Archive for the ‘Net: General’ category

Dominos Pizza: Watch the deals

February 23rd, 2013

And whilst I’m ranting about Dominos Pizza, they have the following deals:

“Feed Four for £5 each: 2 x Medium Pizzas, 1 x Garlic Pizza Bread, 1 x Potato Wedges plus 1 x bottle of 1.25l Coca Cola for only £19.99”
“Double Deal Medium: 2 Medium Pizza (from the menu or create your own up to 4 toppings, Premium Crusts & Bases charged as extra ) £20.99”

So, if you actually want 2 Medium pizzas (as we do), it works out £1 cheaper to get it with garlic bread, potato wedges and Cola!

Royal Mail Fax Numbers

September 3rd, 2010

If anybody else needs these contact details:
Royal Mail Fax Number (to be honest, I’m not sure where this one goes): 020 7250 2030
Royal Mail Redirections Centre Fax Number: 01782 406 120 (however, faxes sent at 1pm on a Friday won’t get looked at “until Monday, possibly Tuesday and then will take 5 days to action”)
Royal Mail Redirections Telephone: 08457 740 740, option 2 2 4. However, extremely busy at 4.30pm on a Friday (20 minute hold times!) and reasonably busy at 2.40pm on a Friday (8 minute hold time).

Net: Ensuring the future of Food in Japan

June 6th, 2009

Here’s a video I’ve just found via “The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st century” detailing that Japan imports 60% of its food (one of the lowest amongst developed nations) and that the Japanese diet has gone from rice, fish and vegetables to “meat, fat and oil” (mmm, oil!). The video proposes that the help ensure healthy diets, reduce dependency on other countries, increase economical stability in the Japanese farming industry and help the worldwide food markets that the Japanese should go back to more traditional diets.

I’m now wondering how the British diet has changed and if we would better going back to our traditional jellied eels, black pudding and chip diets…

Website Uptime Monitoring Systems

March 11th, 2009

After a post on Twitter from Dannychoo regarding web site uptime monitoring systems, I thought I’d make a list of all the ones I know of, the services they offer and their pricing for future reference.



Service Found via Highest check frequency Monitor nodes Features Monthly 1 minute keyword HTTP checks Monthly 10 minute keyword HTTP checks Alerts
Keyword checking Unwanted text checking Basic Auth POP3 SMTP IMAP On server monitors 1 sites 5 sites 10 sites 1 sites 5 sites 10 sites SMS Phone Email HTTP RPC ICQ/MSN/AOL/Yahoo RSS
Wormly @pukupi 1 minute 6 Yes Yes Yes Yes Optional, Free $19 $19 $39 $19 $19 $39 40 Free ($0.18 subsequent) $0.40 per call Free Free ICQ + MSN No
Mon.Itor.Us 5 minutes Unknown No No No Yes Optional Free n/a n/a n/a Free (ad supported) Free (ad supported) Free (ad supported) No No Yes No No No
Pingdom 1 minute Unknown Yes Yes Yes No $9.95 $9.95 $12.45 $9.95 $9.95 $12.45 20 Free ($0.45 for next 20) No Yes No No No
Pingdom Gigrib 1 minute Unknown No No No No No Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community supported) Free (community supported) No No Yes No No No
Montastic @tamir 10 minutes 2 No No No No No n/a n/a n/a Free Free Free No No Yes No No Yes
Host Tracker 1 minute 66 Yes No No No No $29.99 $29.99 $29.99 $4.99 $4.99 $29.99 10 Free (additional depend on network) No Yes No No No
Gomez @lennysan 1 minute 80 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Webmetrics @lennysan Unknown 95 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Optional No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Keynote @lennysan Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site No pricing on site Yes No Yes No No No
Monitis 1 minute 5 Yes No No Yes Optional, Free $2.50 $12.50 $25 $1.50 $7.50 $15 $0.20 No Yes No Yes Yes
Site24x7 1 minute 14 Yes Yes Yes $14 for 15 minute checks No $12 $60 $120 $3 $15 $30 Yes No Yes No No Yes
Alertra 1 minute 11 Yes No No Yes No $144.00 $720.00 $1440.00 $17.10 $85.50 $171.00 $0.19 $0.29 Yes No MSN+Yahoo No
Hyperspin 1 minute 14 Yes No No Yes No $12 $54 $102 $2.50 $12.50 $23.75 $0.20 No Yes No No No
WebsiteHawk Joe McDonald 1 minute 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Yes No Yes No No No
Panopta Steve 1 minute 20 No No No Yes No $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $15 $0.20 (20 free) on $15 plan
Unlimited free otherwise
Yes Yes No “Coming soon” No
IP Patrol   1 minute 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes No £50 £250 £500 £7.40 £37.00 £74.00 10p No Yes No No No
Specto @mrtorrent Runs on Linux and provides monitoring of local and remote sites

Sorry, I know the table isn’t exactly pretty, but it was only meant to be a 20 minute piece of work compiling the information and formatting it…

Google Checkout: Same fees as Paypal, what advantages?

March 11th, 2009

Well, within a few weeks I was going to update a new e-commerce site hoping to utilise Google Checkout and the benefits it offered (the previously discussed lower fees than Paypal and those fees could be reduced to zero by advertising on Google). But no more!

Like many others, I’ve just received the email (below) from Google (yes, I’ve authenticated it: it came to a specific Google Checkout email address I’ve got setup, through Google’s servers and checked with SPF: it’s even on the Google Checkout blog) which basically state “We’re hiking up fees and cancelling the advertising discount”. What rate are they hiking up to? Well, their website shows the following fees and I’ve included Paypal’s Fees for comparison:

Sales volume per month Google Checkout Paypal
Less than £1,500 3.4% and 20p 3.4% and 20p
Between £1,500 and £5,999.99 2.9% and 20p 2.9% and 20p
Between £6,000 and £14,999.99 2.4% and 20p 2.4% and 20p
Between £15,000 and £54,999.99 1.9% and 20p 1.9% and 20p
Over £55,000 1.4% and 20p 1.4% and 20p

<sarcasm> Wow – so much difference. </sarcasm>

Yes, they are identically (ok, Paypal’s limits are “between £1,500.01 and £6,000″/”between £6,000.01 and £15,000″/”between £15,000.01 and £55,000” so there is a penny difference in 5 exact cases!). (cough)Price fixing?(/cough)

But surely Google Checkout will be cheaper than Paypal for “cross-border” transactions (i.e. where the buyer and seller are in different countries):

Sales volume per month Google Checkout Paypal
Less than £1,500 4.4% and 20p 3.9% and 20p
Between £1,500 and £5,999.99 3.9% and 20p 2.4% and 20p
Between £6,000 and £14,999.99 3.4% and 20p 2.9% and 20p
Between £15,000 and £54,999.99 2.9% and 20p 2.4% and 20p
Over £55,000 1.4% and 20p 1.9% and 20p

So Google Checkout is actually more expensive then Paypal: and Google Checkout hasn’t got the market penetration than Paypal, hasn’t got the ease of integration of Paypal, hasn’t got the wide range of integration options than Paypal, hasn’t got the facilities of Paypal…

I’d just like to know why I should bother with Google Checkout instead of Paypal (baring in mind, the more payment methods offered the lower the theshold for discounts I’ll reach on any one of them and the more transaction fees I’ll pay). To me, it looks like Google Checkout is checking out and won’t be here this time next year…

Update:
11/Mar/09 21:46 GMT: Marketing Pilgrim isn’t sure if this is a sign of Google Checkout’s Success or Struggle (one of the commenters, James Wilton, there actually said what I first thought: “Perhaps Google is trying to kill Checkout by attrition? They certainly haven’t been investing resources into it.”
11/Mar/09 22:11 GMT: Just to confirm, it isn’t just the United Kingdom prices going up – it looks like a world-wide increase!
11/Mar/09 22:13 GMT: Explode On Twitter has already dropped Google Checkout for Paypal (as Paypal is simpler for all concerned). Has Google really sounded the death bell for Checkout?
11/Mar/09 22:22 GMT: There is a Google Support Forum Thread about this and it appears from a quick scan people are going to be dropping Checkout for Paypal after this fee increase (some are even talking about ditching Adwords!).
11/Mar/09 22:28 GMT: @jessicamerritt says she’s going to stick with Checkout because of their chargeback policy (in particular the fair treatment section on their fraud/chargeback page). I’ve not handled a chargeback through Checkout so I don’t know how good it is, but I’ve found Paypal a lot more “friendly” and accommodating than dealing with Lloyds TSB Cardnet chargebacks. Yes, Paypal (and others) do “freeze the funds”, but you do get the money back after the dispute (and from their point of view, it stops bad merchants “doing a runner” with the funds).
11/Mar/09 22:43 GMT: For comparison, here is the Paypal UK Discount Fee structure and the US one is here.
11/Mar/09 22:59 GMT: KingJ is no longer recommending Google Checkout as he(?) handles a large number of cross-border transactions and hence the transaction fee increase will cost him more than Paypal. Stanstech is also saying Goodbye to Google Checkout. I’ve also just checked and Paypal’s Chargeback fee of £7 is identical to Google’s new fee for chargebacks.. Hmm…
12/Mar/09 00:20 GMT: There is now also (as there always is) a Facebook group against the price rises. I’m personally not against the price rises on their own, I’m just against them it takes away the only benefits of using Google Checkout there was and the fact the prices match Paypal’s point for point: do they really both have identical operating costs?
12/Mar/09 11:59 GMT: ValleyWag chimes in asking whether this is the start of Google introducing higher fees for all their services.
12/Mar/09 12:01 GMT: EdSF nicely sums up the advantages Paypal has and the poor customer service he’s had from Google.
12/Mar/09 15:56 GMT:The Register now has an article of the Google Checkout fee increases. It’s getting wide publicity, but will Google realise how much they’ve annoyed merchants and that there are now no advantages to accepting Checkout?


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