Comcast – Get with the Program

27 04 2009

Here’s another item to add to my already long list of things I hate about Comcast:

Why can’t they limit the list of channels in their channel guide to only the channels they’ll let me watch?  I don’t pay for HBO or any of it’s 87 spin off channels, so why do I have to scroll through them on the channel guide?  I have a feeling it is because they hope that I will see that The Princess Diaries is playing on HBO and that if I were only to order those channels I too could be enjoying it.  In reality it just makes me that much more bitter at Comcast every time I see the “for ordering info, please press “info”” message appear on my screen.

I understand, it is easier to just give everyone the same list of channels and let them remember which of the zillions of channels they are allowed to watch – but that hardly seems like good customer service.  In fact, I used Comcast’s online chat feature to ask if there was a way to limit the list of channels to only those I pay for, and after having to convince the customer service representative that I was not in fact having an issue with my remote (that’s always their first question, probably because their remote is the worst designed piece of shit on the planet) they eventually suggested that I try turning off the closed captioning . . .

It’s 2009 people.  It’s a digital service which means that somewhere there is a computer controlling what I see.  I know there is also a computer that knows exactly what I pay for.  Just link that shit up man!

And don’t get me started about the design/functionality of their DVR.  Sweet Jesus.


Best Website Ever – Free Porn

28 03 2007

In a feeble attempt to win prizes, I’m putting a link to a website HERE in hopes that you click on it.  There’s no porn.  It is, however, a good tech blog.

Modern Excess

7 01 2007

I’d like to introduce a new blog – Modern Excess.  This blog is devoted to all things cool – art, social trends, technology – you name it.  Enjoy!

Folding@Home; the Cure@PS3 Project

5 09 2006

Folding@Home is software that does molecular simulation.  It utilizes the unused computing power of thousands of home users to run these simulations.  Now there’s something new:

Now in 2006, we are looking forward to another major advance in capabilities. This advance utilizes the new Cell processor in Sony’s PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) to achieve performance previously only possible on supercomputers. With this new technology (as well as new advances with GPUs), we will likely be able to attain performance on the 100 gigaflop scale per computer. With about 10,000 such machines, we would be able to achieve performance on the petaflop scale. With software from Sony, the PlayStation 3 will now be able to contribute to the Folding@Home project, pushing Folding@Home a major step forward.

This is one of those great ideas that largely goes unnoticed.  Props to Stanford.

Little Black Box

21 08 2006

Car manufacturers are now obliged to tell you if the car you’re about to buy has a black box recorder in it.

EDRs, similar to “black boxes” used in commercial airliners, record data about what a car is doing in the moments just before and after a crash. They do not record the voices of occupants but they do record things like speed, steering wheel movement, how hard the brakes are being pressed and the actual movement of the car itself.

Link to CNN

Having a bad day? You might be a terrorist!

15 08 2006

An Israeli company has developed a booth that asks you questions and monitors your physical responses to those questions. It’s like a very advanced lie detector and they want to install it in all airports to screen passengers before boarding planes. Aside from the obvious similarities to Orwell’s thought police, the logistics of implementing this are mind boggling.

Even though his expertise is in human observation, U.S. behavior-recognition expert Dr. Ekman says projects like Cogito deserve a shot. He expects technology to advance even further, to devices like lasers that measure people’s vital signs from a distance. Within a year, he predicts, such technology will be able to tell whether someone’s “blood pressure or heart rate is significantly higher than the last 10 people” who entered an airport.

Civil liberties are becoming a thing of the past.

RFID Passports

14 07 2006

Next time you get a passport, it will have a RFID tag inside of it.  RFID (radio frequency Identification) transmits data to a reader – in the case of passports, your personal data.  The problem with this is that they can be hacked (allowing anyone to read your data).  The other problem, as this article points out, is: do you really want to be wandering around Afghanistan with a little radio screaming “I’m an American, I’m an American”?

I guess ultimately my only problem with this is that it isn’t optional.