Friday, November 12, 2021

ASUS WebStorage: A 0-star cloud storage service that you should NOT try

A comical expectation
ASUS has been offering some too-good-to-be-true storage offers such as 16.99$ for 1 TB of storage for a year, a discounted rate. Since it is really cheap, I decided to purchase it. It is my bad that I bought it without checking the reviews. Turned out, this service is a scam. You must never purchase it. It simply does not work. They are probably in their alpha-testing stage. In this stage, the service is unlikely to sustain and they must pay you to use their crappy product.

It literally took 24 hours to upload 8 GB of data and it got stuck there. The service indexes all the files that must be uploaded first. This indexing takes quite several hours. Then it starts uploading - at literally a speed of 800 kbps. Yay, welcome the days of late 1990s and the slow Internet. (To clarify, my Internet is quite strong - with upload speeds of at least 20 Mbps always, as per Speedtest.net). Then, it decides to randomly fail some files here and there without a reason. They were just like 5 MB files. You could ask their interface to retry. It will retry. And some files would still fail even after several tries. You have to literally babysit the app - and it would still fail for no reason. I guess, it caches some local failed version somewhere in their site and hence failing subsequent attempts.
Bot says I could get a refund

I asked for a refund in a day





Now, this is a simple browser-based upload of files. The binary they provide for Linux drops a segmentation fault and does not work at all. However, if just a simple upload is failing, how can you trust their app to auto-sync the files? Interestingly though, they were aiming high. They were asking you all to ditch Google and move your files to their service.

ASUS WebStorage performs poorer than the MSc projects we did in performance and usability. I cannot believe a professional company thought it is okay to release this as a public software. I have asked for a refund since their chatbot said they will refund if it was applied within 7 days since purchase. I asked for the refund in a day after purchasing this shitty service. But I am yet to hear from them. 

Trying to submit a customer complaint leaves me with this page:

 


 

 

 

 

Their web chat help is even more awful.

"there is nothing that can be done on our end."
The reply I received was, "My apologies, there is nothing that can be done on our end." This getting more and more interesting, day by day. From not providing the refund - to help departments being completely dismissive - asking everyone to contact using that unresponsive contact@asuswebstorage.com instead!

Is ASUS WebStorage a scam?

Verdict: Yes. ASUS WebStorage is a total scam.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Giridih, a scam city?

Scammer forgot to mask their number
I keep getting scam calls, claiming to be from various US entities. Almost all the time the number appeared to be from Atlanta. They have just masked their original number to appear to be from Atlanta. Once a scammer called me and I asked him whether he is from Mumbai. He replied, "No Sirrr, Not Mumbai, I am from the IRS." Sometimes the scammers distort their voice with some software to sound like an automated message or a bot (to make us believe they are calling from a big organization and perhaps to prevent us from judging their accent). I asked the person, "are you a bot?" The bot laughed and replied, "No Sir, I am not a bot. I am from IRS." So yes, a human with a distorted voice to sound like a bot, with a fake/masked number to appear to be from IRS or whatever a US entity.

Today I received the same scam call. But this time, most likely due to a software failure, they had forgotten to mask their actual number. The number is from Giridih, a city popular for such cyberscams.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Meaningless and comedic reviews on Google Maps

Google Maps is full of meaningless and comedic reviews. Especially, the remote regions such as Arctic lands are filled with such jokes. They undermines the usefulness of the reviews, by flooding with these jokes. These are annoying especially when these remote regions are hard to reach and these reviews mask the legit reviews with their comedy.

If you have not been to a place, why are you reviewing it? It just skews the correct ratings. Reviews are meant to be from those who have already experienced the place. Not from those who cheat the system to become a "Local Guide" for Google.



Here, this person has apparently landed on this remote Arctic island on Google map and decided to leave this review. Unfortunately, this useless review has received more positive reviews than the legit reviews from those who took the pain to visit this totally amazing remote land.



An idiotic review that claims this Arctic island, easily one of the coldest in the world year around, to be hot and humid. Then people be up-voting it as a joke. Hope Google also introduces a down-vote. Then people like me can down-vote such stupid reviews.



And more irrelevant reviews.

Some reviewing on behalf of their siblings and friends who have actually visited the place.

Others reviewing after spotting the place on Google maps.

Unless Google fixes its review system, Google reviews will remain the most useless reviews we ever have had.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Niffler: A DICOM Framework for Machine Learning and Processing Pipelines

Niffler is an open source DICOM framework for machine learning and processing pipelines. This is an introductory presentation for Niffler.
 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Heating and hot water diaries

Begich Towers, Whittier, AK
Lisboa's winters were cold indoors. We did not have proper heating in most of the apartments and hostels that we stayed. The hot water was okay - but not too stable. It got cold when we opened the kitchen water simultaneously. On the other hand, Stockholm and Louvain-la-Neuve had a better but central heating. That means, it was cold in autumn until they turned the heating on. Once they turned it on, it was warm enough always, as in the summer - quite comfortable. In Atlanta, we have a better personal heating. So we have a better control of the heating. Hot water in Stockholm, Louvain-la-Neuve, and Atlanta are quite stable too.

We never had to worry about heating in Colombo. It was always hot. Whenever it got "cold," it was a pleasant surprise that was to be cherished - not something we needed heater. But still, taking a cold shower was fun. Most apartments did not have proper water heating. We used to boil water in pans to fill a huge containers for warm showers. Not as convenient - but it worked.

I did not enjoy the Lisboa winters as much as I enjoy Lisboa summers. Indoors got colder than the outdoors in winters. But still, the foggy days of winters were a magical feeling. Nothing to complain about.