In Bed

Feb. 20th, 2009 01:54 pm
fj: (tech)
I've got to become more patient when I cook. I have mild food poisoning again. Fortunately I am working at home, so I am in bed now feeling icky but wrangling CSS.

The project is the a rebranding of a developer's portal with community-contributed content. The lead contractor has made great visual designs, and I am now translating them and dropping them into the webserver. I actually have to ush around code for that because text needs to appear in different places than it used to to make it work, so it is all UI programming. The new look will be unveiled in the future.

My 3d developer's community portal with user-contributed content. It feels all very familiar.
fj: (tech)
"With a HD panel watching a film in the dark it's just better than the cinema. The sound is blissful high-def clarity. Everyone know that THX soundtest some DVDs have at the start of the film? Put that on through these and it will literally rip your face off."

User-contributed review of the Logitech Z5500 THX certified surround sound system on Play.com
fj: (tech)
Hey Joel, I am sure someone has told you already, but usually to use Nokia Phones as way to connect to the Internet, you don't need a buggy 3d party tool. Just use tell your laptop to use the attached phone as a modem, and dial *99#.

Yeah, modem. You know, what we used phones for. You can use the supplied USB cable, or the Bluetooth tethering. Even on Macs. Yes, iPhones don't know how to do that. And it will save you battery because you can switch the WiFi on your laptop and your phone off.
fj: (tech)
So I had this issue with Yahoo. I have a Yahoo ID, and I also ordered AT&T / Yahoo co-branded DSL, which makes you create an ID. Yahoo allows you to merge both IDs to make things simpler. Alas, when I stopped my AT&T DSL, my old Yahoo ID stopped working. No more Flickr. No more Yahoo Radio. No more Yahoo Messenger. I tried numerous times to get some information, until I finally did, from an AT&T rep, who basically told me I had to wait.

Except that that wasn't it. I waited for as long as I was told, but the AT&T servers did not purge my account and allow my Yahoo account to work again.  A new tech chat tells me that no, the previous tech had it wrong, I should have logged in using my old AT&T ID and done an unmerge and then things would have worked again. Now it is too late, you have to wait 100 days until some server does some automatic thing, no you can't log in now using your AT&T ID to do the unmerge because it has been to long -- yeah, because I had been previously told to wait -- so your AT&T ID is disabled as well.

Ok, I waited, and July 17th or so, about 6 months after stopping my DSL, I can now log into Yahoo again with my old ID. This could have been fixed if:
  • AT&T's systems had noticed I had a merged ID and sent me email that I should unmerge them when I asked for a shut-off
  • The first tech in chat had told me what I actually should have done.
What's surprising is that I am making suggestions here about how a telco should make things easier, especially when you leave. Right. Never gonna happen. Maybe Yahoo should have warned me that I was about to be locked out of their systems, but from the support emails I tried to exchange with Yahoo, they are not allowed to touch AT&T / Yahoo co-branded accounts. At all. Even though the name Yahoo is on them, Yahoo does not manage these, and is contractually not allowed to even peek. My bet is Yahoo can't even warn customers with merged IDs that their Yahoo ID is about to become useless because they're never told when a user switches off AT&T / Yahoo DSL.

Coupled with stories I am getting of Apple Store reps ending up in AT&T stores to just get this phone working and done, I guess this is the year to make clear to everyone that depending on other vendors for your own customer experience is a really risky proposition.
fj: (tech)
I want to spin off a slice of my LJ as a more formal blog, out of this ghetto -- and yes, in the blogging world LJ is considered a mopey teenage ghetto instead of a place with proper trackbacks and blogrolls and ad placements and what not.

However, having learned my lesson from managing exonome over the years, I am just not very into managing my own box for this, not in my house where I do not have a fixed IP address, nor by having an actual box or a box image hosted somewhere. I want a managed solution where someone else is doing my back-ups and failovers and patching. Especially the security part, I am not in the mood to try to keep up, reading advisory after another to keep my whole stack up to date. The fact that the big blogging packages seem to be written in PHP is not helping. I simply do not trust PHP to be robust and secure. I know the web runs on it, but I look at its design goals and history, I look at the flaws that get uncovered every 5 months, and my mistrust gets confirmed again.

But when I look at the hosted offerings by SixApart, former parent company of LJ, and WordPress, I also go ugh. Barebones comments without threading. Imports from LJ that strip out avatars and user information and tags. Tag systems that are just not fully there. You can fix all of that by installing plugins, but it seems the hosted solutions do not allow you to install plugins, of course. I already did Blogger. That was enough, thank you.

So my choices are the hassle of hosting everything somewhere and have a headache but get an installation that feels like I want, or go with a paying option that is no more than a bare-bones blog. I am liking neither one, really.

Then I went software-weenie-insane and started thinking about using Django on some hosted box to create a view on my LJ that was this blog only showing entries tagged a certain way, but with Django doing the URL re-writing of the Next and Previous buttons to make it look like one continuous blog, and then realized it would be the worst solution of all: I get to have to manage the whole chain, do custom programming, and still my content lives on LiveJournal's servers with their uncertain future. Yet since that was a challenge I could handle, that is what I started thinking about.

HDTV!

Aug. 3rd, 2008 09:01 pm
fj: (tech)
I got a letter that my furniture has arrived in the UK while I was in the USA. Some phone tag later and the result is that I will be called soon about a date to deliver it here to my flat. Which means I will have a couch and can have more than two people over. This, of course, means I need a TV, so I can have people over every week like I used to in Boston and loved going to in LA. Also, so I can play computer games on consoles. I keep reading about cool games I want to try.

Now my examples and experiences have taught me that if you want the most school chums to come over, you have to have the coolest toys, so obviously I need a Big Ass TV. The hugest I can stand. So I have entered the world of buying flat panel TVs.

Oh god it is awful. No, seriously. You have to see them in action, and compare and that is just a mess. First of all these things are calibrated all over the place, so it is really hard to compare the screens even if they are all on the same signal, even if the signals are a pristine 1080p Blu Ray or console. Second, if the signal is TV it is almost pointless to even watch any of them, because every one of the 1080p screens is way more capable than the compressed badly transmitted signals of live jerky sports events coming in over the airwaves or Sky satellite, so every screen makes you wonder if any of this is actually worth it for actual television broadcasts, and the answer is, well, no. It's gonna look fuzzy and pans will hurt, and that seems to be true even when the signal is HD. Man did PAL and NTSC make the most of their blurryness to fool our brains into liking it. Then there's a hardware refresh every 6 months, and the new software in the chips actually does seem to matter a tiny bit, but the difference in price between the new models and the ones 6 months old hints at a speed of depreciation I have only seen in cars. Prices and brands are all over the place, even for same-sized models. And can I get myself to pay fourteenhudredfriggindollars for what 10 years ago I would spend 350 bucks on at most? Yeah, the pound conversion still is painful to behold, and buying one of these is not investing in an asset, it is sheer consumption.

It's really hard to make a choice, and it's no fun. But still, I remember that afternoon sitting in front of a 65" screen, with a PS3 player, playing a Blu Ray disc of Planet Earth. Every step in the chain was the best available, from the documentary to the player to the screen to the cables. And every guy in the room, all of us, who'd had consumed massive amounts of media or worked in it in some capacity, in TV, movies, rides, sites, all of us jaded, were watching a nature documentary, something we'd gotten over when were were 12 or so, and just couldn't stop watching because it was so beautiful.

--"Wait, what, are we seriously gonna watch some gazelles jum-- oh man this is awesome.
"Just wait until the jellyfish."
Yeah, I want that experience back.
fj: (tech)
Dear Nokia

Stop PR wishy-wash about maybe extending the N-Gage gaming platform to new phones or consoles and release the N-Gage platform for phones you already committed to, like the N73, that you are now 9 months late at. I could have become a father in that time.

Waiting and pissed,
FJ!!
fj: (tech)
'Provisioning' is the verb used for taking a mobile phone, a piece of dead electronics made to work on any network, and attaching it to the billing system for a specific operator and setting its settings. Provisioning is difficult because it includes not just hardware negotiations of attaching a SIM to a billing plan, but a peopleware negotiation of confirming identity, selecting a plan and passing a credit check for that specific plan, porting your number, and in case of having been a previous customer, canceling your old plans, seeing which discounts you are eligible for, and pushing it all through.

Now realize that the customer usually does not know the data required to do all this. They just want a phone, they know who they are. The operator needs to make sure who they are, and have the SSN their current plan is registered with (usually not the customer's SSN if they are on a family plan) and what plan they are on already, because front-line billing systems have a tough time knowing these pieces from you just telling them who you are, they much preferr you tell them this data. Now ask yourself how many people walking into a store know the last four digits of the owner of the family plan they are on. Or that they are on a family plan.

Now ask yourself how many of them will pass a credit check easily in ten seconds.

Now ask yourself how many of these people from all ages and walks of life will have a readable credit card for that credit check. No, no manual keying in of numbers because that means a stolen credit card number can be used. Has to be a real card. To be scanned on a finicky portable payment device used by roving store reps.

Now ask yourself how much time a company gunning for Secrecy and Big Bang Reveals has given its floor reps to familiarize themselves with the myriad of plans and price points for those plans, and all the disclaimers and small print and discounts.

Now ask yourself how much time a company gunning for Secrecy and Big Bang Reveals has given its floor reps to train on the process with real live customers or even role-playing other store reps to get through the whole thing.

Now ask yourself how much QA a company gunning for Secrecy and Big Bang Reveals has done on the software used in the finicky handheld payment terminal that has to transmit all the data like former phone number, SSN, IMEI number, etc, to the mobile operator. The terminal is a WinCe device.

Now ask yourself how much this company gunning for Secrecy and Big Bang Reveals actually has control over the mobile operator's back-end system. Hint: none.

Now remind yourself how many times you have been told one thing by some mobile operator's rep that turned out to be a complete lie according to another rep from the same mobile operator, because mobile operators do not keep their reps on single message since their customer-facing systems are a reflection of the spaghetti that keeps their billing system together, an insane diagram of boxes all trying to create a coherent picture of a user's account, with different phone reps able to influence different things, at different levels of empowerment, at different 1-800 / 888 numbers. One can edit a number-port request, but can't cancel it. Another can cancel it but doesn't know the discounts. Nobody knows who where what for the whole picture.

Now multiply that across 200 stores. Now multipy that accross the lines you saw at those stores stretching for hours and hours.

You should be coming to the conclusion that Apple became an AT&T kiosk this weekend, and it was hell on retail earth.

Apple workers are hand picked and empowered to give the best experience they possibly can to clients they really want to please. Apple stores have some of the absolute lowest staff turn-over numbers in malls because people are happy to work there and happy to sell what they are selling to mostly customers happy to buy what they are buying. It is the real reason Apple stores work even though by all narratives of mall sales, they should have been a miserable failure between Sharper Image and Best Buy, but instead Apple stores are a huge success because their store workers believe and are allowed to make customers happy using an incredibly thought out smooth retail process. And this weekend they had to deal with a tsunami wave of consumers to be handled with an organizational process made to deal with the amount of people a wireless phone selling cart in the food court gets. Because, basically, AT&T did business as usual, which is what put them and all other mobile operators at the bottom of the list of companies people like to deal with, below used car sales dealerships and insurance providers.

No, the problem isn't the activation, which eventually you can go do at home. It was getting to the point where you can send a customer home to try to re-activate their brick over iTunes because you entered everything so AT&T knows who they are.  My IMs have lit up with stories of floor managers in Apple stores crying. 6 hours to sell a phone. The Apple forums went offline after 2M5 views on iPhone support forums, 400K devoted to in-store problems. And why? Because this time AT&T is paying Apple so much for each phone AT&T insisted no phone was to be sold without having a plan attached. None. No buying a box and provisioning at home. This launch is costing AT&T so much in hardware they want revenue from Day 1, so no sending out a phone without a plan to do the provisioning through iTunes. No no no. In store provisioning, all of them, each and every one. And Apple did not work the process out enough, not train long enough, nor QA their handheld payment terminals enough, which are only now being found to be sending bad IMEI -- that's the serial number of the phone -- and number porting data to AT&Ts back-end, lest someone leak a soooooper seeekret plan detail through a lolcat or something. Which means that during this sale, AT&T had to be called. To edit a port request. Or cancel it. Or both. Or neither. And what plan can this person be on? Only AT&T phone reps knew -- well, kinda.

And this was Friday. The real weekend starts now. I hear Apple stores are now open normally agains with Genius Bars and Personal Training and no extra staff was planned for phone sales, because the initial rush should have been over.

Do Not Go To An Apple Store This Weekend. No.
fj: (Default)
When Helio claimed to have 70k subscribers, it also claimed $100 Average Revenue Per User [ARPU]. Now Helio is claiming 170K users. Which means they should be doing $17 million of total revenue per month, if the ARPU number was a) true b) sustained till now. Virgin is acquiring these claimed 170K users $39 million, and not even in cash, but in a stock that was worth $15,- per share when it did its IPO last October, but is now at $3,- a decine also known as 'tanking'.

So for Virgin acquired Helio for two months of revenue of Helios subscribers? Virgin just acquired 170K new high-value subscribers for a measely $229,- per subscriber? This after SK telecom invested hundreds of millions and was ready to invest hundreds more, to the tune of a pledged half a billion in ten years, when the dollar hadn't completely tanked yet?

What is wrong with this picture? That Helio basically gave itself away for free.

I'll tell you something: my gut feeling is that $100 ARPU was exagerated at 70k subs, and Helio got the next 100K subs by shutting off the credit check. And their subscribers ain't paying their bills.
fj: (Disney)
Well, then. We all started, and it seems the last hold-out can't make it work, even with investments of over half a billion dollars.

But dammit, we really all tried.

Yikes!

Jun. 18th, 2008 11:32 am
fj: (tech)
Somewhere after Steve Dyer decided not to be a hoster anymore, I decided I needed my own domain. I tried to come up with something and smashed 'cool' words together to have a really cool doman name like liquidneutron or ionsky or whatever, but everything was taken or actually stupid. So I invented the word exonome and took out exonome.com, and built my electronic life around it. Hundreds of sites have no an exonome address as my registration. If I had to change that, I'd collapse in fits.

I just found out exonome.org and exonome.net have now been taken. I am now either paranoid or scared. I wonder what I have to do to protect the word Exonome to be abl to keep my domain.
fj: (tech)
Dear Aza

You obviously have really good eyesight. Unfortunately, mobile users like my brother, a 40+ executive, do not; he has to take out his reading glasses these days to read small type. So you managed to come up with a mobile browsing organization concept that seems like it will only work on devices with at minimum iPhone-like slabs of glass, yet still manages to be about, literally, text in 2-point fonts. Also, if you browsed some old papers in the ACM Digital library -- you are a member, right? -- you could read how fish-eye and zoom-interfaces actually do not do so spectacularly well in tasks. So using them to arrange slabs of data in an already size-constrained environment in a way that leaves 50% of the screen unsused gray half the time really needs some justification here.

This is what user testing is for. Let me know how it works out with an actual cross-section of the population instead of 20-somethings. Meanwhile, look at how Sony Ericsson is doing tiling for their latest attempt, it uses the whole screen all the time.

Sincerely,
FJ!!
fj: (tech)
It is always good to wait a day or two before writing about an Apple product announcement. When it comes to phones, I compare iPhones always against their main competitors, which happen to come from a former employer, Nokia, that I am also very familiar with.

iPhone 2.0 comes with new features like 3G, (a)GPS, notifications, enterprise connectivity, Office doc viewers, and a software eco system from developer tools down to a store on the phone itself. To start out, every feature that Apple announced is pretty much already available on Nokia phones. But not very well. And not in the US. Nokia's flagship 3G phones, the N-Series, weren't widely available, and those models that were weren't promoted or discounted as much as the iPhone was. In Europe they are very widely available, and thus the iPhone's capabilities were not a huge advance in the market as they were in the USA.

Let's start with the last feature, the applications and store. Symbian-based Nokia phones -- S60 as they are called these days -- have always allowed users to put on 3d party applications. Always. Nokia has a software store available on N-Series phones, it is under the 'Download' application; I use it to buy games that I pay for using SMS. The 3d party development tools have been awful for a long time but getting significantly better over the last couple of years (I may have had a small hand in that when I wrote a snippy report after using them saying we could save a lot of money and look a lot better by moving to Eclipse, a report that made the rounds internally.). But it is still not easy to write a Symbian program.

Building a smartphone on the hardware available in 2002 was not easy. Nokia did this by using software from Symbian, a company that made a smartphone based on code from Psion. The resulting programming language goes to great great lengths make sure a program plays nice, gets told whether every piece of memory it wants is available or not so the program can tell the user to quit other stuff, can be suspended and restarted at a moments notice (like when a user gets a call, which is supposed to interrupt everything), and can be kept running or suspended in the background for months without crashing. Theoretically. The result is a very subtle and rigid programming environment that is difficult to master. Now Nokia has also made JAVA and FlashLite available for commercial software, but those are not as fast, nor can they reach all the cool facilities of the phone as well as a Symbian program.

Apple has the advantage of starting over on pretty big hardware, but also looked at the whole problem of programs having to run in the background in memory, sharing space and cycles, and said "Well screw this. Only one thing runs at any type. If you get interrupted, you just stop, save to memory, end of story, program is over." This models doesn't allow cool stuff to happen in the background, but really simplifies programming.

This makes Apple's ecosystem a lot more viable, since, by using newer technology, it can offer a very nice experience building applications. It also offers a phone to deploy those applications on that somehow encourages exploration and finding features and using a lot of them. Steve Jobs' hyperbole aside, the network stats show that iPhone users use an awful lot of data time, which means they are comfortable browsing and using YouTube and what not. I am not sure the N-Series encourages as much exploration and adding, even if Google Maps and Yahoo Go are really neat programs to have. Apple's iPhone got a lot of websites to make iPhone optimized sites, the N-Series did not.

Apple really hasn't offered anything really new on Monday -- I could rattle off the technologies used behind the scenes when I read the reports -- except really integrated packaging. Apple's syncing technology really does make it easier to integrate the PC with the phone, something that is ok for Nokia on the mac with the Nokia Multimedia Transfer tools, but sucks with the N-Series PC Suite 2.0. I recently had to write a report on it so I installed and played with it, and in the words of my manager, the design and usability of it is "totally retarded". It's just a bad disheveled mess, the result of many unaligned groups doing their own little thing and one desperate product group having to integrate it all. Comared to the iTunes for iPhone experience, it's a joke.

And now MobileMe has eclipsed that and, for $99 a year, you don't even need difficult synchronization software to keep your PC or Mac and iPhone synchronized and your address book editable from ever web browser out there. It Just Works. Nokia was trying to create a wireless cloud destination for your games and photos and music called Ovi, but the announcements for it are over a year old and there is no useful syncing there, music  just jumps to a music store that blocks mac users and uses a DRM scheme Microsoft either has or will ditch, N-Gage gaming is late for most N-series phones, and Ovi certainly does  not integrate with your documents on the computer or give you 20Gb storage space. And that is just sad. I am using mobical.net for mobile wireless syncing of my calendar and contacts, it's been working for years, but Ovi is just still nowhere (and won't even have single sign on between the syncing and gaming components from all I hear). And what is the relationship between Ovi Share and Mosh? Does anyone know?

All the pieces have been available for years by Nokia, and yet they can't seem to pull it together into a whole system that is fun to use. Instead we get crappy PC Suites, 3 different logins, delayed advanced gaming, and not very compelling products except generic JAVA games on the download store. Nokia, step up, your lunch is being eaten. Right now the only advantage you have is actual keys for people who like tactile keyboard experiences, your phones are slightly smaller, and the cameras are far better. But every time I see someone slide their finger across a screen and start up a browser on which they can actually see things, I kinda wonder hmmmmm....
fj: (LA)
First thought upon queuing the video: I wonder if John has a SAG card by now.








Does anyone want my thoughts on yesterday vs Nokia S60?
fj: (tech)
So every review I read of the Roku box to stream Netflix movies directly to the home laments that only 10.000 of Netflix' 100.000+ video titles are available to stream down. Well, for reasons I can't really specify I have been exploring the Video On Demand offerings in Europe and the USA, and let me tell you, a good catalog of VOD items in Germany or France is 4000 titles.

Now those 4k titles include the latest movies, but a lousy back-catalog of stuff that isn't a Hollywood extravaganza. I am sure that Netflix will get the rights to stream the latest releases as well too, if they haven't already, but at least I can get something else than Will Smith battling zombies*. There are things to not like about the Netflix / Roku box at all, like its picture quality and the fact that most broadband is probably not up to it, but compared to its actual VOD competitors, Netflix has made a catalog available that in sheer numbers is twice as large as anything I have found from any cable or IPTV provider.

*I Am Legend banners and trailers are all over every IPTV portal I am hitting to explore. I am just a little tired of it.
fj: (UK)
Just before I left, my DSL started acting up in the evenings. This saddened me, because O2 had been cheap, fast, and rock-solid up to now. I diagnosed as much as I could last night, because I really, really, really did not want to call some call center 6 time zones away and go through endless scripts of rebooting and checking my wireless. But it was unavoidable, the router was telling me the connection was going up and down like a yo-yo. I decided to eliminate as many variables as I could myself: attached the Mac laptop directly with a cable, switched off wireless, got all the settings, got ready, and called.

I chose O2 because they are not a reseller of BT, but they can go into the local switch themselves and set up their own equipment, which is why they can offer faster speeds than BT does, but also, they are responsible for the whole chain themselves. No passing the buck. I immediately got a rep on the line who took my info. Indeed, attaching the Mac with a cable made him skip most of his script, since they do not have special management software for the Mac, and yeah, wireless is not fault issue then. All I did have to do was a hard reset of the box to factory settings, but that didn't help and I was at Tier 2 within 10 minutes. Tier 2 first told me he could see I had dropped 90 times in the last 8 hours, and they didn't like that at all. (I was more wondering just how much they could see about my link... If tomorrow I get an intervention for checking ICHC, I will know.) He first had me switch filters -- I never knew a solid state filter could fail, but he said it happens, and he called me back on my mobile -- and when my link still kept dropping while I was still on the call with him, he decided to set the line tolerance for noise on my line to really low (which degrades speed but makes the connection very reliable) so he could push the latest firmware to my box. Once the new firmware was on, he reset the line back to normal tolerance, and then he told me to browse for two minutes. I told him I already had been doing so obsessively. It was working. Still, we both agreed it was too early to close the case, so we agreed the case number will remain open till mid-Saturday. It was really pleasant, good troubleshooting as if we were both software professionals, a willingness to exchange information so I could learn, and he wasn't intent on getting me off the line ASAP at all. Also, my box is faster than ever now.

As for Gas & Electricity, I really expected a bill by now, which I haven't gotten. I did, out of curioisity, open a bill from British Gas that keep coming for the previous tenant: You Are About To Be Disconnected This Week, And We Will Tack On £200 For Doing So. Um. Um. Eeeep! I called British Gas collections department and I said, look I do not have a customer number for me, but I do for the previous tenant and this ain't right. The collections woman said that this was no big deal and she would put me through to the moving department since I was a new move (Hello? I have called 3 times now?) but I said "No." Huh? "Before you do that, please tell me I won't get disconnected this week?" Oh, I won't get disconnected this week, seriously. The moving department was annoyed on my behalf as much as I was, and said he would stop the bill for the previous tenant now and start me on a whole new account and can I just have your last name again? Oh well, let's hope this one sticks. Also, if I want to they could also do electricity? I answered no, tell me who my current provider is now because I expect there's another screw-up there?

And indeed, calling E-on, I have hit the mother of all possible screw ups: my downstairs neighbors are paying my electricity bill. heck, if I were them I'd want to do that too since I am never home. You see, there are these two meters in the hallway, and they each have a serial number, and they are labeled which flat they are for, and when I mentioned my serial number the man said "Ok, we'll stop the bills for the previous tenant" and on a hunch I said, can you tell me who that is? He can't, that is confidential. "Look, if it the C*****, thos are my downstairs neighbours, and you can't just take them off the account" because hell if I am going to have my neighbors slammed. He called a super and we had to now test whose meter was whose, can I please switch on something that consumes a lot of energy, go look which meter is running fast, switch the devices off, and see if the mete goes slow? This is how you test a power meter from afar. I switched on the washer to tumble dry, and ran the food processor. And the test confirms what I expected: my downstairs neighbors are paying my power bill, and lord knows who is paying the other meter.

E-on is dumbfounded about what to do now. They'll call me back.
fj: (tech)
Slashdot unreachable, Sourceforge unreachable, Freshmeat unreachable... good lord, could all of OSDN be down, or is my router being very specifically annoying?
fj: (Default)
Have you defragged your XP system today? Recently? Reclaimed so much space and speed here myself.

Posted with AutoPostBot
fj: (tech)
  • I thought the reason my phone was running out of juice two minutes into a call was because it never got to fully charge at home since I was also using it constantly as a 3G modem. Turns out it is the battery that can no longer hold a charge. 2 months of continuous duty as a modem while being charged have fried it. I bought a new one and suddenly I have a normal phone again.

  • "So how would you rank the actual work done to connect your phone line?" the man of the survey firm for British Telecom asks.
    -- "So what's the worst you got?"
    "Very unsatisfied."
    -- "Yeah that."
    "Next question: how many people did you tell about the experience?"
    -- "About 12. No, wait. About 250."
    "That's the highest I have ever filled out."
    -- "Internet, man."

  • Ok, so I have a built-in iSight. Now what do I do with it? Seems that since the meta-chat client Adium doesn't support it, I can't actually chat over all the systems with it unless I install 4 different chat clients and skype. Nuh-uh.

  • I can has DEL key? SRSLY, where is it?

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