Archive for January, 2007

31
Jan
07

Davis & Coltrane

Miles Davis and John Coltrane perform “So What”. This performance was captured in 1958 and is still smokin’…

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31
Jan
07

Chavez Unleashed

CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez is set to assume unbridled powers to remake Venezuelan society as the National Assembly prepares to grant him authority to enact sweeping measures by presidential decree.

Listen to what former actor and U.S. Senator Fred Thompson has to say about the situation by clicking here. Should be a nifty experiment. As many have observed, peole often get the government that they deserve.

31
Jan
07

AT&T Service Sucks

Given that I can find the power switch on most computers and that some of the little beasties even fear me, I am the de facto neighborhood geek (and family geek, as well). When the machine breaks, I get a call. When the software crashes, I get a call. Broadband goes out? Call me. Ugh. Several years ago, I convinced my savant Luddite (he’s into uber audo/video, but eschewed most other modern tech, such as broadband, a new computer, a cell phone, call waiting, caller ID, etc.)  friend, Bill, to get DSL service with my provider, The Optimal Link. Recently, the DSL service started acting up and Bill asked me to help. I work from my home, so I said what the heck. The folks at Optimal Link have always been friendly and helpful and this wouldn’t be a big deal. Wrong.

The folks at The Optimal Link were just fine, but the folks that were sent from AT&T had their heads so far up their butts that they couldn’t even see straight. Allow me to digress a bit. The Optimal link contracts with AT&T (used to be SBC) for the “last mile” DSL connectivity. The Optimal Link provides independant customer service, backbone, routing, etc. When the problem does not exist with The Optimal Link, AT&T has to come out and trouble shoot it. The first guy that came out said there was a problem with a dingus in the demarcation box and removed it. This did not fix the problem. A second guy came out and was dumbfounded. He left without doing anything. Problem still not fixed. Third guy came out, a self-proclaimed 25-year veteran of phone repair. He looks at the DSL modem and proclaims it to be a dinosaur and takes it off and puts on a shiny new one… and pronounces the job complete. I’d like to add that the modem he put on is not “authorized” to work with The Optimal Link’s equipment and the “old” modem model is happily in use at my house with no issues. You guessed it, problem not fixed. At about this time, the folks at The Optimal Link are getting a little frustrated, especially since they are running everything through me.

I head over to Bill’s house, determined to find out what the hell is going on. I go to the demarcation box and disconnect the entire hous from the equation and attach the new modem. It fires up and synchs without issue. I remove the modem and reconnect the house wiring. I go inside his house and disconnect every device, including the burglar alarm system. I systematically test each jack and device in the house. And I find out that the pair of telephone wires leading into Bill’s study (where his computer is) is the weak link. I don’t know where they are broken or why, but I swap out the pairs in the main drop just because. I hook up the modem and it works instantly. The whole process took less than 20 minutes. And his DSL has been working fine ever since. Why three supposedly well-trained service techs couldn’t figure out that it was a wiring issue was beyond me. Oh yeah, they’re union employees and don’t get paid by the completed job or customer satisfaction.

30
Jan
07

Loose Trigger Nut

 

CASPER, Wyo. – A man accidentally discharged a new pistol he was unfamiliar with, firing a bullet that nicked his arm and eventually ended up striking a man using the bathroom in another building, police said. However, since the bullet traveled through two walls, across a courtyard and ricocheted off a shower wall, it left only a small bruise on the chest of the man it hit and did not require treatment, police said. “It’s one of those freak happenings,” police Sgt. Mark Trimble said Monday. The incident occurred about noon Sunday. Trimble said Erick Hovermale of Casper was cited for misdemeanor discharging a firearm in city limits.

He should have been arrested for being a stupid idiot. Keep your damn finger off the trigger. Guns don’t just go off. For the record, there’s no such thing as an “accidental” discharge. There are only two kinds of weapons discharge: intentional and negligent.

30
Jan
07

Gigs On Your Keychain

I thought I was the coolest geek in the room when I casually dangled my 1 gig USB drive from my keychain. I got it around 2 years ago and paid a little under a $100 for it. So not only was I a geek, I was a thrifty geek. Those days are over. If you have to have a lot of storage on your keychain AND you’re a cheap bastard, then click here. Buy.com has the 4 gig drive for:

  • Original price of $66.93
  • Mail-in rebate of $60.00 (ugh)
  • Shipping of $6.06
  • Total price $12.99
  • If you are a first time GoogleCheckout user, you get another $10 for a total of $2.99

Yikes!

29
Jan
07

The Fundamentals Apply

Most team sports have descended to the depths of individual showboating. It’s part of what is turning much of mainstream America away. When you get the ball, don’t try for the highlight reel. You may wind up there for completely different reasons.

29
Jan
07

iPhone War

 

I’m kind of wondering why this issue doesn’t get more play. Cisco has owned and still owns the trademark for iPhone. They were in negotiation with Apple over the use of the trademark and then Apple broke off talks and launched their iPhone without finishing up. It’s as if Jobs is taking a “screw ’em, we’ve got the adoring fans on our side” approach. And we still haven’t heard anymore about it. Being successful with a few products named by adding a lower case “i” at the beginning doesn’t necessarily give one the right to use the same convention for everything. iBroom, iGun, iCar (looks like a VW Beetle), iLax, iShelter, iAir, iFood…