If I have been quiet for a while then part of the reason was working hard on getting the DVDs of Bastei-Collection to market. These are romantic movies based on very popular stories published weekly in Germany. Amongst other things the web-shop is now live, but I also learnt how to set up a robust telephone ordering system and herd creative cats towards a production date. It was fun to do something really practical for a while, but no less stressful than finance stuff. If you are in Germany/Austria/Switzerland and still need a present for fans of romantic entertainment look no further!
Testing, one two.
28k Spam and counting
Whoever said the spam problem was going to be solved in 2006 or whatever is clearly wrong, at least in the sense that there is still plenty about. You don't really see how much you receive, but at the beginning of the year I have taken to letting filtered spam accumulate. Google automatically deletes spam after 30 days. So at the moment I receive nearly 1000 spam messages a day, and that ignores filters from accounts forwarded to gmail. After hovering at around 25k/month for ages the number is now trending up again. Respect to google as on most days I have to deal with no more than 10 spam mails personally. Gmail aggregates about 5 personal email addresses I use/have used.
So ok I haven't written much, but I thought I share this interesting tidbit with you.
All the Travel Agents Men
Havent written much lately, primarily due to a breakdown in my primary computer supply. Anyhow, I'm slowly getting back to normal.
I booked some flights recently, one set via easyjet, another with British Airwaiys via Expedia.com. Normally that's a good trick as US prices are often significantly cheaper and/or you can book combinations not accessible from the carrier's website. Go figure.
Anyhow, change of plan, flights had to be cancelled or moved.
Easyjet: No problem, just charged a fee per segment. Bit cheeky perhaps but it worked and I could do it online in 2 minutes.
Expedia/BA: No such luck. It took several calls, and a lot of reconfirming in each attempt to establish that a split refund for the business class portion of the ticket is possible, but expedia would not be able to do that. then several calls to BA until I found an agent that was willing to look into it instead of repeating to any statement 'You have to deal with the agent, sir.' He was willing to check and then said: you are right, first time I've seen a split refund but you can look for a refund in the next weeks.
This restored my faith in call centers to some extent anyway. Ironically it was cheaper to buy a new ticket from easyjet that pay change fees to expedia and BA...
Gold Class cinema experience
One of my favorite cinemas in Edinburgh is the Dominion. It has long ago started to differentiate itself by putting in swish leather couches and reclining seats., complete with complimentary drinks at weekend showings etc. Now it created a a seperate website for that experience and I was able to pay through PayPal - How cool is that? Nonen of these nonsense IVR systems including booking fees for the pleasure of serving yourself and saving the (usually chain) money in the process. James Bond roll on ;-)
Dominion Cinema Gold Class
E11 - impressive climbing film
If you ever tried to clinch a deal that just kept evading you, or butted your head against some pesky problem refusing to go away then you will appreciate this film, download the trailer if you download one thing today, nay this week. It is really mindboggling, trust me.
E11 tells the story of Dave's ascent of ‘Rhapsody’, the worlds first climb graded at E11 (French 8c+ / US 5.14d). The film shows the determination, talent and bravery needed to tackle an imposing line. This film enters unchartered territory. Taking you beyond the action it reveals the frustrations and the shear physical and mental effort that goes into climbing at the very highest level. We see MacLeod take a series of terrifying, gut-wrenching 60 ft falls and the strain begins to show as he struggles to cope with the difficulty and seriousness of the endeavour.
I'm proud to say that the music was provided by my good friend MC Hasta of Solidara which goes really well with the theme. Way to go!
My father used to be a model railway nut, and it was hard to ignore the attraction of it as a boy. Never one to follow blindly I ended up developing an interest in the larger garden model railway manufactured by LGB. The utility of a model railway capable of making supply runs from the living room to the kitchen was irresistible. Dreaming about large-scale garden terraforming to install the train in its natural habitat outside was a great passion in those years, sadly my parents were as wily as the next local council in denying planning consent ;-)
LGB insolvent reports the Standard. One can only hope that a few locusts might be able to turn it around, it worked for Märklin after all.
Startup.com am 25.9. In Berlin // Kino Arsenal
Reihe Work in Progress: Startup.com
Chris Hegedus, Jehane Noujaim USA 2002 101 Min
Vorfilm: More Mark Osborne USA 1998 7 Min
Potsdamer Straße 2
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More European VCs blogging
Slowly the VCs are coming out of the woodwork, funny considering that they are all meant to be early adopters. The lastest I discovered is May Bleyleben, with the added benefit that he can write well, having been a journalist/researcher in an earlier life.
Going to Reboot8
Yea. my favorite tech (un) conference Just surfing around the participants I notice this beautiful google maps mashup:
I'm looking forward to discovering more cool stuff over the next few days than during the past few months taken together.
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