An Open Letter to Amazon and Netflix

Chill, Amazon and Netflix with the DRM

Dear “New Media” Companies, Two years ago I decided to take the plunge and purchase a UHD TV. But I thought twice about it, deciding that I would hold off until there was adequate 4K content available. At that time the 4K market was weak. UHD Blu-rays had yet to be released, and other than some YouTube content and perhaps a few shows from your companies, there wasn’t much available. Finally at the cusp of 2018 I decided to make the move. There’s much streaming media currently available in UHD (as you’re obviously aware), as well as a plethora of UHD Blu-rays. So I now have a very nice Sony OLED hooked up to my HTPC. But the sad part … Continue reading

Like Bees, the Yellow Jacket Power Strip (by Coleman Cable) is Terrible

Another sh*tty power strip

Welp, they’ve done it again. Any by “they”, I mean people that make poor quality electrical devices. Specifically Yellow Jacket, which is a Woods brand, which is a Coleman Cable brand, which is probably somehow owned by either Warren Buffet or the Koch Brothers.

I got this for $16.22 during an Amazon lighting deal, and even though that’s not a terrible price, the poor quality construction and the basic lie about the materials is what really angers me.

Join me as I disassemble and then curse at this poor excuse for a power strip, in my newest installment of first world problems.

Enterprise Network Switches for the Home: Ramble feat HP Procurve 5406ZL

The HP Procurve 5406ZL and…

…a whole lot of other crap, vis a vis my opinions on used enterprise-grade networking hardware for the home (or small-ish business).

I purchased an HP Procurve 5406ZL on eBay mainly because I “need” 10GbE on my home network, which is almost recursive because it’s for editing 4K video, which I need for editing this video.

The bottom line for me is that you can’t beat the feature/price ratio when it comes to equipment like this. That is, if you can afford the resultant power bill.

Ricky Gervais “Yememememeh” Ringtone

Gervais-Yemememememeh_thumb

Download It Yemememememeh If it opens in your browser as a sound file, just right-click and hit “Save As..”, or whatever the equivalent might be on your system. Huh? This is a bit unusual for this site, but I decided to create a ringtone from a brief clip of audio on The Ricky Gervais Show. I figured I’d share it, in case anyone else wanted this kind of nonsense in their lives. Why? In the episode, Mr. K. Dilkington argues that every noise has been used at least five times. He then goes on to ask why things can’t be made to make a different noise to the ones they make. Ricky insists that things make a noise because the … Continue reading

One of the Problems with Smart Thermostats – ecobee3 Extra

Check out the video for a more in-depth description of the problem, but the short of it is that most smart thermostats (and a lot of smarthome devices) rely on someone else’s servers in order for them to be accessed remotely. And because of this, “remotely” doesn’t just mean when you’re out of the house, but inside the house as well. If the “smart” device company ever goes out of business or decides to stop supporting whatever you own, then you effectively will no longer have an internet-enabled thing.

This isn’t true for all devices. Some do not require servers-that-are-elsewhere (or “the cloud” as it’s known) so that they can operate. But a surprising amount do, and that’s something to consider when buying an appliance, thermostat, Echo, or full home automation system. Will the company running those servers still be around in 5 years? In 10 or 20 years? And even if they’re in business, will they support it? With something like the Amazon Echo, that’s not much of a concern. But with a $250 thermostat from a “new” company it could be a factor.

Crazy USB Cable Packaging – Anker Powerline+ USB-C Cable

I decided to start another YouTube channel. Not because my main channel was getting out of hand, but because I want to bang out a bunch of quick videos just to get practice. And also there’s stuff that I cut out of some of my main videos that I wanted to share.

Annywhoo.. This video is about an Anker Powerline+ USB cable that came in a needlessly elaborate package.

Amazon’s Customer Service and a Toilet Go Hand-in-Hand

Amazon Toilet Racer Man

Here’s the thing: I don’t need to contact Amazon’s customer service often, but when I do they’ve always been responsive and extremely helpful. So I’m not going to lambaste Amazon in this post, but I do want to tell a story of a horrible customer service experience that’s not just a result of a bad rep but is indicative of a deeper problem. The Toilet In an incident that was far less dramatic than you’d hope, my toilet tank cracked and was leaking slowly onto the floor. Obviously the ideal solution would be a new tank, but I had an Eljer triangle toilet that’s discontinued, and there aren’t a ton of options for a triangular corner toilet. Needing to have … Continue reading

JetBlue: Password Encryption is for Suckers

JetBlue: Encryption is for Suckers

The Background The Missus and I flew to Florida a couple of days ago, and as usual we took JetBlue. The only eventful part of the flight was a pleasant arrival 30 minutes ahead of schedule. The flight crew had mentioned that the satellite TV was out of commission, and that all in-flight movies would be free for the duration. I thought that was a good way of handling the issue, and figured that was the end of that. However, the next day we both received emails from JetBlue stating that we’d been signed up for their Travel Bank, and that a $15 credit had been applied to both of our Banks in exchange for the inconvenience of the malfunctioning … Continue reading

Vitality Air Joins the Pile: Selling American Air to China

Jurassic Park - One big pile of sh*t (I mean supplemental O2)

Air in a Can This is a follow-up of sorts to my Bullsh*t Product: Boost Oxygen video. If you don’t know what that is and you’re too lazy to click the link (is that click-baiting or just click-dicking?), Boost O2 sells oxygen in a can for various phony baloney health benefits. I mentioned in the video that Boost wasn’t the only company shilling this sort of thing, and indeed I was right: News stories about Vitality Air have been making the rounds on social media in the last few days. And the stories are on relatively legitimate websites like CNBC, Fortune, and CNN. Fortunately the stories have primarily been about how clever a business model it is to sell cans … Continue reading