Lars Wirzenius: Rant, 2007


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rant: On projects targetting mobile environments

The GNOME project announced a GNOME Mobile & Embedded Initiative today. Here's a screenshot of the browser on my laptop of the web page:


What's wrong with the above picture? The browser window is around 700 pixels wide, which about as wide as you'd get on, say, an N800 Internet tablet gadget. Significant parts of the web page are unreadable. I have to go to about a thousand pixels wide to get the whole page be visible. This is no way to design pages for a mobile environment.

Other than that, it's obviously good. Not worth the hype, not worth keeping secret for months before the big revelation, but a good thing nevertheless.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rant: Fonecta, part 2, a letter template

Daniel, here you go:

Asun osoitteessa $ADDRESS. En halua puhelinluetteloita, mutta ne oli työnnetty postiluukustani. En halua heittää niitä paperinkeräysastiaan, koska se lisää taloyhtiön jätekuluja. Olkaa hyvä ja tulkaa hakemaan luettelonne pois. Puhelinnumeroni on $PHONE.

Or, in English:

I live at address $ADDRESS. I do not want phone books. but they were pushed through my mail box. I do not want to throw them into paper recycling since that would increase the waste costs of my apartment building. Please come and get them. My phone number is $PHONE.

The e-mail address is (it's mailto: on their pages as well).

No response to my e-mail yet. I'm not optimistic: companies who don't mind wasting natural resources usually don't care about non-customers, either. Remeber, phone users are not the customers of phone book companies, advertisers are.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Rant: Fonecta spams me

It's that time of the year again when the homes in Helsinki get delivered no less than two sets of phone books. There's two competing companies producing them, so of course everyone should both sets, they think.

Personally, I think it is ecologically irresponsible. I don't have any use for even one set: I find numbers faster and easier and more accurately on the web, and likewise maps on the web are better.

Up until a few years ago, the phone books were delivered to grocery stores and people would pick them up from there. I could then happily ignore them.

Then they decided to start delivering them directly to the doors of people's homes. This meant that I had to answer the door bell up to four times and tell them I don't want it. That's twice per company, since they would re-try delivery if they didn't succeed the first time. "No thank you" counts as not succeeding, of course.

This year, Fonecta, one of the companies, has decided to produce the books in a size that fits through the mail slots in apartment buildings. When I came home today, I had a pile of useless, harmful crap on my doorstep. That's a good way to make potential customers happy, Fonecta, thank you very much indeed.

I've e-mailed to ask them to come fetch them back. I don't want to throw them away, that just increases the garbage bill for my apartment building.

If you, too, live in the Helsinki area and think that paper phone books are an outdated relic of the past, please join me in mailing Fonecta. I can't believe I'm the only one, yet both companies seem to claim every year that no-one complains.