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!