Droid

Fix – Website shows “an error occurred while processing this directive”

I came across this maddening error, when I had a website I needed to archive.  I spidered the website, had a local copy that looked good, and uploaded the website.  But, now the website had “an error occurred while processing this directive” right where some important content existed (the sidebar).

As it turns out, the error is from SSI – server side includes.  I had

<!--#comment-->

sprinkled liberally throughout the code.  And yes, it was a wordpress blog I intended to archive.  The wordpress theme had rendered the code after the SSI, so it would work fine while in wordpress, but would not upload correctly.

Solution:

change
<!--#comment-->
to
<!-- comment-->
Totally easy fix, once you know.

Hope that helps,

–Ben

Sources:  Bluehost Forum

Angel Investor of the Year 2010 Logo

Angel Investor of the Year 2010 Finalists Announced

Angel Investor of the Year 2010 Logo

  • Register
  • Wednesday June 23rd, 2010
  • 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
  • Grand America Hotel
    Imperial Ballroom
    555 South Main Street
    Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Angel Investor of the Year just announced their top 15 finalists.

The top 15 are:
  • Warren Osborn — Managing Director for Stoneway Capital
  • Martin Frey — Spent 13 years as a Sr. Director at Cisco
  • John Richards — Co-developed and launched the first-ever online Yellow Pages, Co-Managing Partner of BoomStartup
  • Kyle Love — Founding member of the Utah Angels
  • Robb Kunz — Co-Managing Partner of BoomStartup of BoomStartup
  • Nobu Mutaguchi — Invested in over 25 Utah-based startup and emerging companies
  • Dan McPhun — Co-Founder of Park City Angels
  • JD Gardner — Founder and Managing Director at Monarch Partners
  • Mark Burton — 2006 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Rod Watson — Angel investor dealing mainly with software and biotech companies based in Utah and Oregon
  • Brad Walters — Vice Chairman of Utah Technology Council, Previously CEO/President MaxStream
  • Mike Levinthal — Former VC with teh Mayfield Fund, serves on the Boards of Altiris (ATRS), Directpointe, Infopia, Metricstream, Senforce, 3point5, Utah Capital Investment Corporation (UCIC) and the Forever Young Foundation
  • Ron White — Founder and General Partner at Advanced Technology Development Fund
  • John Pestana — Co-Founder of Omniture
  • Jim Evans — CEO at Xactware

–Ben

Source:  Email, Investor of the Year

Prediction – Sprint to get iPhone

iSprint ParodyWe’ve been hearing a lot of hoopla about Verizon getting an iPhone.  After reading a few articles like the one on engadget.  I’m thinking that AT&T is losing exclusivity to Sprint.

I was wondering why AT&T would be removing its unlimited access plans and upping its termination fees.  And why would they extend an olive branch to iPads before June 7th?  Here’s what I’ve come up with:  AT&T sees the writing on the wall and wants to lock users in.  What better way to create lock-in than make the unlimited plan go away, but leave current users “grandfathered in”.    Personally, I kind of find that action desparate and despicable.  If my assumptions are true, than AT&T views its customers more like sheep to shear rather than a value-added partner.  But I don’t run in the AT&T circles.

Why do I think its Sprint?  Go to their website and click on the guy on the bench – the one that says “make your iPhone 4G.”  Now you might think “so what?  they’re just using a 4G router,” but Sprint has no interest in reminding you that they don’t have the iPhone.  They want you to think of all the cool phones they have.  Seriously, they have good marketing people.  So I think it must be a primer for their iPhone.

In all, its still a guess.  But we should find out soon.  Let’s look to next weeks WWDC and find out!

–Ben

Sources:  Engadget, Sprint, Doodgical

Comcast Responds Part 3 – Broken Internet Connnection After telling Comcast You Have a Router

I just received this email this morning.  Unfortunately, the comcast technician was probably calling the number that I cancelled in August 2009.

Hi Ben,

My name is Joe, I’m a Senior Technician with Comcast Customer Security Assurance. I just left you a message at the phone number we have listed on your account, but I figured I’d shoot you an email also. Mark Casem forwarded us your email and asked that we reach out to assist. First of all, I’d like to apologize for the problems that you were having. What I see on your account is that when you connected with our Chat Rep, he noticed that on your account we didn’t have it specified that you should have the 12 Meg service. What he did was put in a service order to include that 12 Meg Bootfile, and then requsted you powercycle your modem and router. The notes on the account indicate that the chat rep was waiting for you to reconnect, but you never did. I can assure you that we did not blacklist your router. I imagine there was an issue with the modem not booting up with the correct 12 Meg bootfile, but at this point I cannot be sure.

Right now I see that your modem is online with the correct bootfile, and you should be getting the correct speeds. If not, please let us know and we’ll take whatever action necessary to make sure you get them. And as far as the router issue; yes, you’re right. Typically we don’t support routers, and if we have an issue where someone can’t get online behind a router, we’ll have the customer bypass it, and make sure that they can get online without the router, just to rule that out. If at that point reconnecting the router doesn’t allow you to connect, we usually recommend contacting the router manufacturer to troubleshoot further. Again, I can tell you with certainty that we do not blacklist routers MAC addresses. We understand that a lot (probably most) customers use a router to get on the internet, and the last thing we want is for subscriber’s to not have that option.

If there’s anything else that we can help with, please let us know.

Thanks,

-Joe, Tech # 108
Senior Technician
Comcast Customer Security Assurance

I really appreciate Joe following up with me.  Fortunately, everything seems to be humming along fine right now.  However, I do want to make a couple points that led me to my conclusion (in my defense):

  • The router only worked after I gave it a new MAC address (the same one as my HP computer behind the router that would get an IP address).  Rebooting the cable modem again and power cycling the router did not solve the problem.  It would not renew an IP address.
  • Two computers were able to get IP addresses from the cable modem.
  • The link the chat representative gave me did not work (it is slightly possible that I didn’t copy it down right because their system didn’t allow me to copy and paste from the chat window – which is still bad).  When using the link, I was sent to an error page that asked for an email and something else.
  • When I signed up with comcast in February of ’09, they limited my connection to a single computer – the modem would not connect to any other computer (of course I fixed that by making my router look like that computer by using that computer’s MAC address) – so comcast has at least a history of whitelisting

If I were to request two things – it would be to allow copy and paste in the chatroom AND make the link work more than once.  Perhaps I clicked on the link and “used up” its one time use while trying to copy and paste.

–Ben

Sources:  Email from Joe

Does Comcast Hate Us?

Comcast Responds – Broken Internet Connnection After telling Comcast You Have a Router

I just wrote a post about my terrible experience with a comcast chat representative.  Comcast responded quickly with something that looked like a generic script response:

Hello there! Sorry for the experience. I work for Comcast and I’d like to look into your experience so that it can be addressed. If you don’t mind, will you please contact me with your information?

Thanks,

Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
National Customer Operations
[REDACTED EMAIL]

Here is the email I sent:
Mark and Team,
You requested, through my blog, that I give you my information so that you could look into my problem.  Here’s my relevant information:
Ben Holt
[REDACTED ADDRESS]
Just signed up for 12 Mbit service.  Speedtest.net showed 4 Mbit service with an Xmission server.  I chatted with Jan Albert on your chat room (after using your telephone reboot prompt).  Jan “optimized” my connection and requested that I reboot the modem, router and computer.  After the reboot, my router was blacklisted.
I have since regained service by providing another MAC address.
I did some more tests this morning after I wrote the blog post.  As it turns out, if I use the Orem, UT (Fibrenet) speedtest.net server – I do get the speed I requested.  It appears that Xmission (Salt Lake City) was the bottleneck.
As for a resolution, I’m not sure what to say.  My mother always told me to apologize, look the other person in the eye and tell them that it would not happen again.  Although I’ve never received an apology from your corporation and especially your CSR’s, I’m not sure I’d believe it.  There just seems to be too much distance between those that appear to care (your section) and those on the front lines (your contractors and CSR’s).  I’m not sure your goals are even on the same playing field.  The only thing that has been easy in our relationship has been giving you money, placing my initial order (the fulfillment was a mess), and keeping the status quo (for the most part).
I guess a start would be to explain what the CSR did behind the scenes, including “optimizing” my connection and why my router was banned.  It would even be interesting to me to know what information and notes are on my account / stored about me.
Thanks,
—-====Ben Holt====—-
[REDACTED EMAIL]
www.doodgical.com

I’ll keep you updated with their response when I hear back from them.

–Ben

Sources:  Doodgical

Comcast Hates Us

Fix – Broken Internet Connnection After telling Comcast You Have a Router

Comcast Hates Us

UPDATE 6/3/2010:  I was really mad when I wrote this post.  However, since everyone has bad days – and since a comcast level one tech has looked into the records – I’m going to remove the CSR’s name.  Comcast didn’t ask me to remove the name, but I decided that I wasn’t after a personal shaming.  We all mess up.

I’ve organized this post into the fix and the rant.  As the fix is more important, I list it first.

FIX:

Problem:  Comcast was adjusting my speed because I requested an upgrade to 6-12 Megabit speeds.  I admitted having a router.  The chat representative ([REDACTED] – You’ve been warned of the name), requested that I power cycle my equipment including my computer and gave me a link to get back to chat with her.  I power cycle all my equipment and I can’t get back on the internet.  Guess that link she gave me isn’t going to be useful.

Fix:  Pick another computer on the network and log into the router.  Tell the router to use the MAC address of that computer.

Why:  She banned my MAC address of my router.  I could plug in with another computer directly into the modem, but my router MAC address (which was spoofing another computer’s address) had been banned.  She didn’t want me back on the internet.  You would think that a comcast representative would just have the decency to say that they don’t support the router and that they would wait for me to plug in directly or not help.  But a ban without telling me?  That’s just mean, shady and angers me.  When there’s a viable alternative, consider me gone – comcast.

RANT: I hate comcast.  Everytime I deal with them, I feel like they are sneaking around.  This time, I’m angry.  Unfortunately, they are less incompetent than our DSL line provider worse (Qwest).  So which is worse?

  1. Being lied to or told half-truths, but being able to circumvent their stupidity because I have enough technical knowledge to figure out what they’ve done? (Comcast)
  2. Being unable to access the internet because they’ve screwed something up on their part of my line, but they’re honest with me?  (Qwest)

I guess I’ll take option 1 and hate it.  I believe in honesty, but it doesn’t get the job done to admit the job is not done.  On the other hand, I hate giving business to someone who doesn’t do business in a straightforward fashion.  I can’t wait for Utopia (the new fiber provider) to reach me.  Then goodbye comcast.

–Ben

Sources:  Assinine Comcast Chatroom Help

RIP – Connectblogs

connect Blogs logoThere was a local business magazine that was slightly edgy and pretty fun, while providing useful information. It was called Connect Magazine. Connect magazine decided to gather the best of the local bloggers and aggregate them into one big feed on their website. Not only did it give a decent place to read about local and national issues, it gave many blogs (including this one) the push it needed to grow into decent traffic. After all, people just need to discover good content to want to come back to it.

It appears that connectblogs is off the radar for good.  Thank you Connect Magazine.  You put some great Utah bloggers on the map.

–Ben

Sources:  Broken Links and a Parked Page

Is chrome 5 fast – See the Potato Gun Video and others

Chrome is my default browser.  Its fast and in version 5, it just got faster.  It’s clean, secure and friendly.

Google apparently has a team that got bored and wanted to blow many thousands of dollars to show that Chrome was fast.  I suppose they want us all to purchase their FREE browser.  Yeah, lots of money spent to show that a free browser is really fast.  I’m scratching my head and wondering why.  I dunno.  Meanwhile I’ll go check my FREE gmail and ask a few of my friends through google buzz.

Google Chrome Speed Videos:

Google Chrome Making of Video:

Awesome

–Ben

Sources:  Computerworld, Chrome

iPhone 4G LTE/CDMA on Verizon in 2010 – Tipsters think so – we’ll see

So the internet seems more abuzz than usual about the iPhone hitting Verizon.  What adds more excitement is that sources are saying that it will be a 4G/LTE launch device (with a CDMA backup).  This would be unusual for Apple, as they seem to like to have incremental revisions and an iPhone 3G/CDMA would be enough to get people on board.

Still, I find it exciting that the iPhone may hit Verizon.  I know my wife would get the iPhone.  I’m not sure I’d leave my Droid.  But it would at least require some thought, as the Droid is the only phone that was a “must have” for me on Verizon.

–Ben

Sources:  CNET, Wall Street Journal, Engadget, LA News Monitor

May 21 2010 Google Pac man Banner

Google has a Playable Pacman Banner Today – World Productivity Sinks

UPDATE 5/21/2010: I apparently didn’t look too hard.  Its not a link – its a button, where the I’m feeling lucky button normally resides.

If you’re not living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed google’s banner.  If you wait long enough, it will load and become a playable game.  I’m told that if you click on the insert coin link (which I haven’t seen) twice, you can control a second player with “wasd” keys.

Google – You Rock.  Screenshot below.

–Ben

Source:  Google

May 21 2010 Google Pac man Banner