June 30, 2009

Firefox 3.5 - Is Now Available

They've been working on it for a while and now it's here!  Released today - the newest version of Firefox***.  If you're using an older version - get the latest.  If you've never used it, try it out.

*** please note that (as usual) there are still some plugins that don't work with the latest FF.  Hopefully they will be updated very soon.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 10:14 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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June 22, 2009

If You Don't Like It Don't Buy It!

Instapundit doesn't like the sound of this. Wired is worried.


Apparently Apple is picking and choosing which apps they will allow to run via the 3G network and which they only allow via wi-fi.

Free Press alleges that Apple crippled SlingPlayer, a TV-streaming application for iPhone, so that it would only work on a Wi-Fi connection; the initial version worked with a 3G cellular network connection as well as Wi-Fi. The SlingPlayer restriction is inconsistent with Apple’s approval of the Major League Baseball application, which provides live-streaming of sports events on both Wi-Fi and 3G connections, the group said.

“That strikes us as odd and potentially nefarious because it really represents a carrier picking and choosing applications for consumers as opposed to letting consumers decide which videos they want to watch,” said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press. “It’s exactly the sort of thing you’d expect in an internet experience that’s controlled by the carrier.”

Oh how dreadful of them.  Because we all know that the iPhone and AT&T are the only devices and network available.  Right? 


From what I read in the wired article they admit that the bandwidth is simply not available to accommodate all data via 3G.  Are you shocked? Are you ready to throw a temper tantrum? 

My guess is that AT&T sold the bandwidth to the highest bidder - that would be MLB, how eeevil of them.  They didn't totally disable slingbox, they simply made it contingent upon using wi-fi rather than the phone network.  They are satan! Boo-Hiss. 

Oh my.

For those who are stamping their feet in rage, it's time to stop acting like a three year old.

My son has AT&T but not an iPhone.  He's in the Chicago area and he frequently can not get a cell signal to use because the towers are too busy.  That is with regular cell traffic - without the benefit of major video downloads happening.  With unlimited downloads, there would be no usable cell signal most of the time. Now there's a thought!  You have unlimited data, but no way to access it. Oh good, that's a step in the right direction! 

Now here's a little hint for you.  There are other phones and other carriers, use them instead if this bothers you.  You know - free market and all that.  One wonders if Free Press (the group doing all the vocal protesting) has heard of this unique method of doing business.  Upon consideration, one thinks not.

There is a tiny little item they fail to mention when moaning about the lack of video via 3G - and I consider this to be an utter failure if you are going to rant about limited video access.  Nowhere in the article is it noted that there is a 5G limit on data usage on nearly every carrier - then you pay huge fees over your regular monthly bill. Guess what uses bytes of data on par with an oil gusher... yeah, video.   Oops. Many people have been badly burned by this to the tune of $2000+ per month.  I suppose making a note of this would put more than a wet blanket on their argument. Better to ignore it as if it doesn't exist.

Of course there is the techie liberal solution to everything...

Biba said an even better solution would be if more cities deployed free Wi-Fi coverage to offload the stress from carrier networks.

Gotta love that word "free".  The city will provide!  Don't ya love it when the city just gives us stuff.  Maybe he can answer a few little questions for me.  You know, those niggling little questions that aren't explained when people start talking about the city giving "free" stuff.

- where is the "free" equipment coming from? 
- where is the "free" labor to install the network coming from? 
- where is the "free" labor to administer and run these "free" networks 24/7/365 coming from?
- where is the "free" labor to work 24/7/365 to repair network breakdowns?
- where is the "free" help desk for people who have problems connecting to the network?
- which ISP's will be giving away "free" bandwidth to cities?

That's just a few of the questions I have about "free" city wi-fi. The list could go on for pages.

What is it with these people! They all want something for nothing.  There is no such thing.  There never will be. 

AT&T and the iPhone are not a monopoly. What you have to decide as a consumer is this, does that particular phone offer you enough of what you want for you to put up with the things it does not offer?  If the answer is no, then find a different phone. But for heaven sake quit whining because you can't have everything you want for "free".  And please quit griping about the cell phone companies getting "rich" at your expense. You don't like it, don't buy it. 

Time to grow up.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 11:04 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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June 09, 2009

Just Because You Lock Your Doors Does Not Make You Paranoid

We interrupt this blog post for an important alert!

BIG Microsoft patches out today. If your machine does not automagically download and install - please take the time to get the patches! Thank you.

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled blog post...

Most of us who live in populated areas will lock our doors at night or when leaving the house. You know... just to make sure someone doesn't wander in who doesn't belong there. And if we lock doors, we don't give out keys to every person who needs to come in and fix something.

The same can be said of different accounts on your computer.  From the computer itself to email accounts.  You don't give out the password to anyone who wants it.  And if you must give out a password, then once the problem is fixed, you'll need to change it. Just like you'd change a lock on your house if your key was left somewhere.

Today I had to make a trip to the Verizon store. Two days ago my blackberry suddenly stopped receiving emails. I could send them. The text messenger worked. The phone worked. It was only receiving emails that was affected. Out of the blue. For no reason I could determine.

I looked through everything. I hadn't changed anything lately. Got on my online account. Got on my gmail account. Checked settings everywhere. This account is hooked to my bb and desktop - has been from the beginning. The desktop pop account email downloaded to my desktop fine - it was only the blackberry imap with a problem.

So I took it in. The tech guy was very nice. But he couldn't figure it out. Part of it was that I couldn't remember my login to the web account page. He had to call their data support center. Nice woman. She tried several things and eventually she asked me for my gmail password.


After giving it to her I commented, well, now I'll have to go home and change it once my account is back. Her response: Oh you don't have to do that! I never remember these passwords. People give them to me all day. They go in one ear and out the other. Also, you'll lock yourself out of the account again!

Can I say, my jaw about hit the floor! I just gave her the password to a major email account and I'm supposed to now leave it all alone because she won't remember it? Is she nuts?  I'll lock myself out if I change my password? Has she got a clue?  Does she think bb email would work if EVERYONE who changed a password had to call her (or one of the other techs) and tell them the new password so the account could be reset??? 

After the tech guy got done and email was working. I told him about the change of password and HE said.  Oh no, you can change it, but it would be easier if you just deleted the email account and reentered it again.


OMG - what is WRONG with these people?  

NO! No and No and No and NO!  I got home, changed my email password.  Then I got into my online account for bb at verizon, edited the current email account and changed the damned password.  It all works now.


Let me reiterate... if you EVER have to give out a password for the purpose of getting something fixed.  Always ALWAYS change it as soon as everything is working again.  Never trust that someone isn't keeping a list. 

Also, with email software like BB, it is not complicated to change passwords.  It can't be or the entire system would break under the load.  Many thousands of people have reason to change their passwords every day of the year.

Yet another example of how cavalier people are about the safety of your stuff.  If you lose your account due to hacking - it's not a problem for them.  Remember that the next time someone tries to tell you that giving out your password is no big deal.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 02:43 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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June 07, 2009

My Internet is Down

UPDATE:  Apparently it was a wider spread problem since my neighbor was also down. They had more complaints and did get it fixed this afternoon.  Yay!

So last night I noticed that my internet connection was out (well really make that around 1am). It's never been down all on its own for more than 45 minutes since we moved in here. Called them. No major outages. So I might be down til tomorrow afternoon when they can get a tech out. So I'm back to blackberry blogging. ARG!!!

Posted by: Teresa in System at 12:06 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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