Gosh. It’s been almost a month, hasn’t it? I really should make more of an effort to post here seeing that I’m paying for the domain name but I spend most of my time on Twitter. ^^; In fact, part of today’s post will contain summaries of topics that I’ve yakked about there. That should make for an easy update, yes? XD Continue reading “Potpourri Post: Games & Life (… What else do I ever talk about? XD)”
More random photos from my LG Xenon!
Unrelated: I got an ASUS MeMO Pad 8 yesterday! Loving it so far! 😀 It may be an entry level, no frills sort of tablet but it’s still great and totally does the job for me! Besides, I already have an iPad mini with Retina after all so I don’t need another premium tablet; even if it’s with a different and a much more customizable OS. :3 I’ll probably babble about it a bit later!
Now onto the crappy quality pictures! XD
Random Photos from my LG Xenon (GR500)
Yes, I use an ancient phone. I have no need for a smart phone since I hardly go out and have Android and iOS devices at home that I use via wifi.
Seriously, these photos are random. I take photos of things that interest, amuse, or disgust me. ^^ I decided to post them for the heck of things (or more like it’s an excuse to make a new post). 😀
Potpourri Post: Healthy Living & New iOS Games
Just a follow up to the post I made back in December where I wrote about some health issues I have namely high blood pressure and an enlarge thyroid gland. Well, the ultrasound lab results for the latter showed negative so the family doctor still doesn’t know what the cause is but, as I mentioned before, the thyroid is still working as it’s supposed to so he’s suggested to do a check up on it every few months or so.
The blood pressure bit’s not really changed. But it could be because I’m not following the DASH diet to a T. ^^ In fact, I’ve been eating more meat than I should. 😦 The good thing is that I HAVE definitely lost weight. The problem is reducing it further. It’s currently hovering at a point that’s about 6 – 7 pounds less than I used to be at. But there were several days where it was even at lower than that. I suspect the recent intake of white rice and meat (and trying to eat as much as of the homemade loaf of bread as fast as possible) contributed to that.
Anyway, the good thing is that the there hasn’t been any drastic change in blood pressure. I just wish it would show lower values though consider weight loss has happened! But since my hypertension could be something I inherited from my mom, I sometimes wonder if it’ll ever go down.
Now for the happier things!
Continue reading “Potpourri Post: Healthy Living & New iOS Games”
On the iPad mini with Retina, proper wallpaper size, and a case
I was looking to replace my iPod touch 4G for the longest time and initially considered the iPod touch 5G but it’s the wimpiest out of the entire generation of new iDevices. Consequently, some apps and games won’t even run on it. I also thought about getting a used, unlocked iPhone 5 but those seem to cost an arm and a leg regardless of the sources I looked at. Finally, after seeing Future Shop put a bunch of 4th gen iPads w/ Retina on sale, I considered getting one. In the end, however, I settled for a 32 GB iPad mini w/ Retina. I have owned it for about a week now and I LOVE IT.
Its size is so perfect to me~! And it’s so fast and light (compared to my other mobile devices)~!! The only things that are slightly annoying are 1) it won’t automatically replace deleted icons in a folder with an icon from a following page. This means that you have to manually move an icon to fill the gap, and 2) you can’t just tap on an image in the photo gallery to get a context menu that’ll bring you to the wallpaper editing screen. (Yes, I know these are problems related to the operating system and not the device itself. :B)
Speaking about wallpapers, every website I looked at will tell you that the wallpaper size for the mini is 1024 x 1024 or 2048 x 2048*. They’re ALL wrong*. The graphic needs to be 2524 x 2524. This is for the Retina/iOS 7 version though so I don’t know if lower OS versions and the older iteration of the mini is different. (This site seems to suggest so.)
Continue reading “On the iPad mini with Retina, proper wallpaper size, and a case”
Let’s be healthy! But what’s this about the recommended daily sugar intake?
For once, I’m not blogging about video or computer games or any sort of entertainment. This time, it’s about life.
I went in for a mini check up back in late November for a surgery I had earlier this month. It turns out that had I not decided to have this surgery — it wasn’t some necessary, I-will-die-if-I-didn’t-go-through-with-it one — I wouldn’t have known that I had a) high blood pressure and a b) thyroid problem.
Continue reading “Let’s be healthy! But what’s this about the recommended daily sugar intake?”
Let’s Talk WaniKani and Annoying Words
I wrote about WaniKani a few days ago but neglected to get into detail. Instead, I spent most of that post going on about my failed attempts at learning Japanese. There’s still actually a lot of fail going on since I’m focusing on vocabulary and kanji only and not grammar. Having noted this, I’m not going to get all that far in terms of comprehending actual sentences. 😛 Still, it’s a start and I already know more kanji and kanji compounds than I ever did.
As for what WaniKani is, here’s an explanation of the site: http://www.tofugu.com/2012/04/26/wanikani-sneak-peak/ While this was written over a year ago and the site has gone through some cosmetic changes and tweaks, the fundamental teaching method and mechanics still remain the same.
On Learning Japanese: I Serve the Crabigator!
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while but every time I thought about it, I would say to myself, “Ugh. Effort.” It’s because I’m a lazy sort of person.
It’s funny though — once I start writing, it’s hard to stop so the whole “Ugh. Effort.” bit boils down to simply opening up the WordPress dashboard and starting a new post.
Anyway, here’s a bit of a history that’ll lead up to WaniKani, what it is, and why I’m using it.
Continue reading “On Learning Japanese: I Serve the Crabigator!”
Toys R Us needs to learn what a confirmation e-mail is
I purchased a lovely red and black 3DS XL on Black Friday from the Toys R Us Canada Website. Then, in my infinite wisdom, I decided that I was too impatient and went out on Saturday morning to get it directly from the brick and mortar store. I figure, since I can return the one I got from online once it arrives, things should be fine, right? (I’ll be out the shipping costs but that’s besides the point. :E)
So after receiving the package yesterday, I got all the paperwork together and headed to the store this morning.
Here’s what you’re supposed to bring as noted in the shipping e-mail and on the packing slip as well:
Easy Returns: You can return an item in any of our store locations across Canada or return directly to our warehouse. Simply follow the steps below for instructions on our return process:
Visit a Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us Store
1. Please pack the product in its original packaging.
2. Bring a copy of your packing slip.
3. Bring a copy of your confirmation email.
I brought all of this but was denied a refund back onto my MasterCard. Why? Because the confirmation e-mail I brought wasn’t the one they needed. It was supposed to show the credit card number on it.
I thought for a bit and wondered if I missed an e-mail because the order confirmation one sure didn’t have anything about what card I used or the card number.
Anyway, in my infinite wisdom again and since a line was forming, I opted for the store credit. So now, I am out $200 on my credit card. I suppose I could use all of that for Christmas shopping but I never meant my budget to be that high this year. 😛
Once I got back home, I doubled checked every damn e-mail I got from Toys R Us. NOTHING had a credit card number on it.
Hell, here it is. Sorry for the size but it was the only way to show it on a single page. (It can be enlarged a bit if it’s clicked on though.):
Then I decided to log into my account at the Toys R Us Website.
THERE IT WAS. This is what they’re looking for:
Under Payment Method, it shows the card + last 4 digits. But as the caption reads, THIS IS NOT A CONFIRMATION E-MAIL. It’s a fucking order status on the fucking WEBSITE. If you want people to bring this, you should explicitly state so.
What’s even MORE hilarious is that their Returns & Warranty page under their Help section says the same thing as the information at the bottom of the shipping e-mail but with the added note in the parentheses:
Returning to a Toys”R”Us/Babies”R”Us Store
To avoid paying shipping to return the item you can bring your purchase to the nearest Toys”R”Us/Babies”R”Us Store. Please bring the following items with you:
a. Packing slip b. Confirmation email (This is used to confirm original method of payment) c. Please pack the product in its original packaging
I didn’t check this earlier but if I did, I may have been scratching my head and wondering how they could confirm my method of payment without it being listed and I would have did more investigation. But hey, maybe they could check via order number or something? Who am I to argue what’s written there?
However, the point still stands that they’re looking for a bloody confirmation e-mail. And why the fuck the payment info isn’t listed in the order confirmation in the first place is beyond me. Maybe it is in the US?
At any rate, I shot off a letter of complaint to them and requested to have my store credit reversed and put back on my MasterCard. Yeah, you can argue that it should be common sense to show something that indicated how the purchased was paid but I followed their instructions to the T and it shouldn’t be my responsibility to hunt down missing information for their convenience. I thought all they would have needed was an order number to verify in the system or something. Well, they wanted the confirmation e-mail and they fucking got it.
Edit: Since I requested that they change the wording in the return policy regarding the term “confirmation e-mail”, here’s a screencapped version of the instructions in case it’s changed at some point.
Edit #2: This is gold. Customer service has reading comprehension issues.
Here’s the message I sent via the “Contact Us” form as quoted by the service agent that replied a few hours after I sent:
Here is the reply. Note that utterly unhelpful it is. On top of that, it’s clear that they just use generic replies:
Thanks for completely ignoring my issue. Gonna reply to it soon.
The Exodus at Kairospot
Kairospot regulars may notice that a few staff members no longer hold any sort of staff-related titles or even have profile pages anymore. It’s because we’ve been banned; all of us (I’m nunuu) , including innocent new recruits that were brought in recently to man the Gamerspot (Kairospot’s sister site) YouTube channel. They didn’t even know what was happening and were removed from their positions even before they started.
Edit on Oct 28: I’ve been notified by Prohibit that the YouTube staffers weren’t banned. There was a misunderstanding/misinterpretation on the part of the parties involved.
Here’s the low-down:
All I Want Is Your Money
The ban-fest came about after former writer/moderator, Loopy Kay, outed the questionable ethics and behaviour of the founder, Prohibit. You may lend some compassion to someone if he told you that donations meant for the message forum were used to pay bills and other life necessities. After all, a sob story about losing one’s job and needing money to sustain a living for a short while might pull on some heartstrings.
However, how would you feel if you discovered that all donation money went to his personal PayPal account and that he never had the intention to tell the community about how the money was being used? And that an apology and admittance to forum subscribers only happened due to pressure from staff? Moreover, how would you feel if you discovered that the money that you handed over out of goodwill with the expectation that it will be used toward expanding and improving a website and community that you enjoy was used for other things like, say, luxuries?? No, I don’t have proof of this myself but fellow staff have put the pieces together. I mean, when you’re strapped for cash and suddenly start praising the hell out of a new electronic gadget you bought, something’s not right.
As a donator myself, I expected the money to go where it was meant to go and if it didn’t, then I believe that even a short message explaining that the funds would be used to for personal reasons and such would have been warranted. (Hell, I covered the cost to have an enhanced search engine to be implemented. It never happened.) Unfortunately, the attitude regarding this matter boiled down to “it’s my site, I can do whatever I want with the money.” In short, your donations were being used as someone’s supplementary income.
I’ll Just Sit Back & Relax While You Do All The Work
While this impacted subscribers, staff endured another type of mismanagement; Prohibit disappeared without prior notice for an extended period of time. No one knew why or what happened. Kairospot co-founder, Steve10, also went MIA for a bit as well but did check in briefly to explain that he was absent due to health reasons and work. While DaveNg88 and I were administrators, our hands were tied. We lacked certain editing permissions, weren’t fully accustomed to the forum software, Xenforo, to look into registration issues potential new members were reporting via Kairospot Facebook page, and couldn’t implement anything without first consulting with him. It was essentially being at a workplace without a manager for weeks on end.
Kairospot was self-sustaining since it was mostly a message forum. There were a few technical hiccups which were dealt with by fellow staff member and Xenforo expert, Forsaken. Gamerspot, on the other hand, was meant to be an actual, full-fledged website with content spanning from new game coverage to reviews to opinion pieces on the game industry and gamers. In the absence of management, Dave went above and beyond his role as admin at Gamerspot and got all writers into a publishing schedule which saw the site active with a continual stream of new articles throughout the summer. Sadly, this was shortlived.
I Give You Empty Promises
When Prohibit and Steve returned, things seemed to be back on track but it was not long after that staff came to know about the embezzlement issue mentioned earlier in this post. At this point, we began to doubt Prohibit’s position as our, for a lack of a better word, manager. As it turns out, he was looking to rely on Forsaken and the admins to essentially shoulder his role. The fact of the matter was that no one ever agreed to this nor was such expectations ever mentioned. We all signed on to help out the site NOT to run it and call all the shots.
Prohibit took our concerns lightly and when Forsaken confronted him about his behaviour during a Skype conversation, he even went as far as to state that if we didn’t like what was happening, we were free to leave since we were all easily replaceable. After a short while though, he backpeddled and profusely apologized for not fulfilling his duties and for being inaccessible for matters regarding his sites. Prohibit promised to change, swearing that there would be more transparency on decision making and that he would become more involved with both Kairospot and Gamerspot. For a while, he really did seem to make the effort to uphold the promises by becoming more active, setting up a staff directory with contact information among other things, and a group PayPal account accessible by all administrators. But the cycle began again as he soon fell back into the habit of not doing anything.
About a couple of weeks later, the ball dropped again.
Someone’s Paying Me Big Bucks. Sweet.
Kairospot broadened its horizons to cover more than just Kairosoft. It fact, it became a second home to up-and-coming mobile developer Epic Devs. The developer had their own subforum and released two exclusive tech demos of Epic Pirates Story for the community to try out. Kairospot goers warmly welcomed Epic Devs and they soon became a household name.
However, about a week ago, the subforum disappeared. Staff were unaware of the reason and couldn’t properly answer inquiries from members; we were just as in the dark as they were. Once again, Prohibit took it upon himself to do something without giving any notice or explanation. The obvious mentality here is “it’s my site, I can do whatever I want with it”. To put this in perspective: can you imagine working in an environment where management spontaneously changes things like moving stock, changing floor layouts, or even policies without telling employees? Imagine the impact this would have when interacting with customers.
On a personal note, I never knew that we changed from a simple donation system to a subscription model until a member complained about it. My initial reply stated that we didn’t have one. But I thought it was kind of odd that someone would mistaken the option to donate however much he wanted as a monthly recurring charge for a fixed amount. So I checked the donation page and saw something that was implemented out of the blue. Needless to say, I quickly edited my before a reply to it could be made. I am certain that you can see how foolish my original reply would have made me, an administrator of the site, look. But I digress. Back to the issue with Epic Devs.
I’m Just Going to Wait Things Out
It was uncovered that the developer had been paying Prohibit to have a section on the forum. That, in itself, isn’t a shocker since paying to get more exposure and publicity is common practice for companies. However, due to a small set back on the developer side, Prohibit was notified that the funds weren’t readily available this month. He then promptly removed the subforum without compromise and contacted them afterwards. No amount of grace period or compassion was given.
Prohibit disappeared again for a few days following the incident. And this was the last straw; the patience of staff members finally took its toll. We gave Prohibit the benefit of the doubt and expected transparency and discussions regarding the sites that we helped build and manage. But, once again, things happened behind our backs.
I’m Going to Ban The People That Made Kairospot What It Is Today
This was when Loopy engaged in whistleblowing and revealed what was happening behind the scenes to all members of Kairospot. They deserved to know that they were being exploited, that all Prohibit cared about was making a community that he could profit from. (Prohibit would fervently defend his claim that Kairospot and Gamerspot weren’t making him any money. However, let me remind you that any denomination of money given to his PayPal account, and even ad revenue, were pocketed. It may not have been every penny but a fair bit of it never went back into either website.) Most of all, they deserved to know that the Kairospot founder was incapable of handling responsibility and didn’t understand the meaning of team work.
Of course, like in a real workplace, leaking the truth will get one fired. In our case, we were all demoted and kicked off of both the ‘Spots.
Our Future Beyond the ‘Spot Network
Talk about creating a new gaming community was discussed between staff during Prohibit’s absence, and it was never kept a secret from him either. We stuck with Kairospot and Gamerspot because we all decided to give him a second chance to see if he could really stand by his word. But most of all, we loved the community. It’s unfortunate that things fell through.
We have since moved onto greener pastures. You can find us over at our new home, AdeptGamer. It’s not meant to be a rival of Prohibit’s work since it was mainly started as a place where we could stay together and continue talking and writing about a hobby that we all love and enjoy. We promise to continue providing the warm and friendly environment that people have become used to at Kairospot as well as awesome articles, guides, and multimedia for your viewing pleasure. There may not be too much there as of this writing since we’re just kicking off the site but I can assure you that it will not stagnate like Gamerspot. We have dedicated founders who are literally in the business of making and hosting websites and talented staff that’s really motivated. Please drop by and have a look~! ^____^
This is Loopy’s original post which was preserved by a former Kairospot member: http://adeptgamer.com/forum/index.php?posts/113
The post was deleted a few hours after it went up at Kairospot. It paints a more darker picture than what I wrote. I just didn’t feel it necessary to list the nitty gritty details to get my point across although I can vouch that what Loopy has outlined was true. We had a lot of projects planned but none of them ever took off since Prohibit was always more interested in refining website designs rather than looking into their content and anything else related to them like proper site promotions (especially for Gamerspot) or merchandise. We actually had a pretty fun T-shirt design contest a long while back. I THINK we selected a winning design but it didn’t matter in the end since making T-shirts went on the back burner.
What was really sad was that some of the projects were meant to be perks for donators. Instead, all they got were sparkling usernames, special icons denoting their status, and the ability to edit their title. There was probably more (other than access to Game Dev Story 2) but they were probably just forum options.