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April 30, 2007

Mr Chao

Mr Chao is a Chinese Fast Foood restaurant in Palo Alto.

Разъяренный Мистер Чао
Пишет грозный дадзыбао:
Кто сказал что Чао плох?
Тот бездельник или лох!

Сам великий Доктор Яо,
Посетил наш Мистер Чао,
Всю коробочку сожрал,
"Лучший Чайниз Фуд" сказал.

Posted by Victor at 09:51 AM

April 21, 2007

Aeroplan II

I resubmitted my letter because what I got was not a human answer:

Thank you for your e-mail. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are currently unable to respond to your request electronically. Please visit the Help section of the Aeroplan Website or contact the Aeroplan Centre at 1-800-361-5373 (from Canada and U.S.A.), 7 days a week from 07:00 to 23:00 (ET). For all other areas, please use 1-514-395-0300. One of our representatives will be pleased to help you with your request.

[Incident: 070420-000596] Dear Sir/Madam, I hope that the uman reads it rather than a poorly written bot. As I wrote Web Help Desk which I contacted twice and which Number is different than you indicated and Operator could not resolve the problem; Web Help looked neither knowledgeable nor helpful. All I ask is either to advise me how to contact ombudsperson or forward my

original question.

Posted by Victor at 05:49 AM

April 20, 2007

Aeroplan (an open letter)

I wasted the whole morning trying to book for my son flight (see attached pdf output).

Starting from 9 am to 12 am the following bookings were shown as available.

Your browser does not support embedded PDF files.

However when I finished filling all the steps including my credit card info and submitted data, the system responded that seats are no longer available. I restarted the session and tried again … with the same result. And I did it during 3 hour interrupted only by my calls to web support desk (twice) and booking through an agent. Finally I gave up. Web support persons told me that the system was updated with some delay, usually 15 min to an hour. However when I told that it was going for much longer, I was advised (by two different persons) “Well, then I don’t know”.

Recently I had the similar experience with booking for my wife flight but at least then the help desk was able to help me. Now I experienced the least helpful and knowledgeable support in 10 years in any company I was dealing with.

I have been Aeroplan customer on the span of 13 years. It used to be the best frequent flyer program. However service began deteriorate: with more and more status miles needed to reach prestige level, with reducing airmiles earned for many booking, increasing surcharges for booking, introducing 12 month inactivity limit. Aeroplan webpages became more and more fancy, less and less compatible and functional. Nobody needs stupid javascripts anymations, but the real time search (rather than system update delay) must be.

It became more and more difficult to get credits for flights.

I am beginning to think that it is not worth the trouble anymore. It is a real shame that Aeroplan does not match the quality of AirCanada which is one the best airlines in the world.

I could not find on website the address of ombudsperson, so I kindly ask you to forward this to him/her.

Posted by Victor at 01:07 PM

April 10, 2007

Pig ethics

One journalist of Toronto Star bought on eBay old laptop and discovered on its HD files containing personal information of many Reform Party members. In hands of criminals this information could cause a lot of harm. May be. Luckily as TS writes, this journalist was an honest man and he did not use this info in the criminal purposes. He just looked into files, published the names of high profile Reform Party members whoes data was there and described what kind of information was here.

Well, it does not make this journalist a felon but does not make him a decent person either. He had no business to open these files, leave alone to publish anything. If due to someone sloppiness he got in his posession a computer with files which are definitely neither system files nor executables but just documents, which could contain confidential information, this person should erase them without opening.

Resume: this journalist is an honest nosy swine.

Posted by Victor at 11:43 AM

April 06, 2007

Garbage Trouble

Toronto Mayor Mr. Miller, who already gave to every Toronto house raccoon-friendly containers for food left-overs now has another grand idea: every house will get a container for `other' garbage, and will pay for garbage collection according to the size of the container. Exactly as we pay for electricity or water depending on usage.

However the better comparison would be phone plan: the person subscribing to it pays the flat amount even if the actual usage is smaller. So the choice is between prepaying the normal usage amount and run into problems when one needs more extensive usage in certain month or to prepay a larger amount and regularly underuse it.

If some family orders a small bin and regularly fills just it, sometime this family would need a much larger bin due to large purchase, Spring cleaning, etc. What then? Dumping on the neighbors front yard? Storing the excess untill next garbage removal?

Or to avoid such problems one needs to order a large bin and be regularly overcharged?

Finally, what to do with a bunch of teens going through the street (to/from the school) and littering on your front yard? I hade to pick after them, am I expected to pay for their garbage? Or should I charge their school?

No, this Miller' idea about garbage fits only into garbage bin. Exactly as all his ideas.

Posted by Victor at 03:06 AM

April 01, 2007


I am spending some time in Paris. In the enclosed green space somebody burns old leaves and twigs.

The smell is awfull! And it continues the second day! In Toronto such behavior would be considered as a felony, even in suburbs. Not the case in Paris, near Pantheon. Look at map:

Ville Louis Pasteur

See a green arrow on the bottom of the map (where I stay) and a green space to the left (where bonfire burns)? An Pantheon on the top of this map?

Posted by Victor at 07:16 AM

Script Junkies

On the web we cannot browse some pages, since as we are told, we need a special plug-in which is not available on our platform. Pretty often however it is not the lack of the plug-in but the lack of programming skills of the M$-oriented script junkies using M$ specific Javascripts. This is the case with pdf files embedded into web pages (see example below). Meanwhile on rogers.com "see you bill" webpage this does not work due to bunch of M$BSJS.

You see: it works!

alt : test.pdf

Why it does not work at rogers?

Posted by Victor at 06:30 AM