YteneWeb The Weirder Side Of Life…

March 25, 2014

Worst Web Hosting Take 2: 1&1 Internet

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:49 pm

And there I was thinking that 1&1 Internet were getting the message and trying to sort out some of their awful customer service. Oh silly me.

Today I received an email from their Billing Department, to advise me that, “We recently contacted you regarding a declined payment or an expired credit/debit card and have not yet heard back from you…”

Well, in fairness to 1&1 and in the interests of transparency, they were half right. Earlier this year I managed to misplace a credit card – the same one that pays for my hosting service. Being a responsible card-holder, I called my bank to alert them – and by the time I had found it and called them back the original had been canceled and there was a new card in the post and on it’s way to me. [ Side observation: have you ever noticed how banks can be laughably inefficient until the one time when it really did take them 2 days to process a “replacement card” – and then they’re on top form. Oh well… ]

Anyway, I digress. The card details held on file by 1&1 were wrong. This was entirely my fault [I did look back over several old statements for recurring orders that would have my card details on file but I clearly missed 1&1] and I’ll cheerfully own up to my own incompetence there. But what really annoys me was the “We recently contacted you…”. Actually no, you didn’t. I have not taken any calls, and there are no voicemails – which is just as well seeing as I’d asked them to stop calling me. Today’s email was the first I have received on this subject. Now, given that 1&1 are also my email provider as well as my host, this introduces the exciting edge of mystery to this tale.

Either they were incompetent and in fact today’s email was their first attempt to contact me. Or they were incompetent and their email delivery mechanism didn’t manage to deliver an email when I otherwise have no problems or concerns [apart from their mail server occasionally being black-listed by other ISPs for sending out excessive spam] and they then failed to act upon the “delivery error” message which they should have received. . [ Which has happened twice in my experience ]. Actually, and again to be fair, there is at least one more explanation: this was the first email they sent, and the opening statement is designed to inject a sense of urgency to encourage recipients to act promptly. Especially as the message continues,

“If we do not receive full payment in 7 days, our system will automatically lock your account, as is in accordance with our terms and conditions. If your package is or does become locked, it will take up to 1 business day to reactivate it once the matter is resolved.”

Well. 7 days. It’s a pretty good thing that I’m not on holiday, or traveling on business, eh?

Stay tuned for more thrilling installments in the on-going saga of one ISP’s determined efforts to annoy their customers into taking their business elsewhere.

March 17, 2014

Experimental Exbury

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:30 am

With a weekend of amazing weather, it was time to make a return visit to Exbury Gardens, tucked away by Beaulieu River, and not far from the somewhat more famous Bucklers Hard (home of Napoleonic-era British Man-o-War). A few warmer nights have encouraged quite a few of the shrubs and ground flowers to bloom, and, more importantly, a day out with the Olympus OM-D EM-1 was long overdue. Bearing in mind that I’m still in very (very) early days with this wonderful piece of kit (maybe 40-50 exposures, most of them tinkering), the comparison below, of the two daffodil blooms, might be instructive. The pale subject was taken with my Canon EOS 7D partnered with the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L lens, and taken last year, at which time I would consider that I was pretty familiar with the gear. The somewhat more golden daff was taken in late afternoon sunlight by the OM-D EM-1, in an almost-careless “have-at-it” snap. I did notice that the Oly seemed to get a bit annoyed with the gentle breeze today – the flower stem was yielding in a slight breeze and as a result the lens spent a little time hunting, but having said that I reckon the image blows the Canon equivalent away.

Now, I’d like to emphasise that I’m just a below-average snapper, not a professional or even a trained photographer. Any abilities I’ve acquired are “self-taught” through accidents rather than actual learning. Even so, to my eye, this Olympus is already producing images that run rings round my Canon. Neither are cheap options, but on balance the Olympus wins on 2 fronts: it’s 2/3 the size and 2/3 the weight of my 7D and 24-70mm lens; and of course it produces better images. Which, after all, is what it’s all about, right?

All images taken with Olympus OM-D EM-1 with the “kit” Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 zoom lens, except “Daff with an EOS 7D”, which was taken with a Canon EOS 7D and the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L (MK I) lens.






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