I Have The Power!

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about me. I’m a “Nielson Family”.

Ok, because I live alone I’m not exactly a “Family” but I DO count as a household in terms of shopping and such.

What it means is that I’ve got one of those handheld barcode scanners that I use to scan all of my purchases with. The data gets sent to AC Nielson who compiles a whole raft of marketing data from thousands of people like me who do this. Retailers use this data to determine, among other things, what products to stock, how much to charge for them, how to position them in the store, what degree and type of advertising they need to market those products and so on.

I don’t suppose it’s a really big power trip but in a way there is a degree of real power. Though I have to say that I haven’t seen stuff that I buy a lot of start showing up in more stores or at better prices.

[tags]shopping, marketing, marketing data[/tags]

Stage Two

Now that my main youtube channel, youtube.com/user/tinfoilchefdotcom has been a youtube partner for a few months and I’m pretty much getting a handle on the whole thing, I have decided that it’s time for the next in a long line of stepping stones toward success and start working towards getting a second channel partnered.

I’m doing this partly because it’s just plain time and I had intended to do this all along. Another reason is the recent accidental deletion of one hundred videos on my main channel. Those videos represented the lion’s share of my monetized videos. That represents a reduction in money earned from youtube.

I decided that I don’t want to have all of my eggs in one basket like that. Therefore it’s time to move up my plan and start working on getting that second channel partnered so that it too can be earning me money.

Where my main channel is sort of a catch-all where I upload all kinds of videos about all manner of things. This second channel, youtube.com/user/selif1 (which was actually also my first channel), is going to mostly have Minecraft videos on it. There will occasionally be other things but for the most part it’s going to be all Minecraft all the time.

If you look over recent posts on this blog you will see that I’ve embedded the first sixteen videos in the series in posts and new videos will be posted as they are uploaded.

[tags]youtube, partner, partnership, money, earning money, disaster, videos deleted, accidental deletion, tinfoilchefdotcom, minecraft, adventure, my minecraft adventure, lets, play, lets play minecraft, gameplay, gaming, minecraft, minecraft gameplay, lets play, playthrough, video game, commentary, selif1[/tags]

He’s Asking ME *WHY*?

I’m in my office one day last week, busy trying to take care of a backlog of work that was nearing the deadline when this guy, I’ll call him John, comes in. Now John’s a decent sort, though not very bright most of the time. Usually he has the courtesy (unlike several people around here!) to leave me alone when I’m working because he knows that I need to get this stuff done by the deadline or I don’t get paid for it.

Anyway, John walks in and starts right out by asking me where he can get low priced auto insurance. The very first thing that’s wrong here is that I am NOT an insurance agent. In fact I know very little about it at all. Mostly I just know that you’re legally obligated to buy it even though they are not legally obligated to sell it to you.

I pointed this out to John who responds with an eloquent “Oh crap”. I told him that the only suggestions I could give would be to look at cheapestautoinsurance.net and talk to Frank B. who knows a heck of a lot more about the subject than I do.

I’m grateful that this little exchange took only about five minutes or so and I could get back to work. Most interruptions take hours to settle.

[tags]interruptions, busy, work, deadlines[/tags]

Max-Banner-Ads Plugin Problem Fixed

After recently upgrading to WordPress 3.1 I found that trying to open the Max Banner Ads admin page resulted in this error message:

You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.

My first reaction was “The HELL you say! It’s my blog on my domain. You better effing believe I have sufficient permissions!”

In searching for a solution to this problem I saw several references to checking the wp_options table but no mention of exactly WHAT to look for.

Also, I remember having this problem a few years ago and at that time the answer turned out to be making a change to max-banner-ads.php. I wondered if it was possible that there is a similar edit needed to be compatible with WordPress 3.1 although I couldn’t find any reference to this being the solution in this case. Besides which, I’m NOT a php programmer, I probably couldn’t spot a problem there if it introduced itself.

After a LOT of trial and error I believe I’ve come up with a fix. At least so far it has worked on three blogs without a hitch.

Note: This works for me but I *cannot* guarantee anything, your mileage may vary, make backups first before you try this, if you break your blog trying this it’s not my fault, etc, etc.

Here’s the fix:

1, get the latest version (1.4) of Max Banner Ads
2. Deactivate the plugin on the blog in question
3. In your phpMyAdmin, open the blog’s database and drop these tables from the database

wp_mban_banner
wp_mban_options
wp_mban_zone

4. ftp to your site, change to the wp-content/plugins directory and delete the existing max-banner-ads directory and it’s contents.

5. upload version 1.4 of Max Banner Ads
6. re-activate the plugin

From there it *should* be working again.

The only downside is that all of your previous banner settings WILL be gone and you’ll have to set them up all over again.

On the other hand, if it’s working, who cares? Once you have your urls and images ready, setting up MBP is a breeze and shouldn’t take more than an hour at the very outside.

Meanwhile, because I believe this problem was largely caused by incompatibilities that resulted from a WordPress “upgrade”, the next time I apply such an upgrade I’m going to do it on a test blog first and make sure that all my plugins work before deploying it on my actual blogs!

[tags]wordpress, upgrade, 3.1, maxblogpress, max blog press, max banner ads, permissions, error, admin, mpb admin, fix, how to fix, fix mpb, fix max banner, fix mpb plugin, banner ads, rotator, banner ad rotator, banner plugin, plugin error, phpmyadmin, database, drop tables, drop db tables[/tags]

New MacBook Pro – Gold Or Garbage?

There seems to be something of a difference of opinion on the matter. One the one hand, PC Magazine has featured a review in which the reviewer cannot sing the praises of the new machine loud enough. Reading his review I actually expected him to say that it was the best thing since sliced bread, though I suppose it’s fortunate that he didn’t actually say that.

Then on Computerworld there is a very critical piece talking about how this new machine with it’s $1800 base price (and you know almost nobody buys the base machine so most people will be paying a LOT more).

What they had to say about it was that it has some serious issues.

While disassembling a 15-in. MacBook Pro, iFixit.com — a site that regularly tears down electronics and publishes do-it-yourself repair guides — found several signs of substandard assembly.

We’re talking about everything from a stripped out screw to the fact that the infrared sensor’s ZIF socket was unlocked to an excessive amount of thermal heat sink paste applied to the CPU and the GPU which regardless of whether it may or may not do any harm it certainly shows some really sloppy workmanship.

All I can say is that, given this second report, I’m going to stick with my policy of not buying Apple computers newer than the Apple][e and steer well clear of this one. My recommendation is that you do the same.

[tags]apple, macbook pro, reviews, teardown, shoddy workmanship, sloppy assembly, potential problems, avoid[/tags]