Sunday, July 27, 2008

Amazon MP3 Store's Customer Service

I bought Opeth's Watershed album a month and a half ago for 9.99 US. Yesterday I realized that there was another version of the same album with 3 bonus tracks for 8.99 which kinda sucks for me. So I sent the following mail to them:

I bought the mp3 album Watershed from Amazon on June the 3rd. I found out today that a version of the album with 3 extra songs (but for the same price) is available. I would like to be able to download that version (or at least the 3 songs) for free, but failing that , at least to have the option to purchase the 3 extra songs which I can't do now as one of them is album only. I don't see the point of buying the entire album again through Amazon since I already purchased it previously.

I wasn't really expecting much to be honest, I likened it to buying a CD from a store and coming back a month later to see a limited edition of the CD with more tracks for the same price, you can't really demand a refund so I didn't expect one here as well. But I just thought I would try my luck, that maybe they would at least offer me the option to buy the bonus tracks.

Well I got their reply a few hours later:

Greetings from

I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you regarding this issue.

I have checked our website for the album "Watershed" by Opeth and found three additional tracks included for the same album. I am sorry to say that we cannot provide access to the additional included tracks because they were not available when you made a purchase.

However, because of the circumstances I have made an exception and issued a refund for $9.99. This refund should go through within the next 2 to 3 business days and will appear as a credit on your next credit card billing statement.

You can now make a purchase for the desired album with the additional tracks. I hope this information is helpful and will resolve your issue.

Thank you for your interest in Amazon MP3 store.

Yep they refunded the money that I paid previously, just like that. Without any fuss. So I bought the new version of Watershed with 3 extra tracks for 1 US dollar less than what I paid originally. How cool is that!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Dark Knight

I saw this yesterday and I was completely blown away. But I think people who go to watch this movie expecting a fun movie are going to be disappointed. It's anything but fun. It's intense and unsettling, at times almost too much so, especially the scenes with the Joker.

Yes, Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker is something that needs to be seen to be believed. The Joker is a villain with no rules or even any sense of purpose in his actions, he revels in chaos just for the fun of it. He kills people wantonly and derives pleasure from it. Due to the total unpredictability of his actions, Batman struggles to stop him, and as the body count goes up, resorts to very dubious means to try to get to him.

That was actually the best part of the movie for me. Without giving away too much, it was how Batman is tempted to break his own code of justice, of what is right and wrong, when the end seem to justify the means. Two scenes highlight this point, when out of sheer desperation he does things that certainly one does not expect of him, things that seem to be at odds with what he believes in. But it is totally understandable, it's what any man would do when faced with losing everything that is dearest to him.

He is after all, unlike other superheros, only human.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bad experience yesterday

I froze as he bend down in front of me and unbuckled my belt. I really didn't know what to do, it all seemed to be happening too fast. And there were people around , I am not sure if I wanted to make a scene. I mean I have met him a few times before, but nothing like this ever happened.

Yeah you would think a tailor would kind of give you the heads up before he unbuckles your pants. The guy was taking my measurements for a new pants and shirt and yeah as he was doing so I heard the click of my belt buckle and when I looked down it was off.

But it sucks, I been putting on weight , a little every year, but the result is it's been more difficult to get clothes from regular stores to fit me nicely. So have to resort to tailoring them instead. Also been wearing very dark clothes (e.g. black pants, dark shirts) since it's supposed to have a slimming effect. Pretty soon I think I will be wearing all black attire , with the addition of black stripes for the ultimate slimming effect!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hulu: My current addiction

I am gonna make a bold prediction and say that Hulu is a glimpse of what TV will be like in the future. If you haven't heard of it and you are a fan of sitcoms, you are so missing out!

Basically Hulu is a website where you get to watch your favourite TV series (both new and old) anytime you like. Each episode is streamed with minimal commercial interruptions ( 15 - 30 sec each, no more than 4 per episode).

For the past few weeks I have completely abandoned my TV set and been catching episodes of Arrested Development and The Office (Season 4). There are loads of other shows like Family Guy, American Dad, Daily Show with Jon Stewart etc. There are also older but much beloved series like Angel and Buffy. K Angel not so much.

K here is the downside - It is available only to American residents. Despite the fact that I lived there for a while (2 weeks in total) , I was still not granted access. But of course there are ways to bypass this, in my opinion, dumb restriction. Yes the idea of the internet being restricted by local laws is really stupid, they need to do something to get rid of this. But yeah anyway if you wanna try it out and you live outside the States, here's a hint: Hotspot Shield!

Finally, streaming for me was fairly smooth, although there are times when it starts to lag but usually I just pause it for a while and it's ok.