Category Archives: Services

iPhone shopping on amazon

I was walking home from work today and I decided it was time to buy a new iPhone leather case, the one I had broke and my iPhone was left unarmed to fend wherever it gets tossed. I use amazon for the majority of my online purchases so naturally my first stop was I assumed they would have an iPhone interface and I was eager to check it out. Most of the iPhone web interfaces I come across are fairly debilitated compared to the site I’m familiar with and I suppose I expected the same with amazon.

Initially I was frustrated. Feedback was hidden and I couldn’t find a description. All I wanted to know was whether or not the case would fit my 3G. After searching around for a while I came across an item that had 3G in the title so that was enough for me.

To be honest I expected my frustrations to continue however that was not the case. Very much like the “real” I was able to 1 click checkout, select one of my previously used addresses and purchase with one of my previously used credit cards.

The entire checkout process took no longer than 1 minute and it was simple. Needless to say I’m much more confident about purchasing from amazon using my iPhone.


Centralized registry for usernames

I was part of a twitter conversation the other day with @penguin and @geekgiant were we discussed how frustrating it is to go to a new service and have you “go-to” username already taken.  It seems to me that something like OpenID should have a username registry where you could reserve a username much like you would reserve a domain name.  Then any services that work with OpenID would have to query the username registry before allowing someone to pick a username.

I think such a service is becoming more and more desirable.  With the rapid rise of Social Media many people have essentially developed brand equity or “self-equity” with their usernames.  Think of twitter and all of the ‘twitter-lebrities’.  Imagine if someone was able to register @scobelizer or @laughingsquid on the next up and coming social network, there is some equity to be had which may even translate into a monetary transaction for the rightful person to own their identity.


iStockPhoto – ripping off customers by raising prices!

I’ve been a loyal customer to iStockphoto now for about 2 years and today after logging in to purchase an image I realized that I was now paying over $15 per image.  Just about two years ago they promoted $1 images which were very sufficient for the level of web design I was doing.  Over the course of the last 12 months they have altered their buiness in a few different ways.

  1. Reduced the sizes of the images – 1 credit now gets you a ~200 pixel image
  2. Increased the cost of their credits – It used to be $1 for 1 credit now they have altered their pricing to starts at 10 credits for $14 ($1.40/credit)
  3. Increased the cost of the images – Vector images used to be 3 credits, now they are 15.  ExtraLarge images were 5 credits, now they are 15.

As a response to their price increase I wrote them a kind letter to cover my opinion on the matter:

Dear iStockPhoto,

This will be the last time I spend any money with your company.  I don’t have a large budget but you have made sure that my budget continues to afford me less and less each month.  I have been a loyal customer for over 2 years and I watched your prices rise on two fronts.  Not only are you giving fewer credits per dollar you are increasing the cost of the images.  It might not hurt you but my $100/month is going elsewhere.  Thanks to your attempt to screw your customers I feel this will be a recurring reaction.

Best of luck,
Damien Howley