Thursday, March 13, 2014

Time Warner Cable: More Of
The Same Old Customer Abuse Strategy

--

Time Warner Cable is back at it again! 
'Screw thy customer' is their mantra.
And again the customers have told TWC to take their abuse and stuff it:

$5 discount to give up unlimited data? Time Warner Cable customers say “no”
30GB data meters not appealing, nearly all customers reject them.
by Jon Brodkin - Mar 13 2014, 2:05pm EDT, Ars Technica
Time Warner Cable has been offering customers $5 monthly discounts in exchange for giving up unlimited data for the last couple of years, but almost no one has taken the company up on its offer.
. . .
"I guess about two years ago we rolled out a 5GB-a-month service. Since then, roughly six months ago, we rolled out a 30GB-a-month service across the entire footprint, and if you buy that service you can save about five bucks a month off the unlimited product," Marcus said.
. . .
The good news, Marcus said, is "we plan to offer unlimited for as far out as we can possibly see. I think that the concept of 'use more pay more, use less pay less,' is an important principle to establish. So notwithstanding the low uptake of usage-based tiers, I think it's a very important component of our overall pricing philosophy."
IOW: If at first you don't succeed, screw, screw again.

If the Comcast purchase of worthless Time Warner Cable succeeds, I see NO improvements on the horizon. Instead, everyone expects THROTTLING of bandwidth, without customer consent, to be the next big step in CUSTOMER ABUSE.

And #MyStupidGovernment won't do a thing to stop it. (In case you didn't know, Mr. Obama appointed at lobbyist for the media industry to head the FCC. It's all out war against We The People).


--

F**K Time Warner Cable @ Facebook



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hope For Lousy Time Warner Cable?
Please buy them Charter Communications,
and fix their wagon good!

--

As a long-time Time Warner Cable victim, I could not be more pleased to hear that Charter Communications wants to buy them and treat that lousy company as a 'turnaround project'. As the single worst company with whom I have ever had to deal, I can't imagine Charter Communications could do anything to make TWC worse. The result of their influence can only be for the better.



Here's one of the relevant articles:

Charter calls TW Cable a 'turnaround project'
… Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) is rapidly losing customers for key services such as video, voice and even Internet. 
"This negative momentum isn't simply the result of their operating plan over the last year. It is the failed plan over the past half-decade," said Charter's chief operating officer, John Bickham, in a conference call with analysts.
Not just the past half-decade! I'd estimate the last FULL decade.

Charter Communications has plans to actually make TWC all digital, as opposed to the vaporware TWC promise to go all digital in 2013. CC also plans on providing wider Internet bandwidth. Hopefully, my friends in Denmark won't taunt me any more over their incredibly better bandwidth relative to the the crap TWC offers for exorbitant prices.

In this case I'd estimate that CHANGE is indeed GOOD, as in For The Better. It couldn't get much worse than the lousy service TWC foists on us now. What an awful, customer-abusing, self-destructive company.

[Oh and PSSST, Charter Communications! A hint: Fire ALL of TWC's management. You'll be glad you did. I know I will!]


--

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Ars Technica Falls On Its Arse:
Attack Of The Vehemently Ignorant Trolls
And Authors

--

[Update added at the end of the article!]

This is a documentation of a troll-job by people insistent upon making certain that other people are as ignorant of science as they are. As such, I think it's rather boring. But I'm posting it specifically because this is nothing new on at Ars Technica or the Internet as a whole. Ignorance is the new status quo. Bad science is tolerated as acceptable science. People like myself who seek to help those interested in learning factual information are attacked by the outright stupid, then called 'trolls' for defending fact. IASSOTS. Therefore:

With three science degrees and decades of expertise in imaging, I've reached my wit's end with decaying Ars Technica. Here is the article and forum discussion that has me fed up with Ars Technica:

X-Ray pulsars boil “nuclear pasta” to keep spinning
Now we know why neutron stars just won't slow down.

The author, Chris Lee, mistakenly used the term 'light' to refer to microwave electromagnetic radiation in paragraph 4 (emphasis mine):
Most pulsars emit light in the microwave region, and they spin extremely fast, with periods ranging from a few seconds down to 100 ms.
One correct way to make this statement would be: "Most pulsars emit EM radiation in the microwave region...."

It's a simple replacement of a wrong and poorly chosen word, 'light', with correct terminology, such as "EM radiation" which refers to electromagnetic radiation. Therefore, I posted the following in the comment forum:
Terminology Correction:

Chris Lee said: "Most pulsars emit light in the microwave region."

The term 'light' makes no sense here. The correct term is 'electromagnetic radiation'. 'Light' refers only to that portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum that is visible to the human eye. Obviously, microwave radiation is invisible to our eye.

Here is an article about the distinction between 'light' and the rest of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum
Enough said.

I certainly am human and therefore blunder on a regular basis. I am always grateful to those willing to teach me what I don't understand. I enjoy providing the same, which is the point of my three blogs.

~~~~~~

But then this happened: A barrage of vehemently insistent ignorance from both trolls AND the author himself in reply to my cited correction at the Ars Technica forum:
Bengie25 Ars Tribunus Militum

“One word is much smaller and works when exact terms matter. He could have said photons, which most people make synonymous with "light".”

Chuckstar Ars Praefectus et Subscriptor 
LOL... just stop. Astronomers often refer to all wavelengths as light. 
Maybe they just haven't read enough wikipedia entries? Google around if you don't believe me. I think you'll be surprised who is the one being ignorant and nonsensical.

Wheels Of Confusion Ars Tribunus Angusticlavius 
Except nobody's done that yet, dipshit. For future reference, if you don't want to be accused of trolling, don't engage in it. The part I highlighted indicates that you may not know this yet. 
So it was pointless and ignorant of you to try and "compete" with the author about the usage of light?  I suppose you'll likewise think it's useless to argue with the physicists and astronomers who routinely and professionally use the term "light" to mean EM radiation in general rather than the visible wavelengths. Good to know!

Chuckstar Ars Praefectus et Subscriptor 
ha ha ha ha
The only one in this conversation that this describes is YOU.

srhode Wise, Aged Ars Veteran et Subscriptor

Zunipus,
The article you point to on Wikipedia refers to Infrared as Infrared light, even though it is not visible to the human eye. Even that article can't seem to agree on what is "light" and what is EM radiation. In fact, I don't see anything in that article that specifically says that the word "light" is only intended to be used in reference to visible light and shouldn't be used for any other wavelength of the EM spectrum.

Shawn

Chris Lee [initially using the nick laserboy] Associate writer [AUTHOR of the source article being discussed]
I think its time we all get a grip. Wikipedia is not the fount of all knowledge, and strict definitions for loose terms like "light" are stupid.
In my professional life, I have worked with light with wavelengths ranging from 13 nm through to ~1 mm. It is, depending on the occasion (and not the wavelength): radiation, light, electromagnetic radiation, photons, light fields, light, X-Rays, soft X-Rays, infrared radiation, heat, and probably some more that don't spring to mind immediately.
The term is correct, and, in this case, it is even precise.

Peter Bright Microsoft Editor [Ars Staff] 
If light is always visible, why does the term "visible light" exist?
I replied to the first couple troll attack posts with added information and opinion, but then decided to stay out of the attack fray. However, I reported all the troll comments to the Ars Technica's staff, including the insistently wrong post by the author, Chris Lee. I can't help but think either Chris Lee is not a 'physicist' at all, or that he is determined to make his readers ignorant of correct science terminology. I suggested to the Ars Staff that he correct the error he made in his article. 

I also replied to Chris Lee directly:
I've stated to Ars Technica that I was not going to reply to the troll attack. But I have to point out: Shame on you Chris Lee. I have pointed out correct terminology. You have, instead of correcting your error, vehemently insisted upon wrong terminology. Obviously that is a disservice to everyone reading your article. Please correct your error. That is the simple solution. A troll war is never any solution. It's only pointless contention, as I have already pointed out above.
I add here that I hope Chris Lee will be removed from the Ars Technica associate writing staff.

~~~~~~~

Q: Why did I report all the troll comments to Ars Technica? I never go running to net mommies for trolling retribution! I always stick it out and let the trolls make fools of themselves, which is apparently the point of trolling.

A: Because I can no longer accept being called a troll myself when all I am doing is attempting to help others at Ars Technica. 

Simply by replying to someone who insists that x = y, proving them wrong with provided citations, I have been reported as a "troll" on at least three occasions. Huh?! Cognitive dissonance is the result, never a good time.

I've watched this happen MANY times to other commentators at Ars Technica. Recently, I got so fed up with the vehement misinformation that I gave up bothering with the site for a couple weeks. Then today I read an article with a wrong term, provided a cited correction, and got ATTACKED!

This is Ars Technica in decay.

Oh yes it is! Do some self-evaluation Ars Technica. I'm not pointing out anything new or unique. Heal thyself Ars Technica. I don't pretend to know the depths of your decay or how to solve it. That's your job. I'm only pointing out that you have the problem.

Obviously, if the members of the Ars Technica forum insist upon being ignorant, I'm not going to be bothering to lend them my hand to pull themselves out of their mire of self-imposed stupidity. Trolls deserve the consequences of their ignorance. Enjoy your karma.

What's a shame is that MOST people at Ars Technica forums are NOT trolling assholes. Most people there WANT to learn. But because of the deliberate evil of the few, the majority must suffer.

This is the classic outcome of a sociopath infestation within any human system.

And I have no interest in playing with sociopaths.

BTW: If this reminds you of why my US government is a failure, good on you. Who in their sane mind would want to work with sociopathic politicians?

~~~~~~~

UPDATE! 

Check this out, received from Ars Technica via email August 8, 2013 6:07:48 PM EDT: 

You have been banned from this board until Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:34 pm.

Please contact the Board Administrator for more information.

Reason given for ban: 3rd OW = 1-week temp ban

A ban has been issued on your username.
Exactly as I stated: 

Ars Technica In Decay

Under the circumstances, being banned from Ars Technica's forums is a Badge Of Honor.

Ars Technica: It's your reputation on the line. I've just established mine: A crusader for factual science and science terminology, no matter how much intimidation your bad writers and forum trolls can throw at me. I like that. (^_^)

~~~~~~~

And just to be extra boring and tedious, here is my direct reply to Ars Technica regarding their banning. I might as well make everything public! I like it that way:
Ars Technica:

Regarding http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?[blahblah banning announcement URL]
My reply:

Ars Technica Falls On Its Arse: Attack Of The Vehemently Ignorant Trolls And Authors- By Derek Currie, 2013-08-08

http://zunipus.blogspot.com/2013/08/ars-technica-falls-on-its-arse-attack.html 
My terminology correction stands, as any 11th grade physics student can verify, but Chris Lee cannot.

I suggest you fire Chris Lee from your writing staff for vehemently defending his WRONG information. All he had to do was look it up and correct his error. Instead, all THIS had to happen.

This has is easily the most despicable tirade of nonsense I have ever experienced from a 'professional' website. But colleagues have pointed out to me today that none of this is new at your website. It's apparently been going on for 15 years. I will continue to monitor Ars Technica's forums because the trolls there ARE a detriment to your reader's learning and knowledge. I will also continue to monitor your article authors for authenticity and factual information. I will be encouraging other trained scientists to do the same.

Consider this my small cattle prod to encourage Ars Technica to wake up, teach and write about real science, while behaving with real professionalism. Are you up to it? I cynically doubt it. I now look on you as a gang of deceitful, lazy little children, incapable of comprehending actual science. Prove me wrong.

Disgusted.
~~~~~~~

I look forward to further prodding of Ars Technica into professionalism.

Now get back to doing something fun and interesting. You must be hyped on coffee if you've managed to read through this dull horror of a story.

:-Derek
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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Age of Trivia

--

Much as I feel incapable of solving, let alone understanding my specie's self-destructive imperative, apparently I have some useful concepts as we watch the history of this phenomenon unfold.

'The Age of Trivia' is a concept for our current transition into what I call 'The Last Dark Age'. My country, the USA, has already clearly demonstrated exactly why it will become entirely irrelevant in the world. We are now in desperation mode and that isn't going to stop, certainly from what little insight I have into the future. Desperation is actually being used as a tool by our increasingly sociopathic culture. Letting go of desperation as a weapon is outside of any sociopathic culture's comprehension.

With desperation a constant source of loud, screaming noise in the background, the world human culture has already begun to dig its head deep into the dirt to shut it out. To pass the time, to conjure some sort of sense of personal usefulness in the world, to entertain and distract ourselves, we are now specializing in trivial pursuits. It's a classic case of fiddling while our modern 'Rome' burns and shouts at us to make it stop. We have real problems to solve, real human survival, Earth survival at stake. But instead we're off in the ozone playing with trivial garbage. It's classic desperation behavior.

For me, this 'Age of Trivia' began with claims by both scientists and cult loonies to have cloned a human. There is no more dire trivial pursuit amidst my specie's determination to destroy itself and its only home planet, than humans bothering to clone themselves. This trivia began in 2001. Here is a detailed article about the subject from that year:

Baby, It's You! And You, And You...
By Nancy Gibbs Sunday, Feb. 11, 2001, Time Magazine
Last month a well-known infertility specialist, Panayiotis Zavos of the University of Kentucky, announced that he and Italian researcher Severino Antinori, the man who almost seven years ago helped a 62-year-old woman give birth using donor eggs, were forming a consortium to produce the first human clone. Researchers in South Korea claim they have already created a cloned human embryo, though they destroyed it rather than implanting it in a surrogate mother to develop. . . .
And, as usual, once a dire subject is being discussed in public based upon verified factual information, the loonies come out of the cracks and spew their abstract craziness on the scene, muddying the water. In this case, in 2003 it was a space alien worshiping 'religious' cult called the Raelians who claimed they were the first to birth a human clone. (o_0)It was the entertainment topic of the week, even more diverting than news about the horror of the real thing. Here is one article from 2003 on the subject:

Cult 'clones' a baby! Read (and read) all about it
Regarding Media 
Los Angeles Times/January 1, 2003 
By Tim Rutten
Take, for example, the coverage given last Friday's assertion by the Raelian religious cult that a company founded by its adherents had cloned the first human baby. Consider, for one moment, the objective circumstances: a crackpot cult, whose French founder says he got his marching orders from a space alien, calls a press conference in Miami to announce that a cloned child has been born to an unidentified woman in an unspecified place the day after Christmas. . . .
What inspired me to make this blog post was this new bit of what I consider to be classic Age of Trivia news. Mad scientists on the loose creating something more deadly than what nature can devise. Awesomeness. Total trivia in the face of real ongoing crises:

Scientists plan controversial lab-made bird flu

By LAURAN NEERGAARD
Aug 7, 2:54 PM (ET)
WASHINGTON (Associated Press)
Scientists who sparked an outcry by creating easier-to-spread versions of the bird flu for research purposes want to try such experiments again using a worrisome new strain. This time around, the U.S. government is promising extra scrutiny of such high-stakes research up front. . . .
Right. My government, that has destroyed the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution via blanket surveillance of US citizens on US soil, wants me to believe it can sanely scrutinize anything. Instead I entirely expect this bit of trivial pursuit to only add to our ongoing crises. Brilliant stuff, this desperation behavior.

For years I've been attempting to get a handle on the subject of desperation behavior. I've found exactly nothing about it as a formal subject of study. Instead, I've found bits and pieces here and there, mainly within the thought realm of psychology. Some time I expect I'll dare to post a summary of what I have found so far. For now, the best source of learning is simply the daily news.

As ever, when I write about this depressing rubbish, I am lead to remind us that the best cure for all these trivial horrors is humor and offensive positive push against the subject. Living has never been about suffering. Living is about growing. So the simple cure for The Age of Trivia and all the other crap inflicted on us by our own species is to laugh and laugh at it while learning how to be our best selves. That's anti-desperation behavior. I like it!

:-Derek








Thursday, July 25, 2013

SCAM Phone Call: Revenge Method #1

--

I'm on the "Do Not Call" list for phone calls. It works fairly well! But I still regularly get SCAM phone calls from Marketing Moron Rats who want to make money off sucker victims. -- I want revenge.

Where I live, the current popular SCAM is an attempt to sell 'emergency medical buttons', aka 'I've fallen and I can't get up' buttons. The latest rendition of this SCAM features a casual sounding guy who calls himself 'John'. He sounds like he's live on the phone, except he's not. It's only a recording, as demonstrated by the fact that when you attempt to talk to him, he can't hear you. The recording then concludes with the usual rubbish: "Push # to speak to a representative". -- Oops, the SCAM became obvious. --What idiot comes up with these ludicrous con jobs?

THE REVENGE

I've been using this simple revenge method for years. I find it to be entirely satisfying.

I push the # button the SCAMMER has requested.

Then I ignore the call.


Sometimes I put down the phone and walk away, or I just set the phone aside while I continue work I'm doing. Even more fun is cranking up the TV and letting it blare at whoever picks up at the other end of the line. It's particularly fun to play them a law and order TV show. I like to think of Chuck Norris' voice scaring the willies out of them.

Q: Why is this revenge effective? 

Once the SCAMMER picks up the phone at their end, they're paying the full phone rate for the call. They get charged a full minute, even if they immediately hang up again. That way, they lose money for calling you. They suffer an actual financial consequence for attempting to SCAM you. I like that! A lot!

Considering the persistence of these SCAM calls, often once or twice a day, it gives me great satisfaction to know that the scammer is losing money specifically because they called ME. Heehee haha. Retribution has been deployed.

Q: Is there a bad consequence of this reverse SCAM? 

No.

1) If you talk to a human at the other end and tell them to 'STOP CALLING ME!', it makes zero difference. They call you anyway. And the other SCAMMERS who are playing the same con job on suckers will also call you. I've had three different SCAMMERS call me on the same day with different SCAM methods. It's just like SPAM. There are several different SCAMMERS competing to victimize us.

But but but! Don't the scammers think you just put the phone down temporarily and they'll call back later? It doesn't make any difference. They're going to call you back again NO MATTER WHAT.

But but but! Won't they get the idea that you're SCAMMING them back by ignoring them when they pick up? Nope! Hilarious, isn't it. They don't get the clue. Again: They just want your money. Figuring out that you are costing them money doesn't register in their tiny little parasitic brains.

2) That poor, poor person on the other end of the phone line who is simply trying to make money to survive, boohoo, they didn't create the SCAM, they're just a minimum wage earner in a call queue. TOUGH ON THEM. Don't feel sorry for the lowly person working for the SCAMMER. Note, however, that I see no reason to abuse them over the phone. Don't be mean to people. Just cost the scammer time and money, a lovely form of revenge.

THIS IS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF EVERYBODY DID!

When I was a kid, "If Everybody Did" was our family's very favorite book. Look it up if you've never read it. It's lots of nasty fun. 

Applied to SCAMMERS: If enough people pull reverse revenge tactics on SCAMMERS, eventually they'll notice and give up the scam. IOW: Once they've lost enough money on the SCAM to notice, they'll eventually figure out it's time to stop. THAT would be ideal! Let's hope EVERYBODY pulls simple, costly revenge tactics on SCAMMERS.


ADDENDUM

Q: What if there is a LIVE PERSON at the other end when they call?


A common example is the 'I'm from the police benevolence fund blahblahblah' phone call. ALL such calls are SCAMS. Never, never, never are police benevolence funds, retirement funds, wounded in action funds, widow support funds, blahblahbarfbarf funds calling ANYONE for money. I've spoken with the police directly about this situation. ALL such calls are SCAMS. Please call the police yourself to verify I am correct. Then let me know of any such actual, real, benevolence fund! Please! I would love to be wrong. I would love to publish a list of REAL such funds. Meanwhile: ALL phone calls from such 'funds' are SCAMS.

But but but! - I've even asked the guy at the other end of the phone to mail me a simple brochure about their fund, just to verify they are real. They agree to do so! But NEVER, never, never have they sent me anything. Not ever! Scammity scam scam.

Q: So what do you do with the live person?

Remember to NEVER insult anyone. Don't ever be mean to others! It hurts us to be mean to others, never recommended. But I do strongly suggest saying to the SCAMMER:

"I'm sorry. Could you hold for a moment while I see who's at the door?"

Then walk away.

Return a bit later and hang up the phone.

Keep in mind that the SCAMMER is paying for the call and you are costing them money for every moment they sit on their end, live. It's a kind, gentle, simple and joyous form of revenge. Highly recommended. So say I.

:-Derek



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dangerous Deliberating

--
Kurt Vonnegut's last brilliant book (IMHO) was Breakfast of Champions. It is a detailed portrayal of how a BAD IDEA can be transmitted to another person, like a virus (hello William S. Burroughs), and destroy their thinking mind.

I am extremely restrained in what I make public versus what I think. Being the Homo sapiens sapiens that I am, I of course am arrogantly prone to thinking what I think is worth thinking, when in ALL cases I am actually thinking ignorantly. There are a few thoughts I find to be extremely reliable, and this is one of them:

We Never Know Everything About Anything.

Count on it. If you're obsessed with finding absolutes and "TRUTH!", there you go. Count on it being a FACT that 'We Never Know Everything About Anything', then act according to that 'fact'.

Therefore, I count on all my 'great thoughts' as being ignorant in one way or all ways specifically because every Homo sapiens sapiens is incomprehensibly limited in their:

Perceptions
Comprehensions
Interpretations
Translations
Communications

Into our brains wrong, perceived wrong, interpreted wrong, translated wrong, communicated to others wrong. We are wrong every step of the way. Then we take that mess and kill each other with it, the very worst result of our consistent ignorance. We kill our miracle planet. The last bad idea is transmitted, blammo, we destroyed all the miracles that are our planet. It's gone.

We humans are, in a profound plethora of perpetrations, the single most stupid species every created by the process of life evolution. You don't get more stupid than being an ultimate destroyer of EVERYTHING that made us, sustains us and everything we in turn have made and sustained.

There's this ultimate idiot concept we humans make in our stupid moments that pulls together all our concepts of THE FOOL, the ultimate worst of ourselves as a life form. It has plentiful names, proliferating and personalizing every day. In my current culture, here are a few of this bad idea's names:

Satan
D'evil
Demon
Lucifer
Mephistopheles
Republicans
Democrats


We point out into space at some nothing out there that is trying to destroy we humans. But we point at nothing other than OURSELVES. There is nothing worse at which we can point. WE are that nasty nebulous nihilist that is out to get US. We do it through all of our fallible processes that create the BAD IDEA.


And that BIG BAD IDEA that is out to get us goes round and round in circles, self-perpetuating itself, spawning and spewing an endless string of further BAD IDEAS, a continual mass infection of all our own minds with all the viral verbal views with which we bombard each other's bleary brains.

And what is CYNICISM but one more inexact, blundering bad idea that picks up and hurls incoherence.

What else are we besides stupid and self-destructive? What else are we beside HATEFUL and HATED?

We are nothing simple. We see more, we experience more, we think more, we create more, we cogitate more about ourselves and the miracle planet that made and sustains us than any other creature that has so far lived. That makes us far from worthless and pointless. What we 'are' will be just as beyond our comprehension as anything else that exists around us. Don't count on ever knowing exactly what we are.

Don't bother trying to shove us into any box. No thought can contain us. Expect us to never know everything about anything about us. There is always more...


In other words: EVERY IDEA is a BAD IDEA, a limitation, a road block to run down, a point on an infinite map. Expect that there is always more. The only 'absolute' is that there is always more...

Swim infinity.