More, More, More About Comcast

Friday, June 27, 2008 at 4:55 PM | Filed under , ,

I got a cookie-cutter response this morning from Comcast about the horrible ads I wrote about at 3 a.m. this morning. (You see, in addition to talking live with someone, I also sent an e-mail complaint.)

The response said that Comcast is using the ads "to educate our customers about the value of Comcast Digital Cable service." I just checked what ads are on the screen now. Three of the banners tell me how to use features of the cable box (such as how to set reminders for shows) that I already know how to use. The fourth banner is an ad for pay-per-view wrestling. Wow, Comcast knows me well! Because I love wrestling, and I know absolutely nothing about how to use the cable box we've had for years!

I was surprised that I got another e-mail from a different Comcast employee this afternoon who apparently stumbled across my blog. (Either that, or Comcast is constantly scanning the Internet for criticism about them.) I guess it's a little naïve of me to think that nobody might read this blog, except that nobody ever leaves comments anymore. He thanked me for sharing my feedback and said that Comcast is "working on a new interactive guide" with the hope "to illuminate the issues that you are currently experiencing." To illuminate the issue? As in to lighten up the ads, as in to make them more visibly prominent? This must be a hint at more ads to come. Great.

Maybe he meant to say that they hope to eliminate the ads. But I doubt it. These ads are going to stick around. They're going to make the television look as tacky as MySpace.

But you know what? I still like Comcast. Know why? Because it's Comcastic.

Comcast Makes Me Sad

at 2:40 AM | Filed under , ,


I just noticed this an hour ago (and I won't be able to sleep until after I've ranted about it). Comcast has completely replaced the bottom of the on-screen guide—an entire row's worth of info!—with advertising space! AUGH! And they aren't even useful ads. These are ugly ads for junk like Close Encounters of the Third Kind or on-demand Beyonce in Concert which repeat every four pages.

It's hardly any secret to those who know me that I despise clutter and advertising.

For years, I've listened to tech pundits bashing and hating Comcast for various reasons, but I haven't sided with them until now. What's wrong, Comcast? Are we paying you so little that you have to resort to putting up ads so that you don't go bankrupt? Or are you afraid that Beyonce won't get enough hits without your helpful reminder for us to watch her concert? Did Beyonce pay you to clutter up my screen? Should I be mad at her too?

So now the guide contains only four useful rows of guide information instead of five, so that means more scrolling. Not only that, but the ads seem to take a short moment to load, so it'll probably take me even longer to traverse the guide in that respect as well. It'll be less comfortable, too, having to avoid looking at that entire bottom portion of the screen.

I even went online to Comcast tech support and chatted live with a polite customer service analyst named Carla.26902 to ask if there was a secret way to remove the ads which are contaminating my screen. She was very patient with me and I'm sorry I wasted her time. I hope she forwarded my complaints to someone who cares, high up in the Comcast chain of command.

I guess now I'll instead have to get used to using the mini-guide (which is only two rows high but has no advertising), at least until Comcast sticks ads into there as well. It will be only a matter of time until Comcast starts popping ads up in the middle of the screen during the climaxes of movies and TV shows.

I'll be lucky if this article makes it up onto my blog. Comcast also provides our internet connection.

Cheese Clump

Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 11:25 AM | Filed under

Oh my god.

I'm eating a bowl of Cheddar & Sour Cream Ruffles, and I encountered this at the bottom of the bowl. It appears to be a clump of the powder they coat the chips in.

Should I eat it? Would it be good? Would it be too much flavor for one man to handle? Could this kill me? How did it come into being? Is it a mistake, or does Frito-Lay occasionally include these as gifts?

I'm going to eat it.

There is a teensy potato chip inside. The flavor isn't nearly as strong as I imagined—I'm a bit disappointed. It tastes just like eating a handful of chips, only it nearly isn't as big. I wouldn't mind encountering more cheese clumps during the rest of my life, though.

Square Graham Crackers

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 2:44 PM | Filed under ,

S'mores are pretty good, aren't they? But you know what sucks when you're making them? You get the graham cracker, and then you try to break it in half, but it doesn't break perfectly along the perforation, so you're left with two uneven halves of the graham cracker. Misery.

But Nabisco has solved the problem of the ruined graham cracker halves. Squares! Essentially, they have released pre-halved graham crackers. No more wasted graham crackers!

I think Nabisco may have stumbled upon the most brilliant invention of the 21st Century.

Mean Look

at 1:58 PM | Filed under

The wild Haunter used Mean Look on my Rhydon, which means that I can't run away from this Pokémon battle, and I can't recall my Rhydon, either. The main reason I keep Rhydon around is because he knows a bunch of hidden moves, such as Strength. The hidden moves he knows are all of the Normal or Fighting type, none of which have any effect on Ghost-type Pokémon such as Haunter. The other move Rhydon knows, Earthquake, won't affect Haunter because she levitates above the ground.

I've looked through my bag, but I don't have any items, such as the Poké Doll or the Fluffy Tail, which will allow me to flee the battle regardless of the Mean Look. I could use Rhydon's moves (regardless of the fact that they'll do no damage) so that they'll eventually run out of PP. Then, he'll resort to struggling against the Haunter, which will finally do some damage. Haunter knows Spite, which reduces the PP of the move Rhydon last used, so that may help to speed up this process.

Or maybe I could wait for Haunter to finish off my Rhydon. The problem is that Rhydon's level is much higher than Haunter's, and this could take a while. Also, the Haunter is paralyzed, so half the time, it can't even move anyway.

Maybe I could catch Haunter. That would put an end to the battle. But its HP is maxed out, and I'm afraid that the Poké Balls won't work very well because of this. But I have a lot of them, so I think I'll give it a try. Nope, it didn't work.

Oooh, Haunter just used Curse. It halved its own HP and subjected Rhydon to the curse; each turn, Rhydon's HP is dropping by about third of its max HP. Now I'm just chucking Poké Balls until either Haunter is caught or Rhydon faints.

Click! The Poké Ball captured the Haunter! And just in time, because Rhydon's HP was so low that some alarm was going off. This was as bad as Wobbuffet versus Wobbuffet.