More On Credit Cards

I was pissed off with a Standard Chartered credit card salesman yesterday as he insistently pushed me to apply for one. He even promised that I would get a Gold card. Well, its not entirely his fault as I was actually pissed off with the banks customer support. Since 6 months back I have been trying to activate Internet Banking for my Standard Chartered account but failed due to some technical problems on their side.

Indeed, a balance transfer would be useful for me since my debt is mounting up but then again I think I shall look elsewhere for advice.

While looking into PPPs open opportunities I see that an opportunity is open to write about credit card experience.

Even though I don’t come from financial background, by now I am almost an expert as a credit card user, enough to know that credit cards are evil ;-). Well, not really. They can be useful at certain times especially if there’s any emergency and youre broke. I believe all of us have in some way crossed through that situation.

What you must always remember when using credit cards is to be moderate and the rule of thumb so far is spend only if you can pay back at least half of the amount when the time comes. If not, interests will build up and you will be struggling to finish off that balance every month when you receive your paycheck.

I have never encountered any sites in Malaysia offering credit card news and advice, but if you’re in the UK this site offer credit card news and credit card advice. Nevertheless the information there is useful as there’s really not much difference – they’re all credit cards!

This post is sponsored by CreditCards GB.

Google Analytics Plugin Not Showing

Well, this is not a complaint to the great plugin, but for some themes.

Themes like Intense, and AquaGreen does not have any wp_footer call so the tracking code will not show. How to fix it?

Open up themes/[themename]/footer.php and add <?php wp_footer(); ?> before </body> resulting in:


<?php wp_footer(); ?>
</body>
</html>

Hope this helps. I discover this after 5 minutes of head scratching. 😉

Be Careful In Cyberjaya

For those working/studying or doing whatever in Cyberjaya, please be careful if you make the illegal U-turn after exiting The Street Mall. If you can, do a U-turn somewhere else where it’s safe.

Yesterday night after dinner at Street Mall, I heard a loud bang. It turns out a Satria from the MMU stretch ran directly into a Waja making a U-turn. That Waja has just minutes before passed by me as I get to my car at The Street Mall.

To people driving from MMU side, come on la… slowly and be alert of cars making the U-turn. I know it’s illegal, but what’s the use of defending that you’re right when your car is all messed up. The Satria was indeed very fast as I heard the tires screech for a long time before the bang!

Nobody died, I think. The Waja ended up on the roadside and the Satria totally lost the front engine part – just imagine how hard the collision was!

Fighting Internet Slowness

OK, so you have read in multiple places that you can enhance your browsing speed by using proxies in the South Pacific countries, such as in here and here. If all of those seems to be so technical for you don’t be sad. Simply put, proxies are used to be a intermediate to help your HTTP/S (web) traffic to go through a different route than the normal (congested) one.

But it is a bad idea to browse local websites, for example sites hosted in Exabytes Malaysia by using proxies in other countries as this means the traffic will go there and make a U-turn back to Malaysia. In this post I am going to tell you how to use proxies for general sites, and go direct for Malaysia sites you usually visit.

Indeed, you can just add the sites to bypass in the “No proxy for” box, but this script allows you to specify multiple proxies so if the first selection is down, it’ll try the second one.

The trick is to use a Proxy Auto Configuration (PAC) script. This requires a bit of coding at your side but I believe it is simple enough. You only need to edit 2 lines.

Continue reading Fighting Internet Slowness

PayPerPost Acquires Performancing.com

This is an unexpected news but comprehensible indeed for PPP. For me this is a very good news for bloggers as Perfomancing is generally a very good idea for Internet Marketing strategy. The official news can be read here.

According to PPP, by the acquisition they now gained a number of powerful blogger support tools such as Performancing Metrics, the free blog analytic service, and Performancing Exchange, the online “classifieds” for bloggers.

The PPP brand, however will not be used for two of Performancing assets – the Firefox blog editor and Performancing Partner Ads technology. According to PPP these two assets will be migrated to a new brand. Lets just wait and see.

Performancing Metrics is a service for bloggers to track visitor stats, with built-in AdSense auditing. The platform is now in beta and currently reports blog visitors, blog comments, ad clickthroughs, and a few other features.

Performancing Exchange is an online marketplace for companies, blog sites and others wishing to employ professional bloggers.

These FREE tools will surely enhance PPPs offering to bloggers and I would not understand why any blogger passionate about writing not joining PPP. I am amazed on the marketing strategy by them, and from the looks of it PPP will stay in the Internet community longer than what some people anticipated.

As for me, I am taking a personal strategy of my own – not too fast, and not too slow. Until I get my payments from PPP I will just take it slow, one step at a time. It’s a good idea to make money from blogging, without effecting the integrity of the things you write in your blog.

This post is sponsored by PPP, who else? 😉

Happy Holidays

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holidays. Be safe.

I will be away for the weekend, to a galaxy far far away. Just kidding. I am going to Pahang for my wife’s business. It’s not a vacation as I have to spend my time in the hotel room working on a development project. I promised to deliver it right after Christmas, so basically I have no choice or I will be shot if I don’t finish it.

I am unsure whether we’ll have Internet access at the hotels, as we will be staying in normal hotels – all 5 star hotels are fully booked for the weekend! 🙁

Enjoy your time.

Blogger Moves Out Of Beta

blogger.jpg

Blogger is now out of Beta: www.blogger.com. However I tried my Blogger Beta Importer and it still works 🙂

I think this is because the importer depends on the RSS provided by the New Blogger. Perhaps I should change my importer’s name to New Blogger import?

My true wish is that to have that importer being able to integrate with WordPress importer control panel officially or unofficially but I just don’t have the time to look into WordPress code yet eventhough I periodically checks out the code from the subversion repository. One of my blogs run 2.1-alpha3 and there are many improvements I do like a lot such as the image push to editor and the visual and code editor on the same screen!

IMHO importing from RSS is much efficient than the legacy method of logging into Blogger, publishing the template and extracting from there. But of course, a simple change on the RSS output and the importer will not work 😉

HP Digital Camera

In my entire life, I have been an avid HP fan. My notebook is HP, my printer is HP, my Pocket PC is HP, my first ever CD-writer in 1998 is a HP and recently bought an HP rw6828 Mobile Messenger. However, HP’s digital camera products never interest me much, even now. I am not sure why.

HP, not being a leader in digital photography actually has a line of Photosmart cameras, categorized into 3 types: Powerful, Thin and elegant, and Easy-to-use. I am not sure of what category would the camera inside the rw6828 falls into, maybe there’s a hidden 4th category?

I had my eyes on HP digital camera products before, but theres a force behind me that disallows me from reaching into my wallet, take my credit card and buy one of these high-tech devices.

Perhaps if somebody is willing to provide me a test unit, or give it to me as a Christmas present, it ought to change my mind? Id really like to see how its performance and features would compare to my T30. I will not compare it with my DSLR though, as those 2 are totally different devices.

Any owner of HP digital cameras is welcome to let me know of what they think.

This post is sponsored by HP.

Why WordPress

For those who are still thinking whether or not to migrate from Blogger to WordPress, here’s a good insight by Anita Campbell. Although it was written more than a year ago, it’s still relevant.

Blogger (non-beta) users will be able to use the built-in import function and while you’re at that you might want to take a look at this best practices when moving from Blogger to WordPress, by Tom Sherman.

For Blogger Beta, you can use the script I wrote and still use the same technique described by Tom so that permalinks to your blogger pages will be redirected to your new WordPress site. I have not tried it yet, and since I am sleepy coming back from night shift I think I’ll let you try it and let me know 😉

See ya around.

First Blogger Beta Import

Following the post Import Blogger Beta to WordPress, here is a working example after an import.

Before: homemakerdiary.blogspot.com (Blogger)
After: www.homemakerdiary.com (WordPress)

hmd.jpg

(Images are imported using the plugin mentioned earlier)

P/S – to my current one and only web development client, I am doing this as a hobby during breaks. Please be assured that the real work is progressing well and hopefully by Christmas we can launch it 🙂

Daddy Day Care

Quoted from The Star dated October 2, 2006:

elderly.jpg

“The elderly proportion in the country is expected to reach 3.4 million or 10% of the population by the end of 2020. This follows the improved life expectancy in Malaysia, which at the end of last year stood at the age of 71 for men and 76 for women.”

I was listening to the radio when the news come out about our government plan to construct a day care activity centre for the elderly, something like a nursery where working children would be able to send their parents during working hours, for the elderly to socialize with friends their age, do mentally and physically stimulating activities, and after working hours are over, the working children will then fetch the parents home.

Honestly I think its a great idea considering that in most of the developed countries this day care centre for elderly has been widely embraced and accepted. Check assisted living dallas on its segment on adult day care. The idea is good especially for the elderly parents who simply need companionship or supervision during part of the day.

But come to think of it, I wonder how well Malaysians elderly will accept this idea, especially with our Asian culture and beliefs. Well, just wait and see.

Import Blogger Beta to WordPress

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As I have not heard anything about the solution to this problem, I wrote a script. This script is a simple but powerful 😉 script which extracts the posts and comments from RSS feeds at blogger.com.

Instructions:

Copy the script to your main WordPress directory and run it (http://your.name/blogger-beta-import.php). The options are self-explanatory. This means you can customize the category and user before importing.

Warning:

This script represents a security hazard if left on the server. Once you are finished, delete it. Don’t even rename or save a copy on the server. The script does not honor WordPress authentication and checks, but utilizes some of WordPress’ functions.

Limitations:

  • No handling of images (stay on blogger server)
  • Comments will have the names but not email or URL – limitation with RSS from Blogger
  • Unlikely to work if you use other comment systems
  • You need to enable RSS feed for comments – very important!

As for images, they will stay in blogger.com but I suggest you download them at once to your server as Blogger does not allow hot-linking (images will be blocked). You don’t have to do it one by one, you can use this plugin by Notions: Blogger Image Import. I’ve tried it and it worked well. One thing is that it depends on CURL to download images – servers without this extension will not execute the script. Let me know as I have a workaround for this, provided that your PHP version is later than 4.3.0.

Continue reading Import Blogger Beta to WordPress

PayPerPost Requires Disclosure

Mike Arrington of Techcrunch revealed on Saturday that PayPerPost will require bloggers to disclose that the post is a paid post. It can be done on the individual post, or site-wide using a disclosure policy.

In October when PayPerPost created DisclosurePolicy, Mike stated that he hopes not many bloggers will go along with PayPerPost. I understand his concerns about blogsphere and public trust, but if bloggers dont just jump to take every opportunity they see, we can still withhold the integrity of blogsphere.

Nevertheless, PayPerPost is a good form of blog advertising and helps many bloggers to earn an extra income, at least to cover the hosting expense while doing what they like – to write. Bloggers need to remember though, that they should write only on what they believe is true. I believe readers will be able to detect if the blogger is sincere or just writing for money!

This is a paid post.

Casino Royale

As mentioned earlier I went to watch Casino Royale earlier tonight. The movie is alright, but can be better.

What I like:

  • The starting montage is indeed suitable and gives me the feel that this is a Bond movie.
  • Bond’s weakness is as usual – women.
  • No SPECTRE – frankly I’m tired of that shit, plus Blofeld.

What I don’t like:

  • The theme song is less catchy than the previous movies.
  • The fights are too barbaric and too real.
  • Bond is too serious, emotionless most of the times except when he was with Vesper in the shower.
  • The crook was killed to easily, and not by Bond.
  • Where’s Q?
  • Where’s the fully equiped Aston Martin?

My wife seems to think that I watch too much of the older movies and she actually enjoyed the new one more.

I’ll add up the list if I find anything else I left out. 😉