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March 2007

March 31, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: RealPlayer message center

RealplayerA reader named Zach points out:

I got this message when the RealPlayer Message Center came up: Unable to display this message.

March 30, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: NaviSite notification

Navisite_noticeRosie Ruley Atkins writes:

We really liked that our network provider NaviSite "successfully failed over" and then notified us.

They're taking a page from JetBlue, except that we didn't notice any spelling errors in our JetBlue apology.

March 29, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Coupon on box of Kix cereal

Kenneth Brody writes in:

Below are three images from a box of Kix cereal on our shelf.

On the front of the box it says "Save $4.00 on select DVDs - see side panel for details."


So I check the side of box and find the text - "See back for details."


I then looked at the back of the box and found the text -  "See side for details."

So now I know that the front and back both say "see side for details."


I checked the last side of the box and found the text - "see back for details." 

Other than "priced $9.99 or higher" on the side, I see no additional "details" to tell me on which "select DVDs" I can use the coupon.

March 28, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Bulldog tag

Pugs_tag1John Goodyear points out:

This is a tag that was attached to a hat I bought from a company that calls itself "Pugs Gear", but the animal they choose to display on the tag is a bulldog.

They should really call themselves "Bulldog Gear" or change the picture on the tag to a pug.

March 27, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Additional parking sign

AdditionalparkingJane Gaboury submits a picture taken in Norcross, Georgia at "an upscale shopping center called The Forum."

March 26, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Train station posting

Dsc00254Ian Chard from the UK writes in:

This sign, or a variant thereof, has been on display in the ticket office of Kingham station in Oxfordshire, in the UK for at least two years. It reads:

Urgent Information

Please do not leave the station if the information screens are showing that your train may be late.

We regret that on occasions we have problems with the operating system please bare [sic] with us.

The information screens at all stations on the Cotswold line, including the major Oxford station, vary between displays of correct train information, randomly fluctuating departure times, impossible train descriptions (e.g. stations out of order or repeated), a display of "CANCELLED" when the train is in fact running... everything except a game of Tetris. 

Platform announcements, all automated, are similarly affected. You'd think that two years would be enough time to get this debacle fixed, or at least work around it. 

The problem is compounded by the public address system at the more minor stations on the route, which can't be used by local staff:  they can only play the automated announcements. 

So, Kingham's ticket office staff have taken to screaming across the platform when a problem really does occur!

March 24, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Vector power inverter packaging

VectorpowerShane Kelly writes:

These Vector power inverters were on the hanging rack near the checkout at BestBuy.

You can see that the hanging tabs are on the end of the boxes' lid flap, and that their considerable weight has  pulled them all open.

Looking carefully I saw that there had been an effort to re-seal some of the boxes with scotch tape, but that too had failed to keep their lids closed.

Vector should re-design their packages so they stay closed when hanging or they should require that the product be placed on a shelf instead of being hung on a rack.

March 23, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: (Just for fun) Strange menu item

StrangeflavorchickenA reader submits the menu from Cheng's Garden restaurant in Enfield, Connecticut. "Strange Flavor Chicken - yum!!!"

March 22, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: search page

ZapposDavid Hatch points out:

This is the search page at

It is too overwhelming and should be simplified!

March 21, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: DirecTV promotional offer

DirectvformDale Crawford writes:

I recently activated DirecTV and got the following form along with my sign-on package. The offer is for $150.00 “Cash Back,” but when you read the fine print, you learn that “Cash” according to DirecTV is a $10 per month credit on your bill for 15 months.

Furthermore, this “cash back” cannot be redeemed for actual cash. I think that when it’s time to pay my bill, I should pay in “Cash.” I’ll give them a $10 credit towards me paying my bill every month for 15 months.

Adding insult to injury, the form clearly states that reproductions of the redemption form are strictly prohibited. That’s all well and good, except that the original form itself is a photocopy.

Now that’s broken.

March 20, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Red Cross sign

InvertedTerry Spittle submits a picture writes:

We took this picture of the Red Cross medical post sign in the village of Casarabonela in southern Spain. 

There was some building work going on at this street corner, and the signs had been put up temporarily to aid the visiting tourist. 

However, potentially the most important sign, the one for the Red Cross medical post (fourth from the top), is upside down. So it's not clear if the clinic is actually to the right or to the left.

March 19, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Obtaining model number from Nokia phone

NokiamodelnoMathijs Panhuijsen points out:

I wanted to replace the battery in my clunky old Nokia phone, and I had a lot of trouble with opening the back cover (which is a whole ThisisBroken topic in itself).

To find out how to open the back cover, I go to the Nokia site to find my phone's user manual. However, I've had this phone for so long that I don't remember the model number (there are about 100 to choose from, mostly identified only by a meaningless alphanumeric string).

Luckily, there is a handy link: "Find your phone's model number," which pops up, an instruction to open the back cover of your phone and check the model number on the label inside.


The model number should also be available somewhere on the exterior of the phone or somewhere in the menu.

March 17, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: J.D. Power demographic question

JdpowerDmitri Mikhailov points out this J.D. Power and Associates demographics question, which asks:

Are you

- Yes, Cuban
- Yes, Mexican, Mexican American
- Yes, Puerto Rican
- Yes, Other
- No

What does being "No" mean?

[Perhaps that we're Irish? At least today, on St. Patrick's Day. -mh]

March 16, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Flatouts package fiber information

FlatbreadJason S. points out:

On a package of Flatouts, made by, there is a statement on the package that says it contains 8 grams of fiber.

However, on the nutritional panel of the Flatouts package, it shows only 7 grams of fiber.

The serving size is 1 Flatout, so I guess I'd have to eat about a few bites of a second Flatout to get my 8 grams of fiber!

March 15, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Lowery Park Zoo flyer

LoweryparkShawn Kelly points out:

The pricing scheme below is on the back of a flyer for the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa Florida:

Adults ( ages 12-49)
Seniors (60+)
Children ( Ages 3-11)
Ages 2 and under are FREE

How much is admission for people that are between 50-59?

Or are people between the ages of 50-59 not allowed to visit the zoo?

March 14, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: First Internet Bank of Indiana message

UnavailSean Santry writes:

I recently tried to log in to my bank's website, The First Internet Bank of Indiana, to check my balance. I was confronted with a page with this message:

"Internet Banking is temporarily unavailable. Please try after Sometime. Thank you."

OK, I'll just wait until after Sometime to find out how much money I have in my account. Gee, thanks!

March 13, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Caution children sign

LivechildrenJeffrey MacEachern submits a picture of a sign taken in Maple Ridge, British Columbia:

I took this picture in my townhouse complex of a caution sign which reads, "Caution: Live Children Playing."

As opposed to...?

March 12, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: (Just for Fun) Corn Pops cereal box description

CornpopsMark Crummet points out:

Kellogg's Corn Pops currently has a front-of-box description containing the text "Big Yellow Taste," which made me do a double-take. I'm not sure colors have a taste. [Except maybe for veal. Hmm. No, I was thinking of "teal." -mh]

Or maybe it's targeted at people with synesthesia - the condition of experiencing color as taste. So next year's box will boast, "Now even yellower!"

March 10, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Daylight Savings article

ClockbackPaul Collett points out:

This February '07 article about Daylight Savings Time writes about the change in Daylight Savings Time, which from now on starts earlier in the year. The problem is that the article's animated graphic (static screenshot shown at left) shows the clock moving back, when people need to set their clocks forward. That's a pretty big detail to miss. [Remember to spring forward tomorrow, Sunday. -mh]

March 9, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Citimortgage text field for customer questions

CitimortgageRyan A. MacMichael points out:

I went to ask a question of Citimortage through their web site and got the screen above.

So, wait... go ahead and ask a question, but don't use "non-allowed characters" like a question mark?!

See original post.

March 8, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: BMW ad in Wellington airport

BmwadMiles Thompson submits a picture taken in Wellington, New Zealand:

I came across this curious advertisement while passing through the airport in Wellington, New Zealand.

The sign says "It's only a car." They missed the count by one. More accurately, "There's no car."

March 7, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Thai bathroom sign

ThaisignEric McDaniel submits a picture taken in Thailand:

I recently took a bus from Sukhothai, Thailand to Bangkok. This is a sign on the bus's bathroom door.

The sign is clearly prohibiting doing something in the bathroom, but what is it? Even our native Thai-speaking companion couldn’t figure it out.

March 6, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Two recent shopping sights

Two sights from a recent shopping excursion:

Dsc00449I thought of buying Super Automatic Machine but decided not to. Maybe if it had been called Super Happy Automatic Machine I would have bought it. (This was the entire label for the product in the store's window display.)

Dsc00454Doesn't anyone copy edit product packaging any more?

March 5, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Monopoly box art

MonopolyPaul Henkelman points out:

I recently noticed that on both this image and on most standard Monopoly boxes, the token rests on "Boardwalk" and the dice read "9."

But this is impossible. In order for a token to move nine spaces and land on Boardwalk, it would have to start from the "Go to Jail" space.

P.S. On the Spanish version of the game box, the dice read "8."

March 3, 2007 10:04 AM

Broken: Searching on The Huffington Post

I went to the Huffington Post and tried to search on "tiki" (since Tiki Barber gave a great interview on Charlie Rose last week).

But the search results page said this:

Got an error: You are currently performing a search. Please wait until your search is completed.

I decided not to wait around.

(Instead, on the second try it worked fine... except that the search results are pushed waaay down the page, below all the text ads. There are better ways of designing such pages.)

Broken: Islington shopping basket

360433173_da35fe5c0fFrom Larsz's Flickr photostream:

When you pay a fine online in Islington (a part of London), you have to add it to a shopping basket. (See the website.)

At least they don't use Amazon-style recommendations. Imagine: "customers who were caught speeding also enjoy parking illegally."

March 2, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Pharmacy refill label

PharmbottlePaul Morgan points out:

What does "3.6 refills" mean? I can understand 1 or 2 refills, or maybe even 1.5 (for half a month's supply or something like that)... but 3.6??

March 1, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Saitek keyboard design

PinkkeyboardA reader writes in:

I like bright colors, so I bought this Saitek keyboard.

I've had it a month and it still drives me crazy that the "volume up" button is on the left, the "volume down" button is on the right, and the "mute" button is a full three buttons away!

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