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August 2nd, 2006:

PayPal Continues to Suck

[PayPal http://www.paypal.com/] has always sucked. This is well accepted on the Internet. Witness: http://www.google.com/search?q=paypal+sucks … Results 1 – 100 of about 1,680,000 for paypal sucks. Here are the specific deficiencies I have most often heard cited: * Freezing of funds for arbitrarily long times with no explanation. * Bizzarely intricate information requests. * User unfriendliness to payors. In my case, I went to eBay to purchase some computer hardware. When I won the auction, I went to pay by credit card in the way most readily presented — which was PayPal. Due to some transactions I did the better part of a decade ago (they still had my address from 1999-2000), I was unable to log in to PayPal (an eBay Company). (Incidentally, eBay usernames and passwords have different validation requirements than those for PayPal, e.g. 8 char passwords.) Then, once I got PayPal to send me a “forgot password” link, it told me to /telephone them in Nebraska!/ Bear in mind that this is in the course of attempting to /give my money to a guy on eBay/, and now “an eBay Company” is my biggest obstacle to so doing. The gentleman in Nebraska was kind, but ultimately frustrating — telling me that a “code 31” means that they had to close the old account, but the presence of a stray two dollars in the account meant it would take 72 hours before I could sign up with a new account. After which point, of course, the seller on eBay would have written me off as a deadbeat. The rep suggests that I open a new email account. Just for PayPal. Just for this transaction. *Who is on the buy side here?!* I am a pretty stingy guy — but when I do actually lay down the greenbacks, I just want a modicum of respect. To PayPal and eBay, I say: congratulations. I now will choose *any* method over PayPal whenever possible.

Everyone Is Here in the Future

I just came across what I am willing to call some of the most interesting and (personally) relevant cultural commentary I’ve seen in a while. No talk of Hezbollah, nothing on Bush or Britney — rather, art intended to make people living a software-mediated lifestyle stop and think a moment: (Warnings: Flash required; starts playing immediately with audio; possibly epilepsy-triggering.) http://redhanded.hobix.com/cult/everyoneIsHereInTheFuture.html http://redhanded.hobix.com/cult/everyoneIsHereInTheFuture2.html For those of us in the tech world — especially the parts of the tech world that occasionally sees comrades being struck down by angel funding coming out of the sky — this is worth seeing and thinking about. But not too hard. After all, you’ve got to get a business model and write some new dual-core turbo buttons for your mail merge.