TECHNOLOGY: Texting sucks

2021-Jul-23 2148

Texts have been really screwed up on the TMobile network.  All sort of weird crap going on.  Texts to and from TMobile are just going into the bitbucket.

My work around is just to use the damn phone as a voice call.

All communications protocols SHOUD BE authenticated and error-resistant!



RANT: It’s just a little loss of service!

Argh! I don’t feel “valued”!?

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Dear Valued Verizon Customer,

We are contacting you to provide information on some upcoming changes to the Premier and Extreme HD FiOS TV channel line-ups that will affect you. The changes will be effective on or after July 23, 2012 and are being made to better streamline and consolidate FiOS TV programming. Please refer to the chart below for the specific changes.

Current FiOS TV Channel Current Programming Change Effective on or after July 23, 2012
106 CNBC World Channel will be removed from FiOS TV Premier and Extreme HD
226 MNET Channel will be removed from FiOS TV Extreme HD

The most current FiOS TV listings are available at We look forward to continuing to provide you with the very best entertainment.


Your Verizon Team

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FUN: Early morning wakeup

“Thanks, construction workers, for the <Expletive Deleted> 0530 wakeup call!”, thought Grumpy on Saturday morning.

(How kool is that referring to myself in the Third Person. Makes me feel more of like a writer than a mere blogger.)

After I was up from ~0200 to ~0400 with “the baby”, who couldn’t sleep.

(That’s me again in the third person. That’s how I think on myself when I can go back to sleep after a bad dream, on of any innumerable WC visits thanks to the Rx diuretic, or when I get the “next great idea” like online backup.)

It was really OK. Really.

See the Verizon phone doesn’t know the diff between workday weekday and weekends. Probably the kids in China who build and programmed the phone don’t have weekends off.

So the 0530 call was followed by Verizon’s 0600, 0615, and 0630 alarms.

(The 0600 is the worst. Reveille! For a minute, I think I’m back in basic. And I couldn’t find the phone so I had to hear it twice. How did it get under the bed? Hiding from the “dancing girls” that were in last night. In my dreams.)

Followed the corporate Berry’s at 0730. (I know where that was hanging from it’s charger in the kitchen. If it does get it’s full charge, it dies during the day and then the battery needs to be replaced. (Great engineering guys in China!) Which means I have to walk it two buildings over to “support”. (Boy, do I miss Wall Street. “Yes, Mister Reinke, sorry you’re having a problem. I send someone to replace it immediately. Is he there yet?”)

So, I’ll just say my “child like” prayer for all the people I’ve just maligned.

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*** begin quote ***

This Guest Book has been kept open until 4/16/2012 by Memorial Oaks Funeral Home. After that date, it will remain available for viewing-only, unless sponsored.

*** end quote ***

LEGACY, the obituary site, has new level of “service”.

Before, Guest books disappeared unless sponsored. Now there appears to be a third alternative — probably a deal struck with the funeral homes for free advertising — the guest book remains readable, but not updateable. Big win for LEGACY. Puts a LOT of pressure on folks to eternalize.


All in all I think it is progress.

Which all “services” would improve their offerings! Are you listening PAYTRUST, YAHOO, MICROSOFT, 1AND1, Verizon, and AT&T? Just a quick top o’ the head list incomplete and in no particular order. Argh!

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FUN: A Hug From Taylor Swift (Revision 2.0)

A Hug From Taylor Swift Part 1

A Hug From Taylor Swift Part 2

A Hug From Taylor Swift Part 3

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Learnings from the Taylor Swift’s Auburn video

1) YouTube and Verizon have issues

Watching a YouTube video is a mess. You can figure out what the technical dimension the problem is. Users don’t have access to the diags necessary to tell where or what the problem really is. What’s worse one always has to be suspicious that either or both have their “thumb” on the scale. Verizon to sell FIOS or 4G. YouTube to extract payment from the ISPs.

2) YouTube software

Try resetting a video to someplace other than the beginning. Doesn’t work for me. But shouldn’t it DL the file to you so you can play it over and over. You shouldn’t need a utility or another site to collect it for you. Plus why can’t we have one open standard for video.

3) Assumption

You have to admire the innovation of these two Auburn guys, and one webmaster, for their ability to capture the essence of the inet and social media. Taylor Swift gets kudos for finding them, challenging them, and making the event. Of course, if I made 35M$ last year, I’d take a chance. Maybe not! It could have been a bust. So there was some risk in it for her. She could have been playing to an empty house. Not very likely. She could have leaked it to her fan base minutes before and I’m sure the tweens and teens would have packed the joint. I know I’d have gone. Everyone won. They got their hug; she got the buzz.

4) Make it happen

You have to admire these fellow’s ability to “instantiate” their vision. The Eastern philosophies always suggest that vision precedes actuality. These fellows demonstrated that principle. Or is it a meme? You have to visualize the end and the Universe will “make it so”. To steal a Star Trek line.

5) Noblese oblige

Taylor Swift exemplifies this meme. She could have, but never has, sat in her tour bus and counted her pennies. How to say one of her CPAs wasn’t doing this for her ( i.e.: “Taylor, do realize what this is going to cost you?” “So, how much is five million hits on YouTube worth in terms of paid downloads?”)? She seems propelled by human emotion. But buzz does translate to dollars, so she can be ‘frisky’. Knowing that the “buzz” is worth gazillions. That doesn’t diminish her. She really is an icon.

6) Fun

You have to be “hard hearted” not to enjoy the serendipity of the whole scenario. Other than a “young girl skirt” around some rowdy college students, one would be hard pressed to find a flaw in the whole video. Marginally, one can feel bad for the campus and her security people who had to make her safe. You can see the expressions on their faces that they were not happy on what should have been a sleepy afternoon. You have to wonder how the many folks who were “locked out” felt? Sorry, but I always look at the silent majority feels. I’d have been the 350+1!

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I’m told the skirt is not that short. Guess it’s my Catholic school upbringing when the girls would roll down for school and roll up for dismissal.

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RANT: Verizon Service

A Verizon Service Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you.20:54:29 Estimated wait time is 12 mins 33 secs. We apologize for the delay. You are 2 nd in the queue.

My DVR / TV listing says please wait since this afternoon. I’ve recycled it a few times and used the trouble shooter to reset it. Seems like “tv guide” is broken at your end.

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You have to be kidding me.

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Jan-29 @ 20:55

So I decided it might be nice to have the GUIDE working, so I tried again.

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Jan-30 @ 12:21

Live Chat Window
Click to Reload ChatA Verizon Service Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you.
Agent Sampat has joined. (11:48:37)Sampat : Chat ID for this session is 01301292823.

(11:48:37)Sampat(11:48:41): Thank you for using Verizon FIOS Technical Support. I Apologize for any delays in reaching us today. My name is Sampat. May I confirm the Telephone number as 7328219525?Ferdinand Reinke(11:49:19): Yes. Guide has said please wait since Sunday, despite two or three resets and unplugging everything and repluggin it in.Sampat(11:49:54): Thank you and I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.Sampat(11:50:36): I need to pull up your records. So please help me with the name on the account, complete address as well as a good can be reached telephone number for future reference.Ferdinand Reinke(11:51:16): ferdinand reinke, {Privacy Invoked}

Sampat(11:51:36): Thank you, please provide the ZIP code.Ferdinand Reinke(11:51:43): 08824Sampat(11:51:48): Thank you for the information. Is it okay to address you by your first name?Ferdinand Reinke(11:51:56): yesSampat(11:52:06): Thank you, Ferdinand.Sampat(11:52:17): Just to let you know, in case the chat gets disconnected due to any issue at either end, please re-initiate the chat through the same channel or call our FIOS phone support at 1-800-837-4966, whichever is convenient to you.Sampat(11:52:32): I will be sending you an email about self help tips on minor telephone, video and internet issues to your email address. May I know your preferred email ID?Ferdinand Reinke(11:52:43): {Privacy Invoked}

Sampat(11:52:48): Superb! I will update it right now.Ferdinand Reinke(11:53:09): Update it where?Sampat(11:53:24): I mean, I will update it in my database.Sampat(11:53:35): Ferdinand, I understand that one of the STB(set top box)is not showing time displayed. Am I correct?Ferdinand Reinke(11:54:44): No, it’s showing time. TC programming is working fine. The GUIDE is not populating with data and the DVR is recording with “Untitled Recording” for all shows preprogrammed to record.Sampat(11:54:54): Regret the inconvenience caused and I assure you that we at Verizon are always here to help you out with any issues in regards to your services. Please be rest assured we would fix this for you today.Ferdinand Reinke(11:54:55): TV not tcSampat(11:55:11): Not a problem.Sampat(11:55:16): Please post the STB serial number of the Set Top Box that is having a problem. It is located underneath the box towards the back and it begins with an “M”.Ferdinand Reinke(11:56:55): I don’t have that number handy and can’t crawl around and get it. I have a HD box in the Living Room and the automated system knows all about it because it reset it.Sampat(11:57:51): Ferdinand, I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. I see that there are two STB(set top boxes) installed in your house.Sampat(11:58:17): So, I need to know the exact box that has the issue, so that I will run one advanced test in the server and will try to fix the issue for you.Ferdinand Reinke(11:58:22): Yup, 1 labeled Living room hdSampat(11:58:33): Thank you so much.Ferdinand Reinke(11:58:38): the other non-HD in the bedroomSampat(11:58:43): So, the box is a DVR box. Correct?Sampat(11:59:03): I mean, the issue is with DVR box. Correct?Ferdinand Reinke(11:59:03): Livinng Room is an HD DVR set top box.Ferdinand Reinke(11:59:10): Yes.Sampat(11:59:26): Thank you for the confirmation.Sampat(11:59:36): I have initiated a line test from the server.Sampat(12:00:07): The line test will reset the box.Sampat(12:00:13): I am going to initialize the set-top box (STB). All recordings and schedules will remain intact, but STB’s Personal Settings will be reverted to their defaults (including the Favorite Channels List and Parental Controls). The STB will power itself off and the time will disappear within a minute. Once the time returns on the box, press the POWER button on front of the STB it back on. Let me know when you have it back on and what is displayed.Sampat(12:02:54): Ferdinand, do you find any changes in the box?Ferdinand Reinke(12:03:28): reboot complete says press menuFerdinand Reinke(12:04:06): press menu?Sampat(12:04:24): Sure, please go ahead.Ferdinand Reinke(12:04:36): “setting up”Ferdinand Reinke(12:04:49): “Starting up”Sampat(12:05:21): Great!Sampat(12:05:31): Fingers crossed here!Ferdinand Reinke(12:06:04): “Welcome to new mdia guide”Sampat(12:06:19): Its seems that all is good till now.Ferdinand Reinke(12:06:31): “Select TV type”Sampat(12:06:41): Now, I request you to check if the issue got fixed or not.Ferdinand Reinke(12:07:28): remote doesn’t do anything. It’s doing some yada yada introSampat(12:08:19): Ferdinand , lets wait for the DVR to set up completely.Ferdinand Reinke(12:08:56): Guide says “please wait” just like it did before.Sampat(12:09:01): Oh! I see.Sampat(12:09:07): Can you do a favor for me?Ferdinand Reinke(12:09:11): ?Ferdinand Reinke(12:09:24): What?Sampat(12:09:45): I request you to connect this box to another TV and check if it works with another TV or not.Sampat(12:09:57): Is this feasible for you?Ferdinand Reinke(12:10:52): Can’t do that. Don’t have another spare tv. The same condition exists on the non-HD TV and box. “Please wait” I just checked it while waiting for the reboot to complete.Sampat(12:11:26): Okay, not a problem.Ferdinand Reinke(12:11:27): Message “Full Guide — A guide error has occurred. Please try again.”Sampat(12:11:32): Here the issue seems to be with the hard ware issue with the DVR. So, I will ship you a new DVR to “3 tyne ct, kendall park, nj, 08824”.Sampat(12:11:37): Sounds good?Ferdinand Reinke(12:12:13): Argh!Sampat(12:13:09): So, shall I go ahead and put a request to the concerned team to ship a new DVR?Ferdinand Reinke(12:13:20): What else can I do?Sampat(12:14:31): I have a good news for you.Ferdinand Reinke(12:14:40): Yes?Sampat(12:15:01): I can send a technician to your house today between 3:00 PM to 7:00 Pm. Shall I confirm the slot for the same?Ferdinand Reinke(12:15:49): Sure. Have him call before he comes. I may have to run to the store during that four hours.Sampat(12:15:59): Perfect! Verizon wants to make sure that you got what you wanted.Sampat(12:16:15): In case if the technician finds any issue with the equipment within verizon , there will be no charge , if there is any trouble found with the equipment not provided by verizon then there will be a possible charge.Sampat(12:16:21): Please let me know information given below:1. Do you have any pets?2. Is your house an independent house or apartment?3. Do we require any access codes?4. Please let me know any two call back numbers that we can contact you on.Ferdinand Reinke(12:16:57): I just want the hardware to work. No pets. House. Ring bell. 9082093625Sampat(12:17:13): Sure.Sampat(12:17:29): Would you like to get messages on your cell phone about the technician arrival status ?Ferdinand Reinke(12:17:41): yes
Sampat(12:17:56): Wonderful! let me update it in my database.Sampat(12:18:07): Verizon wants ensure that you are completely delighted with our services.Sampat(12:18:17): I would like to inform you that some one above 18 yrs should be present at the house when the technician arrives. Sampat(12:18:28): Are the other Verizon services working fine?Ferdinand Reinke(12:18:45): yesSampat(12:18:51): We, at Verizon, strive to ensure and deliver exceptional service to all of our customers.Sampat(12:18:51): Thank you for giving me an opportunity to help you today. Is there anything else I could help you further?Ferdinand Reinke(12:18:56): noSampat(12:19:01): I really wish all my customers are like you. I can grade you 10/10 for being so nice and patience . I love my job the most when I get to talk to customers like you.Sampat(12:19:01): I really wish all my customers are like you. I can grade you 10/10 for being so nice and patience . I love my job the most when I get to talk to customers like you.Sampat(12:19:20): Our goal is for you to be completely satisfied with the service you have received and that you recommend us to your friends and colleagues. Additional help on all 3 FIOS services is available on our website You can also make use of the Verizon In Home Agent for your Windows and Mac computers which is available for download on .Please navigate to this website and click on the link Get In-Home Agent to download and install it. This software would help you in troubleshooting basic issues that you face with your FIOS services before you contact us. Thank you for choosing Verizon and have a nice day.Sampat(12:19:30): We wish you and your family a blessed future ahead!Sampat(12:19:30): Bye and take care of yourself!

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So, it’s a hardware problem?


Why am I not happy?

I just don’t want to be bothered. Stuff should just work.


And, I don’t believe it’s a hardware problem with the DVR!

I bet their “TV GUIDE” app is screwed up.

We’ll see.

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Jan-30 @ 12:23


Tried to watch my alma mater on ESPN3.

(Great idea!)

But on the computer, it’s unwatchable.

Poking around, I found it was available on the IPAD with its own free app.

Downloaded the APP and, same network, it looks perfect.

Watching both side by side!

The computer side is unwatchable; the IPAD is perfect.

It appears that there is a 10 second delay between what the computer is showing and what the IPAD is.

Also, the IPAD goes quiet during the commercials. (How kool is that!)


# – # – # – # – #  2012-Jan-29 @ 16:58