Archive for June, 2008

Show GPS coordinates on Google Map

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

It is possible to get Google Maps to center upon a set of coordinates, such as those from a handheld GPS receiver.

The syntax is actually quite simple:

Search for latitude + longitude.  E.g. “22.4627+112.9176” will take you to a particular “little” town in China.

Or in URL format:

Update, 2013-12: In the iOS Google Maps App, you can search for an address in the form of 22.4627,112.9176 and the App will find the right location. This is useful for cutting and pasting from your phone’s contact notes. Though, having typed this, I wonder if you can put coordinates in the regular address field…

Or if you want a web page to enter numbers into, this one works pretty well:

I tried that site above first, but I needed the “full” google version so that I could get custom links and other features, so I needed to get it straight from
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PayPal Changes it’s Canadian Pricing

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

I read some good news for small businesses in Canada who use PayPal to receive credit card payments.  The transaction costs have dropped by $0.25.  I’m happy, especially since our transactions upgrade price for Premium access price is currently $10 so percentage wise, the extra $0.25 has a noticeable benefit on our margins. *

The percentage that PayPal takes also drops if you’ve gone past the 3000 per month bracket.

In my humble opinion, PayPal is now an even better deal for small scale web sites. The threshold where I would spend the time and money to move to a merchant account with a bank just got bumped up by a lot.  I’ve helped set up a “proper” merchant account for a client in the past, and it’s not fun nor cheap.  And programming for PayPal is really nice in comparison.

Also note that the entry level currency conversion for Canadians at 2.5% still stinks.

At Perceptus, we use a US based USD chequing account through RBC Centura where we withdraw our funds in USD.  Then we either convert to CAD with the somewhat better bank exchange rate, or we pay Leonard in USD to avoid exchange costs altogether.

The PayPal blog post is here:

* Hmm… what’s with that emphasis on the word “currently”?

Kodak Gallery Upload Problem – “Internet connection failed”

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

So, Future Shop and Best Buy in Canada have outsourced their digital photo processing to Kodak Gallery (which itself was formerly Ofoto).

It was time for me to develop some vacation photos.

I wasn’t about to upload 200 images one at a time, so I tried their “Kodak Gallery Upload Software”. I try to avoid installing custom software for menial jobs like this, but it’s unavoidable this time.  Some competing services have nice Java based bulk uploaders, I think Future Photo was one of them… but that’s not the point of this post.

After the quick install of “setup.exe” (why couldn’t they customize the name just a little?), I tried to login.  And I and got an error: “Internet connection failed”.

A few searches of the web, and a few retries, I was still out of luck. By fluke, I opened Internet Explorer, and noticed that it had been left in offline mode for some reason.  I use Firefox 95% of the time, except when testing web sites, and IE only websites.

Fixing IE to be “online” then trying the Kodak upload software again worked on the first try. My theory is that Kodak either reads some IE settings, or uses the IE engine in the background.  So, Kodak, kudos for trying, but you have some work to do on presenting useful error messages or documentation on the web.

Now all I have to do is be patient while the software spends the next few hours uploading my pictures…