Post Danmark – where is my package?

My God!! I have just experienced one of the most horrific displays of incompetence of this year… it involves one quick sender from eBay, a fairly swift package handling outside Denmark, and then an example of why Post Danmark is such an extremely bad-run company that viable alternatives should drool with the mere fact that Post Danmark is doing such a bad job.

Case
Bought a new set of headphones on eBay – they were send swiftly from Hong Kong and everything was dandy. Got a good deal on some much needed audio equipment…. The package was send as “value-shipment” – which means that I have to be at home to sign for reception of the package – both vendor and and buyer agreed this was the safest way to go by the transaction… but BOY were we wrong…

The package arrives
Being the summer period I took the liberty of going way on a small vacation leaving the handling of the package to Post Danmark. When I got home there was a small “pickup note” in my mailbox that a letter requiring my signature had not been delivered since I was not at home, but that I should go to my local post office in Brabrand to get the package… I was happy – I really needed my new headphones…. So equipped with my note and my ID, I went downtown to pickup the package…

Oh what incompetence
When I handed in my note, things started to go all wrong… the post office staff, apparently,
had also decided to go on vacation – subletting the handout of packages to a bunch of morons (sorry!)… after they had spent 10 minutes turning each and every package, they asked me to come check for myself.. while I found it a bit strange that I was not snagging into packages send to Miss Anderson and Mr. Petersen, I still gave it a shot… but to no avail.. the package was gone… and since the vacation personal were as helpful and knowledgable as a hole in the ground, I was left pretty frustrated… I then went to the nearest “real post office” and they provided me with a phone number for the locate distribution liaison…

Still… no dice
He has now spend quite some time on helping me (and in all fairness he IS doing a great job in trying). However, the package remains lost… there is proof that the package was in fact signed in with the Brabrand post office – but they have somehow misplaced/mislocated/borrowed the package.

Now what
Well… now it gets interesting… I want my money back – and I really think that Post Danmark must try and help me as a consumer and provide me with some sort of compensation… But I could not be further away from the truth… in fact I as the receiver cannot do anything to claim money from Post Danmark… I have to get in contact with the seller to have him file a missing package claim – eventhough the problem here lies deep within Post Danmark and not in Hong Kong or whatever country the package may have passed through… and guess what…. compensation for the package will then be paid out to the seller.. and I will then have to file a formal complaint with the seller for him to pay my money back… this workflow is simply beyond me?! Post Danmark has admitted to making a mistake, I have to do all the work in contacting the seller, the seller goes to file a missing package report, he will eventually get the money back – and then I get a shot at getting my money back from the seller?! God almighty…

Next steps
The seller has agreed to file a missing package…. I am not sure what happens with that afterwards -since the package is nowhere to be found, he will get the money back… I guess I will make good use of the eBuyer protection program, only if the are issues with getting the seller to pay me back my money (I think he will do this… he seems like a good guy)… but the fact of the matter is not really how I get my money back….

The fact of the matter
No… the real beef lies with Post Danmark… they have proved extremely incompetent in handling this situation… a chain is only as weak as it weakest spot – and in this case this boils down to the two monkeys at Brabrand post office. If Post Danmark means business, they must ensure that they tidy up their own mess and make sure that in case something like this happens that I as a consumer does not have to be both worried and spend an insane amount of time tracking down my options… Post Danmark – you are not living up to your responsibility to me as a consumer – especially when I think of all other areas where consumers enjoy protection from vendors – it is beyond me how you are not willing to give me proper help and compensation and deal with the sender of this package to sort out his compensation without my involvement.. it is not ok!


Android or iPhone

Well well well…. Another year – same dilemma: stick with Apple’s iPhone or bail ship and change course and head down the Android path to freedom, autonomy and Open Source… As was the case last year – this year’s decision is a no-brainer.. Right? I mean, come on, Open Source IS the new black? And Apple is growing into a profit-hogging mastodon without its long-hailed customer finesse. Looking back at my old blog-entry from August 3rd 2009 the contenders were HTC Hero or iPhone 3GS (opted for the 3GS, if in doubt).. So another year gone by; Same dilemma…

Hello iPhone 4
Actually, when iPhone 4 was announced I was left more or less with the conclusion that I could not live without it.. I signed up immediately.. But then two things happened. One – the whole Antenna-gate thing (in particular Apple’s response) and two – second thoughts: did I REALLY need another iPhone just for the sake of a better camera and 720p video (sure Retina screen is also nice.. But so is the 3GS screen). I mean the iOS4 already runs on my 3GS.. Maybe it was time for something completely different…

Android ghost of summer past
There you have it. Yet again I am struggling with ghosts of “past blog posts” – should I stay or should I go? The first iPhone 4 challenger was HTC Desire. I have long had eyes on the HTC Sense UI on Android (big clock and weather widget combined – how to live without it) – but also the way that it handles contacts integration with various sources was/is very exiting to me. However, after talking with friends already using the Desire (and not letting that go by unnoticed) it became clear that a few things were rotten in Desire-land. Things such as battery life, Mac sync and camera capabilities a long with what I found to be perhaps the biggest letdown so far in my Android exploration – apps in Android Market, were all decisive factors in me turning away from Desire and back to iPhone (so much for Open Source – welcome back to the Walled Garden). But then something happened…

Samsung – do they really make mobiles?
Enter Samsung i9000 Galaxy S (or whatever name carriers in the US may have decided to name “their” version). Super quick processor, excellent camera and also sporting 720p video.. Interesting UI with a little iPhone to it.. And a super AMOLED 4″ screen (maybe a tad big…). This devise looks very interesting indeed – so I started turning a few leaves on the Internet to get “real user experience” input… And again – I cannot help to feel that Android is let-down. From what I gather:

  • No sync with my Mac and my music (I know – very old-school – but I still have a lot of music sitting on my LG NAS).
  • Plastic finish (on a very expensive phone…)
  • No LED flash for the camera (how dumb is that!)
  • Android Market – if I am to leave the ton of apps I have already paid for on my iPhone behind – I really need a much broader variety of apps (don’t even get me started on how insanely stupid I think it is that I am not able to buy apps in Android Market just because I live in Denmark). Also, try googling for EA Sports apps (love FIFA 10 on my iPhone – so does my kids) – some say it is there; others do not see it. Come on people…

Still, I am very intrigued by the chance to grab a hold of the Android train.. And as far as I can dig into the new Galaxy S, I think the phone comprises both something new UI-wise but also hardware-wise. Interesting….

Decision time
Time is ticking (I bet you already think that this blog post is way too long – sorry about that!). I am still having issues with buying an iPhone 4 simply because that the my 3GS on iOS4 is doing such a great job. “Then don’t buy a new phone”, you say?! Well, now I have already set my heart on getting a new phone – so that would simply not be possible… Also, me and a glass-cased phone – that has got bad idea written all over it (guess that case will come in handy by keeping reception high and break-factor low)… And besides the short-comings of the Galaxy S – I am more and more inclined to take the plunge into Android this year than a year ago. Much will rest on my investigations into the Android Market and it’s current somewhat sorry state. The iPhone 4 still has not been announced on 3 network here in Denmark; and the Galaxy S arrives in week 31 (that would be in a weeks time from tomorrow). The race is on – and this year the no-brainer could actually turn out to be victorious.. I really want Android to be good – but sync, apps and a clear update-path to Froyo and Gingerbread must be dealt with first – I give myself and Galaxy S three weeks to get this figured out – I will update this post as I go along.

Resources
iPhone vs. Samsung Galaxy S (youtube)


Making fun of Three Lions on a shirt…

Been around the Internet to pick up on some of the harsh (somewhat) comments posted to accompany the English football team trying so hard to go through to the second phase of the World Cup 2010 being held in South Africa… and the picking of the web is not for the faint of heart…. but here goes:

Fabio Capello walks into the England dressing room and finds a big steaming turd on the floor. He shouts “who’s shit on the ground”? “Me”, says Heskey, “but I’m better in the air”.

and another one:

Breaking news – England has got a new coach. It will be picking them up Thursday morning from Heathrow airport

uh… and another one…

South African police admit they’re having problems with drug-dealers,
thieves and sex fiends during the World Cup. They said that things should improve once John Terry’s family go home.

again – again:

The England team went to visit an orphanage in South Africa this morning. “It felt so good to put a smile on the faces of people with no hope, constantly struggling and facing the impossible” said Jamal Umbongo, aged 6

And… just to round things of:

all future televised england matches have been moved to the gay adult channel. Apparently the sight of 11 arseholes frequently getting hammered for 90 minutes was far too explicit for normal tv


Moving from tjep.org to tjep.me

Migrating away from tjep.org to tjep.me – using Flavors.me as the aggregator platform and blogging through WordPress @wordpress.com…. tjep.me has been bought for 9 USD on godaddy.com.


Scary … And most members of Congress are laywers …!

Just got my hands on some fantastic (?!) quotes from US courtrooms.. I laughed.. I hope you enjoy it too….
Below abstracts are from a book called ‘Disorder in the American Courts’ and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?<br>
WITNESS: Yes.<br>
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?<br>
WITNESS: I forget.<br>
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?<br>
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
____________________________________
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?<br>
WITNESS: He’s twenty, much like your IQ
____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?<br>
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?<br>
WITNESS:Yes.<br>
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?<br>
WITNESS: Getting laid
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?<br>
WITNESS: Yes.<br>
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?<br>
WITNESS: None.<br>
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?<br>
WITNESS : Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?<br>
WITNESS: By death.<br>
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?<br>
WITNESS: Take a guess
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?<br>
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.<br>
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?<br>
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male…
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?<br>
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?<br>
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?<br>
WITNESS: Oral.
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?<br>
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 pm.<br>
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?<br>
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?<br>
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
_____________________________________
<b>And the best for last</b>:<br>
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?<br>
WITNESS: No.<br>
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?<br>
WITNESS: No.<br>
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?<br>
WITNESS: No.<br>
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?<br>
WITNESS: No.<br>
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?<br>
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.<br>
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?<br>
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law<br>
<b>THINK ABOUT IT! MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE LAWYERS….. </b>

Just got my hands on some fantastic (?!) quotes from US courtrooms.. I laughed.. I hope you enjoy it too….
Below abstracts are from a book called ‘Disorder in the American Courts’ and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place._____________________________________
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?<br>WITNESS: Yes.<br>ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?<br> WITNESS: I forget.<br>ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?<br>WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?____________________________________
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?<br>WITNESS: He’s twenty, much like your IQ____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?<br>WITNESS: Are you shitting me?_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?<br>WITNESS:Yes.<br>ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?<br>WITNESS: Getting laid_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?<br>WITNESS: Yes.<br>ATTORNEY: How many were boys?<br>WITNESS: None.<br>ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?<br>WITNESS : Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?<br>WITNESS: By death.<br>ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?<br>WITNESS: Take a guess_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?<br>WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.<br>ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?<br>WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male…_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?<br>WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work._____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?<br>WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight._____________________________________
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?<br>WITNESS: Oral._____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?<br>WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 pm.<br>ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?<br>WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?<br>WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?_____________________________________
<b>And the best for last</b>:<br>
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?<br>WITNESS: No.<br>ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?<br>WITNESS: No.<br>ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?<br>WITNESS: No.<br>ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?<br>WITNESS: No.<br>ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?<br>WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.<br>ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?<br>WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law<br>
<b>THINK ABOUT IT! MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE LAWYERS….. </b>


HTC Hero or iPhone 3GS – non-authoritative thoughts

Change is coming – and that in many different scales (some might argue). Anyway, as I long-time user of mobile phones and a gadget geek/freak I am now faced with the option of change… The old 2G iPhone (love that name) is long overdue for a change (hey, anything older than 1 yr. is old, right?). When the 3G came out, I almost leapt with joy; only to find that not much had changed – and also realising that once again Apple to some extend had let me down – there were many devices on the market with better specs and functionality than the 3G – but none with the then-new App store and the iPhone UI. Anyway, I decided to wait hoping for the new Apple frenzy launch of the new model bound to arrive within the year. And so it came, and it was good (you can look that up in the Bible) – or at least it was better.

iPhone 3GS – a small step closer to a promised land that I have yet to figure out what in fact holds – guess that will have to be in another post. This time Apple did in fact present change – also to believe in with both the better CPU, faster 3G (fast enough to warrant the S for Speed in the name), compas, Nike+…. plenitude… but now – there is a snake in Paradise – a Sense of something new; Android-powered, HTC Hero with the Sense UI…

So – I decided to do a small comparison table “just for me” – but perhaps someone could use/re-use some of the thoughts (I already reused some stuff from other very clever guys..).

Feature/Phone iPhone 3GS HTC Hero
Processor Wins – the CPU is 600 hrz Only 525 mhrz CPU
UI Apple does this better than anyone else.

I know the UI already..

The new Sense UI from HTC looks very exiting – and it is something new.

However, some of the early videos of demos of the UI, appear to show that navigation is laggy. This will have to wait until I get my own hands-on time.

Camera 3 mb 5 mb – HTC wins this one
Video Romours have it that the videos from the iPhone is superb – having seen a few example on Youtube, I am convinced. Win for iPhone. From what I have read the video capabilities on the HTC or “meager”.
Multi-tasking This is sooo not possible on the iPhone – and I do not care much for the “Push” thing. Clear win to Hero – this is possible.
Flash No dice Yessir…
App store This is one of iPhones biggest advantages – it blows HTC and Android out of the water. However, Apple being the “sole authority” on allowing apps makes for a big draw-back.

There is always the jailbreak…

Small market that is bound to grow.

Low level of Google influence.

Sync I have a Mac, and everything is handled superbly. Not much good to say here. Hero does not come with much option in the box – missing dedicated podcast location and album art is a huge mistake.

However, tight intrgration with Google products is fantastic.

OS manufacturer I don’t care much for Mobile Me – I don’t like the interface, prices and Appel’s attitude.

I do like, however, the “Where is my iPhone” bit…

I am “all-in” for Google products – Google Calendar and Picasa are long-time favorites; and GDrive will surely follow, right?!
Compas, GPS Yup Yup
Upgradable OS Well, 3.01 is out and I upgraded… b i g yes there – however, since I am on a 2G I am constantly reminded about the fact the I bought this is US and took it back to Denmark – always fearful of the next OS release and my unlock Since HTC made Sense on top of the 1.5 Android OS, chances are that I will have to face the choice of either losing the Sense UI when 2.0 is publicly available, or wait to see if HTC will upgrade Sense on HTC Hero when 2.0 comes… Losing the flashy UI or getting stuck with an old OS… take your pick – I don’t like either..
Prices – DKK Things were so easy (price-wise) when there was only Telia (then again, a lot of other things were bad..). Now there are more players with different subscription programmes. I am looking for a 16G iPhone – prices range in totalt for 6 mths. between 4.392 DKK(3.dk)to 4.656 DKK (telia.dk) – but then there is the subscription comparison…I just cannot do it. Prices and subscriptions are still in the making. I have, however, seen that you can buy the unit sim unlocked and without subscription for 3800 DKK. I will be interesting so see the prices including subscription from e.g. Telomore.

So – there you have it… That was just a small insight into what thoughts I am having when it comes to making room for the next big/small change… at least I now have somewhere to keep track of my thoughts – you are more that happy to comment. I must admit that by making this list I am leaning towards the iPhone 3GS (and feeling like an old man not wanting to try something new…) – but then again; you never know what might happen during hands-on. Stay tuned… please… 😉


Goodbye to MobileMe…

.. and re-introducing Google Calendar (gCal).

gist:
After having benefited for 3+ months on the free ride with MobileMe on my first gen iPhone, I have found that what I really need the most is the bi (even tri)-directional sync between my iPhone, my iMac and my web-based calendar. I am now getting this for free – and it works!
.

Prerequisites

Jailbroken iPhone (1st or 2nd gen) ☑

Google Account ☑

Cydia Installer ☑

NemusSync ☑

Put your calendar faith with the Google cloud ☑

First step – align gCal with iCal

If you are anything like me, you will have used the local iCal on your Mac (or Outlook on Windows) as the main calendar with a locally stored calendar (especially after the introduction of MobileMe) – However this is about to change. In the set-up described below gCal will be the main calendar, and since gCal does not as a default come with a desktop application, you are going to have to turn your faith into the Google cloud ☼ (I’ll get back to making “local” calendars work again shortly). First of all I decided that I would have one main calendar and several “subscribed” calendar made available to iCal after I had done “the gCal switch”. I exported my main iCal calendar in the iCal format and then imported this into a new calendar in gCal – now all my important appointments were online – however… as for now I had only one main calendar – and it was only online. What I really needed was a calendar with both a “local” and online presence (now not even thinking about the iPhone). Enter gCal CalDav.

Enabeling instant (or near-instant) sync between gCal and iCal

In July 2008 Google introduced
CalDav
– the protocol that iCal uses to transmit data over the web, and this has made things a whole lot easier ☺. I decided to have my new main gCal import into my iCal…. sounds strange, right? Wrong… because using the CalDav integration I was now able to get all my “was-iCal, is now gCal” calendar information right back into iCal – but now with the added benefit that using CalDav enables an instant (almost) sync between my two calendars. This gives me the great opportunity to keep on using my favourite interface for handling my calendars (iCal) in connection with my favourite online cloud for holding my online calendar (gCal). Set-up information is available from
Google
.

Adding more calendars to gCal – and subscribing in iCal

Before the switch I had 5 different calendars in iCal for storing information such as birthdays, holidays and when my favorite football team is playing. Since I do not update these calendars frequently, I have decided to export each of these calendars to an iCal file, and re-importing them into gCal. I now subscribe to these calendars directly in iCal – but since I did not bother with setting up proper CalDav for these calendars, I will have to use gCal’s web interface to update information in these calendars (laziness….☭ – and because CalDav-enabled calendars does not look too good in the iCal interface when there are more than one…).

Enter iPhone

So now I have working sync between Desktop and WWW – however, what about mobility? I have of course also benefited from MobileMe and calendars on my iPhone – but this was also about to change to gCal. So… once again I had to clean up a calendar… in fact I emptied all iPhone calendars, removed the calendar update references in iPhone☛Settings ☛Mail, Contacts, Calendars; so now I had no calendars at all on my iPhone – not very good for productivity, but very good for not feeling guilty and over-worked! Since the price for my new-found none-guiltiness was missing everything. In order to get my iPhone to play nicely with gCal I turned to
NemusSync
. In short it allows over-the-air sync between iPhone and iCal (also on GPRS/EDGE connections).

Setting up NemusSync

Setting up NemusSync was almost a breeze. Locating the application in Cydia and installing it was no problem. Adding your google account information after launching NemusSync is also pretty straight forward, and after having done this you are presented with a list of gCal calendars – and you get to decide whether a calender should sync up/down, only up or ignored. The only two issues I stumbled upon where:

✖ Make sure that time zone settings are the same on both iPhone and gCal – and that goes for all calendars in gCal

✖ Make sure that after you have retrieved your gCal calendars that you save settings, select “Advanced” settings and set you main calendar as default calendar in NemusSync.

After you have completed the above steps, you are done with setting up gCal on your iPhone – it IS that simple ✔

To me the biggest catch in the scenario with using NemusSync described above is that you have to manually launch NemusSync and select “sync calendars” to actually sync your calendars!. There are
rumours
of an auto-sync solution, but I have not tested this – yet.

Conclusions

First a quick run-down of the pros and cons

Pros

The solution is free – and it works!

You get to keep the gCal web interface and feature richness which in my opinion is second to none.

Cons

Process is still “more manual” than the automated MobileMe set-up

Not a push but a pull setup on the iPhone (also even if the automated solution does in fact work)

There is a problem with syncing notifications (this is also true on MobileMe web interface)

There is no automated sync of contacts (though this is on the NemusSync roadmap)

My own opinion: There is no doubt that the solution described above completes my need for bi (or tri) directional sync between my calendars. There are of course some areas that could improve over time to further enhance the solution – but to me the solution is quite adequate – at least when looking at the price of MobileMe.

Feel free to comment