Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IChat google Talk troubles

So I all of a sudden started having intermittent trouble logging into with Apple's iChat. Just before conceding I remembered a bug that I discovered in Leopard where any password with a '?' in it would be rejected. So I decided to change my very easy password to something different, when I did this I noticed that the new passwords had a minimum requirement of 8 characters. Once I changed it I no longer got the log in error! So If you are having iChat problems try updating your Google password, because I worked instantly for me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Car that runs on water?

So I saw this and like most things that are too good to be true, this one probably is (too good to be true that is). The thing that surprises me the most though is how the media has posted it without any background work. It would be really cool if this thing did work but I would be willing to bet a lot on it. If this car can really do the things that it says it can do, we are going to have to rewrite a lot of physics books.

First check out the video...

Now that you are all excited and thinking about how you can buy a jug of water and run your car on it...

Check out the skeptics opinions on Wikipedia here.

Now we all know that Wikipedia is not the authority for what is correct, but these things are not so off base. I will be very interested to see what becomes of this little miracle car, and if it does work how quickly is it going to disappear?

Not to get all conspiracy theory, because theoretically this car is just as possible as learning to fly to work like superman, but Big Brother government doesn't like things that it can not tax. Think about it. Cigarettes are legal, but pot is not. They are both health risks, but you can grow your own pot and the government makes a lot of money off of those cancer sticks. All of our traffic infrastructure is paid for at least in part by fuel taxes. do they tax water? According to that video I can refuel the car with salt water. That is going to make the return trip from the beach really cheap.

Look out Verizon you have competition...

So I was on the phone for 2 hours this morning with Earthlink support. To say the least they were rude and unhelpful. I have be an Earthlink customer since October of 2002, and whether it was a technical problem or an ignorant oversight my account was completely deleted or purged from their system.

I noticed that I had stopped getting the annoying forwards from some distant relatives that only had my old Earthlink email address. I have been using gmial and they were just fine using the Earthlink address, and since I had it forwarded to my gmail account I was just fine with that too. Then I decided that I was going to use one of those old addresses to sign up for an online offer, and was unable to get email conformation. SO I sent a test email, and it bounced. Ok no big deal I will just go to their site and check the account settings...

So the very long story kind of short is that the account was deleted and there was no trace record anywhere in their system. No one knew anyone about this, and proceeded to tell me that I was delusional and that I never had an account. When I asked to have the issue escalated to have someone more competent deal with the problem I was told that since I was a "free email user" I was not entitled to customer support and was promptly hung up on.

Is that any way to treat a long term customer? Apparently this was not the first time this has happened and a google search will show more similar cases that strangely started around the same dates.

Earthlink sucks...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The best thing to come out of a email forward...

So a friend of mine sent me a message today with the very enticing subject of "FW: Has it Come to This?" To anyone who knows me that is like a shiny quarter to a kid, try as I might I am not able to resist, and to top it off the name of the file was gas.wmv. After a nice leisurely lunch with my mathematician friends about the current energy problem the world is facing I could not resist.

There is one problem though, wmv is a windows format for movies and is not supported by quick time. As far as reasons why, I will resist the leap into that rabbit hole and go with "just because." So not to be outdone by Uncle Bill I started looking for my favorite kind of software solution, free!

My Google search first brought me the flip-4-mac free version, but I really like to avoid the trial versions of things if I can help it. Then I happened to remember the VLC media player that I have used on Linux machines for years, and on their website they have the mac version on center stage. The installation was super easy (drag the app to the applications folder) and now I have watched the movie. The movie was funny, but now I am prepared for whatever procrastination inducing forwards find their way into my inbox!

Seriously, it is a great app and I recommend it for Mac or Linux, and I would wager that it would use less resources than QuickTime, Windows Media Player, or iTunes on the windows platform. It was a little heavier on the memory usage, but lighter on the cpu than QuickTime or iTunes on the Mac with an audio file.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Car flipped over on E Cameron in front of the Math Department...

Thanks to a hot text message tip by Mike, I was able to video the car being flipped back over. I feel bad for the guy but you have to be more careful. I have to think that you would need to be going faster than the 10 mph speed limit to flip the car over.

Here are also some still images of the after math...

I am not sure but I think that Mike talked to someone that saw it happen.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bush rant!

This was the best rant on George W. Bush that I have heard in a long time. It was a video on the MSNBC website by Keith Olberman.

I just wish that he had not ended the segment the way that he did. The "goodnight, and good luck" detracts from the point, and makes it seem a bit less genuine. I am sure that more could be said, but it is a start. Can you imagine the looks on the faces of the white house staff after that message?

The big question is going to be... I wonder what is going to happen the Mr. Olberman in the upcoming weeks? Will he disappear? Have a freak accident? I don't know, but I can hope nothing happens!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Verizon fiasco update

All things considered I wish that Verizon had treated me better from the get go about this whole crappy phone thing, but I did receive two calls over the weekend from a Verizon regional director who seemed very concerned about me getting the phone that I deserved. He was apologetic and even went so far as to leave his cell phone number on my voice mail. It is just a shame that it takes a letter to the CEO of a company to get recognized. It almost seems like they put these policies in place that cause them to alienate their customers in the name of money, and then spend the rest of their time fighting against these policies to keep the customers they already have.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why do you hate Verizon?

So you could say I spend a good deal of money with Verizon wireless. A $300 palm treo, $85 per month for the service and that is after my 20% discount that I get for working at a major university. One would think that this would at least make your monetary contributions to the Verizon empire at least worth acknowledging, right? Apparently not.

I have had a lot of trouble with my Treo 700p (I have had 3) and after doing some research found that very few people were having the same problems with the 755p. I thought that it was not to much to ask Verizon to replace my 700p with a 755p since they were the same price on the website and considering that I have been a loyal customer for so many years. They did not agree, and in fact they offered to let me "upgrade" early.

"So let me get this strait," I asked, "you want to LET ME give YOU another $300 so that I can have a phone with the same processor and memory etc?" Apparently that was what the salesman had in mind. At that point is became more about the principle of the matter than it was about the actual phone. I visited the store daily and called every Verizon number I could find trying to get someone to see things from my point of view. I even went so far as to email the CEO. In case you are interested the contact information for many of the Verizon executives is listed on I never got a reply to my email and if it was not for a guy named Jason at my local Verizon store I think I would still be fighting with them over the phone.

That being said I can not believe that I even for a moment considered using their new fiber optic service. I tried to use their web page to see if the service was available in my area, but by this point I should know very well that service is not what Verizon is about. They have an applet that is worse than a bad phone give it an address and it gives you a wrong match...not even close...given the option to say "no that is not correct," it goes through the same loop again. You can type it in again (like me typing in the wrong address is the most likely error). Any engineer that was worth his salt would at least give the user the option to select from the closest matches, right? So I call the provided number to talk to a guy who wants my name phone number and address so he can tell me that he can't help me that I need to call a local number. Why can't that be the first part of our exchange? So I call that number, and I get a Lady who is rude and apaprently using the same website I was using in the first place!

I guess the article I read the other day where the CEO was ranting and raving about how miserable his customers made him should have clued me into the fact that Verizon could care less about their customers.

Verizon is the only company in the world that makes Time Warner look good! Their slogan should be "It's all about the network, and you...yeah we couldn't care less about you!"