Life

OnLive goes Live and online at 7:01 Mountain Time on 06-17-2010

For anyone who likes gaming, it looks like OnLive may be a contender.  I’m currently a fan of steam, but there may be room in my ecosystem for two services that store my games and promise that I can get back to them.

Let’s see what this is all about and if OnLive can handle the traffic.  I’ll be there shortly after 7:01 MST (Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM EDT / 6:01 PM PDT).  Sign up now and you get a free year of OnLive Membership.

–Ben

Sources:  Welcome to Onlive, Free Year, Steam

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

Does Comcast Hate Us?After sending my email to Mark, I got a phone call from him.  The first thing he did was apologize, saying that he was sorry for my negative interaction with comcast.  He asked to hear my story, and listened to the problems I encountered.  He asked a few probing questions, such as how I would know that my router was banned (which was the fact that two computers could pull an IP address, but the router could only pull an IP address after I reset its MAC – and yes, I did reboot the router before trying).

He appeared to have done his research and asked if I would accept a reduced price on my internet for six months for my troubles.  As it was half of the cost of my current upgrade ($30 a month instead of $60), I accepted.

Believe it or not, he actually seemed to enjoy his job.  He said that it was like he was given the power to right injustice in the world and the ability to look for it.  He also said that he does not help those who are trying to game the system to get the discount.

All in all, I can’t believe that it has to be this way.  I’m content and enjoying my internet.  My anger has died down.  But I’m still baffled why Mark’s position has to exist.  Amex front line representatives have the power to get stuff done.  Why does comcast have such a tough time?

In any case, thanks for performing a tough job Mark & Team.

–Ben

Sources:  Phone call with Mark, Comcast Responds Part 1, Fix – Comcast Bans Router

Fix – MS Entourage 2008 Doesn’t Sync Tasks with Exchange

If you have exchange 2007 or later and Entourage 2008 you can go download the update for Entourage called Entourage Web Services Edition.  (This includes AppRiver, I believe).  Make sure you have all the updates it requires.

However, I installed parallels, vista and outlook 2003.  Entourage 2008 cannot sync tasks with exchange 2003 without terrible and inconvenient work-arounds (like Missing Sync = Exchange to Mobile Device to Entourage).  This is definitely, not the best way to go.  I’ve been having copy-paste crash outlook several times.  I try and copy a section from my word document to outlook 2003, and I get the “this application has crashed” Vista window.

Aaargh.  At least its (most likely) fixed if you’re on exchange 2007 and Entourage 2008.

–Ben

Sources:  Wikipedia, Usenet, Microsoft

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

Fix – Enter Kenmore Elite Dryer Factory Test Mode for Troubleshooting

As you might have read by my previous article, I have been troubleshooting my dryer (and found the fix).  One of the things I came across was an article on how to get into factory test mode for a Kenmore Elite Dryer.

Here’s the process:

  • Unplug and Replug the dryer (just get into a known state)
  • Close the Door
  • Set the Signal Setting to Off
  • Set Fabric Setting to Air Fluff
  • Open the Dryer Door
  • Set Signal Setting to High
  • Set the Timer to Timed Dry or Auto (Pick the setting you want to test – moving to or past OFF turns off the test mode)
  • Set Fabric back and forth from Air Fluff to Ultra Delicate three times in under 5 seconds (six clicks)
  • If you get a “BEEP” WAIT “BEEP BEEP”, you’ve succeeded.

Once in the mode, everytime the dryer senses a change, it will beep.  As I was worried that the moisture sensor was defective, I would take a moist washcloth (ran it under the facet) and put the washcloth across the sensor.  As the unit runs 240 volts, if something is really bad – you don’t want your finger across the electrodes.  Remember that there will be a BEEP for sensing something across the electrodes and a BEEP for removing it from the electrodes.  If you leave it there, there may be some further delayed BEEPS as the capacitor charges/discharges.

I liked TechBuddy’s suggestions for test too:

  • Open/Close the Door for a BEEP
  • Fabric Setting for a BEEP
  • Push to Start Button for a BEEP on pushing in and a BEEP on letting go
  • Transition to Wrinkle Guard for a BEEP (move the timer just before wrinkle guard and the timer will move into wrinkle guard, so you’ll get a delayed BEEP)

One thing that threw me off is that I didn’t know the timer motor would be running (the timer motor moves the dial).  So I heard some random BEEP’s.  Then, when I tested the wrinkle guard transition, I noticed the BEEP, but did not pay attention to when it went to OFF.  When it goes to OFF, the dryer gives a dying BEEeeepp.  I thought I had broke the machine, but it was just turning off and letting me know of its last change.

For the curious, Techbuddy says that this information came from a manual stashed inside the dryer next/on the mainboard.

Hope this helps.

–Ben

Sources:  Techbuddy, Doodgical

Fix – Kenmore Elite Dryer not working in Automatic Drying mode

Here’s our symptoms:

  • Dryer works in automatic with very full loads
  • Dryer leaves clothes wet when in automatic mode
  • Dryer works fine on timed mode

Here’s the fix:

  • Re-level the dryer – even maybe a slight bias to the front of the dryer.

Here’s the why:

There’s a set of moisture sensing electrodes (metal strips) in the front of the dryer (see article).  If your dryer has a backwards bias (tipped backwards), then the wet clothes will not touch the sensor unless there’s enough of them to tumble onto the sensor.

Hope that saves someone else some time.

PS – If you want to enter a test mode on a Kenmore.

–Ben

Sources:  Appliance411

Useful Link:  TechBudy

Doug Fabrizio on Technology, Listening and the Rise of Snark

I just finished editing some video from our UTAH GENIUS 2010 event.  One of the most requested items is the keynote talk from Doug Fabrizio of KUER 90.1 FM, NPR and RadioWest.  If you can’t view the videos below, you can find PART 1 and PART 2 on youtube.

Doug has this enchanting voice that mixes with storytelling.  His words seemed to put the audience into a higher state of thinking.  At least that’s what it looked like from the tech table as my brother and I were operating the event technology.  I find listening to Doug’s thoughts fifteen minutes well spent, as he contemplates technology’s place in the rise of a generation that may fail in learning how to listen.

PART 1:

PART 2:

–Ben

Sources:  Utah Genius 2010, Youtube, KUER 90.1

Why would a Director/Writer/Producer/Actor Torrent Movies?

I just had a fascinating read from Peter Serafinowicz about why he chooses to download movies – even ones that he’s in or has directed.  Sometimes its because they’re not available.  Sometimes he struggles to get it from the studio.  Sometimes its just easier than stripping out the DRM for his portfolio.

In any case, its not because the show/performance isn’t worth money.  Its just that it can’t be used how he wanted it, when he wanted it.  He tries to buy it first (and sometimes twice) before he goes another route.

I also suggest reading the comments, which actually shock me.  Peter has some interesting points that discuss ethics, but others seem to want to claim the high moral ground on copying someone else’s work.  However, I’ve learned that in many places, comments bring out the trolls (except here – of course).

–Ben

Sources:  Gizmodo, Slashdot

Video – Blasting Mosquitoes crossing an Invisible Fence with Lasers

Just found this video of the laser identification in action across a room.  The kill laser appears to be off, but the ID part is on.  Looks cool lighting up the bugs with a green glow.

No warning needed for the video below, the bugs seem to be OK.

–Ben

Sources:  Intellectual Ventures, Youtube