Wmo & Co

Winter has finally arrived



Following is a bit of a boring piece on how Spotify kicked me out. I was a paying customer... but apparently didn't pay them enough...

On 8 December I got an email from Spotify, regarding problems with my payment. I have an 'Unlimited' subscription for 5 EUR/month, which is not being offered anymore. You can only get the Premium for 10 EUR/month.

A few days later I had been kicked out because I was refusing to sign up for the pricier 'Premium' subscription.

BORING ALERT : I'm just posting it here in case somebody else has a similar experience. Otherwise: don't read!

Click on 'Spotify communication' to

  • Spotify communication
  • Spotify:

    There is a problem with your Spotify subscription
    Unfortunately this happened because we were unable to receive payment 
    from you

    Asking them for more detail, I get this reply (9 December):


    This email will be sent through if your Spotify payment didn’t go 
    through on the usual renewal date.
    This can happen for a few reasons:
    - Your payment card may have expired.
    - There may not have been sufficient funds when the payment was 
    - A temporary connection error with your bank when the payment was 
    due to be processed.
    Don’t worry! You won’t lose your subscription immediately. 
    We’ll keep trying to take the payment over the next few days.
    If you’d like to change your payment details, just head over here: 

    My response:

    - Card expired? my VISA card is valid until next september.
    - Insufficient funds? the card is far from maxed out (even less than 10% 
    of the max)
    - Connection error? may be!


    The only other thing we can try is to delete all the payment 
    information and you can try and reapply it after that?
    However if we do that you will only be able to sign up for Premium, 
    as we are no longer offering the Unlimited service to customers.
    If you'd like to try that we can offer you two free months of Premium 
    on us so you can try out all the new features? Or we can just wait 
    and see if the payment finally takes after it has sorted everything 
    out it is getting mad over haha
    Let me know your thoughts!

    But even before awaiting my answer, they cancel my subscription.


    Why are you chasing away a paying customer?
    1) Payments have in the past always gone through successfully on the 
    same VISA card. I did not receive any notification from VISA that 
    their policies or anything else have changed, that could cause this 
    payment not going through. The current situation on my VISA card is 
    that I've spent 192.97 EUR out of 2500 EUR, so way below the maximum. 
    So I'm 90% sure that the payment issue is on Spotify's side (and I 
    think I'm not the only one).
    2) I'm a software developer that lives in linux land, no microsoft, 
    no apple devices for me. I'm happy that spotify provides a linux 
    client, but unfortunately it is 'not the best' software: the only 
    times my desktop freezes up is when spotify goes haywire. I could 
    live with it, but was eagerly awaiting better spotify client software 
    for linux.
    3) You asked me in 1 email if I'd be interested to try Premium or 
    wait and see if the payment goes through. And in the next email from 
    Spotify I get notified that my 'premium subscription' is cancelled. 
    You should have at least waited for my answer!
    Bottom line: because of a payment issue on your side, you decided on 
    your own to double the price of my subscription, for an inferior 
    spotify experience!
    I'm sorry, but this is unacceptable.
    Please reinstate my original subscription, or it's goodbye spotify, 
    hello <competitor>.


    I have looked at your account and can see that when we attempted to 
    take the payment again the transaction was refused and which then 
    automatically stopped the subscription from occurring.
    Sadly as we do no longer off Unlimited as a subscription type we will 
    be unable to start you backup onto the Unlimited subscription.
    If you would like we can place three months of premium onto your 
    account for the issue that has occurred. You won't even need to sign 
    up to our service for me to place this on your account. If you would 
    like this please get back to me.
    Please let me know if you have any further questions or issues,
    All the best.

    Me (11 December):

    "The computer says 'no'" is not an acceptable answer from a company 
    like spotify. 
    If you don't have the authority to revert to the original setting, 
    then look for somebody of higher rank. If he/she can't do it, then 
    look for your system administrator to do the reset. If he/she can't 
    do it, then look for a software developer who can run "update 
    plan='Unlimited' where userid='willemify'" on the database.
    Be creative.

    Support@spotify :

    As we have stated in previous emails we are removing Unlimited as a 
    subscription type due to the number of users that use this 
    subscription type. This means that we cannot get your account back 
    onto the Unlimited subscription.
    We apologise for this inconvenience but we are happy to provide you 
    with the 3 months of premium as previously offered.


    I can imagine that next month you are going to split the premium 
    subscription into :
    - Super Duper Premium at 25 EUR/month.
    - Classic Premium (aka Joe Average Premium) at 10 EUR/month.
    And half a year later you'll try and force all the Joe Average's to 
    Super Duper.
    I refuse to take part in that game.

    20160506 update: Apple Music is worse, they go as far as deleting your OWN (ie. self-created) music from your hard-drive. Read this arcticle: blog.vellumatlanta.com/2016/05/04/apple-stole-my-music-no-seriously

    Quote from article (about the future) : "Information will be a utility rather than a possession. Even information that you yourself have created will require unending, recurring payments just to access."


    Even 3 months after the expiry date the biltong tasted great.

    Finished now. Gotta get some more.


    Pulling waypoints from an OpenStreetmap .OSM file

    Before going on holiday, I like to gather the OpenStreetMap waypoints for the area I'll be staying at. This is the process.

    Download an .osm file

    Eg. pick one from download.geofabrik.de

    Pull out all the nodes of the area of interest

    The area is determined by lat,lon coordinates and the distance from this point. Eg. pulling data from the central-america .osm file, in radius of 10k around Willemstad, Curacao:

    ./pull central-america-latest.osm 12.1166 -68.9333 10  > willemstad10k.csv

    Source code for pull.go on github.


    Subsetting, selecting, etc.. using Python Pandas

    Read the .csv file in Pandas (in an ipython session) :

    import pandas as pd

    Sort according to distance, and convert tags to lowercase:


    Subset the restaurants

    r = df[df.tags.str.contains("restau")][['lat','lon','name','dist','tags']]

    Now give me the chinese restaurants

               lat        lon                        name   dist  tags
    1917  12.120777 -68.897536  Chinese Restaurant and Bar  3.91  "[ .. {name chinese restaurant and bar}..
    1872  12.121817 -68.895336                      Chindy  4.16  "[ .. {cuisine chinese} ..
    2189  12.154782 -68.946812     Santa Maria Food Center  4.49  "[ .. {cuisine chinese} ..
    1575  12.124456 -68.889972                       Winer  4.79  "[ .. {cuisine chinese} ..

    See more detail (plus the source code) at github.com/wmo/pull_osm_nodes


    Good to know: the Bösendorfer extra keys

    From: wikipedia : Bösendorfer pioneered the extension of the typical 88-key keyboard, creating the Imperial Grand (Model 290), which has 97 keys (eight octaves). [..] The extra keys, at the bass end of the keyboard, were originally hidden beneath a hinged panel [..] As very little other music makes direct use of the extra strings, they usually contribute to the piano's sonic character not through being played directly but by resonating, when other strings in the piano are struck, contributing additional body to the tone. Moreover, the bass notes of the Bösendorfer, including the extra bass keys, are very powerful, adding volume in demanding literature.

    naming servers

    Coming up with a name for a server

    My one and only source for making up 'unique' server names: The Bemba pocket dictionary.

    printer dotmatrix

    Come back dotmatrix!

    If vinyl can make a comeback, why not dotmatrix printers?

    keybase_io encryption

    First experiment with keybase.io

    Question : Can you use a keybase encrypted file outside of keybase?

    Short answer : of course, because they use GPG!

    Long answer :

    Install and setup keybase on one of your computers

    Encrypt one of your dear pictures with your keybase private key. Actually this is 'signing' in public/private key parlando. Note: 'wmo' is my keybase id, replace with your own.

    keybase sign wmo pne.jpg

    This will produce the file: pne.jpg.asc, and this looks like :

    -----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
    Version: GnuPG v1

    Move this file to another computer, on which you don't have keybase, but you do have GPG.

    Before you can decrypt you need to import the public key (replace 'wmo' by the relevant user-id) :

    wget https://keybase.io/wmo/key.asc
    gpg --fast-import key.asc

    Decrypt the file:

    gpg -d pne.jpg.asc  > pne.jpg 

    And display it:

    display pne.jpg

    Hurray, it works!

    Want to decrypt it yourself? Download the file: pne.jpg.asc.gz

    juice running pic

    The juice that gets you there

    4 oranges / 4 apples / 1 beetroot

    running shoe pic

    Out with the old, in with the new

    .. saying goodbye to the Mizuno's that gave the best and worst marathon time ..


    Crossing the Luangwa river, sometime in 1992.

    parallel_prog open_cl cuda mooc

    Why you always have to question the results delivered by a parallel programmer..

    See the score obtained on the Heterogenous Parallel Programming Course ..

    link running biking

    Bicycle wheel sizes (table of wheel sizes + circumference)

    Pace calculator Convert between time/distance/pace.

Notes by Willem Moors. Generated on nini:/home/willem/sync/20140923_blog at 2018-06-16 11:17