Technical Scams

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I recently got fined 120 Euros in Austria for driving without displaying a motorway permit. I wasn't the only one - the Austrian police were pulling about one car per minute. Although they claim that there were clear signs that indicate drivers must have a valid permit, I didn't see those signs. Nor did a lot of other people. This seems to be an example of a government scam. I would have bought the windscreen permit for a few Euros if I had known.

It seems to me that there are other scams going on. Technical type scams. This is where a bug has been purposefully introduced. For example:

  • If you have tried embedding (not linking) a YouTube video in a PowerPoint presentation, it is almost impossible. An example of Microsoft making things difficult for Google.
  • On Chrome for Android, mp4 videos only work when there is no password protection on the web-site.  I tried putting an mp4 on an open web-site, works fine in Android Chrome. As soon as the site involves some kind of authentication, then the exact same video doesn't play.  An example of Google making things difficult for sites hosted on IIS (Microsoft).

Lastly, I noted that putting rounded-corners (using CSS border-radius) on a video in Android Firefox makes the video transparent. This isn't a scam, just annoying. But it illustrates just how difficult things can be for developers in the wonderful world of HTML5 video. In the end it is the developers who pick-up the tab for all these type of issues with hours of wasted time courtesy of wars between the big players.

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