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Merlin: The Wicked Day
Oh, it's wicked, all right.
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Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
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Morgana unleashes a ghost army on Camelot.

The Worst Geek Purchases of This or Any Decade

(I referenced this comic to Paul Tobin's Twitter earlier this month and couldn't find it then, but here it is now. From Medium Large.)

I don't even know how to gracefully segue in to this post. I am just mad as hell about the following things, and I think you should have to experience a slice of my hatred. There are two things I got this year -- two geeky little electronic doo-dads that should have filled me with joy -- that I absolutely wound up regretting like you wouldn't believe.

The Wacom Intuos4: The second most infuriating purchase wasn't even made by me. My husband, being a good kind man, went out last-minute and bought me the Intuos4 from Wacom, even though he'd already spend a lot of money on other Christmas presents for me. You see, the Intuos3 he bought me a few years ago has seen better days. The cord looks like it's been through a war zone, with the cord casing worn away in spots, exposing the bare wires. This is a result of the computer chair rolling over it repeatedly and tiny puppy teeth going through an "EAT CORDS NOW!" phase. The pen nib I like to use (the felt tip one) was completely worn down. That could've all been fixed with a replacement nib set and some electrical tape.

The real problem was that for no reason, at complete random, the tablet would stop cooperating with Photoshop. The pen would lose the eraser setting or its pressure sensitivity. The drivers would have to be reinstalled, or Photoshop restarted, or a complete system restart would be needed to get everything working correctly. This became a huge annoyance, and as a result, I got the Intuos4 for Christmas.

But GUESS WHAT? The Intuos4 has the exact same "bug", for which there is no fix. Worse, the 4 didn't start working correctly again with a driver re-install or a computer restart. After two hours of internet research, I found out that it's a problem lots of people have with their tablets, and Wacom still hasn't addressed the issue. Since my Intuos4 wasn't any bigger than my Intuos3, and it clearly wasn't better, I had my husband return it. I broke out the electrical tape and bought a replacement nib set for $25 on Amazon.

What was the #1 worst purchase?


The Droid 2D2. I thought I was gonna have a heart attack, I wanted this thing so bad. It should have been the geekiest thing I've bought in years. It's been nothing but a pain in the ass from the beginning.

First of all, my "new in two" renewal was in with Verizon, but it didn't cover the cost of the Droid 2D2. I paid almost full price for it, a whopping $350, with a $100 rebate card we'll get to in a second. I paid an extra $25 for overnight shipping, which, when it didn't show up the next day, and I was calling to lodge a complaint, I found out I should have got for free because my order was online for more than $300. So there's strike one, $25 lost. Strike two was not getting the phone the next day even though I paid for next day. But Verizon came through and made it possible for me to pick up the phone on my way to the airport for New York Comic Con. (I should note here that my old phone would spontaneously turn itself off, which was the reason for the upgrade in the first place. I didn't bother trying to charge it that night because I was expecting a new phone the next day, thus, without Verizon's help, I would've been without a phone while I was traveling.)

I picked up the Droid at the FedEx facility near the airport with no problems, and I charged the phone while I was sitting in the airport terminal. Then I activated it, set up all my accounts, yadda ya. Four hours later I'm on a train in Philadelphia, and I miss my stop but don't realize it until I'm almost to Temple University. When I pull out my shiny new phone to place a phone call to Rania and ask how the hell I'm supposed to get home, it's flashing "low battery" and "shutdown imminent." Thanks for dying on me when I'm lost in a strange town, jerk phone! I didn't see Artoo bailing out before Degobah, DID YOU? Fucking piece of shit.

My anger over the battery situation still raw, I realize that even though I don't have gigantic man hands, for some reason I am unable to master the art of the touch screen. Now, my entire reason for getting a Droid is so that I'd have better access to the web, but still retain the keyboard with the buttons. Unfortunately this smartphone makes me feel pretty stupid, with its overly complicated menu screens and its idiot pre-installed "apps" (that I only just last week realized were inferior to the apps available from the actual site creators -- Facebook apps from Facebook, say.) I still long for the return of my LG enV2, with its cute big-button front and handy flip-up keyboard. If only it had a touchscreen or a scroll wheel or something, so surfing the internet on it wasn't such a pain.

But I digress. I decided I needed a stylus. I almost paid $14 for a lightsaber stylus at the Nintendo store in Times Square's Toys R Us. Stevie stopped me and pointed out that the standard stylus won't work with a touch phone, due to a plastic tip not being the same as a finger. (I fixed that issue by getting a Capacitive Stylus, from Boxwave, that is fairly awesome in its squishy finger-like-ness, for Christmas.) So, strike a billion, I can't surf easily on the interwebs because the Droid 2's touch screen was intended for toddler hands.

Back at home after a week in New York, carrying all three chargers with me at all times because the phone wouldn't hold a charge for longer than four hours: I receive my "rebate card" and try to cash it in. It's just a debit card with $100 in Verizon fun money on it, but supposedly I could log in to their rebate center and transfer the money to my bank account. I say supposedly because it's not easy. It took three days of me trying to find a living breathing person to answer the phone at the rebate center, which probably doesn't exist because I never was able to get anything other than a recording. But finally the rebate webpage let me log in and transfer the cash. Man, I really hate rebates.

Okay, so we've covered how the battery runs out after only a few hours of mild use (if I don't use it at all, I can stretch the time to maybe six hours) (and yes, I did install App Killer and change the screen brightness, thanks so much.) We haven't talked about how doing something as simple as setting the ringtones for different notifications took three weeks to work out because it's actually a series of seven zillion steps, but there you go, I just informed you of that. We've talked about how my girl fingers are too fat to operate the touch screen adeptly.

Have we talked about how, now that I have the screen time set to only last 30 seconds or else my phone dies with limited use, the "sleep mode" is sometimes "off mode"? Yes, the phone repeatedly refuses to "wake up" when I push the power button or tap the screen. The only fix for that is removing the battery and restarting the phone. Not to mention how often the phone locks up trying to navigate from screen to screen (at least once a day), the only fix for which is the same battery removal process.

There are a lot of other little things that I find irritating, most of them to do with the camera function. However, its resolution is even better than my Digital SLR, so I have made my peace with how long it takes to switch to camera mode, how insanely stupid the shutter button is to work, and the way the gallery decides it does or does not want to display pictures at its own discretion, good day to you sir I SAID GOOD DAY THE GALLERY IS CLOSED.

The final straw, the very last thing I was willing to tolerate, was when the usb port stopped working. I guess having to charge your phone eight times a day will tire it out after less than three months. When I plugged in the Droid and woke up the next morning to a completely and totally dead cell phone, I finally made the decision to call up Verizon and ask for a replacement. I received my new Droid2D2 in the mail today, and it's charging now. All I can say is, it better not have the same issues as the last one, or I'll be seriously considering going back to the LG.

A few weeks ago there was a hate crime against a woman wearing a niqab. A man ran up to her as she was exiting her car, and sprayed pepper spray directly in to her eyes. Fortunately a passer-by stopped to help her, but I couldn't help wondering what I would do if something happened to my sight and I had to dial 911 on my phone? There's no buttons, and due to the Droid's idiot menu, there's no easy button to get to the keypad (without two other pop up menus getting in the way first.) I'd probably have to lay on the floor of my garage until someone noticed I was missing. When you really need a phone, in an emergency, is your touch phone really going to be able to help you? Or is it going to lose power five minutes in to a conversation because you dared to actually use your phone as a phone?

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Comments (7)


And don't say "just use voice command!" because voice command doesn't work well. I could tell it to dial 911 and it would order me a pizza. (Wait, no it wouldn't. It'd say "I'm sorry, did you say: Go fuck your mother?") Maybe I have the recognition settings set to Farsi or something.


Wow, I find it shocking that you have that many problems with the Droid2. That's the phone I have but not the R2D2 model.

I do have the gallery problem. Whenever that occurs, I take a random picture to refresh the gallery. Minor problem but not a huge deal for me.

As for the charge, I do find myself charging it a lot during the day. Then again, I'm driving a lot so I have the car charger and I have one for the office.

The only inconvenience I've experienced is the weaker signal compared to the previous Droid model.


The main reason the gallery locks up is WHEN I take a new picture. It refuses to show it to me, and so then I have to exit the gallery and wait like a half hour and THEN it shows up. The other problem is, it'll assign tags to pictures (like, location tags), and that's fun for a few days and then all of a sudden all the tags are gone. I'm assuming it had something to do with the battery being removed all the time and data being lost, I'm not sure. The menus would lock up when you try to scroll to the side; it would get caught on one of the app icons and not move.

Also, I forgot to mention that with the other phone, if I held it vertical, it didn't always display vertical. So I got used to reading sideways.


That is horrible. They owe you the $375 you shelled out and another $375 for your trouble. Have you considered posting this to the Consumerist?


AND ANOTHER THING! I can't believe I left this out.

Because I got a cool new smartphone, Verizon charged me $30 more a month for a "data package." Okay, fine. But my husband got all grumpy because HE wanted a smartphone, too, and so he left Verizon to go to Sprint.

This left me paying for a family plan but I only had one line. So I asked them to switch me to a single plan with the least amount of minutes possible, as I mostly text and only use like 25 minutes a month in air time. (I told them exactly this.) At NO POINT did the person making the switch for me say "the plan with the least amount of minutes possible doesn't include unlimited texting."

THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS LATER, I am calling and complaining about being charged for text. They said that it was my fault for not having ESP and knowing that the 300 minute plan doesn't have unlimited text, which I have to pay ANOTHER THIRTY DOLLARS A MONTH FOR. So, even though I no longer am paying for a second line or a family plan, my monthly bill is just as much as before the goddamn smartphone.

Thanks Verizon LOL. If the new Droid continues to be an asshole I'm going to switch to Sprint, too.

Yeah, I have Verizon, too, that $30 a month for the data package is such kick in the pants. I'd switch companies, but Verizon has such good service in Philadelphia (I can call people while riding the subway UNDERGROUND! I feel like Batman).


OMG that is a heinous experience. They needed to refund you the $25, that's for sure. The battery charge issue is insane. There's no way it should drain that quickly, and I know you're not running some battery-killing gay hook-up app on that thing.