Monday, August 29, 2011

All change at Haymarket

The news that the council have voted for Edinburgh's trams to stop at Haymarket, rather than going to St Andrew's Square is incredible, even by the fucked-up standards of this project. Can you imagine having to change there to a bus to complete your journey? More likely, nobody would use it for the journey from the airport. I certainly wouldn't. I do wonder if it's not an attempt to goad Alex Salmond into paying more for it. But he's too smart for that I think.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The concealment of information

In our age of instant and easy communication it's interesting to see how terrible some organisations are at it. I renewed my house insurance recently. The company didn't send me the policy documents; they sent me an email with a link to a web site where I can log in and view the documents. This is annoying. Why should I create an account that I'll use about once a year, and will forget the password to? Well, after some grumbling, I eventually did. There was a link to my policy, which was in the form of an ASPX file. Some surfing turned up a few ideas about how to view this, but none of them worked. Why do they make it this hard? Why not use a PDF or an Office document like the rest of the planet? In the end I phoned them up and asked for a paper copy by post.

It's not just the technical fails that are annoying here. If you are buying a service, there is something reasuring about a printed document that you can hold in your hand. I feel they've just got this wrong.