Friday, October 21, 2016

Zuver hosting is so boring!

Congratulations to the folk at Zuver Hosting for providing a service that is so fast and reliable that I’m getting oh so bored with receiving weekly performance reports like the one in the following screenshot:


The above free weekly report comes from a US-based monitoring site, and the connect times would probably be even better if measured from within Australia.

Since November 2014 I’ve experienced the same boringly good performance and reliability, week after week, and all for such a low monthly rate.

Note that I’m not at all saying that there aren’t any equally good Australian web hosting companies, some of which I used previously, just that I’ve found Zuver pretty darn good and great value for money. This is just my pat on the back for their team.

I’m just an ordinary customer of theirs, with no business affiliation whatsoever -- not an agent or reseller of their services or anything like that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Brain stretch

Here’s a reminder of our place in the grand scheme of things.

The above movie was generated using the iOS App "Cosmic Eye", written by Danail Obreschkow at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the University of Western Australia.
Watch for the quarks making the briefest of appearances in the atomic nucleus.

There are older versions of this “cosmic zoom” approach, such as this one created by the National Film Board of Canada:

Enough of that easy-peasy visual stuff. A new research report indicates that there are even more galaxies in the universe than we thought

This article links to: The Solar System recreated to scale in the Nevada desert

And if all the above hasn’t sated your appetite, then take a look at
Size comparison of the universe 2016

UPDATE (15 April 2017): Here's another mind-blowing video that compares planet and star sizes, and more:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

You just can’t get through to some people

I was browsing for Java programming books yesterday, and came across this one:



Notice the asking price?  $1,421.99 (Australian dollars)

The same book (Introduction to Java Programming: Comprehensive Version by Y. Daniel Liang) at other sites such as Amazon was – depending on the edition and type (hardcover or paperback) and whether new or used – going for anything from around $20 to $240.

I thought that I’d warn the seller (World of Books) that there was a serious anomaly here, so sent them an e-mail advising that there was a major pricing issue with this particular book (and asking whether the pages were made of gold leaf).

Well, they did me the courtesy of answering, but can you imagine my disbelief that they just didn’t get my message. Here is what they replied:

We have an automatic pricing system which adjusts the prices of our items based on several variables, including things like market demand and availability. The postage prices for each country are also fixed by the marketplace themselves, so we’re unable to alter these in any way.

Our listing prices are updated many times each day – sometimes they increase, sometimes they decrease. Please check the marketplace listings to keep up to date with our prices.

Kind Regards,
Customer Service Assistant
(name supplied)

That’s right, blame the computer – “We have an automatic pricing system” – and completely disregard the GIGO principle.

You just can’t get through to some people.