December 2004 - Posts
RY to reach customer service at Amazon.com
to fix a problem with an order and you will encounter one of the most prominent and frustrating aspects of the Internet era: a world devoid of humans. Not only is there no telephone number on Amazon's Web site, but the company makes a point of not including one. Instead, customers are asked to fill out an online form and wait for a response.
"It's incredibly annoying," said Ellen Hobbs of Austin, Tex., whose frustration has led her to publish Amazon.com's customer support number at her own Web site (clicheideas.com/amazon.htm). "They haven't invested the kind of money in helping you solve problems as they have in selling you things." In December alone, some 1,100 people visited Ms. Hobbs's site.
Indeed, in the pursuit of customer service, the Sisyphean challenge of making contact with a human defines the automated age, and can sometimes feel like a full-time job.
"It's almost as if we're dealing with this ghostly machine," said Lauren Weinstein, a telecommunications consultant in Los Angeles who has made an avocation of studying customer service. "You assume there are people back there somewhere, but it's as if the whole purpose of these systems isn't to provide customer service but to keep the customer at arm's length."
Check out the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/30/technology/circuits/30serv.html?th=&adxnnl=1&oref=login&adxnnlx=1104494985-cfyIAo1i7/Yxg81vyfMMNA
Don't know how I missed this one. Novell is suing Microsoft for sinking Word Perfect? I don't understand this, and don't think I ever will. Why do companies sue Microsoft when their products fail to keep up and stop selling? There are several companies I can give examples too that when attacked by a seeming “Goliath”, become a young David and look for a sling and a rock. They certainly didn't sue for causing their products to stop selling. I'm sure if you think about it, you can think of several companies that appear to dominate in their respective industries just by their size. P&G immediately comes to mind. But, I don't see other companies running away screaming about lawsuits every time P&G enters the market.
So, why does Novell keep suing Microsoft for not “being fair”? I knew a lot of those kind of folks growing up...screaming “that's not fair” every chance they got. Well, I have a newsflash for you. LIFE is not fair. Get over it, find what you are exceptionally good at, and focus. If you have a product people want, you won't have a problem. Quite honestly, I see a ship without a compass, and am wondering who is at the wheel and how in the world they know where to go.
If you can't make it to Times Square for the famed locale's 100th New Year's Eve celebration, you can watch it from start to finish online. Microsoft's MSN portal said Tuesday it will provide an online broadcast of the historic party. The Webcast starts at 3 p.m. Pacific Standard Time when event organizers plan to raise their trademark crystal ball and runs until 9:15 p.m. PST after the ball's drop. Visitors to the MSN Video site will be able to follow the action in New York City via three live streams.
At about the same time that the US is setting records for the country with the most SPAM, AOL is reporting that the nasty stuff to AOL inboxes is down (although the release said they still get 1.6 BILLION PER MONTH, down from 2.1 BILLION per month). According to the release, “AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham attributed the drop largely to spammers moving on after realizing that many of their messages won't get through AOL's anti-spam filters or that they might get sued for trying.“ Really? Is THAT why you still have 1.6 BILLION messages in a single month?
The latest news on the CAN-SPAM front? It's not working. A year after the U.S. Congress passed the first federal antispam law, observers see no evidence that it has cut the amount of unwanted commercial e-mail arriving in people's in-boxes. Most vendors of antispam products have charted an increase in the amount of spam since the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, or CAN-SPAM, went into effect on Jan. 1. Antispam activists assert that the law has aided spammers because CAN-SPAM requires recipients to opt out of unwanted commercial e-mail by contacting each sender, instead of forcing senders to get opt-in permission. The federal law also hurt spam-fighting efforts by preempting parts of some tougher state laws, including a California opt-in requirement, said Laura Atkins, president of the SpamCon Foundation. CAN-SPAM also prohibits private citizens from suing spammers, instead allowing only state attorneys general or Internet service providers to file civil suits. People who operate their own mail servers and receive thousands of spam e-mail, have no recourse against spammers under CAN-SPAM.
So, what's going on with AOL? Is it something else rather than a “reduction“ in the amount of SPAM? What I find interesting is the conflicting data coming out at the same time. Time will tell...but I think there is something else going on over at AOL.
Wow, I didn't think it would happen as soon as it did. To be honest, I haven't even kept up with the Novell OS changes since the Netware 4.0 days. But, I just read that Novell gave its first public debut of the “new” Novell OS over the Christmas break, which is now a combination of Linux and Netware. Buried in the article is a comment that Novell is “not giving up Netware, they are adding Linux” and “you can't buy Netware as a standalone product anymore”. I think its only a matter of time before current Novell users will be forced to upgrade to the new “combo“. And quite honestly, I think the writing has been on the wall for awhile. Novell is a dying product, leadership just won't admit it. I don't think they know what to do with it.
What is happening overseas is truly a tragedy.
Tsunamis aren't unique to Asia. Every day, scientists from Hawaii to California are on guard, watching for giant waves that could swamp U.S. shores. The monitoring system is complex, drawing upon seismic stations, deep-ocean detectors, sea surface buoys, satellites and onshore sea-level gauges. But if a tsunami is detected, the advice is simple: Get to higher ground as fast as you can.
What is Craigslist you ask? Well, obviously Ebay that it important enough to buy a 25% stake in the company. Craigslist, launched in 1995, is a bare-bones classifieds site for people looking for almost anything, such as apartments, dates or baseball tickets, in 45 cities. The site has since created a flourishing network of online buyers and sellers while maintaining a simple look and feel free from banner ads.
Craigslist, which generates more than 1 billion page-views each month, also has cost the newspapers millions more in merchandise and real estate advertising, and has damaged other traditional classified advertising businesses, according to a report published by Classified Intelligence.
So, whether you're looking for dogs, bunnies, or the latest William Shatner record, check out Craigslist first.
For vivid reporting from the enormous zone of tsunami disaster, it was hard to beat the blogs.
The so-called blogosphere, with its personal journals published on the Web, has become best known as a forum for bruising political discussion and media criticism. But the technology proved a ready medium for instant news of the tsunami disaster and for collaboration over ways to help.
Internet retailer Amazon has cheered Wall Street by reporting the busiest Christmas in its 10-year history.
At its height, the company said it had been logging orders for 32 items per second worldwide.
The company attributed much of the increased trade to rampant demand for Apple computers and iPod music players.
The news sent Amazon's shares up by almost 9%, as traders seized on good news on an otherwise lacklustre day's trading on Wall Street.
Welcome to the #1 website dedicated to helping you protect yourself from clever scams -- online and offline! You'll find lots of great resources on how to avoid the most popular scams, viruses and urban legends making the rounds. Plus, we have Resource Centers filled with suggestions for reducing spam, useful consumer tips, and our Scam Check Station....you'll find a convenient list of links to all our most popular articles. But first, sign up for your FREE subscription to Internet ScamBusters....
The Los Angeles Police Department is experimenting with facial-recognition software it says will help identify suspects, but civil liberties advocates say the technology raises privacy concerns and may not identity people accurately.
"It's like a mobile electronic mug book," said Capt. Charles Beck of the gang-heavy Rampart Division, which has been using the software. "It's not a silver bullet, but we wouldn't use it unless it helped us make arrests."
The news is now reporting that the earthquake that hit over the weekend in Indonesia was 9.0 on the richter scale and the death toll is now slightly under 20,000 people.
I found this article and am now wondering what else is in store.
Mysterious tremors deep beneath the San Andreas Fault near the quake- prone town of Parkfield are shaking the earth's brittle crust, far below the region where earthquakes normally strike -- and scientists say they can't understand what's happening or what the motions mean.
Seismic researchers are monitoring the strange vibrations closely. But whether the faint underground tremors -- termed "chatter" by some seismologists -- portend an increased likelihood of a major quake in the area is an unsolved puzzle.
From another article:
“The underwater earthquake, which the US Geological Survey put at magnitude 9.0, is the biggest since 1964, when a 9.2-magnitude temblor struck Alaska. "All the planet is vibrating" from the quake, said Enzo Boschi, the head of Italy's National Geophysics Institute. He likened its power to a million atomic bombs the size of those dropped on Japan in World War II, and said the shaking was so powerful it even disturbed the Earth's rotation.”
Blogging is gaining momentum. Everyone seems to be doing it these days. How about you? Are you blogging yet? Well, if you do, here's a blog no-no. Don't EVER blog about your job.
Decrease is the first since group began its survey in 1972.
U.S. IT and electrotechnology professionals saw a 1.5 percent decrease in their salaries in 2003, the first decrease since the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) began surveying members in 1972, the group announced this week.
Now we can only guess what happens in 2004 and beyond.
Researchers at security software company Sophos found that 42 percent of all spam sent this year came from the United States, based on a scan by its researchers of a global network of honey pots--computers designed to attract spam e-mails and viruses.
Sophos said this is evidence that America's antispam legislation simply isn't working. The US is in a “league of its own“.
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