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Guest strip from Liam Cruse

Posted on 03/09/2008 at 20:57:42 by MakTheYak

So I got up this morning and no sooner had I taken the iMac out of sleep mode Liam Cruse ( pounced on me to tell me he had made a guest strip, which is very kind especially as my traffic must currently be approaching 0, what with the number of updates I'm making recently.

So big thanks to Liam for a funny strip which I'm sure will please you until I get the time to draw some more! Please go and read his comics Mr Coffee and Brain Freeze at Coffee Comics, and look out cos I think I've got a couple of guest strips in there too...



Dear Radox, Pt. 2

Posted on 02/08/2008 at 18:49:20 by MakTheYak

Dear Radox,

I wasn't expecting to write to you again but I do as needs must.

Recently (and much to my chagrin, I might add) I was forced to buy one of your products - the very same product in fact that violated my nasal orifice mere weeks ago. I was shopping at a local service station which was decidedly understocked, especially as it was owned by a popular chain of supermarket. So I suppose I wasn't forced per se although it had as much to do with the shop's terrible stock-keeping as it did my laziness to not drive to a larger outlet.

Anyway, your product was literally the only single bottle of shower gel left in the store and so, as I said, I was forced to buy it (or go smelly). And so I chose the former.

Upon using the concoction, I realised to my dismay that it contained small particles of grit, and from the packaging it would appear that this was intentional!


Have you ever been to the beach? Do you know where the most uncomfortable to find sand about your person is? Let me tell you, using your 'Daily Elements' body wash simulates that experience quite effectively. Who would assume this is what the people want? WHO?


Yours sincerely,

Mark Stickley



Oi! Barclaycard! No!

Posted on 19/07/2008 at 18:59:08 by MakTheYak

Barclaycard's website presents you with a screen asking you to confirm whether you want to log out or not when you press the logout button.

This is possibly the most flawed (and most dangerous) piece of 'design' I have come across. It has been bugging me for a while and so I felt compelled to share it so others could pour forth scorn upon it as I do every time I use the site.

Seriously, if I press logout I want to log out. If I had pressed 'I think I want to log out' then this behaviour might be acceptable. But when you're talking finances you have to err on the side of caution.

Let's look at this from another angle. Let's suppose I pressed logout and I was logged out immediately. What is the worst thing that could happen? If I'm who I say I am and I accidentally pressed the button I'll have to log in again to continue what I was doing. Oh noes! If I'm not who I say I am then there's another crime prevented. The chances of accidentally hitting the button, however, are slim.

Let's now look at how it currently works. I press logout and it asks me 'Are you sure? Are you sure you're sure?'. The worst case is a lot worse now because let us suppose that Barclaycard's servers are, for a change, running horribly slow like I've been experiencing today. Let's even give them a little slack and blame the ISP for a slow connection. I press logout and it crawls off into the webs to log me out. Or so I think. It's taking forever to load and not being the most patient of souls I think 'Oh well, it's hit the server, the page has partially loaded, I'm good to go'.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist (or a web developer - a good alternative to the analogy) to know that you don't have to wait until the last image to load to ensure an action has been completed after clicking a link.

And so I close the window, eager to catch the next episode of Dr. Horrible or I dash off to pick up the delivery of Polonium I missed from the post office feeling safe that no one will have access to my funds. What I didn't realise was that Barclaycard's User Experience staff need firing because I'm still logged in and the next ne'er-do-well that sits at the computer could be paying off my credit card from his bank account. FROM HIS BANK ACCOUNT, PEOPLE!

I ask you, when will the madness stop?

But seriously, a pretty terrible design flaw, right?



Lined paper. Do we really need it?

Posted on 17/07/2008 at 10:02:43 by MakTheYak

At the risk of being unoriginal (as I think I might have read something similar recently) I'm going to post my thoughts of the topic of lined paper.

Lined paper? Really?

Let's analyse this. Why is it lined? To help us write straight? Isn't that something we learned how to do in school? Let's look at it from another perspective. If all pads were blank, how many people would draw lines on, even if there was perhaps a common tool that made it really easy? Think about it. Would you do it or would you feel a little bit childish that you needed your lines drawn on for you, like you might have done for you by your parents when you were younger and writing on 'grown-up letter writing paper'... you know, the stuff that doesn't have any lines?

So why is it that the vast majority of us buy - and use - lined paper despite the fact we are adults? Can't we write straight? Or are we just creatures of habit, unwilling to veer from the path of what we know?

It's actually quite hard to find blank pads in such a variety of styles, types and bindings as you can find lined paper. Maybe this is part of the problem too, but without the demand there's no point in producing it.

This train of thought comes from a page from my A4 lined pad at work. I have it turned on its side and so the lines are completely redundant. I also doodle except the lines ruin my art. Unfortunately work doesn't provide blank pads, but if it did I would switch to using them in a flash!



Dear Radox

Posted on 25/05/2008 at 15:01:30 by MakTheYak

Dear Radox,

Your packaging for your shower gel is very clever. I've often thought so. You know the one - the little nozzle that lets you hang it upside down without it dripping unless you squeeze it. You must have a patent on it because no one else uses that design (although I think I've seen it on Heinz ketchup bottles - are you and Heinz owned by the same parent company or something?)

Anyway it's very clever for more than one reason. The first is as I have already stated - the non-drip upside down nature of it. The second is that you cannot squeeze just a little bit of the product out - it all comes in a big rush. This probably helps your sales quite effectively.

It's not without it's faults however. I'll start by using the previous reason for which it is clever, as by having the product gushing out as the minimum flow rate the actual end consumers of the product will more often than not get more than they need. The second reason it's not so clever is because the bottle is essentially closed until there is enough pressure to open it. This means that you can't really smell it without using it.

Combine these two faults and I'm afraid you end up with me in the supermarket with a nostril full of your shower gel and a competitor's product in my basket.

Your sincerely,



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