Category Archives: Uncategorized

NYTimes Subscription

What a PITA. I have online subscriptions to several national publications. In the summer I just don’t have time to read them and they add up so I cancel them.

Most of them allow you to just log in and click a cancel button that stops billing and access after the current period. But not the New York Times. They require that you call or do an online chat. Either way you are in for a belittling experience that takes a minimum of 10 minutes.

Of course, the way around this BS is just NEVER sign up for a subscription.

Here is the chat transcript from my call this morning. Honestly 11 minutes to cancel a simple account. This is shameful. The Times online business managers have obviously calculated that they can retain users this way, but they need to understand that they have lost a customer for life. I won’t sign up and I won’t purchase the print edition anymore. The process shown below should take at most 15 seconds online, not 11 minutes. Shameful.

Info
 at 7:41, Jul 19:
Please wait for an agent to respond.
** Please do not share your credit card information, security code or CVV during this chat **Thank you for contacting The New York Times. We appreciate your business and are always happy to help.

Info
 at 7:41, Jul 19:
You are now chatting with Shaleeka.
Shaleeka
 at 7:42, Jul 19:
Hello.
Mark Silver

 at 7:42, Jul 19:

Please cancel my account when the current term expires.
Shaleeka

at 7:44, Jul 19:

I will be happy to assist you with that change today.
Mark Silver

 at 7:44, Jul 19:

 Thank you. Are we done now?
Shaleeka

at 7:44, Jul 19:

I see you have been with us since April of 2017.
Shaleeka
 at 7:44, Jul 19:
Thank you.
Mark Silver

 at 7:44, Jul 19:

It does not matter. Please cancel my account.
Shaleeka

at 7:44, Jul 19:

I’m already processing your request,while I’m doing so I’m just seeing if I have something that may better fit your needs.
Shaleeka
 at 7:45, Jul 19:
You will need to remain in this chat.
Mark Silver

 at 7:45, Jul 19:

I should not have to do this to cancel a subscription. Please cancel my subscription at the end of the current period.
Shaleeka

at 7:46, Jul 19:

By making this change today you will be limited to 10 free articles per month. Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider?
Mark Silver

 at 7:46, Jul 19:

Please cancel my subscription.
Shaleeka

at 7:46, Jul 19:

Is there anything you would like to see the New York Times do better?
Mark Silver

 at 7:47, Jul 19:

Have an automated procedure for cancel subscription so I don’t have to waste 10 minutes to cancel a subscription.
I won’t return because every year when I leave the country it is so difficult to cancel a subscription. This is just crazy that I have to do this in 2017. If I were to sign up again, I will do so with a single use virtual credit card number so it just expires. I can’t believe that your credit card payment processor allows you to get away with making canceling an account so difficult.
Mark Silver

 at 7:49, Jul 19:

 Are we done?
Mark Silver

 at 7:49, Jul 19:

8 minutes…
Mark Silver

 at 7:50, Jul 19:

9 minutes
Mark Silver

 at 7:51, Jul 19:

10 minutes from start of chat…
Shaleeka

at 7:51, Jul 19:

Thank for that feedback! We’ll be sure that this gets passed along to help better serve all of our customers. Is there anything else we can assist you with today?

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UAV Accuracy, Repeatability: Is it Real?

I get to talk to a lot of UAV folks. Typically they are new practitioners who are looking for a fast and inexpensive method of doing Ground Control (GC) and Ground Check Points (GCP) for jobs that are going to be flown using fixed or rotary wing aircraft. We get involved because of the affordability of the iG3s static solution and our great RTK offerings.

One of the scary things that I am figuring out is that the people who are flying these jobs don’t have much of a survey background.

I am just going to throw this thought out: If you are selling UAV services in the USA and don’t have a good handle on these four items:

  • US Survey Feet vs. International Feet
  • IGS08 vs. NAD83 2011 2010.0 (What is a realization, what is an epoch? If you don’t know then you don’t know.)
  • Orthometric vs. Ellipsoid (+ GPS Derived Heights, i.e. GEOID Separation)
  • Accuracy vs. Repeatability

Then I think that you are precluded from making any accuracy claims!

In other words, if you don’t explicitly know the difference between IGS08 and NAD83; then you CAN NOT possibly claim on your website that you are delivering sub-centimeter results. I mean, you just can’t.

I happened on a great white paper last Friday [ Strix ] [ PDF Link ] that does a great job of actually empirically looking at 225 flights over the same test bed. It delves into the differences in lighting, flight patterns, control spacing and more.

Basically I think that this stuff might actually be rocket science. At least lets be clear that it is not simple.

🙂 M

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SurvCE: Send NMEA out the Data Collector Serial Port

SurvCE allows you to send NMEA sentences out the data collector serial port.

Here are some tricks and hints on getting it work:

[ Setup SurvCE to Send NMEA Messages out Data Collector COM Port ]

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PPP via Serial Port on Win 10 Creator’s Edition

Wow. Creator’s Edition is just one thing after another that used to work and no longer works.

We use PPP over serial cables to communicate with GNSS engines here all the time. The latest round of updates has disabled PPP on every single machine that used to work.

Below are instructions for making it work under Windows 10. I have no idea how to make it work under Windows 7 now (and that used to be the easy OS.)

Anyway, Keep Reading: [ PPPWindows10SetupNotes_RevA ]….

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Setting up a Nautix X8 Wi-Fi

Setting up Wi-Fi on the X8 is not difficult. But it is different than most other data collectors.

Continue reading for my notes with pictures [ NautixX8_WiFi_Setup … ]

 

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NGS OPUS Won’t Process my GPS Observation File!

Thesis:

I collected static data with my (xyz) GPS receiver, just like I always do. It was in a wide open area, but when I submit data it reports that it cannot process the file or the vectors because they are noisy or fewer than 3 useable stations remain.

Answer:

There are a lot of possible answers, but in this case the error message may be correct: “There are no nearby CORS stations WITH data.”

Let’s look at an example. [ Continue Reading …  OPUSWontProcess_R001 ]

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Checking the OS Version on a Surveyor 2

How do you check for the current OS Version on a Carlson Surveyor 2 (or Mini-2)?

[ OSVersionOnSurveyor2_R001 ]

 

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