Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Please allow me to be probably the millionth person to rave about this.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is the new Aaron Sorkin-produced TV drama now onto its third episode in the US, but from the first pilot show I could feel the classic magic of The West Wing coming back and I know I’ll become hopelessly addicted to this. The show was created by Sorkin and is produced by Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme — a previous producer and director of many West Wing episodes. Many West Wing acting alumni are also present in the cast list including Bradley Whitford who is probably my all-time favourite from that show. This is going to do no harm at all to Matthew Perry‘s career, either.

The concept is the show-within-a-show: The fictional Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is a popular US network TV comedy sketch show, clearly meant to be very similar to Saturday Night Live. Like many Sorkin stories, the pilot episode appears to start with a dramatic ending. I hate spoilers so you’re just going to have to watch it.

If you’re in the US, watch it. If you’re not and your morals aren’t offended by the suggestion then download it. Otherwise, wait impatiently for it!

MBNA you really should know better

I have just received an official email communication from MBNA which contains the following text:

For your additional peace of mind, every customer e-mail sent by MBNA Europe Bank Limited, including those on behalf of its Credit Card Partners, will include your postcode:


(Obviously I have removed my real postcode there)

In what universe is a postcode considered a secure piece of information? This does nothing for my peace of mind since my postcode is not hard to obtain by anyone who feels like doing so. You do not need to be MBNA to have my postcode. There will be some people out there though who don’t think it through and now when they receive an email saying it is from MBNA (or a Credit Card Partner! And let me tell you I am on the edge of my seat over the kinds of Partners I could soon be receiving email from!) quoting their postcode they will feel just that little bit more convinced that it’s real.

If a service provider wants to alert me to something or pass on some information that they consider it worth proving their identity over, then either they need to use proper digitally-signed email (yeah right) or at least just tell me to log in to my account in the usual way (no need for a link!) and view the message there. Which is what my bank, smile does, and what Egg Money does, and what Paypal does. But not MBNA; they must be new to the credit industry!

And while I am all worked up over this, what is with the email coming from!? Were the domains and not enough? Oh and a third one to do the actual online banking through? Get a clue. You need precisely one domain name; you can use http and https versions of this, and by this means build up a consistent brand and identity which really does go some way to promoting peace of mind. All these stupid extra domains represent the people with good sense at your company being forced to bend over and take it from the muppets known as “The Marketing Dept.

This kind of stupidity is a great way to encourage me to use your plastic as a balance transfer tool and nothing more.