Well, I’ve been completing lacking when it comes to updating this site. I’ll try to continue to update. As always, you can reach my flickr site for new update: http://www.flickr.com/frankdiaz

Here’s an update on a recent post I had made about Comcast. I received a response from Melissa apologizing for the “poor service.” I’m glad to see that their monitoring Twitter and the blogs. Proves to me that they’re monitoring their brand and reputation. Hopefully this makes changes.

So as I’m driving in traffic today, I start to wonder, “It’s Friday afternoon. Why is there so much traffic, and why is everybody just laying on their horns?” Then I proceed to look up and I see this:

Recently, I started to get the dreaded, “This channel should be available shortly” message. The following is a transcript of the conversation I had with an online customer no-service rep from Comcast.

user Francisco_ has entered room


Francisco>

For the second time today I've received the message "this channel should be available shortly comcast"


analyst Rachel.29179 has entered room


Rachel.29179>

Hello Francisco_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Rachel.29179. Please give me one moment to review your information.


Rachel.29179>

I am here to provide you with the best customer service. I will be delighted to assist you with your concern.


Rachel.29179>

I understand that you have experience an intermittent cable connection for the second time today, right?


Francisco_>

Yes


Rachel.29179>

I know how unfortunate having problem with cable the second time.  You have cable trouble, am I correct?


Francisco_>

Yes.


Rachel.29179>

I will be glad to check this for you, Francisco. 


Rachel.29179>

By the way, do you have a cable box?


Francisco_>

I've power cycled the box and now it's saying that I don't subscribe to some channels


Francisco_>

Yes...


Rachel.29179>

Alright.


Rachel.29179>

Let me check if there is an outage in your area.


Rachel.29179>

May I have the account number and the last four digits of the Social Security Number, please?


Francisco_>

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx / xxxx


Rachel.29179>

Thank you.


Rachel.29179>

Please give a minute or two while I check this for you.  Is that okay with you?


Francisco_>

Please...


Rachel.29179>

Thank you.


Rachel.29179>

Thank you for patiently waiting.


Rachel.29179>

How are you doing, by the way, Francisco?


Rachel.29179>

I have checked your area, Francisco.


Rachel.29179>

I can certainly understand how inconvenient it must be not to have a cable service working as expected.

However, upon checking, your services are affected by an outage at this time.

This is a known issue and our technicians are working to restore the service as quickly as possible. Please bear with us.


Rachel.29179>

At the moment, I do not see a time of restoral. Please do chat back with us at a later time so that we can provide you with an update. Thank you for your understanding and patience.


Rachel.29179>

If the cable is not restored after 24 hours, you may request for credit for the number of days that you do not have the cable services.  You may request this once the cable has been fully restored.


Francisco_>

No. It worked about an hour ago


Rachel.29179>

Yes, that is possible.


Rachel.29179>

Let me send a signal to the box to see if it responds.


Francisco_>

Why should I have to wait 24 hours? I understand that this sometimes happens to cable boxes that aren't registered


Rachel.29179>

I understand how inconvenient this is to you and I understand how you feel.


Rachel.29179>

May I have the serial number that is found either at the back or the bottom of the box?


Rachel.29179>

The serial number should start with either SA, PK, PA, MI, MA, M0, M9 or GI.


Francisco_>

hang on


Rachel.29179>

By the way, you only have one DVR box, right?


Francisco_>

yes


Rachel.29179>

Alright.


Rachel.29179>

I will send a signal to your DVR box.  Please have the box and the TV turn "ON" and the TV tune to channel 3.  Alright?


Rachel.29179>

Please be advised though that since this is a DVR, if you have save programs, that there is a possibility that it might be erased.  Is that okay with you?


Rachel.29179>

Are you still with me? 

It is important for me to know if you are still online with me.

Did you receive my last message?


Francisco_>

Hang on...


Rachel.29179>

Thank you.


Francisco_>

I can't find the serial


Francisco_>

where would it be located?


Rachel.29179>

That is okay since you have one DVR box. 


Francisco_>

I think I found it. It's xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Rachel.29179>

Thank you.


Rachel.29179>

I will send a signal to your DVR box.  Please have the box and the TV turn "ON" and the TV tune to channel 3.  Alright?


Francisco_>

OK


Rachel.29179>

Thank you.


Rachel.29179>

Please be advised though that since this is a DVR, if you have save programs, that there is a possibility that it might be erased.  Is that okay with you?


Francisco_>

OK


Rachel.29179>

Thank you.


Rachel.29179>

I have sent a signal to your DVR box. Can you please check to see if this has resolved your issue?


Francisco_>

Nothing happened.


Rachel.29179>

I am sorry to hear that. 


Rachel.29179>

This is because of the ongoing outage in your area.


Francisco_>

Where can I monitor the outage?


Rachel.29179>

But rest assured that this is being currently work on and consider the issue resolved.


Francisco_>

Is there a link to this site?


Rachel.29179>

You can chat back or you can contact our hotline at 1800 266 2278. 


Rachel.29179>

There is no link available online.


Rachel.29179>

I have exhaust all the trouble shooting steps remotely and have this issue escalated to our technician so that they will hasten and fixed the issue in your area. 


Rachel.29179>

Please consider this issue resolved. 


Rachel.29179>

In the meantime I will make a one day credit for no cable. 


Rachel.29179>

Is there anything else I can help you with today?


Francisco_>

NO.


Rachel.29179>

Thank you.


Rachel.29179>

If you need additional assistance you can find product support information on our Web site at: http://www.comcast.com/Support/.


Rachel.29179>

You may check out also our latest promotional packages available in your area, please visit http://www.comcastspecial.com for details.


Rachel.29179>

We value your business with Comcast.  By answering the online survey after clicking on "end session," we will be able to gather your suggestion and recommendation on how to improve our service. We thank you in advance for accomplishing the survey.


Rachel.29179>

It's been a pleasure serving you today. 

Thank you for contacting Comcast. We appreciate your business.

Have a great evening. Take care.


Rachel.29179>

Analyst has closed chat and left the room


analyst Rachel.29179 has left room


So for you news junkies out there who want to know how to access The Wall Street Journal – the best pay site on the internet (It’s op-ed pages excluded), and The Financial Times, here’s how.

Basically it utilizes First Click Free which you can find more information about here. I’m not going to delve into those details, since you’re probably just wanting to know how to do it.

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need:

  • Firefox 3 or above
  • Add-on “RefControl”
  1. Download the Add-on for Firefox called “RefControl”
  2. Go to options in RefControl
  3. Click on Add Site
  4. In the SITE: part put online.wsj.com or ft.com
  5. Click on the radio button next to Custom
  6. For Custom, type: REF://digg.com
  7. Click OK, and you’re done.

My best friend, Ryan, lives near Denver and I decided to make the visit. Thought I’d post pics of that since, well you know, it’s kind of a blog about my travels and all. Next up, Madison and Chicago.

As some of you may know, I’m a network engineer for an IT firm in Jacksonville, Fl. A server belonging to a client of our’s died in Charlotte, NC and we had to make a late night run up there to revive it and have it back up by Monday. We made a weekend of it, and here’s the proof (yeah, I know, pretty lame):

Well alot has changed since I’ve last updated this blog. I’ve become addicted to Twitter: (http://www.twitter.com/FRANKDIAZ), and I’ve gotten rid of Picassa in favor of Flickr.

I found it a little amusing as to how resistant I was at first. But Flickr offered unlimited storage (without compression, no less) for $25 a year. How could you resist that. While its Uploadr is not as user friendly and awesome as Picassa, the web storage sold me on it.

In the future I’m going to try and update this thing a little more. I’d like to generate some more traffic and start paying some bills with the ads. So guys keep clicking around.

Going back to what I was discussing yesterday about Google Picasa vs Flickr. Well I don’t get it, but Google is deciding to go with a Flickr backend for their new cell phone OS, Android. The OSS app is called Photostream. I don’t get it, but I’ll stick with Picasa, but it’s getting tougher.

Recently posted on the Android developer’s blog they make it painfully clear:

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2008/09/android-photostream.html

Let me preface this by stating that, Yes! Yes, I am a Google Fanboy. For a long time the motto was “Google can do no wrong.” The string of incredible products: Google search engine, GMail, Google Maps, Google Earth, the little known GOOG-411, Google Reader, iGoogle, Google Video/YouTube, Google Desktop, Google Finance, Google News, Froogle, Picasa, and ofcourse Blogger. Let’s focus on Google’s Picasa for sake of argument.

I love Picasa. I love the Picasa desktop tool, and I love Picasa’s web albums. For me Flickr can’t even hold a flame to Picasa. Best of all, Picasa kept all their vowels, instead using that too common annoying wannabe cool Web 2.0 naming convention. Why do I love Picasa? See below (yes I know Flickr can do it, but Picasa does it from the desktop):

  • Organized albums
  • One click upload to web albums, with the ability to create web albums or import from web albums
  • Ability to search storage devices for images and videos
  • Ability to display videos
  • Simple but useful photo editing tools
  • Smooth transitions
  • Geotagging with Google Maps AND Google Earth
  • Ability to sync with Blogger
  • One click e-mail from GMail
  • One click creation of collages and movies
  • Ability to send to a 3rd party to develop pictures from the desktop
  • Ability to filter images or videos
  • Ability to search images or videos
  • Easy imports of videos and images
  • Easy connectivity with webcam

With all of the benefits that Picasa has over Flickr, why is Flickr the de facto image storage on the internet? Here’s a hint, it’s in bold and enlarged. Bullet point #2 is the reason why it should be the standard, but is not. It’s the web album. Flickr’s free account currently allows up to 100MB be uploaded per month. This does not sound like alot, and frankly is not. In fact, a recent trip to South Korea (http://witwisfrank.blogspot.com) generated almost 3GB of videos and pictures. Now I easily connected my digital camera and digital camcorder to my computer and easily copied over the images to my hard drive where Picasa detected the images and duley added them a new album. I then proceeded to upload the web album after geotagging and commenting the pictures and videos. I clicked the upload button, and within a half hour I was getting an error message. I had run out of disk space for my Picasa account! This was frustrating enough, but I figured I got what I paid for and decided to bite the bullet. I browsed the prices for upgrading the storage and came across some reasonable prices.

10 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
40 GB ($75.00 USD per year)
150 GB ($250.00 USD per year)
400 GB ($500.00 USD per year)

Then I thought, that I would check the prices for Flickr. I mean, why are they so popular – even more popular than my beloved Picasa? Then I saw the biggest reason. Flickr’s website isn’t as oranized, or as slick, or has great desktop software to back up the website. It’s the sheer amount of data that they will house. Get this! The free account (despite the fact you can only upload 100MB) has an INFINITE amount of storage space. The Pro account is only $24.95 a year and has UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH, and UNLIMITED STORAGE. For $5 more a year you can slaughter Google’s data storage plan. This was disheartening and depressing for a Google Fanboy such as myself. Although the price is better I think I will still opt for Google’s storage plan. I know, voting by my dollars would cause Google to change their minds and people like me will cause them to justify their price. However this made me think how Google can overtake Flickr’s stranglehold of online images. Either offer a plan that matches Flickr or do what they did with GMail. Provide it all for free! If you remember, GMail offered 1GB of free e-mail storage at a time when Hotmail was offering 2MB, and Yahoo 6MB. I believe this is a prime opportunity on the heels of their Picasa 3.0 release to change their pricing structure. Give away the whole thing for free. In exchange, put Google Ads tastefully around my pictures. This is something they do not do yet, surprisingly enough. Check for yourself. The entire Picasa website is clear of ads.

GOOGLE: MAKE PICASA UNLIMITED AND FREE!

Next Page »