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  • rajbot 5:02 pm on July 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , comcast, sucky companies, time capsule   

    Configuring a Time Capsule as a wireless router with a Comcast cable modem. 

    Unfortunately, sometimes Comcast is your only internet option. And sometimes you want to configure a Time Capsule as a wireless router for your parents, who happen to have Comcast. So you plug in the Time Capsule, configure it using Airport Utility, and it doesn’t work.

    Well, that is no surprise, because you have Comcast, the worst internet provider on the planet. You would think you could just plug in a new device into a comcast cable modem, but you would be wrong. So you follow these instructions to Get Apple Time Capsule to work with Comcast.

    Apparently that is all it takes for most people. But after I followed those steps, the Time Capsule could connect to your Comcast cable modem, but when I tried to use the Time Capsule as a wifi access point, I discovered that something was still borked. I couldn’t load any web page, DNS fails, you can’t ping any IP address, etc.

    Here is how I got a Time Capsule configured with Comcast.

    1. Follow those Get Apple Time Capsule to work with Comcast steps from above.

    2. Now, with your Time Capsule connected to your cable modem with an ethernet cable, you open up Airport Utility and see something like the screen shot below. There is a little green dot next to your Time Capsule, but a orange dot next to the Internet icon, and clicking on the Internet icon says “Disconnected”.

    3. I don’t know why, but my Time Capsule started up configured in Bridge mode. We need to change it to DHCP+NAT mode. In Airport Utility, click on the Time Capsule icon, and choose Edit (see the bottom arrow in the screen shot above.

    4. Choose the Network tab, as shown below. Change from Bridge mode to DHCP and NAT mode.

    5. Click the Network Options… button at the bottom to set your IPv4 range. I changed it from 10.10 (the default) to 192.168, as shown below.

    Save your settings, and you should be good to go!

  • flickr 5:51 pm on May 23, 2009 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: sucky companies   

    Street theater 

    Street theater, originally uploaded by tiki.robot.

    Suddenly, I saw it. A flash of juxtaposition, expressing everything that had gone wrong with this place: "Arête – For Sale."

  • rajbot 3:10 pm on January 12, 2009 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , java, sucky companies   

    How to automate installs of Sun Java 6 on Ubuntu using cli 

    I couldn’t figure this out, so Andy had to help me.. Thanks Andy!

    Hopefully in the future we can use open-source, gpl’ed java, but until then:

    /bin/echo -e 'sun-java6-bin shared/accepted-sun-dlj-v1-1 boolean true\nsun-java6-jre shared/accepted-sun-dlj-v1-1 boolean true' | sudo debconf-set-selections
    DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get --force-yes -qq install sun-java6-bin
  • rajbot 8:17 am on April 1, 2008 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: homedepot, sucky companies   

    No Home Depot on Bayshore for Now 

    Home Depot executives have abandoned a seven-year quest to open a hardware store at the borders of the Bayview and Bernal Heights neighborhoods, blaming a slow approval process, falling nationwide sales and the poor economy.

    Good. I don’t want those racist fuckers two blocks from my house.


  • rajbot 11:24 pm on March 3, 2008 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , sucky companies,   

    Quite possibly the worst venue for a Burning Man event 

    This year’s Burnal Equinox event (called Whispered Dream) is going to be held at the Whisper Ultralounge, which sounds like one of the worst venues in SF for a burning man event.

    Their webpage lists the “upscale dress code” as follows:

    NO; Athletic/Sports Attire of any kind including expensive designer court shoes, Timberland and/or similar style Boots, Excessively Baggy Jeans, Dark Sunglasses, T-shirts, Athletic Apparel, and Most Hats (Fedora style top hats are acceptable). You’ll have to step it up if you wana step in.

    Bwahahahaha… BM keeps getting less and less interesting to me.

  • rajbot 1:19 am on February 26, 2008 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: BGP, hijack, Pakistan, sucky companies, , voterigging,   

    Visualization of how an ISP in Pakistan hijacked access to YouTube worldwide. 

    On Sunday, the government of Pakistan ordered ISPs to block access to YouTube in the country, for containing content that was offensive to Islam. (This occurred soon after videos exposing vote-rigging in the recent Pakistani election appeared on YouTube.)

    In response to this order, Pakistan Telecom began advertising a hijacked route for YouTube, which caused all internet traffic to YouTube from around the world to be blocked for several hours. Here is a full writeup of how this happened.

    I found this great Slashdot comment that explains how to use BGPlay to see an animation of Pakistan Telecom re-routed YouTube for the world.

    Here is how the net looked during the hijack. The red dot on the left is YouTube, and the red dot on the right is Pakistan Telecom:

    After YouTube announced new routes, traffic returned to normal for those outside Pakistan:

    The animation is pretty neat! Also, Wikipedia has a good summary of the Border Gateway Protocol, which is the protocol that routers use to talk to each other.

  • may 8:33 pm on July 10, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: sucky companies   

    Sprint terminates customers who make excessive use of customer support 

    Wow, I wish I knew this before I cancelled my account with Sprint last month. According to this article, they recently terminated service for over 1,000 customers who called customer support too much and sent them this letter.

    While we have worked to resolve your issues and questions to the best of our ability, the number of inquiries you have made to us during this time had led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs.

    Although….now that I think about how much angst their customer support put me through, the $200 early cancellation fee was probably well worth it to never have to speak to them again.

    Life is short. (oh and i should have listened to rajbot re: Sprint. Lesson learned! :)

  • may 3:44 pm on May 22, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: rants, sucky companies   

    I imagine everyone feels like doing this 


    to their cell phone company eventually. (i’m on sprint and right now they’re driving me nuts. or to be more accurate, my crazy phone is driving me nuts. if you’ve tried calling me in the last few months, sorry if i haven’t picked up or called you back. my phone doesn’t tell me when i have missed calls. it also shuts down everyday for no good reason so i can’t get incoming calls. you’re better off sending me an email. sigh)

  • rajbot 11:52 pm on March 26, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: sucky companies   

    Viacom issues DCMA takedown over OLPC demo video on YouTube 

    Viacom hates children. That is just sick.

  • rajbot 10:42 pm on February 25, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , sucky companies   

    How Capital One Ruined my Saturday 

    Captial One is a crazy-ass bank. They send me a new credit card offer every few days. Mail from Capital One is more than half of all the junk mail I receive! I am always scared of identity theft, and the sheer volume means that every once in a while I have to set aside a few *hours* to deal with the pre-approved credit card offers they send me!

    5 steps for dealing with Capital One Junk Mail

    • Open the envelopes and separate the contents.
    • Shred the credit card application, helpfully pre-filled with my name and address.
    • Compost the shredded applications.
    • Recycle the assorted paper and cellophane-window envelopes.
    • Trash the plastic fake credit cards and *magnets* that are glued to the applications. Why the fuck is Capital One sending me so many magents? This must be costing them a fortune!

    Here is a picture of the three piles of bullshit that Capital One sent me. All this in just a few weeks! Next month I will have to spend another Saturday afternoon dealing with this crap…


    • Snarky 8:08 pm on February 26, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The *best* solution I’ve heard for this is to send them back your junk mail in the prepaid envelope. Send them pizza coupons or kittie pictures or whatever you want. Stuff that prepaid envelope with whatever junk mail you have lying around. This keeps throws a little money the way of the USPS and means Capital One has to deal with *your* junk mail.

      Even if it doesn’t work it makes me feel better. If everyone did this it would cost them a fortune and shut down the whole system.

    • peliom 12:10 pm on February 27, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I wouldn’t do that … in this day a credit card app with your name on it is not to be taken lightly. When my sister was in college someone used one of these “free offers” and along with her social security number, opened a credit card account with in her name. She didn’t find out about it until years later at which point her already non-existent credit rating was completely trashed and she had to deal with closing these credit card accounts she didn’t even know about and then trying to get that crap off of the Experian/TRW credit reports.

      It might make you feel better now, but you won’t be feeling better when some con artist has racked up $4,357.68 in charges in your name.

      I shred these card offers too. My current card is Amazon.com VISA, I applied online which is way more secure than snail mail.

      And they gave me a free pineapple!

    • may 11:47 am on February 28, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      speaking of superfluous paper, thought you’d enjoy this video that Ben Brown shot of our neighborhood!

      I was wondering what those robot stickers were about! though i don’t think i feel as vehement as he does.

  • bobslobster 1:23 am on February 9, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , sucky companies,   

    Screwed by Netflix! 

    My life is saga of bad customer service/customer experiences. This morning, the latest culprit was Time-Warner Cable. Assholes. My plan to decompress from the stress of the day was to pop in a netflix movie and chill out before going to sleep. I had just rented Rang De Basanti, which I had been looking forward to watching for a while. However, when I put it in my playstation, it turned out to be an audio CD!!! They gave me the soundtrack!!! Now, you may say, “Bobslobster, this soundtrack looks pretty good, maybe you should make some lemonade out of this lemon and give it a listen?

    Well, Mr. Smart Guy, it just so happens that I just went to India, a country of 1 billion people, and came back with exactly 3 cds. One of which was the SOUNDTRACK TO RANG DE BASANTI!!!!!!!



    • Fascist Nation 9:34 am on February 14, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sorry to hear your problem with Netflix. I rather like their service. Their web site customer account complain/error reporting form is really good, and I have had to use it myself on occasion (boo-hiss). But sometimes stuff happens. But like you my biggest frustration is this: If you report the disc is defective, Netflix will immediately send a replacement without waiting for the defective disc to be returned.

      But if you claim the disc is not what you ordered, you have that 3-4 day turnaround to look forward to. And that is just wrong!

      In your case, I suspect Netflix or their DVD supplier made an error in ordering an Indian flick in which they got the CD soundtrack by the same name, and did not realize it. I do kind of wish they had a make up and say we are sorry idea to smooth one’s disappointment after a rough day of kicking back to watch a movie, and instead you get WTF!&*@!!

    • rajbot 8:34 pm on February 14, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      You think Netflix or their supplier made a mistake?? DID YOU NOT READ THE POST??

      Crazy fool.. The CEO of Netflix is obviously out to personally ruin bobslobster’s day!

  • rajbot 1:08 pm on January 19, 2007 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: sucky companies   

    bOingbOing blOcked in brItain 

    During a massive layover at Heathrow, I tried to check Boing Boing and found that a filter installed on their public access internet terminals was blocking the site. I guess this is interesting for a couple reasons:

    - Boing Boing posted about it, resulting in more than 3000 views of the screencap on flickr, which is more views than all the rest of my flickr photostream combined.

    - BB was blocked for exceeding a ‘weighted phrase limit’. I’m not sure how blocking sites with high use of the words ‘DRM’, ‘Disney’, and ‘Ukulele’ is going to protect me from anything harmful.. Also, I’m not sure there are any words out there than can hurt me.. OMG SCARY WEIGHTED PHRASES!


  • rajbot 9:17 pm on December 31, 2006 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: applecare, , sucky companies,   

    My AppleCare/MacBook Pro Experience 

    This is the last post I’m going to write about my MacBook Pro. I had a bad hard drive, and I still don’t have a working machine after several months. In fact, I don’t have a machine at all. It is at AppleCare, and has been there since 12/19. The repair status is ‘on hold’, and I have called 3 times and spend several house on the phone to get the hold removed. It is still ‘on hold’, despite many promises to the contrary.


    • frogmama 7:06 pm on August 16, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The same thing happened to me!! Not exactly, but very similar. I love the flow chart–too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  • rajbot 5:06 pm on December 20, 2006 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: sucky companies,   

    AppleCare: the worst thing about owning a Mac 

    My head spins when I read what peliom has to say about AppleCare:

    It’s very frustrating but still, I would *much* rather be dealing with Apple Support than Dell or HP.

    As I write this, my MacBook Pro is in a DHL box, on it’s way to Apple’s repair facility for the third time. I’ve had five different problems with this machine (very early MBP, serial number starts with 860) and come to realize that AppleCare is fundementally broken. When they encounter a hardware problem, they do two things:

    1. They try to convince you that your hardware problem is really a software problem.
    2. When that fails and they actually accept your machine for repair, they try to make it boot and then stop trying to fix your machine.

    The first time I sent my MacBook Pro in for repair, I had a bad hard drive that was quite obviously bad. I explained, in great detail, what was wrong, and after the usual AppleCare run-around they finally sent me ‘the box’, and I sent it in. They sent it back with same hard drive installed, the machine was still crashing in the exact same way, but the machine booted, and that’s what’s important. If they can get the OS to boot, then they can tell you that you have a software problem.

    So I have this machine that has been to Apple for a new HD, and come back with the same 100GB HD that has only 30GB total free space after reformat, and the console is filling up with read errors. I called AppleCare again, and got connected to a ‘specialist’, who attempted to convince me that this was a software problem:

    him: OK, your machine is booted? Now in the Application menu…
    me (wondering what app has an Application menu): Um, which app..
    him: …choose the Utilities menu
    me: ..um.. wait…
    him: … now select Disk Utility
    me: Oh, you mean the Utilities folder…
    him: Yeah, also known as the Utilities MENU.
    him: So does the S.M.A.R.T. Status say Verified?
    me: Let me explain what’s going on.. I sent this machine in for a new HD, and it came back with the same HD. After a format-and-install, the HD has only 30GB total space. It also read errors when trying to access a lot of the system files.
    him: Well, I don’t know how you found those read errors. I’m going to ask you to run Verify Disk Permissions..

    To the engineer who put ‘Verify Disk Permissions’ into Disk Utility, congratulations. You’ve probably saved Apple hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair costs. AppleCare thanks you for giving them an easy way to hang up on customers suffering from hard drive problems.

    My friend Shag only buys laptops from companies that sell on-site support. Watching him interact with Toshiba support is eye-opening. When he has a problem, he calls them up, and the next day they send a repair guy to whereever shag happens to be. And they come with the part they need to fix the laptop. And they don’t try to talk him out of the repair by blaming it on some bogus disk permission voodoo. I am through with trying to deal with AppleCare, and I doubt my next laptop purchase will be a mac.

    • may 12:28 am on December 21, 2006 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      yikes. 3 times is pretty unforgivable! I have to admit that in all my years of owning computers, I’ve only had to send one in for service and that was the powerbook I bought earlier this year (because it couldn’t pick up a wifi signal).

      I did, however, have a more positive experience than you guys. When I called Apple, they too sent me “the box” and asked me to send the laptop in for service so I asked them how they expected me to get any work done if I did that! I told them they had to send me another machine BEFORE I sent the non-working one back so that I could transfer my files over and continue working. Otherwise I would lose A LOT of money (I was a contractor then and lost time = lost money. I made sure they understood that).

      Also, while I’ve never owned a Dell, my friends who do own them get on-site service as well. A technician comes to their house or office the next business day and fixes their computer when they have a problem. I explained this to Apple and told them that I simply could not afford to NOT work for weeks while they fixed it, so in the end, they did send me another machine before I sent the first one back so I could continue working. I also told them that I wanted to keep the one they sent me since I was going to spend time installing my apps and files on it (again i brought up the time=money issue).

      I think I was probably lucky. But it’s also likely they were nicer to me because I told them I was a PC user and that this was my first Mac in years…I also said that if this was the kind of service I could expect from them, then I would simply return the machine and not switch (it was a refurbished powerbook so I still had time to return it). I think telling customer support at Apple that you’re a PC user brings out a lot of defensiveness in them for some reason so they become extra nice and try *really* hard to get you to stay with them (the same way that cell phone companies are nicer to new customers than to their existing ones).

      Anyways, I’m glad to hear that your friend Shag has had good experiences with Toshiba because I just got a new Toshiba Tablet last week!

    • rajbot 12:41 am on December 21, 2006 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I was able to get them to send some parts through their DIY program. Otherwise, I would have had to send it in *five* times.

    • rajbot 4:44 pm on December 29, 2006 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A followup: my machine is still in for repair. More info starts here.

  • rajbot 2:53 pm on November 15, 2006 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: sucky companies   

    Bank of America will fuck you over: followup. 

    A followup to this post, here is a BoingBoing thread where you can see people finding out about the story and closing their accounts in real time.

  • rajbot 3:02 pm on November 7, 2006 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , sucky companies   

    Bank of America will fuck you over. 

    Peliom just posted about Wells Fargo being such a craptacular bank. Today I read how far Bank of America will go to fuck it’s customers over. Here is what happened to a dude who stopped by a SF Bank of America branch to see if a check he got for a craigslist sale was a fake:

    Matthew Shinnick dropped by a Bank of America branch in San Francisco to make sure a check he was about to deposit wasn’t fraudulent. The teller found that the check was fraudulent and told the manager, who then had Shinnick thrown in jail.

    Are you getting this right? The customer who wanted to make sure he wasn’t about to draw on a fraudulent check, got thrown in jail by Bank of America.
    All told Shinnick spent $14,000 to clear his record. Bank of America refused to reimburse him.

    • may 2:28 pm on November 8, 2006 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      oh that really sucks! Hopefully that was just an isolated incident and they got rid of that manager. I’ve been using B of A since 1988 and haven’t had any problems yet.

  • peliom 3:55 pm on November 1, 2006 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , sucky companies   

    We Make Money, Not Friends 

    Over at epigone (does anybody know what the means?) kmarks opines Don’t use Wells Fargo as your bank. While can’t vouch for Wells Fargo’s suckitude being worse than, for example, the torture of CitiBank, I have a funny tech story about this.

    According to an engineer I work with, a friend of his who worked at Wells Fargo came up with the following clever hack to make more money flow from you pocket into theirs. Say you have three bounced checks with values of $21, $34, and $152. Now let’s say you, for whatever reason, only have $82 in your account at the time those checks are cashed (and I believe there is a minimum 4 business days for clearing a check). Well the hack is that they cash the checks starting with the highest value first. So first they process the $152 check which takes your account to $-70. Boom, that’s a $33 penalty fee *and* your account is now negative even though you had enough money in your account to cover those smaller checks. So guess what, $99 in penalties when only $33 is mathmatically necessary.

    Link to Vanguard, the only financial institution that doesn’t suck

    • okken 1:46 pm on February 2, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I agree that Wells Fargo is a big vulsure! They exract from the elderly!
      My advice stay as far away from the heat as you can, so as to not get burned as I did

    • Seadog 10:17 am on October 6, 2007 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Your logic is flawed. It is irresponsible to write bad checks. If you believe a bank should cover your check until you have posted sufficient funds why would you want to bank there? The bank that would cover your check until the funds are there would be out of business rapidly taking any funds you might have in deposit as they file bankruptcy. Does anybody recall the Savings and Loan scandalls?

  • rajbot 2:19 pm on September 30, 2006 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , , sucky companies   

    Un-fuX0ring Skype on Mac OSX 

    Skype is poorly-designed software, but I use it to chat with people who refuse to use anything else. I’ve already written how Skype is the worst software installed on my Mac, but now I have two new frustrations:

    1. Skype doesn’t gracefully deal with my laptop going to and waking up from sleep. When my laptop wakes up from sleep, Skype should change my status back to online, but it doesn’t.

    2. The control to change the Skype status message, which they called the mood message, is so hidden away that it’s difficult to change, and since you don’t see your own status in your buddy list, it is frequently out of date.

    These are two things that iChat has no problem with. We could easily sync our iChat status with Skype if both applications supported AppleScript. We know that iChat supports AppleScript, but does Skype?

    It turns out that Skype’s AppleScript support is limited to just one command that you can use to call Skype’s public API. That’s good enough for us, and an interesting solution to dealing with how frustrating it is for app developers to support AppleScript.

    Here is a script that syncs iChat’s online status and status message with Skype. You can run it periodically via launchd, as described here.

    use strict;
    use warnings;
    my $iChatStatus = `osascript -e 'tell application "iChat" to status'`;
    chomp $iChatStatus;
    my $skypeStatus = '';
    if ('available' eq $iChatStatus) {
    	$skypeStatus = 'ONLINE';
    } elsif ('away' eq $iChatStatus) {
    	$skypeStatus = 'AWAY';
    } elsif ('offline' eq $iChatStatus) {
    	$skypeStatus = 'OFFLINE';
    if ('' ne $skypeStatus) {
    	`osascript -e 'tell application "Skype" to send command "SET USERSTATUS $skypeStatus" script name "s1"'`;
    my $statusMsg = `osascript -e 'tell application "iChat" to status message'`;
    chomp $statusMsg;
    `osascript -e 'tell application "Skype" to send command "SET PROFILE MOOD_TEXT $statusMsg" script name "s2"'`;
  • peliom 12:37 pm on May 15, 2006 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: sucky companies,   

    E*TRADE is a Tar Baby 

    At E*TRADE opening an account is easy but closing an account is hard. It may take several days. And it definitely involves calling customer support and being placed on hold, sometimes for up to an hour.

    Don’t make the same mistake I did, stay away from E*TRADE….buy banking products based on customer service rather than price (i.e. interest rate). It’s just not worth it.

    I’m moving all my accounts to Vanguard. They’ve got the best phone service I’ve heard since the 80s.

    • Adam Rosi-Kessel 4:14 am on May 16, 2006 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve had excellent experiences with ING Direct. They don’t yet offer individual stock sales as far as I know, but they do have mutual funds, CDs, and of course, savings accounts. Their savings and CD rates are right up near the top interest rates according to bankrate.com, and their customer service is responsive and easy. They also did our home equity line of credit painlessly and at a good rate.

    • rajbot 12:42 pm on May 18, 2006 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Here is Wil Shipley’s post about Etrade..

      This brings us to today. E*Trade still has $5,000 of my money, plus the interest they’ve earned on it. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t gotten a call from anyone in their Risks group today. In fact, so far E*Trade has indicated NO intention to actually make any effort to undo what they’ve done, have repeatedly told me they’d get back to me and failed to do so, have followed NO leads to actually find who stole my identity (he was going to show up at the hotel!), have apparently not called any authorities about this. In general their attitude is, “Well, good luck solving this on your own! We’re pretty happy where we are, actually, since, you know, we make interest on that money of yours.”

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