Archive for November, 2011

Kindle Fire virus

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

No, there’s not a virus on the new Kindle Fire, but you wouldn’t know that if you tried to get support for the disappearing Box.Net for Android app. One of the many pre-written responses Amazon’s support agents throw out is an assertion that your problems must be caused by anti-virus software. If you point out that there isn’t anti-virus software on the Kindle, they write back to assure you that there’s no anti-virus software on the Kindle.


Leaving Avast

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

After dozens of years of faithful service, I think it’s getting to be time to move on from Avast anti-virus products. This latest update goes through a lot of sleazy marketing hoops that just don’t engender the level of trust I feel I should have for my anti-virus vendor.

First there’s the way, during the required re-registration-of-the-free-product, you are presented with a dialogue that claims that trying the paid version for 20-days for free is easy to back out of, but then hides the ‘single button’ you have to click. Then there’s the way that they explicitly claim in that same dialogue, that going back to free won’t require a reinstall, but it does, and with a full reboot no less. It’s the kind of pathetic let’s just be annoying and see how many suckers are too lazy to move on business practices that Comcast is famous for. I would certainly be ashamed to work for anyplace that felt such behavior was necessary for survival.

Christmas bonus or Employee incentive?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Someone left a bunch of 5-hour energy drinks and a mini-flyer in our kitchenette area at work.

Gee thanks T-Mobile

Monday, November 21st, 2011

This morning, I’m trying to surf from my phone, and I get this content filtered err message saying my phone has been enabled for “Web Guard” which has determined I’m trying to go to a naughty page, which can’t be allowed.

So I call tech support. First there’s the ‘helpful’ phone system that says it understands speech and touch tones, but doesn’t understand either, and if it doesn’t like your response three times in a row, disconnects you entirely, instead of passing you on to a human. I finally figure out something it recognizes and get a human, who is full of fail on my problem, and of courses asks me to do the traditional reboot of the device. At which point my phone stops powering on correctly. It gets 75% through booting and then hangs on a blank screen.

Seriously? I call for messed up internet, and now I don’t have a working phone at all? And of course he helpfully suggests that I can buy a new phone since I’m out of warranty on this one.

Now I’m regretting not pick up one of birdie’s spare iphones.

UPDATE: I spent an hour or so seeing if there was any way to get at my storage on the phone, so I could backup anything non-cloud, but no joy. After doing a factory reset, the phone seems to be working again. At least with Android I’m not missing any contacts, just all the text messages since the last time my G1 died.

UPDATE2: It looks like this new life might be temporary. The phone is running hot and crashed once so far, while trying to re-download all my basic apps. And I notice it’s stuck in edge mode instead of 3G. Hrm.

Dirty Windows

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Dirty, filthy Windowses.

The drone machines at work, I mean.

Usually I spend 99 percent of my time on the UNIX side of our product, but I’ve been helping out on the hot fix release for this cycle. Today I’ve been going through the machines and cleaning up the left over home directories of the temporary users that are created and destroyed during the test process. For whatever reason, they’ve just left them behind even after the user has been removed from the system. On some machines there were over 2gb’s of dead user-dirs.

filthy windowses.


Friday, November 18th, 2011

Just got an automated phone call wishing me happy birthday and playing a scratchy recording of some cheesetastic birthday song. My guess is something my mother signed up for. Thoughts counting etc.

Bye-bye ping button

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I’ve hated Apple’s Ping ever since they added it. I loved the idea the said it was going to be, but despised what was actually delivered. You couldn’t ping music that they couldn’t get a cut off of, amongst it’s many lame-ities. And most annoying, even if you’d turned Ping off for your account, you still saw a ‘Ping’ button on any selected track.

Until today, when I discovered that disabling Ping under Parental Controls removes the button. Well, it shrinks from the word ‘ping’ to a small arrow, and if you click the arrow, you get a drop-down menu that lets you go to the itunes store for the artist, album, or genre. I can live with that.

UPDATE: I notice that the jump-to-itunes-store button doesn’t work all that well. If I click on a Eurythmics track’s link to the artist page, it says nothing is available in the US store, but if you click on the album link for the same track, it works and you can see that they have plenty of other albums by them as well.

Amazon Cloud Drive notes

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I uploaded a pdf and a txt yesterday, and they still weren’t showing up in the cloud zone on my Fire this morning. When I tried viewing the pdf within the browser on my pc at work, it let me know the file had been corrupted and couldn’t be repaired. I deleted the file and re-uploaded it, and I can get a viewer to launch for both the pdf and the txt from firefox, but they still aren’t showing up on the fire. I just tried adding a .mobi file as well. Still nothing shows up.

This wouldn’t be half as annoying if they hadn’t embargoed every other cloud app from the device. Well, they still let in, I guess I can sign up for yet another service, but really, Amazon, you guys are acting ‘worse’ than apple.

Kindle Fire stumbles

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

It’s not been an impressive product release so far, for all that it happened a day early. First up, the first-power-on registration process was broken and required making a 20 minute call to tech support. Up next is the way many apps aren’t available for the Fire, even though they appeared in the TV add for the Fire, like IMDB. Hell, the front page of IMDB has three different links to the Kindle Fire, but you’d be a sucker to buy it for that, since it doesn’t actually friggin work on this device.

UPDATE: Interesting, in addition to lacking support for the IMDB app, they also don’t support the dropbox app, though they will auto-suggest’s app instead. No Spideroak app either. I’d wonder if they weren’t preventing cloud competition by excluding these apps, but all three use Amazon S3 for their back-end, so it seems kinda random rather than malicious.

UPDATE2: How odd. The IMDB app is suddenly on my home page on the fire, but the app’s page on the amazon app store still says the fire isn’t supported.

UPDATE3: Looks like not a single epub reader is allowed on the kindle, even though there are dozens in the app store, some that even say they’d work on my decrepit G1 phone….

Skype suckage of the day

Monday, November 14th, 2011

The latest update to skype has added a watermark-logo onto the video. Sounds like it’s time to move on to the next free communication software for me.

Also, someone at Skype is trying to game their performance numbers, methinks. There’s a feedback system as part of the client program, but it hasn’t worked for several releases now. It’s hard to believe that someone could go through multiple release cycles and not notice, so I suspect shenanigans.