Posts from — March 2009
If you haven’t seen this before, it is awesome!
Happened upon this while cruising the net and had to post it. Too funny! Props to the great artist below…
March 21, 2009 No Comments
Just when you thought it was OK to like the French again, they go and screw it up with this crap.
If passed into law, the legislation would deal very harshly with any form of file sharing, be it video or audio. Alleged offenders will first receive an e-mailed warning, followed by a registered letter, and lastly with a 3-12 month suspension of internet service. The law will also prevent users from switching ISP’s to avoid punishment, and even public hotspots will contain filters. Additionally, home users will be required to lock down home networks, and will be legally responsible for its security.
In return the French will start receiving DVD’s in a more timely fashion, and music DRM will be drastically scaled back.
Now, I haven’t downloaded copywrited stuff in quite some time – not since I had a DVR installed, found Hulu and got a Live account with my new XBOX. But, in the past, I did a fair amount of downloading of “catch up” episodes for TV shows that I missed – something that I still consider a “gray” area of use. Of course, by the book, it isn’t “gray” at all – its illegal. In fact, I’m actually glad I don’t have to do it anymore. Truthfully, for a show that I really enjoy, I’d much rather pay $2 an episode than wait 3 days for a crappy quality download only to find out that it is dubbed in German.
Still, this bill scares the crap out of me. I can’t believe people would be willing to give up their freedom for early access to entertainment. Still, in socialist France, maybe the people actually aren’t, but the politicians are… One of the few things that I like about Obama is how tech savvy he seems to be. You almost have to have personally bought content and been frustrated with trying to actually use it where you want to really understand this stuff. Out of Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin, I would have definitely picked the O-Man as the one most likely to have done so. Still, given his politics, I’m not sure that this will help us any.
One day, people will have the ability to have their own networks and crap like this won’t happen. You already see it in big companies – very large WAN infrastructure that never actually touches the internet. Some day that will spread to people, and you’ll have co-op networks that are completely private. Its the only answer to crap like this and only technology keeps it from happening today. I’ve personally knows folks who all live in the same apartment building that have wired their apartments together – not for the purpose of circumventing copyright law, but simply for the ability to share information and infrastructure more easily. Why have four home servers when one shared one does the job for 1/4 the price?
Of course, in the current State-of-the-Tech-Union, you could only do that with people you implicitly trust. One day technology will make that unnecessary – just as our current internet security technologies make it relatively safe to surf the net. I think even the telecom companies would like that, as it removes them from having any liability whatsoever. You’d still pay a monthly fee for your “line” – but it would likely be a simple direct link to the next person up the line, or something similar. You may have private line aggregators that take a monthly fee from a number of people to allow for more bandwidth, etc. Don’t get me wrong – this would likely be in addition to an Internet connection, but I think there is a pretty good chance of it happening at some point in the future. It would take a ton of cash, a lot of technology and a critical mass of people, but its is indeed possible. I’d call it a Private Public Network or PPN.
For those of you saying “impossible” – just remember that one dude, Linus Torvalds, started the unstoppable wave that became Linux. Its amazing what can happen when fed-up people buck the status quo and go off and do something on their own. Linus didn’t try to start a revolution, but his idea was so good that it happened anyway. It may take years or even a decade or two (work on what became the Linux began in 1991), but it CAN happen.
Mark my words.
March 20, 2009 1 Comment
At work today, someone started an email thread asking if Jersey was a country or not.
If that strikes you as odd, you need to think Europe, not east coast USA. Or, do you!?
As an FYI, Jersey is actually a small island in the English Channel right off the coast of Normandy, France. It is neither part of the EU or the UK but rather, like the Isle of Man, is a separate possession of the British Crown. It has been at least somewhat associated with big banking and surreptitious money hiding, etc. Anyway, my point here is not a geography lesson.
After a few jokes about money laundering, some confusion with Swiss banking and whether this place had any cows or not, I thought I’d set everyone straight about the subject and sent everyone the following email:
Wait, Swiss cows can’t be purple, they’re chocolate! Its this reason that people confuse them with Jersey cows, because they can be brown too. But, it’s the Jersey cows that usually have the illegal money, are named Tony or Vinny and say things like “Bada Bing” and “capeche”.
Take a look at the picture below to get an idea of what they look like. It should clear up any confusion. Honest.
Of course, props have to Barnyard for the original joke. Capeche!?
March 20, 2009 No Comments
You may have noticed the “enhanced” comments section that is now featured on my blog.
Check out these two great places to start for examples of the comment styling: Performancing and CDHarrison. Props to CDHarrison for my wholesale rip of his stylesheet for the comments section here. I’ll undoubtably play with it to make it my own, but his example is so good it may be a while.
Leave a comment below to see it in action!
March 6, 2009 2 Comments
Can you say DROOL?
March 5, 2009 No Comments
Well, AT&T and I have made up.
Not willingly mind you, but I’m bound to them through the shackles of a corporate contract that is completely out of my control, so what can I do?
Surprisingly enough, even though my email to AT&T bounced back to me, apparently someone was listening. I was contacted via email by a Premiere Customer Support agent who apologized profusely for my inconvenience and mentioned that they would forward my complaint on to their management (who, I’m sure, will take it very seriously… yeah, right!).
Anyway, glad that someone had heard my whining, I happily replied thanking them for contacting me, explained to them about the email bounce and then asked if they could contact me to help me upgrade my phone to the BlackBerry Bold. I figured they had kept me on hold so long, someone could call me this time.
Well, wishful thinking. They said “No, you have to call us…”
OK, fine… Remembering my golden handcuffs, I tried again.
This time, calling the service number put me immediately in touch with a representative who, while not very chipper, ended up actually being helpful. They quickly understood my problem, explained it to me and then tried to get me off the phone. When I protested and asked if they could simply take the order over the phone, they offered to walk me through the ordering process online. I figured that was fine – I just wanted to order the darn thing. Well, the Fates of Online Apps had something else in mind. When trying to log in to the Premiere Site, it just wasn’t responding.
A loud sigh later, the agent offered to take my order over the phone. Hmm – isn’t that what I asked for in the first place? Oh well, as least they were going to do it! After about 15 minutes of listening to the person mutter and yawn (yes YAWN), my order was placed.
When will it show up? I have no idea. She / he (I couldn’t tell, and they had an androdgenous name) didn’t know either, so I guess I wait. They gave me an order number and the charge showed up right away on my card, so it should be official.
Yay. I’m so happy.
March 5, 2009 No Comments
Its official. I hate AT&T.
I received an email from AT&T Premier services today (the branch of AT&T that handles corporate accounts) with an advertisement pimping a new sale on the Blackberry Bold.
“Great!” I thought, as I’ve been wanting one of them for quite some time, but have been put off by the $399 price tag they slapped down on us corporate types. The new price? $199 – exactly what I expected it to be when it launched back in October.
So, I figured that going in to the Premier website to do the upgrade would be easy. I logged in, saw the upgrade offer – it showed my price at $199 and I was good to go. Well, adding it to my cart gave a $399 price tag. WTF?
Well, no big problem – I’ll just call them and talk to someone on the phone about it. Finding the number to call was pretty easy, but I then sat on hold with them for 59 minutes before I gave up. The horrible 3 minute muzak loop was boring into my poor abused brain. The stupid voice over platitudes about how important I am to them was really wearing thin. It was official, I was pissed of at being kept on hold for just under an hour with no option to leave my name and number, no option to be told how LONG I would be oh hold, etc.
Well, I hung up, and that’s when the real fun began. On the contact page (that I used to find the phone number) – there was a link for providing feedback on “How they can make Premier better”. Hmm. That’s about what I need right now, a little venting on how they can 1) make their website work properly in the first place and 2) not keep me on hold for an hour with 3 minutes of brain numbing acoustic diarrhea. Here’s my letter to them:
Subject: Phone Support
Comments: Your site asked for feedback on how to make premier better. Well, NOT keeping me on hold for 56 minutes (and counting) listening to the same horrible muzak the entire time would be a good start. Your phone queue also doesn’t say how long I might have to wait until someone can take my call. Knowing that would be very helpful. This treatment from a phone company? Very ironic and quite annoying. Well, 59 minutes into it, I’ve hung up. You’ve lost my $400 upgrade business. I’d much rather keep my old phone that put up with this. Sorry, but you asked. -A
Well, I felt better. For about 5 seconds.
UNTIL, I received the email in my inbox stating that my message to AT&T was bounced back. WTF? My Site Experience Feedback is Undeliverable!??
Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients. Subject: Site Experience Feedback Sent: 3/2/2009 5:46 PM The following recipient(s) cannot be reached: email@example.com 3/2/2009 5:46 PM The e-mail account does not exist at the organization this message was sent to. Check the e-mail address, or contact the recipient directly to find out the correct address. < bspmx01.cingular.com #5.1.1 SMTP; 550 Invalid recipient <firstname.lastname@example.org> (#5.1.1)>
Does anyone else find it the least bit funny that the email address icare doesn’t exist at AT&T? I must admit that did make me laugh. But, my jokularity was soon replaced by a seething anger and a fueled hatred.
- Treat me wrong once (mess up your website). OK.
- Treat me wrong twice (not answer the darn phone). SIGH. OK.
- Treat me wrong THREE TIMES IN RAPID SUCCESSION (ignore my feedback!)? Well, you can just go #$#@ yourself.
Yup. AT&T is officially on my crap list until further notice.
March 2, 2009 2 Comments