Now that everything is installed, I thought the only thing we had to worry about was paying the absurdly high bill, but I was wrong. Man, was I was wrong.
The other day, I went downstairs to watch TV, turned on the tube and the cable box was frozen. It was on, and I could watch the last channel that I tuned into, but that was it. I couldn’t change the channel, open the DVR, get to onDemand. I was stuck.
So I unplugged the box from the wall to reset the box. It’s sort of a pain in the ass because it takes a long time to initiate all the features and download the menus, but it was the only way to get the service running again. By that night everything was good.
Then it happened again on Saturday morning and I went through the same annoying process. This time I had to sit there and wait for the programs to get downloaded to the menu so I could set a recording for the Jets/Colts playoff game. I really didn’t want to miss it. So I waited. When it the game was in the menu, I set the recording and thought I’d be good.
That night Raquel and I sat for my nephew and my sister’s new dog Moxie. I wanted to watch the game there, but Mateo wanted to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs so we watched that instead. I knew I recorded the game, so I was cool with it. My sister and husband didn’t get home til 1am, so I planned to get up early on Sunday to watch the game.
The next morning, I’m up at 7am, I go downstairs, turn on the TV and the fucking box is frozen again. Fuck this. I reset the box. I wait. I wait. I wait for hours. Only this time, there’s no recordings on the DVR. Not only did it not record the game, but it somehow wiped out everything I had recorded the previous week. Not only that, but now it wouldn’t record at all.
I called and they apologized and are bringing a new HD-DVR tomorrow.
For all this, the company still has the temerity to charge 104 bucks for installation. They charge 29 bucks for Service Activation, as if that costs them money. They charge us money for the privilege of paying them for their service. Ridiculous. They have charges for HSI Bundle Install and CDV Bundle Install and Video Bundle Install. Each of those run 25 bucks? What the fuck are they? Just a way to screw customers.
Oh, and I still haven’t seen the Colts/Jets game and am unlikely to ever see it.
Finally after much waiting, the installer from Comcast came to hook up our home to the net. It was really strange not having an internet connection, so we were really happy. Plus tonight is the Orange Bowl (Stanford v. Va. Tech) and I really wanted to see it.
The guy arrived around 8am. I showed him where the cable comes into our building. It should have been the easiest job ever. The building is pre-wired for cable (as well as both major satellite networks). It was just a matter of hooking up the cable and, voila, TV, internet and phone.
I left for work (I left Raquel to supervise) and when I came home that night I fully expected to have everything working right. What reason would to believe otherwise?
When I returned that night, internet was working, the phone was working, but the TV was not. No fucking TV. I could not believe it.
We thought maybe there was a problem with the coaxial jacks in the house, so Raquel called the onsite builder in the morning. He came over and quickly discovered that the installer simply failed to connect the cables. He blew a no-brainer job.
I called Comcast, and they apologized, but the earliest they’d be able to send someone out was Wednesday. Two more days, no TV. And, of course, no Orange Bowl.
Thank you, Comcast.
After much thought and discussion, we decided to go with Comcast for TV, Internet and phone. The main reason was they were the only provider who could offer all three services and they were the only one who did not require a contract. No contracts for us, if possible.
So we called to set up and installation appointment, but they kept telling us they didn’t service our house. Our house is new and many of our neighbors have Comcast, so I guarantee they service it, and I told them as much, but they didn’t listen. We don’t offer service in your area, they kept saying.
After repeatedly calling, we finally got someone to agree to come out and inspect the property. Lo and behold, they do offer service to our house. Hallelujah! There was much rejoicing in the land.
However, by the time Comcast came to the conclusion that they would deign to offer us service, it was too late to get an appointment before New Years Day. Despite calling many times and wading through their infernal voice mail system to talk to a human in the desperate hunt for a cancelled appointment, we were never able to get one, and so, had to settle for an appointment on January 3rd. No Rose Parade and No Rose Bowl.
Thank you, Comcast.
Picked up a used/new (used phone-new to me) Blackberry Bold last weekend. I had been a long suffering user of a crappy Curve with it’s miserable camera and wonky A key that looked like it had been chewed up by a meth addict gone bezerk. That one I had picked up on Craigslist when the phone I had died&mash;the SIM card holder imploded and was deemed to be totaled.
For reasons best not explained, I’m not eligible for an upgrade so it came down to two options: (1) Buy a new phone for around 500 bucks or (2) Buy a used phone. I went with the latter and after much searching found this women selling a used Bold for $110.
It wasn’t in perfect condtion. A few scratches here and there, but it was all cosmetic stuff. The new phone is just leaps and bounds better than the old heap. Here’s some of what it’s got:
(1) Larger, clearer and higher-res screen. It’s beautiful.
(2) 3.2 Megapixel camera. It’s capable of producing relatively sharp 1600 x 1200 images. It’s never going to replace a real camera, but compared to the Curve, it’s a Leica. Here’s a sample from the weekend:
(4) 3G and wireless. Bold’s got them. Curve does not.
(5) More memory. My Curve was hamstrung when the messages built up or I tried to install a new app. No problems as of yet with the Bold. I have dozens of apps installed now.
(6) Sleek silver/black front with a black leather back. Looks really nice.
Overall, I’m thrilled. I would have prefered a new one, of course, but paying about 20% of the new price makes putting up some issues of used phone not even worth thinking about.
But I won’t get one. Yet. I’ve always been more of an early admirer than adopter.
Garmin Connect has changed it’s display interface for activities, which is nice. One of the new features is the ability to embed the activity directly to a web site through an iframe. Works well enough as you can see above. It’s certainly much easier than the way I handle it now, which involves exported the GPX file, importing it into Bikemap.net, embedding that map and then manually adding the activity details. It’s time consuming, but I like the end result.
If the Garmin Connect embed is going to become something I use, it’s going to have to do the following:
1) Allow Terrain to be set as the deault map type
2) Allow me to customize the embed dimensions (it’s too narrow now)
3) Allow me to customize the event details
4) Show the entire event description
Until they add these things, it’s just not good enough to use.
I’m happy to report that Google has finally gotten around to adding directions for cyclists in Google Maps.
After a long wait and more than 50,000 signatures on an online petition, cyclists will be happy to know that Google has finally added bicycle routes to Google Maps.
In Google Maps, users can now find “Bicycling” in the tool’s “Get Directions” drop-down box. After choosing the option, bikers can input two addresses and find the bike route that will get them to their desired destination. Like Google Maps’ other modes of transportation, the mapping tool provides turn-by-turn directions and an estimated travel time.
The new Google Maps bicycling feature is available in 150 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. The tool boasts over 12,000 bike trails. When users look for directions, the company’s mapping algorithm weights trails more heavily than roads for safety reasons. If cities have bicycle lanes, those are also weighted more heavily than roads without them.
I tried a few routes and got mixed results. The route from my house in Emeryville to where I work in Hercules put my on the Ohlone Greenway bikepath, which is awesome. However, plotting a course from Emeryville to Mt. Diablo has me going over Shepherd Canyon, which has about 20% grade at the top—probably not the best route for most cyclists.
It’s in beta, so it’s no surprise that it’s far from perfect. I sent feedback into Google, as I suspect thousands of other eager cyclists will do. When Google Maps for Cyclists is ready, it’s no doubt going to be a fantastic and incredibly useful tool.
UPDATE FROM GOOGLE:
The directions feature provides step-by-step, bike-specific routing suggestions – similar to the directions provided by our driving, walking, or public transit modes. Simply enter a start point and destination and select “Bicycling” from the drop-down menu. You will receive a route that is optimized for cycling, taking advantage of bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly streets and avoiding hilly terrain whenever possible. Just like Google pioneered with driving directions, you can click-and-drag your route to customize it as you’d like. You can also access the other features in Google Maps, such as Street View, so you can tell exactly where you might need to turn on your route or preview how wide a bike lane is, and Local Search, so you know where you can take a water break or where the bike shops are along your route. Biking directions provides time estimates for routes based on an algorithm that takes into account the length of the route, the number of hills, fatigue over time, and other variables.
In addition to directions, a new bicycling layer for Google Maps, accessible via the “More…” drop down menu at the top of the map, will display an overlay of the various bike-friendly roads and trails around town. The layer is color-coded to show three different types of paths:
* Dark green indicates a dedicated bike-only trail;
* Light green indicates a dedicated bike lane along a road;
* Dotted green indicates roads without bike lanes but are more appropriate for biking, based on factors such as terrain, traffic, and intersections.
Also, check their blog: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/biking-directions-added-to-google-maps.html
I’m still not sure what I did or how I did it, but I managed to solve the problems I was having with my TV recognizing my newly acquired PS3, but it’s working now. It’s a serious relief because I didn’t want to deal with getting my money back from the dude I bought it from (via craiglist)
I don’t have any games yet, but I’m online and can stream Netflix movies. The first movie we watched was The Taking of Pelham 123. Not a great film, but entertaining enough. The selection on Netflix is on the small side, but growing.
The bluetooth DVD remote came in the mail today (via eBay), so I don’t have to navigate DVD menus with the Sony game paddle, which is nice. I also picked up an HDMI cable (also via eBay) so I can connect at a better resolution.
I’m off to check out the PlayStation Network.
(Just after I got my console up and running, I saw this.)
I finally broke down and bought a PS3, only a few years after it came to market. Such an early adopter am I. I don’t have any games. I don’t even know if I’ll buy any. I bought it for the Blu-Ray, as a media server (it has a 120GB hard drive) and to stream Netflix movies on my TV which is pretty cool.
However, I can’t get the system to work. My TV won’t recognize the console through the AV cables that come with the box. I searched the interwebs for a solution, but couldn’t find any that worked, so I ordered an HDMI cable on eBay and I’ve got a call into Sony customer support, but it’s really frustrating that it just isn’t working. One of those two things better work.
Brazil is Número Um!
Brazil. The name alone evokes images of balmy beaches, bronzed bodies, or Bossa ballads. But beneath the veneer of this plastic surgery tropical paradise lurks an ugly, viral underbelly that’s infecting the entire world. No, not that weird rash you noticed after Spring Break in Rio. We’re talking spam.
Forbes reports today that Brazil has now overtaken China as the spam capital of the world. A report issued by Cisco’s security division says that more than 7.7 trillion spam messages came out of Brazil last year, nearly triple their 2008 total. The U.S. took home the spam silver, with about 6.6 trillion messages, a marked decrease from their 8.3 trillion mark set in 2008. The good news is that China’s spam production has seen a steep decline. Coming in at a distant 7th, The People’s Republic was only responsible for 2.4 trillion spam e-mails, a full 25-percent drop from 2008.
Now they have something else to brag about besides the FIFA Rankings.
- American Idle (63)
- Apia Harbor (15)
- Art (19)
- Books (34)
- Character Actors (4)
- Cinema (63)
- Cool Stuff (6)
- Cricket (9)
- Critters (151)
- Cycling (162)
- Dreams (1)
- Education (12)
- Food (64)
- Friday Cat Blogging (12)
- Gardening (2)
- Health (47)
- Housing Situation (21)
- Humor (68)
- I Want This (6)
- I'm a Complete Idiot (8)
- I'm Confused (21)
- It Really Sucks When… (51)
- Life in General (70)
- Life In Samoa (96)
- Media (38)
- Money (36)
- Music (19)
- Musings (47)
- News (69)
- On the Home Front (36)
- OYJ (59)
- Peace Corps (44)
- Photography (111)
- Poetry (3)
- Politics (209)
- Random (9)
- Religion (22)
- Skiing (95)
- Sports (107)
- Tech Stuff (95)
- Television (40)
- Theater (4)
- Travel (85)
- Uncategorized (9)
- Vail (47)
- Video (9)
- Viva Brasil (1)
- What is wrong with people? (2)
- Work (11)
- Writers (4)
- Yellowjackets (6)
- You're Doing it Wrong (1)
- Your Tax Dollars at Work (3)