Open Letter #48: "Nice network you got here. Be a shame if anything were to, uh, happen to it…"

Dear Botnet Owners,

On behalf of the entire Internet, I would like to say “thank you!” for finally putting that “mailer-daemon” character in his place, and making sure that I will have to forever automatically delete any piece of e-mail that comes from him. I am so grateful that you’ve managed to make bounce messages so thoroughly useless I now have to start ignoring them, thus ensuring that I’ll never really know whether my mail got through or not.

Thanks again. I love my new broken Internet.

Fuck you very much,
Dr. Hazmat

Open Letter #46: I don't think that's going to help

Dear Kayak:

Earlier this morning, I asked you for some help finding flights between Kailua-Kona and Honolulu at the end of January. Now, I’ll admit — I wasn’t trying to use you to buy the tickets, merely to get an idea of what was out there and what the price ranges were. And, to be fair, you showed me about 240 options, most of them in the same price brackets. But I got kind of curious about the flight that was listed for $1,400, and so I was floored to discover that your route-finding engine’s idea of a reasonable way to get from Kailua-Kona to Honolulu is to connect through… Los Angeles.

Okay. I’ll concede that somewhere, a user might think, “hey, that might be a good choice,” but I’m hard-pressed to think of a situation where that would occur on a regular basis. And, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not quite as bad as stupid as the time the RAC told a woman driving from Nottingham to Bideford to go through Ireland and France (which has been fixed; I just tried it). But really, would it be so hard to insert a sanity check in the engine that said, basically, “if the proposed route is longer than the average length/time of these other routes, maybe we should hide it from the user unless specifically asked”?