πŸ‘ The Death of Stalin

I subscribe to The British Museum’s channel on YouTube and recently watched one of their videos featuringΒ a discussion between a man named Ian Hislop and a writer/director named Armando Iannucci. The talk was amusing but too short, so I looked up more about Armando Iannucci and found his film ‘The Death of Stalin’. The film turned out to be a gem worth sharing.

Based in Moscow in 1953, the Monty Python-esque film is a highly comedic, yet remarkably accurate portrayal of the death of Josef Stalin and the subsequent scramble for power over the Soviet Union. Featuring familiar names such as Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor, ‘The Death of Stalin’ is a constant procession of good laughs.

Unsurprisingly, the film is banned in Russia.

IMDB
YouTube
Amazon Video

🀬 Crappy confirmation messages

This morning I woke to all of my Apple devices displaying this horrible, confusing message. The message is unexpected because I A) haven’t touched my iPad in over a day and B) haven’t touched the Apple ID or iCloud settings in many weeks. But what is even more glaring than the unexpectedness of this message is the fact that it is wildly unhelpful.

Read the subtext of this message:

“If you recently signed into “MagPad Pro” you can ignore this notification.”

Well, Apple. No, I did not recently sign into “MagPad Pro”. I haven’t touched those settings in weeks. What am I supposed do now???

Do I call Apple support? Do I take my iPad down to the local Apple Store for help? Do I need to change the password on my Apple ID account? What is the next step for someone who did not recently log into the device you claim they did???

It frustrates me to no end when companies blindly ship code that includes horrible error or confirmation messages such as this one. No one at Apple read the text of this confirmation message while considering when the message would be displayed to users. Instead, they created a situation where a large group of users are left in a pool of confusion with no hint about how or where to take the next steps to secure their account.

This situation could be excused if the message related to something insignificant such as your printer’s settings or the default download location for files from the web, but in this case we’re talking about the security of your Apple ID, the backbone of all the services Apple provides. The vulnerability of a person’s Apple ID is anything but insignificant.

To summarize, here’s my message for product designers and engineers: Never, ever design an error or confirmation message without including a link to further help documentation. Including the relevant link to documentation will help you notice lacking pieces of information that should be included in the message. Even if you happen to produce an unhelpful message such as the one pictured above, the link to help documentation at the very least points the user in a direction towards getting help. If you instead design a message like Apple has, you leave users hanging and feeling helpless, which is a great way to make people hate your product.

🎡 Music of the Week: W48, 2018

One of my favorite bands in high school was Alexisonfire. Pronounced “Alexis on fire”, this “post-hardcore” (whatever that means) band hails from chilly Ontario, Canada. I absolutely love the hard-driving nature of their music.

Their four albums, “Alexisonfire”, “Watch Out!”, “Crisis”, and “Old Crows/Young Cardinals” are each masterpieces from start to finish. If I had to name the 5 most talented bands in the history of music, Alexisonfire would definitely be in that list. No bands rock harder than Alexisonfire, Chevelle, and Thrice.

🀬 The GOP are sore losers

Following the example of number 45, the GOP have firmly adopted the abhorrent standard of declaring voter fraud in elections which do not turn out in their favor. Rather than accept the outcome of our fair, just, and legal elections, the party is willing to make false declarations which erode the foundation of our democratic processes. Their statements are wholly unsubstantiated and have no basis in reality. Instead, the lies disseminated by the GOP are created purely to encourage support from uneducated, misinformed Americans.

Only time and further statements of fraud from GOP politicians hold us back from a country that is unwilling to accept the results of our elections.

“GOP cries foul after California thumping” [Politico]

🀬 Policing injustice

When a police officer shoots an unarmed black man, nothing happens. The shooting is always justified.

It’s only when a police officer beats another police officer that charges are filed.

β€˜It’s still a blast beating people’: St. Louis police indicted in assault of undercover officer posing as protester [Washington Post]

Think about this: If the undercover officer in this article had been a civilian protester and not been a police officer, absolutely nothing would have happened. No charges would have been filed. There would have been zero negative consequences for the officers who performed the beating.

That is the present state of our country. Only law enforcement matters.