Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Android Market's Refund Period

Android Market used to be a wonderful place where you have a plethora of free apps for your phone and quite a big selection of paid apps starting from under 1 GBP to 20GBP and more. Something that I really liked about this market was that you could download and install an app, try it out and if it turned out that it was not suitable for you, you could uninstall it and get a full refund quite easily right from your phone. Within 24 hours.

Today I downloaded an app from the Android Market, noted the time as just after 10 AM and proceeded to check the app out. This was a lock screen app so I locked/unlocked my phone quite a few times to test it, and then suddenly realized that it was letting me unlock the phone without actually using the unlock slider. That's not what I wanted! So, I tested it a couple more times, confirmed that it didn't work and decided to return it.

Oh, I was in for a rude awakening! I uninstall the app but didn't get the "Uninstall & Refund" button, just "Uninstall". I didn't think much about it. But then, I checked my email and the "refund confirmation" email didn't arrive. Hmmm, curious!

I checked the email that was sent to me when I bought the app and in there was a link for the Refund Policy. I clicked that and suddenly was confronted with this text:

"You have 15 minutes from the time of download to return an application purchased through Android Market for a full refund."

15 minutes?!! Now that's what I call absolutely ridiculous! The 24-hour window for refund was reasonable, you could try out all kinds of apps in that time, even complex ones. 15 minutes is not nearly enough for anything like that. Of course, there are enraged Android users all over the world!

Much as I love Android and Google in general this is absolute bullshit!

Needless to say, I wouldn't be buying any more paid apps from the Android Market unless they have a trial version I can use first.

Rant over!

About the same time as when I wrote this post I sent the app developer an email stating the facts and saying that I am aware of the new refund period but I want a refund. I asked for their policy on the matter.

In response, a few hours later I got two emails. One from the Android Market telling me that my app purchase order had been cancelled. Second also, from the Market informing me that I was refunded in full for that purchase.

So, despite the 15-minute policy I got a no-quibble refund from the app developer company which makes me happy. It was not a big amount of money, it was just the principle of the thing. And I am happy to see that developers have good ethics and cooperative policies.

However, this doesn't change my decision to not buy any paid apps from the Android Market as long as the 15-minute refund period is not changed to something more reasonable. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Another Day - Part 2

I don't want to leave my readers with a depressing picture of me moping around the house on my birthday, so an update is required.

while the reasons for me being sad and lonely yesterday were quite valid and real, by late afternoon I decided I had had enough of that. And I decided to try and cheer myself up.

Remember Barney? "When I am sad, I decide to stop being sad and be awesome instead! True Story!"

First good thing was that the phone I had ordered was going to be delivered today, but to my home address. I had been obsessing about it all day and tracking it on the web hoping they wouldn't try to deliver before I got home to sign for it. They did. But fortunately, instead of it going back to the depot, a nice neighbour signed for it. So I had it as soon as I got home. Step 1 done.

(If you are wondering, it's a Samsung Galaxy S2 and it's amazing!)

Once home, I called my Mum. And as I had said before my kids keep the spirit alive. So my Mum wished me right off the bat. Then I talked to the kids who had been bubbling to wish me and hoping I'd call. Then I talked to my brother as well. That took care of the homesickness, kind of. Step 2 done.

Then after my evening nap (remember I am still biphasic), I went out to the leisure centre with a couple of new colleagues/friends, who, by the way, are great! We watched The In-betweeners, a movie I had been planning to miss. But it was surprisingly good! I enjoyed it very much!

Then we played pool which I love especially now that I am getting a little better at it with all the practice I am getting. When we got hungry we faced Pizza Hut. But they were closing in 15 minutes. So we bought a couple of pizzas and used their outdoor tables to have ourselves a picnic dinner. With the weather so nice and cool, it was very good.

Then we played some more pool until they kicked us out at closing time. I got home past midnight,having used up every minute of my birthday time.

So, even though I started the day feeling sorry for myself, with help from friends and family I closed it on a higher note! Take from it what you will!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just Another Day!

That's what I have been telling myself since this morning. But the emails and messages from friends and family kind of bely my attempts. Actually the messages started last evening, when it struck midnight in India.

Yes, for all of you who know from previous years, today is my birthday but I have not been feeling very celebratory. There are two big reasons for that - one, having lost my father just 3 months ago, I don't feel up to celebrating anything lately. Two, last birthday I was at home with my parents and my kids (yes, I mean my nephews and nieces) and my close friends. This year I am stuck in England far from home! I do have some new friends and I could go out and celebrate with them, but they don't know and I don't tell.

Well, that's the sad part. The good part is that my kids are growing up and they don't let anyone at home forget my birthday.:) Also,I have been getting emails, texts, IMs, Facebook messages etc. etc. from all over the world to wish me. Even in this melancholy mood I cannot help being thankful that I have been blessed with wonderful friends and a loving family. And that is something that gets better every year!

Today is also Janmashtmi in India. That, as you know, is the only day in the year when I fast. But not when I am not in India. Still Krishna is my role model (can you guess why?) and I am glad that his birthday has coincided with mine this year. :)

So, Happy Janmashtmi, everybody! :)

GiffGaff - A Shocking Mobile Network!

I have been meaning to write about this for a few days. I came across this mobile network last weekend. You see I was looking to buy the Samsung Galaxy SII and not finding any offers that looked really attractive. And during that research on one mobile network review website I saw this sidebar of a ranking of top mobile networks. I was quite shocked to see that the top ranking network was none of the big names but just an unknown contender called GiffGaff!

So, curious creature that I am, I did some more research into it and found that this is really a virtual network. Meaning that they don't have their own network infrastructure, they use O2's network. Apparently that's something that's done. More than one company do that but they are all companies. This network, GiffGaff, is like a co-op of mobile networks. They have a total of 16 employees!

Two things that attracted me to this network immediately. One, their rates were really, really good. For a tenner I could have 250 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet. And their mobile internet is really unlimited, no fair use data policy! Two, people can actually earn cashback by providing customer services, posting in their forum and other things like that.

I ordered a free sim right away. But it took 5 working days to arrive. I got it last night when I got back from my weekend.

Right from the packaging you can see it's different. Unliked a big envelope filled with marketing material that you get from a major network, this was a simple, small envelope made out of a single sheet of paper. Inside was only the sim, nothing else, not even a single paper for marketing! Who does that!?

I activated mine immediately with a £10 top-up. But it was after 10PM so it was activated this morning. I checked the internet first and the speed was deliciously good! But I get good O2 signal where I have moved to.

So, finally here is a link where you can order a pre-paid sim (they don't do postpaid) from GiffGaff. It's an affiliate page which means that if you order and activate a sim, you and I both get £5 phone credit! In the spirit of fairness I should mention that you get the same credit even if you order a sim directly from their website, but if you order it from my link I also get £5 credit. Isn't that great! A network that treats people fairly, who would have thunk it?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens - Quick Review

It's not a secret that I don't like Daniel Craig, part of it is the prejudice that comes from the fact that he replaced Pierce Brosnan as James Bond who I think was the most perfect Bond. But also I think Craig is an ugly boy pretending to be a ruggedly handsome man. But still I went to see this movie because I do like Harrison Ford and I knew this movie will be okay for watching once.

I was right. The plot is very basic, very sketchy. Aliens coming down in their flying machines and abducting people to study them. Also they are after gold, for whatever reason, not really explained in the movie. Craig is a cowboy with amnesia and an armgun. Btw, I don't like it that they couldn't come up with a name better than "armgun" for that cool weapon.

In short, there is some action in the film which is  worth watching, once. Nothing very remarkable, just action. The profound scenes are not really profound, emotional scenes fail mostly. The performance are fine, not a whole lot for them to do in there anyway.

Couple of sexy girls in there but not utilized well. There are quite a few chuckleworthy moments. That's all the comedy there is.

The redeeming feature of the whole film is that armgun which looks damn cool.

In conclusion, it's okay for a timepass if you like that sort of thing, but it's nothing remarkable. So if you decide to spend your Saturday afternoon with a good book, you won't lose anything. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - Ad Video

I haven't yet made up my mind if I want to have it or not, but I am intrigued by this new device (duh!) just considering whether it'd be useful for me given that I already own the 7 inch Tab.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Movie Review - Buddha Hoga Tera Baap - AB's still got it

To be honest, I was apprehensive about this movie, I could see from the trailers that the whole burden of carrying the movie was to be on Amitabh and sometimes that kind of thing fails miserably. Thankfully, not this time. The burden is indeed on AB's shoulders but he has proved that he is the original Coolie who can carry many such burdens with ease.

My most favourite thing about the film is AB's character. From the trailers I was expecting a formula film full of stereotypical scenes and typical Bollywood dialogue. I expected AB to be the archetypical gangster, an angry old men with guns ablazing and kicks flying. I was pleasantly surprised to see that his character had much more depth than that.

The film is still a formula film, but the story has been crafted cleverly around some good scenes. AB's character is deep and mature in addition to being strong and violent. There are several twists in the story, some small some big, but mostly unpredictable.

I really loved that AB's solution to all the problems is not fists and bullets. There are many of these problems - an obstinate father who wouldn't let his girl have a love marriage, eveteasing baddies, eavesdropping landlady, an old girlfriend, an amourous fan... AB handles each situation in a different way as it should be handled, always using his mind, his suave manner, his inner strength (sometimes outer strength too) and his charisma to solve problems. The last time I loved AB's on-screen character so much was in Mukaddar Ka Sikander. Well, I liked him in Cheeni Kum as well.

Other than AB, rest of the cast is quite good as well. I always like Hema Malini opposite AB. Raveena looks fine as AB's die-hard fan. Sonu Sood carries off the angry cop well. Sonal Chauhan is a beautiful girl and in the role she has, she does alright.

Dialogues are quite good and real-life. AB's dialogue "Main bullet se hi marunga, BP ya sugar se nahin." is quite good though weakened by over-exposure in the trailers. But we all know AB's dialogue delivery is amazing. Remember - "Main aaj bhi phenke hue paise nahin uthata!"?

The sequence where he does a parody of his own old songs is very filmy but I can see the public going wild on each of those songs in the theatre, he just has the presence and charisma.

I liked the climax. It doesn't drag on too long, has a mix of action and romance and doesn't resemble Disney stories. There's a minor discrepancy where they have taken artistic licence but I can't talk about it without giving things away, so let it be.

In conclusion, an entertaining film and unlike most recent films, it's one that can be watched again.

What is this place?

Guess where in the world have I gone to....hint, I am still in England.

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