Friday, December 24, 2004

A great collection of Far East blogs

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Amazing Christmas lights sponsored by your local electric company:

Thanks to for link

Church of the Customer: Amazon's phone number invisibility

Wonderful comment here about Amazon only faxing orders to their suppliers but making their own number invisible!Church of the Customer: Amazon's phone number invisibility: "As the author of a single title, Rums of the Eastern Caribbean, I was one of Amazon's target suppliers before I could handle book sales on my own site.
I no longer offer my books through Amazon because they refused to email me orders, even if I would confirm them! I had to have a fax number. Since I live on a sailboat in the Caribbean as was shipping books from Puerto Rico where phone service was sketchy at best, email was the best, and sometimes only, option.
Now I see my first edition books on Amazon's used book sales for about 7 times what I was asking for them.

Posted by: Edward Hamilton at December 21, 2004 06:37 PM

Ed, with the outdoor temp here in Chicago about 6 degrees, you're breaking my heart by saying you live on a boat in the Caribbean.

Posted by: Ben McConnell at December 21, 2004 07:34 PM"

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Mind Hacks: The Social Yawn

Interesting article about yawning, particularly on how it starts in humans as early as 10 weeks but it takes until you are three before you start 'catching' yawns.

RipDigital: Convert your music CDs to a digital music library

What appears to be a fantastic service for ripping your CD's to either a DVD or a hard drive for a dollar a CD. Good idea to use FedEx. Maybe set up a UK offshoot? Ummmm


Really cool mobile phone add ons that replace the existing SIM card with an external board containing a SIM card and other circuitry such as tilt sensors etc Best bit is the price at $39. Maybe use one as a remote door lock device / intruder detector

Popgadget: Personal Tech for Women: LUMI Illuminated Apparel by Natalia Allen

good bit of kit for those raves...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Customer Service

I have decided to evangelise the companies on where I get good service. Todays two shining examples are Samsung and Cambridge Building Society both experiences are after bad service from other companies.

I recently purchased a Samsung ML-1510 laser printer ( after the dire service and costs associated with the Epson C80 and trying to get Smart Cartridges to perform in it) the problem is that it arrived with a squeaky roller! I phoned Samsung on 08702420303 to be quickly put through to a live knowledgable person who gave some hints which didnt work but who promised that the matter would be sorted within two days!

The other example was the renewal of my home insurance with Heath Lambert who have taken over the insurances from the Cambridge Building Society. Heath Lambert have drastically altered the cover (removed Travel cover , Tenant cover etcetc). Went to see Denise Jackson at CBS who immediately contacted their Mark Whitehead to get on the case and promised to call me in next day or so.

Now compare that to Handspring or whatever there current name is. My Treo600 went bad last weekend. The past three times this year when it broke, all you at to do was contact Nuovo in Norwich and it was fixed in 48 hours. Not anymore, in the interests of 'customer service' you have to visit the web site to find out that the links are broken! Call the head ffice to be told 'oh yes we know' hope to fix it soon. Totally crap service!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Church of the Customer: Lesson #1: never get married

What a great expression by Michael Dell : 'We acquire our competitors one customer at a time.' Should be emblazoned on every chairmans door!


An awesome tool created by Katharina Nussbaumer in Austria from an idea by Armin. It generates unusual visual images incorporating the text you have typed in. Ideal for producing business cards in my opinion. Especially since it uses the text to search Google Images for suitable photos to play about with. Ideal for those unusual occupations

Friday, December 10, 2004


These guys have to be joking. stufffing loudspeakers into 4" soil pipe and painting them red! and best of all flogging them for over $2000. OK, I'm off to the plumbers merchants now to buy some of these T pieces

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

An Introduction to Cluster Ballooning

Wonderful series of pictures off a ride powered by helium balloons - very serene and scary . Link taken from slash dot at

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Bio Informatics

Interesting article on storing patient data etc her CHIME Events I like this "Health Records controlled by the patient may be the way forward, sidestepping some intractable issues around consent and confidentiality" which is central to the scheme Ihave been thinking about. Imagine having all your medical data stored in a USB key so you could update it anywhere and view the data at home etc.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Hydrogen Economy

Here is an article on the energy source of the future Physics Today December 2004- The Hydrogen Economy also what my friend Andy at is kinda proposing for his flash external combustion engines.
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