apel: (Default)
Comment if you're still reading.
apel: (twitching)
So yesterday I couldn't call outside the 020 area. I thought that was because there was something wrong with my phone. The cable does look rather tattered. But today I used the phone that belongs to the flat, and still couldn't make any calls to mobiles, nor dial into the important conference call in Bahrain.

The BT website has a facility that allows you to report a fault on the line, so I did that. But I had my suspicions that it wasn't a real fault. You see, I made another call to Bahrain a few weeks ago. It was a long conference call that ended up costing me nearly £90. Normally my whole bill is under $40.

And just now the BT Fault Team called me up and confirmed my suspicions -- BT have placed a bar on the line. Did they tell me about this? Of course not. What would be the point of that?

They have my email address but that's not the point, is it? They can just embarrass me in front of clients and coworkers and sit back and let me call them. Then when I do, I'm told I'll have to wait for a representative because they're very busy now.

Update at 15:30: I've talked to BT now. After I paid them the currently oustanding amount (about £100), they said they were going to lift the bar. But they can only tell me that it will be lifted within the next 24 hours. So tomorrow morning when I'm due for the delayed conference call to Bahrain, I may or may not be able to dial in. When the lady on the phone launched into her explanation of this for the 3rd time, I just hung up in disgust.

No point in listening to the same spiel one more time, I'll still look like an idiot if they haven't removed the bar by tomorrow morning. Not to mention not being able to clear up the confusion about my latest timesheet, or help the copywriter understand what he's supposed to write about.
apel: (twitching)
A California student mashed up Wikipedia's records of changes made in its articles with public records of who owns the editor's IP addresses. The results are pretty interesting.

Among the culprits reported by Wired's readers using the new tool are Church of Scientology, the Episcopal Church, Chevron Texas and Al Jazeera. Diebold, Exxon Mobile and Dow naturally feature too.
apel: (anger)
[livejournal.com profile] rm sums up beautifully why I'm disenchanted with LJ and Six Apart right now. Add to this their continued official support of pro-ana communities and their role in the breastfeeding icons debacle.

Interesting reading in this context is the shortlived blog Exposing LJ Abuse, chronicling the, umm, interesting decisions made by the LJ abuse team. It just begs the question, on what planet is it a good idea to leave enforcing standards (that are nebulous to begin with) to a volunteer team? Wouldn't most reasonable people think that there would be a pretty good risk that you'd end up with lots of trigger happy volunteers keen on enforcing their own little agendas?
apel: (cute)
As expected Metaquotes had a ball with the passing of Jerry Falwell. One nugget was this, presumably fictional, IM conversation.

A coworker drew my attention to Salon's interview with Tinky-Winky sparked by the same occasion.

People think loftier thoughts in rooms with high ceilings according to a University of Minnesota study.

Photo of a red squirrel with snowflakes on the adorable little head.

A Flash banner for HP lets you arrange flowers in a vase.

California Bunny photo. Daily Animals is highly recommended if you like photos of California wildlife. This one was taken near Fremont.
apel: (bunny)
Great article on recovery by Caille Millner, using Gavin Newsom's recent foray into "rehab" as a starting point.

Suzette Haden-Elgin shares her method for writing both fiction and non-fiction in fifteen-minute snippets

The City of San Francisco and the Northeast San Francisco Conservancy are proposing to protect trees vital for the survival of the wild parrots on Telegraph Hill.

The famousest ferret in all the land now has his own set on Flickr. His ferret friend, Kilo, who is less famous but almost as cute, also has one.

The landlord in UK's best known medical district, Harley Street in London, is banning abortion clinics and plastic surgery.

On a lighter note, a Japanese snowplow robot is yellow and looks suspiciously like an anime character.
apel: (train)
It's 7 July, one year later and I'm nervous about going on the tube.
apel: (cranky)
Yesterday on the train into town two regulars argued. One of them is a known trouble maker. He has apparently been banned from his home station in the past. He's the kind of person who immediately sets off my alarm bells. Even in winter he dresses in only shorts and he looks straight at people in, what is meant to be, an ingratiating way. Yesterday he was wearing his customary shorts and no shoes.

The person he was arguing with was another man in his forties or fifties. He looks unremarkable and I don't think I've heard him speak before. Of course that doesn't mean he was innocent, just that it takes a bit of doing to get him riled up. He was sitting behind the Trouble Maker.

I didn't catch the beginning of the quarrel but by the time it got loud enough to penetrate my noise insulating ear phones it seemed to be about space. Presumably the Trouble Maker had complained about the Unremarkable Man rustling his paper above his head. The just kept going on and on. Every time I thought it had died down, one of them would start again.

After just a few exchanges I could feel my stomach starting to tie itself into knots, so I moved halfway down the carriage to get away. It seems to have gotten even louder after that. I could still hear them. At the next station I moved right to the other end of the carriage. After that I couldnt' hear them anymore.

Blessed silence! Blessed Etymotic ear phones!
apel: (grain)
And the winner of this month's Gross-Out Award is: What not to eat (over your keyboard) on ZDnet. I also liked the photo at the top of the LifeHacker article that linked to it. It would be a hit over in [livejournal.com profile] saucygardens.
apel: (anger)
I just noticed that there's spit on my living room window. :-(
apel: (purity)
I only use my dishwasher once a week, usually on Sundays. Last week was no exception. What was unusual, though, was that the water didn't drain completely. There was about 2" of water in the bottom when it was done. The filter was clear. Considering that I always rinse my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, that's not surprising. I pulled the drain hose out of the standpipe but only a trickle came out of it and then it stopped running completely. So the blockage is somewhere between the drain in the dishwasher and the end of the flexible drain hose.

That's also what I told my landlord in an email. I got an out-of-office reply back. Hopefully he's back on the weekend. It's not an emergency but it's the second time since the dishwasher was installed in November that there's been a problem with it, so I'm starting to think there's something wrong either with the dishwasher itself or the installation. Last time it didn't get any water, so this is the opposite problem.
apel: (anger)
This is an oldie-but-goldie from the infancy of the Web. It's Dean and Marshall Vandruff's list of underhanded ways of winning arguments. It fits in well with two topics that have been discussed on my flist lately, verbal power-over tactics (and how they relate to gender) and how to know when somebody is not acting in good faith with you. If somebody is using these in a conversation with you, you pretty much know that it's about them, not about you. The two pages with additional dodgy conversational tactics sent in by readers are pretty good too.

NB: These lists are pretty much concentrated toxicity. Readers who have been sensitised to emotional manipulation may want to avoid them.

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] acoa
apel: (anger)
I got an email from LandsEndNews@leeu.rsc02.com asking me to click a button so that I can be notified of when the redesigned LandsEnd.Co.Uk site comes online. Being suspicious, I went to the Lands End web site and used the form to ask if the email is for real or if it's a phishing attempt. I'll keep you guys posted.

Googling brings up that the domain is owned by responsys.com. It's black listed by at least one ISP. However, judging from their homepage Land's End are a customer. That doesn't necessarily mean anything. As far as I'm concerned, the jury's still out.

It probably goes without saying that I didn't click the button but I'm going to say it anyway, just to make sure.

Update at 10.12 on 31 January 2006: Land's End confirmed that they are redesigning their site and that they will require all old users to re-register. So it's not phishing, it's legitimate.
apel: (anger)
I got an email saying that a new Yale campus magazine wants to include an article about me in the next issue. Could I please review the article in the attached zip file before 1 February, it asks me.

Umm, no. I will carefully press the delete button while staying far, far away from that attachement. I didn't go to Yale. I don't think I know anybody who went to Yale. Heck, I'm not sure where it is except probably somewhere on the East Coast.

Also, googling the purported sender's name brings up pages with titles such as "Possible new malware" among the first few hits on Google. *steps gingerly away*
apel: (Default)
September 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 2017
RSS Atom
No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios