Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Google reacting to click fraud

I had the Google support people as my pen pals for a while. I was complaining to them about one particular site (axill) which seemed to be doing something fishy with Google's ad blocks, and requested my money back ($70). They said they would investigate. They investigated. They gave me my money back. Thank you Google.

What, no place for positive stories in the world?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Faster scrolling in Windows

I got my first job writing software when I was 15. It was a summer job. I learned programming routine and in addition two things: it's possible to make big money by having your own company, and secondly, you can scroll down faster in Windows if you wiggle your mouse around while doing it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"Easy" Internet Cafe

I'm still in New York, and since I'm spending a long time in here, I need to be able to access the Internet from time to time, in order to keep things running in my online shop, move my studies forward and that sort of stuff. But here's the problem: it's impossible to conveniently get onto the Internet from New York. It's incredible.

There are some net points in connection to some cafes, but they tend to cost almost $10 per hour, which is okay for just checking the map or news, but doesn't work if you need to spend 5 hours there writing a school report. Then one day, I managed to find this great place right in the center, on 42nd street, a net cafe called "Easy Internet Cafe". As a kind of disclaimer on what I'm about to say, the business is a franchise business, so the people at the easy group might not know how bad the situation is in here.

The setting is that of ghosts which are between the living world and the underworld, they have gone through a tragedy but they have unfinished business before they can find rest, which is why they are wandering, looking for the thing to satisfy their unfinished business. In the case of this cafe, the tragedy which happens is that people wander in here and decide to buy a pass for using one of these computers. You see, first you buy a pass from a vending machine, then find a computer where you can use this pass. But what you don't realize when you buy the pass is that although it seems as if there are a lot of free computers, actually almost none of them work. So you see these ghosts, wandering from computer to computer, hopefully moving the mouse or trying to turn on the screen, only to face darkness. But they have paid. They cannot leave satisfied until they find a computer which works.

You may think I'm exaggarating. I'm not. Maybe you think that I'm just upset because one out of ten computers doesn't work. Maybe you think I don't understand how fragile things computers are. No it's definitely not me, it's this place. About one fifth of the computers work. Seriously. The other ones either have frozen or blinking screens, windows has crashed, some system files are missing, the computer is endlessly rebooting or something similar. My favorite one is the computer which displays "this computer is free", blinking encouraginly, but then after you sit down, open your Red Bull, thinking that you finally found a computer which works and try to get to work, nothing happens. It's frozen to the "this computer is free"-screen. In desperation you try to hit the keys or move the mouse, but... nothing. That's just too cruel.

Update: One guy started warning others not to pay. The security guards got very angry and threw him out. Even though he had already paid. They said "you are now TRESPASSING" in a somewhat threatening voice, he apologised many times saying "I was only trying to get value for my money" and went outside, followed by the security guards, where the argument continued.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

New York

Finnair had a great offer of 300€ for a return ticket to New York, so I decided to make a visit. I also found a reasonably priced hostel called Wanderers' Inn, which costs just 20€ per night, making this a very cheap trip indeed. Joel Spolsky from Fog Creek Software invited me to visit for lunch, so I had something to look forward to. I have been in New York for a week now. Yesterday I became sick and only reluctantly left the hostel. Later I regretted it, almost throwing up in central park. After walking about 4 miles away from the hostel, the sky opened up and the heaviest rain I had ever seen began. There was so much water it started flowing over from the street into the sidewalks. I had no umbrella and soon I was totally wet. And I was already sick. There was nowhere to go. Inside cafes it is so cold because of the air conditioning. So I walked 4 miles back in the rain. About a mile before reaching the hostel I managed to find a shop selling umbrellas. I almost had a fight with another customer for the last umbrella. Next night at the hostel I was shivering, obviously I had a temperature. I was confused. One moment I was feeling hot, the next I felt shivering cold, all the time feeling a pounding headache. I hope the rain will stop and I could enjoy the city and still see Fog Creek later on.