Month: October 2005

spam from pfizer (benadryl)

I’ve been receiving a lot of spam email from Pfizer (who make Benadryl in the US) after trying to find out where to get Benadryl in the US. They never responded to my email request, their telephone response was incorrect (“we don’t do it over here” is wrong) and now they’ve been sending me marketing emails with unsubscribe links that show how naff their database server is.
It wasn’t until I eventually found an email address for their privacy office AND complained to etrust that I got some action from them to investigate the problems. Apparently they “understand the frustration and would like to help you in
the most efficient way.”
I’ve suggested they do the following:-

  1. Monitor your privacy address so you would have taken action on the request (with forwarded email) I sent on the 2nd Octobe
  2. have working unsubscribe links in a newsletter.
  3. have contact information on your website so that people can contact you to get off if a and b don’t work
  4. Don’t send out emails with a fake/unread return email address

It’s been 2 weeks and I’m already annoyed!

…with my new bank. After a nice start at the bank on Saturday to fill out all the paperwork to open an account I got a letter yesterday from them to say they won’t give me a credit card as I have no credit history. I’m not sure if they spotted the irony in that statement or not, but from my next experience today I doubt it.
Today I get a letter from the branch manager (I presume as they didn’t put an address on the letter) that welcomes me to the branch and that they are “thrilled to get the opportunity to serve you and will do everything in our power to meet your expectations. If there is a financial need that we haven’t filled….”
Now if I wasn’t busy at work I’d love to slap the letter on his desk and ask why my credit card application was refused – instead I’ll have to settle with a phone call or wait until Friday night or Saturday morning.

Google Reader debuts

Google Reader launched yesterday and I’ve just had a quick play with it this morning. It choked on my initial import of my opml feed from feed on feeds, but that is because the description field in the exported data did not end with a set of double quotes if the descriptions were more than 3 lines long (for some very strange reason). I edited the file and started the import and now have lots of feeds in google reader. I’m not sure if I like the interface or not yet as it doesn’t load up feeds with old items, instead you just get new data so I don’t have a lot of feed items to read through. However I have found that clickable links in feeds do not appear in the google page so you have to load the original source (which is a bit pants really) Hmmm looked like that was just that one particular blog – (under the stairs) as others seem to be working ok now.

Online Library/book list

At last, I’ve found a good online app for tracking what books I own, have read, borrowed from the library, ordered from the library etc. My Library Thing shows the four books that I had down in the basement to test with and the great thing is that adding a book is really simple. Just swiping the barcode with the cuecat scanner and the book was looked up on amazon and ready to be entered. I just had to add the tags that I wanted to use. It would be great if it showed the tags already used ala flickr, but I suspect that won’t be long in coming. The service is free for 200 books and $10 for a lifetime membership after that which sounds pretty good to me.
The widget for recent books read appears below (which I am going to have to change the styling of)

Lotus Notes blogs?

Anyone know of some good Lotus Notes blogs? Seeing as though this is the mail client I could do with some extra reading to get back up to speed on it. It has been several years since I last used Notes (and then as a developer for databases). A lot has changed since then – the web based front end is really impressive, even if it does rely on java which is often broken on a lot of machines and a new version needs to be downloaded. However, the mail interface leaves an awful lot to be desired.
Yesterday I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t copy/paste from a Notes database. Apparently it is one of the ACL options that means you can’t copy from a document. Thats great for security, to stop you saving your own versions offline, but naff when it comes to copying ip/telephones/licence key information into another window.

I’m going to miss a good concert next week :-(

There’s a great sounding concert in Columbus next week when Audio Adrenaline, Superchik, Sanctus Real and Pillar are playing in one concert at Grove City, Columbus. Unfortunately we’re on a spending freeze at the moment (and we also have a marriage course that starts on the same night) so I’m going to miss it – shame they are not televising or streaming audio as that would be good. Oh well, I guess that means I can go to Petra’s farewell tour which would be the fourth time I’ve seen them (five if you include solo appearance by John Schlitt) with the other ones at London, Manchester and Leigh ( & Liverpool).

Onecare bug closed as a duplicate.

The bug I reported about onecare slowing down the performance of thunderbird has been closed because someone else has reported the same problem. Although it’s good to know that it is a known issue, closing the bug BEFORE it’s fixed is a bit daft as I won’t know when they’ve fixed it and it is ok to do more testing. I’ve had to remove the software in the meantime so any form of autoupdate is not going to reach the desktop!