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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

jtownatpunk.net Re:A government picking the winners and losers? (232 comments)

How the Hell are the consumers supposed to decide? "You guys are terrible! I'm getting my internet service from another cable company!"

4 days ago
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Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area

jtownatpunk.net Re:Awesome quote (232 comments)

Heh. I just bought a house in Charter territory. None of their customer service people have a clue about anything. At all. The day before I closed on my house, I stopped by the local office hoping I could get my cablemodem registered so I could just plug it in when I got the keys. "Sorry, we can only activate it once you're in the house. But it's just a quick phone call."

The next day, I called from the house. "You were given incorrect information. We have to send an installer to your house to connect you." "But I have the modem and there's a Charter box on the side of the house." "You have to have one of our modems." "No, I don't." "You don't have to use our modem but you have to have it in the house. There's no charge. I can have an installer out there between 3 and 5 today." I decided to just roll with it since it was such a short wait. The guy shows up, connects my cable down at the road (apparently they physically disconnect it for some dumb reason), plugs in my modem, provisions it, and admires how quickly it locks on. I didn't bother asking him why he wasn't leaving me an extra modem.

Over the weekend, I set up my ancient S3 Tivo which hadn't been plugged in for 2 years. Still worked so I called to add TV service and get cablecards. "Oh, you ended up at the wrong office but that will be really easy. They'll add it to your account and you can get the cablecards from the local office and set it up yourself. I'll transfer you to the right department." "I don't know what she was talking about. We have to send out an installer to do cablecards. I can have an installer out between 8 and 10 tomorrow." "Okay. Make sure he brings two cablecards because this old Tivo needs one per tuner." "No problem."

So the guy comes out and notices my modem. "You must have been grandfathered in or something. Charter doesn't let people use their own modems any more." "I just had service turned on Friday with no issues." "Weird. They make a lot of money on the rentals." "I was told they don't charge rental fees any more." "Weird. I'll go take the band pass filter off your connection at the road." Why on earth would there be a filter? Everything's digital now. The connection is useless without an authorized receiver. So after telling him he needs to provision one card at a time (he's never seen an S3 before) and he figures out he had the wires backwards on the tuning adapter, my Tivo's eventually up and running. A few hours later, I noticed he never connected the USB cable from the tuning adapter to the Tivo. [sigh] Fortunately, the tuning adapter had been configured properly and it seems to be working after I plugged it in.

I think it's a small miracle that I ended up with internet working on my modem and TV working on my DVR when it seems like nobody I dealt with has the slighted clue how any of their services work.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

jtownatpunk.net Re:WTF? (261 comments)

Ditto. I just checked my last 100 messages and every one of them is legit. And I've had my gmail address and used it as my primary contact for a long time. And my previous email address that dates back to the mid-90s forwards to my gmail account so they're filtering that, too.

I've had a few spells where a spam or three gets thru in a day but it stops pretty quickly after I flag them.

about a week ago
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Kmart Says Its Payment System Was Hacked

jtownatpunk.net Re:Should retailers store credit card details? (101 comments)

I guess you missed the part where it's the payment systems that are being compromised in recent hacks. The way our credit/debit system works, the retailer must have your account information for as long as it takes to process the transaction. When it's the terminal where you swipe your card that's compromised and passing a copy of your data to thieves, what can you (the consumer) do?

I wrote up a description of a payment system which never gives account information to retailers a while back but can't find it now. Basically a USB doohickey with biometric authentication (fingerprint scanner with pulse check), a small display, and a couple-three buttons. You plug it into the payment terminal (no wireless, goddamnit!) and, it makes a secure connection to the payment processor and indicates that you are conducting a transaction with Retailer XYZ. Retailer XYZ's payment terminal connects to the payment processor and says it's conducting a transaction with and you owe $119.37. The payment processor communicates the total to your doohickey via its secure connection which shows you the amount requested and asks if you for authorization to transfer $119.37 to Retailer XYZ from your primary payment account. You say yes/other account/no and the transaction either continues or is cancelled.

As long as the payment processor is secure, you're good. While that's still an issue, it reduces the points of failure significantly. It could also be used for all your authentication needs. Computers, online accounts, game consoles, secure buildings, etc. Secondary verification could also be added with SMS or a smartphone app.

Gotta do something because individual retailers all being responsible for their own security clearly isn't working. I lost my account number of 15 years thanks to the Home Depot crap. :P

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Build a Home Network To Fully Utilize Google Fiber?

jtownatpunk.net Re:Constantly amazed (279 comments)

I'm sure glad the world doesn't rely on your imagination.

Maybe I just bought NBA 2K15 on my PS4 and I don't want to wait until next Tuesday for the 46 gigabyte download to finish and I want to be able to stream an HD movie from Netflix at full quality while that's happening. And Steam's downloading 10 gigs of game updates on my computer while working on 12 gigs on the kid's computer. And my kid's streaming some educational video. And the wife is taking an online course in underwater basket weaving and she's in a video conference with the rest of the class.

Just because you have a limited imagination doesn't mean anyone who could make good use of a gigabit connection is a pirate.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Build a Home Network To Fully Utilize Google Fiber?

jtownatpunk.net Lovejoy (279 comments)

Short answer: No with a "but".
Long answer: Yes with an "if".

Real advice: Just wire it. If you've got a basement or crawlspace come up from below. If you've got an attic, come down from above. Or hire someone to do it. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. You're spending six figures on a home (I assume) and balking at three figures of improvements. How much are you thinking of spending on wireless and powerline stuff knowing it's a half-assed patch that won't maximize performance? Do the job right, do it once, and be happy.

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

jtownatpunk.net Re: Disturbing (740 comments)

Well, that works for me because I have a grandfathered Verizon account. But that's not a practical solution for most people unless all they do is surf the web and check their email.

about two weeks ago
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Infected ATMs Give Away Millions of Dollars Without Credit Cards

jtownatpunk.net Re:This doesn't add up (83 comments)

You can have a locked box inside a locked box. Just because they can easily get into the outer layer doesn't mean they can easily get into the inner layer.

about two weeks ago
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Belkin Router Owners Suffering Massive Outages

jtownatpunk.net Re:Ummm - did we forget the obvious? (191 comments)

My favorite email from my tech support days was, "I can't send email."

Ok. You can't send email so you sent me an email to tell me. And it worked so, clearly, you can send email. It was always an email address they'd mangled except when it was a .vacation message reply.

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

jtownatpunk.net Re:Disturbing (740 comments)

Then where will you get your internet, smart guy? DSL? Satellite?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan?

jtownatpunk.net It depends. (209 comments)

For me, it's been great. I've been on a year long road trip and I kept my unlimited account to use as a backup. Turns out the internet service provided at rv parks/resorts has sucked fetid donkey balls at nearly every stop. If I hadn't kept my unlimited Verizon account, this trip would have had some really annoying stretches. Instead of being my backup, it's been my primary access most of the time and I've moved hundred of gigs during some billing periods. I'm [almost] embarrassed by the amount of data I've moved the last two billing periods because I was giving Verizon a big "F you!" in anticipation of being throttled. :) I'm about a week from closing on a house so I'll be going back to cable. With the threat of throttling hanging over my account, I was planning to switch to one of those $40-50 deals. But, since Verizon's flinched on throttling people like me, I'll keep my unlimited account as a backup for as long as they let the data flow.

On a more philosophical tangent, I don't see how people put up with metered service on cell phones these days. I've got half a dozen apps that all want to sync all my pics and video automatically. I'd be paranoid that I missed a setting on some new app and it's going to eat up a gig of data before I catch it.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan?

jtownatpunk.net Re:Unlimited = No Sharing (209 comments)

You're 100% wrong about (b). I've seen me do it. I'm dong it right now. I can do it because I pay for it.

about two weeks ago
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Verizon Wireless Caves To FCC Pressure, Says It Won't Throttle 4G Users

jtownatpunk.net Re:4G is Losing to Wifi (46 comments)

Not true. You can buy your phone directly from Verizon. You have to pay full price, tho. I've seen me do it. When the S5 came out, I walked into a store (a real Verizon store, not a partner store) and explained that I wanted to make sure my unlimited data plan got transferred. Walked out 5 minutes later with unlimited data on my new phone and around $700 less dollars to my name. And I can use my old phone as a mini tablet.

The only time I've run into trouble was the last time I traveled internationally. I couldn't turn on international data on the website without picking a "valid" domestic data plan and "valid" text messaging plan. I chatted with an online rep who was able to add international data without changing my domestic plans. Also had to chat with a rep to get international data turned off when I got back. I suspect this is one of the slimy ways they're trying to push people onto metered data plans.

Verizon claims over 20% of their customers still have unlimited accounts. I think that's a load of shit for several reasons but that's what they claim.

about two weeks ago
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Verizon Wireless Caves To FCC Pressure, Says It Won't Throttle 4G Users

jtownatpunk.net Re:4G is Losing to Wifi (46 comments)

As far as I know, they only sold their A and B blocks and still have the C blocks that they bought.

about three weeks ago
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Verizon Wireless Caves To FCC Pressure, Says It Won't Throttle 4G Users

jtownatpunk.net Re:4G is Losing to Wifi (46 comments)

It's not PR spin. They're not allowed to throttle LTE service for grandfathered unlimited accounts. It's part of the agreement they made with the government when they bought the 700Mhz spectrum. They were probably hoping everyone had forgotten.

about three weeks ago
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Verizon Wireless Caves To FCC Pressure, Says It Won't Throttle 4G Users

jtownatpunk.net Hah! (46 comments)

GrumpyCatGood.JPG

I've been keeping an eye on my speed today, waiting to see the hammer come down but my connection kept chugging away. Got both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 10 at full speed.

about three weeks ago
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Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

jtownatpunk.net WTFBBQ (217 comments)

The man disembarked a flight and left. It appears he wasn't paying attention, was looking at his iPad, forgot something and walked back past (the security area).

If he got off a flight, he was already screened. Unless he left the airport grounds entirely and was out of view of security before returning, why did this require going Full Madagascar? The way it's described, it doesn't sound like he left the area. Just that he went out the exit, remembered something, turned around, and went the wrong way thru the exit. OMG EVERYBODY PANIC!

about three weeks ago
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Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist

jtownatpunk.net Re:Only good on calm days (63 comments)

You realize this thread is about something far smaller and lighter than a 350QX, right?

about three weeks ago
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Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist

jtownatpunk.net Only good on calm days (63 comments)

The trouble with little multi-rotors is that the slightest breeze sends them sailing. They're fun to fly indoors but not very useful outside.

about three weeks ago
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DuckDuckGo Now Blocked In China

jtownatpunk.net Re:Well now (82 comments)

That wasn't duck.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Are There Affordable Low-DPI Monitors?

jtownatpunk.net jtownatpunk.net writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jtownatpunk.net (245670) writes "As time goes by, I find myself supporting a greater number of users moving through their 40s and into their 50s (and beyond!). I notice more and more of them are lowering the resolution of their displays in order to "make it bigger". That was fine in the CRT days but, quite frankly, LCDs look like crap when they're not displaying their native resolution. My solution at home is to hook my computer up to a big, honkin' 1080p HDTV but that's a bit of a political risk in an office environment. "Why does Bill get a freakin big screen TV???" Plus, it's a waste to be paying for the extra inputs (compunent, s-video, composite), remote, tuner, etc. that will never be used. And a 37-47" display is a bit large for a desk.

So here's my question: Is there a source for 24-27" monitors running at 1366x768 that are affordable and don't have all of the "TV" stuff? Or is my only choice to just buy 27" HDTVs and admonish the users not to watch TV? (And, no, just giving them big CRTs is not an option. Most people would rather stare at a fuzzy LCD than "go back" to a CRT.)"

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