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

Razer DeathAdder Button Swap (Left- to Right-Handed Mouse)

Razer DeathAdder Button Swap

I’m a leftie, but all my life I’ve used right-handed mouse in my left hand. I needed to replace my old Microsoft Optical Mouse, and found the DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition. It’s the perfect size and shape for me, but they did the weird thing of switching the left- and right-click buttons. It’s easy enough in most any operating system to swap the buttons in the settings. However — at least with Windows — the buttons are only changed locally. So when connecting to other hosts via Remote Desktop the buttons revert to their hardware configuration. That’s a no-go for me, but I liked the mouse so much that I decided to mod the hardware instead. Fortunately, it’s very easy to … 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 then 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

Bullsh*t Product – Boost Oxygen (Supplemental O2 in a Can)

What is This Thing?

Hopefully you haven’t heard of Boost Oxygen. Hopefully you haven’t been tempted to plunk down your hard-earned cash on a useless tin can containing 95% pure nonsense.

Did I say “nonsense”? Sorry, I meant that’s it’s full of 95% pure oxygen. According to the manufacturer it’s the “source of life”, so you better go out and buy it now!

The manufacturer also loosely implies benefits to sports performance, general health and wellness, hangover recovery, and altitude sickness. That’s all bullsh*t, of course. Watch the video to find out why.

And Another Thing…

The video discusses two main reasons why this product is unadulterated B.S., but one thing I didn’t mention was the Food and Drug Administration.

You see, supplemental oxygen is used in medicine for all sorts of valid and useful reasons. In fact, it can save the life of someone if they’re ill. But medical oxygen requires a prescription, and Boost Oxygen, LLC is more than happy to point out that they can now sell oxygen in a convenient and practical manner — over the counter.

Yet they fail to mention that oxygen can be used to help you if you’re sick.

If they made a claim like that, then they would be selling a medical product and the FDA would be entirely up their ass about it. Instead, they can only make vague and unsubstantiated claims about the product’s benefits. The FDA exists for a good reason, and although they might be poorly funded and their enforcement powers may have been robustly castrated, they prevent companies like Boost Oxygen, LLC from promising life-saving effects that they can’t deliver. And that avoids killing the suckers that might buy it instead of their prescribed O2.

The bottom line here is this: Do your own research into any “health and wellness” product before you buy it. Hopefully that’s why you’re here, reading this post.

Don’t Forget the Links

I referenced some research papers, reviews, and websites in my video. You can find all of them here, which I’ll try to keep up to date when I get more information.

http://plr.io/1rb

And last of all, please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes or left anything out either in the comments below or on my YouTube video.

Bullsh*t Product – Defiant 6-Outlet Metal Surge Protector from Home Depot

Apparently I was so distressed by the non-metal “metal” Defiant power strip from Home Depot that I made a video about it.

If you hate videos but love text, then mosey on over to my previous post about this travesty of a product, and follow my adventures getting pissed off about their HDX Whatever Something Light.

Google’s Project Fi – From 1996 to Nexus 6

Why Project Fi?

I’ve been a Verizon customer since back when they were called Bell Atlantic back in The Year 2000. Lately their service has been terrible in my area. When I’m lucky enough to get an LTE connection, it’s slow and high-latency.

Project Fi lets my phone choose the best of two providers for my data service: Sprint or T-Mobile. And so far, it’s just plain better.

I go on at some length about it in the video above.

The Intro

In a previous blog post and video I showed off my motion control slider project. I’ve been looking for excuses to use it in particularly “motion-controley” ways, and so I decided to composite a bunch of passes of the camera over my one Nexus 6 to make a wall of Nexus Sixes.

Please check out my new post about the intro!

Oops, I FedExed Again!

FedEx SmartPost Logo - Grandma Delivers Packages with Tracking

Yes, FedEx again I’m waiting on yet another delivery from FedEx, and this time it’s arriving via their SmartPost service. And so I’m writing yet another tirade about their incomprehensibly incompetent approach to package delivery. As far as I understand, their “Smart”Post service works like this: The merchant from whom I ordered gives the package to FedEx and pays them. FedEx then brings the package to a post office near to the recipient, and lets the good ol’ USPS handle the “last mile” of delivery. I fail to understand the point of this service. I mean I get that it saves FedEx the cost of bringing a truck to my house because the mailman is stopping at my house anyway. … Continue reading

Verizon.com: Website Design by Kafka

Verizon - Password Release Bear

Logging into Verizon.com I log into Verizon’s Small Business portal once a month to pay my bills. Generally speaking, their site is atrocious. It’s clearly the product of committee thinking and their fractured corporate structure. They recently implemented a redesign of the login portion, and somehow they resurrected good ol’ Frank Kafka and put him on the committee. I may have buried the lede of this story. So unless you just enjoy reading my rants, skip right to it. The initial login screen As with many banking and commerce websites, Verizon has implemented a separate page for your username which precedes the password entry page. This is good security practice and so I have no problem with it in general. … Continue reading

Home Depot: Review Rejected – HDX 150-Watt Incandescent Clamp Light

HDX 150-Watt Incandescent Clamp Light Model CE-300PDQ - Hyperbolically Aflame

The Rejected Review I know that I tend to be harsh in my criticisms, but this is the most recent review that I tried to post to Home Depot’s site regarding their HDX 150-Watt Incandescent Clamp Light CE-300PDQ: Very rarely do I wish I could give a product a negative number of stars, but this is one of them. I know that for under ten bucks I shouldn’t expect an extremely high-quality, durable item. I know that at this price the light could fall apart completely after a bit of use and it wouldn’t be a huge deal. But what it absolutely shouldn’t do is cause a fire, which is what TWO out of the SIX of these I own … Continue reading

Deluxe Corp – Your Checks in 30 Days to Never

My Final Check Design

What, another rant? Yup! This is my style of catharsis, with the usual vain hope that Deluxe Corp. will read it in full. TL;DR I’m long-winded. I know that. Here’s a synopsis: Deluxe’s Chase-branded website is old, slow, and painful to use. The website doesn’t send out emails. No order confirmations, no shipment confirmations. Nothing. They also don’t provide any order tracking when logged in via Chase’s site. They screwed up my order and I never received it. It’s been a month. Their “newer” website’s feedback form is a Kafkaesque nightmare, and they don’t respond to customer inquiries. They don’t tell you how many checks you’re getting in an order (“a box”), so you can’t effectively comparison shop. I’m pretty … Continue reading