Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thoughts on MLP season 6, part 1

The Crystalling
It was alright. How do I feel about the baby being an alicorn? Neutral. Personally, I don't mind overpowered characters, unless they're poorly written. I liked that she was the unwitting villain here.

It was odd to see Celestia and Luna defeated by bad weather. I know it wan't just the weather, but really. I'd expect more from creatures, who can move the Sun and Moon.

I liked Sunburst. Though it seemed a bit stupid that Starlight didn't guess what was going on. I like it when characters catch on to things as quickly as the average viewer. They just come across as dim otherwise.

"Now, kiss," thought most of the fandom.

The Gift of the Maud Pie
The story was very primitive. Personally, I hate the "Gift of the Magi" trope. Saw it coming from miles away, even though I haven't noticed it's in the title.

But such episodes are all about the journey rather than the destination. And the journey was quite fun, so it's a good filler.

What? It's an excellent place for Rarity's boutique.

On Your Marks
Not a fan. The CMC got their marks in an earlier episode and sang a song that said they knew exactly what to do with their lives. The start of this episode felt like a major step back from that. Apple Bloom especially. She knew the little colt needed help from CMC, wanted help even, but she just totally ignored him.

The episode had a handful of good jokes, but I found it weak overall.

I still wish they went with the name Snowflake for this guy.

Gauntlet of Fire
Beyond predictable, but watchable.

Hug every dragon you meet, but don't tell them why.
That was my favourite part.

No Second Prances
I thought it was good. Twilight was crazy, Starlight - relatable, Trixie was... well... Trixie. And Celestia clearly had the time of her life at that dinner party.

Also, I liked how Starlight spoke of stage magic as something separate from regular magic.. So I guess it's an art form and Trixie is better at it than Twilight.

Go home, Twilight, you're... erm... Just go home.

Newbie Dash
Not a fan. I get the idea of team spirit and pushing yourself to your limits, especially after you've proven yourself. But... taking crap from others for tradition's sake... Really?

But I did like that Dash is apparently cured of her random inability to retain information. I liked her being a nerdy fangirl, geeking out over every inch of the compound. I thought that was spot-on.

Also, the impressions were a weird move.  Not buying it.

A Hearth's Warming Tail
It's a very good Christmas Special. Very cozy, the music's just right and the costumes are pretty neat.

The coolest part by far.

The Saddle Row Review
I liked it. The format is definitely interesting. It was nice to hear the ponies as they were individually interviewed. Wasn't flawless - I guess trying to make a lesson out of it is the reason. But it's still enjoyable.
That diner looks like a nice place.

Applejack's "Day" Off
Not a fan. I can understand that inefficient ways of doing things can become a habit, but AJ was full-on stupid back there. Also, Rarity's way of mending fences seems wasteful.

That colt look fabulous enough to be a Sailor Moon villain.

Flutter Brutter
It's a good episode. Meeting pony families is always interesting and Fluttershy's brother sure is something.

Oh, the agony...

Spice Up Your Life
I liked it. So many cool visuals in one episode - neat new characters and cool new restaurant. And also Pinkie's table manners - I like how she headbutts plates.

Can't help but wonder if Pinkie knows about the possible
future consequences of eating really spicy food...

Friday, June 17, 2016

DeviantArt ads

So DeviantArt recently realized how much money they're losing on the ads people block. When you visit the website now, you're greeted by an absolutely huge orange pop-up that stretches all across the bottom of the page:

I find it too annoying to display full-size.

Whitelist? I don't think so.
Now, it's adorable that they think I simply don't know how to whitelist good old DA. 

I won't claim this is still the case, but some time ago, DA had abnoxious video ads, which, to me, were the signature feature of the site. The kind that had sound, but were muted by default. Now, there was a glitch. The ad could be silent for a couple of cycles, then it would suddenly scream at you. A real treat if you've got multiple tabs open.

Well, they were the reason I got AdBlock and I never looked back. So no, DA. Giving me a giant orange pop-up to close every time I open the page won't melt my horrible cold heart.

The words I want to hear are "We've made our ads less annoying".
If the horrible orange pop-up said that instead, I'd immediately pause AdBlock to see if that was true.
And if they actually went the extra mile and only accepted static banners with mild colours, I'd whitelist the site in a heartbeat and feel some gratitude for the care.

Back to reality - the orange pop-up
"Blocking ads? The joke's on you! You get the biggest and most annoying ad on the site for trying to cheat the system!"
That's the actual message behind it, right? If they honestly want sympathy and understanding, I think they should learn from Explosm. Their "blocking ads?" banners are very humble, but get the message across perfectly. Plus, they show you exactly where the ads would go. I have whitelisted their site.

Reporting ads.
Every site I've whitelisted has this option. Explosm has a "Report Ad" link. Other sites, such as EQD, have little buttons on their ads that let you both report scams and remove things that are irrelevant to you. I don't know about you, but I don't mind seeing adverts for things I'm at least mildly interested in.

And what does DA have? A little red cross at the corner of the ad, which offers an upgrade to premium. I'm not sure if they're still showing "local mom discovers one weird trick" ads, but they did for a good while.

Won't somebody please think of the users...
I feel DA just said "it's your choice - be annoyed by tiny ads, the giant orange one you'll have to close manually, or buy premium". If I felt they've put honest effort into improving the user experience instead of being forceful, I'd at least try to live with the ads.
So far the only good thing about DA banners is that they mostly fail to load in mobile browsers.