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Truth in Correspondence: Bad Oracle

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I received a strange email today:

From: Juliet Burgess <juliet.burgess@oracle.com>
Subject: MySQL Support
X-Source-IP: acsmt355.oracle.com [141.146.40.155]

MySQL User:

I am reaching out to you because I was told you were interested in learning more about MySQL support.

Here is a link showing our prices and various levels of support and what you get at each level. http://mysql.com/products/enterprise/features.html

I have discounts available for quotes that close in June, as it is our year-end. I also have extensive multi-year discounts available this month.

Would you have time to talk on Monday?

Let me know of your availability and I’ll give you a call.

Thank you,

Juliet Burgess
Oracle – MySQL Sales Team
214 707 4971

Unfortunately, this conversation starts with a false statement:

I am reaching out to you because I was told you were interested in learning more about MySQL support.

I tried to recall asking Oracle anything, and went through past calls and emails. I didn’t find anything, and eventually Juliet confirmed that she is bulk-mailing from a list of email names given in a web form.

Let’s ignore for now that I always opt-out of additional unsolicited communication.

Juliet really should have started the conversation with the truth:

you downloaded a product from us, and I was reaching out to see if I could further the dialog

This would have been a true statement. That’s not what she used.

Juliet took a list of emails — some of which including mine didn’t want additional callbacks — and claimed that we asked a question. She sent a spammy unaddressed email (ie there is no “to:” part there) that triggers spam-blockers as it is. That kinda sucks, but I’m sure she’s not the only one at Oracle doing it, and I’m sure she’s not the only tech person ignoring opt-outs.

The worst is that she chose to lie. How, seriously, can we begin a conversation and a relationship with a lie?

iPod and Fidelity?

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I was just sitting beside an older couple who regretted audio quality on an iPod; this reminded me of a friend who has similar sensitivity to fidelity. Even before I shared a taxi later that night with the founder of Gotham Records, I had sent off emails to ask about quality.

The Spoiler: ALAC.

Ken and his wife (I forget her name) had a number of concerns — she didn’t know how to let her Mac switch between two preferred Wifi networks automatically, didn’t know how to use a graphics package on her Mac, and hadn’t considered asking the Apple Store for help… so here are some un-checked paths to problem-solving here.

For what it’s worth, Apple Stores have both in-store experts to help you fix your problems — some stores are 24/7 — and they have classes at more civilized schedules to help you build your skill and independence. Few people seem to consider this perhaps because there’s no Microsoft store, no Dell Store, no HP Store to help them, but Apple’s “Genius Bar” has helped me diagnose problems before, politely and quickly.

As Rev. J. Paul tells me, had Ken and his wife walked into an Apple store, Apple might have recommended ALAC, the Apple Lossless Audio Codec — this is a lossless format similar to FLAC, but can be selected as the Apple Default format — this triggers both CD/media import, and the “convert to” option for converting existing tracks.

J. Paul uses Max, but he’s very particular about his content, and tends to use extensive tagging, and may have additional album art or associated content to keep together. ALAC includes metadata so that moving the file moves the metadata with it.

Ken and his wife may never find this post given their difficulty in finding help in an Apple store. Anyone else searching might get a few pointers from this.

MacOSX: Blocking Spotlight Indexing: Better?

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I previously wrote that to block Spotlight indexing, one should create a basic file on the root of the Volume such as:

$ touch /Volumes/ALLANC_16G1/.metadata_never_index

I’ve recently found that the following should also work:
$ mdutil -i off /Volumes/ALLANC_16G1
which can be checked using:
$ mdutil -sv /Volumes/ALLANC_16G1
/Volumes/ALLANC_16G1:
Indexing disabled.

Needs verification, and it’s only useful when you have a MacOSX at your disposal. I used the first trick inside MySQLFS (around v0.4.0) but will look further into the second. This is one of those “making a note for you and for myself” kind of posts)

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