Friday, December 22, 2006

PayPal induced my mouse rage

Once again PayPal was on the fritz. I tried to finish a purchase and this time I was just getting page timeout errors. I believe the specific error was 409, so there is a possibility my internet service provider was the problem. I was not having timeout errors anywhere else, and Speakeasy is really a great ISP so I doubt it. Any how, since the main page wouldn't even come up I was not able to finish my transaction.

Why do we put up with this? eBay has a strict monopoly on who they allow to be affiliates. Take the portable reputation that is free Rapleaf and what happened to them.

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't even use my papal account but for that it gets accepted nearly everywhere. The same cannot be said for Google Checkout.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

PayPal is broken - the after math

Based on my analytics traffic I am not the only one to receive the "Message 3004" error. I find this especially interesting as I am (at time of post) ranked 10th in the results on and one of the results that ranks higher than mine actually has a link to the answer. Unfortunately for me, that page would not have loaded when I was experiencing my trouble.

For those who cannot follow that link the summary is below (emphasis mine):

"Account Basics - Logging In - Error Messages

What is Error 3004?

Error 3004 is associated with the slow loading of some web pages on the PayPal website as we periodically upgrade our system to provide members with the best online transaction features available. Some customers may be unable to access the website or complete transactions for short periods of time.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience."

This is a similar message to the one that I got from my support email to Paypal. Unfortunately it does not well describe my the trouble that I was experiencing. I tried to logon from numerous locations, different computers, and different isp's. I tried on my home DSL connection, on my works DS3 connection and even on a 115kbs cellular data card. The common thread was me, not slow loading pages (though the page did load slowly). Given the low volume of issues that I have found with this (my blog post being so highly ranked being my evidence) it seems to me that some users that are low volume purchasers are being put into some kind of purgatory, and this may be related to the server upgrades it may not be. I have average about 5 Paypal transactions a year. Because of, I have received funds more than I have sent funds this year.

Paypal really needs to revise their information campaign, and that stinker of a hard to find 800 number needs to be fixed. 1-866-571-3012 (Monday - Saturday 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Sunday 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM PT)

On the whole, in a land of few (read about 6) online payment options other than credit card it is sad how PayPal has been allowed to languish. No one seems to want in, or more to the point the eBay/Paypal exclusive partnership makes it hard for any other online payment options to gain credibility.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

PayPal is broken -- Update


I cannot determine if my emails to eBay that were forwarded to Paypal helped, or if my unanswered emails to Paypal did it. But I got the following email from Paypal, and magically I can now log in.

"Dear Josh

Notification of Limited Account Access
We are contacting you to remind you that on 14 November our Account Review Team identified some unusual activity in your account. Therefore as a preventive measure we have temporary limited your access to sensitive features.

To update, please

Click Here "

I have a suspicion that this is related to my trying to logon about 30 times in a 10 minute period, with all different manner of password. Either way I was never able to get a hold of customer service for anything other than an automated email.

Good thing too, I was able to pay for my item (that I hope to see soon) and will probably start looking to not rely on Paypal.

Google needs to hurry the hell up with their Gbuy service, and make it to the start offering services similar to Paypal so I can take those adsense payments somewhere other than with the Jokers working at Paypal.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Virtualization is going the wrong way.

Virtualization and Cluster computing not doing it for me, NLB and heartbeat failover are just multiple servers taking turns. This goes boost uptime, and parallelize relatively static content (even many dynamic websites are relatively static updating only every few hours). Virtualization is a way to stuff more servers into a data center without having to have more machines; great for testing and Pre-Prod and from a support standpoint really nice, reboots are are unbelievably fast.

I see the value of these services, but I really want is a "virtual-cluster" I think that would be the best description of what I want. I want 1 machine spread across many computers. I want to be able to dynamically add capacity to a "Virtual Machine" by throwing more machines into the pool that are supporting this 1 "Virtual Machine". Keep in mind I don't want this for specific applications. Beowulf and other cluster computing platforms perform this. I am after general purpose computing spread across multiple computers. Think of this as peer-to-peer super computing.

I realize that this is not a likely reality for the moment, but this type of computing will really assist with the real time data intensive applications for our children's children. The types of applications that I see this useful for aren't what we use the idea for now like folding proteins, and checking for cancer results, or any of the other parallelized computing projects out there. In the data center environment, you would only phase out machines to get more power per sq inch. Older but serviceable machines would still have power to give to the grid that is powering what ever app is running on it. If you have a graphic designer, you don't need a $6000 machine for with physics cards, you need 5 $500 machines that could team.

For the basement web developer that accidentally grabs a hold of the long tail and designs a killer app, scaling would be graceful and relatively easy to manage. I realize that the external data bus would have to be fast. Don't we have PCI-E 16x eSATA cards now? isn't that a pretty fast external bus. Two computers could be joined with that as a high speed low latency bus. Two could be used to increase that speed... I am not saying that the software exists to leverage this, but it could. What about diskless heavily interconnected clients sharing an iSCSI target several machines that think like one. I can see how the communication could bet tricky with several machines (more than 3 or 5)and that this connectivity would be a mesh and web, or it could just be a chassis. The real winners in this model would be the blade market. They already are designing machines that share resources (power, and Ethernet) why not extend the metaphor and look for that computational performance gain? Connections between chassis would be much more manageable than between individual rack mounted servers. Right?

Monday, November 13, 2006

PayPal is broken

Right so I apparently only have 20 seconds of your attention so I will be brief, below is the first part of my account of some trouble I was having with PayPal. I assume that because you are here you are too.

Paypal support. If you call during business hours they do answer the phone.

1-866-571-3012 (Monday - Saturday 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Sunday 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM PT)

These pages are the continuation of the story if you care, otherwise I hope your troubles are resolved quickly.

Part 2
Part 3

So at some point in the last few weeks I started to getting the following whenever I try to access my account.

We are unable to complete your request at this time. Please click Retry or try again later. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Message 3004

Super. Normally this account only holds some low dollar amount, often $30 or less; so I wouldn't care too much. Unfortunately right now I do care...I won an item on eBay and I want to be able to pay for it. I thought that perhaps this was an unscheduled outage they do happen still, even to big companies. I went to my well of information for this sort of thing, and not a whisper of this on slashdot.

Right. I cannot possible be the only one having this problem, so I went to my wifes computer to check. Same result. I cleared the cache and cookies in Firefox and tried again; and again nothing. By this point I am a little annoyed, but it was late so I went to bed.

I tried again from work, and was still greeted with the friendly and informative message 3004. At this point I began to wonder if eBay hated Firefox, I couldn't imagine as there would likely be a riot. Not withstanding I tried with IE6; hello message 3004 (here to fore referred to as "bob")

I called my wife to see if I was the only one on the planet that was having this problem, and guess what she saw bob as well.

OK. Well at least it isn't only me, I was starting to think that bob was my imaginary friend. My brother gets a slightly different 3005 error, but still no go for me, my wife and my brother living in one house all cannot logon to the damn paypal site.

So the practical me decided to email paypal:


I am unable to logon to my Paypal account. My username is the same as the email address that I sending from. Below is the link info from my browser.

I am also attaching a screenshot. I don't know what to do, I have an auction that I have won but cannot pay for. Please advise. I am running windows xp home with latest patches (ie# included) I get this behavior on every pc in my house.

Please advise.

Hyperlink severely truncated and a little edited, but anonymity is ok even this day in age.

Anyhow I got a response that was very predictable:

"Dear Convictus,

Thank you for contacting PayPal Customer Service.

In an effort to assist you as quickly and efficiently as possible, please direct all customer service inquires through our website. Click on the hyperlink below to go to the PayPal website. After entering your email address and password, you can submit your inquiry via our Customer Service Contact form. If you indicate the type of question you have with as much detail as you can, we will be able to provide you with the best customer service possible.

If your email program is unable to open hyperlinks, please copy and paste this URL into the address bar of your browser.

If you are contacting PayPal because you are unable to log in to your account, please use the contact form below.

Thank you for choosing PayPal!"

Not amusing, please login to your account to report an issue with your logon trouble, have a nice day.

Well. Semi-thwarted, but undeterred I replied to them with additional information and specifically requested additional assistance from a human not a form generated brain dead response.

Thinking that it would be best to pursue additional avenues I decided to to try hitting up eBay for some assistancia as well.

To: eBay Customer Support
Subject: GS=C23002 Paying with PayPal [#US 30086T ?01 ]

Form Message %22301% 031200
Subject: GS=C23002 Paying with PayPal [#US 30086T ?01 ]

User Feedback: 45
User State: ?01

Browser Info: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1)
Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0

Buying and Finding > Paying for your item > Paying with PayPal

Message: 330044829567

every time I try to pay for my item I receive the following error.

We are unable to complete your request at this time. Please click Retry or try again later. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Message 3004

I am not sure what to do. Please help me complete the payment for my item"

Nice sweet and to the point, and the response:

"Dear Convictus,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to your PayPal account.

To help you as quickly and efficiently as possible, I've forwarded your email directly to a PayPal representative. We do this to ensure the security of your PayPal account information.

When you have PayPal inquiries, you'll get answers faster if you contact PayPal Customer Service directly. To reach PayPal Customer Service, log into your account and send a secure email through the following Web page:

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing eBay.

Steffan G.

eBay Customer Support"

Predictable, and again directing me to login to report my logon troubles. Sweet guys, but at least both companies tow the company line. What do you bet that paypal boys wrote the FAQ on dealing with paypal questions for the eBay people? Anyhow form generated cookie cutter crap was starting to wear thin so I thought a more direct route would assist in getting people to respond.

"Yeah for auto generated responses.

I already have tried support requests directly with paypal. They are returning me form generated emails telling me to logon to the site to work on account related issues(funny that my account issue is that I cannot logon to my account). Any way I contacted you in a vain hope that human beings still lived somewhere in this world that will read the email. Read the case, and see that I need to be helped in an "non-automated fashion"

Thanks though.

When I browse to the page that you directed me to I get the same Abort message 3004. I cannot access paypal. I am not joking when I say that any form of web support is not helping. I need a person to read this and realize that the systems that are in place are broken and not helping.

I cannot access paypal in any way shape or from using any browser. All I get from paypal is the message I relayed to you in my email.

I have cleared cache and cookies. I have tried running updates. I have tried it through secure web proxies in hope that is was an IP based denial.

I would appreciate help that involves a human."

Anyhow, this is the end of rant and I will update as I get more info, but I am not impressed with the lack of human touch. 3 emails in and not even a glimmer of hope to resolve my logon issues.

Tags: Digg!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Nice Job Dems, now what?

So, congratulations on your recent election relatively free of scandal and little else, other than saying "we are not Republicans." My question for the Dems is how will you parlay into an election in 08? Keep in mind this is a group that has God on their side, (forgiveness and all that) what is going to keep them from spending the rest of this year and all of next saying "We're sorry for the past wrongs, but we see the er of your ways and have resolved to walk the line. In our hearts we know that God will forgive us for being swayed into the life that the Democrats lead" (followed of course by a slew of Democrat outings of infidelity, Predatory behavior, or drugs or something).

My request for the Dems is lets have it out now. If you have trouble with too much of a substance, now is the time to deal with it. If you have a penchant for sleeping with anything that is not your spouse, or politically correct opposite gender for you OUT WITH IT NOW!!!!

Seriously, if you are hiding some secret no no that shouldn't see the light of day now is the time to deal with it. Not 2 years from now and certainly not 6-20 months from now.

Please, just don't screw this up. I am this close to voting for independent for the rest of my life. Just keep some backbone, and demand some justice for the tom foolery that Bush and the unholy Trio (Cheney, Rummy and Gonzalez) have been up to of late. I realize that the demanding just is hard with Gonzalez being the gatekeeper, and playing rear guard for the Bush regime. That's where the backbone comes in; use the court of public opinion.

And don't screw up. Seriously, I am counting on you.

Tags: Digg!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Is eBay Violating the CAN-SPAM act?

I recently purchased a Smartphone and was very pleased to get all my personal email with me every where I went. I downloaded Yahoo!go so I could bet my Yahoo! messages delivered to my smartphone, and setup my gmail on pop3 so that my main emails would hit me anywhere I went. I even tried half-heartedly to setup my hotmail, but as it is kind of a spam catch all for me I thought better of it.

But then I started to realize that I get way too much spam and other messages I didn't consider important. 4 messages every half hour hitting my inboxes and causing that little bundle of joy to beep in my pocket was too much. I started to systematically unsubscribe from every mailing list and promo that I managed to get myself on, and it seems to have improved my lot. I now only get email from people, and things I find important in my inbox (yahoo and google catch most if not all of my spam.) The one exception to this has been eBay.

They appear to be a little more onerous than most legitimate companies as far as what they consider "required email". I realize that as an institution that allows me to buy things from others that some communications cannot be disabled, or shouldn't be at the very least to prevent fraudulent use of my account. I am ok with that, the one that chapped my hide is the "Favorite Sellers" email. This didn't seem like anything but marketing, surely I could unsubscribe from this set of emails? They have to let me right? Wrong.

I have been an eBay customer for quite sometime and have long been annoyed at the volume of email my very limited activity with the site generates. Recently I have taken to unsubscribing from every marketing type email coming into all of my email boxes knowing that one of the rules of the CanSpam act is that companies have to give the opportunity to opt out of their marketing.

Excerpt from FCC

"It requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method.

You must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask you not to send future email messages to that email address, and you must honor the requests. You may create a "menu" of choices to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to end any commercial messages from the sender.

Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your commercial email. When you receive an opt-out request, the law gives you 10 business days to stop sending email to the requestor's email address. You cannot help another entity send email to that address, or have another entity send email on your behalf to that address. Finally, it's illegal for you to sell or transfer the email addresses of people who choose not to receive your email, even in the form of a mailing list, unless you transfer the addresses so another entity can comply with the law. "

Below is a image of the email that was the source of my ire. I started to wonder if I really needed to be getting these emails, they do look very promotional in nature. I don't recall signing up for updates on my favorite sellers, but I am sure that there was some click through on it somewhere.

Having decided on my to walk the path of unsubscribing, I did the sensible thing and started to look for Unsubscribe links. Well what do we have here....

It leads to this page... right, no option to not receive those emails here. Referring back to the email I saw another option to unsubscribe..

Ok, apparently not so much.

Anyhow, any other thoughts on not getting these email? I realize I could block just the address or as my astute wife pointed out delete all the favorite sellers from my list. However the more elegant method and the method prescribed by the law (see above) would be to offer a true "Unsubscribe" link. I don't know if this is truly a violation, but how does the CAN-SPAM act get enforced?


Friday, October 27, 2006

Tablet PC Reviews

I am amused at how many Niché review sites there are on the Internet. I was tasked to find some reviews for Tablet PCs so I Googled about for each model looking for reviews, with OK luck when I stumbled up Tablet PC Reviews. Why waste time, other than for diversity of opinions, looking for each model when Tablet PC Reviews has them all listed. The site does look a little young so the community may not have developed, but I assure you once those gadgets whores (myself included) find and start adding their bank of knowledge to the reviews it will.

Nice little time saver for me, and maybe I will get one of those yummy tablets for Christmas...well probably not, but I can always dream. No toys for you Info-Sys reptile (Me quietly crying in corner)


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sometime doing your part sucks (Aka Seattle buses suck)

I have been driving myself to work for as long as I can remember. Even when my job was only 15 minutes away, and I lived on a good bus route I drove. Recently, (largely as a result of my reading so many sustainability blogs) I have started to ride the bus. I realize that this isn't earth changing or anything; and I don't expect a medal or gold star, (I will take a cookie though) but I wish that trying to to be a concerned citizen didn't cost me so much time.

When I started the bus ride home took almost the same amount of time to get from work to home as it did for me to drive, 15 minutes. Lately the construction and miscellaneous issues have cropped up be it protesters, rain(which seems to turn the residents of Seattle in to morons) or the bus driver deciding to run for a bathroom break. I have not made it home in less than an hour this whole month, that is when the bus arrives on time! I have been averaging an hour to an hour and a half to reach home.

Given the number of people that ride the bus, and the number of buses in Seattle, the construction companies should not be allowed to waste so much of so many people's time. What is worse, much of the construction is because of Vulcan (Paul Allen) so my time is being wasted because he wants to build fancy pants Bio-tech campuses, overpriced condos and a stupid trolley car. I wish that there was a way for me to cost him as much time as his ruining of South Lake Union is costing me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oh I get it..... CableCARD

So I guess the conversation walked right by me (I never was a Tivo person just a MCE whore) on the whole CableCARD thing. I never understood that it was a plug in for my DVR to have access to the digital content of cable without having to have one of "their set top boxs" kudos to Engadget for clearing that up for me (though inadvertently). For some reason I just continually skimmed over the CableCARD articles because I just figured it was a "Tivo thing" and really Tivo is for those to lazy to build and run MCE or MYTH based DVRS.

I suppose that CableCARD is really the only thing that Tivo has left to cling to after alienating, and demoralizing their customers on multiple occasions.

I like the idea of an open standard that I can plug into my DVR/PVR and it takes care of the decrypting so my viewer of choice can give me the magic of recorded tv, and music, and movies and .... whatever else they dream up that I cannot live without.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Target if it is good enough for Walmart... Shutup

I read this article on CNN about Target warning movie studios about pricing on digital movie downloads and was reminded of a similar notice that came from Walmart just recently. I find it interesting that somehow retailers think that they have any and I mean any business telling other companies what market space they will be welcome in. Who asked Target if it was ok with someone selling a low quality, digital (with no dvd backup option), one brand product locked(ipod and itv only bitches), vaguely competing product? At best the iTunes movies are a supplemental product for people that don't shop at your stores anyway. (Unless my informal market research fails me) I don't see any hipsters rocking white headphones in your stores, do you Target?

This plan of attack worked really well for Walmart. I believe that this is just some chest thumping in a sad attempt to stay relevant rather than evolve. Hey Target, get a life.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Wow, reason in a world of hate


All I can say is I hope that some of the mindless talking heads could try this type of an appeal, wow is all I can say.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Podcasting is Wasted Mindshare

Seems I cannot spend 5 minutes reading online or off anything vaguely related to technology without hearing about podcasting, and how it is revolutionary. My local radio station offers a concert calendar as podcast, Engadget does interviews, and god knows who else.

My question is why?

Most everyone that I have heard is not all that interesting, I could have read the transcript faster than downloading, and transferring to a pmp/iPod, and they contain no value. None. You podcasters out there are not as interesting or funny as you seem to think you are, and their is less information in any of those interviews than your standard eWeek (I have a low opinion of them as well). What is the fascination with this crap? Hands down if you are going to spend the effort, do a vLog. Not that they are inherently more useful, but at least the challenge of putting it together would shut up all but the most serious. The dirth of content, all most all filled with "um well" and "yeah, yeah" and other conversation filler is wasting space, time, and ultimately mindshare.

The brainpower devoted to this would be better spent picking your nose than spewing mental diarrhea all over the interweb for the masses RSS enjoyment.

Go cure cancer, or build something, or finish college you slackers. Or for the most novel of ideas ----- Get a job?!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Adsense as a revenue model

Not that my blog is inherently interesting, or even a traffic draw, (with 1 subscriber and maybe 5 hits/week), but I cannot say that I understand how even the most popular sites and blogs could possible make money on advertising alone (ala adsense). I hear about it all the time, but it just baffles me. Assume that you have in the the writer capable of creating 1-20 interesting posts, about whatever your heart desires in a given day. Also assume that their are millions of people in this world that are also interested in the crap that you write. How does that = $? Unless you work at Gizmodo, or Engadget or even eHomeupgrade where they only blog about products and services that are tech centered, how could you ever hope that magic google will conjure ads that will compele your readers to click on them? If your readers don't click them how to you make money?

I have adsense on several pages and in the year plus have only earned $49 of theoretical money. I say Theoretical money because I cannot get a check or even dream of what to do with that until I earn $100 yeah, long way to go. Any how I am not even sure how I managed to get that much theoretical money, good thing I have day job I guess. may change a little of that for me. I sometimes need a guide for what to write about, and what would be even better is if I got payed for following that guide, say right after I posted... Well Payperpost offers some of that. I get to peruse offers and if one jumps up and bites me, then I can get paid 30 days later. Not to shabby, considering I have earned $35 real dollars from that adventure.


parents sold and bought a house

Never do I find that I have to ply my trade more than when my parents need something. They sold their house and now for the new one wanted some of the really neat things I have been boasting I could do. Should be interesting, I am looking for a multi-zone smart receiver, 46"+ LCD TV and trying to be patient and wait for Vista to put in a media center server. On top of that I am trying to setup the wireless so that it covers seamlessly 4500 sq ft and a shop across the way, with exactly one wireless access point so that once connected you could roam the whole house and maybe part of the 5 acres.

They are hoping against hope that their won't have only dish as an option for tv and Internet, but the number of dual-LNB dishes in the area make me suspect that is not the case. I traced the leads off the dish and confirmed that two run to the office one in and one out to feed back to a splitter. And to the cable tech that did the hack job on the side of a very nice house I give a big FU, I will have to put up a box just so I don't have to look at the damn thing for the next few years... Blah.

On an even more depressing note, a quick call to Verizon(local service provider) and no DSL to that location. If they don't offer it, I would be very surprised to find and any resellers are out there. The house has two telephone lines lines terminated in the service box, and I am pretty sure that it wasn't just for a fax (second line in the office is labeled "I"). And a call to Time Warner Cable (formerly Adelphia) and my parents house wasn't on their map(other houses on the road where). I requested a locate service, and have my fingers crossed that someone somewhere has them covered for broadband ("the majority" of citizens covered with 3 options my ass Mr. FCC chairman).

They may not yet be resigned to a life of slow data at really high prices, I believe that have edge coverage in the area, (my tmobile smartphone did with full bars even in the basement of their house) so that my be the next best thing (stompbox here we come).

In the end, I am have a lot of research and most likely work to be done to get my parents up and running. Here's hoping for Vista, and Time Warner to come through.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Jobby Job

Quite the turn for me yesterday I had no job (no real job) and today I do. Thanks Tek-Systems!

Any how, more to come, but the place is huge and I get to migrate from NT4 to a 2003 ad domain. Sweet, bust out the schema planning sheet and a case of soda future here we come!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thats a good one jimmy

I am completely amazed at how mundane tasks can chew away at the day. Just managing to get dinner cooked seems to take up every evening lately, by the time we get food on the table I am starting to think about bed!

So after the parents left our house in pristine condition, (though we had no idea where anything was) my brother and I decided to make a mess. The liquor bottles came back down off the shelf and onto the counter where they belong, and we went about manly tasks of making things with power tools and electronics.

We took the drawers out of the desk Chris is sitting at, and nailed in a shelf for the xbox to sit on, his computer is in the base of where the drawers used to be, and cables come through a hole we notched in the base. We setup a hub so the one 100' cable could serve his needs for gaming and tv,(and I can cable in to play WOW so I get less lag). Once he had an xbox and the 8" lcd tv setup we made his xbox into an media center extender and he was up running. A nice little media corner if I do say so myself.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Killing time

In between real jobs I thought I might knock the dust off of my cabling skills and pickup some contract data cabling work. I had forgotten that installing data cables is really a small step above construction work.

I have found myself in side of crawl spaces up to my elbows in insulation, and covered in conduit muck the last few days, and to make it all worse I apparently am slow. Not slow compared to the peers I learned with, but slow compared to the industry workers. These people must have no feeling whatsoever in the tips of their fingers. Mine ache from all the untwisting of wires, and finessing them into place for termination. I also forgot how much I hate outside plant cable. The icky pick inside is like working with Vaseline all over your hands.

LOL, not such a glamorous life.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Payperpost... I got payed

Well, I suppose I expected to be paid when I clicked on opportunities and blogged about them... but I am still excited about that I did get paid! I have been posting very infrequently about opportunities, it is nice to get some direction for your postings; otherwise you might not have anything to talk about.

Well thus far I have been paid $25, not a lot, but consider how long it takes to rack up adsense revenue or any of the other "monetizing" options for webmasters, and that is exciting. The company really seems to be listening to their bloggers, and have added an option to report what you consider a bad opportunity. It does give the blogging community a way to let Payperpost not to allow certain kinds of advertising.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Goodbye job, you won't be missed

Have you ever had a job that treated you like a cog? Ever been stuck in a rut, and every suggestion, or attempt to make the prison better was batted away by the guards? Well that's where I have been for the last 7 months, and it only took me screwing up an entire week to be asked to stop coming. Its like the could read my mind....

Any how, screw it. I was checked out of there 2 months ago. I made the process so easy, I think any of my minions can do it now. Just hope they like being a robot.

Codemonkey out, no more boring meetings with boring manager Rob.

Now that is outside the box.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Be mindful of your pride, simple concept. See an offer that you find value in posting about, write a post, take the offer and wait 30 days for your check(paypal, but whatever). Simple, and scary for the "authentic" bloggers out there who believe that corporations having a voice in the blogosphere will ruin it.

The bloggers out there that generate huge volumes of traffic, generate it because they are "not corporate" and "have something to say". Mostly they have very pleasing to read writing styles, excellent wit and humor as well as fantastic content. None of these qualities are easy to acquire, and none are easy to fake for long. Corp blogs seeking to capture these qualities (and the enormous click through it can generate) will not be able to sustain that, so if a few people pick up Payperpost listed ideas on their blog it is very very unlikely to do any more damage to them than the current spam blogs are doing.

That said, Payperpost will have a very long road of finding quality companies requesting buzz, and should steer clear of being overly proud for quite some time, and the following does not qualify:

"Get a hold of a picture of one of the bloggers that bashed us when we launched: techcrunch, scoble or any of your other favorites. Combine that with the phrase "All Our Blogs Are Belong to Us -" in your favorite photo editing tool so that the text is along with the image. Post it on your favorite photo sharing site like flickr and on your blog. Tell us what you think about the elitists who think they are the only ones that should get paid."


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Net Neutrality and the costs of infrastructure Part I

I have been reading for a while now about the Net Neutrality and "Save the Internet" sort of passively for the last few weeks now. While I see that this has a great deal to do with how the rest of my online life will be shaped, I just hadn't mustered the energy to go look at the mess and try and muddle out whether or not I needed to be concerned or not.

Given the countries recent legislation, I had a bad feeling going into the research on this, and had my news byte bias on high.

The basic end of the legislation and all the lobbying that is going on by both sides appears to me to center around the central theme of infrastructure. How it is used and regulated. AT&T comes from a history of Telecommunications feels shackled to innovate by their past regulation agreements and wants to not have to continue to open up its networks to carry whatever traffic passes through. This is the principle of "common carrier" and required the protected Baby Bells to share and share alike, but it also required them to contribute to a Universal Service fund that helps pay for infrastructure upgrades and support.

Cable companies, do not appear to have the "Common Carrier" portion of regulation interesting as they are represent the largest portion of "Last Mile" service providers for internet.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is technology a Porn friendly business?

I was reading my Gizmodo feed today, and I was struck by the number of sex toy and porn references and even one outright posting.

After a Little review, it turns out it is not the whole Gizmodo staff that are porno festished writers, mostly the one and only Jason Chen.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Slipping ship dates, so sad.

So the HAVA that I was so stoked about previously has missed the original ship date, and announced a new one. July 31st. I just hope that it actually ships on that date, and come relatively bug free.

I have been looking at the Slingbox for awhile, and just was not impressed by the feature set. I loved the idea, do get me wrong. I just was underwhelming by the actual product. Place displacement is a sweet idea, and really has the potential to change how we use the TV and how we go about watching it. Coupled with fast internet connections, DVR's, and powerful mobile devices like the Motorola Q TV is no longer the oppressor and keeper of my time. It is something I do when I want to. Shows competing for the same time slot now may no longer be competing for the eyes at whatever hour they are on, just the viewers choice to record series. End users become only limited by the number of tuners and the amount of hard drive space available to them.

Add IPTV, and other options where the TV doesn't have to only be local programming content and suddenly the boring Television set took on a different life. As more Vlogs emerge, and tools to syndicate arrive we may see the leap to syndication based sitcoms. RSS and ATOM seem to support just about anything, why not have my television brought to me via the web.


Friday, July 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by convictus.
Don't put heavy metal things on high shelves people!

This happend to me because someone put a heavy piece of metal on a high shelf at work, and I found it the hard way when I pulled something that was on top of it down.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sonics/Storm Are gone? Good Riddance

Now that we have gotten rid of that crap, can we commence with the demo on Key arena? I would love to see some real businesses or even apartments put in there. Who needs the Sonics?

Not Seattle.


A reason for quoting

So I came across a page of "Quotable Quotes" and though not many of them were my type of quote I was struck by their lengthy reasoning for why we use quotes. The reasoning was interesting though common and very well written, but ultimately I fear wrong.

In todays society at the reason we quote items from popular tv shows, is not that they are particularly memorable, or even really all that funny or original. We quote to let others know that we too are participating in the mindless pursuits others are. It is an insulating, and reaffirming action. We participate is this culture, pay attention and want others to know that we are doing so. We want others to know we belong in that group.

Look no farther for examples than try some of your newest pop culture quotes down at the retirement home, the audiance would likely be offended. Armed with this knowledge I have to wonder, where all the quotes of days gone by also a reaffirmation of belonging?

Is the reciting of popular culture todays soma orgy, have we been duped with feelies, and lulled by casual dating?


Friday, July 14, 2006

Tablet pron, and goodness


I love it when a plan comes together. I bought a Compaq TC1000 tablet pc on the fleabay a few months ago with a broken top plate. I looked for weeks for another auction that would have the part that I needed, and was about to give up and send it back to HP and pray that they could repair it for less than $2000. Then the on Friday of the 7th there it was ending is 4 hours with one bid on it, my tablet top plate.

I camped on it for the next 4 hours and with 30 seconds remaining submitted my winning bid. Yeah.... ouch $200 well whatever, I won and I could fix my tablet.

It only took me 3hrs (I had already disassembled the bugger) to snap it in, and remember where all those damn screws came from. So now Tablety goodness.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

House Cleaning

Of late we have been cleaning the house making room in our life for the my brother (My wife and I are calling him our adopted child) and this last few days almost makes me wish I had a picture of the hell hole/mess that we had before we began the journey to a clean and organized home.

I think my parents should open a business and do this professionally. They came over on Sunday night and we did some planning, and looked at some closet ideas but no real work took place. Monday, they went bonkers from the time I got off work I meet my dad at the depot bought some free standing cabinets to begin the process and proceeded to tear the house apart. From the hours of 6pm to 11pm I have never seen such a tearing apart of a home. This is the type of thing that would be illegal in the south.

Any how, after many hours of moving things from one point to another, we for the most part had assembled the house to livable order and went to bed. My wife, brother and I all assumed that would be the end of the whole ordeal, but no leave it to or parent s to go and keep on moving and organizing things. All through the day they moved and recycled and stacked/hid every single electronic dodad that I own. The house is now so clean we had people over last night so that someone would think we are cool and organized.

Ha! what a laugh. Anyhow, our home is clean and Julie has her scrapbooking neatly stacked away, and all my toys are hiding is a pile that I have to assume will tumble down and crush me should I move any of it.


Payperpost, and interesting idea instant (not really) gratification for blogging. Basically you logon and take opportunities to blog about certain companies, or products or people or well whatever someone pays for (only see one "adult" opportunity so far). The idea is interesting, but they give companies the opportunity to choose the tone they are willing to pay for. Truthfully, one opportunity almost made me post a negative entry about that product just for the sake of not supporting a technology I think is at best suspect. When I heard about Payperpost on Techcrunch I got the sensation that many people, well most that I read were opposed to the idea of directly buying an opinion. I suppose I am too, but the beauty of choice is that you are not obligated to take the offered opportunities. I would like to see a disclosure policy, maybe an extra link in the post that points to payperpost with a brief description of what the blogger choose to do by taking this opportunity. I believe that this is especially important for the opportunities that require you to post in a certain tone, even more so when the tone is required to be positive.

This idea is not horrible, and the opportunity to monetize with relatively low work is not something to be dismissed offhand. I think that there needs to be a little disclosure, but on the whole it is not a bad idea.

*disclosure*:I did take a payperpost opportunity for this post, and it did not require me to be positive.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oh shit yeah, new media center toys hotness

I give you the snappy multimedia HAVA!

Snappy really needs someone to help them with their product names. Never the less, this is an amazing product and I am just drooling over specs and press release porn while I pace waiting for mine to show up. Talk about the long wait, ship date is supposed to be the 17th of July.

Anyhow, the deets on this sweet little toy really make the Slingbox green with envy. This puppy acts as an external MCE tuner, and a wireless multicast-point for all my home TV needs to even stream me some recorded TV whilst I am at the working joint. Oh yeah. Me likey.

Monday, July 03, 2006

If only Howard leaving public radio had cleaned up his mess


You cannot seem to get rid of this cockroach. I was so relieved to hear that he was leaving public radio, I thought maybe the radio stations would wise up and play some music for my commute. I thought maybe he would be gone forever, I would have to listen to the horny ravings of a repressed pervert acting out. Nope. 99.5 just went on ahead and replaced him with two knobs instead. Super, Just super.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is fine to think and act the way that he does on a one to one level, but the persona that he evolved incites so much loathing towards women that he should have been ashamed of himself. That we as men/people think things like "buttaface" does not mean we should go around giving them awards, or trying to make women have orgasms on radio. These are definitely things that were kept of the radio in the past for a reason. They are very much so salacious, and pointless.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Chainsaw art?

I have this giant cedar stump out in in front of my house that is really calling me to cut it out and make it into a gargoyle. Not sure if that is weird or not but, every time I look at it I see the little gargoyle with its leathery wings wrapped around itself crouching.

I received an amusing Ryobi battery operated chainsaw from my wife for an anniversary gift.

I am going to assume that with that enormous 10in bar this will probably take the rest of my natural life to complete, but seems like a decent use of otherwise wasted time. My brother plays WOW and is trying to lure me into that ridiculous time sink as well.

Anyhow here are some photos of the stump in a handy dandy flickr slideshow

Saturday, June 24, 2006

New media center setup

So to try to overcome the stress on the media center I have been building a dual proc media center with a raid 0 ~400 gig array to up the storage for all the TV we record. I am not sure if it is just me or the hardware I choose to use, but I cannot seem to get the media center OS to the array on a promise 133ut2 pci raid card. Apparently I cannot even configure the array the way that I have with previous promise pci raid cards. This seems unfortunate as I was hoping to configure 3 drives (2 200's and 1 160gig) into a big old array for OS and all the media that we have to put on it. So I am kind of back to the drawing board and looking through the scrap heap for another pci raid card. Very sad.

Kind of fun getting to show my little brother the process of building a computer the looking for parts and testing each component to ensure that failures are isolated and removed. I am kind of an electronics graveyard so somethings work, others or questionable.

Any how, I am diligently working to complete this "dry run" so we can put the TV tuner cards in and give this baby a spin. Works out great that the wife went to the Chestival (Some country music festival) at the Seahawks stadium and my brother was at a friends wedding all day. Even after a firmware upgrade the pci card didn't give me the option to configure the raid, so I am tediously reading the manual to see if it even supports what I am after.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Technology astounds Me

So there I was reading my techcrunch and suddenly a post jumped out at me so strongly I had to post.


Yeah, remember it because it may well be how you get your tech support from now on. I doesn't really fit into the hardware blog (being software) but I wanted to post about what a great way this is to monetize businesses that are hard to put value to. This gives the small guys a very powerful tool to monetize the "on the side" consulting business they do. I now can charge by the call, by the hour, however I want and have it paid to my by the company that handles the infrastructure.

Simply put brilliant, nice catch techcrunch.

In my line of work (technology) you find yourself constantly getting pulled onto side projects and helping people over the phone for things they should figure out for them selves. Family aside you end up supporting the onesy, twosey Ma and Pa friends of the neighbor and no real way to extract value out of that time. This prevents those calls just by letting them know that you value your time and they should too.

First day and that's ok

Today is the first day of my younger brothers trek into adulthood. He is signing papers at his first Real Job, and I can only assume that he is excited and nervous like I was. 3 years out of College and 3 jobs later (yikes I'm not a flake a swear) all I can say is I hope his trip into figuring out what "Fiscal responsibility" is shorter than mine was.

My wife and I are making room in our home for him and trying hard to manage what that means for us. I am not sure the reality of what it does mean has set in for her yet, but I am hoping that he has grown up enough to be gracious of what we are giving him.

While I was in college I worked as much as 24 hrs a week and played a sport all while going to school full time. It wasn't easy and he never worked during the school year, so I hope he figures out a the rigors of work/life balance and doesn't get caught in the boring "careerism" my wife and I are struggling with. Work is supposed to be what you do, not who you are, and for us it has become a large part of who we are. I am that guy that leaves to be to work at 8am (7am on Mondays) and gets done as late as 9pm; and she is no better when its time for "Month end close" (she's an accountant).

I suppose it crazy to see someone you still think of as a child growing up, and now I am all nostalgic for when I was doing the same. Exciting and scary times.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Who bought all this crap?!?

So my wife and I have been married now for just over a year, and been living together for a little over two (get over it you puritan); and it occurred to me that we have a lot of crap. Most of it really isn't even something we use, or want; this begs the question: Who bought all this crap?

Don't get me wrong I love The Little Princess and all, but I have my suspicions that it may be her that bought it all. What with all the random computer and electronics laying about. Miscellaneous half finished electronic experiments, and hardware strewn about; I think I live with a closet technology whore. Either that or it is me.

Either way, since my little brother plans on living with us for a time, some of those piles need to find homes other than ours to stay in. As we mucked out the spare bedroom and the office it became abundantly clear that we have two pack rats and at least one shopping whore in the household and all of them have to leave if we ever hope to save enough chits to buy a home. I think that Craigslist and Goodwill will be getting more crap fodder in the very near future.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Media center woes

I do love my media center, and it has become a fixture in our household. We use it only for tv at this point only because of the hardware that it is build on. In the future I do want to move to a dual core machine, but for now it runs on hardware available. The machine was stable all through the winter months and my wife came to love it. She was recoding her shows with a vcr and a huge pile of vhs tapes had accumulated. This was a great situation, until the machine started to act a little flaky. This nearly lead to my demise.

To be clear it wasn't my fault the temperature shot up in our area, the same busy 2 weeks that season finales of my wife's favorite shows where hitting. It missed the first half of the two part super episode of "Grey's Anatomy" that Dr. Burke gets shot in, and it missed the Finale of "Desperate Housewives".


Any how, I put in an in window AC unit to keep the office and the Rack cooled, and problem solved. Media center is stable again, and the wife is happy; though afraid to trust the media center again.

It has left me looking to upgrade the media center to have more tuners and maybe a dual core cpu. The load of 2 users is nearly too high as it is, and my little brother moving in with us will only serve to increase that load.