links for 2010-02-09
Many small businesses that deal with PayPal do so because they don't see any viable alternatives. In some cases, however, I wonder if these companies are really aware of the risks they are taking. Do a little digging, and you will discover that PayPal's customer service record is nothing short of horrific. The company is notorious for quietly jacking up its transaction fees, and a small army of Web sites are dedicated to publicizing complaints about the service. PayPal's pat response to such complaints reminds me of Lily Tomlin's spoof of The Phone Company: "We don't care. We don't have to." For small businesses that rely upon PayPal, however, this is a deadly serious business. Many complaints involve cases where PayPal has frozen seller accounts without warning or explanation. These incidents can take weeks or months to sort out — and if a cash-strapped business doesn't survive the appeals process, well, that's just too bad.
Linus Torvalds, the inventor of the Linux kernel, has an absolute disdain for mobile phones. All of the ones he has purchased in the past, the man writes on his personal blog, ended up being "mostly used for playing Galaga and Solitaire on long flights" even though they were naturally all phones run on open source operating systems. Things have changed now, he adds, now that he has caved and bought Google's Nexus One a couple of days ago. Torvalds has owned a number of phones before, including Google's G1 device and 'one of the early China-only Motorola Linux phones', but it took for Google to add multi-touch capabilities to the Nexus One before he finally broke down and bought one from the company's web store. And he's loving it: