Blog Archives

World’s Best Graffiti VI – As you can see, I’m being lazy…

… while I’m in the process of moving houses, I’m not doing my usual political ramble (of course, I’ve had no television to pick up the political stuff, but, wonder of wonders, Comcast showed up this morning.)

Anyway, here are a few more wall art masterpieces;

I love the tiger!

Ongoing chapter of the Comcast battle…

Well… here I am after the Comcast installation didn’t show up this morning (although the man they call the site survey came yesterday and said our connection to the cable was there on the outside of the house and we were ready to go.)

Installation was supposed to show up between 8 and 10. At 11, after there was no sign of a Comcast installer, I called the delightful folks and, guess what? They had no record of an installation appointment, nor any record of our address.

So I asked the rep – Devin – (and this was the fourth guy I spoke with after 45 minutes of being on hold with three other people), how did your site survey guy know which address to come to yesterday? Devin said he didn’t know how to explain it… he tried four different ways and our address didn’t come up.

While I was holding on the phone as he checked, I got on line to Comcast.com and found on my billing account that they were billing my old home’s service to my new address… I had him look up my bill and he saw it was so. But he said the address still didn’t come up with any request to reinstall my service.

Finally, after an hour and a half on the phone, he gave me a new work order number, told me he was putting it on an emergency alert and would call me back as soon as it was set up. That was almost 2 hours ago.

I’m still waiting.

First night in the new house…

No TVComcast hasn’t shown up yet.

Dogs are going crazy…they have a long way to go getting used to a new existence.

Unopened boxes, big black plastic bags stuffed with clothes, misplaced furniture everywhere. Organization starts tomorrow (we’re lucky we have a bed ready to sleep in.)

Hope everyone out there has a great night.

Extreme violence as art…

Apparently there was some kind of football game on TV last night, blocking out what we regularly watch, so Elly and I watched a movie instead.

Christopher Walken

Since we replaced Dish with Comcast six months ago, we have access to their xfinity channel which is loaded with movies and catch-up shows that you missed during the week (wow… allows us to keep up with our favorite comedy, Big Bang Theory). Running over the free movies we discovered King Of New York  on the IFC Channel which we had never seen before.

This was a 1990 film with Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes and

Larence Fishburne

Lawrence Fishburne, which IMDB said would be a “stylish and ultra violent modern twist on Robin Hood.” When they said violent, they were not kidding.

This was the bloodiest, most violent movie I have ever seen…and all the main characters (and most of the stringers) were dead by the end of the film, having been shredded by machine guns or blown up in their cars, etc.

The problem was, we couldn’t keep our eyes off of it. This was a remarkably well-made film (Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 71%, which is not bad – 10% above the average rating). Part of their description:

The gritty underbelly of New York’s complex, ethnically divided criminal world is exposed in this dark drama from director Abel Ferrara. Christopher Walken stars as Frank White, a drug lord who’s just been released from a long stint in prison. Aware that feeding off of society’s depravity has made him a wealthy man, Frank has become determined to give something back to the city, and he hatches a scheme to build a multimillion-dollar public hospital in one of Brooklyn’s worst ghettos

So it’s a kill all the drug competition and give the millions you make selling illegal drugs to the poor. The New York locations brought my 7 years there back to mind (a particularly nasty sequence on the Flushing Line, which I used to ride home on, made me feel like I was there.)

If you can take extremely bloody conflict, endless bad language, sexual and drug manipulation and not a good guy in sight, police or criminal, take a look at this one. But don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Waiting for Comcast to call…

Image representing Comcast as depicted in Crun...

Rick, my Comcast salesman, is supposed to make one more attempt at getting someone from Comcast over here to re-install or re-configure their internet setup…the last chance they are going to have before I get this non-working setup pulled out and return to my old one (which I hardwired myself to last night… hence this post.)

Of course that means I can’t get out to do grocery shopping or other
things which usually make my Mondays. I hope this gets over pretty soon.

Sitting over at WSHC since my internet connection at home has fizzled…

From the WSHC Collection

I’m on my second day of trying to get my home internet connection through Comcast working. I had my Comcast salesman, Rick, here for two hours last night and we tried all sorts of things…and while I can see that I’m connected to the modem and the router, I am not connected to the internet.

I’m going to check the plugs (which they set up downstairs in my garage (very inconvenient) because I think somehow the modem is not connected to the Comcast cable. If that doesn’t pay off it’s back on the phone with Comcast tech support for another frustrating series of calls.

Our final decision may have to be ditching Comcast altogether and going back to the Frontier setup… I’m not crazy about the idea, but at least it works.

Sorry there is so little on the blog for the last couple of days. I’d rather be writing about the gaffes of Gov. Perry than the problems with my net connection.

Just signed up for Comcast…

… and at last we can get rid of Frontier! (We’ll save a lot of $$$, too.)

Imagine, being able to pick a TV channel selection without Sports, Religion or Spanish channels!

And we’re getting HD on the big flat screen.

The internet modem they are putting in is 12 times faster than the one Frontier set us up with.

It’ll take a couple of weeks for them to connect the cable underground to our Town House and get everything installed. I can’t wait.

AT&T “moving in a direction consumers don’t want to go,” Netflix tells Raw Story

Al Franken, Senator from Minnesota

Sen Al Franken

Found this in Raw Story:

Telecoms want ‘to put Netflix out of business entirely,’ Sen. Franken tells SXSW

Here’s a clip, but go into Raw Story and read the rest:

clipped from www.rawstory.com
Appearing in a recent panel discussion at the South by Southwest music, film and technology festival in Austin, Texas, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) warned that net neutrality, or the treatment of all data on a network as equal, was under threat by Comcast and other telecoms.
But the immediate prize for a company like Comcast especially, he cautioned, is “to put Netflix out of business entirely” by making it too costly to compete with the network owners’ video service.
Franken also discussed the recent scrape between Comcast and Level 3 Communications, which is an intermediary that works with Netflix to deliver video. Comcast demanded that Level 3 enter into a  payment agreement with them, or face being cut off from all Comcast subscribers.
“I came here to warn you the party may be over,” Franken said. “They’re coming after the Internet hoping to destroy the very thing that makes it such an important for independent artists and entrepreneurs: its openness and freedom.”
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Quote of the Day – So, after Olbermann are we next?

“The loss of Keith Olbermann is a bad omen for America. We should be aware of this loss, and do what we can to let others know its impact — how much of democracy we have lost. I’m sure if George Orwell were alive today, he would weep at this atrocity. Just as we should, but we must also stand strong against these oligarchs. We must realize that they are in control; we must support our alternative media sites so long as we can — because soon they will be taking our websites down by raising prices and by other underhanded means to silence all dissent — even on the Internet.”

– Sam Hamod, Ph.D., at http://www.todaysalternativenews.com

This Sucks! Olbermann is leaving MSNBC

I was coming back from an event in Gettysburg, PA, with Elly’s AIGA group, so I didn’t see Countdown tonite. To find this out on line when I got home is both depressing and maddening. I hope Keith turns up on another network soon… he is very important to the Progressive perception of the world.
clipped from news.yahoo.com
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann announced Friday that he is leaving the network and has taped his last “Countdown” show.
MSNBC issued a statement that it had ended its contract with the controversial host, with no further explanation. Olbermann hosted the network’s most popular show, but his combative liberal opinions often made him a target of critics.
Olbermann did not explain why he was leaving.
A spokesman said Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s president, would not comment on Olbermann’s exit. Spokesman Jeremy Gaines would say only that the acquistion of NBC Universal by Comcast, which received regulatory approval this week, had nothing to do with the decision.
Olbermann, before leaving the show with a final signature toss of his script toward the camera, thanked his audience for sticking with him and read a James Thurber poem.
He thanked a series of people, including the late Tim Russert, but pointedly not Griffin or NBC News President Steve Capus.
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Please Join Senator Al Franken to Keep Corporations from Taking Control of the Internet

Sign Al’s petition at AlFranken.com.

I did… I hope you will, too. Keeping all of our access to the internet open and free of corporate manipulation is important to all of us who live our lives on the web.

From Al Franken: The Most Important Free Speech Issue of our Time

This was in the HuffPo today… I reproduce it in full here:

This Tuesday is an important day in the fight to save the Internet.

As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate.

This principle is called “net neutrality” — and it’s under attack. Internet service giants like Comcast and Verizon want to offer premium and privileged access to the Internet for corporations who can afford to pay for it.

The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission has the power to issue regulations that protect net neutrality. The bad news is that draft regulations written by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski don’t do that at all. They’re worse than nothing.

That’s why Tuesday is such an important day. The FCC will be meeting to discuss those regulations, and we must make sure that its members understand that allowing corporations to control the Internet is simply unacceptable.

Although Chairman Genachowski’s draft Order has not been made public, early reports make clear that it falls far short of protecting net neutrality.

For many Americans — particularly those who live in rural areas — the future of the Internet lies in mobile services. But the draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections.

Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. For instance, Verizon could prevent you from accessing Google Maps on your phone, forcing you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it costs money to use and isn’t nearly as good. Or a mobile provider with a political agenda could prevent you from downloading an app that connects you with the Obama campaign (or, for that matter, a Tea Party group in your area).

It gets worse. The FCC has never before explicitly allowed discrimination on the Internet — but the draft Order takes a step backwards, merely stating that so-called “paid prioritization” (the creation of a “fast lane” for big corporations who can afford to pay for it) is cause for concern.

It sure is — but that’s exactly why the FCC should ban it. Instead, the draft Order would have the effect of actually relaxing restrictions on this kind of discrimination.

What’s more, even the protections that are established in the draft Order would be weak because it defines “broadband Internet access service” too narrowly, making it easy for powerful corporations to get around the rules.

Here’s what’s most troubling of all. Chairman Genachowski and President Obama — who nominated him — have argued convincingly that they support net neutrality.

But grassroots supporters of net neutrality are beginning to wonder if we’ve been had. Instead of proposing regulations that would truly protect net neutrality, reports indicate that Chairman Genachowski has been calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement of this draft proposal, which would destroy it.

No chairman should be soliciting sign-off from the corporations that his agency is supposed to regulate — and no true advocate of a free and open Internet should be seeking the permission of large media conglomerates before issuing new rules.

After all, just look at Comcast — this Internet monolith has reportedly imposed a new, recurring fee on Level 3 Communications, the company slated to be the primary online delivery provider for Netflix. That’s the same Netflix that represents Comcast’s biggest competition in video services.

Imagine if Comcast customers couldn’t watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast’s Video On Demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist.

That’s why net neutrality is the most important free speech issue of our time. And that’s why, this Tuesday, when the FCC meets to discuss this badly flawed proposal, I’ll be watching. If they approve it as is, I’ll be outraged. And you should be, too.

What do you think?