Starbucks Manager Goes Crazy On Customer

Lately, Starbucks got some bad lucks.  From the news, a cop was suing Starbucks for spilled hot coffee.  Another news reported that hackers are targeting Starbucks’ customers who use Starbucks app.  Just in, a manager exploded and accused a customer of stealing a straw.  The whole incident was recorded and now is being shared on the Internet.  Check out the videos right after the break to have a glimpse at the incident.

I got free coffee from Starbucks before, and so I’ve had great experience with Starbucks.  Nonetheless, I definitely don’t want to ever have to experience something similar to the customer who was at the receiving end of an angry Starbucks’ manager.  Fortunately, so far I have not yet had any crazy incident like that at anywhere I have gone to.  Oh wait, there was one time that I went into a Subway sandwich store near the closing time, and a stranger gave me a peck (a brief kiss) on my cheek for no apparent reason.  I think she was drunk or something of that sort.  I felt uncomfortable of course, but everyone was laughing in the store.  I laughed along, but I got out of the store as quickly as I could after I had my order fulfilled.

Let Run VPN Server On Windows 8 To Allow You Securely Transmit Data At Any Public Place Which Relies On A Public Internet Connection

Using VPN (Virtual Private Network), one can securely transmit data back and forth in a public place which relies on a public Internet connection.  Wait, what is a public Internet connection?  It’s just an Internet connection in which just about anyone who has a computer can tap into and use.  A good example would be at a Starbucks.  Transmitting data in a public location is a very dangerous thing to do (i.e., only if you’re connecting to the public Internet connection), because you never know someone might do something nefarious nearby.  He or she might sniff the network traffics, and this means anything you transmit through a public Internet connection can be intercepted by such a person.  With VPN, it will be a lot harder for such an evildoer to actually get hold of your data in a public place.

Why using VPN can safeguard your data better when you’re connecting to a public Internet connection?  VPN will create a safe connection between your computer and a VPN server, and whatever gets transmitted through a VPN connection will be encrypted.  Nonetheless, VPN isn’t an end to end encrypted connection.  What this means is that when your data leaves VPN server so it can go to a server which hosts the web service on the Internet, the data will become unencrypted.  How come?  The Internet isn’t opening up an encrypted channel with your VPN server!  To put this in another way, it’s only the computer which you use to connect to a VPN server can actually open up an encrypted channel with the VPN server.  This is why you need a VPN client.  Nowadays, you don’t have to install VPN client much, because most operating systems (i.e., Linux, Mac OS X, Windows) come with a VPN client by default.  You might have to install a VPN client if you’re connecting to a non-standard, third party VPN server/service.

You can imagine the VPN encrypted channel as in a VPN tunnel or just a tunnel where cars travel through.  When a car got out of a tunnel, the daylight will hit the car in every direction.  Got the gist?

VPN is definitely a good thing to have when you are using the Internet in a public location.  Even though VPN isn’t an end to end encrypted connection, it’s still going to prevent the hackers in a public location from hacking you.  Of course, he or she can try, but it won’t be easy!  Let say, the hacker cannot magically insert himself or herself between the VPN server and the web service (which locates somewhere on the Internet and you want to connect to).  If the hacker wants to hack you in a public spot when you’re using VPN, he or she must hack your VPN connection first, and then everything else would be secondary.

To be even more secure, you can totally transmit all data within HTTPS protocol (a secure/encrypted hypertext transfer protocol), and this way the hacker is going to work even harder.  This means, a hacker must first hack your VPN connection, and then your HTTPS connection afterward.  VPN connection itself is already a difficult thing to tamper with.

Right after the break, you can check out a video I made on how to allow Windows 8 to host a VPN server/service.  Running a VPN server/service on Windows 8 allows you to go just about anywhere and connect back home for a VPN connection.  Of course, if your home network isn’t secure and already being infected with hackers’ exploits, then your VPN connection might as well be rendered insecure.  So, make sure your home network is actually well guarded.  A well guarded home network will definitely ensure your home devices such as a Windows 8 computer — which runs VPN server — won’t be tampered with.  I think a well guarded network equates to deploying all security elements within a network, and this means something as a strong firewall, strong antivirus software, strong network security policies, and the list would go on.

Lightroom 4 Photo Fun – Colorful, Small But Humble, Flower Bed

A trip to Starbucks, saw some beautiful colorful flowers and so my iPhone 4 camera was so ready.  Anyhow, check out the original and the retouched images of the colorful, small but humble, flower bed right after the break.

The images above were taken and created by Vinh Nguyen.  You can reuse the images for all purposes, but you have to credit Vinh Nguyen for the images.  The images above contain the traditional copyright license which credits to Vinh Nguyen only, therefore you cannot redistribute the images above under creative common licenses.

Starbucks Is Now Allowing Customers To Pay From Mobile Phones

Technology is helping Starbucks to make big bucks.  In a way, Starbucks relies on technology to deploy psychology on their customers.  It’s all about business, and nothing is personal.  We all know how us humans love to shop if we can afford, and so we buy anything.  When come to use real cash, humans tend to count the physical amount in their head, but often people tend to forget how much they have left and so they would fish into their wallets and purses to see how much they really have left.  Before now we have credit cards, but now Starbucks deploys mobile payment system for customers to buy coffee so nobody has to ever physically count how much money they have left in their wallets or purses.  OK, I admit humans aren’t robots, they can carry cash along with their credit cards and mobile phones so they can always have a choice of using cash to buy whatever they need.  Still, more ways to buy equates more ways to spend.  Here is an example:

Jane wants to buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks, but she runs out of cash on the way to Starbucks as she had stopped for gas.  Inside Starbucks, Jane could not refuse her coffee craving, and without cash Jane uses her credit card to buy coffee.  Unfortunately, she leaves her credit card inside her car’s front compartment, and so she whips out her mobile phone to pay for a cup of coffee.

It’s smart business strategy for Starbucks, because people are using more mobile phones than ever.  Some people may have mobile phones but not credit cards, and mobile phones’ applications can be made to tie with bank accounts or other incentive accounts.  Basically, credit cards have nothing on mobile phones since mobile phones open up a whole new battle field where businesses will create applications that lure customers into associate with them — either for becoming a loyal customer or signing up for becoming a new account holder or a club member.

People often cannot remember how much they have spent easily when using other forms of payment.  People are much more careful when they use cash!  Also, without the physical form, as if people are aware but in a way they don’t care as much since any point/credit payment system looks more like a game.  In the moment of trance such as a craving of buying a brand new handbag, point/credit payment system becomes useless as a deterrence for overspending.  It hits home when they check their bills or online accounts of point/credit payment systems.  Some people often only check  their online accounts of point/credit payment systems once a month which encourages them to forget how much they have spent even more.

Starbucks are not going to be the only one who will use technology to create incentives and psychologically enchant customers into buying more.  More businesses will see mobile payment system is one heck of a genie.  What you think?

Afterthought:  For saying all that, I’m probably one of those who will use mobile phone to pay for a cup of coffee!  Cheer!