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Comment Re:It's about time (Score 3, Interesting) 181

    A long time ago, they used to be good folks to deal with. That's gone down hill.

    I had bought a HDVR2 (Standard def TiVO receiver), which was their latest greatest at the time. They wanted to send someone out to install it, but I bought on a Friday night, and they couldn't schedule until Monday. No big deal there. I installed it myself that night. It worked well. Over a span of a few years, I bought a few other pieces of equipment. I think I only ever called once during that period for a repair, and the guy was at my house the next day to help. It was for a defective regular receiver for my girlfriend's kid's room.

    The last time I moved, the install went ok. It took a few extra days to get someone out. This was a big move for us, so I didn't have time to get on the roof and wire everything up. I also wanted the newer dish, which I could have bought online for a few bucks. It took them several days to show up. At the prior house, we had gotten the NFL sports package, but that was for a friend to watch. Since the friend wouldn't be watching, we didn't need it any more. "Sorry, you can't cancel at this time, you have to cancel in 3 months." I forgot, and on the 4th month I called and they said the same thing again. Perpetually trapped with an add-on package that I couldn't get rid of.

    Not too long after that, the signal started going. I'm fairly sure it was the multiplexer. I called them to come fix it. They scheduled for a week later. The guy never showed, so they rescheduled for another week later. (2 weeks, no service). The guy showed a day after the scheduled date, with a new DVR in hand. He said they had not scheduled for a repair, only a DVR upgrade. Huh? He couldn't do the repair, only the upgrade that I hadn't asked for. I spent an hour on the phone with DTV, and they finally scheduled a repair in two weeks. So, a month with no service. I called, told them to go screw themselves, and called a local wired provider, who was out the next day to do the install.

    I was fairly lucky, my pricing was fixed because I was grandfathered in. The "current" rate was much higher than what I was paying. A month or so after I cancelled, I started getting nasty calls from them saying I was late on my bill. It was a month of daily calls, where they asked for money, and I told them to go screw themselves. Ok, I was a little clearer on the phone, but that was the end of each conversation. They finally realized I wasn't going to give them anything, and they went away. It wasn't worth their time to call, since I had made it abundantly clear that I had cancelled, and wasn't going to pay them anything.

    Ya, they got pretty bad. It's really unfortunate, I liked their service. I was a customer for many years, and they managed to alienate me. Obviously, I'm not the only one.

Comment Re:Very PC, but not a good response, AC (Score 1) 30

Single parent families do have problems. Female children without a father figure (in home) reach menarche much earlier for example. Boys also develop faster physically. This is dwarfed by the emotional development differences. PC be stuffed. The norm is male/female. We need both role models as we grow up.

Comment Re:Funny First Hand Account (Score 1) 738

Hum. Out of curiosity, does the slashdot crowd think copying 30-40 games and "saving £600" is good? Wouldn't that actually be considered ... basically stealing?

Copyright infringement is not stealing.
Copyright infringement is not stealing.
Copyright infringement is not stealing.

Seriously, it is not, regardless of whatever your opinion of copyright infringement is, it is not stealing.

Comment Re:China/Japan/russia (Score 1) 129

But the problem with China is they're still at least a decade away from building a rocket big enough to carry a sizable probe to Mars. Meanwhile, the US can do it with the Atlas V rocket or Delta IV Heavy rocket, Russia can do with the latest Proton rocket, and the Europeans can do it with the Ariane V rocket.

Comment Lack of clarity, or lack of will to find out? (Score 3, Insightful) 126

"it's unclear which of the various types they'll be"
It has in fact been clear what type they'll be for several months, since this was announced mid-August in fact: ColorCode blue and amber anaglyph filters. Even clearer since you could pick them up from Sainsbury's yesterday (and possibly before). http://www.t3.com/feature/channel-4-to-begin-3d-broadcasts-this-autumn

Comment In defense of the Mac Mini (Score 1) 697

The Mac Mini's power supply maxes out at 85W but it uses much, much less than that. I just used my Kill-A-Watt to verify that my 1.25 GHz G4 uses less than 20W when logged in and looking at localhost in Safari. The Intels are comparable.

I have an original Mini that has been serving apache (with php and mysql), ssh, afp, and other things 24/7/365 since a month after it was released--coming up on 4 years now--with OS X. AFAIK they take Linux just fine and that shouldn't make much (if any) difference in the power usage. Original G4s can be had for ~$200 used, used Intels are around $400, and of course new ones start at $600.

More info:
http://www.dssw.co.uk/sleepcentre/threads/mac_mini_power_consumption.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/apple-mac-mini,978-7.html
http://www.macintouch.com/macmini05.html#jan25
and these guys: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3468

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