hermann

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Everything posted by hermann

  1. hermann

    Posting Problem

    Private msg sent
  2. hermann

    Opinions Wanted: Online Dealers

    Yes, and if you use that Amex, it's going to be quite expensive for the jeweler. For example, if you buy $10,000, the jeweler must pay ~$350 to Amex as a fee. They do NOT get that fee back if you return. That gets added to their various costs of shipping and so on. I mention this because if the jewelers find out what you're up to, they may very well refuse to deal with you. And to be perfectly honest, I think that would be a reasonable position for them to take. If you've decided you must physically inspect the diamond yourself before making a purchase, I would recommend you just find a competitive local jeweler.
  3. hermann

    Opinions Wanted: Online Dealers

    I'm curious, why are you putting them and yourself through the inconvenience of ordering with the intent to return?
  4. Responsible websites such as Diamond.Info store passwords in a one-way encrypted hash. This is a technique used since the early days of computing that takes a plaintext password and converts it into a long string of hexadecimal digits and then stored. Likewise, when someone is trying to log in, we convert the password they submit to the long string of hex digits and compare to what we have stored. The catch is the hexadecimal digits CANNOT be converted back to the original password! So, if someone were to hack into Diamond.info and steal this information, it would be totally useless to them.
  5. hermann

    A Diamond Research Project

    I'm actually working on a project to change all that. I'd love for you and anybody else on this site to be a beta-tester: http://www.ivouch.com And yes, as you will see UD has been one of the early adopters. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!
  6. hermann

    Cost For Gia Or Ags Grading Reports?

    Sure. What would you like to title it?
  7. hermann

    Check Out Usa Today Today (feb 2 2007)

    Wow, I'm pleased that people noticed so quickly! Yes they did the interview with us earlier this week :-)
  8. hermann

    "the Cut" And Online Searching

    That's a great idea. I will add this to the list for when the database gets upgraded. True when there are few reviews. But once there are hundreds or even thousands, no one comment will make or break you. A pattern emerges, and that's what people see. As for anonymous posters, those aren't allowed any more (the anonymous reviews you read were grandfathered before this policy went into effect recently). Users must now register, verify their email address, and pass an IP-address "sanity check" (a blacklist is kept) before posting reviews.
  9. hermann

    "the Cut" And Online Searching

    One approach to "consumer reports" for jewelers is to simply have a lot of testimonials from former customers. To that end, here's a shameless plug for diamond.info's sister site www.diamondreview.com's review section: http://www.diamondreview.com/vend/vend2.cgi?cmd=welcome If anyone here would like to participate, please PM me and I will be glad to set you up. Eventually, these reviews will also appear here on diamond.info. And Neil, I can also setup a separate category for appraisers if you're interested.
  10. hermann

    "the Cut" And Online Searching

    Thanks for the comments & feedback. The diamond database is due for an upgrade within the next 2-3 months, and I will definitely add the ability to filter by cert, as well as changing the name of the function. For the cut, I suppose I could require that the grade come from the cert. However I don't know if this information is available from virtual inventories. As for 'in-house' diamonds, you raised the key issue, which is how to make sure an 'in-house' diamond is truly in-house. I don't want to play policeman any more than I have to. I imagine requiring information that is not readily available from virtual inventories, or perhaps creating a 'scratch pad' that jewelers can fill with whatever info they have about their own in-house diamonds. This one requires more thought.
  11. hermann

    Posting of photos

    It's no secret. I manage spam in the following ways: 1. Requiring a "CAPTCHA" any time anyone tries to register. a CAPTCHA is that funny-looking image with numbers & letters that are shaped funny. The image is designed to make it easy for humans to figure out, but computers cannot, so it prevents automated registrations. This is a standard feature of the new version of this software. 2. Requiring all registered users to verify their email address. We send them a single email with a validation link. 3. Immediately deleting any reported posts that turn out to be spam, and then blocking out the IP address and/or email address (and sometimes entire domain name) of the offender. Although with #1 and #2 above, this last step happens very rarely now.
  12. hermann

    "the Cut" And Online Searching

    Neil, wouldn't a dealer-reported cut grade likely result in a race among dealers to over-inflate the grade in order to attract more attention to their respective diamonds? I did consider this when designing the database several years ago. In order to eliminate the above issue and create some level of consistency among dealers, I experimented briefly with creating a "Diamond Review Cut Grade" based on supplied parameters, but quickly realized that this would result in more controversy than I cared to create. I think about systems such as the HCA in that vein. As for scans & photographs, they are technically feasible, but I suspect that such info is not available for many of the virtual stones. I am however thinking about a separate database for non-virtual stones that would contain this type of info, provided of course that the individual dealers were willing to provide it.
  13. hermann

    Posting of photos

    Ah, that must be the issue. By Mozilla, I assume you mean Netscape. I stopped using Netscape years ago; now I use Firefox almost exclusively and I love it (and yes I know that Firefox is Mozilla, minus all the Netscape bugs!). I highly recommend it!
  14. hermann

    Posting of photos

    I looked through all the options and can't find any option to enable comments without moderation, or to disable them altogether. I'll send a note to the vendor of the software. As for the function of the gallery, I don't envision anything specific. I'm just responding to several suggestions to make the site more photo-friendly, and letting users take it from there.
  15. hermann

    Posting of photos

    We need to get this fixed. Can you tell me exactly how you're going about attaching, and what error message(s) you're receiving? As you can see below, it appears to work for me (I uploaded the site logo).
  16. hermann

    "the Cut" And Online Searching

    Can you post a link to the area of amazon.com that you're referring to?
  17. hermann

    Posting of photos

    Webgal, thanks for posting a few photos in the Gallery. Feedback? Does this seem worthwhile? Maybe if I could somehow get some of the images to show up in a more prominent area, so people could see them?
  18. hermann

    Posting of photos

    This sounds like work!! Plus, I 100% agree that I don't want to impose my ratings/thoughts on the whole community. Right now, anyone can rate anything. That seems to be the best approach beside message-level ratings. However I could also make it so that only people with certain "standing" (i.e. number of posts, Verified Jewelers, etc.) could rate the topic. Other thoughts?
  19. hermann

    Posting of photos

    Look at the top left of the page, underneath the magnifying glass. There are two links there, one labeled "Forum" (which is this), and the other labeld "Gallery". One thing I may consider doing if the Gallery appears to be a good idea, is to add it as its own tab in the main navigation. As for the rating, it should appear on the top right of the over topic/thread box, next to the "Options" pull down.
  20. hermann

    Posting of photos

    One other issue... I noticed no one has posted any photos in the new "Gallery" section. Is there a software issue that's preventing posts, or is this new section not appealing?
  21. hermann

    Posting of photos

    Ok, I think this is fixed. The issue appears to have been that the bonehead default is to disallow no more than 1MB worth of attachments by any one person. As we all know, a single photo can sometimes exceed that. I got rid of the limit and put other protections in place to prevent abuse. Do note however that there is still a 2MB limit on each attachment; this is imposed by PHP and this software. Looking back at the list of issues when we first switched to the new software, denverappraiser complained of apostrophes not showing up correctly. While they do display correctly on my computer, I changed the character-set to UTF-8 (Unicode) to see if that works better. Please let me know if you see any problems at all with messages being displayed funny. Also, while looking through all the different configuration options (there are hundreds!), I enabled "topic ratings". This allows folks to rate threads that are more useful. I've seen a lot of useful information posted by the regulars over the years, and this may turn into a good way to make sure that information gets the highest possible visibility by our visitors. To rate a topic, look for the 5 stars at the top right of the topic, and click on the rating. I went ahead and rated this topic as "5 stars" as an example. As always, please let me know if you have any comments, suggestions, feedback, etc. While limitations in the software sometimes prevent me from addressing every concern, I always do what I can. Oh, and Happy New Year all! Hermann
  22. hermann

    Posting of photos

    Thanks for reminding me of this, I will look at it right away and get back to you with whatever I find. No matter what happens, we can't get in the way of the picture-posting madwoman!! :-)
  23. hermann

    Christmas Proposal Idea

    How could she say anything but yes.... CONGRATULATIONS!!
  24. hermann

    How I Did It.. The Element Of Suprise

    What an awesome story!!! Now tell us more about that sound-proof divider... hey what am I doing? I'm supposed to be the moderator here! Anyway, my heartfelt congratulations and enjoy the holidays! Hermann
  25. hermann

    Christmas Proposal Idea

    What an awesome plan! I used to live in that part of the country, and went to Hershey Park a few times. This plan is foolproof! :-) My only suggestion would be to face her (down on one knee, of course), and ask her to marry you as you open the ringbox and present the ring. Then, once she says yes and all those emotions are done, get a second wind of emotions as you slide the ring onto her finger. Congratulations!!