From a recent dealing with an individual on eBay, I figured out how easy it is for someone to scam another person on eBay, without the usual tricks of cheque fraud, escrow services and other similarly well documented tricks. No forget all of that, instead all that is required is a tracking number and eBay's utterly useless chimps in customer service will side with the seller.
After purchasing a job lot of processors (for £29), the seller claimed to have sent the items to me. Furnishing me with a DHL tracking number that doesn't work on DHL's website but rather through Parcels2Go, it clearly states it wasn't delivered to my address and was picked up by some bloke who doesn't even exist on the street. So obviously I take this up with eBay, providing them with evidence that clearly states that the item was not delivered to the address I had asked.
The response after appealing the first decision that went against me? eBay cannot overturn the verdict because a valid tracking number was provided.
Yes, you read right, a tracking number that not only doesn't work on the courier's website but on a third party website and one that shows, clearly, that the package has not be delivered to the right address.
So if you want to scam people on eBay as the 'auction' site simply hires chimps that obviously don't know their arse from their elbow then provide a valid tracking number. Hell send it to yourself, eBay won't care.
I pray for the day a company with enough clout to challenge eBay and its payment service, Paypal, comes out and kicks this once useful website into the annals of web history.
Some Texan moron who felt violated that his daughter was asked to reveal text messages on her phone has sued the county's school district for over $7 million.
Believing that his little princess's constitutional rights had been violated, Mr John Beaird naturally thought it would be right to sue. Why not? After all, MacArthur High School or perhaps MacArthur Prison Camp as Mr Beaird would have you believe, only asked his little ankle biter, Madelyn, to fork over her mobile phone in order to eliminate her from an investigation.
The investigation was prompted after officials from MacArthur High got wind of minor fracas involving keyed cars and, naturally this being in Texas, a gun. Initially the school thought the doe-eyed Madelyn was involved, proceeding to question her and search the contents of her phone.
This was the final straw for daddy. Upon hearing of the flagrant disregard for his cherished daughter's right to bare a phone, Mr Beaird declared all out war, slapping the Independent School District (ISD) with a lawsuit and claiming over $7 million in damages.
As to how the doting father reached the figure of $7 million, well that's a story best told by the hero of hour himself. "I remember back when hot coffee was spilled in the McDonald's law suit. They were awarded $4.5 million. I said you know, I guess a constitutional right is worth at least $4 million today." There you have it, Mr Beaird putting a value on the very fabric of American life.
And what about the victim of the heinous crime? It seems the sight of four figures of authority caused Madelyn to shut her claptrap. "I knew they could not do it but I was kind of scared to ask for it back because you know I was like there were three principals and a police officer." Of course you were dear, now skip along and play with your marbles.
The ISD told the local rag that there was "reasonable cause for the district to search the phone" and that the school had got permission from all students involved. It also rubbished Mr Beaird's claims but did offer to reimburse his little treasure's phone, as it had not been returned.
While Mr Beaird wonders what his next money spinning move would be, the majority of other American parents would be grateful to know that a school would investigate a matter that relate to guns in schools. Mr Beaird on the other hand would prefer to use his daughter as a pawn in furthering his own bank balance.
The shameless advertising of the Ipad is not what I pay my license fee for.
Also Jonathan Legard is utterly useless as a commentator, a luddite's view on racing. Makes a motor race sound like a horse race with his rambling guff, adding little to what a viewer sees on screen.
He does a very passable job of sounding like a twat, so if he isn't, maybe he should consider a job as an actor.
Piss off and let Martin Brundle take over.
Scott Ison has finally decided to call it quits, with his sham of a registrar at long last showing an "out of business" sign.
The Jumpdomain site now simply tells people to move away, which is what people should have done ages ago, if they could. No links to other parts of the site are available but the site does exist behind the useless index.html.
My original advice on how to move away from Jumpdomain still remain in place and I had contact with eNom in the past week who were again very quick in handing over an EPP code.
Unsurprisingly the shyster, Ison, offers no help and frankly I hope someone decides to take legal action against this guy to try and set a precedent for registrars to take responsibility against doing these sorts of things in the future. I was lucky and didn't lose any money but there are stories of people who lost domains and more directly, money, thanks to this conman.
Don't expect any flowers Ison, I hope your other job as a lying, money grabbing lawyer ends up hitting the buffers. You deserve it.
A few months back Sky phoned up saying they have a special offer on Sky Movies and Sky Sports for a tenner a month combined. The offer would last for three months and then revert back to the "great price" of £35 per month. So I thought we'd take it for three months and then remove it. All good so far.
Two and a bit months down the line we put in our notice to remove the Sky Movies and Sky Sports and the guy on the phone says lets see what we can do. After some posturing he says that we could have it for £37 per month, all in.
Two more months down the line I look at my bank statement and find that they are charging me £54 and £68 a month for the past two months. I phone up and speak to a lady, who to her credit wasn't trying to fob me off and explained to me that the guy I spoke to two months back meant £37 for the first set-top-box and that I had to pay another £20 for the two other boxes so the total was supposed to be £57. I mentioned that they didn't take that amount either of the months so far and I never agreed to such a thing.
After somewhat admitting the mistake/false selling of her colleague they offered us a crappy deal in which there is no sports or movie channels (fine by me) for £31 per month for six months. This was only after I said that I wanted to leave and asked her what notice period was required.
I would suggest that even if you haven't had any billing problems from these News Corp crooks, just phone them up and say you are leaving. See what deal you can get, you might just save a few bob.
My mistake was trusting a company that has a egomanical twat at the helm.
Last month I ordered a few t-shirts from Threadless, a store which gets normal people to design t-shirts and pays them if they appear on the store. Some of the designs are excellent so I decided to order four. I had them delievered to the UK (Threadless are an American company), knowing full well that I would most probably have to pay import duty. Considering the whole order was around $38 I expected maybe £5 on import duty.
Fast forward a month and I get a slip through my door from Royal Mail saying that I have to go to the local Post Office to pick up a package and pay almost £13 for it. That stunned me a little but what was I going to do, leave my purchase until it got returned to the US?
A Royal rip-off
So I went and I paid. What really pissed me off was that out of the £13 or so quid, £8 was a Royal Mail "handling charge". What the hell is the postage charge for then? The duty was as I had expected, around the £5 mark (below actually) but this handling charge simply takes the biscuit.
Not only did it take Royal Mail a month to deliver the item (Threadless posted it two days after my order) but according to this most of the delay was when it arrived on the UK side (big surprise). I understand that there were strikes due to lazy postmen/postwomen asking to safeguard their basic jobs (why not deal with it like everyone else and try and get qualified or be pushed out?) but the charge was wholly disgraceful. Lets hope the strikes helped the other courier firms gain more of a foothold in the industry. More competition is needed because Royal Mail is simply a disgrace to the nation.
Expansys, a large mobile phone seller is a company that I've recommended to many - though most baulk at the thought of dropping 200 quid or more on a unsubsidised phone. In the past I've heard back from those I recommended Expansys to with nothing but compliments so when it came to me ordering a phone (for my father) I went over there straight away.
After my father made his decision (which took longer than one would think) the Nokia 6110i was ordered and delivery was very prompt, within one working day. No complaints so far. Until my father opened the CityLink pack which held the phone. This is what he was greeted with.
Not the best sight when you open a package
It doesn’t get much better if you remove the cover
In the flesh it's much worse, with the box torn and essentially falling apart. I have no doubt that when it left Expansys the box was in perfect condition, but why on Earth would you ship it in what is a plastic bag with no cushioning/padding? Even a couple of layers of bubble wrap would have been fine.
My father was extremely angry and phoned Expansys within five minutes of taking delivery and the RMA procedure has been started. Lets hope it goes smoothly (you'll certainly hear about it if it doesn't).
All in all I'm very disappointed with Expansys because spending an extra Pound on some bubble wrap would save all this hassle.
As I look to book my hotel for the 2010 CES show in Las Vegas, it striked me that it's a relatively affordable place to stay - if you go on off season when there are no massive conventions/conferences. Where else would you get 5* luxury for around £100/night? The rest of the place may not be so cheap but hotel rooms aren't too bad if you want to go.
However as is common hotels ramp up prices when you really need to be there (i.e. not just for a jolly). So gone are the £100 luxury and incomes £100 for garbage, dirty rooms. Much as I would love to blame the hotelliers in Vegas it's even more common here in Europe, especially in Germany where once I paid around £300/night for a room during CeBit which, according to the little slip you find on the back of hotel room doors or wardrobes was supposed to rent for £65/night. Disgusting. There should really be laws against this, especially by local authorities who get a boost to their economy from the extra numbers who fly from all corners of the globe to be in their town.
As for Vegas, sadly the luxury of the Wynn experienced in August will be a distant memory with the nightmares of Circus Circus more likely.
Note: I posted this on 22 June but due to my server having some serious issues posts between May and July were wiped. Thankfully I managed to find a google cache of it. Since this may be of help to people stranded with Jumpdomain's rubbish service I decided to repost. Below is my original post, unchanged.
-- Original post --
Chances are you found this post through some search engine and you already have domains with Jumpdomain and are worried about not being able to get away from this useless company. Well, all is not lost and this is how I managed to get away from Jumpdomain. The first thing you should know (if you don’t already) is that DON’T use Jumpdomain. There are other registrars at similar prices who actually provide customer service. I repeat (in bold but this really should be shouted) DON’T USE JUMPDOMAIN. First here’s some background - scroll down if you just want to find out how I left them.
I originally found out about Jumpdomain through a Web hosts’ forum (I won’t advertise them as they too are rubbish). Anyhow I registered around 30 domains with Jumpdomain from 1999-2000 and some weren’t important and I let expire. After 2001 I found another registrar (an actual registrar not a reseller like Jumpdomain) called Joker and since then I have been using them. I transferred most of my domains over but I still had three (all important ones) at Jumpdomain. In the last decade (less actually) ICANN started a policy of registrars having to issue EPP/Auth codes before the domain can be transferred away. That’s fine but your code must be given by your current registrar. This is where Jumpdomain comes to the rescue (or rather to kick you over the cliff).
The problem is Jumpdomain is a one man operation which used to be run by Scott A. Ison. I say used because one day (sometime after 2005 as I did get a tiny bit of support from him in mid 2005) he decided it would be better to leave it to the professionals and thought it would be okay to leave hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people in the lurch by not caring to do any work for his fees. Of course he is a lawyer so this would come second nature to him. I should just say I have nothing against one man operations, many sole traders do a good honest days work and provide excellent service/products, however it is people like Mr Ison who give everyone a bad name.
So when you ask for an EPP code he doesn’t reply. I’ve read stories (easily found through Google) of people having their domains expire because of this moron. Thankfully I had months left before mine expired but nevertheless I wanted out from this “operation”. So when I requested for my EPP/auth code, I of course got nothing back from him. ICANN rules say that the registrar must give the code within four days of initial request. There is no real support email address just a ticket system which he ignores. Apparently there is a telephone number but that isn’t answered. However you could try this law offices, here’s the website. Just take it as a given that you won’t hear from Scott in those four days (or four decades). So this is what I did to get away from this guy.
I’m assuming you’ve tried to contact Scott but got no where. So here’s what I did. Jumpdomain are a reseller for eNom and eNom are surprisingly helpful.
1) Go to eNom Central and create an account - it will ask you for your credit card details but these are optional, leave them blank (unless you want to use eNom as your registrar but be warned they are expensive)
2) Use this form to contact eNom - they will probably ask you for your eNom Central login or include it in your initial correspondance saying you want it transferred to this account (which is what they will offer to do) - it’s free.
3) eNom are very good in giving out the EPP codes - it’s one click on their control panel and then you get an email within a few minutes. I then used this to transfer all my domains to Joker (ironic really as Jumpdomain are the jokers in this tale of woe).
If you really want to give Mr Ison a piece of your mind then here are his contact details from his website (I doubt you will get to speak to him though):
1200 NW Jefferson Court
Blue Springs , MO 64015
Phone: (816) 295-0444
Fax: (816) 295-0445
The most important thing is to get hold of eNom as quickly as possible. They aren’t too bad in my (limited) experience and certainly better than Jumpdomain/Scott Ison. I hope you have luck in moving your domains over.
To summarise, don’t use Jumpdomain. Don’t register with them and certainly don’t even think about hosting with them. I also believe eNom should automatically take all the domains he resold under their control - if you contact them, mention this point as why should this greedy lawyer get money for doing nothing and putting your brand/domain/whatever at risk because he wants to earn money while sleeping.
Anyhow I’m happy my domains are with a company who have been excellent for the past seven years and if you want me to recommend you a registrar, Joker.com is the one I use.
It really pisses me off when people think it is a good idea to put their certifications in the signature of their email. Why? Are you that desperate to show you know something that you need to put a few letters on the bottom of your email in order to make you look like a prat?
What's worse is the addition of "Honours" - all bloody degrees these days are Honours degrees. The chances are if you need to tell someone your qualifications you aren't going to do it in the signature of your email. Stop being pretentious and thinking that because you have a degree you are somewhat better than the person receiving the email.
Boston is cold. -21C is something else and for the first time in my life I was able to say that London has better weather than somewhere else. Shocking. Still unlike London, the roads are driveable and generally work continues. London really should take some lessons from Boston.
In typical Crapple fashion the Dual Link DVI adaptor that Macbook users need but wasn't included is still not available, well over a month after Macbooks started shipping. Not only that but the Apple Store website in the UK has now increased the cost of the adaptor to £68 from £60. And yet they still say "3-4 weeks" shipping time. Honestly any other retailer, and this crap would have sent them out of business.
Frankly such an adaptor should have been included, certainly in the more expensive Macbook Pros. But oh no. Crapple need to make their money by peddling their own standards.
Sort of. Just booked my tickets to Los Angeles on Virgin Atlantic. Typically I would never fly anything other than economy (infact I've only flown business class three times in my life and two of those times were free upgrades on Emirates and the third time didn't count as it was an atrious airline), however this time I was set to sit in the middle of the back for a 11 hour 30 minute flight. This means asking someone to move everytime I need to stand up. This is fine except my legs are somewhat disproportionately longer than they should be.
So I upgraded to "Premium Economy" one way (as I'm coming back from Boston and have a lovely seat already). I'm somewhat curious to see what it's like up there because having flown Virgin to and from Japan (a longer flight than LHR -> LAX) and to the US East Coast three times in the last year, I was (and still am) very happy with their economy class service. However I need my space so I had to pay for it. It damn well better be good...
Although I have quite specific views on Apple I do purchase a lot of kit. Not all of it is perfect but what I do purchase I generally like, though not wholly. So here's a list of how I contributed to the Apple Empire.
1x Powerbook G4 1GHz
1x MacBook Air 1.8GHz SSD
1x MacBook Pro 2.8GHz SSD
3x 30" Apple Cinema Display
1x Apple iPhone
1x Apple iPhone 3G
I also own a number of non Apple pieces of hardware (PCs if you will) and my main workstation runs Vista (yes, Vista).
Obviously, the G4 is the oldest of the bunch but it served me very well for over five years. The Air is for travelling (which I do quite a lot of) and the MacBook Pro is my main machine in the Lab. It's a good bit of kit, more so now that the trackpad update has been released.
My screens are my pride and joy. I don't get to spend so much time with them now as most of my life is spent in the Lab with my MacBook Pro, but they are absolute joy to work with, especially when I'm doing photo post processing (the other kit dear to my heart is my Nikon D200 with my nicely growing collection of "pro glass").
iPhone 3G, well it's not bad but frankly it needs a faster processor. It still is the best phone OS by far, if only Apple would stop messing around and have a truly open platform for developers. Still, it means I don't have to carry a mobile and a music player which is good
Enough. You understand I like my kit.