Only Venkman I've ever used was Peter, and that's only if there's something strange in the neighborhood.
The namesake, indeed. Aren't there quite a few strange neighborhoods up there?
Is moving the alert message from the centre to the centre top really breaking legacy applications? And are people really noticing this (much less complaining)? Apparently Firefox moved its position as well. I certainly haven't noticed.
Get a larger screen? I think I need to adjust my "pointer speed" to make up for the extra real estate ... maybe I wouldn't complain so much. If I click on something at top+1000px with the sound off and my head buried in the screen, it's possible to "miss" the alert. I suppose if one wasn't paying any attention whatsoever it would be possible, too, so maybe it's a personal issue and not so widespread, but I doubt I'm the only person with such issues.
Let's keep in mind that many of our users aren't great technologists either ...