(19:41:50) macondo_: khc: some contacts report that they receive my messages twice, and I didn't resend them
(19:42:35) khc: it's possible that your buddy already received the message but the switchboard connection died before we get an ACK
(19:42:56) macondo_: What the hell is this switchboard that can't work properly?
(19:43:20) darkrain42: heh, indeed
(19:43:26) khc: ya, what the hell indeed
I am not the biggest fan of Web 2.0 social networking sites. While Web 1.0 social networking sites (of course, they never called themselves social networking sites back then) tend to be fairly simple and navigable, Web 2.0 social networking sites seem to either have a reputation of colorful pre-teens or overweighted professionals. Web 2.0 social networking sites tend to have nothing in common and try to break as many known knowns as possible. The only trend that they share is that they all try to cram as many things on one page as possible, something people like to call "Mashups".
Of course, on those closed systems mashups tend to be possible only in very limited and controlled ways. For example, while Facebook can import an external feed to its Notes section, there's no way to import an external photo album. Getting data in is also much easier than getting data out.
That said, sometimes usefulness can be found. I've used a number of RSS readers and finally settled on Google Reader, and it has a feature that allows you to star or share feed items. I've recently found out that it even allows me to export my starred or shared items. Ah, those beloved mashups!
The end result can be found on the lower right corner of this site. There's no easy way to get statistic about who click on those links, although I seem to remember a way to do that with Google Analytics which is not enabled by default. Judging by stats of this site's visitors (again, with Google Analytics) this new area has a chance of being helpful to some, as they will likely find what I found interesting, interesting. It's even aptly titled "Interesting Stuff".
As I was trying to integrate that starred item mashup onto this site I fiddled with the font sizes in the CSS. I noticed that I have weird font-size all over the place just so that the menu headings and menu items would look the way I want them to. That seems quite silly, so I've taken most of them out and left only the relative sizes there. I also changed Firefox's default font size from 14px to 12px to better match my desktop settings (which is 10pt on 90dpi).
That created a problem though. Many websites take the default font size into account and adjust the font size down to enforce a particular design on web pages. Worse, some websites even do that on the main content (for example, Google News like to insert font size=-1 everywhere). After I decreased the default font size on Firefox some pages become unreadably small. I can set a minimum font size, but that would make correct uses of small font indistinguishable from incorrect uses.
Now that I think about it, this might have been why I hardcoded font sizes on this website. I probably got tired of zooming in all the time on other sites. I think I am trying to do the correct thing here though, so I will see how long this experiment is going to last before I can no longer stand it and change everything back.
While I was fiddling with font size everywhere I also realized GNOME by default assumes 96 dpi, while my real dpi is 90. This made fonts larger than they should. So I fixed that too, and changed the font size at the new/correct dpi to look comfortable on my eyes.
So after a week of not hearing back anything, I sent them another rant message and demanded a real human being to answer. They sent back the same reply as last time, and also another message:
We are currently experiencing higher than normal email volume. We are working diligently to reply to your inquiry as soon as possible. As a valued customer, we appreciate your patience and the opportunity to service your banking needs.
* Please do not reply to this message as this mailbox is not monitored *
Maybe if you fix my problem then all those complain hate mails will stop.
In the mean time though, their Bill Pay system still works wonderfully, and was quick to notify me (via email too! I checked the checkbox to receive all customer service responses via email and I never got any of them) that I have a $584.60 bill that I need to pay.
Guess they got their priorities right...
... from Bank of America's online banking site. Here's the reply I got from them:
Dear Ka-Hing H. Cheung, Thank you for your inquiry dated 10/31/06 regarding accessing your credit card through Online Banking. Your concerns are very important to us. We appreciate the opportunity to service your banking needs. Customer accessibility to our Online Banking service is one of our top priorities. We apologize for the difficulties you have experienced with our online banking service and we understand your frustration. We are currently working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. We have escalated this problem and we expect to have a resolution shortly. We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding this matter. If we may be of further assistance, please contact us again by e-mail. Thank you for choosing Bank of America. Sincerely, G. Steven Bank of America Did you know? You can pay all your bills in minutes with Online Banking with free, unlimited Bill Pay. Sign in to Online Banking and click on the Bill Pay and e-Bills tab to get started paying bills today.
Yeah, as if I am going to pay my bills if I can't even see the card, right?
Oh, for the record, my name is not Ka-Hing H. Cheung.