Friday, January 2, 2009

Protect Your Productivity: Block Incompetent Usability Annoyances

Unless you're completely insane, you HATE Snap Shots.



Unfortunately, despite all the sane people who are thirsty for the blood of Snap Shots employees and investors, the Web is full of people who are insane enough to smear their blogs with this atrocious crap. And many of these lunatics, despite their terrible taste in blog add-ons, have wonderful taste in t-shirts, or have blogs that are worth reading for some other reason.

Now you could attempt to co-operate with the demons who inflicted Snap Shots on the world. You could attempt to use their "disable" option.



Oh great. You're fine, unless your cookie gets deleted (which is guaranteed to happen, without warning, if you're on Safari). Or in case you happen to be on somebody else's machine. Or using a different browser.

How do we know Snap Shots is evil? Simple. Any technology is evil if it fucks up usability standards. Snap Shots does this. But that's not all. When you turn it off, Snap Shots only sometimes honors that request. And it only sometimes honors the request because there's no way for it not to. Snap Shots is such a bad idea that making it not suck is literally a technological impossibility. It makes the talking paperclip look good by comparison. At least you could turn that thing off.



It's times like this when it's really useful to understand the hosts file.



On OS X and many other systems, this is located at /etc/hosts. On Windows it's c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. If you don't know how to use it, I can't help you, but Google can. Ban snap.com and especially spa.snap.com, and you'll never see that awful bullshit ever again. Snap achieves its wicked mischief through loading JavaScript from its site; if the HTTP request fails, then it can't fuck up your browser.

Update: you'll also want to ban shots.snap.com.