Saturday, October 24, 2009

you know you're being ripped off when ... (4)

The familiar packaging of a product gets replaced (or upgraded), the old packaging is no longer available, and the new packaging is priced almost double the original.
Example of the week: 20cl cream at Carrefour. Old brick container, <40c. New brick container with "easy screw-off opening": 69c.
The old packaging must have been easier to recycle and cheaper to make, right ?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

audacity: lessons learned

I had used audacity before, to record a couple of old audio cassettes, cut them into tracks, and burn them on CD (and convert them to .ogg or .mp3). But that was years ago. Last week, I needed audacity again, and had to crawl out of two pitfalls before succeeding.
  1. don't export to a filename that you used or imported while editing. When you open a .wav file, use it in editing, and export, audacity needs the original file to produce the end result. So overwriting the original while audacity still needs it, does not work.
  2. exporting one stereo audio track will convert it to mono for some reason. You'll be left with sound on the left channel, and silence on the right channel. When you split the stereo audio track into two mono audio tracks, you can export the result as a stereo file (.wav, .mp3, whatever you choose).
The rest of the operation was rather simple, and I now have an enhanced digital version of my late grandfather singing, recorded more than 30 years ago !

Friday, October 16, 2009

you know you're being ripped off when ... (3)

a website pretending to be a search engine, uses your input to fabricate results. Luckily, the ones that I've seen aren't doing much to hide this practice, and searching for "made_up_hokey_pokey" or another randomly invented string will make it very clear.
Example of the day: torrentreactor.to. Every search result under "recently added" is being faked especially for you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

you know you're being ripped off when ... (2)

the minimal unit used for pricing is actually larger than what you use 99% of the time.
Example of the week: Proximus mobile internet invoiced per 100KB, and my invoice says: 70 connections this month, 7 MB used.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

you know you're being ripped off when ...

...the new packaging of a product is physically larger, but contains less. Check the price, and I bet you it hasn't gone down.
Example of the week: new Duyvis crac a nut packs are 175g, old packs were 200g, but were physically smaller.