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Comcast Trouble Resolved With Help From Their Tweeple

I was incensed as a result of the past weeks trouble with the cable card swap that Comcast imposed. After considerable time spent on the phone in the afternoon I detailed the situation in a blog post early last evening. At the point when I wrote that post we had no clear path to solution, just the promise that someone would call us back.

Shortly after the blog post went live a twitter message was automatically sent to highlight that post. This caught the attention of @comcastcares, which is Frank Eliason, Director Of Digital Care at Comcast.

Frank & his staff are based in Philadelphia PA. The fact that Comcast has been using Twitter to stay on top of customer service has been known for some time. I had some cursory interaction with them during the long service outage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

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Comcast Service In Houston: FAIL!

Nothing makes my blood boil like dealing with Comcast. I have never encountered a company with such complete disregard for their customers.

First A little Background: Chapter 1

Until early in 2007 Houston was Time-Warner Cable market. Houston, much of Texas and parts of Missouri were run by a partnership between Comcast and Time-Warner, but it was branded with the Time-Warner name. Early in 2007 that ended with Comcast assuming Houston operations and Time-Warner taking the rest.

Now no-one loves their cable company just as no-one has warm fuzzies for an ILEC. We had no great love of Time-Warner, but since then our experience with Comcast makes us long for the good ‘ole days of Time-Warner Cable.

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Verizon Home Hub Nearing Availability

verizonhubApparently Verizon is actually serious about releasing their long promised home phone/information appliance, now known as the Verizon Hub. The device, an OpenPeak design reportedly made by Samsung, combines a cordless phone with a variety of other functions on the large LCD display. I admit it’s pretty, but not as nice a newer OpenPeak prototypes that we’ve seen online.

The phone portion of the device is VoIP based, so no POTS line required or even possible. People living any area with E911 service will be able to port their number to the service to take advantage of the gadget. The device itself  costs cost $250 but there’s a $50 rebate initially. The service behind the device is $35/mo with a 2 year contract and includes unlimited calling minutes. Presumably those are US domestic local & long distance minutes.

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How To: DIY Music Server Using FreeNAS, SlimNAS and an H-P T5700

Originally published July 21, 2008 at www.smallnetbuilder.com

By: Michael Graves

Date: July 21, 2008

From my first exposure to Slim Device’s original SliMP3 back in 2003 I was taken with the idea of streaming music throughout my house. The designers approach to this task I found very interesting. They literally give away an open source media streaming software intended for use on a file server. Then run their business by selling a dedicated hardware device to interface the music stream to a traditional stereo system.

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Seeking Opinions: Netbooks

hp-compaq-8510pI suspect that there is a netbook in my near-term future. My travel to and from Toronto last week reinforced this sense. At three hours that flight is about as long as you’d want to be on a 50 seat regional jet. Such is the reality of air travel these days. Smaller aircraft are being used on longer flights so that they can still offer a few flights a day on less traveled routes. While really do like my HP NX8510p notebook it’s just too large to be useful in small spaces, like on a regional jet.

Further, a lot of the stuff that I’m doing these days is “in-the-cloud” as they say. So many of my activities don’t require major applications installed on the platform before me. It would seem that a netbook with some reasonable amount of local storage would make some sense for me. I’m not sure I’d go for one with inboard 3G ‘net access. They seem to costly at the moment.

Tim Higgins over at Small Net Builder has been in a protracted search for a netbook. He’s actually taken delivery of three different models;

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