Sunday, May 30, 2010

No Agenda Sunday Afternoon

It a No Agenda afternoon. Sunday edition is here. For me, I have yet to listen to Thursday's so I"m looking forward to a double header.. not sure if I will be able to put up with Adam and John for that long.. will let you know how that goes!


Posted on Sunday 30 May 2010

#204 No Agenda Show For Sunday May 30th 2010
Oil Spill Déjà vu

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

No Agenda Thursday on a Saturday-so I'm a little behind

I haven't listened to it yet but it's here..Thursdays show posted on a
Saturday with the worlds longest show notes!


Posted on Thursday 27 May 2010

#203 No Agenda Show For Thursday
May 27th 2010

Slaughterhouse Blues

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Recent Carbonite Important message

As most of my clients use this great backup service, Carbonite has recently issued an email stating the following:

Important message about your backup
Important message about your backup

Some important files may not be backed up
If you've upgraded from Windows XP to Windows Vista or Windows 7, some of your important
 files may not be selected for backup due to the change in the Windows
Directory structure.
What to do now
Please follow these instructions as soon as possible to ensure that your important files are protected.

Yes, you should follow these instructions and if you aren't sure, then you should be contacting me. If it was something I had recommended and quite possibly even installed it on your computer, then you DO NOT have to worry as this issue has already been dealt with.   It is my guess this message was sent to all of those computers with one of these operating systems (since they also handle Mac now and that one wasn't mentioned).  When I have checked this, I am noting unless you actually did set up any sort of manual schedule, or quite possibly any "scheduled backup" that certain so called "default" items may or may not have been backed up but I have found if you simply install the program, then the default settings are for "all of your account data" but NOT everything on the hard drive. Once you set up a schedule I could see this causing a change in the way the program works. It shouldn't but this is why a notice is sent out.. to be on the safe side, it is something you should check and should be aware of... noting you can simply RIGHT CLICK on any file/folder and you will see the carbonite option which will allow you to set up individual settings on a schedule.  If you are still confused then good, that means you most likely have not bothered to touch any settings and the great program is installed "set and forget".. and that is why it is so good... a simple RIGHT CLICK and carbonite is there!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No Agenda Sunday

It's Sunday and that means it is time for a new agenda or No Agenda!


Posted on Sunday 23 May 2010

#202 No Agenda Show For Sunday May 23d 2010
Trains To FEMA

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Daily Source Code time

Another FUBAR Friday episode of the DSC is here:

#833 Adam Curry's Daily Source Code For Friday May 21st 2010

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rogers-Maybe it is time you got your S*#t together!

Before my rant below, I should mention the subject applies to all cell phone carriers in Canada and the USA that do not offer 'unlimited' options.Since I am currently on Rogers and this post is the result of my most recent bill.

After my last month's bill after being in the USA for a short stint (just over 2 weeks) whereas I purchased a small voice package and knew I already was subscribing to the $10/month US Data roaming package which was supposedly the 'best deal' due to the simple fact that your time was based on an 80% savings when you count up the dollars/mb. The problem was I "supposedly" used 1.7 gb of data resulting in a $1800 bill. This is absolutely absurd!  One: the fact that I am a computer tech and well aware of how data usage can add up, it wasn't until I received a text message stating that my current bill was $1500 that I contacted Rogers. Note: I had no way of knowing how much data I had used since my usage counter on my iphone (at that time showed I had used 246mb) was obviously not at all accurate.  Two: When questioned why I was only now receiving this notice instead of, say, when my current bill was double that of what I would normally pay in a month, or better still, having the choice to choose WHEN I would get this notice, was only told they had no way of doing this since I was on the 'pay as you go plan'.   I was then told I would be better off buying a data package whereas I would then be notified when I reached 80% of used data as well as when I was at 100% (and would then start to be charged about $1/mb of over usage).  When I contacted Rogers immediately following this text message of $1500 bill, the nice lady at the other end of the phone started looking at the usage noting the actual times of the day the data was being used at an extreme (2am for example--when I was sleeping)... she said to note that next month there was a change to the data plans whereas the Canada/US option would allow me to use my existing data plan in to the USA where it would be constantly monitored (4 hour delay they say and it appears to be very accurate but more on that later).  This was nice to hear but obviously not going to solve the current problem of overages.  She asked if I wanted to turn off the data roaming at that time, which I obviously agreed to and was told to wait until I was home and to talk with a tech about this. When I did return home to Canada, actually the moment I landed in Montreal, I started using my phone a lot--including tethering... I had 4 hours to kill and used it for the entire time in tethered mode, on purpose because I knew I could and I wanted to have some sort of baseline to know just how much data I did in fact use.  When I returned home I contacted a tech and was blatantly told that I must have used that amount of data and he went on to tell me the numerous ways in which I may have used this much data (ie: watching youtube and leaving it open all night... noting this is something you can not do with an iphone as it will simply disconnect and go to sleep if you do not use the phone) and then telling me how I can avoid such costs, like turning off the data roaming and/or push and/or location data in which my response was quite simply, "sure, and I can turn on the airplane mode and walk around with a brick in my pocket but what is the point in that if you are paying to use the phone but don't want to be raped in doing so!).. end result, nothing was done about this since the tech could only answer tech questions and had no way of dealing with the data usage that has already happend, pointing me back to a customer service rep in accounting.. which I did but they were quick to note they couldn't do anything because the bill had not been processed yet.  About a week later I got a text from Rogers "security/fraud department" to contact them immediately which I did and was once again questioned about this high usage which I started to explain but figured if I quoted them the initial problem report id number I was given by the kind lady at the initial notice of my extreme bill, this did nothing but have them say "oh well, it came from your phone so it was my problem" and continued to quote times, etc which I could not even question since I had yet to receive my bill and had no way of seeing what it was they were talking about.

My bill arrives and once again I'm on the phone with a Rogers customer service rep but the problem is, this only shows the data usage on a daily basis but no actual times, noting the data usage while in Montreal for the 4 hours totaled just under about 220mb so knowing that one of my days showed over 500mb on one day and the very next day (while in Boston I might add) was just over 700mb,  I then questioned on two issues:  one being why it was that a CSR was able to not only see the data usage but the time it was used at the very moment I made that call on the day I was initially contacted through a text message yet I wasn't able to do this by logging in to my account online and two: why was I still not able to see this when I did actually get my ebill?  The answer was: "good question but something that may be available at a later date".. at this point I was told I could enter a formal complaint/further questions by using the "contact the president" link on their website for which I did immediately.  I got a response from the office of the president the very next morning for which I was able to go over all of this problem and in the end, they cut the bill in half.  Is this the solution to the problem? Probably not, but in their books it would keep me happy by the fact that I only now owed $900 instead of $1800.  I might remind you that my normal monthly bill after taxes was just under $100 so a bill of $1800 would account for a year and a half of my 'budgeted phone allowance' so having it cut in half was nice, but still accounted for almost a full year of service. At this point my options were to cancel the service ($440 to opt out of my 3 year plan but would still have to pay the entire amount of $1800 so this would be foolish since I would still have to get a phone, either through Telus of whom I had spent the previous 12 years with, or to move to Bell for which I did have a current ExpressVu satellite plan with)... I continued to remain 'loyal' to Rogers and so my bill for April was $900!  I then asked this nice representative from the office of the president, what could be done about this notice of my account when it reaches, say, twice what my monthly bill would be ($200) or better still, add it to my existing profile that I can change this 'notification level' myself. Secondly, to change the way my account payment was taken out, since at initial sign up, they required a credit card, was told I can go to an invoice plan.. Done!  That was easy.. but when questioned why I was told I had to pay by credit card, she could only answer by saying, 'this used to be the way'... and that, "your current ideas of setting up the cap on a per account basis as well as the notification will be passed on for further consideration"... remember people, it is YOUR phone and you are expected to abide by their contract so you should also remember you have the ability to question this at any time, and should!

My point in sharing this with you is quite simple.. times are changing constantly and when it comes to technology, it can change over night as with the most recent details you may find when browsing the Rogers current website and reviewing the available plans they offer.  None of which match what they have currently set me up to and nowhere can I learn why I have a different plan than what is now available, therefore you are stuck going through Customer Service over the phone to get to the meat and potatoes of the available plans.  I am (still) with Rogers (for now), only because I am going to give this new 'canada/us' plan a try, and this is what I have learned so far.

I have signed up for the $40/month 1gb Canada/US data plan and immediately was given 2gb.. not sure if this is a one month bonus for signing up, a mistake on their behalf, or quite simply the fact that my initial contract was for 1gb iphone plan and the $40 is for the additional 1gb, now totalling 2gb on my plan.. I'll wait and see next month but that being said, I am quite amazed since I have purposely left my wifi turned off and am only using the network connection for all of my data.  The counter was reset on my phone (by me when I first started this new plan and travelled to the USA) and at this point I have used my phone even more than I did the last month in question whereas I had a total usage of almost 1.8gb and my current usage, since I can now have a much more accurate knowledge of this because my plan includes both Canada/US, is currently sitting at 245mb and I'm now half way through my current month!   So where is the problem here?  It appears to me (and this is completely my own theory here) that when I was in certain cell zones and/or different states for which I was travelling between Texas and Mass., that the actual data was being counted at a multiple of 10x or more (think of a network split/echo for those tech heads).. it is quite possible that I was being charged in this fashion.   The only other theory that I have is that, even though I did have the ability to turn on the network tethering (something Canadians have enjoyed from day one with their iphone and cell provider which the Americans will only get to see when the Iphone 4.0 comes out). Of course I did not use this as I was well aware of my paying by the MB while in the USA. Even though it was not turned on, the fact that this option was a simple logical switch, that it did in fact use this method at times when I would plug in my iphone and continue to work from my laptop during my travels using the hotel wifi since technically speaking I know how to use my phone and I know how data flow works, there is absolutely no other possible answer that I can come up with. 

One reason I am using this last theory is because when they changed my plan to this new "canada/us data package", they also disabled my ability to use tethering.. as I learned quite quickly as I was waiting for my next flight in the Toronto Airport where there was no wifi without paying for it, I went to turn on tethering to use my laptop through my phone and couldn't as it was not set up and was prompted to contact Rogers, which I did, and was told that this was not an available option with the Canada/US plan... makes sense, since they don't want any more irate customers contacting them with an outrageous data usage bill like that they can't nor care to solve but would rather just chop the bill in half and hope that solves the problem... ok guys you win, this time, but now once again I am back to not being able to use certain services available to my phone, like tethering, even though Rogers offers this on an unlimited basis for all Canadian Iphone users... I guess so long as you settle on the current plans they offer.

So if you were to ask me what you should do when you know you are going to be in the USA for any length of time?  My answer would be to get a plan that allows you to forward your phone number to an american phone carrier and simply pick up a US phone. My friend has an iphone with unlimited data usage and has never once even turned on the wifi.. why bother when it is unlimited, right?