Sunday 11 December 2011

Paypal, Facebook and SendMoney ...

I begin this post just quoting the rules for using Send Money.
If you send money within the US:
  • It's FREE if you pay using a bank account or your PayPal balance.
  • Credit or debit card fees are 2.9% plus 30 cents. We don’t offer the choice of receiver or sender paying the fee.
If you send US dollars outside the US:
  • 0.5-2% if you pay with a bank account or PayPal balance. The fee depends on where you send the money.
  • 3.4%-3.9% plus 30 cents if you pay with a credit card or debit card.
If you send money from another country, please refer to the Fee section of the local PayPal User Agreement accessible here.
Mashable and other websites followed this launch. As usual, italian media (the printed one) maybe misunderstood that the "social" side of this application is just the fact that it is linked to Facebook (and so supported by a huge number of potential users).
Paypal is not a really independent, it is a private company. Just to remember something about it, I'm quoting Wikipedia EN or PaypalIsEvil:

The current (2011/07/29) PayPal user agreement is a 26 page long pdf document.[73] If one buys an item from a PayPal merchant, one is agreeing to an additional layer of arbitration beyond the merchant himself. Thus even if the merchant has acted improperly, PayPal has not violated its own policy until the user has gone through an extra arbitration process with PayPal. According to their 34-page (single-spaced) user agreement, "If a sender of a payment files a Chargeback, the credit card issuer, not PayPal, will determine who wins the Chargeback," which confirms that a user can employ the normal (legally mandated) dispute resolution process with his credit card issuer, instead of following PayPal's procedures. A user who reads section 13.7 (on page 27) finds notice that the user may have chargeback rights independent of the dispute resolution procedure privileges granted by the PayPal UA. Section 14.1 is entitled "Contact PayPal First" indicates that in case of a dispute, the user must contact PayPal first.
In 2003, PayPal voluntarily stopped serving as an payment intermediary between gambling websites and their customers who engaged in online gambling. When they quit processing payments within online gambling community, they were the largest payment processor for online gambling transactions. In 2010, PayPal resumed accepting online gambling transactions but only in countries where online gambling is specifically legal and they only service those gambling sites who are properly licenced to operate legally in said jurisdictions. [74]
In September 2005, Richard Kyanka, owner of the website Something Awful, set up an account to collect donations for Hurricane Katrina to be given to the Red Cross. Owing to the high rate at which donations were made, the account was automatically frozen, and Kyanka criticized the time and difficulty involved in getting PayPal's customer service to unfreeze the account. In response to the concerns of Something Awful members over the charity used by PayPal, United Way, Kyanka finally opted to have the money refunded to the donors so that they could donate directly to their charities of choice, though PayPal did not refund exchange and handling fees for international donors.[75][76]
In March 2008, Australian current affairs show Today Tonight aired a segment criticising PayPal, with regard to safety, freezing accounts and customer service.[77]
Several PayPal gripe sites and blog posts[78] have been created complaining of problems such as the freezing of accounts of eCommerce stores if they experience rapid growth, preventing them from being able to pay suppliers and fulfill orders.[79] One such site,,[80] ranked third on a Forbes Magazine listing of "Top Corporate Hate Web Sites" in 2005 based on "hostility" and "entertainment value" of web forum postings and other criteria.[81]
In June 2008, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that, "The evidence available does not support the view that PayPal is the most secure method of payment, or offers the best service for all transactions."[82]
In February 2010, PayPal stopped or reversed all "personal" transactions in or out of India without prior notice. Funds already transferred and transactions that had previously been "completed" were reversed leaving many vendor accounts over-drafted. Companies, contractors and service providers throughout India were left in debt to PayPal for services they had already provided when PayPal, without warning or consent, returned funds vendors had already received and withdrawn.[83]
In spite of its international reach, PayPal has limited functionalites for multi-country users, most notably the impossibility to have bank accounts in several countries, or to have a shipping address in a different country than one's bank account / credit card.
In March 2010, PayPal froze donations to Cryptome, seizing over $5300 of in-transit donations.[84] PayPal refused to inform Cryptome of the reason for this action, claiming that to disclose why the donations had been confiscated would violate Cryptome's own privacy.[85] A week later, PayPal offered an apology, which was rejected by Cryptome founder John Young as "insulting and unacceptable".[86]
In September 2010, PayPal froze the account of Markus Persson, developer of independent video game Minecraft. His account contained around €600,000.[87][88]
In December 2010, PayPal permanently restricted an account used to raise funds for WikiLeaks citing it was in violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy. At a conference in Paris, a PayPal VP, in response to an attendee's question, stated the account was restricted after PayPal was allegedly pressured by the U.S. State Department.[89] Afterwards, PayPal reiterated the decision was based on violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy. This was followed by cyber attack on the website and a boycott of PayPal, in which some users closed their PayPal account in protest.
In November 2011, PayPal moved all shipping to eBay. This move also forced businesses with multiple users to use only their administrative passwords for all employees, which opens the door to potential account fraud by merchant employees. As a results of this shipping change, many PayPal merchants already frustrated with PayPal fraud protection moved their shipping from PayPal/eBay to other online shippers such as[90]
In December 2011, PayPal froze funds in an account held by April Winchell, the owner of Regretsy, used for charitable giving, requiring the account holder to refund the donations collected but keeping the fees charged. [91][92]
Please, provide right information when publishing something.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Music takes a trip on Social Networks

This night, Facebook added to its interface a new Application entry, labeled "Music".
If you're logged in, you can reach the page using this link.
This move from Facebook Hq seems to be related to Google Music release, expected for tomorrow.
Google Music will be presented in Los Angeles during a special event, called These go to eleven. The event seems related/sponsored by T-Mobile, as Engadget told us few days ago.
The deal with T-Mobile consists on the possibility to directly bill purchased tracks. Exclusive content will also be available for T-Mobile customers for free.

A Cold War, which will put the spotlight on the "music" capabilities of social networks, (aka Google+ and Facebook).

Facebook role on Music Provider is to act as broker of music streaming services. At the moment, on the country I live now (France), we have:
I expect, on next weeks/months, to see:
  • (job opportunities on the website can be an hint for upcoming "fully featured" service)
  • Pandora
  • Deezer
  • iTunes? (less likely)
Google role seems to be a little different: it will provide directly the music, signing agreements with music producers/distributors.
Google Music is avaliable as closed beta, accessible via invites. The number of available songs is still limited. Google partners with Universal, EMI, Sony Music, 23 independent labels on Google Music, scores exclusive content

Universal closed the Google Music deal just before tomorrow's event.

Google Music has been presented and delivered to all US users.
It is also possible to gain access from everywhere using proxies or using Tor technology.

A small detail... I had Google Music invites an I joined and I had no problems accessing to web interface. Maybe the choice of english language for the UI enabled someway the access for non US users.
I am not able to access Android Market, so I have no direct experience of it.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Kinect as Webcam on your PC [SOLVED]

So you want to use your Kinect as a webcam, uh?
Yes, it is possible to do that... And it is quite straightforward.

Follow those steps:

  • Download and install latest Kinect for Windows SDK beta
  • Download and install latest MS Visual Studio 2010 Runtimes (you can choose x86 or x64)
    • [Update] It is working with latest Beta 2 release, updated link below
  • Reboot your PC
  • Download file and store it in a path you're not going to touch anything for next 10 years (e.g. %WINDIR%)
  • Execute command line as Administrator (Right click on Cmd.exe and Run as administrator)
  • Enter the following command: regsvr32.exe "path of file"
  • Feel free to use your expensive webcam on Skype, Google Talk or whatever you want
For some troubleshooting or use openKinect package instead of official Kinect SDK, feel free to follow this link. More info about the creator of the DirectX VideoCapture Filter are there.

Obviously, on Linux, it is supported out of the box thanks to Linux Kernel.

Friday 26 August 2011

Retail Snow Leopard Mac Os X as Guest on Oracle VirtualBox 4

Latest versions of Oracle VirtualBox allows you to install and run Mac Os X 10.6 out of the box (just one little trick needed). You need a VT-x enabled CPU.
  • Install Oracle VBox
  • Create a VM (Mac Os X / Mac Os X Server)
  • Allocate a Fixed Size Hard Drive (20GB is enough)
  • In the machine properties set 128MB to Video System
  • Leave all as default (Make sure EFI is enabled)
  • Go to your VirtualBox Machine description file (vbox extension) and add those lines in the right position in the XML tree

<extradataitem name="VBoxInternal2/EfiBootArgs" value=" "></extradataitem>
<extradataitem name="VBoxInternal2/SmcDeviceKey" value="ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc"></extradataitem>

  • Install Mac Os X from an original copy you can buy in an Apple Store
    • You couldn't install Mac Os X on a Virtual Machine because its licence doesn't allow you to do that.
  • Enjoy

Thursday 30 June 2011

Thursday 6 January 2011

Windows 8 to support System on a Chip on ARM, x86 architectures

Windows 8 to support System on a Chip on ARM, x86 architectures

There's been plenty of buzz about Microsoft showing off Windows 8 -- if that is, in fact, what the next version is eventually dubbed -- on an ARM device at CES 2011, and a press release from Redmond has made the news official. The upcoming Windows release will support System on a Chip architectures -- including those from ARM, Intel, and AMD.

Windows for ARM is capable of delivering hardware accelerated Web browsing, graphics, and media playback, and USB peripheral and printing support should be on par with its x86 sibling. And yes, there will be an ARM-compatible version of Microsoft Office available as well.

With System on a Chip support in Windows 8, Microsoft pledges to allow 'industry partners to design and deliver the widest range of hardware ever.' Check back for more CES updates from Microsoft as events unfold!

Update: Microsoft has now posted a Q&A session with Windows chief Steven Sinofsky. Hit the link to read his musings!
Windows 8 to support System on a Chip on ARM, x86 architectures originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 16:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Google shows off Android 3.0, the 'Entirely for Tablet' Honeycomb (video)

Google shows off Android 3.0, the 'Entirely for Tablet' Honeycomb (video)

Well, look who just oozed into being, Google's latest flavor of Android, the tablet-friendly 3.0, Honeycomb. We heard talk that 3.0 would be exclusively for tablets, as in not for phones, and that looks to be played out with the text 'Entirely for Tablet' seen early in the video. Perhaps the best thing to say is that this looks more or less nothing like Android. Sure, the browser is the same, and the Gmail app will be familiar to iPad users, but trust us when we say there's a lot of lovely UI in the video above to admire...and a lot of glowly blue lights, too. Apparently we weren't the only ones who saw Tron:Legacy on opening night.
Continue reading Google shows off Android 3.0, the 'Entirely for Tablet' Honeycomb (video)
Google shows off Android 3.0, the 'Entirely for Tablet' Honeycomb (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 17:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.