Well, to be honest, you only think you're getting 20Mbps service. I say this because I've been paying Comcast for that level of service, but in point of fact I've been extremely lucky the last seven months to get even 8Mpbs.
Why do I know this? Well, after finally noticing that my average speed was much slower than 20Mbps, I spent 3 months doing hourly speed tests tracking my actual average speed. It turned out my average speed was in the range of 7.5-8Mbps. A major portion of the problem was the modem Comcast had installed. The standard Arris modem was just not capable of adequately handling 20Mbps speed. After complaining about this to tech support last week I finally got a tech (who actually knew her job, or cared about it), that installed an upgraded version of the Arris modem which resulted in noticeably faster download speeds.
Unfortunately, whether or not you can get this upgraded modem depends VERY much on just how good your Comcast tech repairman really is. I can tell you that ping speeds, at sites I regularly test at, have gone over the last week from an average of 150-200ms to 20-40ms, which is quite a significant improvement. I'm still testing to see what that improvement translates to in terms of Mbps speed.
So, as a note to Comcast subscribers, if you're paying for the higher level speed packages (16-20Mbps) and having speed problems, make sure Comcast installs a modem capable of actually handling those speeds.
I should mention that I'm rather lucky in that almost all the other people on my node are extremely light Internet users. The node consists of a series of close together senior housing apartment complexes whose tenants pretty much only watch TV. So, problems of maximum node Internet use are virtually non-existent, which pretty much means any problems with speed are solely due to Comcast hardware problems.
Phone Calls are for Old People? Just not Efficient Enough
I totally agree with Ken and Gracey. In my case, being 65, I guess its a 'generation gap' issue.
Whatever the case, I gotta admit that this is the very first blog article of yours that I 100% disagree with. In point of view, it's a boat load of BS.
While I had my cell phone I infinitely preferred that some one just call me, and forget about texting me. When I had text messaging on my business cell phone at least 90% of all text messages were pure drivel, for which I had the unwanted pleasure of also paying for. It annoyed me so much that I very quickly turned text messaging off, as in totally unavailable. Thereafter my cell phone was strictly a 'voice only' phone and if someone wanted to 'text' me they could damn well just send me an email on their own dime.
One of the pleasures of selling my business and retiring was the absolute joy I had in smashing it into pieces with a hammer and tossing it into the nearest garbage can. Having a cell phone was a business necessity, but not a necessity I enjoyed. Plus, after 5 years with AT&T, it was also quite enjoyable to tell AT&T to take their contract "early cancellation" fee and shove it where the sun didn't shine.
But you were right about one thing, voice mail is sheer unadulterated torture. I can't avoid it when calling out, but if any incoming calls start off with automated voice the phone is immediately hung up. As you said, it's very rude. I'm one, of probably millions, who detest and abhor voice mail in any its forms.
If anybody ever invents and markets a phone that can, on incoming calls, automatically detect automated voice and immediately hang the phone up, I will buy it in a heart beat and hang the expense!!! Just think of all the asshole (pardon my French) politicians, and fly-by-night charities, that I'd never have to spend another second listening to!!!
Your comment is pretty much spot on, except for "if you don't trust your doctor, you probably shouldn't have gone there in the first place".
That comment is forgetting that for a great many people, economics and/or their HMO's dictate that control over which doctor they see can, and frequently does, vary from minimal to totally outside of their control.
This TechDirt article does lightly touch upon something that is frequently quite aggravating, namely doctors that have a range of attitude from a "poor bedside manner" to downright "need their ass kicked" arrogant jerks. By my experience, sad to say, the field as a whole suffers from a rather high proportion of undeserved self-inflated egos.
This is one of the reasons why over the last 40-50 years, for many people, the medical profession as a whole has lost the automatic respect it once had. Over the last forty years or so I've talked with more than a few people who rate doctors on about the same level as mechanics, only better paid. That pretty much illustrates the level of respect to which the profession has now sunk, and the profession has only itself to blame. On the brighter side, it does seem that at least some parts of the profession have recognized this situation and, at least minimally, are beginning to consider how to remedy it.
The sad thing about that picture is that some DVD's over the last several years have been exactly that bad.
Over the last several years I've built up collection of about 1,000 DVD's, mostly re-releases of old 1950's and 1960's movies (every John Wayne movie for example), but also a whole lot of new movies. After a while I got extremely pissed off at DVD's I bought that matched the profile shown by that picture.
When I buy a DVD that's pretty much like the one described in that picture, I create/burn 10 edited copies, CD/DVD labels, and package them. Just so know, copying/editing a DVD is ridiculously simple. Then I give them away to whoever wants the movie. I've been doing that for about 3 years now.
Does it cost the movie companies money, you bet, that's the whole purpose of the exercise even if it is penny ante. My business partner and I, before we retired, used to call this type of thing an asshole tax, applied when we had to put up with jerks.
Is giving the copies away illegal, oh hell yes (making copies of your legally purchased DVD's is NOT illegal, the DCMA does NOT trump that right, I do carry it to an extreme though). Do I give a good damn if it's illegal, not one little bit.
I'm sure this will seriously offend some of the apologists here but, again, I don't give a good damn if it does. It'll probably help keep their noses bent out of shape.
My God, lawyers with a sense of humor, and not afraid to show it!!! Will wonders never cease!!
Seriously though, the commenter above who mentioned that 'a judge with a sense of humor' will certainly help is probably right, although one thing the civil court system really needs is more briefs like this one.
Personally, if I lived in Missouri, I'd write down the address of that kids legal team and run, not walk, to them if I ever needed legal advice or services. They're my kind of people and, as lawyers go, probably rarer than living dinosaurs...
Re: Re: Re: A Solution to Credit Card Problems that Works...
If someone is financially challenged due to low pay etc., then the absolute last thing they need, or should want, is a credit card. The high interest rates, which will be very high because they're likely to have a low credit rating, will eat them alive and make a bad situation even worse. It comes under the heading of 'false savings'.
Unfortunately, people in either of the situations you mention are also the same people who the credit card companies aggressively court, knowing they're quite likely to over-charge a credit card. Good Lord, my own son started receiving credit card solicitations the day he turned 18, and this was a kid still in school with basically no disposable income at all.
Over my 21 years in the USCG I was constantly counseling kids to save money and avoid expensive contracts on a young mans fancy, usually way too expensive upscale cars, motorcycles, or stereo systems. I was lucky if 1 in 10 paid attention and bought what they could afford, and do without if they couldn't. Most were in constant debt because they were more interested in buying 'right now' instead of budgeting towards a future purchase with cash in hand. Instant gratification instead of common sense!
I guess for most folks, especially young ones, it's hard to think about that 'down the road' age of 65 (67 these days I guess). It does require some will power.
I was lucky as a kid in that one of my Dad's constant mantras was financial responsibility, and putting away each month to prepare for retirement. Fortunately for me, I was smart enough to follow his advice.
It's an easy solution actually, but probably not for everyone.
Back in the 70's I cut up my two credit cards after both card companies pissed me off with obvious "rip'em and gouge'em" penalty fee schemes designed to extract even more money over and above the regular monthly payment (which I generally triple paid). I think the biggest balance I ever had on the two cards combined was somewhere around $400. I don't think I was too popular with either company because I didn't charge enough on either card to suit them. The only concession I make towards cards now is using a Debit Only card so I don't have to carry cash.
I haven't had a card since then, and have never missed them, mostly because I've pretty much run my life on the principle that if I haven't got the money I don't have any need to buy it. Take half the money you'd spend using a card and put it into a retirement fund instead, it's amazing how fat it can get when you do that.
Life is much nicer when you're never in debt.
It's a solution that many people obviously don't believe in.
Regardless, patent attorneys are your worst nightmare. We have the tenacity of attorneys and the calculation of engineers.
You forgot to mention greed and an obvious total lack of concern about the effect of said greed upon any business or person. They could care less about who they hurt so long as they get their money.
Just another reason these days why so many people rank lawyers as being lower than dog shit.
Obama Fighting For His Blackberry... But May Be Losing
I don't know why he should be losing, or even why the subject is considered important enough to be discussed in the news.
Granted, the security folks, Secret Service etc., will have their objections concerning his security, but when it comes right down to it, all they can do is advise. I don't really see how they can force him to give it up. When it comes down to the final decision it's his choice to make, not theirs, on how much he follows personal security routines.
Myself, in his shoes, I'd just tell them to go to hell and I'll use the phone. The Secret Service folks wouldn't like it, but ultimately it's still his decision to make, not theirs.
If I remember correctly, way back at the start of Clinton's first term there was a bit of a brouhaha over security on his daily morning runs. Clinton finally gave in enough to allow one security agent to accompany him on those morning runs. The Secret Security people distinctly didn't like it, but all they could do was advise, not command. The final decision wasn't for the Secret Service to make.
So, if Obama wants to use his Blackberry, in spite of any increase of personal security it might cause, it's his choice and more power to him. It's his life and his decision on just how much of a security blanket that will be around him. You don't give that up just because you became President.
Personally, I think it's ridiculous that there is even all this much discussion about the subject. It tell's me that the newspapers/TV new/reporters either have too much time on their hands or it's a slow news month and they aren't capable of thinking of anything else important enough to comment about.
No wonder I quit reading newspapers for my news! I get it faster and, more importantly, with considerably more accuracy via the Internet.
Blanket insult is inaccurate in that my statement was qualified by the modifier "many", and based upon many comments in threads pertaining to patented subject matter involving arts such as electronics/computers/pharma/etc. it seems apparent that many who are making disparaging comments do not have backgrounds in science/engineering and the like.
This is an argument I've heard and seen used many times by those who want to disparage those disagreeing with their "lofty" knowledge of whatever subject was being discussed.
It is, of course, a specious argument. It's used when the author wishes to "talk down" to his audience, basically saying, see, "I'm smarter than you, so you should do as I say".
Bluntly put, "a background in science/engineering and the like" is not necessary requirement to write or speak intelligently on the subject. It helps, of course, but all that is really required is a modicum of intelligence, some common sense, and the habit of keeping abreast of events in those fields. Experience acquired over ones life time also comes into play.
Nice try AC, but it doesn't wash...
And, just so you know I'm not one of those "Many" you refer to, my background is specifically in Electronics Engineering and Computer Science, and well over 40 years of experience in those and related fields.
Re: Live Q&A Sessions and problems on my end with it...
Sigh.... Guess I should have done more troubleshooting before sending my first post. My apologies for writing before actually covering all the bases first. [BLUSH]
It was a problem with the Tech Dirt email list, but it wasn't with the Q&A story. Much further down in the email list in tonights email was this one: 3D Virtual Worlds Patented! Lawsuits Started. This story has an embedded video in it and, for some reason I can't figure out, the default action for the video is to immediately start playing as soon as I select the Tech Dirt email list in Eudora. Very weird.
If you know why this is happening, and whether it can be prevented from happening in the future on either yours or my end, again, I'd love to hear about it.
Live Q&A Sessions and problems on my end with it...
I really hate to carp, but you really need to make a change, of some sort, in the software you're using with this Q&A stuff in combination with the Tech Dirt email list.
So far, each time I've gotten the daily Tech Dirt email list that has the embedded code in it for the Q&A session, two things happen.
One is that my browser is automatically run (Firefox/IE7/Maxthon 2, it happens with all three of them) even though I don't want to take part in the session, or see/hear replays of it. Not nice behavior on the part of the software.
Secondly, I listen to music while I read my email. BUT, as long as my email program is running (Eudora), if there's a replay of the session it automatically starts playing. The only problem then is that there is no way that I've been able to find to turn it off. I can either turn the volume all the way down and NOT listen to my music, or I can shut down Eudora. Which means if I want to read my email I'm stuck with listening to a voice program I have no interest in listening to. Again, not nice program behavior.
You'd think there'd at least be an option available to me to tell the software that, no, I don't want to listen to it.
I hate to say it, but it's really annoying.
If you know of a way to get this to stop I'd sure be interested in hearing about it. I'm guessing there's some possible combinations of unintended software/hardware interactions that the software/email list authors didn't take account of.
Anyway, I'm open to suggestions of how to solve this problem short of unsubscribing to the Tech Dirt email list.
No, not really...
More often than not I find that Amazon, and most other on-line book stores, seldom have the books I'm looking for, especially in hard cover books, unless it is a recently published book. To get them I always end up back at the book store, usually Barnes & Noble, ordering it through the store catalogs.
The other reason I think book stores will never die out is that, while it's very convenient to shop on-line if you're in a hurry, it can never replace the pleasure of perusing the bookshelves and reading bits and pieces of books looking for new authors. I guess you have to be a "reader" to appreciate that, but you will never get that experience on-line.
It all depends on how much of a hurry you're in. I'm not, so I enjoy putting in an hour or two a month working my way through the book shelves.
Ignoring the useless, if not idiotic, comments about syntax I can see that you actually got the point.... As in my level of care under the described circumstance is 'zero'. Hmmm, I guess, if we ignore your snobby elitest comments (or however else you want to describe them), that means the phrase "couldn't care less", served to get the point across, even to you.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, how about concentrating on the subject of the blog post and skipping the snotty syntax lessons. This is isn't a forum on English syntax.
Well, about all I can say about the general subject of "After The Fact EULA's" is that I could care less about what "any" EULA says, if the only way I can see it is after I buy the product in question.
Any company that wants me to abide by an EULA had better make the sale conditional upon acceptance of the EULA "before" any cash changes hands. Otherwise I just ignore the EULA and do as I damn well please with the product. It should go without saying that I could care less if the company does, or does not, like it.
I suspect there are more than a few million other people who both feel and act the same way I do. I also suspect that as a practical matter "After The Fact" EULA's are completely unenforceable.