ad for the MiniStore. I don’t want the MiniStore! I want it to go away! I just want to listen to my music, and get some podcasts onto my Shuffle, and not have iTunes taking over my computer, churning the hard drive while I’m trying to work on something.

Bottom line: iTunes 7 is a terrible mishmash of poor design decisions and poorly-implemented software architecture. Whoever was in charge of this revision to iTunes desperately needs to be reassigned. And in the meantime, I need to find a lightweight alternative.

What happened to iTunes?