Tag Archives: Google Chrome

Playing Nice

I had a completely different post written this morning but it’s off in the digital ether.

Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lion / Panther (Puma ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s gone as a result of a misbehaving computer.  Yes, I save as I go but in a burst of prolific writing I got a lot text on the page in between autosaves and when what I’m about to describe happened, the brilliance I spewed was lost.  The topic was the balance between large audiences as measured by TV ratings vs. buzz as measured by Facebook.   As it turns out, they’re not one and the same.  According to a list published by Facebook the other day, most of the widely discussed shows on their platform don’t have large ratings.  Maybe I’ll come back to that another time.

Instead, I want to spent today dispelling what I’m suddenly finding to be a myth – that Apple stuff “just works.”  Ever since I installed Mountain Lion, my MacBook Air has something called kernel panics every day.  Chrome and the OS aren’t playing nicely, and I’m not the only one having this issue.  In fact, enough people are having it that when you search for “chrome and mountain lion crashing” you get nearly a million search results.  Yes, I’ve tried nearly all of the suggested fixes (as have many others on the product support forums I read) but none of them seem to solve the issue.  Honestly, I (and many others) am not even sure where the issue is.  Apple says it’s Chrome and we should switch to Safari, but other browsers seem to cause crashes including Safari.  Google says it might be Flash or an extension or Apple.  The only thing different is the new OS (which has all the updates installed as well).  Putting aside the walled garden ecosystem discussion for a minute, what I think of a lot is kindergarten.

We all learn very early on in our lives to socialize.  For me it was really around the time I began school (no pre-school 50 years ago!) and the message to “play nice with the other kids” was reinforced by my parents and teachers all the time.  Why the hell can’t that lesson get through the skulls of hardware and software folks?  It’s a good one for the rest of us as well – very few businesses exist on their own.  We process payments, we deal with suppliers, we (hopefully) have customers.  Play nice with the other kids if you want to succeed!

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Filed under Helpful Hints

Out Firefoxed

A few days ago, videos stopped playing nicely on one of the computers we use here at The World Headquarters.

Image representing Firefox as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

It happened right after a Firefox update. Now, while it’s not a computer (or browser) I use very often, other team members use it regularly and they need to watch videos from time to time. I spent the better part of an hour diagnosing the problem (since I’m the I.T. guy around here) and after reading a lot of web postings in which Mozilla blamed Adobe (it’s a Flash problem), and vice-versa (it’s fine on other browsers) and where they both blamed Real Player, I’d had enough. I had spent several more hours updating video drivers, uninstalling and reinstalling components, tweaking settings, rolling back to old versions, and wading through the general snark that’s around the various support sites that mention this issue. No, it’s not resolved, but it’s not an issue any more. I installed Chrome on the damn thing and that is that.

So here’s the broader business point.  According to Adobe’s site, the issue is fixed.  Mozilla says the same since they give you a few workarounds.  How can I sum that up politely?  Hogwash?  A load of crap?  Who are you going to believe – me or your lying eyes?  The very last thing we as businesspeople want is for our installed base (customers to you non-tech types) to migrate to an alternate solution (blow us off for a competitor, in English).  I’ve been using Firefox since the early days.  I’m now gone forever, and I understand I’m not alone.

How would I have handed it?  Transparently:  we have a problem, we don’t have a fix that works for sure so we’re suggesting you roll back to an earlier version – here’s the link as to how to do it.  I’d say it loudly and in as public a way as I could.  I certainly would NOT suggest users turn off high-end video acceleration (those cards are expensive), uninstall other software, disable virus protection (seriously?) or muck about in configuration files that are best left to people with Computer Science degrees.

Stuff happens.  It doesn’t go away when we deny it, minimize the issue, or suggest things we don’t know for sure will solve the problem.  The only thing that does go away are customers.  We’re happily watching video on another browser.  People have choices about most products.  Keep that in mind and work hard to earn their trust and business.  You’ll need it when the fan is turned on and something hits it.

Thoughts?

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Filed under digital media, Huh?, Reality checks

Stasis

I have an Android phone and I have quite a few apps on it.  If you use apps on a smart phone, inevitably you get prompted that there are updates available.  Sometimes, these updates provide real functionality changes or fix a bug.  A lot of the time, I’m finding that the changes are very minor – a color change, the screen layout – and the update is more annoying than necessary.  It reminded me of a post I wrote way back in 2008 on the subject of leaving well enough alone and I want to touch on that again.  Given some of what’s been going on in the tech world of late, I think it bears repeating. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud