23-Sep-2004 (Thu)
Wherein authorize.net shares the love.

Our store hasn't been working extremely well lately; it turns out this is because our credit card processor, authorize.net, have been fighting off a distributed denial-of-service attack for the last week or so. And the software that runs our store apparently just throws up its hands and gives up if the CC processor fails to respond in certain situations. Our store turns out to not be what you'd call robust. It's only screwed up a few times so far, but at least some of the time, it's been telling people that they have tickets, but then not charging them and not putting their names on the list, resulting in something less than total customer satisfaction.

Don't get talked into hosting your own store, kids. Recall that my one purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

In other news, here's one for all you people stinking up my sidewalk: Hard Evidence: Secondhand Smoke Is Much More Dangerous Than First Thought. "The research, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that inhaling someone else's tobacco smoke may increase your risk of heart disease by up to 60 percent. [...] just being near someone smoking a few cigarettes a day is almost like being a light smoker yourself. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure can give you almost the same risk of a heart attack as if you smoked one to nine cigarettes a day."

(The article didn't say anything about second-hand puke.)

30 Responses:

  1. aris1234 says:

    Is the DNA smoke free?

    • regor says:

      It's in California.

      • aris1234 says:

        Ah, ok so all of CA is smoke free then? I'm in the UK - wishing all venues here were smoke free too :-(

        • kehoea says:

          Come to Ireland--standard pub closing time 23.30, Thursday-Saturday 00.30, plenty of late licences 'til 2 to be found, all work places are smoke free, Sterling is stupidly strong so the second most expensive country in the EU won't seem that expensive to you. You may get a bit of aggro down the country if you talk too loud with an English accent, but there are enough second-generation Irish people in the UK that even that's easing off.

          • aris1234 says:

            I'm fairly certain we'll have smoke-free pubs in the UK in the next few years. Smoke free restaurants perhaps sooner.

            • kehoea says:

              Hmm, and if there's an accent missing on the first part of your user name, you probably know the situation in the Republic pretty well anyhow.

              Someone told me at YAPC::Europe that Liverpool may bring in a smoking ban locally pretty soon. I have to confess I'm sceptical that a UK-wide ban will happen during Labour's current tenure, because of the nanny-state criticism it'll engender--look at the shit being stirred up as they try to ban hunting. The Tories have the non-nanny-state street cred to implement it as a measure to cut NHS costs; but they would have to get elected, and get some clue, both of which seem pretty distant prospects at the moment.

              • aris1234 says:

                I agree - but after the election it'll be introduced slowly. I'll bet first in restaurants, then later in all public places.

                If anything though - after the next election.

  2. icis_machine says:

    figures. the one day your incredible marketing gets me to buy tickets and merchandise, you announce this poop. thanks.

  3. naturalborn says:

    Back in the day I thought it would be really cool, if I ever got a bunch of money, to invest some of it in the nightclub scene.

    Thank you for serving as a warning to others.

  4. brad says:

    I betcha my authorize.net pain dwarfs yours.

    • fo0bar says:

      Do not talk about pain. I worked with verisign's payflow pro back in the day.

      • divelog says:

        Payflow, ha we've been using that since before verisign bought it. Trust me though, verisign looks great compared to Echo (www.echo-inc.com). I just got done writing payment processor that can use either, so I win.

        • fo0bar says:

          God, is there any CC processor that doesn't totally suck ass?

          • divelog says:

            All signs point to 'No'. I don't think it's the processors' fault though, the whole way credit cards work is assnine in the first place.

            • Expand further on this assertion, you've managed to intrigue me. How are CC's assinine?

              I believe you, I'm just curious...

              • brad says:

                The protocols the banks give to the processors is just plain broken.

                Oh, like:

                -- there's no way to "unhold" (unauthorize money), so users think you're stealing money from them because they see it on their statement, even if you never took it ("captured")

                -- no notifications/events of chargebacks or bounces

                -- you can void payments sometimes, or refund other times. hard to figure out what you need to do sometimes.

                -- after an AVS failure (which happens AFTER an authorize), you can't redo that authorize. You can't JUST do an AVS check. (address verification service)

                -- much much more!

                • Yeah, I was aware of the "hold" and "refund" problems... I've certainly seen those happen personally :-).

                  This is another one of those problems where de facto standards, once entrenched, stay forever broken, I guess. Kind of like HTML ;-).

                  • brad says:

                    At least HTML has been updated over time. I don't these banking protocols have changed at all since 1974.

              • divelog says:

                What he said, plus
                - No standard for a programtic API. Some processors expose the low-level stuff, like voiding, marking (read: verislime), some dumb their api down.
                - Some processors "mark" each transaction immediately, some only do it once every 24 hours.
                - Each credit card company actually takes and has different requirements for what information you collect and what is required.
                - Explaining all this shit to a customer using our software is damn near impossible, so it makes us look incompetent.

                I could go on about this for hours....

    • jwz says:

      In technical details, it surely is. But at least you have actual employees you can yell at about shit like this. I have a gaggle of semi-volunteers whom I can't rely on in the slightest. (Remember the part where I don't like being a sysadmin? Yeah, ha ha ha.)