Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Days off are supposed to be relaxing...

...not vein-poppingly aggravating. At least, that was what I thought, until I got home this morning.

IT has taken a couple of hits over the last couple of days, and since bad luck comes in threes, here we go...

Gmail suffered a series of outages over the last couple of days, which they have now, it seems, fixed for the most part. Nice job working on it, guys; I didn't notice until today, when I got a 502 error for all of five minutes; there's a note on this on their status page, by the way.

Then, my home broadband decided to go and fall over; seems the wall wart (a step-down transformer and voltage/current regulator with a moulded three-pin mains plug on the back) died. I haven't a clue if fried the router as well, since I can't get power to the router. So, I tried called TalkTalk customer services. No joy. the woman there, who didn't speak English as a first language (in yet another outsourced foreign call centre, I suppose), got locked in a loop of trying to test my broadband connection. Well duh, I have no broadband connection because the router has no power, as the wall wart is dead. "I'm going to test your connection again" God, it's enough to make you beat your head on the desk.

So I hung up, and sent a frustrated - but printable, thankfully - plea for help to the @talktalkcare help desk. They've asked what kind of router I use, and at the time of writing this Blant entry, they have not provided any other response.

And I'm still without home broadband, so to get online, I'm having to use my emergency 3G dongle from "three" to get online. And that works out bloody expensive, compared to home broadband.

And then, later this afternoon, while I was in a Skype conversation to my better half, bemoaning this TTU (that's electronic engineering shorthand for "Technical T*ts-Up"), the PC at the other end borks, requiring my other half to reboot it. Joy. "IT problems untie the world", or something. So, while awaiting my better half's return to the ether of the internot (well, that's what I'm beginning to call the world-wide web, anyhow), I decided to update my Gmail contacts lists in Skype.

Imagine my irritation when I discovered that Skype have removed that facility. Completely.

After damn near popping yet another vein whilst turning the air in my flat a vivid shade of electric blue, I will freely admit that I'm not at all impressed with their decision to stop allowing Gmail contact imports; it smacks of senseless and meaningless obstacle emplacement, with only one end result: Annoying your existing customer base.

Granted, Google are touting their own VOIP solution (Google Chat, part of their raft of "Google+" offerings), but for pities sake, for Skype to react by throwing their toys out of the pram, and launching their dummy (US Translation: pacifier) into low earth orbit is not the way to endear themselves to their existing customers. It's more like a challenge to those customers to tell Skype to (for lack of a more suitable and industrial set of words) bog off, and use the self-same Google Chat service that Skype are whining about instead.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

The most intelligent thing that Skype could do, right now, would be to get over their over-inflated ego problem, and restore the Gmail contact import wizard.

You KNOW it makes sense.

I'm bloody glad bad luck only comes in threes. Any higher quantity, and I'd be about ready to do a Freddy Kruger!

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