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Dear Yahoo Mail, get your act together!

April 3, 2014 19:57 by ckincincy

I am sure this blog post will be nothing more than a rant that gets read by 5 unrelated folks, but if you are something at Yahoo and you are reading this… please make this post a priority.

Simply put your email service sucks.

I run a community basketball program so I send a lot of emails and have a lot of contacts.  Many of my contacts use Yahoo for their email and this has exposed two issues with your services.

1. Why are so many of your accounts compromised?

image

Those are all compromised accounts.  I want to say that on average I get one of these emails every 2 days from somebody new.  Always from a @yahoo.com account without exception.  It is so bad I don’t even send the customary, “Your account is hacked” email to my friends anymore.

2. Fix your spam filter.

I don’t know what it is about “Clarence Klopfstein” and you, but I end up in spam all the time.  Even with people I’ve been emailing with for years.  All of a sudden they don’t get my emails and when I ask them what their email is, they say something@yahoo.com and I tell them to check their spam and that is where they find it.  It is very inconsistent as well.  I’ll send two emails that look pretty much the same (in terms of text vs. images vs. links) and one gets through and the other doesn’t.

I know that doing email is hard.  Finding that balance of what is spam and what isn’t spam is hard, but why do you fail so miserably after so many years?  The compromised aspect of your service I’m sure is so much more complex and likely has something to do with the users at some level, but its always just you.  My gMail, Hotmail, Live, Outlook, etc.. friends don’t ever seem to get compromised.  What are you doing wrong?

Please fix it, or just get out of the business of doing email.  Sell your soul to Google or Microsoft as you did your search business a few years back. 


WWE is changing the game

February 23, 2014 19:46 by ckincincy

A confession, I grew up on the WWF and Hulk Hogan.  So I’ve been a fan most of my life.  It’s the male version of a soap opera and with their change over the past few years to a PG13 model, it is even family friendly.  Monday night Raw is the white noise on my computer on Monday nights.

Monday February 24th is the start of something big and it comes from an unlikely source.  Vince McMahon and the WWE.  As much as Netflix changed the game with their streaming, I believe this is the next move in that world.  A company streaming a major source of their revenue via an affordable monthly fee.

As a side note, here is also a good write up I found when trying to look up the numbers behind this move.

image

For many years the WWE has been trying to secure a deal with cable providers to launch their own network.  Cable providers have balked at those attempts.  Reports, the validity of which can’t be really verified, claim that the best offer the WWE got was for 25 cent per subscriber.  So the WWE would get next to nothing on the airing of their vast video library, while the cable networks would charge folks $10 or so a month for the service. 

The WWE took a route that if successful will turn the way things happen with larger organizations such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and other major sports. 

They launched their own online network and gave it access to all of their pay per views.  They will charge $9.99 a month and keep a large chunk of that.  Plus all advertising they sell stays with them.  If you ordered just WrestleMania each year (a common occurrence in my house) you pay for nearly 60% of the yearly cost of the WWE Network, plus you get access to 1500 hours of the WWE’s vast video library.  If you order two pay per views a year (has never happened in my house) you pay for the cost of the entire year. 

My very rough math, and I erred on the side of being way low is that WWE PPV’s do about 160 million in revenue each year.  The vast majority of that stayed with the cable companies as the WWE is just a 117 million dollar a year company.

Lets say the WWE gets one million in subscribers to their network and they earn just $5 per month on those subscriber it would mean $60 million in revenue and this doesn’t include a dime of advertisement revenue. I don’t see how they lose on this deal because I do believe that one million subscribers is the floor, and that is nearly a break even amount of money before they sell advertisements.

If the WWE is successful I could see the major sports teams go the same route and skip the middle man when it comes to advertisement sales.  Especially when the amount of people cutting the cord is doing nothing but growing each year.  In fact the ONLY reason I haven’t cut the cord is because my wife and son love the Cincinnati Reds.  I’d pay a decent amount if I could stream all Reds games via the web if that meant I could drop the cable company.

In the long run I think the savings for cutting the cord will decrease, but consumers will get what they truly want.. pay for what you want, not the other 300 channels they give you. 

Hard to believe that the world of wrestling entertainment is leading the way on this front. 


Domain Names Domain Names Domain Names

October 13, 2012 23:10 by ckincincy

The title of this entry is a play off of a scene from Superman.

Lex Luthor is talking about his evil plan and is talking about the value of land.  There is a set amount of land and those that don’t have it will “pay through the nose for it.”

With domains it is a similar situation.  There are a set amount of usable .com domain names.  While the top level domain market has expanded greatly over the years, the fact is that .com is still king. 

I have amassed a decent collection of domains over the years.  Some better than others, but still a good list of domains.  So I get the occasional email, would you sell it to me?

Got one of those today and that is my motivation for this blog post.

Will I sell my domain to you?  If you are willing to make a life changing financial offer, yes.  Life changing, like enough to pay off my house or some large debt.  So make me an offer, I don’t have “a number” that I am looking for. Worst I can say is no.

If that isn’t you, then the answer is likely no.  My thought is that while you may pay $500 today, in 20 years some crazy startup may pay $200,000.  That is worth the $10 a year to me, because I do find uses for my domains over time.  I only have a few that are just sitting there.

Now for your enjoyment, the clip I was talking about:


Intex Salt-Water System – A year later

May 13, 2012 19:16 by ckincincy

Last year I blogged about a purchase I made for my pool. I was overall pretty positive about the Intex Salt-Water system that I had installed.  After that summer of use, my opinion never changed.  The system worked like a champ and let us have a great summer of use during one of the rainiest seasons in local history.

I was looking forward to this year as I would have an “opening of the pool” to go through.

Here is where the pool started on April 15th:

IMG_7276

Yep, that is pure green and nasty.

I initially messed up and put WAY too much salt in the pool, but once I got that figured out the pool started to clean up over time. 

Here we are one month later:

IMG_7282

That is ready to be swam in!  The best part is the amount of chemicals I put in this pool.  Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I’m 100% sold on the Intex Salt-Water system.  Would recommend it without hesitation.


Becoming a consultant

May 7, 2012 05:00 by ckincincy

Today marks a new day in my career. 

I’m not a wordy individual and don’t want to make this some big dramatic post.  Today I start with Fusion Alliance a consulting firm with locations in Indianapolis and Blue Ash. 

This is a major change in my career in that I am now a consultant. 

I’m looking forward to the new adventure that awaits.


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My App List WP7

January 2, 2012 21:25 by ckincincy

Inspired by @sadukie I am going to list out my applications on my Window’s phone.

I’ve had a Windows phone for over a year now, I’ve actually had 3 different models.  I first had the HTC Surround, while it was a good phone I just didn’t see the need for the speaker setup.  Then I went to the LG Quantum because it has a physical keyboard.  Now, after my move to Verizon I am on the HTC Trophy. 

I’ve owned an iPhone for 2 years, and when the commercial says “there is an app for that”… they aren’t kidding.  The application list for the iPhone is impressive.  Unfortunately the same could not be said for the Windows Phone 7.  It had an OK list of applications, but not one that would blow you away.

However, the applications available have seemed to hit a level to where it does everything I need a phone to do.

I love the way the phone works.  It just seems to flow so much better than the iPhone.  I grew to hate my iPhone by time I got rid of it.  I’ve had the Windows Phone for over a  year and have no real complaints about the operating system.

Enough of the chatter.  Below is my list of applications.


Similar Post
Sarah Dutkiewicz: There’s an App for That!
Jeff Blankenburg: What’s On Your Phone?
Brian Jackett: Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” App Recommendations


Utilities
Adobe Reader – Pretty much a must own if you want to view PDF’s.

WinMilk – A nice little to-do list for the phone.  Though the upgrades to OneNote in Mango somewhat make this a little less needed.  I do prefer the UI on WinMilk though.

BandWidth – Allows you to see how fast your internet connection is. 

QR Code Reader – Ever see those crazy blocks with all the lines in them?  Yep, this decodes them!

Flashlight-X – Ad supported flashlight application.  Uses the camera’s flash for a true flashlight experience.

CardStar – One of my favorite apps.  Allows you to get rid of all those pesky reward and membership cards.

ConnectivityShortcuts – One of the new things available with Mango.  Allows you to create a shortcut directly to a few settings.  Great if you find yourself turning them off or on

Remote Desktop – So I’ve yet to try this, just downloaded tonight… but if it does what it says, it is pretty much the only one available.

SkyDrive – Gives you some access to your SkyDrive.  Not a bad application to have, even if much of the functionality of this application is already built into the phone.

VNC Connect – Standard VNC application.


Games
Shuffle Party – A fun game to waste some time.  You can bowl, play the classic game, or an obstacle course.

Xbox Companion – This integrates with your XBox and allows you to control the main screen a bit.  While a cool thing to try out once, not something I found incredibly useful. Especially since I have the Kinect.

Backgammon Pro – An ad supported version of Backgammon.  Fun game to learn!

Flush – I was a little hesitant to put this on the list as I found it an OK game, but some of the levels just don’t seem possible!

Physi Bricks – A fun game that takes gravity and certain dynamics of the different types of balls you have to throw at the bricks.

Blocked In Free – The “classic” boxed in game.  Just a fun way to waste some time.

Minesweeper – The classic Minesweeper game with a few twist.  Loved earning achievements.


Media/News
Amazon Kindle – Just your basic Kindle application.

ESPN ScoreCenter – An application to allow you to monitor scores and sports news.  The navigation can be a little bit hard to grasp, but it does the job.

iHeartRadio – Access to all of the Clear Channel radio stations. 

INRIX Traffic – This is a really well thought out application.  It combines user reported crashes with crashes reported through official means.  Has helped me avoid problems several times.

Last.fm – Your typical Last.fm application.  If you use Last.fm, this is what you want.

Spotify – Spotify is the new kid on the block in the USA.  It is a nice application to interface with their service.

The Weather Channel – Out of all the weather applications, this is the one I liked the best.


Retail
Amazon Mobile – A nice way to interact with Amazon.  Allows on the fly price comparison along with a lot more.

eBay – This application was one of the most surprising for me.  Just an all around good application to work with eBay on your mobile phone.

Pizza Hut – This one is relatively new.  I used the iPhone version several times and the Windows version appears to be a good port.


Personal
Bible – LifeChurch.tv kind of owns this market and its no difference on the Windows Phone.  Top of the line application.


Google Integration
Flux – I’ve tried a lot of Google Reader applications.  This one has been the best by a lot.

GoVoice – The best Google Voice application around.  It went through a moment where I thought it was going to be abandoned by the developer, but he has started to work on it again recently.  It just works!


Social Media
MoTweets Pro – I’ve been giving this a shot.  It is a paid application, but overall I like it.  It is really for heavy Twitter users as it allows for support of multiple accounts.  It also seems to have Facebook integration.

Twitter – The official Twitter application. More than sufficient!


Developer Unlocked
I recently “developer unlocked” my phone using ChevronWP7.  Unfortunately the “jailbreak” story in Windows Phone is still very new and not well developed.  Once this is a bit more mainstream the ‘black market’ applications available will rock.  Since I am unlocked I am able to “side load” some applications onto my phone.

Screen Capturer – One of the things I really missed from the iPhone was the ability to take a screen grab.  This fills that gap.

Built In
The podcast setup is really nice.  I have subscribed to many technical and personal podcast and they just show up on the phone when new episodes show up. 

Missing
Chipotle – Enough said!

Facebook – There is actually a Facebook application, but it is buggy when you scroll down.  When I moved to Verizon and my new phone I didn’t bother to install the app.  I just went to the mobile version as my primary method.  There is, however, extensive integration with Facebook on the main operating system.


Saltwater Pool Systems–Initial Take

June 18, 2011 19:51 by ckincincy

My family moved into our house just over three years ago.  It came with a swimming pool.

I happened to know the owner of the house prior to buying it and during a team party for our son’s baseball team he said something in passing that stuck out to me.  He mentioned all the struggles he had with keeping the pool clean and that a friend of his had some saltwater system that seemed to work well.

I remembered that conversation but did not act on it. 

Summer one with the pool was not to bad.  The weather was fair and the pool survived.

Summer two was a bit more of a struggle as it rained a lot.

Summer three was the same. 

The problem with tough summers is that chlorine cost add up quickly.  So this year we decided we’d install a saltwater pool system.

Due to last year being so bad we had to completely drain our pool and start over.  After draining the pool and getting it cleaned out we started the process of filling it back up with water.  Being a fairly big pool it takes a few days.  We hooked up all the filter equipment and put 4 gallons of chlorine in the pool and let it run. 

During this time I went looking for a saltwater system on Amazon and found one at a good price and figured it was worth a shot.  The Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System was the winner.

Here we are 3 weeks later and my initial take is that this system is awesome and anybody who has a pool should convert.  During my last three seasons I could only get a positive chlorine test about 2 hours after I put the chlorine in.  Now I can get a constant reading… and I’m not adding an ounce.

The install of the system was easy.  You literally put it in between the house that goes from your existing filter to the pool.  After the water passes through the filter it hits this special system that generates the chlorine. 

The setup of the pool was a little more complex.  For the size of our pool the amount of salt to be added was not completely clear to me.  So I started off with a light amount of 240lbs (FYI, it cost me $50 for 400lbs.. we used 99.8% pure salt meant for water softeners).   After the salt had enough time to dissolve I took my water into Eastgate Pools and had it tested.  It showed to be light on salt and needing stabilizer.   We added 12 pounds of stabilizer and 80 more pounds of salt.  Gave it a few days and took the water in to be tested again.  This time it all tested OK.  Not great but OK.

Our Chlorine tested at 1.1, it is supposed to be between 1.0 and 3.0.  Our salt tested at 2600 parts per million.  This is on the low end for our system and the documentation was pretty clear that a number this low would generate less than idea results.  So we added 40 more pounds of salt.  Now the pool is rocking. 

After looking at the reviews on Amazon the one negative for this product is that its life expectancy can be short.  I look at this two ways.

1. If it breaks within 2 years, it is under warranty.
2. If it breaks after 2 years, I’m still saving a bundle of money.

Take a look at the Intex website to learn more about how it works.  I see NOTHING false about what they advertise. 


A few random links and saved pages

March 12, 2011 22:46 by ckincincy

I have a habit of bookmarking pages as I feel that I need to go back and review the content. 

So, I’m a bit too OCD to have that many random links in my book marks and I’ve had it happen more than once where stuff I bookmarked later disappeared from the web.  Let me share them with you… and at the same time give ma  point of reference!

PC Usability Hacks

Programming Tips

Fun Tips

Hacks

Tech Links

Political/Opinion


My two cents

January 9, 2011 15:32 by ckincincy

So yesterday a tragedy in our country happened.  A congress women was shot and killed.  I think it is justifiable to veer off path of the usual technical nature of this blog and say a few things.

I’m a conservative.  I don’t call myself a Republican, though that is basically the only people I’ll vote for.  There are, however, Republicans I won’t vote for so that’s why I don’t call myself one. 

Immediately after yesterdays shooting it was quickly blamed on Sarah Palin and other Tea Party members.  I found that sad and troubling.  But that is not the focus on this blog.

A contact tweeted a link to an article on the subject of mental health that I think is worth reading.  It was fairly, fair and balanced. 

The main guy that has been talking about this from an official stand point is Chief Clarence Dupnik.  He holds what can safely be categorized as a liberals point of view on guns, so he has been getting a lot of press from folks of that leaning.  Today he was giving his update and near the very end of a press conference he said something that I alluded to on Facebook to another friend of mine.  I am paraphrasing:

“Back when I was a beat cop in the early 60’s when we had issues with people like this we were able to put them into an institution that kept them off the streets.  However, now we just let them run the streets.”

When I was finishing my bachelors degree I had to take a 9 credit course on US history.  A very big part of this was the 1960’s and this very point.  The point made in the class was that in the 60’s psychiatrist and other medical professionals shifted from these institutions to medical help outside of being institutionalized.  So we went from these people being fairly segregated and “cared for” (I put this in quotations, because there was a lot of abuse in this setup) to them running the streets. 

Then in a conversation Maggie Longshore said “we need to make mental health available, affordable & accessible – more important than physical health for society.”

The problem with this is that there are a LOT, A WHOLE LOT of services available.  I am a foster parent, so I am exposed to a lot of these services over and over again. The problem is that these people aren’t healthy enough to go get the help.  In my situation the mentally unstable people happen to have children and that got them identified. That is where the “institutionalization” of people by the cops came into play in the 60’s.  We have the resources and availability.. we just need to do better as a society to identify these people and get them into places that will get help for them.  We have to stop pretending that everybody is OK and all opinions are equal and such.  If a person is claiming that the government is using mind control to control them… they aren’t healthy and they need help.  To pretend otherwise is ignoring a real issue.

Yesterday was a tragedy.  We can turn it into a positive and tone down the rhetoric a bit (just think of the attacks on Palin and Obama) and learn from this situation to identify people like this.  Or we can make it a political “win” for “our party” and contribute to the rhetoric that many are blaming for this issue.


A bug in WP7

November 13, 2010 21:54 by ckincincy

So it didn’t take me long, but I found my first bug in the Windows Phone 7 operating system.

It is a simple bug to reproduce.  It comes down to programming pauses and such into a contacts phone number.  Lets say you work at XYZ LLC.  Who’s number is 555-555-1212.  You program your coworker, Charlie’s number in as follows: 555-555-1212,2,222.  What this number will do is dial the main number pauses, hits “2” for entering an extension, pauses, and then enters the extension.

So now you have those two contacts.  Now somebody calls you from the office, which comes through as 555-555-1212.  You’d expect for it to display a call coming from XYZ, LLC.  However what happens is you are told the call comes from “Charlie” because he comes up first in the list. 

I’d hope the caller ID could be fixed to do an exact match search before it does the partial match search.