Cretins Of The World Wide Web • Part III

Sony Online Music Japan, part of the Sony Music Records Reich — the morons who fucked up recently, when they thought they can abuse Windows users by selling them spyware together with the music they’d purchased on CDs — caught red-handed and shit-mouthed while doing a big disservice to the firestarting, pitch-changing, bitch-smacking UK techno-punk-metal band “The Prodigy”.

Caught by whom? By me, naturally ;)

“Caught”… as in…? “Caught” as in “undoubtedly deserving this issue’s ‘Cretins Of The World Wide Web’ award, for discriminating against Macintosh users by providing online content that can only be accessed through Windows Micro$oft Internet Explorer”.

As simple and annoying as that :)

[screenshot of a cretin website]

Here’s the story…

Couple of days ago — trying to get tickets for the upcoming “The Prodigy” concert in Tokyo — I ended up at the Japanese official site of the band. From the first moment, the smell of “I-never-used-anything-but-Windows-in-my-life”-shit oozed from the screen, but I thought hey, fuck it, I’m not here to bookmark or anyting, just a quick in and out, get my tickets, sayonara! So I entered. Everything fine, I found what I was looking for, I did my shopping and was ready to leave… when I saw them promoting a brand new video, unreleased yet in the mass media.

And there I was, trying to have a look, as a good citizen, stuff-buying fan I am :)

Stupid me! How could I forget the shit stink that almost made me turn away from the website?! Here it was again, stronger than ever: 映像をご覧いただくにはWindows Media Playerが必要です。 Windows Media Player 300Kは、WINDOWSのPCのみでの公開となります。 (in translation, “Windows Media Player is needed in order to view the sample movies. The Windows Media Player 300K is available only for Windows PCs”).

Fine, no problem, I have both VLC and MPlayer installed, between them I should be able to view .wmv content easily. Clicky-click and here it goes, the horror! I get a Javascript alert message, telling me that ポップアップブロック機能が有効になっているため、サービスをご利用になれません。 Internet Explorerや各種ツールバーの設定の変更が必要です。 […] (in translation: “This service is inaccesible because you have the popup windows block enabled. It is necessary to modify Internet Explorer and the other toolbar types [!sic] settings […]”).

So, not only they provide content in a single, proprietary format, but they also ask you to open your legs for a popup fucking! Why was it so hard to link directly to the .wmv file, I don’t know… I guess it has something to do with the fact that the cretin web designer and his stupid boss wanted, at any cost, to have one of those cute, fancy popup windows open, so they can break your back button and “keep you on site” (puke).

So, I allow Firefox to open popups from this particular site and clicky-click again… only to be presented with a new horror, even bigger than the first one: the respective movie file is accessible only with Internet Explorer for Windows, no other alternative… Not even Netscape!

At this point, I’m already looking for the contact address, so I can send the “webmaster” a nice, poetic e-mail, but I decide to try one more thing. So I open Safari, I go to the “Debug” menu, switch the user agent to “Windows MSIE 6.0” and repeat all the above clicky-ckick once again.

Wishful thinking! I get the exact same results, so I assume that the sniffer goes deeper than the USER_AGENT string, and there’s no possible way I can workaround that…

I sigh, I speak a little French, I send the e-mail to the soon-to-be-a-WWW-cretin — explaining to him, in the best combination of Japanese and French poetry I can manage, that the site is broken and fucked up, and that they need to get their shit together before someone kicks them in the balls for discrimination — I take the screenshots and “sayonara! motherfuckers, I’ll never ever visit this shit hole again”.

Frustrated and angry, here I am, handing this month’s “Cretins Of The World Wide Web” trophy to the web designer from Sony Online Music Japan, to his boss, to his boss’s boss and so on, higher and higher, up until the exact same cretin who brainfarted the idea of the rootkit installer on the latest Sony CDs.

Sony Music Records people, you’re all a bunch of cretins and you fully deserve the award!

Congratulations and here’s my finger, telling you that I’ll never ever again buy music from you, you leeches…

Post Scriptum: To the people who are in the mood for a reply: Do you think a worlwide boycott against hyenas like Sony Music Records, consisting in not buying a single product published by them for — say — a whole month, would make them suffer enough to reconsider their nazi policies? Would a boycott be such a hard thing to organize?