Not-so-mechanical Turk(ish)

Amazon.com surprised me a bit today:

Google tells me it’s Turkish meaning “suggested for you”, and after several hours, it’s still there in a fresh browser session, despite the rest of the UI still being in English.

[Update: still there a day later, for several of my friends as well. I don’t see an easy way to contact Amazon to find out if they know.]

Dynamic pricing and demand

The almost-ready Shapeoko 3 CNC mill will come with mounts appropriate for the DeWalt DWP611 compact router ($119 on Amazon). Often discussed in the forums is the fact that you only actually need the motor, which is available separately as the DNP611 ($79).

The DNP611 sold out at that price, came back into stock at $99, sold out at that price, came back into stock at $109, sold out at that price, and is now back in stock at $129. So it’s now cheaper to buy the standard router package and throw away everything but the motor.

(I haven’t bought one yet, since I’m waiting for a confirmed ship date before I buy router, bits, etc)

[Update! Today the circle is complete, as the full kit is now $99, a full $30 cheaper than the motor-only SKU. Perhaps I’ll buy mine now…]

[Update: speaking of almost-ready, today’s email says “Batch #1 will begin shipping in a few weeks!”, and I’m in batch 1. A quiet “woo-hoo” is in order, I think.]

An amusing scam from safewise.com

[Update: he tried again, and when I asked if the scam actually worked on anyone, he responded with a butthurt message insisting he was a real person offering honest assistance, and calling this post “cyber-bullying”. Best laugh I’ve had all week.]

Obviously machine-generated spam based on scraping search engines, since the suggested replacement has absolutely nothing to do with the original link. Never mind the fact that it was sent from a site hosted in Amazon’s cloud (rickgrimes.asoshared.com, which identified itself as www.buzzstream.com to the next hop), or that it was sent with JavaMail and includes a List-Unsubscribe header. Those just ice the spam-cake.

To: jgreely+temp201501@dotclue.org
Subject: Found an error to fix on your website
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:55:14 -0800 (PST)
Good Afternoon,
I'm a criminal justice student and I recently visited your site while
researching for a paper I'm working on... This is a note for your
webmaster, as I found a dead resource link on your site that visitors
like me might be trying to access.
It's on this page: 
I got an error message when I tried to click on the link to this site: 
It looks like that website no longer exists... anyhow, I found another
link that might be useful in its place so your visitors can still find
some helpful information:
Thanks for your help and for providing great information!

Chrome tip

If Chrome starts running really slowly on a Windows machine, and even google.com seems off in other browsers, but the rest of the web is reachable just fine, turn off IPv6. I ran into this yesterday when my router’s connection to Tunnelbroker got a little flaky.

Dear Amazon,

I would pay an extra $N/year for a Really Prime service which included the feature “will not use USPS for shipping”. Every other carrier you use is either on-time or early, but I get things faster from Amazon Japan than when you do “two-day” shipping via USPS.

You seem to assume that if a package is processed at the local post office in the wee hours of the morning, then it will manage to reach my office 0.7 miles away before the end of that same business day. Sadly, it ain’t so. They might manage to make it there by 7pm, but they’ll just cruise on by, because they know the front door is locked. If they’re busy, they won’t even do that, they’ll just wait until after 8pm and mark it “business closed”. Or both, turning it into a four-day delivery.

Ecto died, testing MarsEdit

Suddenly, and I mean less than two minutes after I had used it successfully, the offline blogging tool I’ve been using forever started throwing XMLRPC errors. Support for it was abandoned years ago, so I haven’t looked for a replacement until now.

MarsEdit let me submit an edit to the previous post, so let’s see if it makes a new one successfully, and to double-check the encoding, I’ll insert some kanji: 漢字.

Now for a picture below the fold:


Amusing enough to get a link…

My family’s coming to town for Christmas, so I went looking for things to do and places to eat. The most amusing thing to show up was this Freedom Festival, which turned out to be an ad for Diaz Brothers Bail Bonds.

Dear Amazon,

This is not a hand mixer.

yarn winder, not hand mixer