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.


Hans Rosling on Making Data Accessible

4 08 2008

Here’s another fascinating talk from Ted Talks:

John Kerry: Don’t Forget Net Neutrality

21 04 2008

John Kerry wrote a good piece for the Huff reminding us that 4/22/08 is the Pennsylvania Democratic primary – but is also the day that the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on the future of the Internet, most of which has to do with net neutrality.

Look, I understand that there are issues with the amount of information flowing over our broadband infrastructure. But the key is to expand that infrastructure, not arbitrarily restrict traffic based on content. I don’t even really blame the corporations on this; this is a classic case where the government needs to step in and create sensible regulations to set the rules of the road. This doesn’t mean a prescriptive, heavy-handed approach to telling providers who to serve subscribers. But we need to insist on basic fairness and an open, content-neutral approach to how users can access the backbone of our telecommunications system. There have been a lot of excuses about why it’s difficult to do that, and frankly, most of those have turned out not to be accurate. There’s no reason why we can’t do this, and no reason why we shouldn’t.

Feed the Hungry While Learning Vocabulary

5 11 2007

Proving once again that you don’t have to be me to have a good idea – is a great little vocab trivia game.  It gives you a word and four possible one word definitions.  You choose the right definition and they donate 10 grains of rice to help stop hunger.  See what level you can get to, donate some rice.  Sure, 10 grains of rice is a paltry amount, but it adds up.

The rice is distributed by the United Nations’ World Food Program, and is paid for by the companies you see advertised on the bottom of the vocab screen.

As of right now, they’ve donated a total of 729,030,460 grains of rice.

Obama Supports Net Neutrality

31 10 2007

From the Huffington Post:

“I am a strong supporter of net neutrality,” said Obama. “What you’ve been seeing is some lobbying that says [Internet providers] should be able to be gatekeepers and able to charge different rates to different websites…so you could get much better quality from the Fox News site and you’d be getting rotten service from the mom and pop sites. And that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet — which is that there is this incredible equality there…as president I’m going to make sure that is the principle that my FCC commissioners are applying as we move forward.”

I would be interested to hear the positions of all of the candidates (both Dem. and Rep.) on this issue.

Comcast Blocks Internet Traffic

19 10 2007

Evidently not supporters of Net Neutrality, the AP is reportingthat Comcast’s

technology kicks in, though not consistently, when one BitTorrent user attempts to share a complete file with another user.

Each PC gets a message invisible to the user that looks like it comes from the other computer, telling it to stop communicating. But neither message originated from the other computer — it comes from Comcast. If it were a telephone conversation, it would be like the operator breaking into the conversation, telling each talker in the voice of the other: “Sorry, I have to hang up. Good bye.”

As a comcast subscriber, and a BitTorrent user, and a supporter of Net Neutrality, this news is very disturbing indeed.  This is also disturbing from the viewpoint of a consumer – I don’t pay (well, I guess I now do) comcast to limit my usage of the internet, to decide what I can and can’t do.


The customers need to fight back.  Too often we let the companies we buy services from take advantage of us.

Court Rules in Favor of MPAA

4 10 2007

1 Song from I-Tunes – $.99

1 Song from Kazaa – $9,250

Getting fined $222,000 for downloading 24 songs – priceless fucked up

That’s right, a jury just fined a woman $222,000 for allegedly downloading 24 songs from Kazaa, the P2P network. This sets a horrible precedent and is completely ridiculous. Read about it here.