Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ebay irrelevance

I was introduced in ecommerce and ebay sometime around 2003. Was awesome. So much selection and bargain prices at the grasp of my arm. I also enjoyed the auction style. I woke up in the middle of the night multiple times to bid and snipe on an item. And could easily find replacement parts for almost anything electronic.
At some point as my pockets became slightly deeper, the auction style wore off in me. Now I was about buying now the item I wanted with the lowest price.
I could easily source items all over the world in the various ebay websites. I could log on the German ebay to buy things from germany, to the US ebay site to buy things from the US.
And then shit changed. Ebay started demanding extra fees for customs and clearance, and the last blow has been the fact that I can no longer view items from the US ebay in US prices when logging into I can only see prices in euro currency missing all the 0.99$ bargains from asian stores aimed to the US market, but also available to Europe.

I have a few grievances about Ebay and some sad "horror" stories, but Ebay has becoming less and less relevant over the years and its latest implementations doesn't help at all IMHO. Now that Alibaba went public, I might as well give it a chance.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

First impressions on Google Cardboard

If you don't know what Google Cardboard is, its the poor man's Virtual Reality set. Of course how poor is the man who has enough $$ to spend on a 5'' android phone is questionable, but lately at least there are a lot 5'' Chinese phones that cost quite cheaply. Anyway,

I got mine for 10$ from
I don't know if all cardboards are made equal, I would assume all use the Google template, but in my case:

  1. Not all noses were created equal. More nose clearance required!
  2. Google cardboard app has a bug. I cant constantly spin around myself to steady the environment I am watching. I need to sit down occasionally! Actually it seems to be my phone's bug. The gyroscope shows a small negative reading, which fluctuates a few decimals constantly, no matter what. I do not know how to reset it so far, or fix it in anyway. There are tools to check it, but haven't found anything to zero it.
  3. Control of VR environments needs improvement. I can use a wired or wireless mouse but I get the feeling I would look like a dork.
  4. The world is really immersive. You can loose track of your surroundings and hit on furniture and stuff. 
  5. You need to have VERY clean lenses and screen. The smallest smudge looks like fog.
  6. You need to have very high resolution screen as well. It works on low resolutions sure, but you see the bits the image is made of. The actual fabric of your universe.
  7. A major flaw is that you can't use it while lying in bed unless you enjoy blue skyes and ceilings. What kind of personal experience is this that cannot enjoy from my own bed?