FedEx: Still Rubbish

FedEx: Rubbish Again

Never a good experience It seems like every single FedEx delivery I receive has something wrong with it. I haven’t ranted about this in a few years, so let’s look at this week’s experience. But first I’d like to say that my local FedEx delivery guy is top notch. He’s friendly, and I’ve seen him loading and unloading his truck outside our building and he doesn’t violently throw packages about. Check this out… So…? That looks pretty normal. They delivered a package from Texas to New York via ground in 4 days. Pretty good, actually. Well that’s what the tracking screen looks like now that the package has been delivered. But while it was in transit I wanted to do … Continue reading

Netgear LG 6100D LTE Gateway for Sprint Review – Bad Device, or the Worst Device?

Netgear Joke 9000

I recently obtained a Netgear LG6100D LTE Gateway from Sprint as a backup for my hard internet connections. The device seemed perfect on paper: Cellular connectivity for the home or business network! I’ve used some bad consumer routers in my day, but this is one of the worst I’ve encountered. Or maybe it’s that it looked so promising at first and then let me down so hard. Update (2014-08-26): I found that you can access the native Netgear web GUI. It has a heck of a lot more features, and solves many of the complaints I have with the “correct” way of configuring this device. Upon logging in the user interface is clean, fairly informative, and I noticed that the … Continue reading

ARIA Resort and Casino Mega-Review (Las Vegas, NV)

Relaxing at the ARIA after the room was cleaned

I don’t usually post hotel reviews, but when I do… I’m not sure how much MGM paid for the ARIA’s Five Diamond award from AAA, but I’m sure it must have been a lot. Note to lawyers: My previous statement was intended as hyperbole, and not as an accusation of bribery on the part of MGM. That’s how poor the service is at this hotel: They’ve left me with the impression that they’d sooner sue me to take this review down rather than improve the overall customer experience. If I could sum up the attitude of the hotel staff in one word it would be uncaring. I stayed at the ARIA for 4 nights encompassing 3 different hotel rooms. I … Continue reading

Oh, Pebble! You have a great product that’s being ruined by your support.

pebble_case_24XXXX_mq_sanitized

Two important things before I get started: I really like the original Pebble Smartwatch.  I’d probably like the Steel as well, but I haven’t tried it. I have a lot of respect for Pebble as a company.  It came into being through crowdsourced funding and actually delivered the product it promised. However, after about 6 months of ownership, my watch stopped vibrating.  Trying to resolve this issue was my first interaction with Pebble support, and hopefully will be my last.  Their process is slow, detrimental, and offensive. You may wonder at that last one:  “Offensive?” My gripe isn’t with the particular customer service person that handled my case.  (In fact I’ve redacted their name from this post.)   The CS … Continue reading

HTC One (Verizon) Nitpick Review

Unfortunately, if you want a subsidized phone today you’re stuck with carrier bloatware. I’m replacing a Samsung Galaxy Nexus with an HTC One, but if I had my druthers I’d have ordered the Galaxy S4 Play Edition. The problem is that I can’t bring myself to effectively spend $510 on stock Android; software that’s free. The Galaxy Nexus is a great phone. In two years of case-less operation, it hardly has a scratch on it. It survived drops, bumps, bangs, and all the other rigors of daily use. It has a replaceable battery and an SD card slot. In fact, Samsung’s bloatware was the only thing that stopped me from getting Verizon’s Galaxy S4. The Unboxing Like I said, this … Continue reading

The Rackspace-Batman Deodorant Debacle

Rackspace Anti-Smell Kit

What follows is a series of emails between myself and Rackspace, which is now one of my favorite companies. Some information has been redacted to protect the good citizens of Gotham (and/or San Antonio).   Anything in italics is a note for the blog, and not part of the email chain.   From: “John XXXXXX, Rackspace” <john.XXXX@rackspace.com> To: scott@scott Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:09:23 AM Subject: Time to Protect Your “Hero” Server Hi Scott, The secret is out. We know the “Batman” server is your favorite. Know how we found out? He’s always at capacity and working up a sweat. Give the poor guy a break! With Cloud Load Balancers, you can add more servers & balance traffic across … Continue reading

Chevy Volt Counterarguments: Price, Government Subsidies, and Operating Cost

I guess for better or worse, I’ve become a Volt advocate.  I’m no fanatic, however.  Only time will tell whether the Volt is a win or a loss, either for me personally or for the nation at large.  Will the batteries fail as soon as the 8-year/100,000 mile warranty is up?  Will GM still be in business to honor those warranties?  Will this first leap into mass-market electric vehicles (including the Leaf and Tesla) drive technological improvements and economies of scale? I can’t answer those questions. But I do love our Volt.  My wife and I bought it not because it was an electric vehicle, but because it fell into the criteria we set for price range (with rebates), performance, … Continue reading

Chevy Volt Charge Cord – Hot During Charge

I thought I’d throw this one out there because it seems I’m not the only one observing this problem.  My Volt’s 120V charge cord and the short plug lead are running hot during charging. You can see some other people’s input here, on this archived forum thread (I was not involved in the thread, but it came up first in a related Google search): http://gm-volt.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-6581.html This is my charging setup (still waiting on the 240V Voltec Charging Station): To connect to the Volt, about half the length of the charge cord has to be unwound. I noticed yesterday that the plug (the NEMA 5-15R) was very warm.  The plug lead was warmer still.  I went on to feel the charge … Continue reading

Why I hate FedEx (Particularly FedEx Ground)

I shop online a lot.  I mean a lot. I mostly have things shipped to my office, which saves me the dreaded door tag at home.  Granted, the door tag isn’t my problem with FedEx, though I would never ever ever ever have them deliver to my house (ever) again. Home Delivery “You want that thing crushed, and in two weeks, right?” Out of maybe 8 FedEx home deliveries I’ve had in my life, 2 were crushed so badly that the boxes split open, 3 took more than nine days to arrive, and in one godforsaken incident we received a door tag.  Right before we left for vacation.  And it was a gift. That’s right.  Since you can’t re-route or … Continue reading

Stupid, Angering Garage Door Opener Project

“An automatic garage door opener makes you feel like you’re working in a futuristic wonderworld”.  – Frank Ormand, Pretzel Magnate With the purchase of Amanda’s new Volt, I had to get the garage ready for a permanent resident.  She had kept her old Saab in the driveway, so I pretty much had the run of the place until now.  Protection from the elements aside, the garage is just a logical place to stick an electric car whilst it’s charging. And my father raised me on automatic garage door openers, so I figured installing one would be the right thing to do. Here’s a before picture of the garage: Nothing to laugh at, I suppose.  But the stupid door would just … Continue reading