Sorry, buddy, but your browser’s not genuine Microsoft

Imagine calling 911 and being told your call cannot be accepted, denture because you’re not using the government’s accepted brand of cell phone or approved wireless carrier. Or consider having your tax return tossed out because you used the wrong brand of envelope to send it in.

Sound far fetched? Unfortunately, herbal it’s not: The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently accepting online file claims from victims of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods… but only if they’re using the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer on a recent version of Microsoft Windows! Otherwise, physician they have to use the ever-efficient phone system– and let’s hope they’ve got touchtone!

All I can say is… what the hell? Has the U.S. government — the perpetrator of a multitude of rules, laws and standards — not heard of Web standards? It’s not hard to create a Web application that runs on all current browsers — most companies today make this a minimum requirement for any public Web site. Why limit the online FEMA system’s use to only those careless enough to still be using Microsoft’s three-year-old piece-o-crap Internet Explorer? Why rule out Firefox users, Safari users Opera users, and Macintosh users of all ilk?

It doesn’t cost any more to make a site that works for everybody; you just have to give a damn in the first place.

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5 thoughts on “Sorry, buddy, but your browser’s not genuine Microsoft”

  1. Dude, I’ve still got ME at work. Record professional achievements in the southeast and I’m stuck with a four year old Dell running ME. Can I report that to FEMA?

    Editor’s reply: Now that IS a disaster.

  2. I believe that they would thus fail their own Section 508 accessibility requirements, which is mandated for web sites created for any US government entity. Alternate screen-reading browsers for the blind, such as Jaws, would no doubt be rejected by their browser detection code.

  3. But microesoft is our friends! they gave us windowes and solitair and comic sans ms! Why do you not want them to use internets explorer?! I think yuor just jelous because bill gates is awsome!! HAHAHAHAhAHA!!!1!

    Whats a fema?

  4. The reason why (no excuses from me, just what i’ve read elsewhere) is that the application was an in-house only app that fema employees used at work, and since windows xp machines with IE where the in-house requirements, that’s what they designed their app for. Apparantly, the public use of the program was a rather hasty quick+dirty fix, and they where starting the task of re-writing it for cross-platform when Katrina came calling.

  5. i had so many problems ….my pc crashed and couldnt get back in cause of genuine i had to boot in safe mode and uninstall service pack 2 and everything that came with it …..after i did that everything was fine ….i just dont have the so called security amymore …..was this wise of me to do that?

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