June 30th, 2017

See you later, alligator

I spend a lot of time on computers and I’ve developed many pet peeves about them.

One concerns a phenomenon that’s grown more and more frequent over time: the stupendously annoying coercive forced-choice. It is presented by the pop-up window that offers you something you don’t want and didn’t ask for—be it an update or a service or a product or a website link—and then gives you a choice of responses. But the responses aren’t a simple “yes” or “no.” And definitely you never get to choose “go away and leave me alone forever.”

Instead, you get a variant of something snide and sarcastic, where the supposed “no” response reads something like “I don’t want this wonderful free service because I’m a moron.” Or you get a response that isn’t “no” at all but “later.” Sometimes it’s literally the word “later.” Sometimes it’s “remind me later.” But the idea is that this screen will come back to haunt you until you go where they want you to go and do what they want you to do.

I hate, hate, hate it.

17 Responses to “See you later, alligator”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    Are you sure you hate it or would you just like to be asked next week?

    [Double Rainbow!]

  2. huxley Says:

    What hath Javascript wrought?

    I use Evernote and find it somewhat helpful in this regard.

    I mainly use it to declutter the screen of advertising and odd text styles/formatting, then I may save the page in simplified form to the Evernote cloud for later review.

    However, turns out, Evernote can work to exit annoying pop-ups without having to read the pop-up and figure out what button or text to click to turn it off


  3. Harry the Extremist Says:

    “the supposed “no” response reads something like “I don’t want this wonderful free service because I’m a moron.”

    Amazon.com does that with their “generous” shipping offer. They also make sure the “no thanks, Im too stupid” option is a simple small font link were as the “Yes, sign me up” option is a large colored button.

  4. mf Says:

    First choice should always be the escape key. It often works, at least temporarily.

  5. charles Says:

    It is a sort of revenge of the nerds.

  6. Big Maq Says:

    I often wonder, with the problems and workarounds needed to run technical things, how it is that the average joe gets by.

    The other day, ran into a DNS PROBE Error intermittently, which meant web pages would not show up in the browser.

    Try and find out how to resolve that? “What’s DNS?” – The avg joe, if they even knew how to research this probably ran across a lot of “solutions” that don’t / wouldn’t resolve it.

    They probably just give up on the computer and buy another, or pay exorbitant rates to have someone like “Geek Buddies” fix the problem – but, that assumes that geek knows what he is doing, and doesn’t wreak havoc on anything else in the process.

    Annoying popups are just the icing on that cake.

    And, forget security. Most are probably far more exposed than they know.

  7. rigeldog Says:

    My BANK does this to me! Go paperless, they urged us. It will save the environment (and reduce our operating expenses) they said. So now i have to log online to check my balances or conduct my banking business, and I cannot get to my main screen without first clearing a screen being that offers some service that I don’t want. Like, “Try our new check deposit by flying drone service.” The tiny hotlinks that allow you to bypass the advert are “yes I want this,” or “tell me more!” or, “tell me later.” There is no “get off my ass already!” option.

  8. Patrick Says:

    I just had the request to update my password at a website to improve security, except there is nothing that needs to be secured at this website (ESPN), and the other option was just plain not to log in. No other choices. I’ve memorized the old password, now I have to update something I don’t want to update or not login. Not the first time that’s happened.

  9. Big Maq Says:

    @rigeldog – just wait, as all kinds of services will be done via machine or online.

    Reminds me, need to read Neo’s article on the impact of minimum wages in Seattle.

  10. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Read up on secured hardware based enhanced VR worlds in sci fi. They were writing about this decades ago.

  11. groundhog Says:

    I’m reminded of the advice I heard about stalkers.
    If a stalker learns you’ll pick up the phone on the 100th ring, he’ll ring 101 times.

    Except software is capable of forever stalking. (shudder) Hellbot.

  12. Big Maq Says:

    Wonderful discussion here about the pre-iPhone era.

    Sometimes, with all the problems of technology, we forget what is was like beforehand… this story is illustrative…


  13. Flanahan Says:

    “See you later, alligator.”
    Okey dokey, diplodokey.

  14. SLR Says:

    backup software has gotten better too. You can make live backups of your computer while it is running. All you want actually.

    With a little effort you can go back to one if you ever click the wrong thing or get cyptolocker or something.

  15. Big Maq Says:

    @SLR – excellent point.

    It’s also relatively easy to set up and relatively cheap.

    Highly recommended that folks get this going for themselves.

  16. McG Says:

    “Do you want to transfer all your worldly possessions to us?”

    X Yes
    X Absolutely
    X Overstimulate my senses until I no longer have free will, and ask again

  17. Ymar Sakar Says:

    X Overstimulate my senses until I no longer have free will, and ask again

    That’s truer than people may realize.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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