Trigger Happy

Tag: Google

Time Warner Cable Tech Support

by on Aug.16, 2009, under IRL, tech

I recently bought a refurbished Linksys CM100 cable modem for $20 since the cable modem Time Warner Cable provided has been a pain in the ass (we had a Toshiba PCX2600). Being a huge fan of Linksys hardware, I couldn't resist such a great sale. The only problem was I knew activating it was going to include spending an hour or more between fighting an automated phone system, waiting on hold, convincing a level 1 support person that it IS possible to put a new device on the network, more holding, then getting a higher up tech person to get their act together. Luckily, it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting.

First step was to get to an actual human. Time Warner Cable must have updated their phone system recently because I've never dealt with a voice recognition system that actually works as well as Goog411. I wasn't able to get to a human the first try since it decided I was just having connection problems and told me to restart the modem and watch the flashing lights (impressive, but not what I wanted). I couldn't figure out how to get out of that process so I hung up and called again. As soon as I gave it my phone number again, it said "I've noticed you recently called for tech support. Is this call for the same problem?" Answering "Yes" connected me directly to a level 1 tech. Shocking! I'm definitely keeping that trick in mind.

The level 1 tech agreed to set me up, no questions asked (fully expected them to ask why I got my own since they don't charge rent). He asked for the MAC address which he looked up and found it wasn't on the system. He opened a ticket for me and forwarded me to a higher level tech. I sat on hold while he called the 2nd tech and was quickly connected. I verified the MAC again with the 2nd tech, he clicked away for a minute then asked me to restart my router and BAM! Internet was back up and faster than ever.

Maybe TWC is getting their act together... Maybe I just got lucky. Either way I applaud their new phone system since I'm sure it helps keep the lines open for more obscure requests like my own. I also applaud their techs because they weren't reading a script. They knew their shit. Well done TWC!

That said, they had better not try to re-introduce those tiered billing plans again. If they do, they might just wind up next to Apple on my Shit List

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Apple's new low: censoring a dictionary

by on Aug.05, 2009, under tech

All the Google Voice app nonsense in the past few weeks has really turned me off of Apple. I had started to warm up to them considering they have had some great products recently and their OS is built with Unix at its core. While I would never purchase an Apple product, I welcomed their competition to drive innovative products. I could rant on about the Google Voice fiasco but I feel like Mr. Arrington does a pretty good job of summing it up while explaining why he quit the iPhone.

Anyway, while the Google Voice thing pissed me off, I'm outraged that Apple is now censoring dictionaries. There are so many things wrong with that. So without further ado, I'd like to simultaneously introduce a new feature on my blog as well as...

Welcome Apple to my Shit List.

What's that, Apple? Is that word offensive or inappropriate? Feel free to censor the sh*# out of it.

I've been meaning to make a few other lists as well so stay tuned, there will be more (like my anticipated games, etc).

Apple's new low: censoring a dictionary - [Engadget]

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Steve Ballmer Doesn't Get It

by on Jul.14, 2009, under tech

Poor Steve Ballmer. You can always count on him to stick his foot in his mouth. Whether its claiming a new trend will never be big (ie. iPhone), or accidentally revealing something that M$ wasn't ready to announce, or just plain being wrong, he's always good for a laugh. Recently, he seemed a bit confused as to why Google is releasing a second client OS. Last I checked, M$ has had two current client operating systems for quite some time (PC, mobile). Why that's so perplexing to him, I have no clue. Google made their directions of the two operating systems pretty clear (Android = mobile, Chrome OS = netbook/laptop/PC) which is pretty much M$'s model as well, minus all the different releases (Home, Pro, Media Center etc). All I know is I'm looking forward to that new xbox coming in 2010 (joke).

How We Know Chrome OS Will Be A Hit: Steve Ballmer Doesn’t Think So - [TechCrunch]

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Google Apps is out of beta (yes, really)

by on Jul.07, 2009, under geek, tech

Google Apps out of beta

I never thought I'd see the day. Google Apps is finally out of beta. But just in case removing the beta tag lessens its "cool" factor, you can re-enable the beta tag in the logo from the settings menu in Gmail.

Google may have a different view of "beta" software but I think its a wise route to go. Especially in Google's case where they're providing such feature rich online applications for free. Besides the obvious liability issues, they also gain some breathing room when it comes to implementing new features. If something doesn't work the first day they put it out, they can avoid a lot of flack by saying its in beta. While that might seem like a cop-out, it allows them to test with a huge volume right off the bat to eliminate scaling and compatibility issues. Its not always ideal for the end users but that's something you just have to weigh against its obvious benefits as well as against its competitors. Personally, I haven't had any major issues with any of the Google Apps and they are extremely handy.

The only reason I regret to see Google Apps leave beta is that it may slow the rate that they implement new features. The Labs features will remain but they certainly won't be moving features into the mainstream as fast as they have in the past. Of course that's just my speculation, but taking the beta tag off usually implies they'll keep the products stable and will try their hardest to avoid introducing new bugs. That means they'll have a more careful and slower development cycle.

Google Apps is out of beta (yes, really) - [Official Google Blog]

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