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Sunday, January 5, 2014 - Buying a Cable Box Now Possible

Category: Computing Technology, Hardware

Samsung just started selling its Smart Media Player, a set top box (STB) that will accept a CableCard from the cable company for $150. Previously these have only been available for purchase for connections to computers, such as a HDHomeRun, not directly to TVs. Cable companies typically charge a small rental fee of $2-5 per month per CableCard. As you can see this can pay for itself in 1-2 years compared to a $10/month (or more) HD STB rental from the cable company. You won't get all the features of the cable box like the guide or on-demand but it functions like a normal TV, pick a channel, the video shows up on the TV. For an infrequently used TV set, this could save a bundle while still getting HD quality.

The Read More...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - Firewall 1 - Chromecast 0

Category: Hardware, Software, Security

I unboxed my new Chromecast device yesterday. Setup was fairly straightforward, I entered my Wifi information, only to continually get an error that it "could not connect to the internet." I thought I might have has a Wifi issue, not connecting for some reason, maybe out of range or a DHCP issue. I was finally able to track it down. It turns out that it didn't like my DNS firewall. On my network I have blocked use of all DNS servers besides mine to handle problems like DNS Changer. I saw this traffic:

19:19:10.284578 IP 10.0.3.247.59034 > google-public-dns-a.google.com.domain: 57629+ A? pool.ntp.org. (30)
19:19:10.300858 IP 10.0.3.247.55306 > google-public-dns-a.google.com.domain: 6977+ A? clients3.google.com. (37)
19:19:11.300764 IP 10.0.3.247.48751 > google-public-dns-b.google.com.domain: 6825+ A? clie
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Friday, May 13, 2011 - Flight 93

Category: Photo Gallery

Flight_93
Flight 93 Crash Site and National Memorial. Stoystown, PA. May 13, 2011.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 - Customer Service is Dead at UPS

Category: General

What follows is a copy of my recent correspondence with UPS "Customer Service." Despite offering to "rectify this situation" and asking me to contact them for "additional assistance," I do so and get absolutely NO RESPONSE. I now plan on boycotting UPS and choosing ANY other delivery service, even at an extra expense to myself. I encourage others to do the same.

The service offered for an additional cost does not even address my problem. I cannot believe they want me to spend more money on a service when they can't even complete a basic level of service! I request they explain how they will "rectify this situation" in the future, as they said they would, with no answer.

Since the email exchange, there has been no improvement in service as I requested. I have received many more packages and not been notified. Even days when I am at home all day, there is no knock on the door, not even an attempt at a real delivery.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - Better Than Ezra

Category: Photo Gallery

Better_Than_Ezra
930 Club, Washington, DC - Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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