ramblings from the noisedoctor

January 30, 2009

thumbs up to goldengadgets.com

Filed under: cool companies, geeky stuff — noisedoctor @ 11:31 am

My wife got me an LED headlamp for Christmas (because I broke my old one). However, when I tried it out, it wouldn’t work. I figured I’d have to go through the hassle of mailing it back before getting a replacement. However, the folks @ goldengadgets.com responded very quickly to my RMA request that they would ship out a replacement. And, they did just that. Good customer service! I am very appreciative.

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January 29, 2009

WANTED: a heart

Filed under: freecycle, no good deed goes unpunished, soapbox — Tags: — noisedoctor @ 10:38 am

That’s what I’m tempted to post to our local freecycle group. I’m not looking for a heart for myself, but for our “tin-person” moderators. Let me explain. Over the past few weeks, there have been a series of arson fires in a nearby town–including one that cost 8 or 9 families everything but their lives and the clothes on their backs. Several people posted to the county freecycle group to solicit donations to help these people out. To which one of our moderators posted:

ADMIN: Donations for victims of [town name] Fires
Several members have made posts asking for donations for the victims
of the [town name] fires. While we have sympathy for those affected
by the fires, we must remind members that Freecycle(TM) is not a
charity organization. This is not the appropriate venue for
coordinating a relief effort.

Information posts are not allowed on this group, but may be submitted
to our chat site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/%5Bgroup name]

Thank you for your cooperation,
The Moderator Team

Yes, I know freecycle isn’t a place for a relief effort. However, it is a grassroots movement. Therefore, it should be very much tied into local events, especially tragedies. But, let’s take a look at the freecycle mission statement.

Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.

Let me break down these posts seeking help for these fire-impacted families as I see it:

  • gifting movement: yes definitely encourages gifting
  • reduces waste: no
  • saves precious resources: yes/perhaps I would argue that it does by easing the burden on the Red Cross, etc.
  • eases the burden on our landfills: no
  • enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community: most definitely yes

I’ll admit, that doesn’t result in a resounding yes towards meeting the mission, but it’s far from a responding no either. I can respect the moderators wanting to keep the groun on-topic and keep the “junk” messages to a minimum. But, chastising people for seeking to help a group of families which just lost all their earthly possessions is just cold and heartless.

January 25, 2009

avoid big city direct

Filed under: lame companies — Tags: , , — noisedoctor @ 12:15 pm

I’ve been meaning to get around to posting my experience with Big City Direct as a warning to anyone who is considering buying from them.

Around 4 months ago, I was shopping for an HP iPAQ rx5915 Travel Companion. It’s a Windows (yeah, I know…) Mobile device w/GPS Navigation (Tom-Tom) built in. I was looking at refurbished items to save some cash, since at the time, it wasn’t much more expensive than a mid-level GPS unit and would give me some benefits as a Pocket PC as well.

I found the best price ($199) through buy.com. I honestly didn’t pay attention to the fact that this was one of their “Marketplace” sellers. Buy.com took my order and sent me a confirmation. The next day, I got an email stating:

We are confirming that the seller, Bigcitydirect of your Buy.com Marketplace order has cancelled the following item on your order…

I emailed buy.com and got a canned response:

If you have any questions regarding your Marketplace shipment, we ask
that you contact the seller directly. The seller’s contact information
can be found in the order detail located in your My Account or in the
email we send to you confirming the purchase of this order.

So, I emailed them and got nothing. I called them and was told: “The order was canceled because we no longer sell that item.”

Okay. If that’s true, I can accept that. I still think you should have some better inventory systems in place to not advertise an item you can’t sell (isn’t that considered “bait and switch?”). However… the kicker is that a week later, guess what was advertised on buy.com? Yup. Same item, same condition, $299. Oh, so I guess you do sell the item, you just don’t want to sell it at the price you advertised.

Bad company. Bad. And buy.com, shame on you for having such a company as part of your network. I used to have the utmost respect for you as a company. Now, not so much.

i consider myself in good company

Filed under: Christianity, prayer — noisedoctor @ 11:53 am

Recently, John Piper (a man I deeply respect) posted one of his Ask Pastor John audio clips. It related to something I posted a good while back: who do you pray to? (and in whose name?). While Piper is far more eloquent than I, he seems to agree with what I was saying.

I add the link not to boast. I am humbly appreciative that Pastor John backs up a conviction of mine. I’m glad to see other people seeking him out on the topic as well.

January 21, 2009

pay taxes like i say, not like i do

Filed under: people unlike us, politics, unclear on the concept, useless junk — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 5:21 pm

From Yahoo News:

Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner said Wednesday he was careless in failing to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes earlier this decade but declared “I have paid what I owed” and apologized to Congress.

It just makes me think, are you sorry you made the mistake, or are you sorry you got caught? Looks like a great guy to head the IRS… somebody who can’t even pay his own taxes.

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