Category Archives: Internet

Verizon FiOS Fail

Verizon, what are you thinking?

Like so much involving modern technological communications, Verizon just couldn’t leave well-enough alone.

They’ve redesigned the “On Demand” section of their TV service.

Before it was a rudimentary, simple but intuitive effort. It had a few quirks, the nonpremium movie listings, e.g. FXM, IFC, could be inconsistent depending on what menu tree you were following was my biggest bugaboo.

But now it’s been “rebooted” as the kids say. No doubt it has been designed for the mobile/smartphone user rather than home theater/big HD screen user.

So now when you go in you run into a bunch of icons (not text). Once you figure out what the icons are you can try to navigate to find things. Some trees are semi-intuitive, others are a mish-mash of text and icon program and movie covers (which must be impossible to interpret on a phone screen).

The worst thing I’ve found, so far, is that the nonpremium movie listings don’t seem to exist any useful form anymore. The old, reliable text-based “Network” branch of the tree doesn’t seem to exist any longer. A simple “Free” tab is a shadow of the old one. Even worse it appears as a two-horizontal column offering that you scroll along trying to figure out what the little icons are. Attempting to get info on them is a dicey prospect and if you aren’t careful you could find yourself backing too far away and having to start the lengthy two-column trail all over again.

I know that between all the various networks that used to list their movies — TNT, FXM, IFC, TBS, etc., there are more than the 80 that are listed now.

I see much of this tail wagging the dog design these days as so many websites try to chase the smartphone user. Who uses their phone for their TV viewing? Other than desperation at an airport or trying to sneak something in when you are away from home or attention deficit disorder kids who can’t spend two minutes without looking at their phone? It’s a tiny screen, defeating the purpose of HDTV and our giant modern screens that a fiber-optic/high bandwidth system like FiOS is designed for. Now the loyal viewers find themselves kicked to the curb.

I say all this as a big fan of the Verizon FiOS service. I’ve recommended it to numerous people but this is a negative.

About Those Anti-Trump“Tech Leaders”

You might have caught this piece ersatz political news – “’Tech Leaders’ Stand Against Trump.” Here’s the original “Letter” that spawned a bunch these so-called news stories.

It was, like so much political campaign news, really more of a primitive mating dance rather than a real event. What happens is someone from a Democratic campaign (this supposedly resembles some of the stuff hacked from the Clinton campaign) calls one or more of the media toadies and, voila!, a piece of “news” runs in newspapers and on TV news shows.

In this “news,” these “Tech Leaders” think that a Trump presidency will slow “innovation” down.

Somehow, I don’t think The Donald will slow innovation down. Seems to me he’d likely get more ahead of it, especially by trimming strangling regulation.

Hillary just wants to make “innovation” a creature of the government and several of these “Tech Leaders” simply want to clamp their lips on the government funding teat.

These “Tech Leaders” seem to think that “innovation” emanates from “diversity” rather than from intelligence and hard work. Actually, they know the truth which is why this whole thing is a disgusting charade.

Hey “Tech” guys (and gals), didn’t so much of this innovation (that made several of you insanely wealthy) happen while America was a backward bigoted, racist, sexist, etc. country?

So I take note of these abusers of their positions. Note to corporate heads, I will no longer be considering, buying or using your services.

If you looked at this list, you might be scratching your head because you might not have heard of a lot of these “Tech Leaders” or their companies. It should be noted that many of them are the heads of small, fly-by-night companies created simply to get acquired by a larger company and pay off early money investors (several of which are also on this list) and start-up executives. The acquiring company often ends up writing off the acquisition, hosing its own shareholders.

Oh, and some of that money finds its way into the coffers of the Democratic Party.

As for others on the “Trump will stop innovation” list – Vint Cerf, Barry Diller, Irwin Jacobs, Paul Jacobs, William Kennard, Pierre Omidyar, Jimmy Wales and Steve Wozniak should know better.

I don’t know about you but I really don’t consider Jesse Jackson (along with a handful of other political hacks on the list) to be a “Tech Leader.”

Vinod Khosla and several others on this list have long been wealthy Dem tech hucksters (think Al Gore).

So, these allegedly sharp “Tech Leaders,”  support the technophobe candidate who can’t secure her own email or is confused about her smartphone and other tech devices. Interesting.

Most of the comments seem to be hostile to these puffed-up courtiers but some are supportive. Amazingly, most of those supportive tend to be of the same type, an illustration of the classic libtard trait of  “moral signaling.” Hence most sound like, “I consider it an honor to include myself with this stellar group of technology thought leaders on whatever it is they are saying negative about people we don’t like.”

Riddle Me This — BuzzFeed Discrimination Edition

So now the pop entertainment website BuzzFeed will follow in the footsteps of Google in discriminating between clients (or prospective clients) based on “beliefs.” BuzzFeed has announced it will refuse ads from the Republican party because of Donald Trump. It may have stepped away from $1.3 million of ads that the party may have committed to.

But apparently BuzzFeed will accept Democrat ads.

BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Paretti explained, “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.” Well, that wasn’t what Trump said, Trump was talking about immigration, especially illegal immigration, not Muslim international travel. A rather ill-informed response by the supposed head of a news website that wants to be taken seriously.

Paretti added, “We don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason ” Okay, that’s just silly. But it gives you an insight into the mind of the liberal and BuzzFeed that is, if anything, a pack of liberal media jackals. Liberals view anything nonliberal, insufficiently liberal or anti-liberal as needing to be shutdown. And they will shut it down when they can.

BuzzFeed is privately held but a number of its owner/investors have public arms. They need to be pressured, ahem, NBCUniversal. I wonder if all the private equity investors are cool with BuzzFeed possibly walking away from $1.3 million and likely souring the milk for millions of dollars more while Paretti just insulted a large portion of the U.S. population?

Having said that, I actually feel that BuzzFeed is within its to choose what ads to run. But then I also think that bakers and florists and photographers can choose who they’ll provide services to.

Yet, somehow, I don’t think BuzzFeed, always eagerly polishing its liberal bonafides, would grant the same right of discrimination to, say, Masterpiece Cakes or Arlene’s Flowers or the other small businesses that have found themselves under the boot of the government when they exercised a right that BuzzFeed just claimed. Like Google, I suspect the answer from BuzzFeed is “Rights for me but not for thee.”

Does anyone think the Dept. of Justice will be paying a visit to BuzzFeed? That’ll be the day.

Facebook to Face the Music

Of course Facebook has been downplaying and demoting conservative “trends.” How is this really news?

All the big internet operations do it. It would be impossible to spend any time on a Yahoo site or put up with MSN or Verizon “news” selections while you check email without beginning to wonder if you haven’t accidentally wandered over to Mother Jones, Huff Po or the Democratic Party page. The news is always bad for Republicans or conservatives; liberal propaganda like “War on women,” “Rape Epidemic,” “hottest month, year in history” or some such deception, bad businesses, racist cops or some put-upon minority are the grist. Also diet, health and environmental scare stories are popular fodder as well. Then there are endless celebrity stories, “women’s” stories and food news too. Much of it is similar to the mindless, gossipy female-oriented fluff that populates TV morning shows but a significant portion is spun leftism. A conservative will rarely find anything to hearten them.

Having said that, I also add that Facebook is a private business. It can filter news and stories however it wants. People need to be aware that it is run by liberals and its content is selected by liberals, generally for other liberals (and to influence weak-minded independents). They aren’t going to hire conservatives. They don’t think much of you (though they will take your money).

HINT-HINT — BIG BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY HERE FOR A FACEBOOK IMITATOR WITH A DIFFERENT SPIN!

The best way to counter this behavior is to walk away. Don’t reward liberals with your business.

I’ll add that I’m most certainly against Facebook being called up to Capitol Hill by Sen. John Thune to explain itself (even if it is publicly lying) . Facebook is a private company, it does not have to adhere to the First Amendment. It should not have to answer to Congress or any part of the federal government.

Publicly expose them for the libtards they are but leave them alone beyond that.

More Free Stuff!

This little item popped up last week, somewhat under the radar — a free Internet (for some people — AKA regular Democrat voters) proposal from the modern Santa Claus, the Obama White House and its puppet, the Federal Communications Commission.

As I’ve been telling people for some time, the “free phone” “entitlement” would morph into free Internet and here we see the first step. This is also related to the designation of the Internet and related entities as “Title II,” i.e. a utility that can be heavily regulated by government. Liberals will not rest until the Internet is part of the government’s portfolio and under its oversight and control. Eventually there will be a Dept. of Communication with a cabinet-level secretary. Bank on it.

Unless it is stopped.

The acorn of this mighty oak was a Reagan-era program. Reagan had a soft spot for Social Security and old folks (he philosophically knew better but couldn’t resist the sad stories). His idea was that no old person would be trapped without some kind of basic phone service, at least for emergencies. Immediately an income rider was attached so that “the poor,” no matter their age, would also be eligible. You knew then that it would be expanded and expanded. And so it was, slowly at first. Then, a few decades letter, it exploded with the Obamaphone program for getting wireless phones to those who might not have them. And now Internet “access” is being folded in, because, well, it’s just not “fair” that some people have Internet and some don’t.

I’m going to say something that has become controversial as liberalism has become increasingly more dominant in our culture. There needs to be a penalty for being poor. There needs to be some impetus, reason, encouragement for people to make themselves unpoor.

But the left likes people to be poor. It likes them to become dependent upon the government — for a few things at first, but increasingly more and more of the creature comforts. After awhile — a few years, a few generations they don’t mind being poor. It’s not so bad to be poor because everyone has enough to eat (except when it’s time to make hay about ‘hunger); everybody has shelter (other than those voluntarily homeless or mentally disturbed and when it comes time to make hay about ‘homelessness’); everybody is getting health care (except when it comes time make hay about ‘health care’); everybody has educational opportunities and increasingly a free or heavily subsidized college (except when it time to make hay about ‘education’); and so on.

In many ways they aren’t really poor — certainly in not any traditional and historical sense. Nor are they poor in any comparison to the actual poor in the rest of the world. Most of our “poor” would rate as middle class in most parts of the globe.

They have enough to get by but certainly not enough to actually become no longer dependent upon the government. After a few generations of this, people no longer are capable of taking care of themselves. And why should they, they reason — that’s what the government is for! Big Daddy/Big Mommy/Big Sister/Big Brother and Big Baby.

And they don’t have to pay a nickle for any of it because that wouldn’t be “fair” and they are poor!

Witness life in any Democrat-controlled city. Everything that comes out of the mouths of the local poor is “gimme” and their look is to the government (and the politicians are happy to abide). In their minds the government provides all. They are married to the government. The concept of taking care of themselves or looking to building a private sector is mostly foreign to them. In the rare occasions when it is addressed it is treated with contempt or denounced by politicoes and “stakeholding” activists as a conspiracy by Republicans, conservatives, corporations, enslavers to control them. Those “stakeholders” have a stake in keeping the poor poor.

The poor become completely incapable of understanding that they have already sold their souls to a master — the Democratic Party and its various flying monkey organizations.

Technostupidity

Why is it seemingly any pop-technology website inevitably becomes liberal? Is this a corollary of O’Sullivan’s Law — any organization/group that isn’t actively conservative will became liberal over time? Is it because they are media-oriented and seem to only hire (mostly young) liberals?

Whatever, Mashable has essentially become unreadable over the last year with an explosion in hard left and anti-conservative politics creeping in (Obama can never do any wrong); open promotion of homosexuality and any other “ality” that isn’t heterosexuality; an obsession with freakish things and people who seem to be nearing derangement; promotion of the liberal social or economic cause or celebrity intellectual du jour; increasing focus on flaky entertainment; and, as all of these do, a complete swallowing of global warming and magical green energy stories.

Engadget looks more and more like Mashable but a year behind.

The Verge is suffering from a case of Voxization by its owner, Vox. It gets dumber by the day. It is now reminiscent of a once cute girl who now wears librarian glasses so that people will take her seriously.

Even plain vanilla Tech Crunch seems to be following the path of least resistance. Lately “LGBTQ” stories have started popping up on the site.

Gizmodo can’t stay away from bashing Trump and it often promotes the liberal enviro scare of the week. The latest liberal social crusade will make a regular appearance when it needs promoting.

Oh, yeah, “Diversity” is the buzzword of the century for all of them. And all are so painfully politically correct I’m stunned that they still use black as their default font color.

Pretty much every writer on these sites has no problem expressing their opinion with the confidence of a recent college graduate and few seem to be aware that there might be a disagreeing opinion out there. Almost every one of them doesn’t seem to be aware that there was history before the year 2000, other than some vague dark ages where white males feasted upon women and minorities (except Bill Clinton, who did none of that).

The Care and Feeding of Topsy

It’s a sad axiom of government that once a program is started it will forever grow, eventually moving far beyond its intended purpose and scope.

While we are replete with thousands examples, I shall apprise you of a recent one that has come to my attention.

Ronald Reagan, bless his heart, had a blindspot for Rooseveltian social claptrap. It was a left over from his days as a Democrat. One of Reagan’s leftovers was a program called “Lifeline,” aimed at maintaining basic phone service for isolated senior citizens.

This was back in the early days of phone deregulation, the 1980s. Telephones were still sort of new back then, or at least not taken for granted. There were senior citizens who remembered having their first phone installed at their home. It was still a luxury to have more than one phone in the house, though that was changing. Long distance calling was still expensive, though thanks to Craig McCaw it was coming down. Cellphones had not been invented yet.

Lifeline was to be a small program, paid for by those nickle & dime “fees” that you read about on the back of your phone bill (like the one instituted to pay for the Spanish-American War but was only finally removed more than a century after the war ended). No one thought much of it because no one wanted Grandma to be without a phone and it was just a few pennies a month, right? Besides, back then even grandmas scrimped and saved to pay their bills. Nobody was going to call them deadbeats!

Fast forward 30 years to now. That cute little puppy of a program has grown into mangy adult coyote, complete with its own Washington lobby, army of rentseekers and disingenuous activist supporters.

Lifeline, in the eyes of the FCC, is now morphing into a broadband Internet entitlement that people of “low-income” are, well, entitled to. In fact, the cable television industry lobby group, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, wants to add in more than just basic services, because, as it says, consumers want choice (especially when other people are footing the bill).

There’s no such thing as “beggars can’t be choosers,” in this day and age. I’d surmise that many liberals would insist that it is those very beggars who should be given the most choice. That’s how they think in their upside down world.

The Democrats at the FCC are pushing to fatten it up as well.

Adding fuel to the fire — Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut (a Democrat, of course), has written a letter to the FCC (and the Veterans Administration) insisting that Lifeline be expanded to cover all military personal and veterans.

I guess that would make a new recruiting tool — Join the Army, get free broadband for life. If that doesn’t raise the patriotic fervor of today’s kids and older couch potatoes, I don’t know what will.

Laugh now that some think broadband Internet should be considered a basic of daily life. In a few more years you’ll be paying for it (assuming you’re one of the 50% that actually pays taxes and for your Internet – which will be deemed a ‘human right’ by some.).