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WordPress ‘Invalid Response Document’ error

Problem:

Just had a problem with using Windows Live Writer after the software updated. I went to post a blog to my self-hosted WordPress install and got the error below;

Invalid response document returned from XmlRpc server

I couldn’t work out what it was but found a closed topic on www.wordpress.org that talks about php filenames being wrong.

Solution:

As I hadn’t had any previous issues and had been using Windows Live Writer fine during the last week I decided to check my plugins were updated. One wasn’t so I updated that even though it wasn’t an active plugin. That didn’t work so I simply went into the dashboard and ‘Updates’. Here I used the ‘Re-install Now’ button to reinstall the WordPress core code and after doing this Windows Live Writer worked again seamlessly.
Update: As a friend pointed out to me – uninstall any inactive plugins. They are a backdoor for hackers.

Result:

Happy blogger!

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Back to an Apple Future

I was recently sent a link to Kim Komando’s  TVKim that showed a YouTube of the ‘imagineering’ going on at Apple back in the late 80s and early 90s. While the video below is made up of material from around 1987 and 1992 it still makes a powerful statement on what can be achieved when we have a vision for the future. Enjoy this little technological prophetic ride.

More videos from Apple’s past promotions can be found here. Click Here

Its interesting that when you read the comments under the video in YouTube you find statements like this.

No they got it a MONTH out. A few weeks to be precise.
The video asks for a file 5 years back on deforestation, and the article was in 2006. 2006 + 5 = 2011. On the Knowledge Navigator calendar, the month happens to be September. This video was based in September 2011. It? was made in 1987. Siri was released October 2011. AMAZING. AMAZZZIIINNNGGGG.
Apple were a few weeks off, and they also knew deforestation was going to be an issue today. Apple is from the future?

"You'll hardly be able to? notice you're online"
Well, I sure notice when I'm not.

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Saga of a Camcorder Buyer

20th September 2010

Dear CEO,

Saga of a Camcorder Buyer Looker

I am writing this open letter to all of the manufacturers involved in my shopping expedition over the weekend. After two weeks of internet research and reading reviews I ventured out this Sunday at 10am to buy a mid-range HD camcorder. On the 7th of October my wife and I are heading for the trip of a lifetime to see Israel for 8 days and we wanted to upgrade our Sony DCR-TRV230 Digital8 camcorder to something more portable with flash memory so we could show our children the trip on our return.

What has followed astounded even me. I have not been able to buy a camera because they are either not in stock, unable to be demonstrated or stocking old models they can’t clear. I went out looking for a camcorder with the following spec. Essential features included; Full HD 1920×1080, Flash Memory (SD) and Auto Focus. Additional features we hoped for included; Built-in memory, Touch screen and Touch to Focus. We hoped to end up buying a unit in the $550-$750 range.

We had narrowed our range suited to features and budget to probably the Panasonic HDC-SD60 or the Sony HDR-CX110 based on previous positive experiences. We were also keeping in mind the JVC Everio GZHD620, Canon Legria HF R106, as well as the Samsung H200 and Samsung HMX-H105.

Living in Loganholme we started our expedition and felt we were dealing with the premier retailers in our local area. This is a list of the retail outlets we visited from 10am to 5pm on Sunday.

Harvey Norman – Loganholme
Clive Peters – Loganholme
Good Guys – Loganholme
Dick Smith Powerhouse – Springwood
RT Edwards – Springwood
Harvey Norman – Garden City
JB HIFI – Garden City
Good Guys – Upper Mt. Gravatt
Clive Antony – Upper Mt. Gravatt

The key issues that came up time and time again were the same and as a distributor of the brands I went looking for I felt you may have more ability to effect change in the local store.

  1. No stock – often the key stock wasn’t available. When asked what was available most couldn’t tell me what was available in terms of other models or what was available and when from their supplier. I am yet to see/hold a Panasonic HDC-SD60
  2. Old stock – more often than not the display was taken up with old stock the retailer was trying to clear. When asked about current models I was told “that’s it”.
  3. Demonstration models – batteries weren’t charged and available in all but one store.
  4. Staff availability – Waiting in one case up to 15min at a counter for assistance.
  5. Staff training – This was perhaps the saddest aspect that occasionally finding stock I wasn’t able to find a staff member who could explain or demonstrate the unit. Given they didn’t have a charged battery that was probably the appropriate response.

This exercise has surprised me and if I were you as the manufacturer I would be highly disappointed. I didn’t mention that we also visited BigW, Officeworks and Kmart in the simple hope somebody would have stock. The best store for stock appeared to be Harvey Norman(Loganholme) but no one available to sell. The best store for service was JB HIFI Mt. Gravatt.

Good Guys Upper Mt. Gravatt advised that retailers at this time of year were reducing their range and only stocking what fit their local demographic. Considering they stocked a lot of cheap ($300 range) cameras in what I would consider reasonably affluent Mt. Gravatt I couldn’t understand the logic. He advised they would all be stocking more range and better prices closer to Christmas.

We remain without a camcorder so I continue to review the web and Lasoo looking for sales promotions. I hope this letter serves to position your brands for better service from the retail sector. You and the retail partners have invested in advertising to get me ‘through the door’ it would be to your benefit to have me walk out the door with my new camcorder.

If you are able to point us in the direction of a good deal for a camcorder that meets our previously mentioned specifications and we can see it touch it and have it demonstrated then we are ready to buy. If you are looking for a review of your product I would be more than willing to write a review based on our travel between the 7th and 18th October.

Yours Sincerely,

Andrew Pitchford

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TPG Disaster Customer Service on ADSL service

Dear Reader,

I could bore you with a tale of woe trying to get my TPG ADSL2 service working but rather than use this blog to deal with that. Let me show you how hard it is to move away from a bad ISP provider like TPG.

My billing cycle with TPG was on the 19th of the month. On the 23rd of February we contacted TPG in writing asking for our account to be disconnected immediately. We had simply had enough of the service and wanted to move on. We were out of contract and expected the disconnection would be simple. When you don’t pay your bill they can move really fast but not when you are walking to a competitor.

Note the cancellation dates on the first two communications state the 19th March and then state the 26th March and we move on from there.

We wanted to move to iinet but iinet would not be able to establish us on our local exchange with a naked DSL service until TPG removed their ADSL2 codes.

Note how the last response from TPG since I contacted them has moved cancellation out to the 10th of April even though I contacted them in writing out of contract on the 23rd February.

Here starts the pathetic story that shows how it can take SIX WEEKS to disconnect from an existing service like TPG. Today I tried five times to contact TPG again however their standard answer after pressing 2 for support and 2 for ADSL service is “Due to the influx in calls we are unable to assist you with your enquiry. We apologise for the inconvenience. Please try again later”. Each time you call their 1300 service you pay for the first minute. Unlike iinet that offer you the opportunity to leave a message, tell you how long it will take for someone to get back to you and then DO call you back.

SENT: 23rd February 2009 To: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

TPG,

re.

Userid name – XXXXXX
Userid number – XXXXXXX
Primary ADSL phone number XXXXXXXX
Address of installation XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I wish you to apply an immediate cancellation of my ADSL2 service with your organisation. After somewhere between 2 and 3 weeks of trying to resolve this matter I am TIRED of;

  1. Spending hours on the phone in the evening and on my weekends
  2. Each time waiting for calls to be answered.
  3. Each time being qualified for my identification, sometime three times on the SAME CALL.
  4. Having calls drop out and TPG not calling me back.
  5. Having to call TPG back and go through the queue.
  6. Having 80% of the calls I make to TPG answered by a voicemail that says you can't take my call due to a high influx of calls.
  7. Despite point 6 above happening your service status on your site is always PERFECT????

I have now had three modems tested on this service (my previous one, a test unit from work and a new one). All report the same issue and this has NOT been resolved by your support although I am told today the matter was closed last week. You only need to look at my account usage to see the distinct pattern difference from previous usage and the amount of reconnections!!!!

Today I tried to call to work through support and was cut off again. No one calls me back within an hour of waiting so I wish this account cancelled immediately and the 30 days notice does not apply to this distinct lack of service. Please confirm in writing this cancellation which was discussed with your staff today.

Andrew Pitchford

 

RECEIVED 24th February 2009

TPG Internet Pty Ltd
ABN 15 068 383 737
65 Waterloo Road
North Ryde NSW 2113

Tel: 1300 360 855    Fax 02 9850 0813

Dear Customer,

Your cancellation request has been processed and finalised.

The details of your cancellation are as follows:

  • Username: XXXXXXXX
  • Customer ID: XXXXXXXX
  • Cancellation date: 26/3/2009
  • Cost for service during 30 day notice period: $57.49
  • Cancellation fee: $0.00
  • Less paid-up credit on current service: $57.49
  • Total amount to be debited: $0.00

If you have agreed to take the service for an Initial Contract Period and you seek early termination, then the contract has to be paid out, or a cancellation fee will apply, up to a maximum of $350 (whichever is the lower) – refer to Additional ADSL Pricing. If you require more information, please contact Customr Service on 1300 360 855.

Regards,
ADSL Cancellations
TPG Internet

RECEIVED 24th February 2009

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:13 AM, ADSLCancellation <adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au> wrote:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your email.
Cancellation for your account will be processed on (19/03/2009). Your service will remain active until this date.
Please let me know if I can further assist you.

Kind Regards,
Dyna
Cancellation Department
Phone: 1300 360 855
Fax:   02 9850 0813
Email: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

SENT: 2nd March 2009

To: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

TPG,

As the TPG account has not been active in terms of quality of service and we wish to move on to a new provider I would like this service cancelled immediately as per my original request. Failure to do this prevents me from moving on to a new provider as the ADSL2 codes need to be removed in order for me to be able to change to a new provider's naked DSL service. Please note that not following through on this reasonable request only prolongs the bad customer experience I have received to date.

Regards,
Andrew Pitchford

SENT: March 9th 2009

To: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

TPG,
Can you please confirm if this account has been 'completely' cancelled?
Can you also please confirm that the ADSL2 codes have been removed from the exchange?
Many thanks,
Andrew Pitchford

RECEIVED: March 10th 2009

Dear Customer,
Thank you for your email.
Please note that your account will be cancelled on 19/03/2009.
ADSL codes will be dropped 3 to 5 working days after the cancellation date.
For ASAP cancellation, once we enter the cancellation it will be processed and will be inactive immediately.
Please confirm via return email if you would want your account be cancelled as asap.
Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Kind Regards,
Jennifer
Cancellations Department
Ph: 1300 360 855

SENT: March 11th 2009

Jennifer,
This is the third time we have requested immediate cancellation.
Please cancel ASAP.
Andrew Pitchford

RECEIVED: March 11th 2009

TPG Internet Pty Ltd
ABN 15 068 383 737
65 Waterloo Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Tel: 1300 360 855    Fax 02 9850 0813

Dear Customer,
Your cancellation request has been processed and finalised.
The details of your cancellation are as follows:

  • Username: XXXXXXX
  • Customer ID: XXXXXXXX
  • Cancellation date: 10/4/2009
  • Cost for service during 30 day notice period: $17.50
  • Cancellation fee: $0.00
  • Less paid-up credit on current service: $17.50
  • Total amount to be debited: $0.00

If you have agreed to take the service for an Initial Contract Period and you seek early termination, then the contract has to be paid out, or a cancellation fee will apply, up to a maximum of $350 (whicheveris the lower) – refer to Additional ADSL Pricing. If you require more information, please contact Customr Service on 1300 360 855.

Regards,
ADSL Cancellations
TPG Internet

UPDATE:

SENT: March 17th 2009

to adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au
date Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 3:43 PM
subject Re: ADSL cancellation request (username XXXXXXX)

Reply

This is not the IMMEDIATE cancellation I asked for two weeks ago. Now you are telling me I have to wait until APRIL. Come on TPG, please call me to organise an immediate deactivation of the ADSL2 codes on our exchange.

Andrew Pitchford

RECEIVED: March 17th 2009

Dear Customer,
Thank you for your email.
Please be advise that removal of codes would be on 19/03/2009
Please let me know if I can further assist you.

Kind Regards,
Dyna
Cancellation Department
Phone: 1300 360 855
Fax:   02 9850 0813
Email: adsl_cancel@tpg.com.au

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CVC – Relationship Development System

This week I am enjoying the hospitality of CVC in Maroochydoore. This wonderful media ministry that has arms of operation across the globe has been a major player in short wave radio bringing multiple language programs to nations such as China, Indonesia and India. Beating in the heart of CVC is the mission to take a contact with their organisation through a relationship that leads to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Their mission statement succinctly explains that process.

To introduce people to Jesus and

encourage those who acknowlege Him

to accept Him as the Son of God

and become His true followers.

This week CVC have been sharing with a variety of ministries, the features of a Relationship Development System that they have developed over aproximately four years. The system assists presenters and ministry staff to interact with a geographically spread audience utilising web technologies. Audience contacts can engage with CVC via email, SMS, letters and webforms and receive contact or answered questions via a chosen medium from the options available.

Taking the ‘conversation’ offline from the broadcast has enabled CVC to build powerful personal relationships. The key for them is a life changed and now they have been able to utilise the web technologies to take on volunteers across Australia who can logon and participate as home missionaries communicating with people groups around the world.

Amazing times with great vision.

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Jumpin’ on the iPhone ride

Today was my first run with the new Apple iPhone. After three months I have been totally enveloped in my iPod Touch 32GB. But just recently an opportunity arose to upgrade to a new phone so out with my HTC TyTnII and on to blissville.

So far it has been an uneventful introduction… I haven’t received any calls 🙂

The thing I am looking forward to is integrating my social networking life via twitter on my iphone which posts to Facebook and then I’ll use the WordPress app to enhance my blog.

Boy, even reading that makes me tired.

Now I’m off to setup a few apps… Call me!!

image

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The Android has Landed

Prepare to be amazed. We will need to see what the ‘Boys’ from Google have in store for us. Some issues seemed to be argued across the Blogosphere over the last few months but in the last week it appears that the efforts of HTC, Google and T-Mobile will be released around November 2008.

If you have dreams of development in the mobile phone arena then soon you will see an SDK come out from Google.

 

For more details check this article by Eric Schonfeld from TechCrunch.

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PayPal has your best interest at heart. Not! Well maybe!?

image This weekend I received an email from PayPal advising me they had found and stopped someone fraudulently using my PayPal account. This ranged from them buying goods on eBay to making a donation to an American literacy organisation. Hmmm crooks with a conscience!

Now let me start by saying, "Thanks PayPal"! They did stop the naughty wee crooks and their system did identify a trait and acted on it immediately. Without this kind of attention, it is fare to say we could have had a bigger problem. So to a certain extent I was impressed that the protection was there.

So why am I upset with PayPal and writing this blog. Well it goes back to an age old adage of marketing that is about the word ‘communication’. Here is where PayPal dropped the ball. They delivered me impressive service without me even knowing about it and then couldn’t communicate to me what had happened in order to leave me in a state of jaw-dropping awe.

First I get an email on the weekend to say ‘we stopped the bad guys’. Who communicates this kind of issue via email. Whenever I am overseas and start buying souvenirs on my credit card my wife gets a phone call from our friendly Westpac bank to say ‘we’ve identified an unusual transaction in Singapore’. WOW! We assure them its OK for Mr Pitchford to be buying trinkets in the markets and life moves on with us feeling more secure in the knowledge the ‘Bank Guys’ really do care 😉 .

Second, when I respond to PayPal’s email I find that a web form is all that is available to me. What!? They find a problem, want me to communicate with them to clarify if this is valid or not and I have to work through their help system, FAQs to a web form. Come on! Finally I find a 1800 number only to discover the following hours of use.

  • 08:00 AM to 6:30 PM AEST Monday to Thursday
  • 08:00 AM to 4:00 PM AEST Friday and Saturday

Now, I could have thought this was due to our overworked Australian workers but ‘no’ that isn’t an excuse as I find when I call at 12noon on Monday and wait on hold for 20minutes before speaking to the US based call centre.

Finally, the nice guy in the US explains to me that I really shouldn’t worry. They guarantee my funds and I won’t lose out because if my PayPal account or card has been used fraudulently they will reimburse me my funds.

Now that’s nice but they also tell me over the phone that my credit card was never compromised as even when logging in as a user you can’t see the full credit card number so the wombats who compromised my account should have stopped at PayPal. GREAT! Why didn’t someone tell me by email or phone this information before I cancelled my credit card for what will cost quite a bit of time to redeploy new information through my network of consumerism!

Bottom line PayPal, you could have made a winner of your performance by looking at the communication trail. Don’t just "do it", make sure you tell the consumer "how you did it" and "how well". We will feel more secure and not spend time wondering if when the guy at the call centre tells me "No one will ever crack PayPal" whether its hype or substance.

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We are an iPhone friendly site!! – Really nice!!

imageHey, I’m the first to agree I lurv (you read it correctly ‘love’) my 32GB iPod Touch and the idea of an iPhone is quickly setting in as well. I’ve found that since using my iPod touch I will spend more time keeping abreast of email or updating my Facebook status via this device than starting up my laptop or rushing to login on the family PC.

It just feels easy for mail but now where do I stand when it comes to using Safari for browsing? Its kind of a bit of give and take. I know sites that are easy to browse to and others I think, ‘stuff it’ I’ll wait until I’m in front of a real screen. But will you or I lose people on the same basis of their choice when coming to our blog sites?

Now I have the answer for my blog and using a great plugin from the team at Bravenewcode we have upgraded our WordPress based blog to be a iPhone friendly (and for that matter iPod Touch friendly) website. This plugin has just received an update to version 1.2 and in the process overcome some issues to do with its initial use of Prototype Java. Now its all go, super fast over 3G/Edge as well as your WiFi home browsing of our Blog.

Congrats to the team at Bravenewcode. They give you great options like changing colour sets and being able to personalise the base look and feel through icon assignments to your pages or categories.  As well as this you can choose which pages appear in your menu system if you want your static content or contact details to appear in this recompiled presentation. Then if your friends change their mind and want to flip back into your regular ‘full screen’ presentation they can click on ‘Normal View’ at the bottom of the page and let Safari do its thing.

Painless, quick and super smart.

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Squarespace – It could be worth it

Like anyone I’m interested in ‘ease of use’ when it comes to the online blogging and publishing arena. Oh and give me the ability to make it ‘my space’ not a poorly constructed corporate template. The newly launched ‘SquareSpace‘ could answer many of the issues of simplicity in online publishing with this new release. Take a trip through the demo and be impressed at the realtime editing of styles, format and look that can be driven into your site. The demo indicates developers will be able to integrate CSS styles but is it the "be all and end all" of a solution for those who want to maintain content control.

While a 14 day free trial version is available (without credit card details) the real test for me won’t be in ease of use, but rather control. The monthly pricing start at USD$7 for 0.5GB of storage 6GB of bandwidth. You would agree its quite expensive for what you get in terms of ‘storage’ but you are obviously paying for the ‘smarts‘. My concern is that the ‘smarts’ are only a little further down the track than other online publishing options and may not be worth the long term cost.

We all move through technology steps, yesterday some HTML site in ‘Hotdog‘, today WordPress or Blogger and tomorrow!? Well thats another story. Will Squarespace be there and if not how do I move my content? Like any managed service the promise needs to be backed up by keeping our precious thoughts close to our chest in the sense of BACKING UP your content at HOME!

Build a Website – Create a Blog – Squarespace