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ITV are Auntie Beeb's biggest competitor in Britain. Some competition. It's one thing to see how the dominoes topple when Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand get sent packing - and suddenly the public witness how many useless bean counters are picking up six figure salaries (in sterling) for essentially doing second counts on piles of beans.
But when it comes to IT competence ITV set the new standard - the new nadir. Their website is a mess; their listings are wobbly; their search engine is completely worthless. That takes talent.
But go ahead - write to them. About anything you want. Let them know what you think about ITV.com.
This is what you run into. Details follow after the graphic. And it's a long graphic.
Take a close look at the questions. Pay particular note to the tiny red asterisks ('*'). These are required fields.
Note as well the generous space they leave you for your egregious comments. They really make it clear how much they value your opinion.
And now to the required user input data.
Only Microsoft players are listed. Shockwave flash evidently sorts under 'other'.
Windows is of course listed first. Of course it is. Linux is even listed. But then they have 'MacOS' and they want to know what CPU you're running?
Lots of nice browsers. Of course IE6 is listed first. Note the last option.
Your Internet Connection
They want to know if you have broadband/wireless? They're planning on hijacking your Windows PC to a spam botnet?
They even want to know about your ISP, whether you're using a firewall, what AV software you're using, and if you're using a popup blocker. Note finally the wee box they give you for pasting in your 'problem page'.
These guys are geniuses.
Never mind that most of this information is available in web logs and would be a five minute job to connect through a CGI script - the ITV web dweebs don't seem to know this.
But are ordinary punters going to know? Today with Windows malware hysteria rampant and people getting (justifiably) paranoid about even connecting to the Internet, much less to ITV of all sorry sites - and this imbecilic web page is suddenly demanding everything but your bank account number and password?
Really it's not necessary to do a 'HEAD' on their website because you already know.
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Last-Modified: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 08:52:23 GMT
Expires: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 21:32:44 GMT
Cache-Control: max-age=0, no-cache, no-store
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 21:32:44 GMT