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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?


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.


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. 

My App List WP8

December 15, 2013 15:47 by ckincincy

Almost two years ago there was a flurry of post on the web with people sharing the apps they used on their Windows Phone 7.  Here is my contribution to that flurry.

A lot has changed in two years.  I’ve been on a Windows Phone 8 for a while now and the quality apps available has grown immensely. 

Figured I’d share what apps I have on my phone today.  Had some apps on my old list gone from this list mainly due to my move away from using Google products.

My Top 4

i Podcast – In my last post I mentioned how the podcasting in Windows Phone 7 was good.. this is not the case in Windows Phone 8.  There is no way to add podcast that aren’t in the marketplace.  This app is AWESOME.  It allows you to add custom podcast and gives you an “all podcast” playlist option.  It also has a “cloud” backup so when you get a new phone, you don’t have to set it all up again.
Nextgen Reader – When Google Reader when the way of many Google products, I needed a new application to work with Feedly.  This is by far the best, the ability to “mobilize” feeds automatically helps as many feeds I have only give you a title unless you go to the site to read the article.

Waze – Best social driving app out there.  Actual user base so it works!  Drains the battery a bit, but it has certainly let me know of a speed trap or 10.
Chase Mobile – The ability to deposit a check remotely rocks. 

Social Media

6sec – Unofficial Vine app, so I’m sure they could break it if they wanted to… but better than the official app.
6snap – Unofficial SnapChat App… I don’t use it… so I can’t fully speak for it.  I have an account and have it installed, but have no friends Smile
6tag – Unofficial Instagram app.  Better than the current official beta.
Facebook – Does what you need from a Facebook App.

Twitter – Good Twitter app.


7Pass Free – Password management app, allows for syncing with all the major cloud services.
Adobe Reader – Does what you would expect from a PDF reader.

Authenticator – App that you can tie with services to have a two factor login.

Flashlight-X – Basic flashlight app.

HERE Drive+ – Nokia’s GPS application.  Quality application, though I now use Waze.

HERE Transit – This app is incredible.  While in Chicago over the summer with the family, I used this a lot for navigating down town.  I’d put in my location and it would give me a handful of ways to get there using the public transportation.

HERE Maps – Nokia’s map solution.

Lock Widgets – Good app to customize your lock screen.  Shows weather and battery info, along with giving you three sources for rotating background images.

Skype – A friend of mine has some very poor cell coverage with his provider.  So we now talk with Skype most of the time we have a phone conversation.  Amazing that it is so clear.


Amazon Mobile – Good app to navigate Amazon on the go.

Bank of America – They have my mortgage, this is a good way for me to look at that.


ESPN ScoreCenter – Your basic ScoreCenter app from ESPN.

iHeartRadio  - Nice application to listen to virtually any radio station at anytime.

Last.fm – Good music app.

Pandora – The king of streaming.


Craigslist + – A good application to search Craigslist.

Help me test and support a good cause

April 21, 2013 11:21 by ckincincy

I have just implemented Stripe.com as the credit card processor for ScanHelp.com.

I’d love it if you’d go donate $5 to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Butler county and, at the same time, test out my stripe.com implementation.

Go donate $5.


** Why Big Brothers and Big Sisters?  I was a “little brother” back in my pre-teens, just seemed like a cause anybody could throw $5 at.

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:


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:


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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Goodbye Twitter, Hello Google+

July 25, 2011 19:40 by ckincincy

This is not another post about how Google+ works or another post about why Google+ is better than <insert social media platform here>.  This is, however, a note that I’m abandoning Twitter for Google+… for now.

I’ve “left” Twitter a few times.  Ultimately I don’t get it.  140 characters has always seemed way to small for me.  While many, maybe even most, updates are fine for 140.  What about the replies and post that aren’t?  It becomes some disjointed mess of last reply first reading. 

So do me a favor, come follow me on Google+.  I’d like to follow you.

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!

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