Posted in Courier, Technology

Shipping Laptops With Lithium-Ion Batteries

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Once when I had to make a decision between choosing DHL and FedEx for shipping laptops with lithium-ion batteries from the Philippines to a neighbouring country, my first choice was DHL. It proved to be a cumbersome selection. Not only was the Macbook Air laptop returned, the customer service part of the follow-up was hell. I ended up going to FedEx which had surprisingly a more straightforward approach in shipping laptops with lithium-ion batteries internationally.

If you prefer to ship a laptop with lithium-ion battery because your consignee already has a DHL account, make sure you include the Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS of the built-in battery with the commercial invoice. Your consignee would contact the courier company to schedule the pickup from your address and the shipping charges would be billed to your consignee’s DHL account. From my experience with shipping a Macbook Air with lithium-ion battery, I did not have much luck finding the MSDS even after I called up Apple’s 1-800 number in the Philippines. Apple Support sent me a PDF document titled Macbook Air 13-inch Environmental Report.

According to a DHL staff from Manila, a Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS is a document signed by a licensed chemist to prove that the laptop is non-hazardous. Unlike other conventional laptops with removable batteries, the Macbook Air (and not just the Macbook but even their iPhones) has a built-in battery. My sister’s friend who is a licensed chemist informed us that the MSDS is not just any document signed by a licensed chemist, rather it is actually an official document signed by an authorized body that even she who was licensed could not produce a document like it.

Because DHL Manila did not accept the Macbook Air 13-inch Environmental Report, the laptop was shipped back to my address after being held up in customs for 3 days.

We even tried to contact Apple again and requested an MSDS specifically for the built-in battery only. The customer service agent at Apple Singapore took over the matter. They explained that Apple doesn’t have a specific MSDS for the lithium-ion polymer battery of the Macbook Air. However, they requested that we transfer them to the person in-charge of the final clearance for shipping the item overseas. DHL Manila said that suggestion is not going to work because all they need was the MSDS.

When we dealt with FedEx, they told us that DHL in the Philippines do not use their own plane – they tie up with the local airlines to ship items. I was doubtful about this until I noticed that the storage box which was returned to us by DHL had a Cebu Pacific sticker on the side. I then understood what he meant about why the MSDS was required. Since they use Cebu Pacific in this case, DHL had no control over airline rules and regulations for shipping laptops with built-in lithium-ion batteries.

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Posted in Finance, Internet, Mobile App, Technology

Google AdWords Suspension: Suspicious Payments

Last week I signed up for Google AdWords and created a campaign to test the waters. The minimum I paid for was $10 and Google collected my payment via a Philippine-issued debit card.

When I signed up, I saw the location or Country drop drown menu detected Vietnam by default. Thinking I was supposed to use my temporary address here in Hanoi, I entered my Hanoi address. My ad campaign was running well and my $10 balance was deducted $0.40 for a few days. I made another campaign after that, this time I promoted a YouTube video I had uploaded a month ago. The day after I received an email saying that my Google AdWords account was suspended for Suspicious Payments.

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Google AdWords Suspension for Suspicious Payments, as I understood it after I appealed Google AdWords’ decision, meant they suspected I used a stolen credit card because the default country I registered Google AdWords for and the billing address of my Philippine-issued debit card were different. It’s funny because as soon as they emailed me regarding my account suspension, they sent me another email (on the same day!) that my ad campaign was up and running.

If you do a Google search about Google AdWords suspension for Suspicious Payments, you will come to the conclusion few only get their Google AdWords suspension lifted. You guessed it, I got the same canned response about their decision was final and that I would not be able to create another account. However, when I go to my AdWords dashboard, it doesn’t absolutely reflect that. To get my refund, I had to cancel my Google AdWords account and yet after deactivating it, the button turned into REACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT. Another eye-rolling moment.

For now, I won’t think about reactivating my account yet even though it was clearly just a click away. The lesson for this is to make sure your billing address of your debit or credit card matches that of your registered country when you signed up.

Posted in Internet, Technology, Tutorials

How I Fixed My Laptop’s Static Screen and Flickering Lines Problem

You’re working on a document or streaming a video on your laptop when flickering lines suddenly appear on the side of the screen until it rapidly takes up the whole space. The screen finally goes static and when you turn it off and turn it back on it exhibits the same problem. It’s a pain in the ass and it’s worse if you didn’t plan for any contingency, i.e., a spare laptop you can continue your work with.

I still keep my ASUS tablet PC with me in rare times like one of those I described. My Windows 8.1 tablet PC did not ever have that kind of problem but my Lenovo Ideapad 100S on Windows 10 did. When the flickering lines appeared and the entire screen immediately went static, I panicked because it was too soon to replace my 6-month-old Lenovo Ideapad.  I searched for troubleshooting solutions in Google and pored over few articles in the top results. Of course, it involved tinkering with my laptop in ways that only an expert technician can be trusted with. I had to find another way and before I could even waste my money and the technician’s time. Although the troubleshooting solutions I found online were sound ones, I also realised that my laptop’s flickering lines and static screen were clearly LCD-related –  the technician could have probably advised me to have the LCD screen replaced with a newer one or he could either render my Lenovo Ideapad 100S totally unusable from then on.

By some stroke of luck (which I do not really believe in), I was able to accidentally find a solution that removed the flickering lines and static screen problem of my laptop. I have to admit I did not know what I was thinking as I had not obviously followed the troubleshooting tips I found online. I just followed my gut and hoped that maybe it would work. I took out my HDMI cable and connected my laptop with it to an HDTV screen. It did not seem to appear as a solution at first because I still could not use my laptop. Upon turning it on I would still see the login screen was spotless, but only for a minute because the flickering lines would again materialise on the screen and take over like a virus. I did not disconnect the HDMI cable for hours unless it was to charge the laptop.

I tried connecting my Lenovo Ideapad 100S again to the HDTV screen using the HDMI cable the next day and the day after that. I think it took two or three days of connecting the laptop to the HDTV via the HDMI cable continuously when I finally saw that the flickering lines and static screen problem did not occur anymore. I believe I had to continuously do it for a week before I could use my laptop again without needing an HDMI cable. This solution confirms my hunch that the problem was screen-related and not some other bigger issue.

This is probably trivial but I bought my Lenovo Ideapad 100S online from Lazada. My cousin told me of a similar instance regarding his brother’s laptop which he also bought from an online store. He conjectured some laptops bought online may experience flickering lines and static screen at some point because of shipping circumstances. A part of me would concur as I had been traveling constantly (probably every two to three weeks) right before my laptop experienced that issue.

If you bought your laptop from an online store and it’s exhibiting the problems I described above, you can maybe try the simple solution I did first before taking it to the technician.

Posted in Mobile App, Social Media, Technology

Changes To The YouTube Partner Program

Yesterday I have been obsessed with de-cluttering my email accounts and my main GMail account was a tricky one to clean up because it’s the oldest email account I have. The Google Drive bit was easier and the GMail account import was also a breeze in just a few clicks of a mouse but I was in a bit of a quandary with the YouTube account where I still have some videos which still show up under search engine results. It has been a slow crawl, though, as is expected of an account that you simply want to experiment with. But, getting that email from YouTube today about the Changes To The YouTube Partner Program was somehow uplifting for me. Couldn’t help but think the Universe is conspiring with my de-clutter goals.

The email regarding the changes to the YouTube Partner program basically says my YouTube channel did not meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. A huge part of me was relieved because I could delete my channel there anytime. I was, of course, a bit disappointed at my channel’s stats but it wasn’t like I was doing YouTube videos full-time. On the part of the advertisers, I do understand they want the most out of their revenue and I would be supportive of this new change regarding the threshold if I were in an advertiser’s shoes.

I would still download the videos before deleting my YouTube channel for good as I have linked some of those videos on some helpful articles here.

Some may not be welcoming of these new YouTube Partner Program threshold but some may just be relieved. I’d like to think sometime soon a similar YouTube platform would appear as it has always been with technology developments.

Posted in Internet, Technology, Telco

Globe LTE Pocket WiFi Fix

 

I recorded this video as I wanted to share with whoever comes across my page that there is no need to panic when your Globe LTE Pocket WiFi exhibits this behaviour. The simple fix is to replace the usb cable you use for charging it. If a new usb cable does not fix the problem, it’s advisable to have it looked at by a technician.

Posted in Mobile App, Technology, Telco, Tutorials

Withdrawing Upwork Funds to GCash via PayPal

As I promised in a previous article, here is the video I made for withdrawing Upwork funds to GCash via PayPal. I  have started using PayPal because Skrill will no longer be supported by Upwork as a withdrawal method by April 24, 2017. Withdrawing funds in Upwork to GCash via PayPal is instant. Do not forget to link your PayPal account first with your GCash account. Only one GCash account can be linked to your PayPal account.

Posted in Chat Messengers, Mobile App, Technology, Telco

SMS Sent to 447786205094

I rarely examine my cellular phone’s monthly statement but two days ago was an exception and I found a PhP180+ worth of sms sent to a UK number, 447786205094.

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I had noticed this before but brushed it off as some of those mobile verification text messages some websites like Yahoo!, GMail and Outlook would usually send. The frequency this time as indicated in the statement suddenly got me curious and it prodded me to look into my Messages app but no existing international sms seem to correspond with the dates the charges were made. When I did a Google search, I learned that all these sms sent to 447786205094 pertain to Facetime activation. I never really thought these popups cost that much.

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It finally dawned on me how I incurred those charges. I do recall there was a period when I would often switch from one sim to the second (exactly why I bought a cheaper Android phone few months ago) and every time I insert a new sim, I would see that popup message and would then click OK.

This happens to other international mobile carriers as well and I have read some have asked for refunds. As for my case, I would be more careful to enable and disable Facetime each and every time I take out and replace my sim card.

Posted in Finance, Technology

Direct to Local Bank Upwork Withdrawal

Here’s a simplified way of looking at the same day direct to local bank Upwork withdrawal option:

Remember that Skrill will only be available as a withdrawal method until April 24, 2017. After that date, I will update with another option for a speedier local funds transfer/direct to local bank alternative using PayPal.

Posted in Mobile App, Technology

iOS 10’s Intrusive Notifications

When I chanced upon an article last week about developers already testing the iOS 10.1 version, I finally decided to update my iPhone 6 Plus’s software. Update went smoothly but not without me getting a bit paranoid about the black screen.

One problem I did immediately notice is that the notifications have become intrusive to the point that I kept mistakenly clicking on the default Banner notification while I was in the middle of a Cooking Dash episode. Unlike the newer iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, my phone’s processor still isn’t capable of saving the game apps if I click away from it for a while; by the time I go back to the game app, it would have already taken me back to the “downloading” page even if I paused the episode I was on.

 

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Yeah, right! Something’s indeed about to be ruined; I can’t see through what I’m cooking!

I experimented with the Notifications settings and found only the Banners option made sense because the Alert option is obviously even more glaring. However I look at it, both Banners and Alerts are intrusive.