marsden_online: (Blueknight)
I couldn't quite bring myself to deactivate the account, justifying it to myself as not wanting (the extremely unlikely possibility of) someone else to claim the username and abuse it. I have archived everything locally with BlogBooker* mass-set all the entries to private, stripped all the sidebar content except the links list which points to my active social media presences, and posted a goodbye sticky.

Livejournal was a massive part of my life/community for many years; I met and got to know better a number of good friends and acquaintances there, but sometimes I guess you have to move on. Thoughts drift back to when I finally cut ties to / was driven away from the Gamers, Ethics and Religion online forum I used to hang out in. I still wonder what happened to some of those people.

Next comes trawling back though and tidying up my old entries as imported to Dreamwidth, killing memes with long-dead links / images and updating links between posts. While those posts were still accessable on LJ it didn't seem important.

* I paid for time and books on BlogBooker and only used a fraction, so I have some spare if anyone would like me to do theirs as well.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
One of the few reasons I continue to maintain my LiveJournal account has been the FaceBook cross-posting extension (so posts go from here at Dreamwidth to LiveJournal, and them public posts go on to FaceBook). It works pretty well, but I've been meaning to find a way to cut LJ out of the loop so that people clicking on my FB links come to here instead of there. The final push came in learning that LJ now has it's hardware and thus it's data in an even more insecure location than previously.

I've also been meaning to investigate the If This Then That service for some time and multiple responses to googling for a pre-existing solution pointed there.

This solution will work for any blogging or journal service which provides an RSS feed of recent entries. (Find your Dreamwidth RSS urls here). This will only work to cross-post publicly published entries not friends-locked ones, but that doesn't matter for my use-case. The cross-post is not instant as IFTTT will only check the feed every so often; but should appear within the hour.

[Note: the below captures are displayed at reduced size for ease of layout]

1. Sign up for an IFTTT account and find your way to the My Applets page.

2. Click the New Applet button

3. Now the first time I visited this page I didn't even register that the blue "+this" part of "if +this then that" as displayed in this screenshot was clickable (damn flat designs) and followed the link below it instead, which was not helpful. So click on the +this - assuming the interface is mostly unchanged.

screen capture showing blue clickable area

4. Choose your service: the service you want is "Feed" (generally an orange-and-white icon with a dot and two semi-circles above-right of it)

screen capture including the RSS icon

5. Choose a trigger: I just used "New Feed Item", if I wanted to narrow it down for Dreamwidth I would set up the feed itself to only display particular tags rather than relying on the content to include a keyword.

At the next screen paste your feed url into the box and click Create Trigger. You'll be taken to a page displaying "if [RSS icon] then +that". Now it's more obvious where to click, we're learning.

screen capture showing blue clickable area

6. Choose your service: FaceBook. I think it was at this point I had to link up my Facebook account into IFTTT. Don't give it access to anything it doesn't need; and see step 9 to clean up these permissions from FB itself as there doesn't seem to be any way to edit them from the IFTTT end.

7. Choose your action: Create a link post.
At the next screen the Link Url field will be filled in for you, don't touch that.

the action fields screen

You can add what you like to the Message field, click on the +Ingredient button below it to add details from the post itself. After some experimentation with various post content and the EntryContent ingredient I gave up on that and just put a generic message about the source of the post in here. There were some issues around getting line breaks in the right places while stripping out html tags and dealing with journal cuts. Some of my posts can get quite long and I can see them copying over to FB in a very messed up way.

On that note: the link tag will pick up on an image you have in the content; it will not pick up your profile icon as a fallback. The short summary and the icon were the two things that I consider were better about the LJ implementation.

8. Click the "Create Action" button, wait for the page to update, leave notifications or turn them off as you wish (they only show up in your IFTTT dashboard, I'd leave them on for a while at least for debugging, you can come back and turn them off later) and then the Finish button. The applet will now be available in your My Applets panel.

My Applets panel

Click on it here to go to a larger view where you can see see it's status (bottom pane), manually run the check for new posts (bottom pane) or change the settings/delete (cog icon, top left)

9. Go to your FaceBook > Settings > Apps and click on the IFTTT icon to check what permissions IFTTT has actually received (they certainly didn't match what I thought I had allowed it). At minimum for this purpose it should only need the "required" access to your public profile and the ability to Post to your timeline. If you are pushing the posts to a page or group instead of your personal timeline it may also need permission to manage those. Also make sure it is posting with the level of access you told it to.

My IFTTT Facebook App settings

"Helpfully" once you uncheck items and save they disappear from display. I haven't found a way to get them back except theoretically by deleting the App from the FB end and re-establishing the link from IFTTT. In the course of my experimentation I did "Disconnect" and "Reconnect" from the IFTTT end but this did not give me the option to re-select permissions. It did delete the instance of the cross-posting app I had created with no warning though :( So beware of that.

~~~
Now the last thing I need to dispense with LJ entirely is a reliable way of backing up Dreamwidth locally. Currently I still use LJArchive (from the LJ cross-posts) but I haven't had any luck getting it to reliably talk with DW.
marsden_online: (write)
This evening I did two things, neither of which took very long
- put in an application for Meridian Energy shares
- put in my "postal" votes for the Mighty River AGM in November
Both were quick and easy processes online.
Also relevant is that a couple of weeks ago a dividend from Mighty River slipped into my bank account with absolutely no fuss.

So I thought it was time to put down some of my thoughts about the whole process and experience, as one of the few "Mum and Dad" investors who actually went for the scheme (despite being neither a mother or a father). To get it out of the way - my motivation was simple. The asset sales were and are a bad idea, the only thing I could do to mitigate them in any way was to take up the offer and bottom-drawer the shares I could afford until some time as they are re-nationalised or forcibly acquired by offshore interests.

1. One of the things that was talked about in the lead up to the MRP offer was showing people that investing in shares can be easy. I give full credit to those involved for making the process practically painless in these instances. Application by internet was simple, the forms were well designed and logical, and there wasn't really a lot of information you needed to supply. A for effort those people.

However I have my doubts (given the low uptake by small personal investors) that this message was actually experienced by many. Moreover
- I have no idea if the ease of purchase facilitated for these special issues, complete with dedicated websites, at all compares to privately purchasing shares in any other company.
- attempting to sell my shares or to purchase more (should I wish to do so) still seems like an intimidating process and I would not know where to start.

My post-share-purchasing experience with ComputerShare's online system has been adequate. It is functional for what it seems intended to do but badly in need of a makeover.

Overall B-, after initially considering considered a C+

2. I now practically understand something I have struggled with in the past - the difference between buying shares for growth and buying for income. To my way of thinking either way ones paper worth goes up, and dividends can just as easily be re-invested (in fact that was the primary use I saw for them at my stage in the investment cycle). That MRP dividend sliding into my bank account made it clear how buying with dividends in mind you can actually purchase a (probable) future income stream. I do quite like that idea.

3. I have come to the conclusion that "investing in shares" and "investing in the company those share are issued by" are two different things, especially if you are buying for growth. It seems to me that you can only claim to be investing *in a company* if you buy the shares fresh from issue (or the company reselling after a buyback) and hold, or secondarily if you are increasing your holding with the intent of using the increased voting power to the company's benefit. (Whether what you want to accomplish with that influence will actually be in the best interests of the company notwithstanding - it's a genuine intent that counts).

In the other cases - purchasing existing shares for dividends or purchasing for growth - you are either
- investing in the income stream that the company may provide, but not actually providing *them* any new capital.
- investing in the likelihood that someone at some future point in time will give you more money for the shares than you paid for them. While this may certainly given you a firm *interest* in how the company performs it is not an *investment in the company* because it is not from the company that you expect to realise your return.

I am of course only referring to publicly traded shares here. There are a lot of ways to invest in especially smaller companies, many of which involve taking a "share" of the company which you might intend to cash in once the company has grown in value. Those are different beasts.

4. I find I have confirmed a strong preference for investing *in* companies. Buying existing shares explicitly for growth actually feels dishonest to me on some fundamental level. Buying for dividends - income - still seems like a potentially sensible thing to do. I think this comes down to my general approach that money is only worth what you can do with it, and you can actually do something with a dividend. You can't do much with the money represented by a share which is just getting fatter.

There are grey areas of course - my Kiwisaver for instance is in an "Active Growth" fund. But then I know (or believe) that the managers of that fund actively seek out investments in smaller companies with the potential for growth, and will purchase freshly minted shares in such companies. And I do wish I'd been able to pick up some Telecom shares for resale when they crashed to about $1.80 a year or so ago.

~~~
In truth I would rather put my money - if I can afford it - directly into a company knowing how it would help that company grow. Don't lend/invest what you can't afford to lose they say, and I've kept that firmly in mind. I am fortunate to have the resources to throw at these offers, and count lost.
marsden_online: (write)
Last week Public Address put out an appeal for donations not just towards keeping the server lights on but towards keeping the site owner/manager paid. The latter bit was new, the former happens periodically. Aggregated I probably throw $100-$150 at PA a year (or would like to), that's probably comparable to the cost of a quality dead-tree subscription (I really have no idea.) That is a measure of the value I see PA providing as a current events forum and community.

Comparatively I did not sign up with the NZ Herald when they experimented with a paywall a while back regardless of the amount of personal value I was finding find in their site because they were locking the content away from everyone else. (And signing up for a subscription / having to log in to see stuff / just seemed too complicated. There's a low but non-trivial barrier there.)

I repeatedly refuse to take out a subscription to The Press (local dead-tree paper) when the telemarketers call because I have no interest in the bulk of the content, even though it would leave me better informed on local events and I do eagerly read the interesting parts of the paper whenever I happen across a copy. I would probably subscribe to a pdf version of selected sections delivered to my inbox daily.

Back to PA - some discussion surfaced over there about how to pay for "the good stuff" in general - not just stuff that brings value to the individual but that adds to the entire conversation. Or provides the forum in which to have the conversation, which PA excels at. As Russell sums it up (emphasis mine)
But there is another model. The subscriber radio model. My readers don’t actually need much persuading that the argument for paying so that everyone can have nice things is a strong one. In the past two years, I’ve made more from asking them for a contribution than I have from advertising. Keith Ng has also had some success in asking readers to crowdfund his stories – after he’s published them.

But this needs a permanent structure, and it needs to work for all of us. One solution I see is this: a simple, voluntary subscription system which can be joined by any New Zealand website or blog at one end, and any reader at the other. In concept, it’s simple.

As a means of funding advertising just doesn't cut it, especially for the niche sites and site-specific subscription models / paywalls only seem to work if you have a (large) critical mass of subscribers who find personal value in what you deliver.

But the things I find myself paying for in something like a subscription manner are those that match the bit I emphasised in the quote above - those who can afford contribute so that *everyone* can have nice stuff, and can hopefully be secure in the fact that should they fall on hard times they (which includes quite a bit of "I") will still have access to those services.

This is the model Livejournal used to have before it was sold to someone who wanted to make a profit from it and the model Dreamwidth is emulating since it opened up basic accounts.

Wikipedia is another site that I consider "new-media" which I contribute to periodically. And I have put my bit towards crowd-funding other initiatives like NWZ

Heck even the photo-hosting I pay for is to ensure others continue to get use and enjoyment from my putting them out there, off-site backup is a bonus.

I'd happily pay for the things FaceBook does well - essentially providing hyper-local news about my social circle and event management - as long as it meant that my friends also continued to be able to use the service and were treated a little less like "product". I'm not sure how much I'd be willing to pay; maybe around that $100 a year; maybe up to $300 in small chunks. That might sound a lot in this digitally priced age but remember conceptually I would be paying not just for me, and it would still be less than a dollar a day.

There is certainly a personal use component - Twitter or Tumblr could both operate on the same model and at the present time I wouldn't "subscribe" because I don't use them a great deal although I have accounts and follow some people who surface interesting stuff. But I'm certain there are plenty of people who would.

~~~
Another model I saw some time ago - and I can't remember what it was called now - was a Tip jar model where you paid in some amount each [time period] and sites authors could embed a click widget - at the end of the [time period] however much you had put in was divided among the people whose content you had found valuable enough to 'Tip' on. As I recall the service folded because of not reaching critical mass.

And that is really the rub when it comes to setting up a mass provider/subscriber model. Not only do you need the people willing (and able) to pay for the greater good and the people willing (and able) to help generate content with value (including the work of maintaining the spaces/communities where good conversation happens around the content) you need to strike the balance where they break-even. I say break even because I don't think there is a for-profit model here. Instead you have people being paid for producing content, people being paid for maintaining communities, developers being paid to improve those communities with new features, web-hosts being paid to host them .... quite a lot of people (hopefully) making a living, quite a lot more people getting value from the work they do, and really what more do you need?
marsden_online: (Rage)
I am attempting to top up my T-Stick using your online service. It says quite clearly at http://www.telecom.co.nz/mobile/yourmobile/topup "Top up your XT Prepaid Mobile or T-Stick online" (with fuel-gauge graphic adjacent) and "Top Up Now" on the button below

Clicking the button takes me to a page where i can enter my credit card details - so far so good. However completing this page does not allow me to top up my T-Stick online. Instead the instructions tell me to call my mobile phone and follow the top-up procedure using the displayed voucher number.

Of course this will add the credit to my mobile phone, not to the T-Stick! The specific wording of the instructions implies that there is an option for selecting a different phone number somewhere in the menus but I have been unable to find it. Instead I had to press "3" for PROBLEMS (which is almost funny) and your help-desk was able to apply the voucher number - and tell me this was the -usual- process for "topping up online".

However 3 escalations later they were still -unable- to tell me
a) why the website - and their scripts - insist that it is possible to "Top Up Online" when it is not.
b) who was responsible for this situation
c) who is going to be responsible for fixing this situation

And by fixing this situation I do not mean changing the website to make it explicit that you can not in fact top up online. I mean actually adding the functionality that will let me and all your other T-Stick and similar users add credit to our devices directly from your website. We should not have to have access to a -phone- to top up our -mobile internet-. We should not have to -spend time waiting on the phone- until we reach the front of the queue for your call center!

(For all I know the functionality is already there, and just the links are wrong. How easy would that be to fix?)

Yes there are other mobile internet providers in NZ. I reluctantly chose Telecom because on the rare occasions I need mobile broadband you have the best coverage. I'm sorry the rest of your support structure does not match up.

~~~
Quite appropriately, the stereo is playing the following from the CrüxShadows right now
once we have a promise
twice we have a curse
three times is impossible
and four times even worse
once we have an accident
twice we have a fault
three times is delinquent
and four times is the fall
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
I'm having "OMG so fast" moments, as you do. They started with boot up and log on this morning.

Today: synchronisation and backup. Bandwidth is no longer a limiting factor (we haven't gone over our cap since the last increase) so I spent some time checking out the services in this list.

iDrive won on the following counts
- 5G free matches any of the others and will easily hold me until the Xmas/NY crunch is over and I can justify a years subscription (these things need to be staggered and there are several coming due in January already)
- Real-time backup can be toggled on or off - I've had a local real-time service operating for the last year and have decided it's not necessary (and something of a resource hog) most of the time. Daily backups will be adequate, but it's great to have the option.
- you can restore back 30 versions (plenty for a daily, maybe not if you save religiously and backup in real time) but the historical versions don't count towards your storage limit, which could be a huge space-saver and is generally awesome :D

The one thing I'd like is the ability to have multiple backup sets on different schedules, which is how I manage my local backups (set that up today as well, inasfar as I have data stores copied to the new system). But that may be part of the paid version - in any case it's not a deal breaker.

Zenbu(s)

Jan. 8th, 2010 04:04 pm
marsden_online: (globe)
Bumbling about on the internet today I came across

http://www.zenbu.co.nz/
which I decided was an interesting local directory project, and the unrelated

http://www.zenbu.net.nz/
network of wireless internet hotspots which I spent a lot of time pondering. I like the concept, have ever since I learnt about Tomi some years ago. Can't afford a $250 outlay just on an experiment though. (And it's probably against TC's T&C to on-sell their residential service in such a manner, but their smaller business plans are cheap enough).

It might be something to bear in mind for Creative Space if it starts looking to a different venue.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
PowerShop must be making the push into Christchurch, because they called me this afternoon.

I did not move because of the $50 credit which comes with the 60-day trial, because that's exactly the same as every other electricity retailer has offered me this year (but without the trial period).

I did not move because of the 20% discount on all power used between 7am - 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

I did not move because they promise to save me money (impossible to prove, since my use profile has changed with the addition of the solar).

I did not move because I expect it to be cheaper (I've been tracking my weighted spend/unit against the prices on their website for the past 12-18 months, and it invariably comes out equal to their lowest price).

I did not move because they offer an individual rate tailored to my electricity usage and patterns.

I may have moved partly because they're actually doing something with the so-called Smart meters.

I definitely moved because whatever their usage-reporting, it's bound to be light years ahead of what Meridian provide (ie monthly totals, broken down into day/night on your bill if you're on such a plan). Give me that juicy juicy data on my usage patterns, so that I may make better informed decisions about who supplies my electricity in the future.

And they called and made it easy to undertake a shift which I was probably going to make sooner or later.

~~~
Side note: what Meridian could offer to win me back (I expect a call from them in the next couple of days).
- equivalent or better access to my usage data
- assistance layering my house with solar panels and feeding excess juice back into the grid (legal if technically non-trivial, but doesn't gain them anything).
marsden_online: RPG log icon for this character (Arthur)
via roleplayingtips.com -

http://www.godeckyourself.com/ (beta)

From the same person who has been maintaining the RedBlade D&D character manager for years, a new project. Make custom CCG size cards in a variety of styles and download them as .pdfs for printing.

It's still pretty rough around the edges, but there's a lot of potential. I would have used this to generate the item handouts for NeverWinter had it been available (in fact I recreated some of them as a test deck).

The pdfs generated here could be combined with a service like scribd.com for wider distribution/webpage embedding.
marsden_online: (gameathon2)
Naturally I've set up a profile for Gameathon, and seeded the kitty. You to can now make a donation by credit-card here.

One thing I noticed almost immediately after setting up the profile is that there is no direct link back to the event you're sponsoring. It appears in the sidebar, but linked to the official site. So if you don't want your donation associated with Gameathon, you can make it here. Or there are paypal links on the support us page of the Big Night In website.

It would be nice if they had a widget to display the counter on the main site. Perhaps I can build one.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
The good
Enjoyed the quiet drinkies @ [livejournal.com profile] slothphil's last night. Even managed to feel like I was participating in the conversation :) Snagged copies of photos from the last few parties. Unfortunately none of me accoutremented up for the Steam Punk party :(

~~~
The meh
Energy levels are back up the the stage where I don't feel tiredness is an excuse for not getting stuff done and feel that I should constantly be working on something. It's very easy to forget that I'm still one bad day/event/overdoing it away from crashing. I am attempting to ration my time on the big stuff and find low-impact activities (like playing with new web applications) with a 'that may not have achieved much, but it was interesting' payback.

With that in mind...
~~~
The busy
a list of significant projects on my radar )
~~~
The Twittery
Yes, I've succumbed. Mostly with professional/technical reasons in mind - which in conjunction with the rest of this post should provide enough clues for anyone interested to search out my twitter username.

Actually the driving factor was so I could have an app monitoring a twitter search for "christchurch". I'm such a sad information junkie :(

I wonder if I should get around to setting up a FaceBook account under my real name for similar (and family) reasons. The problem is though that a 'social' networking account without a network attached is practically useless, and professional networking is something I'm even worse at than meeting people socially.

~~~
This post didn't achieve much, but it was low-impact.

How retro

Mar. 20th, 2009 01:58 pm
marsden_online: (Default)
I just walked to the library in order to find some information from a print newspaper, because I couldn't find it online.

Specifically, the name of the unfortunate worker killed in a factory accident in Ashburton.

It's something which often frustrates me about the online media - the lack of follow-up. The accident was reported nationally before his name was available, but the articles are not updated or republished to include that highly relevant information when it is later released. I've seen this pattern more times than I can recall.

Silver lining - while hunting for the information I discovered the live updates section on the NZ Police website.

Also played with Twitter search. Still haven't signed up for an account though.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Despite a couple of glitches saving the scheme, Yahoo Pipes successfully combines and filters duplicates from the half-dozen NZ Herald RSS feeds I follow. That will save me some time on a daily basis.

Google Reader on the other hand does not support my way of dealing with RSS, which is to delete entirely articles I'm not interested in. So I continue looking for another option there.

Another option to what? Opera, which I have nothing against and have been using for years as my primary web browser, RSS reader and mail client. However, having downloaded the plugin for Firefox which replicates the last missing bit of functionality (reload page every X) it's now more efficient to run just Firefox and Chrome most of the time, browserwise, and I expect I can find more resource-light ways of dealing with email and RSS. But maybe I just need a change.

The getting around to playing with these services, which I have been meaning to do for some time, is a positive reflection on my state of mental health.

SmugMug

Dec. 14th, 2008 09:16 am
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
After a couple of hours intensive research last night SmugMug looks like the best bet. It's hard to go past unlimited storage and bandwidth and it seems to have everything else I'm looking for except capitalised keywords (tags). Their help section is very informative and well laid out, obviously aimed more at informing (potential) customers what they can do than providing technical assistance which in this case I appreciate.

It's by no means the cheapest either, especially given the current exchange rate and my current income but the referral program could compensate for that. That's also quite cunningly done, only 4 people need to be coerced have to sign up using your coupon to cover a years account fee, which seems like a very achievable number.

Speaking of which, does anyone have a coupon code they'd like me to use when I sign up? First in first served :D

~~~
+1 to the guys from jalbum for having a search filter set up which returned my previous post, and commenting on it. Next time I'm conducting this exercise for whatever reason I'll be sure to give them another look.

~~~
For anyone looking for photos from this weekend I'm going to be bundling them in a gallery with next weekend's events. They'll be up before Xmas :)

jalbum

Dec. 13th, 2008 07:01 pm
marsden_online: (Default)
So, what have we accomplished today?
Tagged an album
One load of laundry
Watched PotCIII, so have now seen all of them
Messed around with jalbum enough to know it's not going to do what I want.

It is quite a nice piece of software and it would probably work well for [livejournal.com profile] slothphil's style of gallery but for my current requirements:
Commenters must have a jalbum.net account - fail (too niche essentially)
No tagging - fail
- facial labelling via Polar Rose (beta) is not a substitute.
-> Can't specify areas to tag if the service hasn't decided it's a face, and it only really picks up good front on shots anyway. Results on my test gallery were poor.
-> Searching on a name does not return a particularly useful gallery, only linked crop-shots of the faces.
-> I don't see kaosians in general being happy to have their names plugged into the Polar Rose search engine as data

So back to the search. What else is out there?

~~~
[Edit]
Update to requirements: multi-word tags. Capitalisation in tagging would also be nice. I've been -so- taking that for granted.

On photos

Dec. 10th, 2008 09:23 pm
marsden_online: (Default)
I've been working on Operation Spartacus tonight, but I can't be bothered tagging the 100-something photos right now. I was being fairly harsh by my standards in eliminating as well.

Since I've decided that this New Years is the cutoff for moving to a new photo-hosting service (not moving the existing albums (6200+ pics according to LJ) and continuing to upload historical sets to LJ while I have space) I'm examining services again.

Pre-reqs:
- tagging
- commenting
-> this/ external tagging is why I'm not just expanding my storage on LJ
- cheap - I'm prepared to spend a bit of money, but not very much, especially since I'm not making any from this :D
- mass upload app

Nice-to-haves
- visitors can add tags
- skinnable
- relative obscurity of galleries
-> LJ is ideal for this. I'm not sure I'm comfortable on behalf of the people I take photos of with the 'broadcast' (explore) tendancies of most photo-hosting sites I've looked at - I'm having trouble finding security settings which allow you to restrict the content of a gallery being pushed out if it's listed as public
-> eg google's unlisted galleries would serve if I could create a public gallery page listing them to point people at as I do now.
-> it's the big strike against Flickr
- sub-galleries / gallery-galleries for categorisation by year (again, as I do now)
- Cooliris support

jalbum.net (which I found by looking at RPG Motivation Posters) looks very nice, and I just found the bit that says you can upload to other hosts so I'm pulling that down to look at it's sub-gallery options if any. the cost of a reasonable amount of storage space at jalbum.net itself is a bit offputting.

I'm thinking about picking up a cheap domain name and hosting somewhere (ie stateside) using an open-source gallery. Haven't really costed it yet, but suspect it'll turn out expensive. Also not sure I want to trust a random hosting company, especially since I don't keep the smaller versions I upload on my computer. Google/Picasa has an advantage here in that I could keep all my tags etc locally on the main images as well, but I don't know how well it would handle the resize-upload-delete local scenario. I suspect it will throw a hissy fit.

72photos, which I looked at a while ago is still slow in any browser. I've ditched it from the list.

I've been fiddling with jalbum some more (while post sits here partially written). It's pretty good - even generates RSS feeds that cooliris picks up on. Doesn't have tagging inbuilt, but it looks like there is a plugin, if I can make it work. I'd have to start keeping a local mirror, but I suppose storage is cheap and I have barely dented the 500G External yet.

Tired now. Past bedtime. More tomorrow.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Paypal's automatic feedback collector asks
What could we have done to improve your satisfaction from Neutral to Very Satisfied?
It's a good thing they allowed more than 1000 characters....
Simply answering the question would have helped, instead of assuming an action I wanted taken and providing an overwordy explanation of why this action couldn't be done.
Some mention of the user-interface problem with your feedback form I pointed out as an aside would have been nice.

Rewrite your form letter (possibly using somone who understands how to use and communicate in english, not just speak it and has read a customer-service manual about validating the customers feelings) to sound less condescendingly over-helpful, especially when you're not in fact helping.

Configure your email sending program so that the email actually comes from 'Paypal customer service' or such rather than 'webform'. I almost dismissed it unopened as phishing spam based on that.

You might want to look at doing that for your feedback-soliciting email as well - it shows up as paypal.feeback because that's the address you've chosen with echosurvey but at least 'paypal' is in there. Even the full email address (eg service@intl.paypal.com as in a reciept I received from your service recently) is an improvement.

See also my LJ post on the event http://marsden-online.livejournal.com/545725.html for a bit more on how you could improve your service.


Why are you not sure whether or not your issue was resolved?
While my question was answered (albeit indirectly) and I have taken steps to (hopefully) prevent the issue affecting me again in the future I have no indication that Paypal is taking any steps to improve the 'feature' that caused the issue to prevent other customers inconvenience from the same sort of unexpected subscription termination in the future.
marsden_online: (skull)
So the credit-card attached to my Paypal account reached it's expiry date and thus they removed it Not intrinsically a problem, although 'Oh, I must update the expiry on this card # with paypal" wasn't exactly the first thsing to cross my mind when my renewed card arrived a month ago.

However they also automatically cancelled the subscription it was used to pay. I contacted their help desk to find out if this was the usual procedure, to recieve a very condescending and poorly formed email in reply basically telling me yes it was, suck it up and deal with it.

Not 'we realise this is a user-unfriendly part of our system, we're looking at ways to hold subscriptions open until their next due date so the paypal member has a chance to update the payment method' or anything like that.

I've put a reminder in my calendar for next time my card is due to renew, but based on the information in the email about how the system works I'm not sure I'll actually be able to update it's expiry date without first removing the old one - and hence cancelling any subscriptions.

In two years of course it may be a moot point - that's a looooong time on the intarwebs.
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
I get all excited by news of Picasa 3's automated face recognition and tagging, only to discover that a) it's not part of the Picasa desktop application and b) it[s only available to US users of your web albums!

You almost had me!
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Anyone know if skype phones will accept more than one account simultaneously?

I can persuade windows to run two instances of Skype if I want/need to be logged into both my accounts, but it's one of the factors hindering my desire to go landline-less.

(I'm looking at the unlimited national calls for 3.95 Euros a month including skype-in number and comparing this to the $36/month my landline costs me, and drooling. Since TelstraClear hasn't been forthcoming with VOIP packages for the residential customer on their cable network (no money in it for them I guess) it's time to seriously look elsewhere.)

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