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Comment Re:Getting There (Score 1) 335

I recently bought a new laptop and was surprised it came with an optical drive. It wasn't on the list of things I was looking for - but I also have an external drive for just such an occasion anyway. The much more expensive laptop I got at work didn't have one, but that's because the whole point was to go small with that purchase.

Comment Re:Comcast good for broadband only (Score 1) 141

I think it's like that everywhere - so I finally gave up spending $80/month for internet (75Mbs with my own modem) and nearly $140/month for DirecTV and combined TV with internet for $100/month from one company. I'm not quite as happy about the TV service, but it's over $100/month - TV's just not worth it.

Comment Re:Six million soon-to-be-unhappy Comcast customer (Score 1) 141

Well, I'd been a happy 25Mbs comcast subscriber for quite some time, but was looking forward to the day that some company would run fiber into my neighborhood. Google announced the Atlanta area, but not in the suburbs where I live.

Then AT&T came through announcing their fiber in my neighborhood, and within weeks I got a letter from comcast telling me I could upgrade my service. Still, I haven't had customer service problems with comcast's internet folks, the uptime has been great. Competition is great. I may switch to AT&T, but I've heard such terrible customer service stories.... and I've heard stories about comcast that don't reflect my experience, so I don't know how much to make out of the complaints. Of course, people don't jump up and down ranting about good service, so the negativity always seems to over represent customer experience for pretty much every company, but I don't see why, with my upgraded speeds and (so far) great service, I should risk change.

Comment Re:I recently switched from DSL to comcast (Score 1) 141

I've got the "boost" service (75Mbs, but am actually getting 90Mbs); I am paying $100 month, but that includes HD cable service, pretty much all non-premium channels. That beats the hell out of paying $80 for the boost service and $140 for DirecTV before I switched. I am also a VERY happy comcast internet user, having had little downtime for years, and upgrades in speeds... I use my own modem and they don't hassle me about it.

On the flip side, their TV people have overwhelmingly been just plain bad. A couple of years ago when I still had a pre-paid cell plan, I used all of my minutes waiting on hold (now they have a callback option and hey, they actually call back). $20 for their missed appointments hardly make up for the day I took off from work. When I recently switched and had problems, they wanted to send a tech out and I just said "no," I visited their store about five times over the course of the week to finally get working equipment, and it still cost me less time (and was more convenient time for me) than waiting for a tech to tell me what I already knew. Terrible, terrible, terrible.... but the internet folks were top notch.

Comment Re:DSL is my only option (Score 1) 141

Because the bundling packages versus single packages make it a horrible waste of money to not get both services from the same company.

In fact, with comcast, I was paying LESS per month for higher speed (75Mbs) - for the first 12 months - by bundling some TV package I never intended on using. The problem was I was paying more than that just for satellite (> $130/month, and that didn't even include premium channels - just HD and DVR service on three TV sets). So recently I sort of cut the cord and cancelled satellite, but I did get the basic cable package with HD from comcast for $20 more than I was paying. Augmented by commercial free Hulu ($12) and I already had Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Point being, if you're going to get both, it's far cheaper to go with one company. For the record, I've had the absolute worst customer service from Comcast for the cable TV service... but over the past year, I've had the absolute best customer service from comcast's internet people.

DirecTV, for me, was the best service to get television from - but it's just television, not worth nearly $140/month just for that.

Comment Re:Sweet! (Score 1) 194

It's highly subject to location, of course, but I've gotten 90Mbs on Ookla speed test on my T-Mobile phone.... about the same I'm getting wired at home with Comcast. The difference is Comcast has a 1TB data limit, whereas I get throttled after 6GB on my phone.... I never even come close on my phone, so I'm not inclined to switch plans, though.

Comment Re:"Existing ones who opt-in" (Score 1) 194

I'm not planning on changing my data plan.... I never reach 6GB/month, and my "cache" (20GB of roll-over data) is full if I ever encounter a month where I need more (I do sometimes travel and need more). Out of the four in my family plan, only my daughter (who, for some reason, never turns on wifi at home) routinely hits her cap and gets throttled. That's her own fault - she's got a wireless gateway right in her own bedroom, but doesn't take advantage of it. I'm not paying more because she can't be bothered to turn on wifi.

Comment Re:unlimited...outside of US too? (Score 1) 194

Yes... repeating myself here, but my company gave us an extra day of per diem when we had to work in Toronto - it was just free money for me, because I didn't have to do anything or pay any extra. My son recently went to Germany, and while there were per minute costs to call back to the U.S., his text and data plan didn't cost a dime and worked great. While I haven't travelled to Mexico, T-Mobile's plan is supposed to cover you for U.S., Canada and Mexico. It should also work in over 140 countries worldwide, although there will likely be some surcharges... in my son's case, $0.20/minute for phone in Germany, which I don't think is bad at all, considering people mostly text now, anyway.

Comment Re:Sprint (Score 2) 194

That is largely why I switched from Virgin Mobile (which uses Sprint) to T-Mobile. Already I had to work a week in Canada - and didn't have to do anything, T-Mobile's partners took over when I was in Canada and I didn't have to pay a dime. My son visited Germany for a few weeks and, while there was some per minute costs, he didn't have to trade out any chips or do anything special - it just worked. It also costs the same for four people (since the rates go down for each additional person) and we get more data (6GB vs 2GB I had with V-Mobile). Of course, plans and data limits seem to change daily, so YMMV.

Comment Re:This again? (Score 1) 414

Agree completely - and I believe "newer" companies - companies like Facebook and Google, are quite substantially equal opportunity employers. If they haven't gotten "equal results," there's another reason for it. Again, it comes back to equal opportunity for kids to have access to STEM both in school and at home, and minority students don't seem to get that equal opportunity.... but that's not Facebook's fault.

Comment Re:Nice though, but wrong approach (Score 2) 414

That's the problem I have - you cannot legislate equality, and you can't make it magically happen by discriminating against the majority.

There is a problem of underprivileged kids not getting the resources and, more importantly, the encouragement from their parents and peers, to study and work hard in school, or to enter the STEM fields. I look back and realize that my generation was the first (child of the 60s) in which segregation was actually illegal - but that means the parents of my minority peers suffered systemic racism and being held back from succeeding, and few black kids in my area didn't live in the equivalent of "section 8" housing. Racism didn't disappear overnight just because of desegregation. In fact, desegregation probably made it worse for a while.

But the problem is that it takes time, and it has to happen at an earlier age. I think we're doing this, but things have to happen generationally. I think that, despite some racism, we have moved substantially in the last 50 years towards an environment of equal opportunity. There are still a lot of things holding it back, but it's not the fault of the companies - especially the tech companies, who are likely blindly hiring the most qualified applicants.

I also, sadly, feel that there is a culture of ignorance being perpetuated not just in minority communities, but still mainly in minority communities. A culture that believes that schooling and working hard is selling out your own culture; the "gangsta rap" community that treats women like objects and focusses on flash over substance. I also believe there are more divisive minority leaders that thrive on the division and make it difficult to progress faster; Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton to name two... they've collectively done more to hold back race relations than any white person in the last 40 years. The focus on race in every issue is not helping, it's dividing.

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