artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

"we don't give a fuck" culture, v-dub service centre edition

For my 5K service, Crosby VW (Kitchener) overfilled the oil above the MAX mark. I had to find this stuff on my own, and had to come several times to the dealership to have them finally fix it. Before I started making a scene, no urgency at all was given to my appointment to have the oil drained as per specification. When the extra oil was finally drained, there were some oil marks under the bonnet / on the grille and on the engine (e.g. the service guys just cannot do the job without making a mess). During that incident, the service advisor once checked the oil level together with me, using a paper towel to wipe the oil stick, and wiping the whole bloody stick from head to toe with this paper towel, such that the stick is full of paper residue. Now recalling it, she even did it "better" than that: she was wiping it with the paper towel as (in other words, during the time) she was putting it back into the engine, so that the paper residue would simply go straight down towards the oil pan... I could almost scream inside, I didn't know what to do! I couldn't find the words to point this one out!

Last Friday, I called multiple dealerships for tyre replacement, since I had a piece of glass stuck in one of my tyres. Waterloo 190 + 25, Kitchener 190 + 20, Cambridge 195 + 15, Guelph 209, Toronto Downtown 210, Greenville 141 USD + 30 USD, had these Michelin Energy MXV4 S8 205/55R16 91H for 122 USD (now on Monday it's 108 USD, hm). Cambridge had the tyres in stock, others could order it to have it in a day or two. I set up a 10 o'clock Monday appointment with Kitchener, since that's where I've been to a number of times.

Today, in Crosby VW (Kitchener), I was confirmed the tyre is irreparable, and was given a quote of 240 CAD + tax to replace a flat tyre. I told her I was told it's going to be 210 when I called them earlier, and that several dealerships provided me with the same price. She started to tell me that I have Michelin tyres, which are more expensive, and that she doesn't know who I was talking with. And in any case, the quote was given as 220 tyre + 20 installation as labour description, totalling 240 for labour, and then 2-dollar-something for the valve stem. 240 labour, 2 bucks for parts. I asked, why is it 240 for labour? She tells me, she doesn't know the bloody part number to list it "properly". WTF? She finally did give me an updated quote for 210 installed (again, 210 is for "labour"); I asked why it was 240 in the previous quote, she said it was a misquote or something. (BTW, before that, the service guy didn't seem to care that my tyre brand is MXV4 S8, he didn't seem to care that it was S8, although I know for sure that there are other MXV4 models out there in this size.) She told me that they could have it in stock in the afternoon, 1, 2 or 3, don't remember.

Fuck Kitchener V-dub. I told her I need to call someone, and went to my car to make a call. I called Cambridge VW. They confirmed again that they had it in stock and could install it right away. I got back into the building, and told Kitchener that I'm going to a different dealership that has the tyre in stock (just because other individuals here and there are not responsible, doesn't mean I have to fall at their level).

So anyhow, it took Cambridge about an hour to do the job (WTF?). I arrived 10:53, left 12:10. The wheel of the replaced tyre now appears to have a few minor scratches. (WTF? They can't take due care of a 2008 Jetta?) The instruments were left over in the boot without being secured in the spare tyre section. Well, at least the tyre appears to have an identical brand and size specifications, although it's unclear where it's manufactured (the old one was in the USA)... Back to the scratches of the alloy wheel -- what am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to note it to them? Am I supposed to make a scene? Every time, on every dealership meeting? Frankly, I just don't have the time and patience anymore to continue making scenes for such things; at the same time, it's totally not acceptable to me that they cause these minor mishaps / damages here and there all the time. Yeah, and for every visit, V-dub cleans your car... The car is now clean, but that wheel which they've changed is totally dirty, and has these additional scratches and dirt marks due to the job that they did. WTF? You can clean my whole car, but can't clean my bloody wheel which you've made extra dirty?

So, yeah... And, BTW, browsing around new cars: it appears that in Canada, it's totally optional to have the full MSRP and complete specification Letter attached to each new car, like we have in the US. Also, it appears that all Jettas and Rabbits don't have the TPMS in Canada, whereas they (all?) do in the US (mine does)... Gas mileage estimates are also questionable (and available only in some brochure, unlike in the US, where they are part of the specification that's attached to a window of every new car), and it's unclear if they are even controlled by any external agency like they are in the US by EPA. It's at times like this that I'm proud of being considered an American, because we have stuff and Ralph Nader does care.

In Venice they have canals instead if roads. It is a terrible place.
© Helga from Wolfsburg

artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

quotes of the week, or, Project-Sponsored Health Care

Subject: Re: Common interface for sensors/health monitoring

The purists won out in that one by shouting loudly and screaming about socialized healthware. Consequently we have 47 million unsupported devices.

In OpenBSD they have project sponsored healthware and sometimes you have to wait in a queue to get you notifications, and sometimes the queue is so long events have to get merged! Not for me!
I want all my individual events to be lost After I get them.
It's my right!
artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

made me tuesday

для тех, кто в танке: письмо было заказано через интернет и в поле адреса можно было указать только американский адрес в любом штате (например, там, где живёт медвед :) и пятизначный почтовый индекс (например, 00000).

судя по двойной марке, письмо сначала вернули отправителю, и доставили только после дополнительной оплаты. Кстати, я был уверен, что если письмо отправят с таким адресом, то оно просто не сможет не дойти: мне один раз с подобным адресом уже приходило одно письмо от Orange из Англии в США, в то время, когда сам я как раз проживал в Англии. :) Правда в тот раз, как мне кажется, дело как раз обошлось обычной английской маркой. :)
artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

about HDDs and Western Digital, and RPM fraud

I'm amazed how fraudulent Western Digital Corporation is. Surely, by now everyone has heard that there's been 2TB HDD's on the market, for example, Matt Dillon of DragonFly has been recommending these to go with HAMMER for quite a while.

So, today I go to, and see that they have an announcement regarding an industry first 7200rpm 2TB HDD, 7K2000 series. WTF, I'm thinking to myself, what about WD? So I go to, to see what 2TB HDDs they have. And they have two models: one by Seagate, 5900 rpm, one by WD, "green". I follow the links to WDC's page for this specific product, and go on to find the PDF document with drive characteristics, which goes on as far as to mention in a table things like "LBA Support" "Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, ..." for each model, but omits such vital and interesting information as RPM and seek times.

So, to make the long story short, WDC is still where it was several years ago, and I will never buy any of their underperforming and misrepresented products ever. Lower RPM decreases both throughput and latency, and is specifically bad for dealing with many individual files. From the looks, it doesn't even offer much improved power consumption compared to the entry-level HGST offerings if you just need the fastest, cheapest and coolest drive and don't care for the TB. So I highly recommend anyone considering WDC drives to look elsewhere. HGST is my favourite, Seagate seems decent, too.
artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

rear-ended by a cab on nightclub's driveway

© 2009 cnst for uwaterloo

I was rear-ended by a cab at about 02:15 this Saturday/Sunday night, on the (private) driveway from the Revolution night club when turning right to Marsland Drive. The base line: my car is new, so the estimate will be high, and I'm out-of-province, so my agent is a bit clueless.

The police officer who registered the accident told me that because it happened on the private property, technically, per Ontario's laws, it's not classified as a road accident, or something like that, so they didn't issue the guy who rear-ended me a ticket (per my understanding post factum). From my recollection, at least part of my car was already at Marsland Drive, and the angle of the damages seems to suggest that as well, so I'm not even certain that the cop would have been right not to give the cab driver a ticket for rear-ending me. (A bit of a problem is caused by the fact that because it was so busy, the cab driver convinced me that we had to move from the driveway to the steet to exchange the information, and then he suggested that we even drive away from the place of accident to the police station, after I told him repeatedly that I want the accident registered.)

The report that I have says that the cab driver was doing 5 km/h, and I was doing 0 km/h. The guy who's the owner of the cab, which is different from the guy who was driving it, called me today to ask if I want to resolve the matters privately. I then called my insurance agent in North Carolina, with which I haven't had the time to file a claim yet, and tried to explain my situation, and ask for his opinion on how things are going to work out, but he or his staff member didn't seem to be too interested in explaining to me exactly how the process works and what my exact options are, and what I should do, and who's going to be responsible for the damages.

So, my question is: why was the officer telling me that it's not clear who's insurance policy is going to be covering for the damages, if it is obviously clear who caused the accident? I tried popping into some local StateFarm agent here in KW, and they advised me that cops simply don't know the insurance laws and the process, i.e. a local agent / staff member seemed to be reasonably certain that I should simply contact my agent and file a claim, and there should not be any deductible for a case like that, and it doesn't matter where it happened, on private property or not, that they deal with parking damages all the time. What should I do? My car is a 2008 Jetta, the cab was some 1999 Toyota. From this alone, it doesn't seem like the cab owners (the driver doesn't even have a mobile phone) would have the money to cover for my damages, which are minor visually (includes a 10 to 20 cm crack), but I'm sure the repair estimates will be high.

P.S. My biggest surprise at the accident was the fact that when I was rear-ended at a night club at 2am on a Saturday, the car that rear-ended me was a cab. I originally thought that perhaps the accident would have 3 cars involved, but no, it was just the cab driver alone rear-ending me. If someone has a campaign for private cabs to be banned from picking up people from the night clubs, I'm all for it. P.P.S. Does Revolution play Justice?

as posted in
artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

define pathetic

what would be a pathetic saturday?

go to the revolution night club (that plays pretty crappy music, btw, they don't even play that cool song they have on their web-site), have a bit of fun (me having fun doesn't involve drinking -- editor's note), then after leaving the club just about when the party is over, get rear-ended by someone... who would you think might rear-end you on a saturday night after 2 at the exit from a night club's driveway?.. a local 54 y.o. ontario-born cab driver, driving a cab! pathetic! aren't they supposed to know how to drive and how to not rear-end private traffic?

spent the next hour or two recording the incident, finding an officer and writing a witness report... just one more argument that driving faster is so much safer...

well, a saturday night well spent. ;)
artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

Canada's Temporary Resident Visas

A good way to ensure that the visa-free regime between Canada and your country is abolished is to apply for the refugee status.
Canada imposes a visa on Mexico

If you withdraw your application before the final decision is even made, all the better. :)
Canada imposes a visa on the Czech Republic

Of course, only works if the the visa-free regime is in place in the first place. ;)

via [iso-intl] on
artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

musical discovery — Kasabian

A recently favourite song by a band I've never known before has been Fire by Kasabian. The dirty sound of the song is just great. Googling reveals that Kasabian has had another song that I seem to have already been familiar with — Reason is Treason. The interesting surprise comes from the founding whereabouts of the band — it was formed in the good ol' Leicester. :)

Go Leicester, go!
  • Current Music
    Kasabian — Fire
  • Tags
artlebedev poster, 2006-03-17, 2189

iTunes UI experience

I'm amazed how disappointing the iTunes UI experience really is, with software as mature as iTunes 8. I can't list all of the things that are wrong with it, so I'll just list the most annoying things that I've come across.

First of all, it looks like it supports no bookmarking mechanism, and certain features are just plain inaccessible from the main interface. For example, how do I view the Movie Trailers from iTunes, without going with Safari to and clicking on a link first?

After I do get into the trailers store, it looks like it's impossible to do any kind of text-based search for the trailers! Bah, seriously, no text-based search? Only looking through the categories? In 2009, from Apple? Gimme a break! Even their trailers web-site supports text-based searching!

After I finally find the trailers I wanted to see, by browsing through the categories, and select to download the ones that I want to see, they download, but I cannot play any trailer whilst it is being downloaded. Seriously, playing movies as they are received on the wire is supported even from the browser, so why do I need a separate media application that cannot do this simple task for me?

Anyhow, so I go back, browse around. Guess what -- the Downloads tab no more, and now I have to go and find the downloaded trailers in the Movie Trailers tab, which has a lot of old downloaded trailers already. By default, no option is provided to sort by date, and it is not sorted by date, so you have to go into the menus to get the Date Added column.

IIRC, my experience with the iTunes U store has been similarly dismal.

I'm totally amazed how a company as praised as Apple can have flagman products as poorly thought trough as iTunes, with the major release number as high as 8, as in, iTunes 8.2 on OS X 10.5.7.

P.S. The other day, something related that I've found, regarding a similar situation with AOL, ironically, written by someone who works at Apple: .