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Time Warner Cable Cutting Corners on Commercials?

twc Hate to say it, but Time Warner Cable really has annoyed me the for last time tonight. It was such a little thing, but with the really terrible Navigator “upgrade” that slowed down your actual channel surfing to a crawl and seemingly not have tested this in QA since it basically looks pretty but doesn’t actually function like the old firmware, it was amazing for the stupid parts to really become a problem.

Here’s the thing. Almost all commercials are not normalized for sound. In fact, I have a feeling this is done on purpose since all of them are louder and seem to be set on some sort of setting so that you would pay attention to it. But what really bugs me is when you’re actually enjoying a commercial (yes, there are some that are actually decent) and suddenly it cuts to another commercial in the middle. Now, if I were an advertiser and saw that I was spending money with this corporation and they were pulling me out of my costly advertising, I would be throwing up a fit. This happens on every channel, and has been for a long time but the recent Navigator change really has brought it out as even more of an annoyance.

Why can’t I downgrade back to the old firmware for my cable box? Why are commercials being cut short, or some getting cut right in the middle? Sometimes, it almost seems like they’re trying to fit in more than one commercial in the same slot to gain more advertising dollars. I don’t know that for sure, but there isn’t a darn good reason that not a single employee would not have seen this happen and at least tried to report the problem.

Does satellite television do the same? I don’t know, but I doubt it. It’s not that I really despise Time Warner Cable or anything. It’s just that if you’re going to push a quality product, then it should perform as good as the last one when it comes to software. If you’re telling your customers that are buying advertising from you that you’re going to be showing the ad, then don’t skimp on the “display” side. These are pretty basic when it comes to just the provision of goods and services and otherwise you lose the trust of your customers. And the last thing you need is to do that in this type of economy.

Tips and Tricks: Ninite Makes Installing Easy


As a system administrator, have you ever gone through the annoyance of having to fresh install every single application and have hell trying to download each and every latest versioning? With Ninite, you won’t have to do that anymore.

Free for personal use, this creates a special installer that grabs all of the latest and greatest versions of the applications that you check on their website, and it’ll create a special installer for those. Basically allowing you the freedom of one-stop-shopping for the applications. While this isn’t perfect since there are always things out there that you need that might be special case, this does provide a solution as an in-between to those that install everything from scratch, and those that just start fresh from a cloned image.

This works on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, and installs all of the applications on default configurations without toolbars and other extraneous things. Definitely worthwhile to take a look at for your one click install needs.

iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes Apple iTunes Apple iTunes

Tips and Tricks: Testing SPF Record For Your Domain

If you have set up your SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record but you haven’t tested it, then here’s an easy method of checking if it works. Send off an email to:

[email protected]

If you get a response where it says that it has passed, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, you’ll have to do some more testing to see why it’s not working. OpenSPF is a great place to start as far as finding the right tools and how to do setups for SPF records.

When Politicians Don’t Represent Through Conversation

The House Financial Services committee meets. ...
Image via Wikipedia

I have to say that overall with national politicians, there’s a pretty easy litmus test to find out if your particular representation is actually listening and serving your needs.

E-mail them.

In the past, I have had responses to emails from former Senator Edwards, and Senator Burr, but never anything from former Senator Dole. I also have received responses recently from Representative Mel Watts and Senator Burr (kudos here for always generating conversation) but nothing from Senator Hagan’s office.

Call it strange, but Hagan replaced Dole so I wonder what that’s about. In any case, in regards to my email, Senator Burr’s office contacted me directly and had a short but very responsive contact. Representative Watts though sent me a letter that basically said that he’d love to support my needs, but since no legislation was brought up in Congress about it, he’ll keep a look out for it. For the most part, it was a generic form mailer. Which, while I appreciate feedback, it’s one of those… ehh… what? It was almost answering a question like: “Is the sky blue?” with… “I’m sure your color has merit, and when the general consensus talks about a sky color, I’ll support yours.”

You sort of have to laugh at it and wonder exactly what politicians do. You’re either for, or against a certain ideal. Perhaps there is merit to either side and you could be swayed to one end. But without actual conversation, the generic stop letter is just not the way to go. Maybe that’s just me from a personal perspective, but it’s only slightly better than the total constituent ignore only because you’re getting it on Congressional letterhead.

Today, this issue really isn’t about Representative Watts’ letter and I apologize to him for using his letter as an example. But from a state where the general populace has been beaten down to a bloody pulp when it comes to employment and trade, the cynicism starts to grow when you don’t see conversations being started by even the aides of the representation. Call it strange but you would hope those are the individuals that are fighting for you in the big city of politics.

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