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  • Twitter lost the plot?

    I’ve always had Twitter’s widget on my main screen on my Android phone. Some days back I noticed it showing weird tweets from accounts I do not follow, but it took a while until I read the small print.

    image

    Are you fucking kidding me? If Twitter think their widget will remain on my home screen when they blatantly abuse my screen real estate then they really have lost their marbles. I removed the widget 1 second after creating the above screen shot, and if I see any other attempts to push ads down my throat, then the app will go too. In reality removing the widget probably mean I’ll never check Twitter anyway, so the damage is already done.

    Bye bye Twitter.



  • Lenovo Down the Drain

    For years I had a weakness for IBM Thinkpad’s.  They were never very sexy but they were build like a tank and IBM’s service was always quite good.  A couple of years back my Eee PC crapped out and to replace it I bought a Lenovo Ideapad to replace it.  Granted, the Ideapad wasn’t a Thinkpad but at least it was from the same company that actually build the Thinkpads.

    Now, I should probably mention at this time that I don’t run Windows, so unlike Windows users I don’t really have to replace my hardware once a year.  My two year old Ideapad still run quite well, so there’s absolutely no reason to replace it.  That is – there were no reason until today.

    Two years old, the battery in the Ideapad is giving up.  It’s a 6-cell one and when the Ideapad was new, battery life was quite nice (around 6 hours with more than enough to charge my phone now and then).  Today, Linux announced that the capacity was down to about 30 % and that is really not enough to be productive, so I decided to get myself a new battery.

    First let me repeat that the original battery life was around 6 hours, so I really did not want some unoriginal Chinese copy nonsense, but decided to get an original replacement – even though that would probably set me back a small fortune.  So I went down to the local IT warehouse (Low Yat Plaza) and approached all the “authorized” Lenovo shops there (and there are quite a few of them).  Without exception the story was the same – they could not help me with a replacement battery, but they were quite happy to sell me an overpriced Chinese copy battery.  After 4-5 shops I’d had enough, so I decided to call Lenovo in Malaysia.  After a while I managed to get through to a girl called Mei-Ling.  Unfortunately the best advice she could give me was to try more shops in Low Yat.  Even when I suggested it, Mei-Ling absolutely refused to make a few calls on her own to locate a battery for me.  She also couldn’t really grasp why I found it bizarre that the authorized Lenovo outlets tried to push copy crap down my throat.

    After some explaining, I finally did manage to make Mei-Ling understand that I expected some service from Lenovo and she promised to find out where I should go and call me back.  40 minutes later – having heard nothing back from Mei-Ling – I went home.  Once home, I called Lenovo again and managed to get the same person again.  This time I did admittedly raise my voice a bit and made it crystal clear that if Mei-Ling did NOT figure out how to get a replacement battery, she would be able to read the story online the next day.  Mei-Ling once more promised to return my call, and once more – surprise surprise – I heard nothing.

    So that is why I am writing this blog post now.  Lenovo have gone from being a hallmark of quality and service to being – well – exactly the opposite.  I have today wasted several hours trying to get a replacement battery for my Lenovo product only to be lied to by Lenovo’s own staff and their authorized dealers.

    I will never – I repeat never – purchase another Lenovo product!



  • Fraud in Broad Daylight

    I quite often go out for lunch and most of the time I don’t really pay any attention to the bill.  Today however, something caught my eye:

    wpid-IMG_20130619_095043.JPG

    Excuse me?  How can 17 + 1.70 + 1.02 come up to 20 exactly?  I normally never bother to carry around coins (they end up scratching my phone) and I would normally leave them behind, but I do appreciate that the choice is mine.

    28 cent is not a fortune and as mentioned I would probably leave it behind anyway.  But let’s play with that number a bit.  Let’s say this place over a day issue 200 bills (the place is quite popular both during lunch and in the evening so that is not far off and if it is off it is probably on the low side) that come up to more than 20000 ringgit a year.  Or we could look at the bill number and add that up, in which case it will come up to more than 15000.

    What is worse is – who are they actually cheating here.  Obviously they screw their customers for a tiny amount, but considering the fact that most customers would probably leave those coins behind, by putting it on the bill like that they actually cheat the staff for tips that would amount to more than 1000 ringgit a month.

    Granted, in the big picture this might seem a trivial detail, but that would be missing the point completely.  The point here is that some manager at Twenty-One actually thought this was a brilliant idea.  I refuse to believe any POS system would do rounding like this by default.  Someone made a decision that it was OK to cheat every single customer for a small amount, most likely expecting it to be so insignificant that nobody would notice or complain about it.  And why did they do that?  It is mind boggling really.  If they can’t be bothered with coins there’s a neat way around that – quote nett prices instead!

    So cheers twentyone baby, thanks for showing absolutely zero respect for your clients or your staff.

    Update:

    Just to verify that this wasn’t an one-off I dug up another bill from the same establishment:

    cheat2

    This one is actually a lot worse than the first one since it went on a credit card.  I am sorry but my credit card is perfectly capable of charging fractional amounts.

    Update:

    Today one of the staff did point out to me that this policy is mentioned on their menu.  While that does make it somewhat less fraudulent it really doesn’t make it acceptable.  What’s next – restaurants stating that all bills will be rounded up to the nearest 50 ringgit?



  • Big Brother is indeed watching

    I generally don’t have secrets, and still, sometimes Google’s knowledge about ones private life is really scary. I’m heading up to Langkawi for a few days, but I didn’t book the ticket, nor did I put the trip in my calendar, and yet, a few hours before leaving my Android phone informed me:

    image

    And that is essentially correct. The scary thing is how deep Google had to dig to figure this one out. Essentially the only way is that the itinerary was forwarded to my email account. Even if I haven’t got much to hide this is getting a tad close for comfort.



  • State of IPv6

    I have been considering upgrading to IPv6 for years but I was always held back a bit because none of the service providers I have access to support IPv6 natively.  In other words, in order for me to use IPv6 I would have to go through a tunnel broker and something in the back of my head just screamed “SLOW”.

    Now I have gone through the process anyway and I am in fact quite surprised about the speed.  Where I had expected a massive slow down in fact some sites are noticeable quicker through my IPv6 tunnel.  This is because my service provider (Telekom Malaysia) while fairly quick inside Malaysia has got incredible slow international lines.  In fact – usually the only international line that is reasonable quick is the one to Singapore.  Fortunately the tunnel provider has got a POP in Singapore, so I reckon that I take advantage of the fact that Singapore got much faster international connectivity and the fact that tunnel provider itself got a massively quick international backbone.

    Anyway – that is not really what I wanted to write about here.  What I wanted to write about is the sorry state of IPv6 deployment.  Going through Alexa’s top-100 sites it is quite shocking how few are actually using IPv6.  Google is about the only one that is consistently dual-stacked (ie. both IPv4 and IPv6).  Facebook claim to be running IPv6 but it works so poorly that it is unusable.

    Noticeable sites that do not use IPv6 at all (and all from top-100) are:

    • Amazon
    • BBC
    • Yahoo
    • Baidu
    • Windows Live
    • LinkedIn
    • Ebay
    • Bing
    • WordPress

    The list does not end there – this was just some of the more surprising examples.

    Personally I am shocked – there’s no other word for it.  We’re talking companies who’s core business is the Internet and yet – knowing that they could help push the Internet in the right direction, the only two companies that are consistently supporting IPv6 is Google and Wikipedia (yes Facebook tried a bit but it is not working – in fact they got documentation online on how to disable IPv6 if Facebook is slow).

    Anyway – cow.dk – including this blog – is of course 100 dual stacked and if you got IPv6 enabled, you are in fact browsing it using IPv6 right now.



  • What are they wearing under the cloak?

    My dad was working as a parish priest.  In Denmark that means wearing a somewhat silly cloak like this:

    I remember him telling me that people often jokingly asked if they were wearing trousers under the cloak.

    This weekend I was invited for a catholic wedding in Malacca Malaysia.  Some Australian guy marrying a local Malaysian girl (obviously from Malacca).  The church from the 18th century was actually quite nice and I managed to shoot this picture from my cam phone:

    Now – let me try to zoom in a bit on this picture:

    Well, trousers perhaps, but it would appear that catholic priests in Malaysia don’t really bother with shoes.

    Now, please don’t get me wrong.  Personally I actually think this is very very cool, but I am willing to bet almost anything that the Aussie guy – as far as I know first time in Malaysia – did NOT expect to be married by a barefoot priest :)

    Google



  • It’s a Mad Mad World

    I walk into a cafe and pull out my trusty netbook.  It is actually rather small, it is light weight, it’s got a very very nice almost full-size keyboard (we’re talking Lenovo quality here – which they didn’t invent but inherited from IBM), it can run for ages without a charge, it is hugely quick and I can do just about anything on it that I can on my desktop (albeit on a slightly more cramped display), can run flash, can run java – can run anything I choose.  Two years back that was the hottest thing, now people actually stare at me like “why the fuck is he carrying around that antique” (no, the pic is the same model – it’s not mine).

    All around me people are sitting with their iPads, Samsung Notes, Galaxy Tabs and what have you not, awkwardly trying to hold the device while typing on the screen, joggling around a cup of latte and a cigarette – not an easy task apparently. Inevitably some of these get fed up trying to joggle all this at the same time and put the damn thing on the table with some stand containing a bluetooth keyboard.  And they got what?  Two devices that combined together still haven’t got half the functionality that my netbook have, cost about 4 times more and is a hell of a lot more awkward than my netbook – that has been designed quite well to stand unaided on a table in front of me leaving my hands free to do whatever I want.

    It’s a mad mad world.