Why Yahoo! Answers is broken.

The lunatics are in charge of the asylum, that’s why.

Someone asked a question wanting to know which codec they needed to import a music file into their application – they were getting an error “unknown codec”.

So; the choice of answers given:

1) A generic answer which would solve the problem for all people having this error, explaining what a codec was, and how to find out which codec would be needed for any file.

2) An answer that included the lucky guess “Ogg Vorbis”.

Guess which answer was given the “Best Answer”?  Number 2.  Huh???

It’s not an isolated incident, either.  There’s more examples of this kind of lunacy.  That’s not to say that I don’t understand why the answer got rated higher, it afterall solved the questioners problem in a quick and easy manner.  It just didn’t add anything to the value of the site; it’s meant to be a repository of questions and good answers.  Hey Ho.

Oh, and the quality of the questions leaves something to be decided, too.  Half the questioners don’t have a clue about the subject they’re asking about, yet they claim to need a desperately technical answer.  My personal favourite is:

Question Title: Should I use the uniprocessor HAL with a Quad Core (Q6600)?
Question content: Is there an easy way to switch HALs?

Erm. Where to begin? Is there an easy way to switch HALs? Why, yes, there is. It’s dead simple once you’ve read and understood the Windows DDK. Of course once you’ve done that, you’ll not be wanting to swap HALs; there’s absolutely no point, beyond wanting to artificially limit the number of cores that windows will use on the chip. That can be done so much easier with the /onecpu setting in BOOT.INI

But of course, if you put that in an answer, you’re wasting your time, even though it’s actually a pretty good answer to a dumb question.  I suspect that the best answer would be given to someone who answers with:

LOLZ, dude.  K3wln3ss for has changing HALs.  HAL FTW!!!11!!

And the number of people wanting their homework done is utterly outstanding.  I’ve seen a number of multiple choice questions up on there.  How can that not be homework?