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The Mozilla Foundation is notorious for not being able to leave an excellent and functional piece of software alone. Firefox has had numerous user interface changes which are garbage changes, but eventually you adjust to the sucky new interface and life goes on. Other than obtaining the terrible “hamburger” menu button that should never exist in any user interface ever, Mozilla Thunberbird has largely gone unscathed by Mozilla’s UI stupidities.

That glorious time ended for me today. Mozilla Thunderbird has decided to automatically replace all “From” and “To” columns with a single column called “Correspondents” and to use a left or right arrow to differentiate between whether or not you sent or received that message. It’s a Thunderbird-specific UI disaster, courtesy of Mozilla, forced on you by default.

At first, you notice this new column because your Inbox(es) will now show the same information in the Correspondents field as “From,” except now every single field has an ugly grey left arrow on the left side. For a folder that only contains mail you’ve received or mail you’ve sent, the arrow will always point the same direction and it’s the ugliest thing ever.

tbird_correspondents

Whoever coded these arrows is an asshole.

The only case where this “feature” is actually useful is in specific kinds of unified message scenarios such as when you’re dealing with mailing lists or newsgroups and your sent/received messaged are unavoidably mixed together. Any other scenario and you’ve just got a pile of ugly arrows all pointing the same direction.

What really pisses me off is that they’ve decided to turn this on for everyone automatically without asking first. They’ve also not added a checkbox in the preferences to disable this per-folder “upgrade” and you have to go to the advanced Config Editor to shut it off. Oh, and if you complain about it on the bug tracker, you’ll only get a stream of “developers know better than you do” comments in response.

Developers never know better than I do. I am the program’s user. You’re messing with stuff that was great before you touched it.

I still use Firefox because Chrome is provably slower, technologically inferior, and doesn’t have a lot of plugins. I still use Thunderbird because there isn’t any other mail program that’s remotely as great and the available plugins let you do really amazing things with it if you want or need to. These programs are no longer successful because of The Mozilla Foundation; they are successful in spite of it.

bastards.

The Sony HDR-AZ1 action camcorder forces you to use a microSDXC card for recording XAVC-S video instead of MP4. If you have a UHS-I card that has excellent write speed but is 32GB or smaller, the camera will block you from recording anything in XAVC-S format, restricting you to 28 Mbps or lower video. Fortunately, there’s a great workaround which will still trigger the SDXC warning but will unblock recording.

Put your microSDHC card into a computer. Reformat the card as exFAT instead of FAT32. Done! You will get beeped at and warned because the card still isn’t an actual SDXC card, but you can now record at 50 Mbps and enjoy the higher quality without buying another memory card!

I own a Canon VIXIA R60 camcorder. It has 8GB of internal memory. The “new” R70 has 16GB of internal memory. This doubling of the R60/R62 internal memory seems to be the ONLY thing that changed in the “refresh” of the VIXIA R-series camcorders; in fact, comparing the R600 and R700 (the versions with no Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity and no internal flash memory) there is absolutely no difference between the camcorders at all.

Well, except for the $100 higher price tag. The R600 was available at retail as cheaply as $200 a couple of months ago, while the identical R700 is $300. The flash+wireless variants go up in price as you’d expect.

What really pisses me off about this is that Canon has done NOTHING to improve the camcorders at all; this “refresh” is just a way to bump the prices back up 50% on the same exact pieces of hardware. It’s the biggest and most blatant ripoff I’ve ever seen. You’re literally paying $100 more to have a number “6” changed to “7” in print.I was hoping to snag a $200 R600 as a secondary camcorder, but I see they’ve vanished in favor of the identical but grossly overpriced R700. I might have to re-think my position as an exclusive Canon purchaser over this stupidity. I feel like my intelligence has been grossly insulted here.

Even worse: it turns out the R600 is identical to the R500 as well. Canon’s least expensive consumer camcorder hasn’t been improved in many years. Come on Canon, at least give us a slightly bigger sensor or a cold shoe or something. Good grief.

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