Sky TV can fuck off.

Ever since Netflix brought their streaming service to New Zealand I was sold. I can watch TV shows and movies without ads, at only $12.99 a month? Brilliant! I can honestly say none of the TV’s in our house have been connected to an aerial or satellite dish in a very long time, and I don’t miss conventional TV even a little.

For a long time in New Zealand you had two choices if you’d like to watch TV: You either went for the free option, TVNZ, where you will be bombarded with annoying ads and countless hours of reruns. In the rare case we did get a new show to watch, it was always a good few months behind what people have access to in the rest of the world. But, it was free, and complaining about something you get for free is almost like complaining about your developing bald spot to a cancer patient.

The other option was to get Sky TV. The worst fucking thing to happen to TV ever. For starters, they are stupidly overpriced, ridiculously behind the curve of emerging technology, and when anyone dares bring out a competing service, they throw their toys out of the cot. The last part of that sentence was made crystal clear when Sky TV threw a massive legal tantrum when NZ ISP’s came up with “global Mode” allowing consumers to access overseas streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix. Sky TV is obviously not a happy toddler when anyone threatens their monopoly on TV content in New Zealand.

But of course, Sky TV now has their own streaming service. Funny how they only bring out something everyone has been wanting for years when another company comes to fill that gap in the market. Quickflix and now the New Zealand version of Netflix has been stealing a lot of customers, so Sky TV introduced Neon.

Neon is a st(r)eaming pile of dogshit (see what I did there?). For starters, Netflix and Quickflix steam HD content for $12.99 a month, and both services have decent, ever expanding libraries of shows and movies to watch. Neon is $20 a month, doesn’t stream HD content (in 20-fucking-15 no less) and a homeless person has more teeth that Neon has shows to watch. If they weren’t the only legal way of watching Game of Thrones in New Zealand, I’d be surprised they have customers at all.

The other reason people still hand over their hard earned money to Sky TV is sport. Now, I don’t watch Rugby, so this doesn’t really apply to me personally, but the only way to watch the world cup I am told is happening right now, is to be subscribed to Sky Sports. I’m sure you can find an online streaming source, but I didn’t care to look, because I can still make the point I am going for, which is: New Zealand’s very own TV network are not allowed to broadcast what is arguably the biggest sporting event for New Zealanders, because Sky fucking TV has the monopoly on all Rugby World Cup broadcasts. How sad is that?

Thank god for Netflix and VPN’s…

Sky TV can fuck off.

Impatient drivers versus rail crossings should be a Darwin Award category

I have zero sympathy for people who lose their lives or limbs in accidents at rail crossings because sitting still for 5 minutes is just so god-damn unbearable to them that taking on a speeding train in their squishy car seems like a great idea. Just this morning I saw a van completely ignore the flashing lights, speed up, swerve to avoid the lowering barriers, and turn into a traffic-filled highway with no care in the world.

If that van driver got into what would have been a very one sided fight with the approaching train, I’d have no sympathy for him. I will however have sympathy for the train driver who will have to try live a normal life having killed or seriously injured someone, the passengers who would have had to stand around in the cold while paramedics cut the driver out of his van instead of getting to work on time.

I would also have sympathy for the family and friends of the van driver, who will grieve over a completely senseless and preventable loss. Never will I have sympathy for the idiot thinking he can cheat death to get somewhere a few minutes earlier. In fact I suggest in the event he did get hit and die, he be given a Darwin Award.

Of course, it would be rude of me to not accept the fact that sometimes a driver of a car or truck can break down or get stuck on the tracks through no fault of their own, but the focus of this article is not on those who get into this terrible situation due to bad luck, but on people who recklessly and purposefully put themselves in harm’s way.

I also have a hard time thinking this could be a case of “maybe he didn’t notice”. How anyone can miss the bright-red flashing lights, loud bells, the barriers blocking the road and the enormous train itself with the bright lights on the front just seems impossible. I can’t think there is a snow man’s chance in hell that someone drives into a crossing lit up like the 4th of July without knowing it, and if they do, how the hell did they get a license if their spatial awareness is non existent? If you can’t notice any of the above warnings and get hit by a train, then I wonder how many children that person has run over without knowing it.

I have a really hard time working out why this occurs at all, let alone 13 times in 2014 here in New Zealand. I’ll tell you what these statistics make me: Scared. Scared that I am sharing the road with the kind of people who get hit by trains.

Seriously, if people are bad enough drivers to blow through a crossing that looks and sounds like the world’s worst Christmas parade, I cringe at the thought of how bad their driving must be around schools or in busy city centers? In a way, I am starting to understand why red light runners exist. If they’re willing to take on a fucking train, an old lady in a hatchback and a green light really doesn’t stand a chance.

Impatient drivers versus rail crossings should be a Darwin Award category

Websites that require you to register an account for no reason is annoying.

I use Google alot (yes I spelt that wrong on purpose so I could link to one of my favourite articles of all time). The internet has a wealth of knowledge right at your fingertips. Nowhere else can you diagnose the symptoms for the disease you definitely have and is absolutely going to kill you, watch a video of someone falling off a skateboard all while researching homosexuality in the animal kingdom* in another tab. Everything you used to have to visit a library for, is now just a click away. You don’t even have to get up.

There is one major problem however. It seems that every website in existence is just a Html version of a teenage girl on Facebook. All they really want is as many “friends” as possible. I speak of websites that refuse to let you do anything until you’ve given them your name, alias, email address, date of birth, blood type and estimated ransom value of your eldest child.

Recently, I came across a real estate term I have never heard before, so I decided to Google its meaning. I immediately found a website teasing me with the answer in the blue tagline, nestled between other search results. As soon as I clicked it, I was greeted with a lovely “you need to be logged in to see this” message. Really? I need to create an account I will use a grand total of one single time, just to get the answer I seek? Forget it.

That made me think though, if a website is trying to be so super secretive with their content that you need to tell them your mother’s maiden name to gain access, then why the hell do they let Google crawl the user controlled content in the first place? If you’re not going to give me what I want the second I click on your URL in the search results, then can you kindly get the fuck out of my search results? Thanks.

I don’t get it. You don’t see exclusive members of the local 6 year old’s secret tree house posting blurbs of everything they discuss on the tree trunk below, so why do websites do it? I think I have an answer: They tease you with what they want, but refuse to give it to you without a trade. A trade for your email address.

It is a good thing then, that browsers come equipped with one of the most clicked on buttons in existence: The back button. And what do we say to websites asking for your email address?

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* (Homosexuality in animals is totally a thing, so all you homophobic idiots can shove your “It’s not natural” argument up your ass. But don’t enjoy it, because that makes you a hypocrite if you’re male, because you can’t be homophobic and enjoy shoving things up your smelly cave at the same time).

Websites that require you to register an account for no reason is annoying.