Spending some time at a public transport hub can give you some nice experience/memories. There are all type of people over there, following their habits. Some are trying to please their boss while some are trying to makeup with their life partner. Some are discussing work troubles while some are discussing life/society troubles. Some are bad mouthing their coworkers while some are just sitting silently (and thinking probably). And ofcourse, some like me who like to observe them all doing their own stuff.

Yesterday night, I saw a “happy” person. He was in his mid thirty, seemed like a marketing/sales guy, travelling town to town. He didn’t had perfect body neither he seemed a “richie rich” person. He was at bus station at 9.30pm, so probably not the easiest job either.

But, he had a very important thing – he was “happy”. He was talking happy, he was walking happy. He was just happy. Even though he didn’t had much all of us want, he was happy. Most people (If any of you are wondering already, he wasn’t like crazy happy).

We all have this “happy” person inside us. But it’s not powerful, so if you fail to feed it properly or lose balance, others will overpower or bully it very easily. The bullier can be anything – stress, ambition, greed, jealousy, worry – literally anything.

No matter what we have, how much we have, we fail to achieve the “happyness” we had when we were kid (it’s not a spell mistake, honoring “The Pursuit of Happyness” here).  The bullier would be different in all case, but they sure do exists for most of us. The “happy” person inside us gets bullied as we grow up. If your “happy” person is still in power, Kudos to you!

Are you still that happy like when you were kid? If not, try to recall when you were that happy last time and feel the joy. Initiate “Pursuite towards happyness”. No doubt, things changes as we growup, but if you manage to gain balance among those, it won’t be “that” hard.

 

To your happyness!

Chilkat has prepared very nice set of components for developers, for various platforms. These components are very handy from time to time.

Recently, I was trying to use Chilkat’s FTP component for a project, I got caught in a problem. My attempt to connect to an FTP server keeps failing with “WSAEWOULDBLOCK”. Chilkat component was kind enough to also give me an error documentation URL, which suggested me that either FTP server is unreachable OR some firewall is blocking connection. I verified all possible reasons but those were not the case.

The strange thing was, I was able to connect to other FTP servers but not this one. Upon spending some more time, I found the reason.

By default, Chilkat FTP component uses EPSV (Extended Passive) if Passive mode is enabled. But some FTP servers, which requires passive mode, can’t do well with Extended Passive mode. So I had to disable this Extended Passive mode to get this going. To do so in Chilkat FTP component, use following property.

ftpObj.UseEpsv = False

Happy Coding!

Today I found very interesting Google Doodle – Google Hurdles. It’s pure fun (and productivity killer too!).

After couple attempts, I could reach 11.7 seconds. But it didn’t feel that great.

So I did some “MAGIC” and scored “1.3 seconds”. Yes, you are reading it correct, I haven’t missed any digit there. I have completed google hurdles in just 1.3 seconds.

Still not convenienced? Check the proof images below. And don’t forget to post your best score in comments.

Keep hammering your keyboard!!!

Unfortunately, I have another bad news for India exporters. I was about to go to sleep and I received an email from PayPal regarding upcoming changes to PayPal User Agreement. Below is the main points of that email.

  1. Any balance in and all future payments into your PayPal account may not be used to buy goods or services and must be transferred to your bank account in India within 7 days from the receipt of confirmation from the buyer in respect of the goods or services; and
  2. Export-related payments for goods and services into your PayPal account may not exceed US$500 per transaction.

The second point is the most shocking one. NOW WE CAN’T RECEIVE ANY PAYMENT EXCCEEDING $500. It seems Indian Government (RBI = Reserve Bank of India) is keen on stopping export income.

Any balance in and all future payments into your PayPal account may not be used to buy goods or services and must be transferred to your bank account in India within 7 days from the receipt of confirmation from the buyer in respect of the goods or services; and
Export-related payments for goods and services into your PayPal account may not exceed US$500 per transaction.

What does that mean to me?
It means, if your business includes receiving payment of more than $500 in a transaction, either STOP EXPORTING and go find your self another business OR ask each and every client to use wire transfer to send you money, which includes visiting bank personally and fill out wire form with all the SWIFT details (in most of the cases). According to me, this will make few clients go away and choose provider from another country.

Indians, it seems Online Export business is in danger now. Better start thinking for alternate business….

Today when I checked my mail inbox in morning, I found a shocking mail – it was from Payoneer. It said Payoneer MasterCard will be blocked in India – immediately for POS transactions (at any shop where you swipe your card) and soon for ATM. Below is the content of that mail.

Dear Valued Customer,
Due to instructions from the Indian local banking authorities, Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard cards will be blocked for local purchases (POS Purchase) made in India within the next few hours, and ATM transactions will probably be blocked soon after are also blocked.
Your Payoneer card continues to be functional anywhere other than India (including transactions made online on global websites), and all funds in your account are secure. Payoneer card of Indian users are compeltely blocked now, it won’t work even with international merchants. That’s really bad news!!
Other payment companies have experienced similar restrictions in the past, and most have been temporary and have taken a few weeks to resolve the situation. Payoneer and MasterCard are working with local banking regulators to address the situation. Payoneer is also preparing alternative ways for you to continue to receive payouts, and expects you will be able to continue to receive your payments in the future. We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep you informed.
We have opened a special mailbox for you to communicate with our Customer Support. Please feel free to contact us at IndiaSupport@payoneer.com.
Sincerely,
Payoneer Customer Support

It was certainly bad news for thousands of Indian freelancers. It appears that Indian authority is trying to stop misuse of this service by people trying to hide their income using this service. But a lot of small freelancers would suffer from this. Last year same thing had happened with Paypal and it made a lot of freelancers to switch over Payoneer. Now Payoneer is in the same place.

Q: I have a good balance in my Payoneer card. What should I do?
A: According to Payoneer, ATM withdrawl is not blocked yet. So visit your nearest ATM and withdraw all funds ASAP, though I have not verified whether ATM is still working or not. POS transaction is already blocked, I tried that today but failed.

You also have an option to reverse payment to partner (vWorker,Freelancer, oDesk etc). So you can withdraw the fund using any other method.

Q: Payoneer blocked (atleast for now), What’s your take?
A: It’s an indication that Indian government would not let any freelancer hide their income. So better keep your PAN and IEC (Import Export Code).

Q: What can I use for now?
A: You can use Paypal as an option. I am not aware about any other option. Share it in comments if you know any other.

I hope Indian government can track millions of millions money being scamed by big players soon (some recent are Adarsh society, CWG, 2G spectrum and many other which we are not aware about). That will bring much more tax income and save government’s fund without being an issue for small freelancers who are earning their bread from freelancing and paying their tax loyally.

Some questions has no answer. Following are some of them.

  • Why Indian government is so keen to track each and every penny of freelancers? Freelancing employs thousands of Indians and bring foreign money to our country AND freelancers are less corrupt/stealers than many others (do I need to say less corrupt than whom??).
  • Why do Indian government think that all Indians are stealing tax? Even SSN is not must for US residents while signing up for Paypal but PAN is must to signup for Paypal in India. Payoneer and Paypal works in most of the countries without government intervention.

My Experience with WePay

WePay
Recently, on twitter, I read someone’s tweet about WePay.com. This name was totally new for me, so I checked their website (wepay.com), their fee structure and it was impressive.

From their FAQ section, it appeared that one need to have US address and US bank account to start using this service. So far, these were their only 2 requirements. Still to be sure, I opened a ticket at WePay’s support portal to confirm this, my question was answered affirmatively, that this service can be used if I have a valid US address and verified bank account, even if I am not US citizen or not living in US at the moment.

Well, that was a good news for me. I am not living in US but I have many friends/relatives there. So I could use this service as I have US address and bank account too.

I signed up at WePay, it was so simple and quick. Then I added and verified my bank account. That was quick process too. Now it was the time to test their service, how it works, how quick it is and all that. So I asked one of my friend to make a small donation just for testing purpose.

Now here comes the twist. According to them, payment made with Credit Card are approved in few hours and payment made with bank account can take upto 1-2 days to clear. My friend had made the test donation using credit card, so I was expecting it to clear in few hours.

Almost after 24 hours, my transaction was still pending. I opened ticket in support system, I received no response regarding this. Then after 36 hours (of payment), I contacted WePay’s live chat support (Yeah, they have live chat support too, which is impressive factor again!!). Live support person had no clue why it was still pending. That person asked me to contact another person from their support team. I contacted him, and I was asked to call him regarding this payment. Later I called this person, he asked me who is the sender of this payment n all that (which I might not be knowing if it was not a test payment, being a donation). I answered his questions and then I was told that I can’t use this service as I am not living in US.

On one side their support staff confirms that I can use their service as far as I have US address and US bank account, I can use this service, even though I am not living in US and other side, after I finish all verification, I am being told that I can’t use this service. This is not professional. All the support person should know all the rules OR they should not answer my question. Any reply from support representative is considered as official, and such huge difference in two support person’s view is not professional.

One more thing I found is, their system/website is not fully tested, specially in terms of cross-browser JS issues. As WePay’s interface depends on Javascript, some of the operations were not working in some browser, which was later fixed when I reported bug.

I have had little email conversation with Bill (co-founder of WePay), turnaround time from this person was quick, must appreciate that.

Things I liked about WePay:

  • Good new venture by young entrepreneurs
  • Quickly fixes bug
  • Simple and easy interface

Things I don’t like at all about WePay:

  • It seems they are not sure what they want to allow ;)
  • It’s not acceptable when payment processing system has BUGS in public release period
  • They don’t even feel like writing 2 kind words when someone reports bug in their system. They fix it, but with no response.
  • Support staff has inadequate knowledge about their own rules
Every new venture would have some issues when they start, which needs to be corrected, but I think that period is called BETA.


I am using #NewTwitter since a while. Today I noticed something weired in it.

When refering to time of any event or action, have you ever read “It was done at 1:00 am tomorrow”. Well, that would be insult of grammer, but #Twitter is doing this.

Here’s how it happened:
I had granted access to my account to one app and I wanted to remove that. So I went to Settings->Connections.

It lists all the apps which I have allowed to access my account, along with date/time when I approved.

The app which I had just approved was saying something like “approved on 12:59 am tomorrow”. Weired, huh? It is.

First I was thinking what’s wrong. Then I realised that Twitter noted time from my timezone and it’s comparing it with time on their server.

Approval time as per my timezone – 12:59 am 10/19/10
Time on twitter’s server – xx:xx am/pm 10/18/10

So twitter is comparing my timezone’s time with server’s time. So it find it “APPROVED IN FUTURE” ;)

Do you want a proof? Here it is.

Proof of Twitter's bug

This is no photoshop magic, you can try mentioned sequence and you will know it’s real image.

I know this is a very small bug, but after all, BUG IS A BUG!

I just encountered situation where I had to request a page with SSL error.

By default, HttpWebRequest won’t process any request if SSL is invalid but you can override this setting with just one line of code to ignore all SSL error (basically trust all SSL without checking, could be unsafe too).

VB.net

ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback = (Function(sender, certificate, chain, sslPolicyErrors) True)

C#

ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback =((sender, certificate, chain,
sslPolicyErrors) => true); 

ABCs of Domain Parking

domain parking

Why Domain Parking?

Few days back, I puchased few domains as they were good and just released from “pending delete” period. But I had no time to place a good blog/website on them. So I decided to park those domains or something similar to park, which is better than leaving domains empty.

What is Domain Parking?

Who does not know what’s domain parking, here is some information for you. To park your domain, you have to point your domain to domain parking provider’s nameserver and add those domains to your account with them. Once ready, it will display relevant link and some content on it (content is not displayed generally). When user arrives on your domain, parking page is displayed. If links are relevant and if user clicks on any sponsored link on your website, you get share from that click’s revenue (around 60%, rest goes to parking provider) . This is general situation.

Good & Bad about Domain Parking

I have heard many good and bad things abuot domain parking, which I have mentioned below. Personally I don’t like domain parking typical page design with hardly related link on it. As I didn’t want to left domain empty till I develope something for it, I researched to find alternate to domain parking.

Pros of Domain Parking:

  • Ready in few minutes
  • Easy and quick way to utilize traffic of your domain
  • Good if you want to sell your domain, as domain parking pages can also include domain for sale notification

Cons of Domain Parking:

  • Limited customization
  • Domain parking page can be identified easily. Any advance computer user wouldn’t click on sponsored link.
  • Search engines does not like domain parking pages. Your search engine traffic will be significantly decreased within a month. This is my personal experience.
  • Many domain parking programs are paid like Godday’s premium parking.
  • Domain parking company leaves its logo or footer link on website

Now, let’s talk about alternates of domain parking. There are other alternates to domain parking like Google Adsense, WhyPark, etc. I’ll also mention pros and cons of these alternates.

Pros of Google Adsense for Domains:

  • Easy and quick setup
  • You get full revenue of all click (no domain parking company’s cut)

Cons of Google Adsense for Domains:

  • Bad design and almost no customization
  • Not at all look like a legit website (even worse than domain parking)

So far, I liked WhyPark option the most. Here are the pros and cons of WhyPark.

Pros of WhyPark:

  • Free account creation
  • Easy n quick setup
  • Variety of theme selection option
  • Customizable website title, keywords and description
  • Many header images to choose from, which suits your domain’s niche
  • Ability to upload your own header images
  • Ability to modify layout css
  • Readymade articles
  • Include related youtube videos, other product advertisement, weather, online flash games, web directory, twitter feed, rss feed and many more ways to monetize your traffic with single click. (known as Domain Apps)
  • Ability to include your own website stats code like Google Analytics, StatCounter, iStats, etc. (they provide their own tracking system too)
  • Ability to add Google Webmaster’s verification tag
  • Easy payout option through Paypal and very low minimum payout
  • Ability to add unlimited domains
  • Automatic niche detection from domain (if you are not expert in finding good keywords for your domain, it will automatically find best matching keywords for your domain to monetize from)
  • Ability to sell your domain

Cons of WhyPark:

  • WhyPark gets some share from your earning (you don’t get full earning like Google Adsense)

Honestly, I think WhyPark deserves some share for all their hardwork to make you earn. Give it a try for your domain parking needs.