Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Comcast upload problems continue. I did receive a call today from a "concerned" Comcast rep. She did sound sincere in her intent to solve this ongoing problem. Time will tell but I will give her a chance. I will also testify at the County Cable Council meeting on Oct. 1 as well. Maybe Comcast will get the message that MC citizens just don't roll over and play dead.

Attended my local Kensington Heights citizens meeting. Very interesting presentations about the traffic congestion in Montgomery County. Looks like the Inter-County connector light rail initiative is gathering steam. It could become a reality in 10 years?

Monday, September 23, 2002

An interesting article, The Mundane Future, describes the rapid slowdown in software innovation. I have to agree that things have really ground to halt after the giddiness of the late 90's.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

I was stood up for a lunch appointment yesterday. Very odd? I double checked the email exchange that led up to the appointment and I had the date, time, and location correct. I left two voice mails and left after waiting 50 minutes. There are a number of possibilities.

1. The person forgot
2. The person had a personal emergency
3. The person really didn't want to have lunch with me

I'm ok with any of these but since I left a message and have not heard anything via phone or email I would have to rule out number 1. If more days go by without explanation I will have to conclude it is number 3? If so, why bother to agree to lunch in the first place?

Friday, September 20, 2002

Comcrap is up to their old tricks tonight. Web is very slow. I cannot upload any files. I sent an email to Comcrap tech support. They'll come back with the usual response that everything is great. Comcrap is perfect. How dare I insinuate that they have problems with their network? I've been updating my problem log - again. When I get critical mass, I'll send another email to the Montgomery County Cable Affairs office. They at least are responsive. From what I hear, they are growing weary of Comcast problems.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

In his article, The Free Software Lunch, David Henderson argues against the friendly reception that various governments have given GPL software. I think his points are flawed and miss a larger phenomenon of users wanting to retain control over their future and tools they need to use.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Here's a treasure trove of concert recordings available for download that consists mostly of Grateful Dead but also some others such as Pat Metheny and Nickel Creek (look under xtras link).

Monday, September 16, 2002

Dan Bricklin has posted a great article on the ongoing RIAA jihad against music trading, etc. As others have pointed out before, there are a lot of holes in the RIAA's arguments. As a hardcore music consumer for over 30 years, I have a lot to say about this matter and will make my own thoughts known at a later time. In the meantime, another thought provoking article is available here.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Currently at the beach with my mom. Weather was rough for the first week. NorEaster last Sunday followed by humid weather. Now that the front has come through, things are much drier and nicer.

Due to the heavy rains last Sunday, the POTS land lines have been trashed. It was very hard to get modem access all week. I called Verizon to notify them about the poor quality of the phone lines. The first thing they inform you is that it will be $80 if they determine it's your phone and not their lines that's the problem. Then I tried to explain to them where I was located and they were clueless. They couldn't find me in their database. They asked if this was a new location. Yeah, like thirty years ago! I finally just hung up since it was clear that they were not really interested in being notified that their phone lines were trashed. I bet because of their "we'll charge you $80" approach to customer service that Verizon now has a spotless customer service record because no one bothers to follow through an report and actual problem. This is very innovative of Verizon and must have been an award winning/promotion opportunity for the MBA genius who dreamed it up. When the Federal oversight committee asks Verizon to show them their complaint records, Verzion can proudly say - We don't have any. Little does anyone realize that Verzion refuses to accept a report of problem unless the consumer accepts Verizon's contract that they will, at their sole discretion, decide if it is their problem. This is truly American business at its most innovative! Not!

Anyway, the Verizon truck appears in the condo parking lot this morning. Amazingly, after it leaves all the phone lines perform perfectly. So much for who's problem it was.

Other experiences with Verizon include my ongoing AM radio phone at home. My home in MD (suburb of DC) has had a local radio station (WTOP-AM) on the line for about 5 months. Also, I frequently have a nasty buzz as well. I don't use phones much since I went to a cable modem with another not great company - Comcast. I called Verizon a while back about the AM radio on my phone and they went through their $80 song and dance. Verizon wants me to go out and dismantle my network junction box on my house and test things there. It's been too hot this summer to bother. When things cool I will devote a couple of weeks fighting with Verizon. Again, let's see whose problem this turns out to be.

It's hard to be sympathetic to ailing US business with this type of nonsense going on. It's also kind of scary to wonder where it will all end?