Australia puts more money per capita on the Melbourne Cup horse race ($7.27 per capita) than into Venture Capital ($4.09). At least we are risk takers. Our venture capital industry is on par per capita with countries that herd goats as a core industry.
Yes that’s sad.
Many companies didn’t even bother sending feedback to coding tests, and one expected me to pay for the Yahoo Boss API and violate Google’s terms of service for a test.
Sounds very much like the old coding test I cooked up at IRESS. I hope they have changed it :)
Okay. This is serious. Google has just announced their spring cleaning, and it appears that Google Reader is facing the axe. Yes Google Reader, probably the most popular RSS reader (heard of RSS, right?!) and has been my daily staple for the last 6 and half years. It would be turned off on July 1 this year.
We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.
There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.
Very sad indeed.
So where are the alternatives? Back to Bloglines?
Jason Fried at 37signals talking about how you should/should not bash someone publicly. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5) pretty much applies to your blog, Facebook update and Tweets as well.
Via OzBargain on Google+ and Whirlpool Forums — someone bought a Kogan prepaid mobile SIM with “unlimited” calls & text. Recharged twice later he got banned from using the service any further because of “making excessive calls”. First we have web-hosting companies claiming “unlimited” storage, then we have ISPs claiming “unlimited” monthly data, and now we have mobile MVNO’s claiming “unlimited” calls — all within undisclosed acceptable usage.
Usage of “unlimited” needs to be banned from service providers.
We have been on holidays on the Gold Coast over the past week — pretty much our typical twice-a-year Gold Coast holidays where we lived at my parents’ place. Except this time Vivian’s parents also came along so we have to (1) organised accommodation for them ($500 for 6 nights at Broadbeach Savannah via Wotif) (2) rent a people mover ($312 for a 3rd Gen Toyota Tarago for 7 days from Cut Price Car Rentals).
The weather was bad though. We came back just one day before the Queensland 2013 flooding where Coolangatta airport was closed.
We did grab the annual pass for Sea World, and Anna managed to get selected as the participant in the dolphin show. The show was crowded during the school holidays with kids coming from all different states and other places in the world. Here’s how Anna managed to get selected:
- Make a banner with an A3 paper and write compelling reason why they should pick you. In Anna’s case, it’s “Everyone loves Dolphin but Dolphin loves me! Please pick me! Please!”
- Get to the Dolphin Cove at least 15 minutes earlier to get into the front row seats. The presenter won’t see you & your banner unless you are right at the front.
- When the presenter asks for volunteers (they’ll pick 2, one boy and one girl), pull up your banner and wave! They love to pick those showing enthusiasm.
We can tell that our dolphin-loving daughter was exceeding happy afterwards.
3 laps of the park. Almost killed me. #needmoreexercise Bought a pair of Brooks Ghost II last year in the hope of getting back to jogging (bought on OzBargain, of course). So far has been disappointing — more of myself who can’t seem to be able to schedule the time for exercise (oh, the shoes are great).
Got back to weekly tennis late last year (with old Josh) but haven’t been at it for a few weeks due to holidays (problem with tennis — you need someone to play with).
Also bought a bike (from Aldi, $119 18 speed flat bar) and rode to tennis a few times. Sydney road condition sort of deters any serious riding (or it could be because I have been working from home, or just plain laziness).
So here we are — New Year Resolution for 2013 — exercise more (just like last year, and the year before, and the year before, and the…)
Surprise this morning when I checked the mail — some gifts, ie 2 pens and 2 wrist bands, from The Orange Pigeon. They are a charity organisation based in Melton VIC that grants wishes to those who are terminally ill. They were one of the recipients of OzBargain’s Christmas donation. We’ve also made some larger donations last June to some larger charity groups (Cancer Council, Beyond Blue, RSCPA), and had other givings to Beyond Blue in the past years — The Orange Pigeon is the only one that responded with a thank you letter and information pamphlet.
Yes FREE Sauna in Sydney today — just need to step outside. Almost 9PM and its still just before 40 degrees. Forecast says that the temperature won’t drop until mid night. Still, thankfully I am still staying safely indoor rather than embracing the constant hair-dryer blows. Or under the threat of bush fire.
Got a support email this morning for OzBargain, where someone claimed that he has not been receiving our daily newsletter for the last couple of days, nor can they be found in his junk mail folder (which sometimes happen when you are sending out emails full of “deals”). Upon investigation, it turns out that
- He is using his
- TPG has been blocking some emails from OzBargain main server since 19 December.
- Many of our email subscribers using TPG email address also suffer the same issue, with TPG bounced our emails with 550 5.7.1 Client address [...] blocked. Listed on Barracuda Reputation Block List (BRBL).
Argh. I quickly checked against several other RBLs on MX Tools and none is reporting issues. After all we are only sending newsletters and comment notification emails on this IP, which is already included in SPF. So I followed the lookup link to Barracuda Central, and saw the IP is currently listed as “poor” on BRBL. There is also a form to request the IP to be temporarily removed from the black list for 30 days. Finally, there is also a link to EmailReg.org to have your domain registered and white-listed.
That’s where things get interesting. As both Barracuda Central and EmailReg sit on .ORG domains, I assumed that those are community-run or NFP organisations. It turns out that after I signed up an account on EmailReg, registered my domain, I was presented with a form for my credit card information! To have your domain registered with EmailReg, which would get white-listed by BarracudaCentral, which is used by some ISPs for mail-filtering including TPG, it costs $20/year.
Wait! Hold on a minute?! My server has not been black listed by any other RBL, all out-bound emails are opt-in and all include Unsubscribe links — and now I need to pay $20/year to deliver to TPG subscribers?! Even that it’s not a guarantee. Who are we paying to anyway? WHOIS information is masked with privacy protection garbage. Their About page talks nothing about the structure and the recipients of my $20.
From the outside observer’s point of view I can only see that they are running gears donated by Barracuda, inside their IP range, and also Barracuda’s #1 recommendation when dealing with delisting. Googling EmailReg Scam shows that there are many others who suspect the same that EmailReg is nothing more than Barracuda’s protection racket, a scheme to extort money to have your emails delivered. After all, there does not seem to be a way to find out why you have been blacklisted. You are pretty much at the mercy of these guys — not much you can do until you pay the fee.
For OzBargain, I think I’ll just bend over and pay the fee — $20/year for that single domain is cheap enough for me not to loose any sleep over our email delivery. Lucky I am not some admin looking after eDM for hundreds of domains. Sour taste in mouth? Sure.
Like pretty much everyone else, I’ve finally gained the access to Google Drive yesterday. We all know the feature set — or at least those that matter to me anyway. 5GB of free storage space, desktop folder sync, native Android app, Google Apps integration, Google Docs integration, scalable storage plans up to 16TB+ etc. Bye bye Dropbox! Not that I use it much anyway.
Rather than watching the parade reciting “lest we forget”, we went to Coogee & had a barbie with FOCUS friends.
Relaxed afternoon. That’s the “lake” that I used to kayaking 17-18 years ago, but now it’s populated with powered boats.