Archive for August, 2007

Save Camden

If you live in the UK and have never ventured to Camden Town, why the hell
not? It’s an awesome place, filled with the most wierd and wonderful
collection of shops and people I have ever come across.

One part of it is known as Camden Stables and it seems some low lifes in the
local council has decided to try to commercialise the area (boo! hiss!), not
realising that by doing do they are robbing not only those who work there, but
those people who live and breath the life-blood that is Camden.

So, I ask you to sign this
petition
and save this wonderful
area.

(Photo lovingly stolen from XFM)

TV shows on iTunes

Apple finally announced today that us poor folk in the UK will be able to
download TV programs (but not yet movies) from the iTunes Store. Being the
ever curious person that I am, I downloaded Make Love, Not
Warcraft
, the South
Park episode thats half South Park, half WoW Machina (movies made using games
for those that don’t know).

On the whole, pretty cool. at only £1.89 an episode, that’s not really that
bad. The download was fairly speedy and the quality wasn’t too bad. The only
thing that lets it down is the lack of content available at the moment (no CSI
and no movies yet, at least in the UK) but hopefully that will change pretty
quickly, especially as Google is no longer a competitor.

More info here

It pains me to say this

BBC Cock Up… as it admits to me watching One Tree
Hill, but I also love it when something as mainstream as the BBC makes a cock-
up. You would have thought that one of the biggest media companies in the
world would at least do a bit of research for their news. Anyone who watchs
OTH would know that Chad Murrey Michaels doesn’t play Nathan…

looks sheepish

When will companies in the US accept that there are perfectly good customers over here?

Ok, firstly I should state that this isn’t all US companies. It could well be
a small minority. Hell, there are probably companies in the UK (where I’m
from) that do exactly the same thing. I’ll freely admit that I haven’t done an
outstanding amount of research, but I can’t be the only person that this is
affecting.

The issue I’m referring to is one that I’ve seen on various websites. The one
of only accepting credit cards as payment methods.

Let me start with Basecamp. It’s an excellent
piece of software that completely revolutionised the way people think about
project management, by making it all about communication. I think the guys
over at 37signals have done an excellent job. So
what’s my problem with them? I get fed up with only being allowed one project
at a time. That’s the limit you can have with the free version of their
software, and due to the simple fact that I don’t have a credit card I can’t
use this awesome piece of software as much as I’d like to. It’s the same with
all their software.

A simple option for them would be to add PayPal as an
option. It can’t be that hard. I’m aware that PayPal does charge business for
the use, but don’t all payment gateways?

Ok lets leave 37Signals for a moment and focus on a much bigger fish:
Amazon.

Amazon have implemented Amazon Web Services, which
(so I’ve read) are excellent and cost efficient ways of doing certain online
tasks such as implementing file storage.

But yet again I can’t make use of these services as I don’t own a credit card.

37Signals I can forgive. They’re not a big company. It could well be fairly
pricey to add in a new payment method. But Amazon already accept debit cards
such as Maestro or Visa Delta. Only last month I bought the latest Harry
Potter book. With my Maestro card. So why can’t I use that same card to pay
for Amazon’s SSS service?

So why am I suggesting that US companies need to start thinking outside their
borders? Simple really. The US is very much a credit driven culture. Most
Americans I know (and admittedly that’s not many) have a credit card and don’t
know many more people that don’t. Over here it’s different. For most of the
people I know, a credit card is either something that you have in case of
emergency, for paying for that big expense like a holiday or for when you’re
putting it on the company expenses. I refuse to believe that there aren’t
people like me out there who either don’t want one for reasons of their own or
(like me) can’t get one for a particular reason.

Earlier I mentioned PayPal. I know that there are a lot of people out there
who don’t like it because of some of their practices regarding the closing of
accounts and the such like. But I like it. It enables me to be able to pay for
services and items from US shops and companies online. I’m not suggesting that
all companies should use them, but if they thought about making their products
more accessible to people like me who don’t own this particular payment method
then they might open up a completely new market that they hadn’t thought of or
noticed before.