May 2007
« Apr   Jun »



Lumping it all on red

I haven’t followed football for a while now, but I know it’s cup final day because Sporting Index sent me a fifty quid free bet offer as long as I tried out their mobile phone software.

I’ll review it in one word.  Infuriating.

It needed to access the internet more often than I blink, and each time it did it popped up a security warning and I had to say that it’s OK to go online.  This is probably a phone feature rather than anything specifically in their software, but it’s still annoying as hell.  If it was OK last time, it’s fine this time if you wantr go and get the same stuff from the same site.  It isn’t just when you go to a new screen, if you stay watching the same screen for 10 seconds or more it tries to refresh.  So anything you have to type, you have to do quickly or it’s too late.  Scroll down the list of bets but do it fast, otherwise it’ll get hidden by the popup message before you have time to digest what’s on offer.  I would say that perhaps being able to digest the bets that are on offer is more useful than making sure the prices displayed are bang up to date.  They’ll always be sure to let you know if a market has moved before you get your money out, so this is a bit too clever for its own good.

My main gripe though is that apparently my phone’s keypad isn’t good enough.  You can’t enter numbers or letters using the phone, instead you have to use a crappy small and unresponsive touchscreen soft keyboard.  Once you’re logged in (and after the first time, you only need a numeric PIN), the only things you should need to type in are numbers for the bet amount.  What phone doesn’t have a numeric keypad?  Mine not only also has a full keyboard, it also has its own built in soft keyboard which works a hell of a lot better than the one in the Sporting Index software.  No input method works right except their own keyboard, and even that doesn’t work very well.

In fact, on the Sporting Index online games (I had another refund promo yesterday, lost as usual – I’m not saying it’s rigged or owt, but I’m 0 for 7 on those now) they only let you select bet amounts using the mouse by clicking up and down arrow keys.  Most computers have a keyboard, so I don’t know what their aversion to using them is.

I ended up buying Man Utd in the Win Index at £4/point at 13 points.  It’s 25 for a win, 10 for a draw and 0 if they lose, so I lose £2 of non-refundable real money if they lose.  No big deal considering I stand to win up to £48 on the free bet, but the reason I made it a nice round £4 and not £3.85 for a completely risk-free bet was only because I couldn’t get anything at all to enter into the pence part of the stake input.  Two separate boxes for pounds and pence isn’t a bad idea if most users will enter numbers on a phone keypad but (a) they’re not and (b) it doesn’t work anyway.

It’s not like I’m going to watch the match – It’s still double player points at PokerStars today and the ten billionth hand bonus is fast approaching.  But come on you reds, I guess.

EDIT: 0-0 after 90 minutes, so I lost £12 and had £38 still to play risk-free.  So I had to go through it all over again with an extra time bet.  That one lost.

Globalising the herbal, disestablished cymbalist

I don’t remember the last time I misspelled a word so badly it got the better of a spellchecker.  I mean really fooled it into not having the first clue what you’re on about.

This is quite impressive.  I was just one letter out on the British English spelling of "stabilise", and two letters away from the more computer-friendly "stabilize".  The suggestions all contain a "b" and an "l", but otherwise they’re strong candidates for the worst random spelling guesswork in the world ever.