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My vodafone.de bitter saga April 14, 2010

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous, Personal.
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On August 19, 2008, I wrote an article under the title “Vodafone service in Germany“. In there I was complaining about not having a phone for months after my contract started. I also wrote very explicitly, that I chose Vodafone on the grounds that they offer real landline service (not VoIP), and that I could cancel anytime without penalties. This was information I received from two different Vodafone representatives, in two different stores. As I was surprised back then by this information, I asked them both repeatedly about these two points, and they both insisted that this is the case. As a matter of fact, I went to the second store only because I got this surprising information at the first one.

As it turned out, the phone was VoIP. Although I wasn’t too excited to find out, I could live with that. At one next visit to one of the Vodafone stores, I told the salesman about it, and he insisted that no, it’s not VoIP, because you don’t need a computer to use the phone. Sigh.

Today, I found out the bitter way that if I cancel before the two years end, THERE ARE PENALTIES. So the second reason I chose Vodafone over a cheaper provider, was also a blunt LIE. I can accept that a salesman is clueless and technically incompetent (see VoIP), but I can’t accept that they are unaware of the contract’s terms. I can only assume they lied on purpose, to sign me up. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this on writing back then, and I could not read any German at all (not that I can now, but anyways) so I didn’t know what exactly I was signing. I guess my blog post is not proof enough.

It’s fortunate that, as I am enrolled here for the PhD, I can declare a student and avoid penalties due to leaving the country. Yet, if I did not have this special status I’d have to pay 3 months for nothing, only because some representatives lied to me. I am frustrated, disappointed, and angry. And I hope many prospective customers of Vodafone Germany read this.

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An update March 22, 2010

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous, Personal.
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I re-arranged slightly my blogs and domains. In short:

  • Logos of Crafts “moves” to https://tech.costas.gr/. Quotes around “moves”, as the blog is still hosted on WordPress (but do update your bookmarks, as it may change at some point; the same applies for the other two).
  • The blog for music & art moves to http://art.costas.gr/.
  • There’s a new blog. It can be found at http://blog.sla.gr/. It is, unsurprisingly enough, about service level agreements. Mostly automated ones, with a slight bias towards Cloud computing.

For emphasis: Update your bookmarks!

Photos February 27, 2010

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The more I’m diving into photography, the less I like the photos I’m taking. Nevertheless, I found these two decent enough; thought I’d share also here, in addition to Flickr.

Some more lifestyle January 30, 2010

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In case you have some fine taste for wine, here’s a few sites you may enjoy:

Don’t drink and drive!

Registrar January 20, 2010

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous, Networking.
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I recently decided to register a couple of .EU domains, and thought it may be a chance to consolidate my domains under one registrar. I have a .NAME, a .GR, plus these new ones — and you never know what else may come up. So I had to find a registrar who would support these three TLDs at the very least. As the list of Greek registrars is too long to search for .NAME capacity, it was much easier to check out the ones from abroad. Eventually I ended up subscribing to Netim, a French registrar with the service of whom I have been very happy so far. They offer a number of free and low-cost extras, plus a very sufficient management interface.

On another note, I really like how .EU domains are ridiculously cheap, and you get them in minutes. Not much to compare with the process (and price) of getting a .GR domain, which may last up to 20 days AFAIU.

Everything is OK January 17, 2010

Posted by CK in Funny, Miscellaneous.
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I really enjoyed this so much!

(via chstath)

Happy New Year! January 6, 2010

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…and some great music to accompany the wishes.

PS: Irrelevant: One more day until the QUE‘s debut!

A thousand steps ahead November 25, 2009

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous, Travel.
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I’m writing from Stockholm, Sweden, where I came for ICSOC/ServiceWave 2009. This morning, while in the train, I noticed an advertisement of SAS for various bargain flights. What really caught my attention though, was a frame inside the advertisement, which seemed a lot like those on packets of cigarettes warning that smoking causes cancer etc. So looking a bit closer, I could deduce that it said “Flying leads to climate chaos”.

Weather aside, this place is pure amazement. Hats off.

Flygning leder till klimatkaos

Flygning leder till klimatkaos

Suddenly, a wave of optimism kicks in November 4, 2009

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This is mostly a post for Greek readers.

I just read (text in Greek!) that the new General Secretary for Information Systems (ΓΓΠΣ) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance is Diomidis Spinellis, a Professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business who’s blog we have linked to in the past from here. Diomidis Spinellis is well known not only in the Greek, but also in the global software engineering community, with highly regarded publications and books from publishers such as O’Reilly and Addison Wesley. His h-index of 23 (as of this moment) is proof enough.

Why is this important? The recently elected government in Greece decided, for the first time, to appoint all general secretaries for ministries after an open public tender. Until now, they were always appointed directly following decisions made by the (new) ministers. The appointment of Prof. Spinellis is a strong indication that the tender was honest, CVs were seriously taken into account, and knowledgeable people were appointed to these very critical positions.

Other than that, Prof. Spinellis is a well-known proponent of free/open source software in Greece, and has contributed to a large number of events and activities in that regard. So his appointment in this position, apart from providing some certainty as regards the technical decisions of the most critical IT systems of the Greek public sector, is also deeply satisfying as regards the prospects of FLOSS in Greece.

I can only wish him all success in his new (and difficult) tasks, and hope that my expectations will be met. Maybe Greece will be a bit better when I return 🙂

Wish list October 27, 2009

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I just started a wish list on Amazon. All the moderately expensive stuff that I have to remind myself I’m only wishing to buy, otherwise with my current pace of purchasing gadgets I’ll soon go bankrupt.