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Comment: Re:With apologies (Score 1) 65

by adolf (#48756233) Attached to: Wireless Charging Standards Groups Agree To Merge

it used to be that every phone vendor needed their own chargers (or at least adaptor cables but even that could be dodgy). Nowadays they all use 5V and most of them use a microUSB connector to deliver it.

That is because of a EU directive specifying that phones have micro USB for charging, not because of a diverse industry suddenly making sense.

(although, before that, the world had almost settled on mini USB.)

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 1) 196

by adolf (#48744031) Attached to: Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

I've never missed paying the bill and have rarely called them to support my internet connection, but they'd rather get a new customer than keep me, even when I asked them to just match the new customer deal for me.

If that's the case you're simply doing it wrong.

Here is how you do it right: Call them up. Tell them that you want to cancel. When they ask why, tell them that $competitor is offering you a better deal.

They will balk and scriptedly explain that $competitor's service is inferior.

Ignore this and tell them that price is your primary motivation right now.


They've got a script, and you aren't the first customer to play through it. So use your own script, and stick to it. If/when you make it all the way to the Customer Retention department, they'll give you whatever you want to keep you around, and if all you want is a steep discount for a year they'll be happy to provide that.

And if they're not happy to provide that, tell them (again) cancel it. Rinse and repeat until you've got what you want.

And don't worry: It's much harder than you think to get a Customer Retention rep to turn off your service.

(In my experience this works for any value of $provider. Way back in the dial-up days I had free nationwide Internet for most of a year: Every time I called $provider to "cancel," they offered me another month or three for free, which I found to be fairly profitable based on my usual hourly wage at that time.)

Comment: Re:Disposable music (Score 1) 169

by adolf (#48742107) Attached to: How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

You know, I do buy some music.

From some artists.

Some of the time.

These days.

Now that streaming is relatively cheap, and music is relatively difficult to walk down the street and just legitimately buy.

I prefer actual pressed/injection-molded CDs (to play in my Krell CD player...), and have quite a number of them.

But the rest of the time, I use Spotify. Spotify allows me exploration and endless background noise for way less money, billed once a month, than buying an exploratory CD or two.

And I don't have to maintain a database of my own music on my own servers to keep track of it all, much less manage off-site backups.

Comment: Re:I'm amazed (Score 1) 169

by adolf (#48741301) Attached to: How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

I use Spotify because it works for me.

I used to buy music regularly, on CD, but the last music store here closed almost 8 years ago.

Not that CDs and other physical album sales were generally a particular profitable item for artists, either. The music industry is and was and by all observations will continue to be a completely fucked up mess when it comes to paying artists for recorded music.

Comment: Re:Streaming sucks (Score 1) 169

by adolf (#48741197) Attached to: How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

Although I generally agree with you, I must say: As an American living in the midwest, I don't notice much about location-based blocking.

And when I visit another country (which I don't generally ever do), I'll hopefully be far more entertained by local customs and exploring things that are new to me, than I will be worried about whether or not my Spotify playlists are operating correctly.

Comment: Re:technology! (Score 1) 67

by adolf (#48738289) Attached to: Netflix Denies There Was a Policy Change With VPNs

I use a VPN provider which does not care what I do with it, or how much data I transfer. They guarantee 4Mbps, minimum, of symmetric bandwidth availability. They actively encourage people to use the service as they see fit, and even offer (quite slow) services for free to people living in very restrictive jurisdictions.

And it's cheaper than $9.99/month.

Comment: Re:One fiber to rule them... (Score 1) 221

by adolf (#48713139) Attached to: Google Fiber's Latest FCC Filing: Comcast's Nightmare Come To Life

Cable TV would devolve into each service like HBO having their own streaming site available on the 'Net. And Comcast would have no reason to exist.

Comcast would still have a reason to exist: To provide last-mile access to such sites as, say,

Just like any other Internet provider.


Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson