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GPF News Archive

First Post Previous Post Next Post Latest Post December 5, 2011

 

Quick Update: Just wanted to post a quick follow-up to last week's News (which is reprinted below). While I still don't have the Premium Account Creator and Account Manager overhauled like I want just yet (I do have a rather exhaustive specification document written up for it though), I have been able to throw together a "stop-gap" script for signing-up or renewing Premium subscriptions via credit card. In both the Creator and the Manager you'll now see a button for "Pay via PayPal" and "Pay via Credit Card". Clicking the second button will take you to the new script where you can pay us via credit card directly rather than going through some intermediary like PayPal. The script is pretty robust and I think highly secure; it relies heavily on strong public-key cryptography and I've gone to great lengths to ensure that I'm the only one who'll be able to see and process the data. It's features will eventually be rolled into the new Account Creator once it's finished, and the Account Manager will redirect existing subscribers there when it comes time to renew.

For now, we can only accept the following credit cards drawn from U.S. banks and paid in U.S. funds: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. This is a limitation of our credit card processor; they have stated they're working on international support but they have given no ETA for this feature. Unfortunately, it looks like PayPal will remain our only option for subscribers outside the United States. We are planning to include support for Google Checkout (soon to be Google Wallet) very soon, which will hopefully provide another alternative for those uncomfortable with the other payment methods.


Howdy, folks. I know it's been forever and a day since my last News post (OK, more like six months), but I needed to break the silence for an important yet unfortunate announcement.

I hate to say it, but the GPF Store will be closed until further notice. To make a very long story short, our store-front software is getting very old and is starting to fail on us. Several parts of the shipping calculation tools have started breaking as services such as the U.S. Postal Service and UPS update their APIs, leaving our old software behind. There have also been a number of recent security bulletins issued concerning our store software, and I no longer feel safe taking orders using it. Unfortunately, I've been trying to upgrade the software for months now with little success. Our vendor's upgrade process is far from simple, and now that we're several versions behind it's even more difficult. I've been investigating other third-part options but none of them meet our needs. What I really want to do is build my own store system from scratch, but if I don't have time to tweak a third-party package I certainly don't have time for a project that large.

For the most part, this won't affect many of you. Physical items in the Store have never sold well and while we have received the balance of our remaining books from Moonbase Press, we're not in a position to start shipping them. Unfortunately, this does affect GPF Premium subscriptions for folks who either cannot or will not use PayPal for payment.

For the time being, GPF Premium sign-ups and renewals can only be paid via PayPal. I'm working on updating the Account Creator to handle direct credit card purchases as well as add Google Checkout (soon to be Google Wallet) as a payment method. However, I have no ETA on this upgrade. Things have been pretty hectic outside of GPF for me for the past month or two so I've had little time to devote enhancements to the site. That said, things should be lightening up before too long so I'm hoping to steal some time somewhere to work on this.

If you can use PayPal as a payment method, you should be unaffected. If you cannot or will not use PayPal and would like to sign-up or renew your Premium account, shoot me an e-mail and I'll see what we can do. I'll try to set up a quick-and-dirty credit card processing script to facilitate the secure entry of credit card data, but I'll have to process orders through it manually so the process won't be automatic. After that, I'll work on on overhauling the Account Creator with the planned upgrades. I'll post an update here when the process is complete.

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