Rants are fun to write and read, but take them with a grain of salt.. I'm not that angry or mean of a person.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

iPhone 4 rant

Ok quick rant about the iPhone 4!

It’s new and shiny and people can’t stop talking about it!  Literally, this is all that is on the news.  Apparently if you hold the bottom of the phone a certain way, it loses signal and can even drop the call!  People are so worked up about this that there is even a class action lawsuit starting against Apple over this!  You bought a phone you had never seen or touched before and it didn’t live up to your expectations.  Someone call a lawyer.  You deserve all of Steve Jobs’ millions of dollars for this outrage!  If you don’t like it, then you can fucking return it.  You can hold it a different way, you could even buy a case for it.  You could use your iphone 3Gs.  No one forced you to buy an iPhone 4.  Sometimes things just don’t quite work as well as you’d like.

Here is a “funny” video poking fun at iphone 4 fanboys (or fangirls in this case).  It’s always easy to kick around the fanboys for a few good laughs, but of course the shopkeeper fails to bring up any of the features the iphone 4 IS actually better at, such as the high resolution retina display, the new gyroscope, the fact that it works with their numerous iphone ready accessories, and the big one:  It syncs with their iTunes. 

Actually, there is really nothing revolutionary about the iPhone 4.  What is revolutionary is still the iPhone.  Apple already has the music player market cornered with their iPods and iTunes, and when a phone was added to that: BOOM revolution in smart phones.  People like the iPhone because it’s easy.  Because it really does just work for them.  Other phones might let you install whatever app you want or have a slightly bigger screen, but until you can make the experience easier than the iPhone + iTunes, people will still want the iPhone because that’s what their smartphone experience is built around now.  If anyone wants to compete, they will have to tear customers away from their already established investment in iTunes.  It can be done, but you’ll need a prettier phone/mp3 player than even Apple can make.  Good luck.

For that reason, I still prefer my original iPhone to any of the new phones out today.  The iPhone 4 isn’t any more another revolution than a droid or evo or hero or any other iPhone killer.  But if someone wants to spend the extra money for the new iPhone 4, let them.  It doesn’t automatically make them a fanboy.  It just means they will be the first to find these issues and let the rest of us know.  That’s the risk you take with a pre-order.

Extra Bonus Rant:
It’s just a phone!  Who cares!?

Posted by eclipse on 06/29/2010 at 11:00 PM
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

10 Small but Annoying Things That Bother Me

I’ll jump on this blogging meme.

1. Stale Candy Bars
Milky Ways especially.  Most people don’t eat candy bars all the time so when you buy one, it’s usually a treat.  You’re all excited, looking forward to something special…man this candy bar is so bad for me but tastes so good…this is gonna be awesome.  Only then you bite down into it and the hard chocolate shell explodes into fucking glass shards in your mouth, breaking teeth and scraping and tearing your gums into unusable bleeding useless shards.  You cry in pain and disappointment, heavily tempted to throw the evil chocolate bar away…but after spending all day scrounging up enough change to actually buy the candy (who carries change anymore?) you just can’t bring yourself to abandon it.  With tears in your eyes, you suffer through the rest of the candy bar hating yourself the entire time and swearing to never buy that brand again.  Until next time.

2. Toll Roads
Why the hell can I drive between Cleveland and Dallas and all the cities in between for free, but to go from Cleveland to fucking Pittsburgh it costs $5 each way.  To hell with that.  Public roads should be public roads.  Every city has toll roads these days and it’s got to stop.  Public land, public use…so public funds.  The Cleveland I-80 was supposed to be a toll only to the point where they recovered the cost of building the road.  But then they decided “to hell with what we promised…we like money!”  Whiny people say “wahh…I dont want to pay for a road I don’t use”  Well tough, you pay for lots of things you don’t want to, and you benefit from it.  You benefit from your neighbor’s street because when he can get to work, the city’s economy benefits.  So stop taxing us twice and just be honest about it.

3. People who write their names at the bottom of forum posts
Especially this guy.  If I care who wrote what you said, all I have to do is look 5 cm to the left or right to see your online forum name.  Not only that, but your name doesn’t really mean anything to me anyways.  The only thing that matters is what you wrote.  You could just be a number for all I care, or it could show nothing at all.  I don’t really care.  You’re wasting hard drive space and my bandwidth, making me download all those extra bytes.  Stop it.

4. That fucking Bowling for Soup song that keeps interrupting my Top 25 playlist
Ok so I’m rocking out to some nice classic rock and all of a sudden without warning my ears are assaulted with “SHE SAID SHE NEEDED A BREAK A LITTLE TIME TO THINK” and I’m screaming obscenities in response, fumbling with my ipod…misclicking and being sent back to the main menu…can’t stop the song….  And I’m thinking, how did you get into my top 25, bowling for soup?  I don’t listen to you.  I mean, the song gave me a laugh so I downloaded it, but I certainly haven’t listened to you enough to earn a spot in the top 25.  And why can’t I get rid of you?  You’re louder than any other song in my library and I live in constant fear of you being the next song in the rotation.  I need a break.

5.  Over Politeness
In today’s service based society, the customer is always right.  This makes service employees constantly afraid of inciting any type of negative response, to the point where they’ll rip out their own kidney and give it to you as a spare if you ask.  I had this experience with AT&T recently when my internet kept going out.  I call them up and every other word out of this guy’s mouth is “Oh I’m sorry to hear about your trouble sir.  I understand and I’m going to do my best to serve you” blah blah blah for 5 minutes until I can actually get a word in to explain my problem.  Then he says the exact same fucking spiel all over again!  Stop apologizing to me!  You’re just making me madder!  I feel like a slaveowner about to beat his slave as he pleads not to be beaten…that’s not a good feeling.  I know you’re a human and I know you didn’t break my internet. Just help me fix it or transfer me to someone who can.  If you’re so fearful of being yelled at, you’re in the wrong job.

6. People saying “Roger” inappropriately.
This is a work related one.  At one point in time I was terrible on the radio too.  I admit it.  But I got better.  The point is, “Roger” doesn’t mean “yes”.  “Roger” means “I have received your transmission.”  So when ATC asks you something, and you say roger, I always want to say “…..and?….”.  It’s like answering a yes or no question with “I heard you”.  Ok, so what?  But the point is no one ever does anything about it or corrects anyone.  Like there and their, lose and loose, your and you’re, two too and to…There are mistakes and there is willful ignorance…

7. People who are walking in front of you and then stop suddenly
I don’t know where I’m going!

8. Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday
It might as well be said that on the seventh day, god wanted to eat some chickens because every time I want to go there it’s a freaking Sunday and they are closed.  I get that you are a private company and if you want to be all Christian go ahead, but hire some Non-christians because there are people who want to eat on all days of the week.  Jesus fed the poor with some bread and fish, except on Sunday when he said fuck you and watched the football game.

9. Fox cancels everything
Dollhouse and Firefly mostly.  At least they played the Dollhouse episodes in order.  Then they have the nerve to ask Time Warner for more money.  Only in the USA.

10. Some people don’t like Star Trek
They can go to hell.  Star Trek is awesome.

Posted by eclipse on 01/14/2010 at 01:01 AM
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who do we bailout?

This was originally going to be a reply to Adam’s post titled The sky is falling and Congress doesn’t see it., but it grew way too big.  Before the election he was on board with the socialism buzz word and I asked him if he really thought people were going to just stop working and mooch off the system.  I asked if we had the moral responsibility to protect people.  No one likes seeing people live for free while others struggle.

Adam says the United Auto Workers of America must be to blame for ongoing talks of auto industry bailouts.  That everyone just wants them to go bankrupt, “reduce cost” by lowering wages and wipe the slate clean. Obviously the union is fighting it - that’s what unions do.  Remember that no unionized company/industry was created that way. 

You can’t speak so callously of union workers refusing to give up their wages for the good of the company!  These workers are the ones who go into work every day and on weekends.  They don’t get to chose the cars they make, SUV or hybrid, etc.. But they will be the ones to bear the failures of their management.  They will be the ones not able to pay their mortgages, loans, and living on unemployment and welfare.  The very people Adam himself said we have a responsibility to help.

Take a lesson from the airline industry.  In September of 2001 all of a sudden people stopped flying.  Airlines had to pay salary without any income.  Pretty similar situation to today.  All the legacies went into bankruptcy except American.  Thanks to our lovely bankruptcy laws, airlines were able to throw pilot contracts into the garbage.  American pilots gave up 1.6 billion in salary, benefits, and pensions…so same thing, put 2000 of their own pilots on the street.  Pilots are skilled workers just like the UAW, and it wasn’t the pilots that made people stop flying.  But the pilots and the other “lower class” employees took the brunt.

Several years later the airlines are just starting to turn around again, and how has American given back to those employees who gave up their future, their kids futures (everyone loves the little emotional burst you get by mentioning kids), those who gave up their livelihood so management could keep trying?  By giving $21 million in bonuses to top level executives!  By giving the CEO a $6,600,000 bonus on top of his $581,000 salary for a total of $7,181,000 not including stock.  Other airlines are all the same.  Pilot salaries are down 66% since 1978 while these executives hand out pat on the backs to themselves.  So forgive me for not having any sympathy. 

What will happen if we bailout the auto industry?  I want to say let them fail but bankruptcy will just do to them what it did to the airlines.  The executives responsible will just lower the pay of the workers to cut costs and then it’s business as usual again.  What we need is some way to hold those accountable…accountable. 

Again a look at history proves this isn’t the first time we’ve bailed out Chrysler anyways.  In 1979 we bailed them out for $1.5 billion dollars.  There were many strings attached just as there should be many strings attached now.  But the point is, they paid it back! 

“Under the leadership of Lee Iacocca, Chrysler doubled its corporate average miles-per-gallon (CAFE). In 1978, Chrysler introduced the first domestically produced front-wheel drive small cars: the Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon.  In 1983, Chrysler paid off the loans that had been guaranteed by US taxpayers. The Treasury was also $350 million richer. “

I’m not an economist or even that good at money stuff, but I do know that this stuff is all connected.  Demand is down because people cant afford to buy things because we’re all scared we are losing our homes.  Probably wouldn’t be half as bad without the media telling us how we should feel, but we are officially in a recession, so demand is down.  Prices will fall until everything evens out, and then values will grow again.  It stands to reason that the government can make interest off the bailouts just as it did with Chrysler.

American cars suck.  They all look the same.  I just recently bought a German car, after shopping around.  American cars, don’t care which brand, are all big, gas guzzling, square-looking bricks.  Gas prices have been rising for years and they failed to deliver higher mpg vehicles.  It’s management’s fault, not the union.  So I say bailout the auto workers, not management.  Give the money to the company, but not to the executives.

By “Spreading the wealth”, Obama didn’t mean stealing your money from your bank and giving it to poor people.  He meant rebuilding the middle class.  Let the CEOs live with their failures, kick them out and let those who actually work get the pay!  Congress should be scared shitless!  They should get what’s coming to them!

Posted by eclipse on 11/30/2008 at 03:05 PM
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

7 Reasons Christopher Elliot is Un-American

I’m sorry to have to do this to you, but you’ll have to read this first:  |  (Local Backup)

In one of his latest epic travesties as a columnist, Christopher Elliot (yes the same guy as before) has the nerve to tell me (by definition part of the air travel industry) that I am un-American.  I’m glad the first word he wrote, in all caps in red text is OPINION.  Well here’s my opinion, Christopher Elliot: You are not a columnist, you are a script kiddie who takes cheap shots at the airline industry because it’s the cool and hip thing to do.  Is your next column going to feature “What’s the deal with airline food?  Have you heard this one?”. So when you call me a flying traitor, forgive me if I don’t think you have much credibility.  Obviously by the points you make, you don’t try to learn any history about air travel; just keep insisting that we should give you royalty status for free and maybe someday it’ll happen.

What’s so fair about flying?  EVERYTHING.  As you yourself say, “Everyone on a commercial air carrier — from the triple-titanium elite flier to the prisoner shackled to the back row of economy class — shares a plane”.  And as you’ve probably pointed out before in another post, all those people have paid a different amount to be there.  You can buy a Lexus or a Pinto and both will get you from A to B, but you pay more for the comfort.  So if you think it’s not fair that you’re squished in the back, put up the money and you’ll be riding in style up front just like the real media journalists.  You say you don’t have a problem with the pay-more-get-more model, but then completely reverse yourself with your next statement, “It’s the idea that the good people sitting in steerage class asked for less — or even deserve less ”  Of course you deserve less!  You didn’t pay for first class!  Your options are: More money for more service, or Less money for less service.  And throughout the years customers have always demonstrated that they would rather have less service and pay less.  They show this by buying the cheap tickets.  It’s why Southwest and RyanAir are doing so well.  People ask for that level of service by choosing that airline, by using their dollars.  If you want service to change, you’re going to have to ask people to pay for it.  But you’re not going to be able to do that, are you?

“This is how I see it: On the one hand, airlines have added perks for their best customers. For example, American Airlines earlier this fall introduced priority check-in, priority screening lanes and special boarding lanes for its best passengers, following the lead of several other big airlines.  Maybe you’d expect that from a legacy carrier like American. But when Southwest Airlines followed suit a few days later and added priority security lanes for its frequent fliers, it prompted my colleague Janice Hough to invoke George Orwell’s classic “Animal Farm” and conclude that some passengers were more equal than others on a one-class airline like Southwest. I’m inclined to agree”

Some people are willing to pay more.  They get the service they pay for.  That is the essence of capitalism, the American Free Market, and you call us traitors and un-American?  You’d prefer a system where everyone is treated the same for the same price?  COMMUNIST raspberry

“Many travelers use highly addictive frequent flier miles to pay for upgrades. Airline loyalty programs, as everyone who reads this column already knows, is the greatest fraud perpetrated on the traveling public. Ever.”

Plz explain.  You must have evidence for this claim.  Should people not be rewarded for loyalty?  They’ve paid more into the airline through their loyalty and I have no problem rewarding those who do.

“There’s good news for these coddled airline passengers who disagree with my perfectly reasonable arguments. There is no shortage of bloggers, journalists and airline experts who sincerely believe it’s your right to be treated like royalty when you fly while the masses behind the curtain suffer unspeakable indignities. Why not read their puff pieces instead of my column?”

Believe me I wish I could.  But someone must stand for truth.

Oh Christopher Elliot you should have stopped while you were ahe- well while you were less behind.  Let’s take a look at the three “violations” of your rights.  First you lead with: “You have the right to sit down and shut up “, explaining that there’s no freedom of press in the air.  Well after your article I wish there was no freedom of press down here too!  Put you behind bars for your baseless drivel you call an article.  Anyways, in many cases it has been shown that while you have rights to assemble, freedom of speech and press, you can’t do it on my property without my permission.  That’s right!  An airplane isn’t public property!  You don’t own it!  You don’t pay for it with your taxes!  It’s private property and therefore buy purchasing the ticket, by boarding the airplane, you are agreeing to that airline’s contract of carriage which may state that you can’t film on board the plane.  If you don’t like it, fly another airline. No one has forced you to fly on this plane!  You boarded of your own free will! 

Your laptop — and the data on it — is ours
Oh rip on the TSA for bonus points, as much as everyone hates the airlines, we all hate security even more, right?  Score some more points with your target audience: idiots.  But here’s the kicker: the TSA is a government agency (separate from a commercial airline by the way), which means that you (through your elected officials) made it this way!  So if you want something done about it, have your elected officials do something about it.  Or vote them out.  Also, “Airlines want to block certain Web sites that contain objectionable material.”  I assume you’re talking about wireless internet service starting to appear on airlines.  Of course they have to put a filter on the internet or people will spend the flight looking at pr0n!  So on the one hand the airlines have Christopher Elliot saying “Oh I should be allowed to use your private network as I see fit” and on the other hand they have whiny mothers saying “Wont someone PLEASE think of the children”.  As always, no way out for airlines.  But the fact that your blog was blocked means something is working right.

“It’s only a matter of time before airports start barring access sites with content they disagree with”

YOU’VE GOT A LOT TO WORRY ABOUT HERE CHRISTOPHER ELLIOT!!!  Always fighting against that liberal hippie airport agenda!

And the last abomination you spout out is that “They wouldn’t even treat animals like this” and how “prisoners of war are often treated better than airline passengers.”  Yeah right.  Give someone who’s been in Guantanamo Bay for 7 years the jump at a commercial flight.  Maybe you can take his place in jail without being accused of a crime.  You’d both be happy, and I would be happy.  Everyone wins!  “The Federal Aviation Administration has strict guidelines about the transportation of live animals but is strangely quiet when it comes to the comfort of human passengers.”  Christopher Elliot, I’d be happy to let you ride in the cargo compartment if the FAA said I could!  I’d even let you smoke back there but don’t set off the fire alarm or I’ll fire those halon bottles and force all the oxygen out!  Or maybe you’d like to be crammed under the seat instead of sitting on it.  I think you’d be happy for the room coach gives you when that happens. 

“But there ought to be minimum standards set by the government that require air carriers to treat their customers better than cargo.”

There were, but then you got rid of them on October 24, 1978, through the Airline Deregulation Act.

Christopher Elliot, I know you think ripping on the airlines is a great way for you to cheat your way into becoming a legitimate columnist.  You can spread all the lies and deception you want with no responsibility because you wrote “Opinion” at the top!  But I stand for something: The truth!  And I won’t let your horrible words go by unnoticed.

Posted by eclipse on 11/29/2008 at 08:06 PM
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

D-Link DSL-2320B How I loathe you.

The subject of today's rant is my old D-Link DSL-2320B modem/router. It's hard to hate something that you bought for only $10 off craigslist, but this thing drove me crazy for months. It wasn't broken equipment, DLink just made sure to cripple it for who knows why. Oh sure, on the outside it looks like a very standard piece of equipment. It's got a port for the phone line, an ethernet port, usb, reset switch etc... But to be honest this piece of junk would have worked better if it was an empty box.

I run a very standard internet setup in my apartment. There is no cable internet service, so we have DSL through Grande Communications in Texas. Despite charging us for premium service and only providing basic internet bandwith since January (now resolved), I've been pretty satisfied with their service. So I need a DSL modem which plugs into my apple airport extreme router (I know, apple what a surprise, right? Well it has a USB port I can plug our printer into so I dont need a print server). My desktop plugs into the router via cat5, all other computers/ps3 are wireless N. Giggity. What I look for in a DSL modem is simplicity. Like UNIX, do one thing and do it well. Seems like DLink's strategy is to attempt to do many things, but utterly fail at everything. Come on D-Link! It's not a complex mission I bought you for:
1:) Connect router to Grande network
2:) ???
3:) Profit!

Because I'm a hacker like yash, I decompiled the source code to the modem which is ironically written in basic:
10 Assign to self
20 Connect to grande
30 Assign WAN IP to everything
50 Disconnect from Grande
60 Goto 10

This modem refuses to play nice with the most standard router setups. My old modem before it broke had a DHCP server - that's fine with me, I put the router in bridge mode and the dsl modem gives my computers IP addresses and interwebs. Not my preferred way, but it works. It croaked, hence me getting DLINK SPAWN OF SATAN off craigslist. DLINK also assigns itself but won't give connected computers internal LAN IPs. It tries to give every computer connected the WAN IP and it fucks up. The only way I got it to work was basically double NAT, the router assigning DHCP fighting with DLINK on another subnet. Ugh squared.

But that's not even the worst part! The absolutely useless web interface gave me no info other than WAN IP and the fact that itself was 1.1. After installing the modem for the first time Alison and I found we couldn't reach certain websites like yahoo and my work website. A little google digging revealed that the MTU, or Max Transmission Unit was to blame. Basically when you transfer info over the internet the info is broken into little pieces called packets and the MTU is the largest size in bytes each packet can be. For ethernet/cable internet the MTU is 1500 bytes, which computers use standard. For DSL connections, depending on your provider, it is 1492 bytes. Normally your DSL modem will tell your computer you're connected with an MTU of 1492, but not DLINK, no way... That's way too helpful. You would think a DSL Modem would connect at a DSL MTU. There's no setting, nowhere on the unit where you can connect at an MTU of 1492. DLINK thinks it's easier and more obvious to dig through the registry to change it on your computer itself. Windows is nicer about it, and stores the registry key, but on OSX (3 out of 4 computers in my apt.) you have to change the MTU manually, via the console, every single time you reboot. Good riddance...goodbye DLINK I won't miss you.

Jo gave me his old Motorola Netopia 2210 DSL modem when I was last in OH and yesterday I replaced Satanlink with it. It's more of a dumb modem where I can have the router store the connection info and just use the box to dial out over PPPoE. Exactly what I was looking for. Easy, fast, stable. Do one thing and do it well. Thank you Jo.
Posted by eclipse on 11/05/2008 at 02:21 PM
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