Sunday, October 22, 2017

Podcast Episode 4: I Gave My Kid a Funny Haircut on Purpose

Welcome to the Y Karp? Why Not! Podcast. This is episode 4: I gave my kid a funny haircut on purpose

I’m your host, Yossi Karp and let’s talk about technology, writing, gadgets, gizmos, and the stuff of life that makes it interesting!

I’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsor, mazesplace.com. Mind-bending mazes for download now at mazesplace.com. More on them later.

When I was growing up, my grandfather used to cut my hair. I had no concept of fashion or style, of course, but I’m sure he did a good job of it. At least for a while when I was a kid, my grandfather used to cut my hair and it was alright for me. So when my boys were born and needed haircuts, I had no trouble getting out the electric hair trimmer and cutting their hair.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!
A special long-form edition of the Y. Karp? Why Not! Podcast is going live this coming Tuesday, featuring my interview with author, Shaul Behr. We talk about his new novel and the trials and tribulations of editing and publishing a book.

It’s a fascinating discussion with loads of stories, laughs, and great hints and tips. So stay tuned for this extra special episode with author Shaul Behr coming to you on Tuesday, October 24 on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and on www.ykarp.com.
Click here to listen on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=152797&refid=stpr
Click here to listen on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/il/podcast/y-karp-why-not/id1291793305
Click here to listen on TuneIn: https://tunein.com/radio/Y-Karp-Why-Not-p1038454/

Click here to listen to the podcast directly: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_38LzEqZGksY0gxT250MHQ4a2s

Yossi's Magazine: Everyone Needs One of These www.ykarp.com/magazine
Follow on Twitter: @ykarp
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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Podcast Episode 3: Tech Companies Will Rule the World

Welcome to the Y Karp? Why Not! Podcast. This is episode 3: Tech Companies Will Rule the World

I’m your host, Yossi Karp and let’s talk about technology, writing, gadgets, gizmos, and the stuff of life that makes it interesting!

I’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsor, mazesplace.com. Mind-bending mazes for download now at mazesplace.com. More on them later.

As the world becomes more and more technology-centric, we become more and more reliant on tech companies to bring us the goods and services that we think we need. Tech companies will rule the world.

Click here to listen on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=152797&refid=stpr
Click here to listen on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/il/podcast/y-karp-why-not/id1291793305
Click here to listen on TuneIn: https://tunein.com/radio/Y-Karp-Why-Not-p1038454/

Click here to listen to the podcast directly: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_38LzEqZGksQVlEajN4a05qWms

Yossi's Magazine: Everyone Needs One of These www.ykarp.com/magazine
Follow on Twitter: @ykarp
Follow on Google+: +Yossi Karp
Subscribe to Y. Karp? Why Not! or follow on Facebook (see the side-bar).
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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Podcast Episode 2: Out There Somewhere

Welcome to the Y Karp? Why Not! Podcast. This is episode 2: Out There Somewhere.

I’m your host, Yossi Karp and let’s talk about technology, writing, gadgets, gizmos, and the stuff of life that makes it interesting!

I’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsor, mazesplace.com. Mind-bending mazes for download now at mazesplace.com. More on them later.

With the recent launch of the new Star Trek television series “Discovery”, my mind has been wandering again to the idea of whether we are actually alone in the universe. My family will tell you that this is one of my favorite topics because I just can’t believe that out of the 200 billion star systems in this galaxy alone, that there is no other life out there.

Click here to listen on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=152797&refid=stpr
Click here to listen on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/il/podcast/y-karp-why-not/id1291793305 
Click here to listen on TuneIn: https://tunein.com/radio/Y-Karp-Why-Not-p1038454/
Click here to listen to the podcast directly: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_38LzEqZGksMjJrNGxiQWo3VUU

Yossi's Magazine: Everyone Needs One of These www.ykarp.com/magazine
Follow on Twitter: @ykarp
Follow on Google+: +Yossi Karp
Subscribe to Y. Karp? Why Not! or follow on Facebook (see the side-bar).
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Podcast Episode 1: Unboxing the Podcast

Welcome to the Y Karp? Why Not! Podcast. Episode 1: Unboxing the Podcast.

I’m your host, Yossi Karp and I am excited to introduce my new weekly podcast, which is all about technology, writing, gadgets, gizmos, and the stuff of life that makes it interesting!

In the first five episodes we’ll be talking about
  • The crazy world of smartphones 
  • aliens and space travel 
  • our future living under the rule of the tech oligarchy 
  • my take on electronic musical instruments 
  • and why I gave my kid a funny haircut on purpose 
Every episode will also feature a discussion on a new, interesting, or innovative product selected from my online Flipboard magazine “Everyone Needs One of These”.

Click here to listen on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=152797&refid=stpr
Click here to listen on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/il/podcast/y-karp-why-not/id1291793305
Click here to listen on TuneIn: https://tunein.com/radio/Y-Karp-Why-Not-p1038454/

Click here to listen to the podcast directly: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_38LzEqZGksR25XbVk4eC1MSkU

Yossi's Magazine: Everyone Needs One of These www.ykarp.com/magazine
Follow on Twitter: @ykarp
Follow on Google+: +Yossi Karp
Subscribe to Y. Karp? Why Not! or follow on Facebook (see the side-bar).
Add this blog to your RSS feed reader.

Monday, January 23, 2017

There is Life on Other Planets

I have long been convinced that we are not alone in the universe. Perhaps my love of science fiction fuels my dreams of visiting far-flung societies. Or perhaps it's my suppressed adventurous spirit that makes me wonder what exactly is out there, in the deep black, beyond our current reach. Maybe it's because I hope another civilization did better than us.

Right now, there could be another world where the population is preparing for an annual festival, with colored streamers, music, and fancy dress. Or maybe there's a raging war on a once prosperous world where tragedy and turmoil are ripping society apart. Maybe a teenage alien is sitting by her window, staring up at the moons, wondering if we exist.

Or just maybe aliens from outer-space are planning to invade Earth and eat us all, but wouldn't it be worth it, just to know? Okay, maybe not the being eaten part...

According to Space.com:
All in all, Hubble reveals an estimated 100 billion galaxies in the universe or so, but this number is likely to increase to about 200 billion as telescope technology in space improves.
Given that the universe contains billions of galaxies, on the balance of probabilities alone, there is a good argument that sentient life exists on other planets. Is it really probable that Earth is the only planet out of all those planets to support sentient life?

The answer to this question might come sooner, rather than later. We are making great progress with space exploration, propulsion systems, communications, and telescope technology, which bring us ever closer to finding life out there.

Conspiracy theorists maintain that the US government already has evidence that we have been visited by aliens of the extraterrestrial kind. The conspiracies maintain that this information is kept top secret because, if revealed, the government worries that it would cause widespread panic and the fall of religion.

Why should religion fall? Does the notion of "aliens" conflict with Creation? Does "life on other planets" contradict the words of the Bible? Well, I don't profess to be a scholar, but I think not. I think that it can be easily and neatly reconciled by understanding the Bible in the context of "the universe", rather than in the narrower context of "the world". And is "discovering new peoples" on another planet really any different to discovering the previously unknown societies of the American Indians, Australian Aborigines or the Incas?

So, if the idea of aliens is indeed compatible with religion, isn't it important for clergy to get ahead of the issue and declare now (well before the "discovery") that the notion of extraterrestrial life is compatible with religion?

If left too late, it will look like religion is just making things up.

Yossi's Magazine: Everyone Needs One of These www.ykarp.com/magazine
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nimkar123.co.il Stole My Money

מלל של הפוסט הזה למטה בעברית.  .Text of this post appears below in Hebrew

I have written a bunch of blog posts about business and customer service - two of my favorite subjects. I try to give the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes businesses are just disorganized. Sometimes the staff is just poorly trained. But in this case, Nimkar123.co.il outright stole my money.

I've had the same laptop bag since about 2005. Cool, right? But the zips are coming apart and, despite my sentimental attachment, it needs to be replaced. Retail stores charge an absolute fortune for laptop bags, so I went to zap.co.il to see where I could get the best price on a new backpack.

Nimkar123.co.il - the company that eventually stole my money - advertised a bag that suited my needs for a price that I could afford. Considering that my current bag is falling apart, it was even worth it to pay for door-to-door delivery just so I could get it sooner.

I entered my credit card details, the payment went through, and I received two emails. One was a receipt and the other was a confirmation of my order. Then I waited.

When the bag eventually didn't arrive, I called Nimkar123.co.il - the company that stole my money - and they told me that it would arrive the following week. When it didn't, I called back. Their claim of 24/7 service was misleading. I reached an answering service. I gave them my details and the answering service said that somebody (from the real company, you know, Nimkar123.co.il, which stole my money) would call me back. They didn't, so I did. Several times. Each time I rang, the automated phone system put me through to "sales" instead of "customer service". I know this because the same person who answered the phone each time said that she is in "sales" and that someone in "service" will get back to me.

"But this is getting ridiculous. I want to speak with someone now."
"Someone will call you back."
"When? This is very important to me."
"Today. We'll make it a priority."

I didn't get a call, nor did they reply to my emails in which I implored them to either send me the bag or admit that they don't have the item I ordered and refund my money.

So I decided to send one final email. I wrote (in Hebrew):

Dear Nimkar123.co.il, 
On 7 November I purchased from you a Campus brand laptop bag for 130 NIS, including door-to-door delivery. 
I called and emailed and called again, but you still haven't responded. So I am sending you this one final email asking you to either refund my 130 NIS or send me the backpack that I ordered. 
If you don't respond to this email by Monday, 19 December, I will be forced to publish an article describing how Nimkar123.co.il is dishonest, has non-existent customer service, and should be avoided at all costs.
[Copy of this blog post in Hebrew and English was included in the email.]
This article will be published on my blog (which has been running since 2007), on my online magazine (which has 6,250 viewers), on Twitter and on Facebook. I want to warn all of my friends in Israel to never go near your online store. Oh, and as for Zap, I'll leave a very truthful report of how Nimkar123.co.il stole my money. 
Nothing would please me more than for you to do the right thing. I don't want to publish this article, but I will if I have to. 
It is up to you. You have until the end of business, Monday 19 December 2016 to either refund my money or send me the backpack.
The fact that you are reading this blog post means that I didn't receive a response from Nimkar123.co.il because they stole my money.


כתבתי מספר פוסטים על עסקים ועל שירות לקוחות - שני הנושאים החביבים עלי. אני מנסה לדון לכף זכות, לפעמים עסקים לא מאורגנים, לפעמים הצוות לא מאומן היטב. אך במקרה הזה Nimkar123.co.il פשוט גנבו את כספי.

היה לי את אותו תיק מחשב מאז 2005. מגניב, נכון? אבל הרוכסנים מתחילים להפרד, למרות הקשר הריגשי שלי, התיק צריך להיות מוחלף. חנויות גובות מחיר מופרז עבור תיקי מחשב, אז נכנסתי ל zap.co.il לראות איפה אוכל למצוא את המחיר הטוב ביותר עבור תיק חדש.

Nimkar123.co.il - החברה שבסופו של דבר גנבה את כספי - פרסמו תיק שהתאים לצרכי ובמחיר שיכולתי להרשות לעצמי. בהתחשב בכך שהתיק שלי מתפרק, היה כדאי לי לשלם יותר עבור משלוח של דלת לדלת רק כדי לקבל את התיק כמה שיותר מוקדם.

הכנסתי את פרטי האשראי שלי, התשלום עבר, וקיבלתי שני מיילים. אחד מהם היה קבלה, והשני היה אישור הזמנה. אז חיכיתי.

כאשר התיק בסופו של דבר לא הגיע, התקשרתי ל Nimkar123.co.il - החברה שגנבה את כספי - ואמרו לי שזה יגיע תוך שבוע. כשזה לא הגיע, התקשרתי שוב. טענתם, שיש להם שירות 24\7 התברר כמטעה ולא נכון. הגעתי לשירות מענה. נתתי את פרטיי, והמענה קולי אמר שמישהו (מהחברה האמיתית, אתם יודעים, Nimkar123.co.il, שגנבו את כספי) יתקשרו אלי בחזרה. הם לא התקשרו, אז אני כן. כמה וכמה פעמים. כל פעם שהתקשרתי, מערכת הטלפון האוטומטית העביר אותי למחלקת "מכירות" במקום למחלקת "שירות לקוחות". אני יודע זאת משום שאותו אדם שענה לטלפון כל פעם, טען שהוא מה"מכירות" ושמישהו מה"שירות לקוחות" יחזור אלי.

"אבל זה כבר נהיה מגוחך. אני רוצה לדבר עם מישהו עכשיו."
"מישהו יתקשר אליך בחזרה."
"מתי? זה מאוד חשוב לי."
"היום. נשים את זה בסדר העדפיות שלנו."

לא קיבלתי שיחת טלפון, ואף לא השיבו לי להודעות הדוא"ל ששלחתי, בהם אני מפציר בהם לשלוח לי את התיק, או להודות שאין להם את הפריט במלאי ולהחזיר לי את כספי.

אז החלטתי לשלוח דוא"ל אחד סופי:

לכבוד Nimkar123.co.il,
ב -7 בנובמבר רכשתי ממך תיק מחשב נייד מהמותג קמפוס עבור 130 ש"ח, כולל משלוח מדלת לדלת.
התקשרתי, שלחתי דוא"ל והתקשרתי שוב, אבל אתה עדיין לא הגבת. אז אני שולח לך את האימייל הסופי הזה ומבקש ממך להחזיר את לי כספי על סך 130 ש"ח, או לשלוח לי את התרמיל שהזמנתי.
אם אינך משיב לדוא"ל זה עד יום שני, 19 בדצמבר אני אאלץ לפרסם מאמר המתאר כיצד Nimkar123.co.il הוא לא ישר, יש "שירות לקוחות" שאינו קיים, ולהימנע בכל מחיר מקנייה ממנו.
[העתק של הפוסט הזה בעברית ובאנגלית נכלל במייל.] 
מאמר זה יפורסם בבלוג שלי (אשר כבר פועל מאז 2007), על המגזין המקוון שלי (שבו יש 6,250 צופים), בטוויטר ובפייסבוק. אני רוצה להזהיר את כל החברים שלי בישראל שלא יתקרבו אל החנות המקוונת שלך. אה, ובאשר לזאפ, אשאיר דו"ח דובר אמת על איך Nimkar123.co.il גנב את הכסף שלי.
שום דבר לא ישמח אותי יותר מאשר שאתה תעשה את הדבר הנכון. אני לא רוצה לפרסם את המאמר הזה, אבל אני אעשה זאת אם אני צריך.
זה תלוי בך. יש לכם זמן עד סוף יום העסקים, יום שני 19 בדצמבר 2016 או להחזיר את הכסף שלי או לשלוח לי את התרמיל.

העובדה שאתם קוראים פוסט זה בבלוג, אומר שאני לא קיבלתי תשובה מ Nimkar123.co.il משום שהם גנבו את הכסף שלי.


Yossi's Magazine: Everyone Needs One of These www.ykarp.com/magazine
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Constantly Satisfying Your Natural Curiosity

This is Part 2 of a 2-part blog.

In my last post, I waxed lyrical about the virtues of Technical Writers, compared to technology journalists and engineers. I said that a writer embedded in a company has the opportunity to take part in the development of amazing new technologies, end-to-end. That is truly cool. But there is another level that tests a technical writer's mettle and turns good writers into great writers.

I recently had the opportunity to work in a number of companies as a consulting writer and I came to an interesting realization. In-house writers have the luxury of learning their company's technology over time. In-house writers have the opportunity to create relationships with engineers, managers, and SMEs of all sorts. A short-term consulting writer has none of that. For example, I was sent to update a user guide in a company that wrote database software for System Administrators. I had just over half a day to learn the software, interview the SME, and write the updates to the document. It sounds sort of impossible, but in fact, it was exhilarating. I was firing on all cylinders. I was tuned in like never before. It was a tough assignment because the technology was, at first, unfamiliar, But I used all of my experience, knowledge, and curiosity to make it work. The document was a success.

The short deadline at the database company was a more extreme example, but anyone who has done technical writing consulting will understand the euphoric feeling of doing a great job under such conditions.

I used to think that consultant writers were those who couldn't find a "real job". How very, very wrong I was. There is a special skill set required to provide quality documentation under tight constraints, one that is far less pronounced in the in-house writer's world. Consultant writers need to be fast and accurate, tech-savvy in a multitude of fields, and excellent communicators.

While it's true that a consultant writer might not have the opportunity to take part in the entire development cycle of an amazing new technology, they are often exposed to a wide variety of technologies, keeping them on their toes while constantly satisfying their natural curiosity.

One cannot say whether in-house writers (who have a comprehensive and holistic approach) are better writers than consultants (who are, by definition, fast learners and great communicators). But if I was a hiring manager for a writing position, I would place a high value on a consultant writer's experience.


Yossi's Magazine: Everyone Needs One of These www.ykarp.com/magazine
Follow on Twitter: @ykarp
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Subscribe to Y. Karp? Why Not! or follow on Facebook (see the side-bar).
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