MikeVx’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 11:24am

    Well, it looks like I can't get the course.

    Surprisingly, I got a response to my request for support.

    I don't like to say things like this, but the sender had no clue whatever how payment systems work. I was being told to try different browsers, different locations, and other irrelevant things. I found that the company was sending zero-charge transactions to the banks. Many banks will error out on that, and there is nothing I can do about it.

    I was told that if all else fails, Use PayPal.

    That is about as nasty as you can get.

    The value on the courses is enough that I was even willing to compromise a credit card by running a transaction, then change the number later, but PayPal was requiring me to create an account with them to complete the transaction.

    A universe of no.

    The state of online payment systems appears to be deteriorating, rather than improving.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 8:24pm

    Neat if it would take my money.

    I've discovered a problem with the payment system in the deals section. It will not accept any card number I give it. I've sent a message to support, but since they only operate M-F 9-5, the deal on the charging system will expire before they can look into it. The code courses will be neat, if I can get them.

    In an internet-enabled world, bankers hours support is not a good thing.

  • Dec 11th, 2014 @ 3:58pm

    Defending the indefensible

    If a business depends on advertising, at either end of the process, the model is not so much broken as disintegrated.

    If ads ever had any legitimacy, that is no longer the case. Anything people might want to learn about in the way of products and services can be found via any decent search engine. If you feel the need to shove your product into my face, that tells me you don't think it capable of standing on merits. If you don't think much of it, why should I?

  • Nov 24th, 2014 @ 8:43pm

    At long last!

    I've been crabbing for a decade or so that encrypted traffic should be the only option, it's nice to see the net finally starting to get to where it should have been long ago.

  • Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:20pm

    One fast way for this to go south...

    If they file a complaint against Sailor Moon projects for the use of "Sailor Scouts".

    I don't think there's enough legal power in the world to protect the BSA from a continent or three of pissed-off anime fans.

    Some people might think I'm kidding, but the fastest growth in genre conventions right now is in Anime, and a few conventions making a policy of "if the BSA has been there, we won't be" could limit the BSAs activities exclusively to forests and campsites, as the hotels don't want to be on the black lists of single events that need 3 or more hotels plus a convention center for what constitutes a "sparsely-attended" event.

  • Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Alternatives to lavabit.com?

    Clicked link, got blank page. Can't capture much from that, at least.

  • Apr 9th, 2013 @ 6:17pm

    This is nothing new...

    Many years ago, I got a call from Comcast, the rep was raving about the new service levels and features being made available. I interrupted the rep and asked:

    "So when is Americast rolling out service?"

    [several awkward seconds of silence]

    "Three months."

    Americast was what is now WOW, unless they have changed hands and I haven't noticed. I had some incidents of being billed by them when I didn't even have service, and they wouldn't talk to me.

    The point is that there is nothing new in service improving only when competitors exist. I went with Americast at the time because it was a better deal.

    Some years later I cut the cord because logos had contaminated TV everywhere and TV service had ceased to have value.

  • Apr 5th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Raises hand.

    Hand, foot, eyebrows, blood pressure. :-)

    Actually, that last is going down because I don't have to deal with web screens that are more garbage than anything else. I've seen what the web looks like on non-blocked computers, how can people stand it, and how can the data overages not destroy them from the ads being 90+% of the page data?

    Ad blocking is just simple security practice. Aside from ads being a form of fraud in and of themselves, ad networks are infested with malware to an insane degree. If I service a computer, an ad blocker is mandatory, you are getting at least one, or I will not waste my time trying to fix your system.

    Since Google has placed their revenue over the security of their users, root your Android device, find F-Droid, get Ad-Away, update every now and then.

  • Mar 7th, 2013 @ 9:02pm

    Interface choices

    I have been using Xfce on Slackware for the past decade or three. The infestation is felt even there as the clutter level goes up with each new release.

    For all the faults of Windows 7 (a complete description of which would consume more storage than there is mass in the universe), it is at least usable (for very forgiving uses of the term) for several things at once, if given absurd quantities of resources.

    I will push any device or system to the edge, but the previews of Windows 8 were so utterly useless that I actually gave up on it completely. I can get more productivity out of 3.1. Heck, I can get more productivity out of DOS 5.whatever and a copy of DESQview. I actually did that back in the day.

    While they've given up this time, I expect that the issue of pay-us-forever will continue to to creep along until there is no pay-once software from Microsoft.

    One of many reasons why I use Linux for most of my doings, and only use Windows (carefully locked away in virtual machines for my own system) for device synchronization or when people pay me to work with it.

  • Jan 11th, 2013 @ 4:13pm

    The definition of "Unfair Competition"

    Competition is always unfair when you are the loser.

  • Dec 6th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Re: Extreme Making Up Words.

    Thanks. I've actually told the author that there was some overlap on the Sniglets audience into his sort of craziness. He thinks this is a totally different target. We'll see.

    The title is:

    Goofilinguage - A Collection of Very Silly Words by Bruce Jaffe.

    At the moment, only on Amazon, other outlets being worked on.

  • Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

    Extreme Making Up Words.

    A friend of mine has gone on an extreme kick of making up silly words with sillier definitions and has even published them in an e-book dictionary. He's trying the tactic of promoting on Facebook with iffy results.

    I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to name it here (I'll check back later for comments) but I will say that if you are curious, visiting a popular sales site named for a large river and searching on "very silly words" makes it easy to find. Getting it on other e-book sites is being worked on, but if nothing has gone wrong, there is no DRM to interfere with migrating it to your choice of reader. I was able to convince the author that irritating your customer base was not a great idea.

    So far the CwF is going well, the RtB, not so much, but this is an experiment. Whether it works or not, we'll find out.

  • Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Wat?

    "reasonable legal system".

    This the US, you should know better.

    Also, the point addressed in your last sentence is the ultimate goal of all industries based on the fiction known as IP. While you specify patents, copyright is in there also.

    The position held by the industries is: We own it forever, you owe us when you use it, every time you use it, there is no safe level of remove to escape owing us.

  • Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Infringing on gobbledygook

    UV curing is very old technology, my dentist has been curing fillings with UV for well over a decade. Either these guys own the patent on the fillings in my teeth, they are infringing on another patent, or someone screwed up somewhere because there should only be one patent for UV curing, the rest should have been dumped.

  • Nov 6th, 2012 @ 6:36pm

    Well, he can always adapt this experience into a Mallworld story...

    Irritating a music director who is also a successful science-fiction writer is kind of like donning a red shirt and walking into a phaser fight.

    I wondered why I hadn't heard of him for a decade or two. This has to be a lot more interesting than leaving warped messages on my answering machine. (Yes, it was really that far back the last time I spoke to him.)

    I saw the name and had to DuckDuckGo it because I figured the odds of there being two of that name were rather long, and yes, it's the same guy.

  • Nov 6th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

    More electoral clutter...

    I keep telling people that they need to vote for who they think is best suited for the job, and I always get that they don't want to waste their vote. How is it not a waste if you vote for someone you don't think is qualified just so that you voted for the winner?

    As far as I am concerned, any vote for the two big parties is the wasted vote. Unless the big boys feel threatened, the overall condition of the US will continue to deteriorate, because there are no differences of any significance between the parties.

    I say, if you can't figure out someone from lesser parties based on what you can learn, which the big players also make as difficult as possible, then pick some smaller party candidate at random and vote for them. If the entrenched players are not deprived of political oxygen, they will continue to screw things up.

  • Oct 18th, 2012 @ 9:14pm

    Makes me wish I still lived in a house with a fireplace...

    Then I could get some use out of all this rubbish that ends up on my doorstep or in my mailbox. about 98% of what I get in the mail, or on the porch, never gets into the house, I just drop it in the yellow bin and haul the bin to the curb when full.

  • Sep 24th, 2012 @ 6:13pm

    So I'm a subversive influence now...

    Fortunately I don't think that subverting an expectation is prosecutable. Unless Hollywood has managed to copyright it, which, given some of the heavily-promoted turkeys that have come out over the years, might just be possible.

  • Sep 16th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Typo pointer.

    Mike, you let a typo loose in the entry title. There is no R in daft.

  • Sep 4th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    Airport "Security"

    Pre-9/11 airport security destroyed air travel as far as I'm concerned, I hadn't flown for several years before 9/11 precisely because the level of nonsense was intolerable back then.

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